I’ve made no secret of the fact that the past year has been hard.
Like really hard. Like get-me-out-of-here hard.
And yes, sometimes in the midst of it I have wondered where God is. I have asked Him, “why have you forsaken me?” Didn’t even Jesus in His darkest hour ask the same question (see Matt. 27:46)? And yet..
Somehow through it all, somehow all along, even in those moments when I was struggling for my very breath and feeling the deepest pain...
I rejoiced. I found joy. I felt joy. Something about the fact that I knew that there was something worth fighting for, Someone worth living for who was even worth dying for…that caused me to have this odd sense of joy in the midst of it all.
I promise before God that what I am telling you is true. It is not a lie.
Even in those moments in my car when I felt like the weight of everything was going to crush me. Even in those moments when I could not keep the tears from falling down my face…or worse…those moments when the ache was so deep that even tears wouldn’t come…I had this sense of anticipation deep within me that said, this is where I find out what’s real. And I know the secret. I already know what’s real. I just have to fight to keep that truth in my mind now…fight to get it down into my heart like never before.
And friends, that real is Jesus. And this is now my message, this is now my story: Suffering is part of the beauty of life. Suffering is part of the joy of walking with Christ. I know it sounds crazy, but stop, still yourself… isn’t there something within you, a little glimmer of hope that what I am saying is true?Read More
Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?”
2 Samuel 7:18, ESV
The prophet Nathan had just delivered to King David the most incredible word from the Lord. The word had begun with the Lord speaking of the past, about how He had taken notice of David years prior, plucking him from obscurity and choosing him as the future leader of all of Israel (“I took you from tending sheep in the pasture and selected you to be the leader of my people Israel.” 2 Sam. 7:8b, NLT). Then He recounted to David all He had done, reminding him how He had been by his side every moment, fighting on his behalf and delivering him from his enemies (v. 9).
Surely these words made David’s heart beat faster and grow hotter as he remembered all that God had done for him. This would certainly have been enough to cause him to rejoice and be in awe of God’s intimate love and goodness for the rest of his days. And yet…
God wasn’t finished.
He went on to outline the fame He was going to bring to David’s name and family. He told him of His incredible plans for the future, plans that would originate with David and stretch into eternity, literally promising him an unending dynasty. God told David that his throne would be secure forever. This was a covenant – a promise that God could not and would not break. “Your house and your kingdom will continue before me for all time, and your throne will be secure forever.” 2 Samuel 7:16, NLT
After receiving this prophetic word from the Lord, David was so wrecked and in awe of God that he was compelled to go and speak with Him himself.
First of all – I love this. I love how David heard the God-words through a prophet, and therefore could have just said, “Wow! That’s amazing! Take my thanks back to the Lord for me, please…” But this is David we are talking about! The passionate lover of God couldn’t leave it at that. He needed to express his thanks to God one-on-one, not through an intermediary. And so, he immediately “went in” to sit before the Lord to pour out his heart.
And pour out his heart he did. This Scripture so beautifully expresses the heartfelt response to the words of the Divine being spoken intricately and intimately over a single human being. “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?”
God. Is. So. Personal. Sit down and think about it for a minute. Look at your life. No matter where you are standing, if you are reading these words, you are an absolute MIRACLE. Perhaps even the fact that you are reading these exact words today is evidence that God sees you and knows your every specific prayer and longing!...Read More
This is it. I’m undone.
Coming to this place of being swept up in the most amazing Love, swimming in an ocean of it after these years of desert walking, this past year of darkness and breaking.
Oh how can it be?
This is the singularity. This intimate Loving that comes from the very heart of Christ straight… onto… me… oh, the breathlessness of this moment leaves me gasping, for suddenly, I understand.
Jesus Loves me.
Little me. Just one person, so insignificant and small. I’ve questioned and I’ve worried and I’ve striven until my hands and heart are utterly weary from the strain of it all. Little Lucy I’ve always been, looking and finding Him everywhere I can, but somehow I thought, if I don’t do this right, if I don’t measure up…I shouldn’t go looking for Him.
For I didn’t want to see the disappointment on His face.
I didn’t want to risk losing His favor.
So I’d fight and I’d get on my knees and I’d serve ‘til I was black and blue, just so I could return to the forest and glance at His face without shame.
But shame, oh it chased me down and – gosh now I see it – it wore the awful ugly face of the enemy himself, convincing me of my unworthiness and strangling me with my own insufficiency.
The conniving grew more cunning as the days wore on and my faith grew stronger, for he saw that I was winning, he saw that I knew the call, so he warped my relationships and there…
Oh there the lies rained down on my head, the deceptive lies that seeped right into my heart, lies that said these pieces of me that were woven with delicate beauty by my King - they were ugly and weak and worthless and needed to be hidden away.
And so I hid them and I cried and I wondered how I could be subject to such bondage to these little things that I thought were beautiful and strong, but that the lies had convinced me were ugly and weak.
When you hear those words enough times…
When you are subject to their disdain for too long…
They can destroy and warp and alter until you cannot even decipher between right and wrong anymore. They battered me until I even had to sit at the feet of Jesus and ask, “Am I all wrong?”
But no. NO. Oh no.
My Deliverer has come and with tears and fire in His eyes. He is fighting for me with His Love…this Love that has always been there, that has always been around me, that has always been chasing me. I was just too captive, too hurt, too blind to see...Read More
The events of this week have gotten my wheels turning. The shooting at the school in Parkland, FL has me asking, “What should our response be as Christians?” And I keep coming back to this: As Christians, it is imperative that we fully live out what we are called to do. We are to be the hands and feet of Christ on this planet, ministering to the hurting and the broken. But here’s the catch: Living through the process of being molded for your calling is hard. How many of us will actually endure it?
I got to talk with one of my heroes this week, and she said something profound to me: “This process you’re going through is normal. There is nothing abnormal about it. What will be unique, is how you come out of it.”
Friends – It’s how you come out of it that matters. We’ll all face the process, but will we engage with God in it so that we come out on the other side stronger, more faithful, and more committed to Jesus? Or will we opt out of the process in order to stay comfortable or to avoid pain? Trust me, I get it. I understand this Jesus-life is not easy.
But oh friends…
It is so completely worth it.
This week I’ve approached things differently, and did a vlog instead of a blog. This was so heavy on my heart, I just had to teach on it.
Please be strengthened, challenged, encouraged, and equipped by the video below. It has come straight from my heart.
You are called. You are needed.
YOU ARE SO SO LOVED.
I am passionate about helping you navigate your journey toward your God-dream with tenacity, hope, and endurance. To that end, I have created a resource for you called "The Seasons of a Dream Cheat-Sheet". This cheat-sheet gives you quick and practical insight into the season you are in, along with scriptures and encouragement to help you to thrive in that season, even if it's a tough one. Download it here for free!! I love walking this path alongside you!
“Jesus just asked me if I like my presents!”
Startled, I looked at my 4-year-old son who had been quietly and intently playing with his Legos (which were a Christmas gift) before uttering this exclamation.
“What?” I said, “Jesus asked you that?”
“Wow. How did you hear Him say it?”
With a look of 4-year-old pity, he turned to me and replied, “He said it to my brain, silly!”
Of course. Silly me.
“That is so amazing, buddy. How special that you heard Jesus talk to you! Did you answer Him?”
“Yep. I told Him I like allll my Christmas presents.”
I really don’t doubt that my kid is hearing the voice of God. It’s utter simplicity to him. He doesn’t have any preconceived ideas or misconceptions. If a (good) thought fills his mind that he knows is not from himself, he knows it’s Jesus. Shouldn’t it just be that simple? But that’s another lesson for another time…
After having this conversation with my son, I got a little teary-eyed. Life has become so complicated for me. I’ve been in this state of constant wrestling: fighting for vision, fighting for direction, working through pain, and urgently, desperately seeking God for clarity and wisdom for the complicated “grown-up” things of life. And all of that is important, but…
I think I forgot that Jesus cares about the little stuff. Like if I like my Christmas presents.
I think I even put Him in this box that says, “when talking to Jesus, only the serious stuff matters.” I’ve grown to think that anything little, like telling Him how much I love my cozy new throw blanket, is just silly.
And maybe it is. But when did He ever say He doesn’t like the silly things, too? When did He say not to invite Him into every detail? Quite the opposite, really…look:Read More
O Lord our God, let your sweet beauty rest upon us
and give us favor.
Come work with us, and then our works will endure,
and give us success in all we do.
Psalm 90:17, TPT
There’s a point at which this starts to feel crazy. For all of these months I’ve been sitting and I’ve been writing. I’ve been praying and I’ve been crying. I’ve been talking to people and to God and I’ve been wondering what everything means. The embers have been stirred inside of me and the gifts that have been there all along, gifts being cultivated and watered by the Spirit in the secret place, are being uncovered…uncovered even to me, and I am left breathless in wonder, somehow saying, “God, I had no idea this was in there,” even though He and I have been working on it all this time.
So He brought me here and He set me down and He opened my time to where I started choking on too much of it. You know, when you have been running for years and you suddenly stop in the space of time, you start to feel the beating of your heart, and you start to assess what is going on inside.
And that stopping and feeling the beating of my heart…that was the grace of God even though, to be honest, it nearly destroyed me. Out on the battlefields I had been fighting for so long, thought I was fighting for good, for my family, to minister well, to be an example, to provide, and to love and serve people. But here with my beating heart and my battle scars, I realized so much of the fight was actually a fight for my life, a fight against the very enemy of my soul and his schemes which had been cutting me down and trying to take me out for a good long time. And I didn’t even know it until God brought me here to stop, to breathe, and to look at my heart.
Figuring that out all of the sudden can be pretty brutal, but oh, grace of God, it can also be the most astonishingly beautiful thing in the whole wide world and in all of life, because it’s there…there in the realization of the ache, in the depth of wounds, in the opening and cleaning of the scarred-over-places that Jesus becomes so real, so beautiful, so perfect, and so TRUE.Read More
Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long? Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave? I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping. The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.
Psalm 6:2-9, NIV
Somehow as church people we’ve been groomed to believe we shouldn’t be real with God in our prayers. Somehow we get this feeling of guilt when we tell God that we’re sad, angry, frustrated, or confused. But in the Psalms we find an anecdote for this guilt. David, the great King of Israel and the most famous songwriter that ever lived, was also known as a “man after God’s own heart” (see 1 Sam. 13:14 and Acts 13:22). Yet in his Psalms we do not see a man who was afraid to tell God how he felt or even to question Him.Read More
Mother of Jesus.
All these years I’ve known of you. How did I not see who you really were? I thought you were little Mary, meek and mild. But now I see that just couldn’t be.
Mary. Young Mary in Nazareth. An angel of the Lord came to you and told you that you’d conceive and give birth to a son. And yet, you had never been with a man.
No Mary. You weren’t mild and demure and timid. There’s just no way. This was no joke, being told by an angel that you would be with child. And not just that, but to know that within you would grow God’s Son Himself. Mary, dear Mary- God needed a woman of strength, a woman of dreams, a woman with a fiery, fearless soul. He needed a woman who had decided long before that fateful day that she would believe and follow God, regardless of how foolish it made her look.
I bet you were the one who walked around recounting the stories of God’s miracles from long ago, with a light in your eyes because you chose to believe that this great God still existed. I bet you were mocked for your foolish, wide-eyed hope in these ancient tales. I bet as you skipped and sang of Elijah being taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire, that you were hushed and shushed by a jaded generation saying, stop singing, girl. Those things don’t happen anymore. Keep your head down. Be quiet. This ugly life is all you get and you need to stay silent to stay alive.Read More
What do you see?
Do you see the clouded reality of what is in front of you, this time and space that you are living in, with all its dark shadows and murky colors? When you open your eyes, do you see lack of time, the mundanity of the everyday, the stress of finances, and the pain of disappointment?
This is the grey…the grey that threatens to swallow us whole, suffocating us with its insatiable need. This grey vortex of never enough, of “don’t get your hopes up”, of reality checks and bank accounts. The enemy in his domain, the prince of the air, is rubbing his hands together and saying, Yes, yes, I’m showing them reality. A reality that hits them in the face like a door slammed shut so loudly it makes their eyes water and their bones ache. If I can just keep them here behind that door, drowning in this reality, ah yes, then I will have accomplished my purpose – which is to destroy theirs.
Is this what you see? Dear friend, when you open your eyes in the morning, is your first thought the list of tasks that have to get taken care of in order to get by, in order to get through today? Is your biggest hope each morning the countdown to the moment when you can sit down for a second and breathe, or when you can climb back into bed at night and get a moment’s rest before tomorrow?
I’m telling you now.
There is so much more to life than what you can see.
I know you’re afraid to fall down. I know your knees are buckling under the weight of your responsibilities.
I’m here to tell you – it’s ok to fall. Let this weighty world cause collapse and fall straight on your face. I dare you. Fall down flat and lift your hands in the air and say, “I can’t do this!”, and just stay there a while.
Then open your eyes again. And see the truth...Read More