Whew…what a year its been (and its not over)…
And at this point you have probably forgotten that we lost a basketball superstar and were all desperately concerned about the Koalas surviving just 7 months ago (yes, you read that right, 7 months – not last year); and if you are local to Nashville, yes it was also this year that a massive Tornado swept through and demolished a large part of our beloved city.
Because then COVID-19 happened – and everything else has long since elapsed or if not forgotten then just a distance memory.
Good News: it’s half over! But, alas, that’s the rub isn’t it? …we would like to think its half over, but the truth is we don’t know how long this will last. So what if our perspective could shift?
What if we could begin to accept life as it is and still have connection and experiences?
What if we could trust that our Father in Heaven is who he says he is… THE GREAT I AM and he is the source of Rest (Matthew 11:28).
What if by trusting that, he is THE GREAT I AM, we could take the Word simply and believe that means You are PROTECTED under his wing, shielded (Psalm 91).
What if we could drown out all the noise, and yes I mean the news, I mean social media. Like can you just turn it off? Maybe you’re not even aware at how it’s affecting you…Jon Acuff spoke at my church yesterday and he put it this way, “I wondered why I was always in a bad mood and then I turned on the TV and realized there is a death tracker.” Wow. But there it is what’s following us day in, day out.
Am I saying you shouldn’t educate yourself, No. Am I saying you shouldn’t understand current events, No.
I am saying that we have to ask the Lord to show us – to provide us self-awareness and the humility to know how to draw the line in the sand, for ourselves; when things start to negatively affect us and our sole focus is turned inward – to self, the problem and the issues surrounding us, we start to lose sight of TRUTH and in whose we have the victory, the provision, the protection (1 Corinthians 15:57/Philippians 4:19/2 Thessalonians 3:3).
How do we do this? We chose one trusted source for information, not several. Period. and then we immerse ourselves in the Word, into teaching from Pastors, we listen to Worship Music, we only talk about his truth not what we are defining as our own.
We continually take from the Tree of Life…there is an abundance there. Don’t believe me? Go read in Matthew 14 how Jesus feed 5,000 and how he supplied more than what was needed – leftovers!
What if we could begin to believe as heirs on the one true King, that he has already started a MOVEMENT, one we cannot see…that our enemy, because yes we have one, is so reactionary that all this MESS that we are constantly up against in 2020 is just him trying to serve as a distraction for what is REALLY HAPPENING. Something bigger than me, and bigger than you – yes, BIGGER than US. As Lauren Daigle’s song says, “Look Up Child” – Can we stand back and look from a different vantage point?
People often say to me, “wow this year has been tough. (Pause) But, its nothing compared to what you have been through, so it’s really not that bad.”
Let’s all just call a Spade a Spade – Yes, life has changed, its different, difficult even. I bet not one of us popped a bottle of champagne (don’t worry, my glass was only for show) on New Year’s to celebrate with anticipation the year to come could have even imagined what was instore for 2020 – it’s okay to state it, that’s a fact. But facts disguise themselves as truth if our sole focus is on them.
Let’s explore Romans 5 as I have heard a word tossed around so many times in the last few months and it has had me thinking and frankly it woke me up with a start this morning at 5 am, so as he did for me, I believe the Lord intends this for someone…
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
Now if you are like me when you read this verse your eye probably catches one word, suffering – but I had this a-ha moment when talking with Scott last night when he said I think when we read this verse we miss it…we miss the most important part –
it’s about God’s love.
It has to always be about him, not me. If it becomes about me then I have begun to minimize what Christ did for me on the Cross and that our Father so sacrificially sent his only son, for me, you. Why = HIS LOVE
When we focus on his love, our hearts and minds are transformed. There is no option, no other alternative. HE > me.
When I focus on his love, all I see is the beauty in this season:
Townes and I have watched so many birds feed at our feeder;
I have witnessed him become so curiously interested in watching the TUNA (Tucker & Luna);
Scott has learned to cook for us.
We take walks everyday (assuming its not too hot or rainy);
We sit on our front stoop many afternoons and enjoyed the slowness of the season;
As someone who thrives off quality time, I would fear the idea of not having a date night each week with Scott – but my cup still overflows;
I still talk with my friends – now we sit outside on our decks and at a safe distance but with intentionality I still connect with them;
All of my family has come to visit, and I have watched them flourish in their love for Townes;
I finally learned how to clip into my bike (hallelujah – one of my happiest and proudest personal moments)…something I was trying to learn when I discovered I was pregnant;
We have gotten to know our neighbors more, how? just standing in our yards talking.
When I focus on his love for me, I am not focused on the way things should be, or what I wish I was doing, or what I have lost.
We are all in a season that’s different than we imagined. And yes, it has been difficult, there is still disappointment, and sometimes other people’s decisions directly impact you, and uncertainty still exists… but as Ross Gellar says, “P.I.V.O.T!!!”
Look up Child – he is calling for you. Desperately wanting to show you how much he loves you.
Townes will be 4 months post-transplant tomorrow and 6 months old in a short 2 weeks! I can hardly believe it – he is just shy of 16 lbs and the doctors couldn’t be prouder of his growth chart. We have started slowly adding in solids, he loves to roll front to back, he has become fascinated with the pups and walking under trees. We have dropped another medication with potentially another one in the next 2 weeks.
I still have a hard time looking at pictures from the hospital – I know the Lord supplied me a strength I didn’t even realize (more on this later) because these pictures bring me to my knees with what I see – the things you must have seen too.
I posted a picture on Instagram after our photographer came to see us at the hospital of Scott and Townes – my caption read, “oh my heart ,be still…I can’t wait to have all my loves in one picture.” Last weekend our photographer finally came to take pictures at our home, and as soon as we all sat on the sofa I was overwhelmed with emotion as I looked to my right and saw Tucker (my longest companion), my husband (whom the last year would have been next to impossible without), Luna (who stole my heart 5 years ago with her playful and feisty personality) and then I saw my son, Townes – who has a life worth of stories in just a short time and in that moment – I knew how much the Father loves me.
So, I leave you with this – God loves you abundantly and he is a good, good Father. Can you find the beauty in this season? When you do…rest in knowing it’s him.
Until Next Time,