As much as I like to think I am a strong capable woman, all it takes is a close glimpse of death to sheepishly remind me that I am desperately in need of my Shepherd.
I can honestly say that God has literally taken my fear and walked closely beside me through the loss of grandparents and my husband’s parents, two concussions, four car accidents as a passenger, two failed suicide attempts and one successful one of those close to me, as well as cancer in several family members.
I could not have taken another step forward in any of those situations without Him. He has carried me on His strong shoulders when I needed correction or hit rock bottom. He has not only cleared the way ahead of enemy attack but walked beside me as He guides me forward. Pouring life and love into my weary, tattered and often sobbing soul.
Having the reassurance that I was, am and will never be alone has kept fear of death at bay, each and every day I encounter it. For which I am so thankful, and will never take it for granted.
“Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when You walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.”
“Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.” (Romans 12:15 MSG)
215. Found in just one of the who knows how many unmarked graves about the residential schools that took so much already from the indigenous communities here in Canada.
💔I grieve alongside all the families & community represented by these 215 treasures, and reitterate what should have been spoken over each one, every day of their lives, especially while they were away at school, torn from all they had experienced before:
You are loved. You are seen. You are known. You are valued. You matter.
May the families and communities who do not yet have closure be given that opportunity, God. May our government make this a priority now that it has become apparent this is not an isolated incident, and those who should have noticed turned the other way. And may justice be served in this world and the next on the perpetrators. 🙏😭
This last promise is the one which jumped out the most to me this week, I must confess.
You see, I am that girl who breaks out singing whenever she can, just coz, but especially when I am feeling joyful. You may see me around town walking & singing or driving with the windows down singing at the top of my lungs (even at 7am!)😉
So this 5th promise in Zephaniah 3:17 grabbed me in a way I am having a hard time putting into words.
“He rejoices over you with singing.”
REJOICES. a verb meaning feeling or showing great joy or delight, but also causing joy to.
That’s right. You and I, just by being who we are, cause joy to God. So much so, He breaks into song over each of us.🎶
Wow. That the God of the universe sings over me?
Leaves me 😳 speechless for a while, and then makes me want to break into song in grateful response! 🎵🙌😁
The other night, I was startled awake around 3am with my heart racing and that feeling of panic like you suddenly stepped out of a scary dream. Maybe you can relate.
And a second later, Zephaniah 3:17 went through my mind, and this 4th promise lovingly coated me with the peace it holds.
“He quiets you with His love.”
God continues to calm the raging seas and storms not only about us but within us, friend.
And with that promise filled thought the other night, God snapped His finger and released a quiet calm within me and filled me with love instead of fear. A quiet that I could not have manufactured on its own between my bad dream, creaking house & snoring hubby at 3 in the morning. A quiet that literally put me back into a solid sleep with the name Jesus on my tongue.
His love is not only an emotion but a choice, friend. He chooses to bless us with it, not only as its recipient but its focus!
May that truth release a quiet within each of us that reassures is we are loved no matter what, in every circumstance and season, forevermore.
This past week was a particularly hard one for me, so I am so thankful for this extra day at home (yay Victoria Day! 🇨🇦) to recharge!
I am in the middle of a confirmed season of mild depression, and last week an adjustment to my meds did not go well. I am grateful for my excellent doctor who is right on top of things like this, but even more grateful for my Heavenly Father for reminding me to hold on to His promises as He helps me navigate each day.
One verse which has always anchored me is Zephaniah 3:17, which He recently brought to my attention again.
So this week, each day I will share one of the five promises it holds to remind both you & I that we are never alone, always held & forever loved, no matter what.
“We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.”