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New Mercies

Somehow wrapped up my first month here, and this means my time for a blog has come too. While I have been thinking and praying over these words the past few days, I have not had a clear thought; my mind has been more like a blurry but beautiful mix of gratitude and feelings of overwhelmingness and everything in between. My favorite joy above all in this past month has been simple: while I have in the past been able to look back and point to God’s work in certain situations, this is the first time in my life that i have truly felt the joy of what is means to be amidst God’s plans, knowing that He has gone long before me and prepared this season here. The weight of this blessing is not lost on me; it reveals itself daily in conversations with people who were strangers to me a month ago, quiet times in the morning with His word, connections between all the ways He is teaching me through new pastors and podcasts, my small group and their fellowship, new liberty in choosing how to spend my time, FaceTimes with friends and family from home, and every moment within this whirlwind. While He taught me the beauty of peace and rest through quarantine, I feel the sense of testing in this time, yet not in a scary sense but more as an opportunity to take hold of the truths He has breathed over my life. Learning and leaning into the discomfort, the new as a place of opportunity, not despair. Above anything else, I want to share a word that was an immense comfort to me this week: the only thing new about God is His mercies every morning: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Now, let me just share about God for a minute because my heart is so stirred up I raised my hand in praise outside the Starbucks on campus. You see, the podcast by Rich Wilkerson Jr. with Vous Church is where I heard the statement that the only thing new about God is His mercies every morning, yet when I looked up the actual verse that promises His new mercies, God had His artwork all weaved into this. Lamentations 3:22-26 pops up on my phone every morning at 6 a.m. as a reminder I put in my calendar back at the beginning of this year. However, my translation stated it like this, “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 who hope in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” I did not put the two together before my epiphany today for 2 reasons: 1. My focus and intention in originally putting this into my phone had been focused on the second part of the verses that reminded me that the Lord alone is my portion and fulfillment and that we are called to seek him. and 2. The substitution for “mercies” with “compassions” prevented my lightbulb moment a bit more too.

Throughout just my process of writing this blog alone, God has given clarity and provided assurance of His presence in the most representative way of how He has been working in my heart throughout this season. He, of course, worked this together better than I could have mustered into words because I get to share with joy the work He is doing, not my thoughts on His work. His work has been brightest in this: no matter whatever plans I have for myself, much like my intention in putting that verse in my phone, God works together in all the more beautiful ways. He weaves His work together in ways that I do not even know until He pushes them right up to my face, right upon my heart. He alone has plans that root us in times of newness, in times of transition, in times of trouble. In this, I am just in awe as I get to truly watch with joy the work He is unfolding on this Earth and in my heart and in the lives of those around me. What a gift it is to seek him; what a joy it is to wait for the Lord in full confidence that His mercies are new with the sun every morning, keeping us protected and sheltered, leaving us never to be consumed by the world around us.

In a season of newness and life moving crazy fast, much less with a pandemic added on top of that and an election creeping up too, God invites us into a place of security, into rest knowing that nothing changes in Him besides His overflowing offer of mercy every morning. This is the joy of a life with Him: getting to walk with Him in the joy and mercy He lavishes upon our broken hearts each morning. Every day, mending our lost and scattered hearts into vessels of His love.

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