To Die For

As I progress through my journey of healing and wholeness, there are times when the Lord pulls back another layer and exposes another wound. And it hurts. I buried a lot from my childhood and gently, the Lord has been exposing the wounds and issues so that I can be healed and delivered.

A recent dream caused me to plummet into despair and hurt. The details are too personal and painful to share, but the overwhelming sense I remember having in the dream is why were they allowed to do this to me, so young, so that I would think it was normal? My heart hurts to think of little me – trusting and open and abused by loved ones. Sunday night, as I lay in bed and tried to sleep, I was so overcome with anguish. I kept asking the Lord, “Why wasn’t I precious? Why wasn’t I cherished? Why wasn’t I protected?” And looking at the lasting impacts and effects of my childhood, I asked the Lord: “Am I worth it?”

I did the only thing I knew to do. I picked up my Bible. And I remembered: While I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me. And because I was precious in His sight, he gave men and people for me. He came and sought me, when I was despised and rejected, and he gathered me and clothed me and decked me with jewels and loved me.

Yes. I am worth it.

You are worth it.

That open wound still hurts a little bit, but I continue to apply the salve of His word. All through the Scriptures is evidence that I am worth it. I was – and you were – to die for. Jesus suffered so much anguish and humiliation and pain – for me. And even still, He stretches His hands toward a human race that so often rejects Him and misuses Him and misrepresents Him. I myself stumble, fall, and fail Him often. My sins are ever before me, and yet, there is mercy and grace and forgiveness. And so I pick myself up again and keep walking toward Him.

I am worth it. You are worth it.

I pray for anyone struggling with despair and hopelessness that you are comforted by the thought that you are worth it. You are wanted. You are cherished. You are precious. You, my sister, my brother, are to die for. He died that you might live. May you walk in newness of life and find help and grace in your time of need.

We Would See Jesus

21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. 22 Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.

23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bring ether forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hatter his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

John 12:21-26 KJV

I had the occasion to hear a story from someone who admittedly is not a believer of Christ. He relayed the disappointment of looking for Jesus in the clouds, as promised by his Sunday School teacher, and He wasn’t there. Add in the many awful stories of church, priest, pastoral abuse, of excess and corruption – and I can see how one could find it impossible to believe.

I remember having my own crisis of faith upon losing my twins after many years of infertility. I was sure God had reneged on a promise. We weren’t on speaking terms for a while. And yet, like the gentle lover who woos our souls, He found ways to speak to my heart. And truthfully, I knew that my only help was in Him. So even when I was angry with Him, I still needed and wanted Him.

Over the years, I have come to see and know Him in ways I never could have imagined. He is so incredibly real. He is as real in my life as my husband and daughter. He speaks, He moves, He laughs, He grieves – He is real. Because I have encountered Him for myself, no one can convince me otherwise. I know He exists. I have seen Him for myself.

And yet, I can understand those who are looking for Him. Where is He? Where is He when our world seems to be crumbling? Where is He in the midst of all of the uncertainty? If He is so real, where is He?

Here is where we come in, Sisters and Brothers of faith. They will see Him through us.

Jesus was speaking in the above passage about His soon coming death, burial, and resurrection. He knew that in order for God’s will to be completed, and for Him to be glorified, He would have to die. And not just any death – a painful, and shameful, death. But in humbling Himself unto the death of the cross, He knew the joy that would ultimately be fulfilled. Humanity now had a savior, a bridge to God. Souls would be saved and delivered, snatched from the grasp of death, hell, and the grave. But He had to die first.

We have to die first.

We must die to our fleshly desires. We must die to our selfish ambitions and worldly lusts. We must be willing to be different, to be ridiculed and mocked, even. But if we do – He will be glorified. And when He is glorified in our life, those around us will see Jesus.

People are looking for Him. Where is the evidence of His existence? They will know by the love we have toward each other. They will know by the peace we exhibit in the midst of trials and storms and uncertainty. They will know by the healing power that flows from our hands. They will know by the grace and mercy we extend to others.

Your co-workers, friends, family, strangers you meet are asking, “We would see Jesus.” May your life be a light, a witness, an undeniable manifestation of His very existence and presence.

Father, we crucify our flesh and die to ourselves that You may be glorified. And as You are glorified, may the world see Jesus.

Love Covers

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 KJV

Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. Proverbs 10:12

 The concept of “cover” is actually found in contract law. I remember during Contracts in my second semester coming across this and I could not help but think of our relationship with Christ. I’m going to do my best to try to flesh out my thoughts on this.

Let’s take a Buyer and Seller who enter into a contract over a Thing. Buyer decides that S/he no longer wants Thing and breaches the contract, leaving Seller to try to figure out what to do. Legally, Seller can sue Buyer and try to recoup the contract price for Thing. And while there is no true requirement to do so, the court will still expect that Seller will try to cover for the loss caused by breaching Buyer by attempting to sell Thing to someone else, even if it is for a lesser price than Buyer was going to pay. Seller doesn’t just get to sit around and hold onto Thing, running up a bill against Buyer; he must try to cover the loss.

I thought of this in terms of our relationship with God. Christ’s death granted us a new “covenant” with God. But boy do we breach it! We sin, we fall short, we walk away from God, we lie, we cheat, we steal, we are mean to people and do all sorts of evil, or less-than-good, things. We breach. And yet, God knew we’d breach, so He gave His only begotten Son as the perfect “cover” for our sin.

See, usually, a Seller doesn’t manage to cover the entire amount of the breach. So breaching Buyer will have to make up the difference of what Seller couldn’t get from the original contract price. But for us, Christ’s blood is the complete, perfect cover for our sins. There is nothing left over for us to “pay the difference.” No debt. No balance. His love covers a multitude of our faults.

As ambassadors of the kingdom of Heaven, we also have to extend this cover to others. Peter tells us that we have to have the love that covers the multitude of sins – we have to share that kind of love with each other. We don’t get to say, “Well, Jesus covered your sins, but you still owe me.” 

I admit, I am facing a difficult situation with applying this cover. A classmate of mine, who I considered a friend, has been involved in some really shady, inappropriate behavior. God first warned me of the situation in a dream, and then it was confirmed that very same day by others in my life who knew of the situation and had been on the receiving end of the behavior. I was dumbfounded. And incredibly disappointed. And angry. So angry. I couldn’t look at his face anymore. I hated the sound of his voice. I avoided him at every step. But always, God has sent people and messages to push me toward forgiveness and walking in love.

I don’t know exactly how it will play out. I can’t avoid him forever. And I want to show him the love of God. I feel like it is a fine line to walk to show love and yet not condone his behavior. But the truth is, he knows he’s wrong, without me telling him. We know when we have done wrong. But do we know we are still loved? I didn’t always know that. I have the post about always feeling deserving of punishment. I don’t want to heap that on him. I want to be able to walk in love and forgiveness toward him, so that he may experience the redeeming love of Jesus that covers a multitude of sins.

And so, I am seeking the Lord, that He will teach me how to love like that. I pray that the Lord will speak to your hearts as well, instructing you and guiding you on how to spread abroad the kind of love that covers a multitude of sins, even while it does not condone those sins. Lord, give us Your love that serves as the perfect cover for our breaching hearts!

Joyful Noise

Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands

Psalm 66:1 KJV

I love to sing. I have always loved to sing. I have a song for every occasion! I have often surprised my husband by knowing the obscure verses to songs. I just love to sing.

But I am also aware that it is not actually my gift. Oh, I long to be a gifted singer, able to blow the roof off with a powerhouse voice. But that’s not me. And I’ve always been okay with that … until I wasn’t okay with that.

First, I remember in Shreveport, I was asked to sing lead on an Easter song, “No Greater Love.” Yeah. Totally did NOT go as planned. I sounded awful. Could not find the key, stay on the key. I wanted to go home and skip the rest of service. I vowed I wouldn’t do it again.

Then we moved to Germany, and the final pastor we sat under there asked me to start singing. He asked me to sing the song that came immediately before he got up to preach! The first time I got up there, it was almost as if I was mute. I tried to sing, and almost no sound came out. I struggled through the song. And he made me do it, Sunday after Sunday. And I did. And it got better.

And then, I stopped singing.

Sure, I’d sing at home, sing to my baby girl. But I went to karaoke with some of my friends and I was awful. I had even practiced beforehand. But when I got the microphone, it was as if my throat completely closed up and my voice came somewhere out of my head. It was awful.

But I knew something was off with this. I love to sing to God. And when it’s just us and the angels, I sound pretty good. Not amazing, mind you, but it ain’t bad. I began to pray about it, asking God to help me, to give me my voice back. And He answered my prayer!

In January, I returned to Syracuse for my third residency week. In one class, we partnered up and had to present something about our partner. I had to present something interesting about my partner (who is my study/prayer partner) and she had to present something embarrassing about me. I struggled with what to tell her, and I finally relayed those two incidents, right when it was almost time to present. When it was our turn, she begins by saying,

“Tiffany loves to sing.”

She didn’t exactly recite the stories as I had thought, but instead pointed out what I didn’t see about myself. That I probably wasn’t as bad as I thought, as I kept getting asked to sing. My classmates and I all laughed about it, and I caught some good-natured teasing. My professor chose her presentation as one of his two favorites, and said that based on what she said, he felt like he had actually learned some important things about me. And instead of feeling embarrassed or ashamed, I actually felt … free.

I was able to playfully sing with my housemates after class. And my throat didn’t clench up. I got my voice back.

Now, I may never get that powerhouse voice I’d love to have, but I am going to sing for God. Lately, I have been granted bursts of music and melodies that can only come from Heaven itself – it’s nothing I know consciously, and yet I know the words as they flow freely from my lips. And believe it or not, I can often hear angelic backup. I have images and visions that I don’t quite understand. But whatever it may mean, I know this. I love God. I love to praise God. I love to sing for God. And I will use my voice to worship Him. Join me!

Crime and Punishment

When I was a little girl, I got punished a lot. For any and everything. I got beat with belts until they fell apart and my dad had to buy a new one. Who would be the first person to break in a new leather belt? Once he got tired of wearing out his belts, he built a wooden paddle. It broke, too! And so he crafted another one, of solid oak. Oh, it was a beautiful work of art from a master craftsman. He and my mom gave it a name, “Bonding,” because obviously, we needed some quality, bonding time with them, and that’s why we acted up and deserved a whooping. Often, either alone or in concert with the whooping, we’d face what was simply called Punishment. Punishment meant sitting on your bed for hours, from the time you got home from school until bed. No talking, no contact, no nothing.

My room on Cord Street was painted Barbie pink, with darker fuchsia pink trim around the window and doorway. I had a wood bed with a headboard and footboard that always reminded me of the wheel steering a ship, with knobs aperched at the top of each corner. I remember in particular a blue comforter with blue and green stripes. My bed sat longways against the window, and at the space at the foot of the bed my dad had built beautiful book shelves. The door was opposite the window, so that when I sat on my bed I could see into the hallway and across into my parents’ room.

I sat on that bed for many hours. I was not allowed to read or speak to anyone. No one talked to me and they barely looked at me. I would sit there while the light faded from the Florida sky, contemplating whether I should get up and turn on the light. The light was so jarring and would bring attention to me again, so I usually stayed in the dark until I just couldn’t see at all, or they turned on the light in the living room, signaling that it was okay. I stayed there until he or she said I could get up. Once I had done my time, I could rejoin family life. But I knew all eyes were on me, making sure I had learned my lesson and had gotten my life right.

On that bed, I thought of justifications for why I shouldn’t be there, but the thought of explaining myself was exhausting and so I just shut up. I thought of future ways to be better so that I wouldn’t be there again. I remember needing to go to the bathroom so bad, but afraid that I had gone too many times, and so I held it until I’d barely make – or didn’t make it. I still do that. I remember once my dad made me read a passage from the Bible. I was…am…a speed reader and I finished quickly. “Read it again.” I dutifully did. He was sure I had just skimmed. But when asked what I’d read it could nearly recite it word for word.

The truth is, I always believed I deserved the punishment. I believed it was my parents’ way of showing love. After all, those who are loved are punished… wait. That’s not what it says. But I accepted the punishment. I lived in dread so many days. There was always this unspoken – and sometimes spoken – threat in the air that if you didn’t walk the straight and narrow you’d be sent to Punishment. Sometimes I didn’t exactly know what was wrong and it wasn’t always clear how to be able to anticipate it. But I knew I deserved it. I accepted it. And I made a plan of action in my head for how to avoid the situation the next time. Yeah. I still do that.

I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. To be fired. To be left. To be sent to my bed of Punishment.

And without realizing it, I’d projected that feeling onto God. When I made missteps as a Christian, I was so willing to accept my punishment. I wanted to show God I could accept correction and make a plan to do better next time. It lead to a life of anxiety. I am still healing and recovering.

Friend, it is true that God does offer correction – but it is always with love. His correction doesn’t mean that we are banished to our rooms, cut off from His love and affection until we learn our lesson. Christ, the beloved, only begotten Son of God was given as the sacrifice for our sins. He bore our punishment. And God loved us all so very much that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Yes, we face consequences for our choices. Oh, but we also can receive grace and mercy. In fact, we can boldly come and ask for help and grace in our time of need. And we don’t have to prove anything to Him. God loves you. And He’s not here to punish you.

Today, God invited me to get up off the bed and walk out of my bedroom door. I am a little girl, around 10 years old. The same age as my daughter. I have on a purple shirt and a plaid skort that had been given to us by people in church. Hope Ann. She was one of my good friends growing up. And I am 37 years old, in a Syracuse Law hoodie and fuzzy orange and blue socks. And I make the choice to stand up and walk out the door, past the pain and hurt and confusion and trauma and into the Light and the life He has ordained for me. I’m getting out of Punishment.

Embrace Grace

Greetings in the Name of Jesus!

It has been so very long since I’ve written. Law school, and international moves, and life, and a new job – it all just consumed my time for a while. Now that I’m on a break between semesters, I’m eager to get back to writing and sharing what’s on my heart.

What I really want to focus on today is God’s grace. I was going through an imaginary speech for law school (yes, I’m kind of weird like that) and one thing that came out was God’s grace. And I said (in my head – imaginary speech, after all), “I have learned to embrace His grace.” And that was the end of my imaginary speech, because I got hit in real life by those words. Embrace grace.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV

Let me tell you about a time I learned to embrace God’s grace:

We moved to Germany in the middle of my summer semester, and I was taking Contracts and Legal Composition and Research (LCR). I had managed to make it through Japan, Seattle, Tampa, Baltimore, and Germany in less than two weeks. I wrote my first LCR paper in Tampa, soon after we had made it back from Japan. I wrote the second paper in the hotel room in Germany. I wrote the final paper in our still-unpacked house in Germany. But that last paper …. I almost didn’t make it.

I made it through my Contracts final, and then I needed to write my final paper for LCR. I just couldn’t. I was exhausted. I had given all I had and I had absolutely nothing left. I was so spent that I even thought that death would be a welcome reprieve from law school. I wasn’t suicidal, I just felt like I didn’t want to keep living. I dropped my daughter off at sewing camp in another village, and on the drive back I just cried and cried. And then I got home and cried and cried. I told God I just couldn’t do it. I needed Him to come in and help me. I reminded Him that He brought me here for His purpose, and I needed Him to step in and help me. I asked for the Holy Spirit to wrap around me and strengthen me and minister to me. I asked for help.

And then I got up and started writing.

God showed up.

I still had to do the work. But I was suddenly refreshed and encouraged. I had strength and the will to keep going. The words began to flow. I found the information I needed. And I finished. I finished strong – with the help of the Lord.

See, I had come to the end of myself, the end of my own strength. And I told God exactly that. And He showed me just how His strength is made perfect in my weakness. I got a 95 on that paper! I got an A in the class (one of only 2 As that could be given out)! And all of the credit and glory belongs to God!

I have had to think back on that lesson frequently as I made it through my most recent semester. And I made it through! I am still awaiting grades, but I am at peace and I know that no matter what, God’s grace is sufficient and it is well.

It doesn’t matter what you are facing. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve fallen or failed. If you feel like you can’t take one more step or like you’ve messed things up beyond repair, know this: your God loves you. Your God is strong and mighty. Your God knows how to work all things together for your good when you love Him and are called according to His purpose. Your God’s grace is sufficient for you.

Embrace Grace.

Embrace the fact that as a human, you will stumble and fail but in the midst of that, there is a God reaching out to you to help you and sustain you and pick you up so you can start again.

Embrace Grace.

Embrace the twists and turns of your journey in life, even when it feels like you’re so off track from where you started or where you want to be, for God is with you every step of the way.

Embrace Grace.

Embrace the opportunity to begin again. Embrace mercies that are fresh every single morning. Embrace God’s compassion and love. Embrace God’s perfect strength even in your weakest moments. Embrace forgiveness.

Embrace Grace.

 

I lived.

I came to a startling revelation a few months ago. I lived. I survived the enemy’s attacks on my life. Attacks that came by way of abuse and even attempts on my life from the very people who were supposed to love and protect me.

A gun pointed at me by my father. I survived.

A knife pulled on me by my mother. I survived.

Reckless driving with the intent to take us all out. I survived.

Abuse and trauma so great that my mind blocked the memories. But it comes up in my dreams and in fears that have haunted me all my life. Only my sister has filled in the gaps for me.

I survived.

I should be a disaster of a person. But I’m not. I’m loved. I have a good life. And I have a great relationship with my savior, Christ. I could have died on at least those occasions that have been brought back to me. Perhaps there are others.

I was left stunned with the revelation. And full of joy as well. I survived. And I’m still here. And I know it was for a reason.

I wasn’t going to publish this. It’s been sitting in my drafts since May. But part of loving myself is opening myself up and allowing myself to be vulnerable, to be authentic.

For all of you survivors, may you continue to walk in strength and love. May God continue to keep you. You are still here for a reason, for such a time as this.

37

I’m turning 37 in a few days. And I’ve struggled with that a bit. It’s so close to 40; so far from 20 it feels. Shouldn’t I have my life together now, I think? And yet, it feels like I am just beginning in so many ways.

I’ve made it through 20% of law school. I will turn 40 just a couple of months after I graduate law school. I worry at times – who will want to hire a 40 year old mom and wife? But I know this is what I am called to do, so I keep pressing. I believe that God already has a plan for all of it. I just have to keep walking. And I do. And it’s hard some times. But sometimes – I see how God comes through miraculously, and I think, “I can do this.” And it feels good.

I thought by now I’d be so comfortable in my own skin. Turns out, that skin has gained 30 pounds. And I’m not comfortable. And the weight doesn’t come off as easily as it did before. And my clothes don’t fit. And I don’t run like I used to. And my body hurts in ways it never did. But I remember my classmates and peers who did not make it to this age. I’m still here. I still have a chance.

And yet, I’ve learned to love the look of myself without makeup. I learned to love my own face, with all its imperfections. I can smile at the image I see in the mirror. And that feels good.

I’m still working through the issues of my childhood, but they don’t plague me like they once did. I have come to new levels of forgiveness. And not to say I’m perfect. I’m still a work in progress. But I’m much farther now than I used to be. And I feel myself moving toward wholeness. And it feels good.

I decided that for my year 37, I’m going to love myself. I love people very much. I’m always thinking of how I can grow in that love. But so often, it meant that I neglected myself. I’ve struggled a lot the past weeks with my own self-worth. And I’ve decided to love myself. To take that love that I am so eager to show others and turn it on myself. To forgive myself. And show compassion to myself. To take care of myself and listen to myself. Not that I will become self-absorbed and selfish. But that I will cherish the person that God made in His own image – the one I live with every day. I can look at others and see God and want to love them. But I don’t usually look at myself that way. I know God loves me. And yet, I don’t treat myself as if He does. I beat myself up for every shortcoming and failure. I compare myself to others and feel like I come up short every time. I hold grudges against myself for things I say or do that disappoint me. I don’t honor the temple in which God Himself is supposed to dwell.

So, for year 37. I’m going to treat myself as if I’m indeed loved by God. As if I’m worthy of forgiveness and kindness and compassion and mercy. I’ll never stop loving others. I’m just going to include myself in that for a change.

The Other Side of Love

Hello, again! I feel like I am playing catch up from the last several months when I have not written. The Lord has yet been speaking to me and dealing with me, but I had not taken the time to write like I should have. I am picking myself up and working on my obedience once again.

One of the ideas that the Lord has been dealing with me on has been the other side of love. I know that my mission is to share the love of God with the world. And I know that my naturally rose-colored optimist self took that as some sweet mandate to spread sunshine and rainbows. But God has been pushing me to go beyond that. And it has not been easy for me.

God is love. I know that to be true. No matter what we have done, God loves us. He does not love our sin. He does not love our disobedience. He loves us.

God is also righteous. And because He loves us, He will not allow us to continue in unrighteousness.

For whom the Lord liveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Hebrews 12:6

Throughout history, God has sent prophets to proclaim His good news AND His judgement. But He did not judge just to punish people and wipe them out. Always, the intent was to bring people to repentance, so that they can once again be in right standing with Him. Sin separates us from Him, and must be banished from our lives so that we can enjoy fellowship with Christ.

And sometimes that requires chastening. Sometimes that requires someone we love to tell us about ourselves. And sometimes, we tasked with sharing His love are sent to tell others the truth, so that they may come to repentance.

As a parent, I know that my job is to help my daughter grow into the woman God called her to be. That means that I shower her with love and mercy and goodness – but I also correct misbehavior. I do it in love, and I make sure to communicate that to her – but there are some things that are not acceptable in our home. There are some things that I must correct if she is to be a good citizen of our world and a good witness for Christ. I know some of the calling God placed on her life before she was even conceived. Because I love her, I have to guide and correct her along the way as the Lord gives me wisdom.

And so God does with us. We are His children, and He knows the fullness of what we will become. But He also sees our misbehaviors and sins that will keep us from fulfilling those callings. Because He loves us, He corrects us. If He did not care, He would allow us to just continue doing whatever we wanted.

About a month ago, I was given the opportunity to speak on the fourth Sunday. I did not know what the Lord wanted me to speak on and wrestled the entire week prior. Well, correction. I knew, I just didn’t want to say it. The Lord had been dealing with me about envy in the body, and I knew it needed to be called out. I did NOT want to be that person! I tried to reason my way out, that it was not my place, etc etc. But God told me that if I had been tasked with bringing the message and His word, I was the one to do it.

I knew despite my misgivings I could not be disobedient. And I said what He told me to say. I remember crying at the beginning, because I still did not want to say it. But He took over, and I pray that whoever needed to receive it, received it. I received it for myself, for sure!

But the point He kept trying to make is that sometimes bringing the message of His love means calling out sin. It means saying the hard things to someone – not to offend them, judge them, or hurt them; but so they may come to repentance and be saved! If I claim to love my brothers and sisters, but I refuse to share a word that can make the difference in their lives because it is uncomfortable, then I am not operating and walking in love. And likewise, I hope that someone would share a word with me that would help me, whether I liked how it felt or not.

Now, I certainly cannot control how the message will be received. But I do believe that if God sent me at a specific time to a specific person, that He has prepared their hearts to receive His word. And certainly, there is a way to deliver His message in love, going to my brother or sister

speaking the truth in love…

Ephesians 4:15

And so, I am learning to embrace the fullness of love. With God’s love is the mandate of righteousness. Of course, we need His help to live holy, and it is Christ’s sacrifice that imputes righteousness to us. But we must not willfully engage in sinful behaviors and poor choices, thinking there are no consequences because of God’s love. It is because of His love that He will not allow such things to continue in our lives.

When chastening comes to you, I pray you receive it with an open and repentant heart, rejoicing that God obviously loves you enough to ensure that you do what is necessary to grow into all He created you to be.

God loves you!

Trusting, or I’m Still Learning…

Greetings! It has been so very long since I have written. I just finished my first semester of law school, and already the summer semester has begun. But I want to purpose to make the time to share what God has done and continues to do in my life.

Law school… nothing really prepared me for the journey ahead. I knew it would be busy. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would be time consuming. But I really did not know the extent of that. Which is funny – because in Torts we learn that as long as something is foreseeable, the extent of it does not have to be foreseeable. And now, I cannot unsee “law” wherever I go and whatever I do. (I even dream it!)

Anyhow, I am thankful that I serve a God who is my ever-present help in time of trouble. Getting to law school tested my trust. And I thought I had learned my lesson. But, apparently, there is still much for me to learn! Getting through law school is an even greater test of my trust in God than I imagined it could be.

I admit that I am a perfectionist. I believe in working hard and giving my everything. I do NOT like to settle for less than 100%. But I am being convicted about whether I am trusting in God or myself. Am I relying on my own strength and understanding, or the divine Spirit of God?

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV

I am thankful for having a praying sister, who is not afraid to tell me the truth about myself as the Spirit speaks to her. One day as I was belly-aching over some struggle or other, she firmly told me, “Take your hands off of it.” God brought me to this place. I know that I am in His will. And I “say” that I trust Him, but my actions and indulging my fears do not reflect true trust. I humbly accepted the admonition, because I know it’s right. I have not been operating in trust.

The Lord gave me specific commands on rest days during my studies, but I think I know best and need to power through to get everything done. And when I have been obedient and followed His study plan, I have achieved everything and it seemed easy! But to my over-achieving self, that seems not fair. Surely I must work! The problem is that I wanted to be able to say that my hard work led to the result. But when I work on my own strength, I am frustrated, I can’t focus, and things seem to take twice as long. My hard work was NOT leading to a great result!

Sigh. Lord, I repent for thinking I know better than You.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

Zechariah 4:6 KJV

So, I am picking myself up once again and laying down my will on the altar. I will trust God. I will trust His plan and His will for my life.

My brothers and sisters, trust Him – even when it seems counter-intuitive to your own plans and understanding. We must trust that He knows best for us! After all, He is the only one with the whole picture – we only see in part. Trust Him with all your heart, and watch Him work miracles on your behalf.