tree-fallWhen the year began, I had chosen the word Faith to lead it. A word I wanted to think on, pray for more of, seek wisdom from others about, and hopefully turn the page in December feeling like a woman who had a little more of it. I had zero idea what that would mean. But in December last year something in me knew I could use a lot more faith and a lot less worry.

Now here we are in November. Two months to go in this sweet struggle of a year. And my heart smiles so much I can hardly hide the glow.

This year has been filled with so many ups and downs. Big ups and huge downs. There have been seasons of intense fear, heartbreak, grief, longing, confusion, and disillusionment. Yet none of which got even close to making me give up.

As a Christian, I hold so firmly to any verse or truth I find that helps me in this hard journey of life. I surround myself with reading, listening to messages, and talking with people I look up to because I need the support. Most definitely not because I have this all figured out. The exact opposite really.

What my truth-surrounding lifestyle (or personality quirk you could say!) has blessed me with is having the story of my faith constantly in front of me. The story of Christ. Of death leading to life. Graves emptied. Story lines changed above and beyond what seems possible.

That story line is what has gotten me through each and every chapter in my own story. There have been moments I walked through over the last year and a half that looked and felt a lot more like hell than earth. So when I realize they are a part of this grand story line…. I know hell never wins. A truth that enables me to keep going through the pain to get to the peace.

See, life will always have struggle. It just will. The more we acknowledge suffering’s presence as a part of the beauty of life, the more we can press on with hope no matter the circumstances.

Jesus will always rise on the third day. Always.

Recently reading from Richard Rohr, a contemplative I like, he mentioned how Christ is the “archetype” for all life: “Jesus’ death and resurrection is an archetype for each human journey.”  Winter always turns to spring. Death always leads to life. Struggle always produces strength. The tough conversation always leads to deeper intimacy… this truth is everywhere I look.

So now as I stand in November 2015, two months to the end of this Faith filled struggle of a year, I am unable to even put into words how I see life everywhere. After so many moments when I was like “What in the world God?! What are you thinking?!” I stand amazed. Amazed at a God who works in it all. A God who is making so much love out of so much hardship. A God who doesn’t quit, is always there, working something good out of the messes we find ourselves in. It doesn’t make sense, but Faith isn’t about sense is it?

I don’t know what season you’re in when you read this, but I know whatever chapter you’re in it ends with life. If we only will walk straight through the death with a huge brave heart, face it all, feel every feeling, and don’t quit – we will get to the grand story line of life.

So from now on, I’d love to be a women of stronger faith. Unafraid to face every moment, to pray like I know God is working even if I really don’t see how. Someone brave enough to “Craft love from heartbreak, Compassion from shame, Grace from disappointment, Courage from failure.

Not by our power, but by His.

Remember, we believe in a God who can do infinitely more than we can even ask or imagine Infinitely! Yea. That means we can stare at this mess, dream up the best possible ending… and press on until Life emerges.

Extra Musings and Random Thoughts

Picture is from my neighborhood in the morning. The trees are amazing with all of the color and seem almost magical when the sun streams through them. Love it!

I love having family local. My brother’s been working on some things around my house this week and it’s so fun to see family over lunch breaks (and have little renovations done when I get home!!). Thanks brother 😉

I had the best day in West Chester this past Sunday – what a cute town! If you want a nice little town to stroll and get a bite to eat, check it out.

Tomorrow is First Friday and I’ll be at Flora’s Restaurant with my show opening! Please come on out and say hello. The pieces will be up all month, so you’s also have plenty of time to check it out after tomorrow.