Sustaining Words

As I prepared to spend six months in China, I spent many a night in tears.  I was fearful about living so far away from my family and my friends.  Psalm 126 spoke hope to me.  Especially Psalm 126:5 which says, “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”  At the end of my experience, with songs of joy, I looked back on my time abroad and thanked God for sustaining me.

Recently, Psalm 121:8 has been God’s sustaining words to me.  That verse says, “The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”  During my mission trip to Spain and move to Kernersville, I held tight to this promise.  I still do.

In nine months, I will marry Adam.  We will begin our lives together.  Already I am praying that God will guide us during this upcoming season.  I see scripture thru a new experiential lens as I think about the role of being a wife.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says, “Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”

I am thankful to live in a country where I have the freedom to read the Bible in the comfort of my home.  I treasure the freedom I have to gather with others to worship.  And I pray for God’s word to bring sustaining hope to believers around the world who do not have these same freedoms.

What I Once Thought Was Impossible

“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

I, like Emily Dickinson, want to say, “I dwell in possibility.”  A good friend introduced me to this quote several years a go, and I just now have the courage to live out these words.  

Through out my life, I have bypassed many possibilities and imagined how my life would be different if I overcame what seemed impossible.  No longer am I standing only on the edge of possibilities.  

God frees me so I can follow what only God could have placed in my heart.  I have grown to appreciate my challenging journey.  To paraphrase Robert Frost, I took the road less traveled, at least by women, and it has made all the difference.

On Sunday, March 3rd, I will preach the Sunday morning sermon.  My God-given moment to dwell in possibility comes with the great responsibilities of prayer and preparation.

I am obeying God to do what I once thought was impossible for and some still believe to be impossible for women.  Thank you to the many family, friends, mentors, professors, and pastors who have supported me on this journey, who prayed words of encouragement and perseverance over me at my ordination, and who continue to challenge me to claim that nothing is impossible with God.

I am excited and humbled that what I once thought was impossible is now my reality.

Stop Worrying Already

I drive to Campbell.  I drive around town.  I drive to visit Adam, family, and friends.  Some days I feel like I spend all day in the car.

Yet, I have found ways to make my time in the car productive.  I call family and friends.  I have studied school notes at stop lights.  The other day in traffic I worked on a friendship bracelet.  I have eaten dinner, ice cream, and lots of Oreos inside my car. 

I do my best worrying from behind the steering wheel of my car.  When I turn the radio off, lay my phone aside, and take moments to be still, I get to worrying.  I worry about things that matter and things that don’t.  I worry about people and circumstances close by, and I worry about people and circumstances around the world.  Even though God has instructed us not to worry, I am still an expert worrier.

Last night at 7:47 I felt an amazing sense of God’s presence with me in my car.  I was on a dark road with few other cars as I meandered thru countless small towns.  My worries had overwhelmed me, and then, all of the sudden, God’s peace renewed me.

Someone was praying for me last night.  God used the prayers of anonymous person to burst past my worrying and to allow me to feel at peace.  I felt God saying to me, “Stop worrying already.”

I encourage you to pray for others.  You may never know the difference that your prayers make.  I encourage you to ask others to pray for you.  We can help one another by praying for one another.  And remember God’s words of “stop worrying already.”