my semi-crazy summer

Somewhere along the way something happened to me. I can’t pinpoint when it happened or even how it happened. I just woke up one morning, and I was free.

See, this summer was unexpectedly hard and trying. I moved to Kansas City Missouri this January. I have been living here for 8 months. I came here with a plan. Not a whole lot of that plan has even begun to happen or show any signs of happening in the near future. I came with a lot of dreams, with every intention of seeing them fulfilled. However, I am having to learn (the hard way) how to embrace where I am RIGHT NOW, and not where I will be in the future.

So far, in my life there is no dance team, there are no foster children being loved and cared for, there are no crazy stories of holy-spirit adventures in distant countries, not even small things seem to be happening.

This summer all of that unfulfilled expectation and disappointment came over me like a dark cloud that never rained, only stood over me with its darkness. In my heart I felt so far from where I was supposed to be. I felt like I was wasting time, not doing the things that I had moved across the country to do, getting older by the minute and also feeling extremely overlooked, by God and everyone else.

The drought wasn’t helping to keep my spirits up either. Breaking a sweat the minute you step out the door because of the shockingly intense heat and seeing endless hills of dead, brown grass and withered vegetation kind of has a depressing effect on your soul. At least it did for me.

I started to feel like the weather every day was a reflection of my heart. Dry, weary, thirsty for rain.

It’s August 11th today. And today I don’t feel like that anymore. In my heart I don’t feel dry, weary or thirsty for rain. I don’t know how or when it happened, but the Lord heard my prayers, and He answered me. He knew it was time to turn things around.

I went on a 9-day trip to Tennessee a few weeks ago, and as we were driving back home from the KC Airport, there was a HUGE rainbow stretching out across the sky. I looked out the window and saw all the grass, still brown, still dead, waiting for rain. But my heart was refreshed, full and satisfied.

The weather has cooled off (into the high 70’s-lower 80’s) and I have been spending time with precious friends who I enjoy so much. The Lord has taken me to beautiful places and restored my heart, and now I feel ready to keep running hard. I am still in this race and I am not backing out, and not quitting!

He knows the plans He has for me, and they are beautiful! My heart is not anxious anymore. I can trust Him.

There is peace that comes when you don’t expect it. And grace that just falls on you when you don’t do anything to deserve it.

Like being surrounded by 11 and 12 year olds who look to you as a rock, ask you for advice, come to you for comfort, soak up all the love you have for them, and then give it back to you.  These kids layed hands on me and prayed for me for a good half hour. As they were praying, outside it was pouring down rain.

Or like today when a random customer came in, and asked me if there’s a CD that I like but haven’t bought yet. He paid for it, then proceeded to ask me what is Grace? while holding up the CD in front of me. Then told me “It’s umerited favor…” as he handed me the CD asking “Did you do anything to deserve this? Did you earn this?” “No..” “GRACE.” and walked out of the store.

Or like still finding beauty like this in less-than-likely places: Image

Or like last week when our group was extravagantly well-fed, and treated to a steak/seafood dinner at a top-notch steakhouse, just because.

Or like a sweet time of worship with precious brothers and sisters, like we had at a friend’s birthday party the other day, full of fellowship and harmony.

Or the time you realize the fulfillment of a word given to you a while ago. An acquaintance of mine gave me this verse last year: “You brought us through water and fire, but You brought us out to a place of rich abundance.” Psalm 66:12. I’m seeing how it happened now.

Or this precious hope I clung to all summer, with every ounce of strength I had. This anchor proved faithful.Image

I took this next photo because I wanted to remember the dead grass. OK, I wanted to remember the place my heart was in. Because I knew He’d be faithful to bring me out. All the while, He never let go of my hand. Image

“You Know Me” and “Come to Me” off of this album kept me going this summer. Image

My favorite lines from both of these songs are:

“Nothing is hidden from your sight. Wherever I go, You find me. You know every detail of my life. You are God, and You don’t miss a thing.”

“Oh, let your faith arise. And lift up Your weary head. I am with you more than you know…..I am your anchor in the wind and the waves. I am your steadfast, so don’t be afraid. Though your heart and flesh may fail you, I’m your faithful strength. I am with you wherever you go….

Summer isn’t over yet, and I am no longer wishing it away or trying to rush through it. It will end when it’s time to end. The Lord knows what He’s doing. He calms and quiets the heart with perfect love. ❤

Here’s to new beginnings! ❤

P.S. –Shh, I have to admit, I’m SO excited for fall. Pumpkins. Boots. Long coats. Cider. LEAVES! =D BRING IT!

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