Reality in a Created World: Thoughts from a father on Special Needs.

This post was written by my incredible husband. Thankful he was willing to share his heart.

How little faith I frequently have. Too often, my heart sinks with deep pain over the thought of losing my daughters. Just as I had done before they were born, I have been planning my life or what I believe will happen. You see, we all have created idols in our lives, some- and more than we expect- are created in our subconscious experience. By merely opening our eyes in a fallen world, we are in battle to become like it. I see a father holding his daughter’s hand. While examining patients in clinic, I strike off countless developmental milestones. Six months, sitting, 9 months, pulls to stand, 15 months, are they social, playing with friends, making good eye contact, interacting and offering items to their parents; at the age of two, two word sentences. All of what we assume as being “normal” or “typical” are things we always thought our lives would appear as. While developmental milestones are important items in the life a pediatric resident, the majority of what we do is what I call “band aid medicine.” Temporary fixes in a world with an eternal problem. We have not time for full on self-pity, wallowing in despair, searching for blame, questioning whether or not we are directly responsible for our problems as a result of past sin, or burning with anger against God for our circumstance. Take comfort in knowing that these are normal thoughts, but we do not serve a God whose mind is confined by “normal” or “typical.”

Scripture says, we are but blades of grass, here today and gone the next.   In our brevity, we were made to worship. Let me explain. In my 20/20 hindsight vision, I see how a loving God urged me to memorize Psalm 139 prior to our girls’ birth, prior to here and now, at the point where special needs meant just a sorrowful feeling for someone else’s problem. However, I now can rest assured that my girls are “fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together well, and all the days ordained for them were written in His book before one of them came to be. His gracious eyes saw their unformed bodies.” How is this possible? Our God is capable of vision before there even exists tangible form in our minds. “You hem me in, behind and before, you have laid your hand upon me” (Psalm 139:5). He has taken care of the past, present, and future, before they are even thoughts in our minds. But wait, there’s more. Somewhere around 550 BC, In 2 Kings 5, Naaman, a high ranking official, was afflicted with leprosy. Leprosy, a flesh eating skin disease with an associated stigma. The same stigma carried with many afflictions today. It’s that first word that pops into your head experience. Special needs equals “delayed,” “helpless,” “outcasts,” “different,” “pitiful.” Naaman was highly aware of this, and he had heard of a God who has the ability to heal.   However, what Naaman represents is our own pride. He is disgraced by the thought of Elisha, asking him, the powerful and important Naaman, to bathe in the dirty waters of Jordan seven times. You see, we don’t even know how to ask for healing even though we know to ask God. Naaman thought he knew how God would heal him. We think we know what will make things better with our children, what the fix will look like. However, the irony of the solution in this story is reflective of God’s redemptive power. He would remove dirt with dirt, just as a blind man would later find out. He cleanses Naaman in the dirty Jordan River. So too, does God have the ability to use our sin to conquer sin itself. We need to look no further than the cross. Jesus, God’s son, crucified by sinners only to be raised from the dead in glorious victory. The best laid plans of an evil world, backfired in the hands of a sovereign God.

We shall not fear because God has power of sin and death itself. Death itself has lost its sting. Whatever ailments we are suffering for a time are just that, only for a time. May we endure and persevere with confidence and joy in our salvation. We can rest assured in our Savior’s arms.

“Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trial you are enduring. All this is evidence of God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which you are suffering. God is just” (2 Thessalonians 1:4-6).

May we strive to be counted as worthy for His glory now and to come.

Thank you for reading my wife’s blog, she is truly remarkable.

Drink Deeply.

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Yesterday, we walked. We breathed in the fresh, cool, fall air and attempted to breathe out the suffocating hards that have reared their heads. I stared at creation, glared it in the eyes as questioned penetrated my hurting heart. I did not get in His Word yesterday morning; partially intentional if I am honest. So much of me felt numb, and I wanted those parts to feel. I forgot that His throne is the place in which my feelings can be felt without fear.

Three deer appeared from the woods; and I watched as they tried to make their way to the cool waters in order to quench their thirst.

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God.”- Psalm 42:1

They reached the water’s edge, and then noticed our presence and quickly ran away; never to touch their lips to the waters that could bring them life. No! I thought to myself. You were so close. Don’t be afraid of that which is not going to harm you- just drink.

Them panting; myself panting. Both of us in front of the one thing that could heal yet not willing to step out in faith and drink.

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We received the results of the genetics test back on Wednesday. This test is the most thorough genetics test known to mankind; and while I had been informed that the results could be messy and not concrete, I wanted to believe otherwise, so I did.

As the genetics counselor read me our results over the phone, my heart pounded and my hands clinched, not only in posture but also in emotion. So much power was put into this conversation with man; man who can kill the body, kill the expectations I had for our life, kill my so-called plans, but who cannot destroy the very thing that matters-our souls. She read me the inconclusive news, and talked to me about our next steps. She told me about the mutations that had been found, and let me in on what that could mean. We now stand at the edge of determining whether or not the girls have a particular disease that, from a worldly perspective, will not go well. I stand vague before you, dear reader, because I do not want to pour empty words out onto a screen; and without confirmation through more testing, those words would stand empty on our behalf. Ahead for our family are more MRI’s, more researching by numerous physicians, more appointments with doctors across the country, and more waiting. My heart hurts on a level I did not believe it could hurt. I hurt for my husband, who is trying to carry the burden of a wife who waits for the devastating, while also trying to process his own emotions. I hurt for our families who have been on a roller coaster with this journey as well; and who stand on the outskirts in their own helplessness in the situation. I hurt for our friends who are attempting to support us in these challenges. Mostly, I hurt for our girls and for what the future hards could hold. But God.

As our church is reading through the Bible, we have landed in 2 Kings in this season and time after time, God continues to show His provision. In 2 Kings 4, a certain Shunammite woman was given the gift of a son in a time period in which her husband was old and she no longer had expectations for this. As the chapter unfolds, the son becomes sick and appears to have died. The Shunammite woman bitterly says,

“Did I ask you for a son…didn’t I tell you, don’t raise my hopes?”- 2 Kings 4:28

Bitter because the very thing she did not ask for was dangled in front of her face as good and then taken away in an instance. The Lord goes on to raise her son from the dead, and while healing on this side of heaven does not always end this way, how we can all relate. So often, the things that we do not ask for seem to be taken away from us, and we are left wondering why. It can be an actual person, a job, health, material possession, a relationship… so many things. In our case, these precious girls came along as somewhat of a surprise and turned our world upside down. We began to know love in a way that we had never grasped; and suddenly, the journey took a turn and here we stand, broken in some ways. I see myself in the Shunammite woman, doubting God’s plan in the midst of my own pain. But God.

2 Kings was written before Christ came. This woman did not know of hope beyond this life, and there God’s provision came in immediate healing. But God, through Christ, has offered us something that much better: His Son. Ultimate healing and ultimate provision by the blood of Jesus Christ.

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!”- John 16:33

The Word spells it out so clearly to me, yet how often I miss the mark. In this world we will have trouble. In this world, God promises, we will have trouble. When hardship comes along, so often we shake our fists at the sky and cry out, “God, if you are good, then why? Why are you bringing this hard into my life, my friend’s life, my family’s life?” We stumble along the edges of the temporary, forgetting that this world is not our home; not remembering that in a blink of an eye this will all fade. And God, as He sits with His Son triumphant at His right side, patiently continues to pour out His love and promises to us in the midst of our doubting panic. Take heart, my friend, He has overcome the world. Take heart, my soul, He has overcome the world. Take heart.

I am standing at the edge of the stream, and cool, healing waters await. This healing may not come in the form of easy; it may not come in the form of immediate relief of our present pain. But God. It offers me the assurance that God Himself walked this circumstance down the road of Calvary and nailed it all to the cross that He bore for you and for me. He has overcome. His offer stands for us in this moment to drink in deeply the promises He has given us; not promises of comfortable or safety from pain on this side of heaven, but promises that He is with us and that He has already righted all the wrongs. As we await whatever news our particular piece of the story will unfold, I find comfort knowing that He is Sovereign in it all. This is His plan, and it is good. No matter what the ending is on earth, rewards like we have never known await in Him, namely Him. Nothing here has power over you, over me, over our girls. He is writing this story until the very end, and He is writing it with His very own merciful pen. He is here. He has not promised us good news from the eyes of the world; but He has offered us His very own life and that is enough. Eternity.

Friends, I beg you to view your current situation in light of His love. Drink deeply of His purposes and His goodness poured out for you through His very life. He brings beauty from all of the brokenness, and His waters bubble out His glories for all eternity.

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”- Ephesians 3:20-21

Rejoicing and Mourning.

So many words flash across our television screens; so many hards going on around and within each of us. It did not just begin with ebola, enterovirus, ISIS. No. This sickness, this brokenness, has existed since the moment Eve said, “Yes” to doubt and Adam agreed. It penetrated into all of us and from that point on, all of humanity has been covered and washed in our own mess. It seems we are always saying, “What in the world is going on in our world?”; when the truth is, there is nothing new under the sun. Same story, different writing. We are covered in it; and often the more we know the more we fear. We turn off the television, stop reading the news, pretend it doesn’t exist, but eventually, it catches up to us. Eventually, the hard is no longer on the screen but in our own circle and it is then we can no longer run away.

As a little girl, I would always end my prayers with, “And, God, please be with the people of Somolia and those less fortunate than me”. I am not sure when my heart first heard of Somolia; and at that point, I am pretty sure I thought less fortunate applied to the starving; the sick. Nevertheless, my heart was always made tender to the “underdog” as I called it; the ones who seemed to have it harder than those around them. I remember seeing the obituaries and thinking to myself, “There are so many people hurting all around me. How rude of me to enjoy anything in light of others’ suffering”.

Later on, as I was privileged to travel across the world to places like Ethiopia and Bangladesh, I wondered if these emotions would overtake me even more. I was fearful that I would see the poverty, see the sickness, and be unable to enjoy anything in my American dream life. But Jesus.

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As I entered into these new cultures, I suddenly had a heart change. It was not the physically ill, the physically poor, that I should feel sorry for. No. Those that have it the hardest are the ones that are sick in the soul. Those that are hurting the most are the ones whose souls are stricken with poverty. True, the physical need was great in these places; and we wanted to meet those immediate needs as well. At the end of the day, however, the people who seemed to be the most content were not the ones who were free from suffering in this life but the ones who had hope in the One who had the power to free them for all eternity. Jesus.

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The Word says it this way:

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

You see, all those temporary things seemed momentous at the time; but in light of eternity, they were nothing but fading afflictions. Suddenly, it was me that I felt sorry for- the one who was going back to a place in which a handful of citizens with disease is more important than countries of dying people. A place in which people are more concerned with protecting their own castles instead of helping a neighbor rebuild their own hut. A world of distraction after distraction after distraction where busyness is our god and self is our goal. Sick souls fearful of dying bodies. This is the true outbreak that is killing the core of who we are. This is the disease we should fear.

Today, I sit in a comfortable home free of physical illness. I have a fun weekend planned in which I will catch up with old friends and escape from the mundane. Not five miles away from where I write, there are people suffering immensely. In hospitals, on streets, all around. How do we do it? Is it wrong to bask in our current happiness when there are millions around us deeply hurting? Should we stay in a constant state of mourning, knowing that many are in such a hard place?

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn”.- Romans 12:15

God. This God who has the ability to be in all places at all times, and meet us individually where we need to be met. He made this command to us all, and I believe there is much to be learned from it. You see, while we live on this earth, there is always going to be suffering. I speak often about how we must embrace the suffering instead running from it, but let’s not forget why: we embrace the suffering because we know that where suffering exists, God’s grace exists all the more and this gives us hope that He is using it for His good. We do not embrace suffering for the purpose of martyrdom; for the service to self. No. We hug tight onto whatever God has placed in front of us, and we help our neighbors do the same by holding fast to their today as well. Rejoicing and mourning can co-exist when Hope reigns. Ann Voskamp in her book, “One Thousand Gifts”, says it this way:

“I know there is poor and hideous suffering, and I’ve seen the hungry and the guns that go to war. I have lived pain, and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives. Why would the world need more anger, more outrage? How does it save the world to reject unabashed joy when it is joy that saves us? Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn’t rescue the suffering. The converse does. The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world”.

This Light she speaks of us God in us and we exude Hope to all the hards of the world when we choose to bless the Lord and trust Him in all things. We portray Jesus to a watching, hurting, fear-filled society when we choose to watch the news and say, “Amen” to it all- not because we love the sin involved but because we know the God above it and know He is going to use all things for future glory. This same God meets us all exactly where we are, both in mind, spirit, and body, and promises that He is not letting go. He promises that all things, the things we rejoice in and the things that make us mourn, are being tied together into a beautiful tapestry of His grace. If He brings it to you, it is good.

So, today. You might be in the trenches of the suffering. You might be coasting through, ready for the weekend plans to come. All is grace, so let’s allow one another to be there, wherever there is. Let’s not fear those things that ultimately have no authority over our souls, and let’s be a people that breathe in deep His love and mercies in all things. Let’s rejoice, let’s mourn, let’s love. Hope is here if yet we would have eyes to see.

Living with Dignity.

I am not sure I have ever felt this strongly about writing something. This has been imprinted on my heart for a few days, and I woke up this morning before the dawn, unable to sleep unless I poured the words out. So here I sit.

I am dying, and so are you. Many of us do not focus on that until the reality hits us, but the truth is, we all share the common fate that we will one day take our last breath on this earth. For some, we will have days, months, weeks, or years to prepare for this. Others, it will come out of nowhere. Many of us will reach numerous years where our hair is gray and our memory’s full; some will be yet minutes or days old when it is determined that we pass on from this earth. This truth is coming for all of us.

Dying with dignity, they say. I do not have cancer, nor have I ever walked through the trenches of cancer with a dear family member or best friend. It has become quite the heated discussion. I cannot touch the topic of cancer for I have not walked it, but if you would like to read something that can and does, I encourage you to go here and read my friend Kara Tippetts’ heart that poured out on the pages of Ann Voskamp’s blog:

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2014/10/dear-brittany-why-we-dont-have-to-be-so-afraid-of-dying-suffering-that-we-choose-suicide/

But here. What I can write about is suffering, for it has been the theme of so much of my family’s past year. Those of you who follow this blog have met Ally and Bailey Grace, our twin daughters:

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To read more about our family’s journey, go here:

https://hishandshisfeethisheart.com/about/

A large part of not having a diagnosis for our precious, happy girls is not knowing what the future holds for them. While this is true for each of us and all of our loved ones, it seems to be more of a reality for us. We do not know what parts of our girls’ little bodies are being affected by this disease, and I once had a physician tell me that our girls could, “drop dead tonight and we would not know why without a diagnosis”. It takes my breath away to even type these words, but they have replayed in my head ever sense they were spoken and while I don’t truly believe this will happen, I would be lying if I said it doesn’t run through my mind almost every day.

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The girls have, thankfully, only being hospitalized for illness once each; but they have been put through numerous blood work, MRI’s, evaluations, and other various tests in their short lives. In all these moments, I can promise you one thing: I would have done anything to jump in their skin and walk through these hards for them. If you are a parent, you know this to be true. There have been several moments on this journey in which we were waiting on a test to come back that would determine whether or not our girls would see a year. I remember having a second in which I had to step away from our girls after a particularly hard appointment. They looked so innocent, so unaware of the reality. I began to cry and sat in my bathroom where the Lord faithfully met me and whispered to my heart, “I am here”. I realized in that moment that no one else could meet me in the place I was but God Himself. I decided that wherever this journey took us, I was going to trust Him with all of it.

Now this will never be a place to compare. I know many of you have walked through much harder unimaginables than we have. Suffering is suffering, however, and I do believe that it is important to write about this concept of choosing how long and how much I or my loved ones suffer. Would I take away all these hard moments our family has experienced; would I relieve my girls, my husband, our family and friends, of these challenges? At the time, absolutely. If I could have pushed a button, taken a pill, that changed the path our family had been put on, I would have. However, this is God’s story, not mine, and I am so thankful that I did not have this choice. In hindsight, I am more than grateful because it has been through our greatest suffering that I have seen the greatest beauty. You see, that’s the thing. As human beings, we are so constrained to time. We believe we have a grasp on how much suffering we deserve and what that should look like in each of our lives; and if it surpasses those barometers we set up in our minds, we feel uncomfortable. To me, the question we need to be asking ourselves is not do we think we have the right to choose how and when we die; but rather, do we think we have the right to choose how we live. This is pivotal and changes everything. If I believe that this life is solely about this life, that eternity is only eternity once life on earth is over, then I won’t be able to look past the hards and the hurts. If however, I believe that eternity has already begun and that this life on this broken planet is but a breath, no amount of suffering, whether physical or emotional, will compare to what awaits. It will all serve a purpose; and it will all be worth it. Submission to the ultimate plan will suddenly make sense in light of this glorious truth.

My moments, your moments, are all in the hand of a loving God who didn’t run away from suffering, but rather embraced it. He knew what He knew what He knew; that better things awaited just around the bend. It was worth it to Him to gain your heart. You see friends, dying with dignity does not have to do with death itself. Dying with dignity means taking your last breath here on earth knowing that in one lack of a breath, you will be transformed and made new. Not a millisecond of your suffering will matter anymore, for you will see it all in light of the eternity.

Friends, this does not begin on your death bed. This deep seated belief starts in the way you envision life, now. Is the suffering God brings to those we love in His hands, or ours? Do we have the choice to run from this suffering and check out when we feel like it is too much, or are we called to embrace it, trusting He can bring beauty from ashes? How much trust do you have in your Creator as the Sovereign King over all things, even the hardest moments this life brings? Where you stand in these questions will determine how you view all your days and, eventually, how you view your passing from earth.

 I watch my two children, my only children, walk a road I would have never paved. I do not discuss this much but it deserves to be said that there is a chance I will bury them before they get the chance to bury me. Sure, this could happen to any of us. But for our family, this is the reality of our unknown. I have been comforted knowing that the God responsible for the details of our life is not unaware of suffering. He sent His Son, His only Son, to die a death full of gut-wrenching pain (both emotional and physical) so that we could experience life eternal. I am here to say that in light of this, I refuse to not live with dignity in these moments. I refuse to not live in the freedom that knows it is in His hands and not mine. I am so thankful that in His moments of deepest suffering, the moments that He did nothing to deserve, He did not run. I want to live all of my days in a posture of surrender to a God who breathes life into all of us and in a split second can take it away as He sees fit. Focused on Him, not me. I want to live with dignity in the here and now so that as those hard moments keep coming, I can keep trusting Him to know the moment it is time to make the broken pieces beautiful. He did it in His Son and He promises to do it for me and for you, if yet we would ask for the faith the believe.

Each and every second of each and every life is precious. I do not want myself or my loved ones to take one more breath or one less breath than He has desired for us. I believe He will meet all of us in those moments of pain in ways that I cannot yet understand or fathom. Do you believe that He has met you in all your moments of suffering thus far? Do you believe He will continue to do so?

I do not know Brittany Maynard. I know she is beautiful, and that she has a soul that God loves so much that He sent His Son to die a painful death in order that she, and we, could spend all our moments with Him. Met and understood in all the unimaginables. My prayer for her, for you, and for myself is that we would trust Him with all those moments and that we would allow Him to meet us in the pain; knowing He is good and that we are met by Him in all things. He is no stranger to suffering, and He thought suffering was so important that He sent His Son to do so. Surely none of us are above God Himself. May we all rest in Him in all our days; for in the blink of an eye they will all be no more. Let’s live in dignity today, friends. All is grace.

The Junk in our Hearts.

Why is it that the drive to vacation always seems shorter than the drive home? After a week at the beach, we packed the girls up and headed back towards Birmingham. What should have been 4 hours max turned into almost 7, and the chain of events in between could be described as a train wreck. We ended up having to stop twice to feed the girls, and attempting to feed two low- toned toddlers who are difficult to feed at best while parked at a gas station did not go so well. After having the car and ourselves basically covered in projectile vomit, we were over it. The car was already jam packed with bags, beach supplies, and baby paraphernalia; and now it (and us) were overcome with the scent of puke and fast food. I felt horrible for the girls, horrible for us, and made a mental note we were not going to drive that far with the girls ever again. Sounds dramatic, but if you were in the car, trust me, you would have wanted out.

We finally made it back to Birmingham, and after unpacking some and getting settled, the first thing we wanted to do was deep clean and de-clutter my car. Hugh went and got carpet cleaner, took everything out of the car, and vacuumed and scrubbed it from the inside out. When I went outside to see the damage, it was clear to me that the car was almost spotless. In fact, it was much cleaner than it had been before our vacation debacles. It occurred to me that a similar thing can happen in our hearts and souls whenever we walk through messy times.

I tend to focus on the lessons God is teaching us in the here and now because they are fresh; but rest assured the wrestling with God did not start a mere 17 months ago. No; this wrestling of faith has gone on for years. There have been numerous messy seasons in which the state of my being felt so dirty and covered in gunk that I was sure that I could never come out of it. But God.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside may also be clean”.- Matthew 23:25-26

Strong words from our Lord; but ever so true. You see, we are so quick to focus on appearances. We are so concerned with what others think of us that, often, we present a false cleanliness to those around us in hopes that we would look good. The problem with this is that the Lord sees the heart; He does not focus on appearances (1 Samuel 16:7). Who cares how clean you can make the outside look if the inside, what truly matters, is filthy?  People passing us on the highway might have thought they were passing a relatively clean car; but they could not have been more wrong.

So many seasons of life, while I might have appeared to have it together, my soul was hurting. If you had seen me from the inside out, I was a mess. This journey with our girls has been so refreshing because it has brought me to the end of myself. There has been no way I could cover up my weaknesses and pains to a watching world; and now, I would not want to do so. For in the midst of my sheer weakness and inabilities, I have seen a strong and mighty God pick up the pieces and make something all the more beautiful. He has been able to begin the process of cleaning me from the inside out, and I know that it took something devastating to bring me to this place. He has brought me out of hiding to a place in which I know I have an Audience of One; and that along with that, the One who watches my ever move is walking each step with me and loving me all the more. True peace. Here’s the thing: so many parts of this season have felt messier than ever before. I have had days in which I look at my vomit-covered heart and wonder how God could ever make something beautiful from it all. But, I have found that it is in the aftermath of those days that He reveals His goodness and His working to me all the more. In the midst of the mess of me, He is molding me from the inside out in order to make me more like Himself. He is picking up the rotten pieces of my flesh and my own doubtings and making all things new. Not because of who I am; but because of who He is. Sure, it feels chaotic and overwhelming at times; but my heart has begun to rest easy in His cleansing process, for I know that it is His best. Here’s the thing: as a Christian, we were ultimately made righteous and whole by His death for us on the cross. He sees me as white as snow; purified in His name. Let’s not confuse this with the sanctifying process that still goes on. From on eternal perspective, a Christian has already been made clean through the work of Christ. In the here and now, He is chipping away and scrubbing at the core of who we are; and He will continue to do so until the day we meet Him face to face. It will be then that there will be no more messes, no more junk… one with Him forever. How I long for this day for you and for me.

Friends, you are in this story. You are a mess. I mean that in the most loving way possible; but I want us all to see and find comfort in the fact that we are all in the same place in a sense. The inside of your cup might look different than mine; but it still desperately needs cleaning. This can only happen when we quit trying to paint our own version of a good picture and instead allow the Artist to do His work. No more strokes of false perfection; only His beautiful artistry in your heart and life. You do not have to hide your dirty. God already sees it, and He provided a way to escape it through His Son at the cross. Today, today, today…allow Him to bring that mess into the light. It will be messy; and it might feel as if things are getting worse and not better. Rest assured, however, that the more we place our stuff in the light, the more He is able to work the miracles that only He can do. His grace beyond measure. He is making beauty out of all of our filth. He is using the things we most despise to paint a glorious picture of His redemption. He can be trusted with all your junk. Give it to Him today and stand amazed at the One who will throw it as far as the east is from the west, look at your heart, see Jesus, and say, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” His banner over you is love (Song of Solomon 2:4).