Category Archives: feelings

from whence this fear and unbelief?

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From whence this fear and unbelief?
Hath not the Father put to grief
His spotless Son for me?
And will the righteous Judge of men
Condemn me for that debt of sin
Which, Lord, was charged on thee?

Complete atonement thou hast made,
And to the utmost farthing paid
Whate’er thy people owed;
How then can wrath on me take place
If sheltered in thy righteousness,
And sprinkled with thy blood?

If thou hast my discharge procured,
And freely in my room endured
The whole of wrath divine,
Payment God cannot twice demand—
First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,
And then again at mine.

Turn then, my soul, unto thy rest!
The merits of thy great High Priest
Have bought thy liberty;
Trust in his efficacious blood,
Nor fear thy banishment from God,
Since Jesus died for thee.

Augustus Toplady

thy way not mine, o Lord

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Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.

Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot;
I would not, if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God,
So I shall walk aright.

Take Thou my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill,
As best to Thee may seem;
Choose Thou my good and ill.

Choose Thou for me my friends,
My sickness or my health;
Choose Thou my cares for me
My poverty or wealth.

The kingdom that I seek
Is Thine: so let the way
That leads to it be Thine,
Else I must surely stray.

Not mine, not mine the choice
In things or great or small;
Be Thou my Guide, my Strength
My Wisdom, and my All.

Horatius Bonar

my hope

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Here I am again
In this raging sea
On my knees again
Deep calls to deep
I feel I’m drowning
My arms are
Just too tired to swim
I feel like I’m sinking
On my knees again
In the roar of Your waterfall
In the storm of You
May You find me holding on
May You find me true

Chorus:
And I put my hope
And I put my trust
And I put myself in You
In You, Lord [2x]

Here I am again
In need of you
Broken, Beaten
Needing You
In the roar of Your waterfall
In the wonderful storm of You
May You find me holding on
May You find me true

(Chorus)

Bridge:
Wash me clean
Set me free
Hold me close
And cover me

(Chorus x4)

Here I am
Here I am…

David Crowder Band

He never will leave

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I have been greatly comforted lately by the promise and hope that my God will never leave, never forsake, never dissapoint and never abandon me. 

Several months ago, I began dating a wonderful man of God and have been greatly blessed and encouraged by his deep love for God and his tender care for me.  But there have been times already where we’ve disagreed.  There have been moments where i’ve done something sinfully to make him angry and I’m sure he could have found it easier to simply walk away.  and vice versa. 

we were talking last night and I was crying and my heart was struggling with being full of fear… i am so grateful for the gift he is to me and am scared of the thought of losing him.  i’m very aware that God knows the end result and though we plan our steps that His plan may not be for the two of us to be together… or that if we end up together that one of us could die and that life may not end up looking like what we hope and plan at this point.  I hope and pray that is not the case.  well, last night, I was really struggling with trusting God and was fearing that God would maliciously or vindictively take Ted away from me to simply teach me a lesson or punish me somehow. 

Ted graciously reminded me that our God is not vindictive or harsh.  He does not hold our sins over us and his desire is for good for His children.  And as His child, that means His desire is for good for me. 

But sometimes that’s hard to believe because life doesn’t feel that way.  Yesterday was one of those days… I spent most of the day with a heavy cloud over my head and with a fear of God’s judgment or vengence.  I was yet again, more aware of my sin than of God’s grace as displayed through the cross of Christ. 

I’m grateful for the reminders God gives us in our weakness.  Yesterday, He reminded me that He is good, His mercy is everlasting and His goodness and truth endure through all generations. 

I don’t need to fear the unknown future.  I don’t need to worry about “what-ifs”.  My God has promised never to leave.  Even if all around gives way, He is the confident Rock on which I stand.  And I know that even if He were to take me down another undesired path, just like He upheld me through every path I’ve faced thus far, He will do so again.

So, I was able to sleep last night, resting in that promise.  Resting in knowing that my God will always be by my side as my friend, underneath as my support, ahead as my guide and behind as my protection.  And how grateful I am that those are truths that will never ever change.

i made it through the day…

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 i just wanted to post a quick update and say I made it through the day yesterday.  there were several times I just wanted to sit down and cry, but by God’s grace I was able to simply keep plugging along.  it wasn’t a day of great achievements or accomplishments but God sustained me through the hum-drum of life and for that i’m very grateful.

yesterday was move #9 since 2003…  if you ask me, i think that’s a bit excessive.  but what do i know… I’m the crazy one who keeps doing it!  :)  i’m very grateful for everyone who showed up to haul boxes and furniture for me and have a busy weekend ahead of unpacking and organizing. 

i love seeing God’s faithfulness in the middle of my chaotic life.  yesterday was one of those… just little reminders that my God cares… little encouragements from friends and little examples of His amazing grace.  thanks for your prayers.  i’m grateful.

overwhelmed and overwhelming grace

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When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul. Ps 94:19 

I woke up this morning overwhelmed.  The cares of my heart were many.  Anxious thoughts seemed to be multiplying exponentially.  That quickly spiraled downward into a feeling of being completely overwhelmed.  then I got out of bed.  and it all got worse.

yup, its been one of those days.  more than I can handle. more than I CARE to handle.  Thanks to all of those of you who have been praying for me today. 

Work has been chaos.  My mind is overwhelmed knowing that I’m moving tonight to a new apartment and i’m not ready for it.  I”m discouraged because I want to be losing weight faster.  I want relationships to be easy.  Some days its so hard to just keep fighting and pushing onward in this race we call the Christian life.  Today is one of those days.  One foot in front of the other… one step at a time.  And even that seems almost too much to bear. 

I’m grateful that in my weakness, I can look to my Rock who never changes, no matter what storms prevail.  He’s bigger than confusion. He’s bigger than my pain.  He’s bigger than my brokenness.

Thanks to Jessica for passing along this quote earlier today… it was very helpful to my anxious soul…

So he supplies perfectly measured grace to meet the needs of the godly. For daily needs there is daily grace; for sudden needs, sudden grace; for overwhelming need, overwhelming grace. God’s grace has given wonderfully, but not wastefully; freely but not foolishly; bountifully but not blindly. -John Blanchard

trusting God

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Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make  straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

This past Sunday, I attended Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg Md.  I was there for the Worship God 09 conference, and my friends and I decided to stay through the weekend and drive back after church.  Its funny how God’s sovereignty works… 

The conference was very challenging physically for me.  Due to the noise and busyness of the week, I had many migraines and other health issues.  I was grateful to be able to attend at all, though there were many sessions I was either resting on a couch in the lobby, or sitting on the floor in the back.  I really enjoyed the songwriting seminars and learned many helpful tips to incorporate into my writing…

Well, on Sunday, Josh Harris got up to preach.  Their church is currently working through a series on Proverbs and the topic this week was about trusting God.  His passage was Proverbs 3:5-6.  He talked about what it means to trust God, what it means to lean on Him and what it means to acknowledge Him. 

i think it is the only time in my life that I cried through an entire sermon.  God revealed so many areas in my life where I fail to trust Him.  I fail to trust that He is good, that He loves me, and that He has my best in mind.  Instead I often trust my own understanding… “this doesn’t make sense… God must not love me… or He must have forgotten about me…” 

He mentioned that leaning on God does not mean simply resting like you would against a podium but when the podium is taken away you’re still able to stand just fine.  Instead its a full dependence of “God, if you are not there to catch me, I will fall flat on my face.  Help.”  I spend much of my life trying to avoid this feeling, but this is where I was created to live… in utter dependence on God’s grace and strength and provision. 

There are so many unknowns in my life right now…  What’s going on with my health?  Will I be “stuck” in Greenville forever?  Where am I supposed to live?  Will I ever get married?  have kids?  be financially sound?  oh, so many unknowns…

How grateful I am for Josh Harris and this past Sunday.  I am grateful for the comfort that comes from being reminded that my God has not forgotten me… He is not angry at me or withholding goodness.  His steadfast love and faithfulness have followed me all the days of my life.  He has led me through valleys.  He has led me through paths of rejoicing.  And He has promised not to leave… even now, in confusion…

when the dots don’t connect…

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lately i seem to be back into a season where the dots just don’t seem to connect.  i’m weary.  physically i’m weak.  emotionally i’m tired.  spiritually i’m worn down and dry.  mentally i’m… well, i guess i’ve never been right in that area… :)

i have failed to cling to my hope in Christ.  i’ve failed to trust Him to provide.  i’ve questioned whether God really wants what’s best for me.  i’ve accused Him of forgetting me… or simply leading me on only to later disappoint.

i’m powerless to lift myself from the pit that i am in. 

and then i’m reminded of the gospel… Christ came to lift me from my own self-made destruction and misery.   He came to give me a rock of hope to cling to that will never fail… not in physical pain, loneliness, confusion, darkness… never.  He promised He would never leave me. 

that applies not only to the day He redeemed my soul 4 years ago but for today as well. in the middle of a migraine, He holds me.  In the middle of my questioning His goodness, He holds me secure in His arms of love.  In the middle of loneliness, He never leaves my side.  In my tired weariness, He reminds me that He is the God who watches over me and He never sleeps.  There is never a moment when He is not in control of every event of my life. 

I’m reminded of the hymn “Be Still my Soul.”  While visiting Covenant Life a few weeks ago, we sang this song… its been in my head ever since.  It is such a great example of “talking to yourself” instead of “listening to yourself.”

 I think my favorite line is “be still my soul your Jesus can repay from His own fulness all He takes away.”

In the past few years, its obvious with even a brief glance at my life that God has taken much.  He’s taken friends.  He’s taken people I looked to and respected.  He’s taken a sense of belonging and home.  He’s taken my health.  He’s taken much more. 

But I have the promise that He will never take His presence from me.   And knowing that, nothing else matters.  I’d rather Him take my health, security and comfort than to leave all those and take His presence.. 

That is the reason that my soul can be still.  That is the reason my weary soul can find hope.  I am just praying for grace that God will connect those dots…

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.  He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.  On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.   Trust in him at all times, O people;  pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:5-8)

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to your God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: your God will undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt you better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe your sorrow and your fears.
Be still, my soul: your Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to your Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all your words and ways,
So shall He view you with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

sleepless prayer

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Father I confess that I do not actively place my dependence on you like I should, though every moment is spent fully dependent on your hand over my life. It is the sweet, yet horrible moments like this, moments when I ask, but sleep doesn’t come, moments where there is nothing I can do to make that desire of my fundamental human need happen, moments of sheer and utter exhaustion of mind, body and will, in which I am once again reminded of you. You are the God who does not require sleep. You are the God who guards my life as I sleep, and who guards it when sleep doesn’t come. You watch over me and protect me as the swarm of fears and doubts loom overhead. Your helmet of salvation soothes my tired mind with the truth that I am safe in you and that there is no need to fear. When exhaustion results in emotional worry and tears, I am comforted with the truth that even in my weakness and struggle, that you never leave or forsake your beloved. When the sins and cares of the day robs my rest, you remind me that I am your spotless bride and your cherished, fully accepted child. When pain takes rest from me and keeps it at a distance, you remind me that the power which calmed the stormy sea can also calm the turmoil in my body. Thank you Father that you ordain moments like this, moments I would never choose, to once again turn my gaze to you, grasping for more of your grace. Oh how I need it…both tonight and as the dawn soon breaks. Teach me that what matters is not perfect health or restful sleep but rather a confident trust in your goodness. Your goodness desired that my sleeplesness would drive me not to frustration, fear and anxiety, but to you. I find a refuge in you. My mind, which never seems to cease its running, finds solace in your presence. And you promise strength for tomorrow. Strength for the day’s battle, empowered by you to endure. But greater than that, to rejoice. Father, grant me the grace to rejoice in what you have done for me, given me and promised to complete in me. Let that joy overshadow this sleepless weariness. I pray that I would rest in you, for you are fully satified. There is nothing I need to do, besides still my soul in you like a child at his mother’s breast. You comfort. You hear the prayers of your beloved. And you provide what is good. So I pray that you would, in mercy, grant my weary body a few hours of rest tonight which would counteract the many hours of sleepless regret and worry. And if sleep does not come, father, I pray you would grant me the grace to find my strength in you. Thank you that you love me. Thank you that you hear my cry. Thank you that you are powerful to save. I pray you would help me, yet again, as I look to you, my jehovah-jireh to provide in my need.

the clouds you dread

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You fearful saints, new courage take,
The clouds which you now dread
Are big with mercy, and will break
In blessings on your head.

William Cowper has continually been such an encouragement to me.  He suffered during his life from extreme depression and despair and wrote much poetry describing that feeling, such as…

I hear, but seem to hear in vain,
Insensible as steel;
If ought is felt, ’tis only pain,
To find I cannot feel.

Yet I find great comfort in knowing God faithfully sustained him.  I spent several hours on Sunday reading through each of the poems he wrote for Olney Hymns, a collaborative hymnwriting effort with John Newton, his dear friend.

How encouraged I am by this man’s faith, and even more by his faithful God.  Though his emotions were often clouded by his circumstances and feelings, it is obvious by his poetry, that his heart and mind were ultimately controlled by his desire to know his God, the One who controlled the waves and storms. 

The saints should never be dismayed,
Nor sink in hopeless fear;
For when they least expect his aid,
The Savior will appear.

I made a horrible mistake at work this week.  It happened on Monday and the actual effect of it is only beginning to be understood today.   Hundreds of processes are affected, shipping schedules are having to be changed, vessels are having to be brought into port earlier than planned, production may end up stopped due to a lack of parts… its a worst case scenario.  And my name’s all over it.  My error in calculation caused it.  And my lack of a clear understanding of how my calculation affected other processes only made it worse.  And now everyone else is having to scramble to fix it.   As I was talking with my boss this morning we were trying to find a “silver lining” in the cloud…  we quickly realized that the silver lining (if its there) is so tarnished its black. 

Immediately my mind went to this song by William Cowper… the clouds I dread.  I dread the cloud of making a mistake so big it could cost me my job.  I dread the cloud of knowing others have to fix my mistakes and suffer the consequences of it and there’s nothing I can do now to fix it.  I dread the meetings that are coming to discuss how to not have this happen again. 

but as I was dreading all of those, God reminded me that the clouds I dread, these big black silver lined clouds, even those are dripping with mercy.  When they break it will be a flood of mercy for me.  it might also be a flood I don’t like… a flood of losing my job or at best having someone look over my shoulder for months to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  but its a flood from a God who can redeem my mistakes…

Fierce passions discompose the mind,
As tempests vex the sea;
But calm content and peace we find,
When, LORD, we turn to thee
.…

’Tis I appoint thy daily lot,
And I do all things well:
Thou soon shalt leave this wretched spot,
And rise with me to dwell.

 In life my grace shall strength supply,
Proportioned to thy day;
At death thou still shalt find me nigh,
To wipe thy tears away.”