Tuesday, June 8, 2010

beautiful the mess we are

The title of this blog entry is from a song my mom sent me called "Better Than a Hallelujah" by Amy Grant. And since I feel like I am a beautiful mess all the time, I love the lyrics. :) But I have found so much freedom in being that mess - its been so sweet.

My break home was perfect! I saw more people in Austin than I was planning on or could have hoped for. I saw a friend on the drive down and drive back. I felt like I was able to spend good quality time with my closest friends & my family. The entire time was filled with my favorite things in Austin - live music on a beautiful night, Kerbey Lane breakfast, kayaking on Town Lake right by the downtown skyline, some good ol' tex-mex at Chuy's, good time driving down the Mopac, worshipping our Creator with the body at Austin Stone and HCBCnw, and I got to visit T Bar M camp in New Braunfels!!! It was a week where I constantly was blessed to proclaim the gospel & the faithfulness of the Lord. I was so encouraged by everyone. I ran into people everywhere who said they were praying for me. I laughed, I cried, I partied! :) I had one night alone where God decided to bring healing into areas of my life that have held me captive since I was little. It was beautiful and painful, but so so sweet and continues to orchestrate freedom in my life. The last night I witnessed an amazing lightening storm. Then I came back to Missouri and spent the first couple days longing for Austin and missing home. Seeing everything and everyone reminded me of how dear it all is to my heart. But I know the Lord has me here. :)

I don't know if break was perfect or if God has really changed my heart and set me free to enjoy who He is in each moment. I definitely think the latter. :) I feel like my eyes have been opened to things they missed before - and I love it! Being back here at Shelterwood has been great! I have had some incredible conversations with Bigs & Littles. I have laughed so much, and been so encouraged. And I have cried, and my heart has broken. But through the highs & lows, I know the Lord is near. I know He will provide. I know His love never fails and His grace is sufficient. I am free because of what Christ has done for me, and so I can rest. I always loved Matthew 11:28-30 where Jesus invites us to come to Him and find rest. I always longed to experience that but I didn't understand. I think I do a bit now.

This place is hard. Each day you see the brokenness of our world, as you can everywhere, but yet Christ is holding it all in His hands. And so He provides the grace to find joy in the midst of sorrow and comfort in the midst of pain, and somehow for reasons I cannot comprehend, He reveals Himself to me and allows me to offer Him to others. His love for me is ridiculous - and that same love is available for each of us. Oh how He loves us! There is nothing greater than that. Everything comes down to love. And Christ is love.

We have a Little leaving tomorrow. She was one I got pretty close to, but I also realized a month ago that she isn't mine to hold - she belongs to the Lord. And I have great confidence in Him and what He has planned for her, and she is pretty strong. Good-byes are still hard though. When I came back from break, we had a new girl here. She is younger than most of the girls here, which has been a challenge, but I have enjoyed time with her and we were able to have some good conversations already. Another new girl is coming on Thursday, so change is always happening. I know a lot of us are tired. But I also know that God is the ever-lasting God and provides new strength to rise on wings like eagles! I pray we come to know Him more through all that we experience here.

Thank you for your constant prayers, love & support. I cannot tell you thanks enough for all the ways you encourage me. Please continue to pray for everyone here as Littles come & go - that we would remain focused on Christ and trust Him in all we do. I pray that you are walking in the freedom we have in Christ and never forget the you are dearly loved!

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