Things happen, that at first may seem all wrong, but when we have faith that something greater is at work, that God IS at work, all those things, end up working together for good. God has been calling me to a new level of trust in Him. He’s calling me to a level of total abandonment, complete surrender, and vulnerability like never before. He’s setting me free to turn the page. I’m learning to be faithful in my brokenness. I am tragically broken, but the One who made me makes me whole.

What we don’t say in words, we ultimately say in deeds. I’ve been a Christian for 17 years, as long as I haven’t. Through out this time Jesus has patiently waited for me to understand how truly worthy He is of my entire heart. I gave my life to Him; in different seasons I counted and recounted costs, gave more, risked more, loved more. Yet I still stood before God (and people) guarded in so many ways. Honest, but lacking vulnerability, I shared facts about my past or what trials God helped me overcome. Guarded with whom I let in, with whom I shared my heart and how--on my own terms. Control and fear crowded out God’s love so often. I desired to share my heart but I had no idea what it really meant.

Now, I desire to not just share the facts, but my entire heart, all of it, no plan, no terms – love, truth, authenticity. I am not only willing to, but desire to share my heart with others. I’m still scared of rejection. Inside, I’m still my younger self. I’m the girl that was picked on in elementary school and told she was not lovable and good enough at home. That girl still lives inside me and needs reminding of how much Jesus loves her. He has freed her and continues to free me. I no longer need to protect her; she is a part of me – she is me. I trust Christ to protect all of me. I’m whole in Him.

Deuteronomy 32:10 “He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye”

I am learning how to let God hold my heart. I have no idea how busy His hands are even when to me He seems silent. In this season I cry out for God to make me broken and to empty me, completely, so that I can truly let go of my will. Jesus crucified invokes this level of trust. Identifying with his suffering, not the physical pain, but the heart pain. The love he extended and how much it hurt Him when I was not ready to fully accept it. Through facing my pain I have walked in His heart pain. As I turn the page, I have real hope for the next moment, season, lifetime and forever.

Is 49:16 “Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.”

Facing my pain enables me to draw closer to God and makes His love so much more tangible, not just his grand gesture of sacrifice, but His heart sacrifice.

Rm5:8 “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!”

Jesus risked my rejection and me not understanding the depths of His love for all these years. He proved His love to me. He waited, walked with me, and blessed me for 17 years, and long before I was a Christian. While I missed it, completely some times, even after receiving salvation. He still chose to die for me. He was faithful that I would get here: to this point of abandonment, desiring to be absolutely vulnerable, of loving whoever he puts before me, un-prejudicially, instead of desiring to be perfect, do and say all the right things. I can't move hearts, I no longer desire to, but He can. He moved mine. In His love I am safe to put down my defenses and let others in.

1Tim1:15-16“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”

If we are called to love others unconditionally in order to draw them to Christ I can't love until I accept Jesus love. It took me tangibly experiencing this love to truly get it. I’m grateful to the one who allowed God to use him to teach me.

Rm 8:17 “we are children […]heirs of God […] if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

This healing and hope didn’t depend on me but on the God who loves me.

I understand now. I will still be tempted to self protect, be controlling and critical. Fear will still grip me because it is the enemy of my soul, but now I have a clear way out. I am learning to not only obey out of my allegiance to Christ but to surrender out of the safety of His love. That is the power of The Cross. By the same power that resurrected the dead, he changes my heart and frees me to be bold and vulnerable, to turn the page of this chapter of my life. New adventures await.

Ps56:9-10 “This I know: God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear.”

And so each day gets a little lighter, in the dark days God shines light. Today may not be good, but there is good in it. He grants joy and places a deep desire for peace that is closer every day. He sends me intimate messages in the little things of each day that not only thaw but ignite my heart.

God has been wooing my heart for so long. It took this season for me to put it all down and receive like never before. My life and future could not be in better hands. I’m still scared, but I walk by a greater faith now, carrying my fears to Him. Once we face our fears they no longer have power over us.

Is 43:1 “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine.”

God is helping me fight the fear as He holds on to me so tightly. He is giving me new dreams for Him, the lost and His people. He is giving me resolve, acceptance and surrender. I’m filled with gratitude even amidst difficult or scary times. In him I am whole and safe.

2 Peter 5:10 …after you have suffered a little while, he will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”