What I Learned This Summer

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I had fun with this collage template and some of my butterfly photos. Every butterfly I see is God’s whisper to me – “I am still with you, My child.”

When I decided to take a break this summer, I was so overwhelmed. Every time I went back to the computer, that feeling would become even worse. It was time to step back and rest in body, mind, and spirit. Time to examine where I was in my relationship with Jesus and my purpose on this earth. These are some of the lessons I learned or relearned:

I need Jesus like the very air I breathe. Without Him I will suffocate in this journey of life. I have had times in my life where it felt like my bronchial tubes closed up and I couldn’t breathe. I thought I would die. Without Jesus breathing His love and life into me, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually, I will not survive.

I can worship God just by taking time for Him, by resting in His love and rejoicing in His goodness. I don’t give more glory to Him by doing more. I need to be more concerned with filling up at His fountain instead of how much I “do.” When my well is dry, I can’t offer refreshment to anyone.

I need to concentrate more on encouraging one person at a time, whoever is placed in my life’s journey. I need to quit beating myself up over not making enough of a difference in this world. At the beginning of this break, I thought that without my blog posts I wasn’t encouraging anyone. But God opened my eyes more to the needs of people He sets in front of me each day and reinforced the truth that even a smile or a compliment can encourage and make someone’s day, whether to a loved one, an acquaintance, or a stranger.

At the beginning of the summer, I was struggling with rebellion against chronic illness. I cried out – Lord, I am so weary of all this. Won’t You just take me now? What good am I doing here when I can’t even think to write a blog post? Why won’t You heal me, Lord? Why won’t you make me stronger in body and mind? Why does this have to get worse as I get older? How is this to Your glory? And on and on. At the same time I felt guilty that I was feeling fretful and complaining so much. After all, don’t others have it much worse than I do? I should be ashamed of myself. But God taught me that it’s okay to bring all my questions and troubles to Him. What is invisible to others is so visible to Him. Even when others have it worse, that doesn’t mean I should chalk off my own troubles as nonexistent. It’s still important to acknowledge I have a chronic illness and emotional trauma from past abuse and to grieve the losses. But it is also important for me to open my heart more to what I can still do that others can’t. To open my heart to all the blessings still surrounding me. To be grateful for His upholding love and grace through every loss in my life. To remember that He can transform the physical and emotional weariness into the beauty of growing stronger in Him.

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I want to open my eyes more to the beauty around me. To see God’s beauty everywhere. To thank Him more. Even for ordinary, everyday things like seeing a dog as he sticks his head out of an open car window, the wind flapping his lips into a silly grin. So happy in the Creator who created him. I want to automatically whisper, “Thank You, God, for showing me this.”

I put too much pressure on myself to perform at this website. If I don’t post something every week, I feel like I’m a failure to God, to others, to myself. That’s not true. If I feel in my heart I need to rest from it, I need to listen. It’s ok if a new post doesn’t come out every single Tuesday. It’s ok if I don’t feel strong enough to write vulnerably every time. It’s ok even to just share nature photos and/or a sentence or two. God can make one word or photo breathe hope into someone’s heart just as well as many words. Nothing is impossible with Him!

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“Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat.”
Matthew 6:31 NLT

“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 a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30 The Message

A Child's Trust What is something God taught you this summer?
Are you in the midst of a heavy trial? What is giving you hope?

“Find Rest”
Francesca Battistelli

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The Savior Was Broken to Heal Broken Hearts

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A Broken Heart Cries

Help me, Jesus,
I still feel so broken.
You were broken so I can be healed,
So why can’t I “feel” that?
Why am I so depressed?
Why am I so hard on myself?
Why do I condemn myself
When You don’t condemn me?
Why do I demand so much of myself
When You have already paid the full price?
Why can’t I live life
Fully and joyfully in You?
I believe in Your all-sufficient grace,
Powerful to push through my resistance,
Powerful to break down my false foundations,
Powerful to crash open the walls
Around my distrusting heart.
O precious Savior,
I believe You gave Yourself
To be broken
To heal our brokenness.
I don’t doubt Your power to heal,
But will You heal me, Lord?
Lord, I believe,
Help my unbelief.

” He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds
[curing their pains and their sorrows].”
Psalm 147:3 AMP

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The Savior Whispers

My precious child,
How long will you condemn yourself?
I was broken for you
To take away condemnation.
I love you so much
I died for you.
Yes, for you, too.
Because I was broken,
There is healing
For broken ones.
Because I was broken,
The full price is already paid.
You don’t have to keep paying
By beating up yourself.
I desire repentance
Not self-loathing.
You are Mine,
My beloved child,
Chosen, redeemed, cherished.
It saddens Me
When you don’t trust
My sacrifice to be enough,
My love to be full and free.
So many times in your life
I have picked you up
Bruised and bleeding
And given you courage
To walk again.
Will you not trust Me,
My child?
Take My hand, My child,
And let Me show you
The wonders of My love
My all-sufficient grace
My all-encompassing love
My all-powerful healing.
Focus not on whether
Your faith is lacking.
It’s not faith that saves you.
Focus on Me,
The object of Your faith,
Your only Savior.
I Am the Way
The Truth
The Life.
I will break down
Your false foundations,
Your walls,
Your resistance.
I will break down your will
To mold you to My will.
The journey will not be easy,
But I will be with you always
As you learn
Step by step
To trust
In Me alone.

Am I Worth Dying For?

Are you broken, bruised, and bleeding?
There is a Savior who was broken for you.
Because of His sacrifice, You can be healed.
The road may be rough,
But He is beside you always,
Because you are precious in His sight.

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Joining Faith Barista’s Writing Prompt:
Broken