To A New Creation.

Great-Is-Thy-Faithfulness

One of the things that I love about the Lord is His faithfulness. He is so steadfast in His pursuit of us; He never waivers. This is an indescribably hard character trait to fully grasp since even in our most dire efforts, we can only copy His faithfulness. Our best efforts at reproducing this quality resemble a parrot mimicking his master. While with His help we can reflect His faithfulness, His faithfulness is always more steadfast, more pure, and more full than ours. Daily, I’m left wondering how He is so faithful. But He is. Always.

I have had several conversations over the past week that made me think, “Lord, you are so good and so faithful to me.” I want to share a little bit about one of those conversations, and how I am seeing His faithfulness at every stage of life.

To A New Creation

I chatted the other day with an ex-boyfriend [I know, first mistake right?] that I dated way before I became a Christian. He was asking a lot of really great questions about faith, life, and the different lifestyle I live now that I’m a follower of Christ. He made some kind of comment, that I believe was genuine, and to the tune of, “I just can’t see a free-spirit like you ever being caged to something like Christianity.” As I tried to explain the freedom that’s only offered in Christ, it hit me. The way that I used to live (getting plastered every night, doing occasional drugs, and other things we won’t address here) was his view of self-liberation. And it made me so sad.

I started praying through our conversation and just got so overwhelmed with the fact that even at those moments or utter rebellion, God saw me and was merciful enough to withhold so many consequences that my actions merited. As uncomfortable as this conversation was in some ways, the Lord was allowing me to remember where my future, hopes and dreams were before meeting Him. I was enslaved to sin. I was an addict of finding people’s approval to the extent of being walked all over in so many ways. I was not only caged, but I was dead.  There’s only so long that “lifestyle” could have gone on before something happened.

I am so incredibly thankful that the something that happened was that the Lord stepped in and redeemed my life. As I sat there reflecting on a conversation that would generally make a lot of people frustrated, I just wept out of thankfulness!  It could not have been orchestrated any better. I just marvel at the work of the Lord in composing all the round about ways that I would come to know Him. He was faithful to me before I even knew Him. He is faithful to me today to answer my prayers in such sweet ways that draw me closer to Him.

I am thankful for my mom urging me to go to UTC. I am thankful for Andy W. and Doug B. who introduced me to Paul and Jason. I’m thankful for Megan H. who dragged me to the Cru Bible studies the first few times. And I am eternally grateful to my spiritual father, Paul, for laying down his rights and making Christ known to college students.

Y’all this is the reminder that I need, daily. Christ not only changes lives, He is the author of life. That life we thought we had before was counterfeit, a sad replicate, to what Christ offers. There’s true freedom, joy so deep, genuine acceptance and everlasting hope found in Jesus. That’s the message I am excited to bring to college students stateside.

He is faithful and true. His love endures forever.

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God’s Steadfast Love

The past few months the words “steadfast love” have really stuck out to me. It’s a beautiful combination of words. In the book of Psalms, David uses this phrase to descirbe how God loves His people. Here’s the definition of steadfast:

–adjective
1. fixed in direction; steadily directed
2. firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc.,
3. unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.
4. firmly established, as an institution or a state of affairs.
5. firmly fixed in place or position.

This is so beautiful to me. God’s love is fixed in our direction, firm in purpose, unwavering, firmly established, and fixed in place! It isn’t going anywhere! 🙂 Awesome!

I went and got this tattooed on my foot today.  It is to remind me that even though I don’t feel worthy at times, God loves me like this. And when I don’t feel like loving others, it’s going to remind me how to love and why I should.

Mercy and God’s Faithfulness

My devotionals blew my mind this morning! The Tiegreen devotional I mentioned two posts ago made me think about how little I really understand God’s mercy. I think I’ve come to expect His mercy instead of realizing that I don’t deserve it. I deserve condemnation, but God, so lovingly and so freely, gives us mercy. Often times, I find myself holding onto that mercy instead of extending it to others.

Having been abundantly blessed with God’s mercy-the unmerited grace and forgiveness we’ve received for our rebellion against the Most High-do we stand in judgement of others?- Tiegreen.

This is me. I fail to extend the same grace that has been so sacrificially given to me. As hard as it is to see my sin, it is humbling to know I’m not perfect. And this summer I’ve both hated and thoroughly enjoyed being humbled! As much of a pain as it is, God is able to work wonders in the meek and humble.

For the other part of my quiet time I go through a Psalm and one chapter of another book (right now it’s Ecclesiastes). It was so funny how God orchestrates how often the Psalm study and Tiegreen’s devotional to correspond with one another.

My favorite verse of Psalm 40 was verse 11,

As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!

Mercy again! 🙂 I wonder sometimes if I miss what God has to say to me. Today is one of those days where I know I’m in tune with Him. And that’s awesome because what God has to say is awesome!

Mercy is extended from God. He alone saves. He is faithful to do what He’s promised because of His steadfast love for us. God’s steadfast love for us is the reason why Jesus was sent. And that is a beautiful thing.

Caitlyn, Jasmine and I had plans to go to the water hole today, but it was raining so instead we watched Monsters, Inc. Slightly childish I know, but there was something super sweet about all of us cuddling up on the couch in our pj’s to watch a Disney movie. After the movie, we went to Aretha Frankenstein’s. That’s seriously one of the most amazing breakfast places to eat. They specialize in freakishly large pancakes. 🙂 If you’re ever in the ‘Noog you should eat there! After Aretha’s we went to The Knitting Mill.

Here’s some pictures from today. Enjoy them!

Scary much?
too excited!