Author Archives: Lorraine Reep

Escaping the Bonds of Earth

Standard

I’m tens of thousands of feet in the air as I type.

For two weeks I’ve been carefully matching clothes to the days we will be away. I’ve planned every outfit leading up to the main event, a wedding.

I laid them all out on the bed in the guest room and finally last night I moved the stacks into the suitcase.

This morning as I went through my morning routine, I carefully packed every lotion, potion and brush needed to ensure I was presentable. Hubby and I checked and rechecked the gifts for family members, the notebook he would need for the wedding and other critical items.

As we boarded the plane and sent last minute texts to my cousin who would meet us at our gate. I noticed a Facebook message from a friend. I read it with a heavy heart. Her mom is in her last days.

On a plane between heaven and earth, I’m thinking of my sweet friend’s mama. She is on the brink of eternity, a journey like no other; in limbo, so close to heaven and yet still very much present on earth.

Waiting at her arrival gate? Jesus.

In many ways, she’s prepared for the journey for years. With intention she’s planned her life around knowing Him, about pointing others to Him and being ready to meet him when she finally arrives at heavens gate.

She’s ready; her body is weary of this place we inhabit that Lisa Terkeurst refers to as the space between two gardens. Her life, as I’ve seen it, has been filled with a “longing for the place where we will walk in the garden with him again. Where we will finally have peace and security and eyes that no longer leak tears…and hearts that are no longer broken.”

As I prayed for my friend, as I considered her mama’s arrival in heaven; I thought about my angst over a simple trip for a few days out of town. I realized that in spite of my careful and detailed packing, we forgot something important.

And yet, her mama will arrive at heavens gate with nothing in her hands.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.””

‭‭Job‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

She is ready to receive her reward and to greet her sweet family and friends who have arrived already. Her preparation had nothing to do with gathering stuff and everything to do with sharing the love of Jesus.

Thanks for all you’ve taught us, Memaw. I’m praying for you. When you arrive in heaven, please give Sandy a big hug for me.

With hope in Christ alone,

Lysa Terkeurst quote from “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way”, releasing November 13th.

When Church Doesn’t Feel Safe

Standard
When Church Doesn’t Feel Safe

We tucked ourselves into a row of seats near the back and as we did the anxiety that had begun when we drove into the parking lot swelled. Tears threatened. I gripped my husband’s shaking hand. I knew his heart was racing as his breaths shortened. Fear threatened to overwhelm me.

We were at church.

All around us people chatted in small groups, occasionally looking across the room with a broad smile and extending a wave as they recognized friends or acknowledged visitors. There was an air of excitement as the music started and people began to find seats.

It had not always been this way, but we were in the grips of trauma-induced stress and anxiety. As much as we felt compelled to be there, we couldn’t do it.

We quietly slipped out, gathered our children from the nursery with a flimsy excuse and retreated to the safety and security of home.

The above story is like one recently shared with me. I was overwhelmed with compassion for these dear people.

In the next few days I heard a worship leader say that “we” are the church. It’s not the building that makes church “church” – it is the redeemed of God. 1 Corinthians 12:27 confirms it:

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it.

“You are the church, baby girl. Go to them.”

God didn’t speak to me in bullet points, but I think he’s okay with me using them as I share. These are some of the clear instructions he spoke:

  • Invite them into the sanctuary of your home. Break bread and share a cup in remembrance of Me.
  • Be the hands and feet of Jesus. Encourage them with the Word; be honest but don’t you ever put shame on them.
  • Be extravagant in your expressions of love. Use that spiritual gift I gave you for a time like this.

As I pondered and prayed these last few days, He’s also reminded me that wherever I go, I’m taking the church with me. Whether I’m carving pumpkins in a friend’s driveway, visiting a friend in the hospital or listening carefully as a colleague explains a process, I am bringing the Body of Christ to people.

The pastor of our church often encourages us with the promise that if we get our family and friends into the pews he will make sure they hear the Gospel. That’s his job on Sunday, but he has never met my friends who gather as the sun sets over the lake; he doesn’t interact with the porter in my building at work and he couldn’t tell you my neighbors’ or even my children’s names.

They are my friends, neighbors and family; they sell me groceries, postage stamps and iced coffee.

Jesus said “’Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself. These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s law hangs from them.”[1]

The best part of being a spirit-filled believer today is that he has made our hearts his dwelling place. We are the church – let’s go be the church to the people who are too scarred and scared to show up to the building. Love him, love them. Love always.

Loving by His grace,

lorraine

 

[1] Matthew 22:37-40 The Message

One Small Thing

Standard
One Small Thing

She approached the well in the heat of the day, expecting to quietly draw water in solitude and peace. There was a man there, but she mostly ignored him.

“Will you give me a drink?”

It was a small request, so ordinary. She was surprised, though. She was a woman, a Samaritan woman. She would expect to be ignored or even shunned by this Jewish man.

You may be familiar with this Biblical account of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well. It’s a well-known and often shared story of Jesus’ compassion and a woman’s response.

Just a couple of days ago, as I sat with a couple of friends, we visited this passage again. It was one of those moments when a familiar passage suddenly reads a bit differently and speaks to me with a new challenge.

The woman immediately began to complicate the simple request.

  • Why are you asking me? You know I’m not the best person for the job.
  • What do you mean you could give me a drink? You have nothing to draw with.
  • Hey, let’s talk about where we should worship.

His confirmation: I am He.

For the first time in many readings and hearings of this woman’s encounter with Jesus, I saw the simplicity of his request and I saw myself in the woman.

How often does he ask us do a similar simple, small thing?

  • Walk outside and speak to the young mom and her children as they pass by on their walk.
  • Fix a plate for the widower down the street.
  • Buy a cup and a snack for that college student studying at the local coffee shop.
  • Send a card to someone who is hurting, just to remind them that someone cares.
  • Walk into the next room and really listen to a child or your spouse for ten minutes.

He does, and too often I respond just as she did, denying the power of the love of Christ in me and for others.

  • Why me?
  • I don’t have the resources.
  • What if it’s weird or uncomfortable for me (or them)?
  • I’m just too busy.

But it is in the small acts of kindness that we unleash the power of his love. What if we knew that the small things of every day could be huge in the kingdom of God?

I’m committed to paying attention to opportunities in the mundane and the everyday. Will you join me, friends, as we hear Jesus asking us to do one small thing today?

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:10

Share with me in the comments…how have you seen him use your “one small thing”?

By grace alone,

lorraine

 

 

 

 

 

Stuffing is for Turkeys and Taxidermy

Standard
Stuffing is for Turkeys and Taxidermy

She leads a launch team that I’m part of and on that day, she delivered some unwelcome news; many people in the group would not receive a physical advance copy of the book.

I made the cut, so I was reading the complaints and expressions of disappointment with little empathy.

I sent a text to the leader, hoping to offer a word of encouragement, assuming the comments were discouraging her yet impressed by the way she was extending grace to the “complainers”.

“You are such a great team leader. You are managing these poor, bitter people well.”

In hindsight, I see my self-righteousness (hypocritical as it was) in that second sentence. She replied within minutes, so kind, but her statement set me back on my heels.

“It’s okay to experience and express disappointment.”

I recalled that I had surveyed that list of paper copies and was very relieved to find my name. On the other hand, there was another list, for one of my favorite authors, and I didn’t “make the cut”. I internally decided I didn’t have time to promote a book that I wouldn’t get to read before launch.

Honestly, I had to acknowledge I was nursing a splinter of bitterness, disappointed that I wasn’t chosen. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve thought about my reaction and her statement frequently.

I’ve discovered something to be true in my judgement of others. Every single time, the thing I’m most critical of in others is my struggle as well. Perhaps that is why the Bible says in Matthew 7:3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?” In my experience, their splinter is from the same “wood” as my log.

In this exchange my friend short-circuited my judgement with a simple, yet profound statement of grace – permission to express disappointment. It was one I hadn’t even allowed myself.

Expression of emotions is healthy. In fact, the best way to diffuse a powerful emotion is to express it. In my culture (family, work, church) there is a lot of freedom to express positive emotion, but we often haven’t known what to do with negative ones.

Just this morning, I read from Philippians 4 where we are admonished and encouraged to focus our minds on true things (among others) so that we can walk with God in peace. Does that seem like a contradiction to expressing negative feelings? Stay with me for another minute or two, friend.

In this case, I was disappointed that I would not receive a physical copy of Stasi Eldredge’s new book. She’s my all-time favorite non-fiction author and her book Captivating changed my life more than any book other than the Bible. My disappointment was a reasonable and healthy emotional response.

After admitting and expressing my disappointment, I moved on to embrace the truth:

  • I have the resources to buy the book, or my library will have the book and I can request it online for delivery to my door (we live in amazing times, ya’ll!).
  • Serving on launch teams gives me opportunities to interact with amazing authors and book lovers while we share new books with our communities.

And just like that…I’m flooded with gratitude and yes, peace. Peace comes with the right perspective, but we only get there by appropriately expressing honest emotions. I’m so thankful for the patient and smart people around me, who continue to extend grace as I learn and grow in the marvelous grace of God.

By his grace alone,

lorraine

The Benefit of the Doubt

Standard
The Benefit of the Doubt

Good intentions. There is a proverb that says the road to hell is paved with them.

I’m not so sure of that, but I’m quite sure that as humans we tend to moralize and justify our actions to ourselves. Phrases like “She meant well” or “He had good intentions” don’t always line up with our behavior.

I love words and the walls of my house often display all manner of proverbs and verses to encourage and remind. However, I cringe when I see the sign that declares “Follow your heart” and that sentiment will never adorn my home. It matters not how many lovely images are attached, the message is frightening because I know this truth all too well:

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
Jeremiah 17:9 NIV

The New Living Translation translates the second half of that verse like this: “Who really knows how bad it is?” Honestly, the brief glimpses into the darkness of my heart leave me desperate for the transformative work of the Word of God, by the Spirit of God and the GRACE of God.

Is it any wonder our interactions with one another are at best awkward and at worst misunderstood and hurtful even among friends and family members? Social media has only fanned the fire with moment by moment updates.

What if we agreed to choose kindness? What if we delay our reaction by putting our phones down or choosing to recall the things we KNOW to be true about our relationships?

The easiest and best gift you can offer this week is the benefit of the doubt.

“To give someone the benefit of the doubt is to default to the belief that their intentions are honest and not assume malice when there is uncertainty or doubt surrounding the circumstances.” [i]

It’s not easy; I know that. But I have so much invested; there is much value in relationship and until there is a pattern of behavior, a body of work that proves ill intent, I’m going to avoid following my hurting heart and choose to believe the best about these precious souls.

Letting it go,

lorraine

[i] Urbandictionary.com

Dance With Me?

Standard
Dance With Me?

For months, I’ve taken a sabbatical from writing. Words, impactful words anyway, come from the vulnerable places of the heart. The deepest places in my heart are exposed by the truth of Scripture and that’s where the words flow. It’s been a dry season, but I’ve never doubted God’s faithfulness.

Thankfully, words have begun to come again. If someone reads them and finds encouragement it is only because the God of the valley of dry bones has breathed life into them. Perhaps this piece was not meant for me alone, but if it was, He is still a very kind Father.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”
Matthew 11:28-30, The Message

Recently, my husband held me close as we glided around a dance floor at a wedding reception. Neither of us is a great dancer, but I know this much well: only one of us can lead. I rested my head on his shoulder, closed my eyes and simply moved with his body. He led us around the dance floor, gently and tenderly holding me. I never looked up, preferring to rest in his arms and trust his lead. It was easy and comforting and I felt so very loved by this man who has been dancing with me for over forty-six years.

A few days later I was reading the passage above from Matthew and I remembered that dance. Jesus whispered “Just lean into me; allow me to lead. I will show you the unforced way of grace living.” He is so gracious, friends, this Jesus who has also been dancing with me for the same forty-six plus years.

There is no heavy yoke, pulling me in a direction when I walk with Him. He promised “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Rest. Our bodies need it and our souls crave it. I hope you got to take a great vacation this summer, but by the time the suitcases were unpacked, the laundry was finished and fridge was restocked you may have already grown weary.

Perhaps you crave rest as you look forward to this next season.

Dance with Him. His steps are sure. Trust his lead, my friend. He will take you to a place of true rest.

Trusting His lead,

lorraine

Jesus Loves Martha, Too…And a Book Giveaway!

Standard
Jesus Loves Martha, Too…And a Book Giveaway!

My sister is named Martha. She always says that my parents made a mistake when naming us; she insists that I am the Martha of the family. It’s true that I am more like Martha than Mary, as evidenced by my resentment toward Jesus when I first read this account in the book of Luke. As a first-born daughter in a large family and a young wife and mother, I owned his words like a cloak of criticism:

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42 NIV, The Holy Bible

My thoughts were far from holy as I thought of how I might respond “in real life” given the same encounter.

“Well, that’s special, Jesus, but who do you think is going to whip up some food for these people you brought with you if I take a seat with Mary?”

OR

“These dishes don’t do themselves, you know.”

OR

“So, we are rewarding laziness? I can’t be a fan girl and make sure everyone eats, too.”

In my immaturity, I read the words of Jesus as a rebuke. I am a woman who gets things done. I check them off my detailed list (most likely a spreadsheet) and focus on the task at hand. I am often the one who takes the bull by the horns to come up with a plan and then execute it. I love to entertain and host people in my home. The words stung and yet I felt like I was at my God-given best when serving and meeting the needs of others by doing all the things.

I struggled for years with the notion that my propensity to get things done was from lack of spiritual maturity or simply a flaw in my design. While I’ve embraced the grace of God, I still struggled with this passage. I wrestled with the tension between those two perspectives until I read Made Like Martha.

In the pages of Katie Reid’s first book I found encouragement and reassurance that my bent toward “doing” is in my DNA; God, the perfect designer, made no mistake when he created this doer. I also recognized the natural weaknesses in my “Martha” design, especially the tendency to strive for perfection and approval through “doing”. I asked myself honest questions like “What am I doing that HE hasn’t asked to do?”

The biggest affirmation for me is that the worship I offer up as I serve and work are just as acceptable as Mary’s. I also came to grips with my bent toward finding fault with the Mary types in my life, content to sit at Jesus’ feet when there is so much to be done. Once I was confident in my position I could freely acknowledge and be grateful for hers!

I’m thankful that Katie put these words to a page and I love the book so much that I want to give you a copy! It’s easy to enter the contest. Just navigate over here to Katie’s Facebook writer page and like it. Comment on this post and let me know you did and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win Made Like Martha. Be sure to comment by July 11th. I’ll use Rafflecopter to select a winner on Thursday, July 12th. I hope you win!

lorraine

Note: I received a free copy of Made Like Martha from the publisher in exchange for my honest review of the book. My opinion is mine alone and was not coerced or influenced by the publisher.

 

It’s Not Fine!

Standard
It’s Not Fine!

I was out running an errand at lunch when I heard a text alert. The message was brief. “I’m praying for you all. Everything’s going to be fine.”

My chest tightened and I had a moment right there in the greeting card aisle at Hobby Lobby even as hymns played on the store background music. “Easy for you to say!” I angrily spewed under my breath.

The text was in response to a group message recently sent by a member of my family. Her daughter’s cancer had been in remission – but it’s active again. The news shared is sobering. Her health is deteriorating rapidly. She’s not fine and there is no assurance that she’s going to be fine.

Fine means in good health and feeling well. As much as that is our prayer and hope for her, today she is struggling with serious medical issues. That response appears to minimize the gravity of her condition and the normal maternal response to it.

The people closest to her are faced constantly with the reality of her current condition, regardless of their hope for complete healing and wellness.

I quickly sent a private text to this dear momma, assuring her that people mean well but say dumb things.

Perhaps I reacted so passionately out of empathy. I’ve recently been told the same about another situation that is far from “fine”. It is gut-wrenching, frightful, and agonizing. The tentacles of it have infiltrated and lodged themselves deep into the lives of real people, people who still get out of bed every morning, wake the children, make the coffee and make a living to pay the bills and feed a family while this “situation” hangs over their heads like a storm cloud about to erupt.

The texter likely intended to convey positive thoughts or a message of faith in a few words. I’ve resolved to assume the best about people’s intentions and extend grace. To that end, my message today is intended to suggest thoughtful and compassionate responses to such hard things taking place in others’ lives.

There is an excellent Biblical example in Job’s friends. Though they eventually failed miserably, they got the three things I mentioned (mostly) right. Check out these points from Job: 2:11-13 (ESV)

  • They came to him when he was suffering. “Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place…they made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him.”
  • They empathized with him.“..they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven.”
  • They spent time with him.“And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights…”

Thankfully, today’s social norms don’t include tearing of clothing or scattering of dust! Your presence will be a blessing.
Show up. As soon as possible, set aside a few minutes to speak by phone or in person. Ask appropriate questions and demonstrate genuine concern. Let your friend know you are engaged and available to them. Encourage them to endure; remind them that God sees their pain. Keep showing up – this will require intention, but isn’t your friend worth it?

Follow up. Even if it means putting an item on your calendar for a couple of weeks away, send a card, call or text. Remind them that you have not forgotten and are still praying.

If you’ve read the full book of Job, you know that his friends didn’t remain silent for long. In fact, they droned on and on under the assumption that Job’s suffering was the result of sin in his life. Get this if you don’t get anything else: like Job’s friends, we may know a lot about the Bible but we don’t know the mind or heart of God. Leave it alone.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15 (ESV)

By His grace alone,

lorraine

Things Can’t Get Worse, Right….?

Standard
Things Can’t Get Worse, Right….?

I remember it well. The days leading up to and following the new year everyone was on Facebook proclaiming that this one just had to be better than last. I recall thinking “Maybe you’d better buckle up, because things can always get worse” but refraining from typing the words because I’m an adult. With a brain. And some common sense. Well, most of the time.

Then the unthinkable happened. 2018 roared in like a lion on steroids with a ravenous appetite for my family. Perhaps there is a similar lion in your world; I’m sort of busy over here manipulating a chair and whip while nursing bloody wounds where hearts are supposed to beat with joy and anticipation, but I see you there. This is for you, friend.

  • Well-meaning people are going to ask questions like “Are you okay?” when they know full well you can’t possibly be okay. The only correct answer is the honest one. If you are not okay, let it be known. If they care, an arm will slip around your shoulder and they will stick around without judgment for the tears and whatever else leaks out of you. If they don’t, they’ll find a quick excuse to walk away but they’ll know the truth…and so will you.
  • You might be mad. Did you know that’s okay? I have it on the authority of King David that God can handle our anger, so trust me on this one. He isn’t creating our difficulties, but He is aware of them and we can vent to the one who knows it all and loves unconditionally.
  • Get ready to be amazed. There are two extremes and you will experience both. There are going to people who won’t be willing to join you in your misery. When I say that I’m not referring to some pity party, rather the reality that is your present circumstance. In the words of the icy Disney princess, let them go. Or in the words of Taylor Swift, shake them off. Either way…be done with them. They aren’t worth your limited energy. But you are also going to be blown away by the people who see you and respond with the purest of love. These are not the “Go, keep warm and be well fed” church crowd that James warns of; they are the ones who show up with whatever you need, usually before you know you need it. You might not even know them yet, but they love Jesus and you.
  • Step away from social media. In the middle of your hard season you don’t need to be constantly exposed to everyone else’s highlight reels. Do ask your friends to share their greatest joys with you personally – send those cute photos and funny memes right to your phone or inbox.
  • Continue doing the things you love with the people you love as much as possible. Live even when it feels like you might die.

If you have a friend who is in this place right now, may I suggest some things you can do for them?

  • Stay in touch. Ask “How are you?” and be willing to hear an honest answer. Listen – with compassion and intention.
  • Ask what they need; make sure they know you sincerely want to help.
  • Pursue time together. Ask them to come for dinner/family game night/coffee. Insist, even if it means taking the food to their house and handling prep, serving and cleanup.
  • Share your joy. They not only can handle it, they need it.
  • Refrain from giving too much advice or opinion, especially if they have a team of professionals.
  • Pray for them and listen to God’s prompts for ways to help. Make it your goal to be their biggest encourager.

Trouble rushes in like a tidal wave of disgusting, powerful water and sweeps away normal. If you are barely keeping your head above water, keep treading. If the flood has subsided and you are faced with the muddy aftermath, keep trusting.

Hope and confidence in God is our lifeline; this is the verse that I return to again and again. I pray it encourages your heart as well.

Because of the Lord’s great love for us we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:22-26

Waiting in hope,

lorraine

Clutching My Pearls

Standard
Clutching My Pearls

I tend to view every glass half full and look for the bright side of most situations. If I can’t find a bright side, I will take a steel wool pad to it and try to scrub enough gunk off to find a shiny spot. I’m more prone to working it out than clutching my pearls.

But recently I’ve had my pearls in a death grip.

A family situation popped up and in a matter of minutes we were reeling in shock and moving toward terror. It was the sort of thing that comes out of nowhere, with absolutely no warning.

My first instinct was to act. I doubled down on steel wool, intending to make a bee line right into the heart of the matter, but the answer was “Not yet”. Eventually I was able to let go of my pearls and do some scrubbing. I couldn’t change a thing, only hold some space for my loves to process and deal with the “what if” and the “what now”.

Life demands that we keep putting one foot in front of the other, and they have and we have, but I became keenly aware of my death grip on those pearls. One hand was reaching toward God but the other was firmly attached to my fear.

For weeks, I have feared the worst and trembled at the thought of the potential damage. I’ve yelled at God and asked him how dare he allow it. And in case you’re wondering, he’s okay with that. He can handle my anger, frustration and grief. If you aren’t convinced, check out David’s rant.

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?[1]

He listened. I’m sure of that, but I wasn’t hearing much from him. Crickets. And there were accusations from a dark place: “He’s forgotten you and your loves. He’s turned away – you are on your own and this is hopeless. This will not end well. You’d better start working on Plan B.”

The accusations are convincing in a vacuum. Sitting in the quiet, sorrowful and scared, you will hear and begin to believe the lies.

Where do we find courage to move forward when the ground is shaking under our feet and the future is uncertain and scary?

When you walk with Jesus, there is no Plan B. Faith is like that. It’s either all in or all out. You can’t just sprinkle a little faith over a situation. I have a great analogy that involves a litter box and a sick cat, but let’s just go with we either allow him to replace our unbelief with absolute faith in him or we wallow around in doubt because it’s familiar. The latter stinks.

One of my favorite Bible stories is of David defeating Goliath, that giant who terrified and taunted the Israelite army. David, a mere boy, saw past the Philistine’s threats and insults against the power and promise of God. David didn’t have confidence in his abilities or in the armor his brothers tried to drape over his slight frame. David’s confidence was in God and he put every bit of his trust in him.

The massive Goliath taunted and threatened the young boy, but David stepped forward in confidence that God had prepared him for this. Those long nights protecting and defending the sheep were his classroom and he was ready for what could be his final exam. He was fearless because he remembered God’s faithfulness.

I loosened the grip on my pearls. Really, God? You’ve got this? Because from here it doesn’t seem like you do and I’m terrified.

It’s okay, baby girl. I know you are afraid. When you gaze at a world that wants to destroy you or the ones you love, you will always be afraid. Look at my face. I’m right here.

Fear always has its roots in unbelief. Only God, when we remember his faithfulness, can make us brave. And until we are brave, we can’t hold space for hope for others. We have to choose to believe him.

I don’t know how this will work out, but I know this much for sure. God sees my family. He sees every one of us, from the oldest to the youngest. He is alive and he is pressing into every situation even when it feels like he’s looked away. He has not turned his head; he is right in the middle of all of it.

Let go of those pearls, He says. I’m going to show you a better way than steel wool and pearl clutching.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.[2]

Wait for the Lord; then you will have courage and hold space for hope, for yourself and for the battle weary all around you.

His promises are true, friends, even when all we can see is a loud-mouth giant; when the noise of his threats and taunts wants to discourage and defeat.

Wait for the Lord.

Waiting in hope,

lorraine

Please share your stories of waiting and seeing God come through in the comments!

Lorraine at Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Psalm 13: 1-2 ESV

[2] Psalm 27:13-14 ESV