I am about to see one of my best friends from Raleigh in two days. I can't wait. It seems like so long ago I saw her. When she came here to visit, we painted and we let Scripture speak to us. We also wrote down words and those words on the canvas became an inspiration for us to draw from over the next year. My word was embrace. I still look at it on the wall in my living room.
Today was an emotional day. We all have those from time to time. I think of how God is sovereign even over our feelings. He made them, after all. They help point to something going on inside. It is important still to consider that feelings don't have the final say, yet to acknowledge their place and to hold them up against truth.
Solomon said that our hearts are the 'wellspring of life.' The heart overflows into thoughts, actions. It holds so much. It is of value.
Even when life is hard, I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 2: 16-18. It is one of my life verses. It reminds me to keep going no matter what.
"We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."
God is always at work, doing something internally in us that is far bigger than meets the eye. He is good all the time.
We must be remembering what is true even if something doesn't feel true. Our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). I LOVE this. We are hidden with Christ. We do not have to hide anywhere, or be anything we are not, except who we really, truly are, and that is always enough.
I have been listening to The Next Right Thing podcast by Emily P. Freeman. Today's happened to be called "Expect to be Surprised."
She talks about how we can do the next right thing even when the path leads somewhere we didn't totally plan for.
That is something I might groan about and wrestle with, but again, whatever road is from God, I will follow Him. I know He gives me His hand.
I can write these down and still in practice I am working them out. I know in writing them down, each time, it is an act of surrender and rest on my part. And an act of faith, and hope, that I can and still will 'expect to be surprised,' whatever that looks like in real time and space. As Emily described in this particular podcast, it was paying attention at the scenery outside as she was traveling and seeing a musician she liked appear years later at an unlikely restaurant. A musician who once inspired her in ways that this singer probably had no idea, because she just kept doing what she was called to do, and showed up to sing for a room full of youth group teenagers. How amazing that Emily was in that group and later would go on to write books, and now is inspiring people like me herself. Expect to be surprised at how God works, often through people, often in unlikely ways.
You never know how the next small step or next right thing can lead to something else, even if it's a road you didn't plan for.
It's hard to release your sought after plans. I know this. It's hard to not wish for tomorrow to come now. It almost feels like a joke to still expect to be surprised sometimes. But, I know there is good everywhere and in the daily-ness of life. I am so thankful God keeps showing up in the funny and mundane and crazy parts of my life and reminding me He is there. He hasn't gone anywhere.