There is no coincidence that when I posted a couple of weeks ago about my desire to embrace pain that within days of that...
- My sweet friend Kris lost her son to liver cancer on January 2. So glad Andrew is in no more physical pain living his new life with God.
- My first full-time hire at HHICC in the Worship Arts Ministry resigned on January 3 after being here 5 months.
Let's just say that within the first few days of 2019, I was NOT feeling like this was gonna be the greatest year! But I have to say, writing that post and sharing about my commitment to run toward the hard stuff this year has really given me the strength to lean into what God has placed in front one me. He is NEVER surprised...we are.
We are studying the book of James this quarter in my women's group on Wednesdays and when James was writing this letter, these people were running for their lives because of their faith in Jesus. There are places in our world where this is happening right now, but here in the US, we are not facing that everyday. Here's how he starts it off...
2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. - James 1:2-4 (MSG)
As 2019 is now here, I ask you to consider IT. If you are a person of faith, it's only through hard things that we REALLY discover if our faith is TRULY grounded in the belief that God is for us and He has our best in mind. I have been humbled by friends who do not share my faith that have questioned when I'm nervous or worried because they have said "Don't you Christians trust God in everything?" WOW. Let that sink in. Our response to difficulties is either an encouragement to others or it confuses people.
I want to encourage others with my responses. I want to consider IT a positive thing when the rug gets pulled out. I want to be someone that doesn't just TALK about my faith in God.
Here we go.