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Another Season

February 23, 2020

     To be honest and fair with you, I would be lying if I said I knew what I wanted to talk about on this blog beforehand. Equally as I hope reading this blog is helpful for you, I am praying for clarity in my own thoughts writing it. My headspace has been a little messed up the past few days; therefore, I am sorry if this blog is all over the place. It pretty much resembles my brain right now. My emotions have run wild, and I have not felt fully in control of my own thoughts. Ever felt like you were an observer of your own life and mind? That is how I can best describe it. It is funny how just when I start to feel pretty stable; I get an eerie feeling of something looming. That feeling starts with a feeling of distance from God, and then, it leaves me craving His love more than before. When things are all going great and life is just dandy, it is quite easy for me to pray and ask God to humble my heart and prune the parts that are not glorifying Him. That is WAY easier to do when I feel pretty good about my situation, pretty good about life in general. Well, friend, when people say be careful what you ask for, be especially careful what you ask for from God because He is faithful to His word: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Therefore, when I asked Him to mold my heart closer to that of Jesus, He meant business because “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). He delivers when we ask for wisdom: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). The hard part about gaining wisdom, however, is that is often through trials that we find true clarity in it. What I am learning in this season is, foremost, the faithfulness of God. I am learning to lean into His goodness and accept the outcomes, the pruning for what I am asking. He is delivering faithfully in what I have asked for: a humbled and purified heart. However, the delivery of this process is not what I expected; in fact, it hurts. Pruning the heart hurts and relieves, all at the same time. It sends me from disappointed and sad tears to things I perceive to have lost to happy and grateful tears for the faithfulness of God in delivering what I have desired in my life. The second thing I am learning in this is that pruning takes away the bad to release the good to its full potential. The definition of pruning is the action of “cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth,” physically of some type of tree or bush, but metaphorically of my heart, your heart, and any heart that abides in Christ. The Biblical definition of pruning is found in John 15 in which Jesus calls himself the “true vine” and God “the gardener,” who “prunes [every branch that bears fruit] so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15: 1-2).  The branches of this analogy represent any Jesus follower that lives truly for His name and renown. Asking for pruning is the easy part, especially when life is going swell, but receiving the pruning and seeking God’s heart in it is the battle. Right now, I am dragging my feet as God is pruning the parts of my heart that so desperately want control. I look for control in the smallest of places like being on time to somewhere I really want to go equally in larger places like pushing my grades in school. Learning to surrender control is a war I face every day. Trying to carry the burden and just drag it behind me everyday, thinking that I can be the hero or that I have to manage every situation perfectly, rids me of the joy and lightness of a life abided in Christ. In the Bible, Jesus’ yoke is described as easy, yet so often, I do not surrender to its easy load and instead go searching for more weight. I do this until I cannot anymore. I do this until I come to a season like I currently find myself, a season in which I become a confused observer of my own mind. While I am so grateful for the pruning as it evidences the work of Christ in my life, the things taken away, such as areas in which I grasp for control, leave a space in my confused heart. It is a heart battle of choosing to seek His face in it versus feeling lost. I write this craziness out to show that I am far from perfect. When I even begin to think my life is going the way I believe it should, I am quickly reminded it too is far from perfect. In this season, and perhaps in your season right now too, we have a choice: a choice to shrink away from the mess and remain lost or a choice to trust in God’s plan even if we do not have clarity in what is ahead. Personally, feeling lost forever is far more scary to me than trusting in something, someone greater than me with plans I do not have perfectly figured out. Feeling lost is entrapping and endangering to relationships, mental health, physical health, and wellbeing in general. However, right now, I cannot pretend that following His plans is so much easier and just butterflies and rainbows all the time. The truth is when we really seek God’s will and ask for Him to mold our hearts after His, the process sometimes involves hurt and what we can only temporarily perceive as loss, yet what I am clinging to right now and what I hope to encourage you with is the truth that we gain infinitely more asking for His will than following our own: “And my [and your] God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (1 Philippians 4:9). He faithfully meets all of our NEEDS, not wants. What we want is often quite different than what we really need, so when I ask God to mold my heart to His, I get what I need, not what I wanted the process to look like. It is hard. I am far from finding clarity in this season (probably evidenced by the jumpiness of this blog), but I know that God’s work in my heart is not dependent on my clarity of His will for me. He is faithful to His promises, promises to provide wisdom and promises to discipline our hearts to Jesus’. A verse that has been my screensaver for some time and popped up on my instagram today is Lamentations 3:22-26: “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” His faithfulness, which alone is a luxury rare in our world, is not just available; it is described in His word as GREAT, great in its constant nature and great in its depth. Overwhelmingly, I can see the truth of this right now, and for me, as I hope for you too, that is enough right now. My prayer, my desperate prayer right now, is simply for two things: 1. Clarity, and 2. Jesus. Selfishly, I ask for clarity because it is my want in this confusing season. By faith though, I ask for Jesus because I know His work in my life is abundantly worth more than anything I desire right now. Jesus is our only need, and each day, I am stumbling in His grace and love, praying that I find my part in His story. With this, I praise Him because when we call upon His name, He is faithful to deliver His heart to us, completely undeserving and desperate without Him, “for, ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved'” (Romans 10:13). 

With love,


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