Jesus responded, “Just because I am the one making these claims doesn’t mean they’re invalid. For I absolutely know who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I’m going. But you Pharisees have no idea about what I’m saying. For you’ve set yourselves up as judges of others based on outward appearances, but I certainly never judge others in that way. For I discern the truth. And I am not alone in my judgments, for my Father and I have the same understanding in all things, and he has sent me to you.”
John 8:14-16 TPT
I love this passage. Jesus is so amazing!! These verses come just after He had proclaimed, “I am the light of the world and those who embrace me will experience life-giving light, and they will never walk in darkness.” (Verse 12) The Pharisees were astonished and offended by this declaration. How could Jesus claim such a thing?? They got snarky with Him and accused Him of being arrogant. “You’re just boasting about yourself!” they said. “Since we only have your word on this, it makes your testimony invalid!” (Verse 13)
But guess what? Jesus wasn’t being arrogant or conceited when He said these things. Not at all. He was simply speaking the life-giving truth of who He was!! And the people needed to hear this truth, because it was their chance to have eternal hope!
Oh how beautiful Jesus is. He is our light. We literally do not ever have to walk in the darkness of despair that wraps this world in its tentacles, because Jesus’s light overcomes it; His life can and will flood our lives if we recognize Him as our Savior and declare Him as our Lord.
That’s enough good news right there for us to give thanks for eternity. But something else has struck a powerful chord in me as I’ve meditated on this passage: we can have the same confidence Jesus had in these verses. We too can say, “I absolutely know who I am!” Why? Because we are in Him (“Your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Col. 3:3) and He is in us (“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Gal. 2:20). We have become one with Him because of what He has done for us on the cross. Oh Jesus! How marvelous You are to Love us like this. Because of His sacrifice, because of His Love, we can confidently, absolutely, know who we are.Read More
I just wanted to write a quick little blog about a Scripture that kinda just kicked me in the gut. Here it is:
“You are busy analyzing the Scriptures, frantically poring over them in hopes of gaining eternal life. Everything you read points to me, yet you still refuse to come to me so I can give you the life you’re looking for – eternal life!” John 5:39, The Passion Translation
These are the words of Jesus to the Jewish religious leaders of the day. They were refusing to believe in Him as the Son of God, to embrace Him as their Savior.
But wait – I believe in Jesus, so why did this kick me in the gut? Well honestly, I know for a fact that there is some Pharisee in me…a part of me that wants to perform and to measure up and to be full of head knowledge about the Scriptures and try to live accordingly. I mean, isn’t that what makes me a good Christian?
But man, I have been realizing more than ever that simply knowing (or even knowing AND doing) the “right things” according to Scripture IS NOT GOING TO SAVE ME. In fact, I think for those of us who have grown up in the church, who think we are “good” because we don’t swear or get drunk or have sex outside of marriage, etc. etc. – I think we are in a serious danger zone. Why? Because we, like those religious leaders of Jesus’s day, think that we are made good by what we do. We may not say it out loud, but we are so “good” that we think we don’t need saving! Yes, we can say that Jesus is our Savior, that He’s forgiven our sins, and that we have given our hearts to Him. But are we truly trusting in HIM as our salvation, or have we simply been trusting our own good behavior??…Read More
I want to testify about the faithfulness of God.
And I want to talk about depression.
Here are two things that can simultaneously be true: a person can be depressed and believe in the faithfulness of God.
I know there’s a lot of buzz around about the importance of not stigmatizing mental health issues or people with mental health issues, but let me throw my hat into the ring. Because I want to share something very personal: I am depressed. I have been depressed for a good long time. And for a good long time I did all the “right” things – I woke up each morning before dawn, got on my knees, worshipped, studied the Word, declared His (very true) promises over my life and my family’s life. I talked to some friends I trust about the things going on with me and asked for prayer and accountability. And it was all good, really really good and I learned so much about the Lord. In the midst of that season of battling depression in all the “right” spiritual ways, God somehow graced me to be able to complete my book, to take two overseas trips to speak to women leaders about the faithfulness of God, and to keep moving forward.
But it wasn’t enough. Even after doing all of those things right, my depression did not get better – it, along with my life situations, got worse.
The truth is, my family’s life has been thrown topsy-turvy this year. MY life has been thrown topsy-turvy. Some of the things I and we are dealing with are intensely personal and I cannot share them publicly for the sake of my family members’ privacy. But I will tell you this – there hasn’t been a single day that has gone by without having to walk through trauma of some kind on some level. And my mind and heart haven’t been able to bear up under the constant duress and the weight of it all…Read More
“Ok, let’s play a game. Look at me and watch me make a silly face. Keep your eyes on me and make the same faces I’m making. It will be so funny! Then it can be your turn and I’ll make whatever silly faces YOU make!”
This is a game I’m trying to play with my son on a regular basis. We have recently found out more details about how his difficult start to life has affected his brain. We have learned that he is looking at the world through a lens of fear. Early childhood trauma (which also includes trauma in the womb or in infancy) is no joke. It literally messes with a person’s mind. That mind then needs to be taught how to love and how to be loved; it needs to be nurtured and rewired so it can trust.
My son is sweet and special. He is also really struggling in some areas because of what happened to him as a baby. He has a really hard time making eye contact because his brain is constantly telling him he’s in danger and he can’t trust anyone or anything. His eyes dart back and forth, to and fro. And so we play this game. We play this game so he can look into happy eyes and know he’s safe. Know he’s loved. Know he’s protected. For us, making silly faces at each other is building bridges between each other, teaching a little boy how to be a little boy, to let go of trying to control everything and trust that the grown-ups in his life will handle the details.
I also have a sweet little girl. She doesn’t have the struggles my son has. She’s been loved, cherished, and protected since conception. She’s strong and secure. But she needs my love, attention, and training, too. She needs to know her mommy is there for her, too. And with a little boy who is requiring constant watchfulness, training, love, and focus, sometimes my little girl takes second place.
So I have been in the throes of it. I have been learning to surrender to this season. On the days when my son is in school and my daughter is not, I’m learning to fix my eyes and my heart on her, to give her the love and attention she needs so that when her brother comes home and I need to focus on him she won’t feel abandoned or ignored. I have been desperately clinging to the grace of God to be able to lay down my feelings and my pride in order to have the patience to parent my children in the constant, present, kind, hands-on way they require in this season.
I’m going to be very honest: this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But it’s also something that is breaking me in a way that has me on my knees thanking God – for His mercy and kindness toward my son, His care for my daughter, and for His chiseling and molding of me…Read More
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14, NIV
I for one have heard it a million times. Whenever there’s chaos or confusion somewhere, whenever we’re not sure what to do or how we’re going to get through something, this seems to be one of those go-to verses that’s thrown out. I know I have taken comfort in it. I know it’s made me calm down and hand things over to God. And that’s so awesome and GOOD. But today, my mind is reeling after reading a different translation of this verse:
“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” ESV
This post is going to be a bit more informal and candid than usual, so let me just start out by saying that I’ve been falling in love with the ESV recently, particularly for study. I started using it all the time on my phone because of the Beth Moore studies I’ve been doing (I’m always doing a Beth Moore study – that’s another candid tidbit about me – she’s mentored me and taught me so very very MUCH, and I love her dearly). Anyway, for the past few years she’s been using the ESV for most of her studies, so I am using it too. All that to say, I really needed to get a paper copy of it because my phone just wasn’t quite doing the job, and last week, my husband got me a beautiful ESV Bible for my birthday, and I’m in love.
Today I’m in Houston for a brief little getaway, and, candidly (as that seems to be the theme right now) I am dealing with a LOT of crap in my life (sorry for the language, but you know – it seems appropriate this time). So for the past couple of hours I’ve been searching the Word for hope and maybe kind of journal-wrestling with God a little bit, too (that’s how you wrestle-pray when you’re in a public place…when I’m at home it’s a tad bit noisier). As per usual, I decided that the healthiest thing for me to do is to find Scriptures to help center my mind and heart back on truth – and this one – this “you need only be still” naturally came up.
But I have this new Bible, see. And I wanted to underline the verse, see. And maybe make a note or two. But then I opened to this Scripture and I saw this new word: SILENT. Not still…SILENT. And I was taken aback. Because, you know, silent to me seems very VERY different than STILL. Some of my best fights have been fought sitting still in a chair. Why? Because my mouth can keep running while I’m sitting there. I didn’t know what to think when I saw this word silent because I had just spent about an hour talking to God and telling Him how desperate I am, and how much I need to see Him come through for me. And I thought to myself, wait a second – is He telling me to shut my mouth??…Read More
It’s been a while.
There are a bunch of reasons why I haven’t really been able to write recently. One big one is I have my two littles home with me for the summer and, well, that takes most of my time. J
But I have to admit, the biggest reason why I haven’t been able to write is because I’ve been walking through something really really hard. After returning from an incredible trip to Bhutan at the beginning of June, this hard blindsided me and I’ve been working on catching my breath ever since. The problem is, the hard is part of my daily life right now, so catching my breath is more of a gasping day-by-day nature. It’s one of those hard things you can’t walk away from; one of those hard things that doesn’t have a known expiration date.
So here I sit in the middle of my hard and I’m wondering what to write to you guys, because I feel as though there is so much burning within me waiting to come out, and I desire to write even though my heart is very heavy.
Here’s the thing – I’ve been talking so much about seeing eternity, about seeing the REALITY of God in the midst of the “reality” of our situations. A bit ironic I suppose to have that as the burning message in my soul as I walk through some of the most difficult weeks of my life. But maybe it’s not as ironic as I think. Because you know, God doesn’t inspire us with messages to share just so that other people will be encouraged to walk in courage and freedom. No, somehow – I am convinced – somehow every lesson He allows His mouthpieces to share are in fact lessons first and foremost for themselves.
I realize even right now as I write that His wisdom and His Love are extraordinarily intimate…Read More
If you’ve known me for any significant time at all, you know that I love Lucy.
Lucy Pevensie, that is.
For those who many not know, Lucy is the youngest of the four Pevensie siblings, the main protagonists of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books. And Lucy, really, is the one that is most important of all. Little Lucy, the one who sees Narnia before all the others, the one who encounters Aslan and hears His voice when the others do not, the one who believes despite all odds.
I love her so much. I love her because I am her, or at least, I’ve decided to be her, to look at life through a Lucy lens, to cling with a foolish childlike hope to what I know is real even though I cannot see it and to believe that Aslan will always come through, even if it seems He has been gone for a hundred years.
If you wonder why this website exists, it’s because I’m Lucy. If you wonder where the idea for my book, The Footsteps of a Dreamer, came from, it’s because I’m stubbornly LUCY. It’s because from my youth God has allowed me to see what is real behind my “reality” and to believe that He has something great, something marvelous, something beyond imagination waiting just past the veil. I’ll tell you a secret – even Jesus sometimes calls me His “Little Lucy”, because it is HE who has made me this way. He is the One that has built this Lucy-ness inside of me, the One who has told me that this is who I am, the One who has graced me with the ability to dream and to believe and to fight despair against all odds and hold on to hope even when all seems lost.
And you know what? This Lucy call is not just for me – it is meant for you, too. Why? Because a Lucy heart is the kind of heart that is able to remain filled with faith even when all seems bleak, and – don’t you know? – faith is the thing that pleases God (see Hebrews 11:6).
So how do we practice this Lucy-heart life? Because gosh, if we do, our lives will be lit up with Narnia-like adventure, for we will see that don’t have to be limited by thinking that what we see is all there is.
I’m so serious right now. I’m not trying to be poetic or cute. I promise you that this isn’t just a fairy tale, it is the reality of our existence: what we see is not all there is. In fact, what we can’t see is what is eternally real. Look at this…Read More
This week marks the last week I have “on my own” before my kids get out of preschool for the summer. Next week is the final week of school, but I’m heading out to Asia this weekend and so, when I get back, they’ll be home! This is huge for me as it’s the first time ever I’m going to have the chance to spend this much time with my kids.
Not being a stay-at-home mom has been a struggle for me – mostly a struggle because I have felt so guilty for feeling grateful that they had school so I could go to work (in Colorado) or pursue my passions and figure out my heart (since moving to Texas). But now more than ever I see how God’s hand has been in this, and finally – finally – when it’s almost over (at least for a season), I am certain that they have been where they needed to be and so have I.
Because this year that I’ve walked through (which has been very far from a cake-walk) provided me with the opportunity to come face-to-face with what I truly believed about myself and about God. It’s interesting to grow up a Christian and to dedicate your life to ministry from a young age, and then get here to the 30s and realize how much performance-based identity living in that “Christian paradigm” has created inside of you. Have any of you ever been through this? Here in this year of upheaval, though, I just could never live up to the expectations I had of myself (and which I thought others must have of me, too), and I discovered how much I had been living with lies rooted in me, lies that said I was only enough if I was doing enough, only valuable if I was achieving what society, the church, and myself expected of me…Read More
It’s been a journey.
A wild, crazy, unexpected, and treacherous journey.
Over two years ago I started to map out my book, The Footsteps of a Dreamer. Dreaming is what had always kept my heart alive. It was what kept me going even in the seasons and the days that I didn’t understand.
But something started to happen – the people in my life who I had also always known as dreamers began to give up. There was something going on in my generation, a deep discouragement that was drowning the hearts of these dreamers, which was also drowning their dreams.
And I grieved. I didn’t always understand why I grieved…I think just somehow deep down I knew that the enemy was having a heyday with the dreamers in my generation. I think he knew – he knows – what a threat the dreams of this generation are to him and his schemes. He knows that these dreams are bringing us closer and closer to fulfilling the Great Commission, to bringing “Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”, Kingdom in all its facets of truth, beauty, compassion, power, creativity, courage, and victory.
I couldn’t stand to see these gifted and called dreamers give up anymore, because even the very nature of this attack on my generation said to me – we’ve got something of God within us that needs to be brought forth. And so the idea for this book was born. I wanted to do whatever I could to ensure that dreamers in my world would not opt out; I wanted to equip them to keep going when things got tough and to lend courage and hope to their journeys.
What I didn’t know was that there was more stuff I had to walk out myself in order to learn what this looked like in real life. Yes, I had been through some tough things, even some things that had felt like the death of a dream. But in a lot of ways, I was still naïve, thinking I had figured out how to go through difficult times without quitting on what God had called me to do.
I actually finished my manuscript that first year and thought it was ready. I thought the book was pretty much done. And then my world fell apart.
So much of what happened I actually can’t share here. So much of it has been stuff I’ve had to fight through and cry through and grieve in private. Some of it I have been able to share publicly – the pain of transition and disappointment, of dark nights of the soul and never feeling like enough – and I did my best to be open and vulnerable about walking through these things, hoping to encourage you while I faced them myself. These two aspects of what I walked through – the parts that I’ve had to keep private and the parts I have shared openly – comprised my reality. And somehow in this messy reality I was unable to touch the manuscript I had written before everything fell apart. If I touched it, I thought the pain of it would break me. Why? Because I knew I was on the brink of becoming that giving-up-dreamer..Read More