Monday, March 3, 2014

God Is So Good.

It's funny when certain memories will come rushing back and hit you square in the face.  It's funny too how I've forgotten certain moments, but sad that I had almost forgotten this special moment.

It was my junior year at Campbell, and I was working on my observation hours for one of my classes and I was observing in an EC classroom at Lillington-Shawtown.  These precious children were preschool aged and I had so much to learn when it comes to children with special needs.  I didn't always know how to interact or handle certain situations.  But let me tell you, the love these children have and would show to a stranger like myself humbles me.  This particular day I was observing in the morning for a while during their circle time, centers, and outside playtime. Well almost immediately this precious little boy decides to attach himself to me and wants me to hold him and play with him.  How could I not fall in love with him immediately? He was only 4, yet he'd had so much pain in his short life.  His special needs were due to drugs and alcohol and he'd been neglected by his parents, so he was now in foster care.  It broke my heart to know the pain this precious little boy had experienced.  He longed to be loved.  And I freely loved on him that day.  But even more he blessed my heart that day.

My time was quickly coming to an end that day, and it was time to go outside to play on the playground.  He wanted to swing, so off we went to my childhood favorite on the playground, the swings.  He just talked and talked.  He'd ask me questions and I'd answer them.  As I continued to push him on the swing, he began to sing.  [Let me tell you as I think back to it right now, I'm tearing up because of the song he had begun to sing.]  "God is so good.  God is so good. God is so good. He's so good to me".  I was speechless.  Then when eventually my voice came back to me, I began to sing with him.  I didn't even think about the fact that this might not be allowed in a public school. But I sang along, and prayed that this little boy's life would not be filled with anymore pain. I so wanted to take him home with me that day.  I wanted to give him the love he deserved to have shown to him.  I was so sad that day when I had to leave.   But his song that day blessed my heart and convicted it as well.  To think of his life and all he had endured in his short life struck me to the core.  Here he was singing about how good God is and his life was so not good.  I pray his foster family showed him love, and maybe it was there that he learned about God and His goodness.  I will never know.

 As I had this random memory this morning, I was struck by it again and I was thankful to God for His goodness in my own life.  I need to remember God's goodness everyday.  I need to dwell on it.  I need to thank Him for it.  He really is good.  So good.  I look back at my life, and I have not experienced anything like that precious angel boy had experienced.  But I've had difficult times. And God has always been there.  He's always provided.  I can think of some of the biggest and most difficult moments in which God gave me exactly what I needed to get through the struggles and trials I faced.  The biggest and most recent one I go back to is the fall of 2011.  That fall started out questionable.  I thought I might be dying. I thought there was something wrong with my heart.  Then when it wasn't my heart, it turned into it could be cancer.  And I had to have surgery to remove the tumor "baby" that had grown, for only God knows how long.  In the initial findings, there was no cancer. After further testing, no cancer. Although, had it not been caught, it would have become cancer.  I still praise God for that. If I had not listened to His urgings and taken the signs He had given me, well I don't know what my life would look like right now.  I thank God for His goodness during that very scary and dark time.  He provided strength.  He provided the right doctors. He provided family and friends to surround me with love, encouragement, and their prayers.  So as I am reminded of that precious angel boy singing "God is so good. God is so good. God is so good. He's so good to me", I thank and praise God for His continued goodness. I don't deserve it. But I will continue to be thankful for it until the day I take my last breath.  I want to sing His goodness freely like the little boy I met that day at Lillington-Shawtown.

Because He deserves to be praised for Who He Is.

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5

Monday, February 17, 2014

shock to the system.

Warning:  The following post is going to reveal things in my heart. Reveal my imperfections.  Reveal that I don't have it all together.  Reveal that I am a sinner in need of a Savior.  Reveal that I need His saving...every. single. day.

As I took my dogs out this morning, I felt for their little paws as they had to walk on snow, ice, and through a huge puddle right in front of the door we go out.  Here my feet were covered with socks inside my boots, and they had to get a shock from the freezing cold elements.  I could almost relate to the shock and feel my own bare feet in the freezing cold water or on the ice and snow. In fact, I almost dared to put my bare feet into the cold water just to feel it.  Almost to take the shock like what my heart is feeling today.  God has really been working on me here lately.  Everything I hear, read,'s so fitting with what's been going on in my heart and mind.  Battles I've been fighting for a very long time, and circumstances I've been facing have brought my heart to a broken and shocked state.  God has been trying to grab my attention.  Here I am trying to fight my battles on my own, only to fail every single time.  He was trying to show me how much He loves me and wants to fight my battles for me.  Because I can't win these battles alone. And I'm not suppose to fight alone.  So as I come to my knees in total surrender, lifting my hands to the only One who can help me overcome the things in my life that have created much hurt in my life, I give Him my battles, I hand over my struggles, I ask Him to forgive me for my unbelief, and ask Him to give me strength to live the life He's called me to live.  I can only say how thankful I am for His grace, mercy, and love.  I'm humbled. I'm ready for Him to really move me.  I'm daring to pray His will and take a leap of faith to see where He's going to lead.  I have no idea what will come, but I have confidence in the One who is Sovereign over all.  He is truly enough.  He can start putting back the broken parts of this creation of His.  As I read through Hebrews 11 yesterday about faith, I was shocked with my own lack of faith.  In this passage, there are  people whose stories we read about in the Bible who have faith that humbles me. The struggles of God's people and their faithfulness to Him even in difficult circumstances.  He blessed their lives and made them a blessing, even if in some circumstances they didn't get to see "the end result" lead to the day a baby was born in a stable.  A Savior. Their stories of redemption lead us to the ultimate redemption.  The redeeming blood that was shed by that baby who grew up to be a man who lived a sinless, perfect life.  The King who left His throne to come down to Earth.  The God who left His die for the people He created. To die for the people He loves.  The people who hated Him.  The people who rebelled against Him.  He came to die for all.  That we might have life.  And that our lives would be full.  But only through Him, and realizing our need for redemption can we be brought to that place where we can be set free.  The point where we are brought to life. A life grounded in Christ. 

So here's where I am.  Broken. Humbled. Thankful. I know my life will not get easy.  In fact, it may get more difficult.  But I want to stop living my life trying to be so independent.  I need to become dependent.  Dependent on Christ every day as I seek to live the life He has for me. So as I face every new day, I'm going to seek to begin my day giving Him those things I can't change.  Giving Him my fears. Giving Him my everything.  

I encourage anyone who may read this, if you're not already doing so, give your life completely to Him.  If you don't know Jesus as your Savior, please don't hesitate to reach out to me and I can tell you about what He's done for me and what He can do for you.  He will change your life. I can promise you that.  I will close out this post with the lyrics to one of the most powerful hymns I've heard and a favorite of mine. 

"Before The Throne of God Above"

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!