Sunday, April 2, 2017

And the Lord Said, "I Will Do A New Thing."

Tonight as I hear nothing but the hum of the refrigerator and the occasional plane taking off overhead my third floor apartment, I am reminded of how quickly a life & it's circumstances can change, and a passage in Jeremiah 32:41 that says, "I will rejoice in doing them good."

This concept has been somehow difficult for me to rest in. Yes, God is good and does wonderful things for other people... but for me... really? A few Autumn seasons ago, I sat across a friend's kitchen table and she asked me, "Do you really believe that God intends GOOD for Leah?" I swallowed hard, and if I had been honest, I would've had to say, "No, but I want to."

Even now, I will testify that it is hard to see the goodness of God when our life and our dreams fall apart and scatter into a thousand pieces around us. This is good for me, Father? To weep and cry in such anguish that you fall to the floor in helplessness, asking God to stop the pain, asking God for a way out of this suffering ... this is good?

It is in these moments of despair and hopelessness that I have cried out to my Father on a number of occasions, asking Him to make my heart believe His promises when all else would tell me that they are not so. It is in this moment, as a Princess Warrior, I must take ahold of faith and lay aside my momentary emotions and feelings and stand on the promise & surety of His Word. God never lies. He is never unsure, or hesitant. When God says something, He will do it.
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One day, the darkness seems to fade, we blink & find ourselves in a new season of life - a new home, a new career, new friends.

Change has seemed to come upon me so quickly, I can hardly grasp it all.

On March 22nd, by God's good grace & faithfulness, I graduated from flight attendant training. What a thrill & sense of accomplishment this was! It was like a dream come true, though a dream unrealized 'til then. It is definitely to be considered one of the happiest days of my life yet.

Five days later, on March 27th, I packed 2 suitcases & 2 carry-on bags with my basic necessities & moved to Chicago, Illinois. How could this be? Just a few weeks prior, my plan was to stay in Denver, Colorado. Surely God planned for me to come to the big city of ChicagoFor what "glorious" purpose, I know not. All I know is that He sent me here, and right now, this is my place of ministry.

Two days after moving to Chicago, I flew my first flight as a flight attendant to Cancun, Mexico. I secretly had been hoping that my first trip would be to an International destination, and it was! I haven't flown since then, but quite honestly, the rest the last few days has been welcome.

Throughout this whole moving process, I've often been reminded of a line from a a movie called, "Last Flight Out,"

"My safety is of no concern.
There's no better place to be,
then in the center of God's willunless it's in His presence."


My prayer is that the Lord would be my Rock, my Protector and my Provider as I learn to live in a big city that can, at times, be dangerous & unknown territory for a single women of small frame. When the loneliness creeps in, I pray that He would draw me close & remind me of His unfailing kindness. He's given me everything I need to serve Him in this place.

"[He] set my feet upon a Rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust." Psalms 40:2-4

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19




Monday, February 6, 2017

Even There

"...even there, Your hand will guide me, 
Your right hand will hold me fast."
Psalms 139:10



Tonight, my mind is wandering to the "even there's" in life. 

We all have them. 

Those places we're currently, or have been afraid to enter or experience for fear of what those places would feel like, how we might feel isolated or incapable of walking through, or maybe it's just having to experience an "out of the box" situation that we never dreamed we'd face. But there it isstaring us in the face, blocking the very path of life we travel on & we realize that we must go through it fully, in order to proceed forward. The more we stall for time, the more it rears it's ugly head in sight & it chokes and consumes our very life and joy. Perhaps for some of us, it is walking through "the valley of the shadow."

Even there.
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I am currently proceeding forward in a journey that I never expected I'd journey in. Not a bad one, not an evil one, not even unpleasant ... but unexpected. 

Let me tell you a story.

While this is certainly not to demean or disrespect people with views such as these, you might say I grew up with the "homeschool graduate mindset," or so we'll call it. In such an ideal world, one would graduate from high school at 18 (and for some, it was more virtuous to finish school at 16), and fully devote all of your time afterwards, preparing for marriage & the duties that marriage life would bring. (Extra bonus points for the young ladies if they knew how to sew their own clothes, sew quilts, hoard away things in a hope-chest for their future life & can fruits and vegetables from the garden.) THAT was the ultimatumatleast in the social circles I was in. In such an ideal world, you would be married around 20, start having babies & make a cute Mom blog that would have an enormous subscriber's list and readership. 

Is that a bad dream? By all means - no, however that was the loftiest dream I held as a young person. For my friend, Ashleigh, that was God's story for her. And I wanted it to be my story too. 

But God had another plan in mind.

I went to work outside the home at age 15, and have been working a paid job ever since. (Because, you know, we all have to to buy deodarant and toothpaste... and things like that.) I stopped sewing, and I've never canned a thing in my life. All those guys I had crushes on while growing up as a teenager got married to other people. When I was 19, I met someone whom I thought was the man God wanted me to marry and our interests and everything seemed to match up - but it wasn't meant to be. Over the last 10 years of my life, I have endured more heartbreaks than I wished. I have had men tell me they never liked me like "that," and I've said goodbye to friendships that once, seemed special. Ah. Those tear inducing, heart throbbing and painful circumstances that are always so difficult to know how to walk through in a Christlike manner. 

Was all that in my life dream? Absolutely not. To be the lady no one wanted. Who wants that? I didn't. But God allowed me to walk down a road I never penned, because He wanted to make me into a more beautiful woman than I ever dreamed for myself.

Fast forward to the present day. 
Now less than 2 years away from turning 30 years of age, I can't help but consider what  God does have in His story for me. A recent while ago, I began  to realize that my financial needs were increasing in the foreground, and started to consider  the possibility of looking for a salary wage, career job to support a single woman. Last year, the realization hit when I saw that working as a Starbucks barista would not be sufficient enough to LIVE off of. For me, having a salary wage, career job was (for many years) thought to be ungodly (especially in homeschooling type circles), because Titus 2 says that young women should be taught to be keepers at home. But that chapter also mentions "loving their husbands & children," and I didn't have those. God brought me to a place of rest, and I realized that perhaps for right now - for this season - God's actual BEST for me might look like that which I never dreamed of, or thought would be okay. Maybe His very best for me looked like having a career job.

I am currently about to embark on a new journey & walk of life as a flight attendant. As I study & prepare to head off to training in a couple weeks, I am filled with so many emotions. Excitement (I'll get to see so many places & experience new things!), and fear (What if I get attacked by a rapist - like that story Dad told me about? What if I'm the flight attendant on board another terrorist attack flight? What if...?) 

While this next step is by no means a bad thing, it is very unknown to me. It's uncharted territory, it's a mountain to be climbed. The thrill of the adventure will be accompanied by losses, failures, successes and hard work. Through it all - even there - I am confident that God is leading me forward.

So what is the point of this blog post? What is the point of my wandering thoughts tonight? I guess realizing that even in my own perceived "bad" and "good" places, God is not bound to my perceptions. His will and plan is so much more glorious and big. He can be glorified wherever He calls me ... because He called me to that particular place.

Even there, God's hand will guide me. 
Even there, His hand will hold me fast.

What's your "even there" tonight? 

Let your heart rest assuredGod is there, and He holds you.