el roi.

teach me to acknowledge you when you speak, for the truth is… I know you do [speak].

“you always hear from the Lord,” they say, but i don’t always agree. i often praise Him on the mountaintops and stand high when the tide is to my knees. yet the truth is no less is the whisper from His Spirit as i walk in the in betweens. right now as i write this, i admit i don’t feel the currents of His voice. it’s lonely. yet His breath is in mine, my life is in His, and as a child of the One, i know my thoughts are guided by His. it’s an interesting thing, then, to reflect on hearing from my Creator King. for even hearing acknowledges that speaking is taking place – that amplitudes and frequencies exist in this close space. that is what it is — close. i am learning that relationship, vulnerability, and conversation flow most purely and organically within the contexts of the face to face, the kind within arm’s reach, where i am but a breath’s away. am i not hearing because i am not facing? and in the face to face, what do i need to face that bars me from that kind of beholding? what am i afraid of that makes me want to pull away from that arm’s reach? where i feel shame is where i need to face Him the most. shame is a shackle, and fear is a chain. the resistance is strong once the piercing begins, but His presence is where it breaks. the very thing we resist is the one thing we need. for Christ remains ever beautiful, ever present, ever good. and if we lose the wonder, lose the love, our love has faded while His has not. His beauty, it’s unwaning – in fact, His glory grows more radiant as we fall into that deeper love. and love, love comes through knowing. seeing leads to knowing. seeing glimpses, then in full. so may i know Him more, see Him more, and love Him most. may i know in fullness that He just wants me for me. the unhidden self, the true self – for that’s how i’m seen already. the fraudulent imposter i often feel i am is but a figment of imagination that the enemy sneaks into my reality. these efforts only really trick myself, my perceptions, and my perception of perceptions. but even that, He sees and knows already. it’s in that beautiful simplicity that i am learning to rest.

they say the Word is a love letter to us – the created. yet many are reading to feel loved, instead of reading to know their lover. may this Book transform what we know of Love in its purest form of being.

You will never leave
Your love sustaining me
Before I even knew what love was
You’ve brought me here to rest
And given me space to breathe
So I’ll stay still until it sinks in
And I will lean back in the loving arms
Of a beautiful Father
Breathe deep and know that He is good
He’s a love like no other
And now I can see Your love is better
Than all the others that I’ve seen
I’m breathing deep, of all Your goodness
Your loving-kindness to me

– lean back, maverick city

the stars ~

I popped a balloon two days ago.

It wasn’t just any balloon, where pressure would release the captured air. No – it was a confetti balloon. I’m afraid I may have forgotten what happens when you pop a balloon, let alone a confetti one. Down went the pressure, and out burst hundreds of itty bitty confetti stars. It was an anger triggered move. Pressure built up and down went that pressure, onto a harmless little balloon.

The most frustrating part was the clean up. My first method was the vacuum. It seemed at first things were cleaned up. But the more I looked, the more I kept seeing. So I tried using the nozzle of the vacuum. Great – it was doing what it was supposed to do. But the more I looked, the more I kept seeing. Finally, along came a hand vacuum. It was surprising how powerful this little thing seemed to work. Huffing and puffing, I bent over and zoomed at every little star in sight. But the more I looked, the more I kept seeing. I would suck some up, then whirl around and see some more somewhere else. Then I started mopping the floor. And I’d see more stars. There I go again, zooming in on them with my evil little hand vacuum. Throwing it onto the couch after doing the subsequent sucking up of the star(s) that lay in my sight.

Believe me when I say I was trying everything in me not to physically scream “F*** YOU, AND YOU, AND YOU!” but also believe me when I say I was screaming it just as loudly in my head.

it takes a lot to get a balloon to pop.

and the clean up? the clean up is even worse.

It takes a lot to get a balloon to pop. Maybe things just seemed stuffed for so long and finally needed to come out, in some way. That’s what happens sometimes when you’re in emotional overload — whether that’s the good or the bad, or both. When you’re used to stuffing but this time you just had to apply pressure because you’ve felt the pressure of it all for too long. People pop balloons for different reasons, but they all do it. For me, the work/life balance is always a hard thing to navigate as an adult, without even the fact that you’re living it out at home. You do the things you would have done at school — all the classes, the extracurriculars, the church events. Yet your feet are implanted not at school but at home. It’s always a whirlwind in all sorts of directions. Time is a precious thing and sometimes you feel victorious and other times you just lose track. You cherish the time and the season, the God-given time it’s allowed as a family where we otherwise wouldn’t have had. At the same time, you know you could be doing better. You also miss and grieve the nature of this season. And maybe dad was right – we always have an evil self-centered creature in each of us, wanting love, care, and attention for even just the space that we take up in this place called home. I think we can all get better at giving and receiving that kind of love – knowing and not knowing how to do it well but doing it anyways. Sometimes you sadly can’t really do that well before doing the gritty work of clean up.

Now for the clean up.

The clean up is hard because it means you lost it. You made a mistake, and now you’re realizing it because you’re bent over trying to get rid of all the traces of damage your poor choice made. Maybe the action was justified — it was done out of anger — but the choice and consequences are detrimental all the same. The clean up is frustrating because it’s plain exhausting and it’s been years by now. Bending down, swooping up, thinking it’s gone but then you whirl around and you see them — again. And sometimes you just want it to be done and you hate the process of it.

This was not the first time this happened.

There have been lots of balloon popping in my life. And honestly by now, maybe I’ve conditioned myself towards it. I’ve conditioned myself that every time a balloon pops, there is a clean up. Sometimes the clean up is more thorough, other times the clean up involves a mere sweep of a broom after the initial pop.

I’ve conditioned myself. I’ve conditioned myself knowing that balloon popping probably won’t stop — not anytime soon at least. In fact, I don’t think they ever will. And I’m scared of the thought of reconditioning. So I get lazy and complacent over changing the cycle because that’s what it feels like — a cycle. Where the initial puncture of a pop would send me in a frightened startle, it’s happened so often that I’m not so sensitized by it… but also sensitized at the same time. But inaction is the same as doing nothing, and we all know how that ends.

So now we come to today. One balloon popped because of another’s balloon popped. That happens sometimes. And we’re trying to change the cycle. It’s hard and painful and not fun.

In the middle of all of this though, I remember Jesus. It all goes back to Him.

Jesus rescued every f***ing little star and loves us anyway. Unlike us, rescuing the stars was an obedience that He didn’t do from duty but of delight. He faithfully and lovingly persisted, even for the most stubborn of stars.

I read something from my friend Strahan Coleman recently that struck me as so profound — that Christ rose with wounds. It went on to say:

We can be encouraged to know that aching from the past doesn’t mean newness hasn’t come… someday our wounds will be fully healed, leaving beautiful scars that remind us of our storied lives. But until then, the presence of our wounds doesn’t negate the resurrection we’re experiencing.

– Strahan Coleman

My God my joy, my delight, my God my joy, my delight

bits n’ sweets | no. 3

oh just to dwell, dwell, dwell, here forever.
– 
most beautiful / so in love (maverick city)

on entering His gates – the gates of His presence swing wide when out of our lips come songs and prayers of praise. – o.s.

on revival – we want book of acts revival but not book of acts persecution. – o.s

on His favor – may the beauty (favor) of the Lord our God rest on us. (psalm 90.17) the Lord expressed His favor by giving us the greatest of the greatest – His very Son.

on biblical remembrance – we remember His faithfulness, to trust Him for today, and be confident of our tomorrow.

on the Rock that won’t move – You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock. (isaiah 26.3) God is too loving to leave us unstable and unwavering. He is rock – immovable, steadfast, and faithful. we can’t force our way into fixating our mind if our hearts aren’t trusting first.

with heavy hearts – our hearts bear heavy at hard news; of people hurting, hearts breaking, lives slipping. but our hearts are equally weighted with the heaviness to pray for heightened hope and hastened healing; to seek the Lord like never before, to contend for heaven and His will to be done. let us rest in the middle of this holy tension: with our hearts heavy, we hold to Hope and never let go. the heaviness, it is good. this humility, driving us to our knees. our lives, they are not our own. the gratitude for our daily blessings overflow. may this heaviness be a force that drives us to our knees as He holds us in His hands.

on abiding – but blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. they will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. it does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. it has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. jeremiah‬ ‭17:7-8

the situations of this season bring us to
a need to trust like no other
an urgency to pray like no other
a time of fear like no other
and a place of surrender like no other

but here and now we have a God who is
trustworthy like no other
hears our cries like no other
gives peace like no other
sovereign over it all
and faithful to the end

through all the trusting and praying,
surrendering and waiting,
for His Kingdom come
and will be done,
may we dwell in Him richly
as He dwells in us.
may we hold fast to hope,
may we learn to abide.

on leaning close – may we lean close to hear, to listen, to incline our ear towards the whisper of His spirit. and may we lean back in trust, knowing the further we lean, the more we trust, and the more we trust, the greater the depth He takes us.

on abundance – Jesus chose us for abundance, expects abundance, and created us to deeply desire it. (secrets of the vine, wilkinson)

on washing feet – the dignity and glory of the Person magnifies the grace of the act.

on pruning – it is good. the Vinedresser’s secret for more is less. so He thins, reduces, cuts off to make room for more. if His secret for more is less, how then ought we to live? less of self, more of Him who gave Himself. less of sin, more sanctification. He prunes to make room for plenty.

on living for Him vs with Him – His purpose is not that you will do more for Him but that you will choose to be more with Him. (secrets of the vine, wilkinson)

on being His friend – i’d become an expert at serving God but somehow remained a novice at being His friend. (secrets of the vine, wilkinson) i want to be Your best friend. You call me friend! may i be a friend to You, and view You as one. You are the best of the best. may i unwrap the God i know and let it unravel before me to the simple – that You are not only Father, but You are friend. may i do all the “best friend” things with You. may i make You my number one confidant and enjoy just being together, no expectations. may we know each other’s wavelengths in each other’s presence. may being with You develop a deeper understanding of You – that i may know how You move, how You speak, and everything in between.

on being deeply rooted – may our roots sink deep, deep, deep in Him. may we be like a tree planted by streams of living water. let’s keep going to the well, where the water never runs dry.

on Sabbath – the resting and refreshing shouldn’t be for “me.” the resting and refreshing comes through Him who gives the Sabbath. what does it mean to enter Your sabbath rest? Father, teach me what it means to rest and be refreshed in You.

we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on You. – 2 Ch. 20:12

bits n’ sweets | no. 2

You are my treasure, my glory song, my strength, my portion, all day long
Your name is the sweetest name i know
– (spontaneous) – 2.9.20

on how He moves – not by might or by power, but by His Spirit. the Lord was in the gentle whisper. (1 kings 19)

on bitterness – give me the bitterness, He said. it doesn’t belong on your harbor. 

on new wine –  the Lord waited until all the wine was used up to bring the very best wine. just imagine the storehouses of wine that we have, through all of our “new wine” seasons. Jesus didn’t add to the water, He transformed it. He told the servants to fill the water pots, and they filled it to the brim.

when you are bidden to believe in Him, believe in Him up to the brim. when you are told to love Him, love Him up to the brim. when you are commanded to serve Him, serve Him up to the brim. – spurgeon

on ministering to the Lord – it’s all about Him. everything and all of it. relationship is cheap if all you make it is to get something out of it.

on praying big – pray and pray big, but fully trust in Him who supplies the outcome.

on the facts of His story – God’s story never ever ends without hope and victory. though your life may feel like it’s in flames, it’s not over. there is hope, and there is hope for you. like the house in flames, and then the house anew and lifted up. Jesus was DEAD, He was brought to LIFE, and risen for eternity. your life may seem blazed in the fire, but the rain of His spirit which extinguishes the dark will come and lift you up.

on truly knowing His goodness – to truly understand His goodness, you have to let this sink in deep: the Lord does not withhold good from His children. He never has, He never will.

on contending with life – fear freezes our forward movement [p. kirt] fear, you are not my friend! how crippling you are.

on ruthlessly eliminating hurry – hurry: being so preoccupied that you cannot be fully present to God other people. dang. i don’t want to run such a hurried life or mind that i am not open or available to see or hear God move.

on drawing boundary lines – where do i stand, when Your people may not stand at the same side of the line? Lord, convict me of my actions, lest i make others stumble.

on faith – be grounded in the facts, which build your faith, which influences your feelings. i won’t be formed by feelings, i hold fast to what is true [christ be magnified, cory asbury]

on growing in wisdom – there are healthy forms of fear that help us grow in wisdom. what do i need to face in order to go after? let go and fly – s.s. ❤

on breaking free and speaking LIFE – new levels of boldness, confidence, and courage. the Spirit of the living God lives within. may my life be a constant living with Him and then flowing out. no more keeping it in. this little light of mine, i’m gonna let it shine. light shines in the darkness, and darkness cannot overcome it.

on dreaming big – so in awe for how visionary we can be when the Lord embeds a dream and we can be catalyst carriers for the Kingdom.

on having a heart of compassion – after eutychus fell down the third story, paul went down and bent over him, took him in his arms, and said, “do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” we are called to go down to the level of their story, extend ourselves with love, hold them close, and speak life with confidence and authority. [acts 20]

on becoming apathetic – Lord, move me into empathy again. i just want to be held. oh to feel how You feel, and move and be moved how You move.

on the beauty of the gospel – there is both a great comfort and a great call of the gospel. may we not lean so far back into the comfort as to sit idle to the call, and may we not be so driven to follow the call that we forget that His grace allows us to live liberated. a kind of liberation that gives us over into abiding – remaining under Him, not striving for Him. where sin runs deep, your grace runs deeper. [seas of crimson, bethel]

on growing in intimacy – signs and wonders, visions and dreams. thank you, God, for dreams ! you explode my mind.

on escaping – the fact that God’s not ever going to let your foot slip in any season is such an amazing thought. he watches over you and me, never slumbering. nothing can take us away from His care. there is no hide and seek with Him, and He never is one to sleep at the wheel. He is our shade, and shade is good. He’s constant, never “lesser” from season to season, morning or night. psalm 121.

on His grace – His grace covers our stupidity, reaches from heaven to earth below. so much love, so much grace. the Lord delights in showing mercy. [o mighty ones]

on going up the mountain – the Lord called moses up the mountain, then he told moses to go down the mountain and get his brother. oh God teach me how to go down the mountain and bring others up with a Jesus-emulating love, patience, and humility.

on praying dangerous prayers – oh to give our yes to Jesus is a scary but exciting thing indeed.

you are on the right path. listen more to Me, and less to your doubts. i am leading you along the way i designed just for you. therefore, it is a lonely way, humanly speaking. but i go before you as well as alongside you, so you are never alone. do not expect anyone to understand fully My ways with you, any more than you can comprehend My dealings with others. i am revealing to you the path of Life day by day, and moment by moment. as i said to My disciple peter, so i repeat to you: follow me. 

– feb 29, jesus calling


other songs playing in the radio of my heart this month –

you deserve it all [josh baldwin]
my portion [isla vista]
there’s nothing that our God can’t do [passion]
God of revival [bethel]
not in a hurry [united pursuit]
all hail king Jesus [jeremy riddle]
constant one [steffany gretzinger]
i’ll give thanks [housefires]
worthy of it all / all of the glory [upperroom]

bits n’ sweets | no. 1

you take what’s bitter and you turn it sweet, you’re singing melodies over me
so i will worship you at your feet cause you are so so good to me
– (spontaneous) – 2.8.20

changing my posts a bit to be less sentimental and more contemplative/reflective on things that have been on my mind and heart. where time to write has been more like a “limited edition” gift these days, i’ll hold the times i do get as sacred devotion. the Lord is good and He is faithful. He takes what’s bitter and turns it sweet. and i do believe that He will sometimes even use this process of recording and writing to bring about that sweet, like a sweet balm that seals the soul.


on heading into a new year – uncertainty and unknown bring us to a place of fear and doubt. when your present looms daunting and you’d rather go back to the past, the Lord tells His people, fear not; stand firm. why do you cry to me? go forward. [exodus 14:13-20]

on walking and rising – i believe; help my unbelief. but Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. he lifts us up and we are held in his hands. because of him, we can rise from “i think he’s dead” (v. 26) to walking in hope and life.

on the love of the Father – he loves and has loved me. his love lasts forever. he chooses to be faithful to me forever. it’s a kind of love that seeks to build me and rebuild me time and time again. it’s not a love that aims to “build me up” with fluffy words or half-hearted actions. it’s a whole heart, “i died for you” kind of love. it’s a love that surpasses all knowledge – too wide and long and high and deep to fathom.

on breaking free – Jesus breaks free from tradition to break broken people free [mark 7]

on loving when it hurts – if i don’t have space to love that one, what does that say of my love and understanding of the One who had all the space in the world to love and live for?

on the secret to ministry – “the secret to ministry are bent knees, wet eyes, and a broken heart.” [antioch christian fellowship]

on being truly seen – El Roi | “i have now seen the One who sees me. have i truly seen the One who sees me?”  may i truly see, know, and love the one who truly sees, knows, and loves me. [genesis 16:13]

on resonance – in order for something to resonate, it needs a force to pull it back to its starting position and enough energy to keep it vibrating [the things you take away in physics class]

on staying close to Him – “the closer you live to Me, the safer you are. stay close to me.” [Jesus Calling]| stay close to me and shelter me.

on nearing burnout – “we often get so busy doing things for God that we forget to sharpen our axe and we grow dull.” [p. bryan]

on being content where i am –  “you would not grow how you needed if {things were different}.”

on doing ministry – may i never forget the difference of manufacturing and distributing his divine resources for kingdom and for his glory. [p. kirt]

on tuning my stale heart back to His – china facetimes, time in the city, and spontaneous reunions.

on being filled with joy anew – oh make me more like Jesus

on feeling lonely and rejected – imposter syndrome hits and swearing and cursing bring blows upon my ears that i can barely withstand. sometimes the healing comes through crying and singing to the wind.

on recalling His  goodness – 1.23 brings one year. as i sat to write that day, the spirit of heaviness lifted and the spirit of life came upon me once again. the same spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you and me. [romans 8:11]

on starts and stops – grateful to God for ordering my starts and stops, even for little things like missing and catching trains.

on reaching burnout and reaching for His love again – “we are beings first, over doers.” [s.s.]
your love will not run empty, your love’s a well that will never run dry. you love will not run empty. your love grows sweeter and sweeter with time. [i am loved, maverick city]
let the heroes rest, let the striving cease. [heroes, amanda cook]

on the power of rest – “don’t work for rest, work from rest. from His delight, not for His pleasure. one of the enemy’s greatest traps is if he can’t keep our hearts burning for God, he’ll try to use ministry to burn us out. burnout happens when our doing exceeds our being.” [the power of rest, jonathan david hesler]

on steph curry and the triumphant entry – would you, oh Lord, encounter your people. those watching and waiting, searching and gazing, and walking by.

on finding Him through finding me – “Jesus’ understanding of His vocation came out of wrestling with himself, God, and the devil in the solitude of the wilderness.” [the gift of being yourself, david benner] the wrestling is hard, but necessary and needed.

on learning to fly – dumbo was created to fly. his burden, and also his gift, were his ears. sometimes, like dumbo, we lose sight of the peanut/feather/key and we don’t let ourselves fly – though we very well are able. we get bogged down, disheartened, unappreciated, incapable. it’s time to shake off the things that hold you down. i have set you free from the things that held you. i have given you wings, i have set you free – so come to me and fly, fly, fly [fly, jason upton]

on flying like eagles – God as the eagle – “he found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, cared for him, and kept him. like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone guided him” [deut. 32:10–12] “you yourselves have seen what I did…how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself” [ex. 19:4]. stirring up the nest – “…when parents do return they may thrash about removing the comforts lining the nest. bewildered, frustrated, and confused the eaglet moves, branches out of the nest, and begins to test out her wings out of desperation. frustration, hunger, and discomfort are her parents’ intention. the parents wisely know that without this disruptive environment their young will not grow, learn, and develop the essential skills for survival.” [the gospel coalition] us as the eagle – “but the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent (enemy).” [rev. 12:14] eagles wings – wings are spread straight out – they are big, and they are heavy. their survival mechanism is learning to fly without needing to flap them in order to conserve energy. eagles can die if they spend too much energy flapping during flight. they learn to rely on wind thermals (holy spirit) to come up on them to soar and give them the rushing wind of energy to fly. not by might, not by power, but by My spirit. [zech. 4:6]

on running – why are you running when i have promised you rest? 

on restoring – a house inflamed and the same house untouched. and then it is lifted into the air, like the “Up” house lift. he restores anew. the fires, though they consume, they do not burn. His spirit alone lifts me and gives me life and strength.

on missing people – in the midst of the loneliness, you amazed me with small world connections joined together only by you.

:a new year

whatever today looked like or felt like for you, i want you to know that is okay. even here you are seen, known, and held, and loved very very much. may today be a day where you breathed deep, smiled bravely, asked for hugs, and held yourself tight.

may you remember the mountains climbed and valleys where you fell, that He’s been there all along and that’s a story to tell. maybe not now, but sometime down the road – each step you’ve traveled tells a victor’s fight. you’re a fighter on heart-ached nights, you’re a fighter finding simple joys in the ordinary. you’re a fighter by choosing to keep going. so keep going.

whatever grieves and weighs your heart is worthy of your attention and He grieves with you all the more. may this year be a year where you break free of what entangles. a year you step into the process of wholeness, grace upon grace. may you lift your head in this journey, that He is good even when the road you tread feels anything but good. and may you remember the One who calls and pursues and rescues broken people and destines them as beautifully His. covered in perfect love, unending grace, redemptive arms. more than scars and people’s words, may you rest in the glorious truth that you are cherished forever and always by your Abba father. may you learn how to love Him, yourself, and others more deeply and trust Him wholeheartedly.

:overwhelmed

at times you feel like a ship at sea
when the waves a crash and feelings and emotions become uncharted waters
too wavering

may you be reminded of the Master of your seas
who sees it all, feels it all, and knows your greatest pleas

when you are in over your head
that’s when He grips your hands
and when things creep up like wildfire in the night
remember there is wonder in the wild in the middle of the fight

may you remember that this too will pass —
that even here this place is and will be your blooming space

in the wild of all that screams and follows, let yourself be still
rise in confidence, for the One who holds you still, dear, and tight
will also give you the strength to rise

 

:loss

to the one who has lost, and to the one who feels like she is losing –

the Lord wants to fill your holes and make you whole. picture a dog, whimpering and squirming. your Abba father puts His hand gently on that dog, whispering, “it’s okay…”

i pray even in this pruning and cutting away season where the knife that cuts away seems too sharp to bear that you would claim jeremiah 17:7-8. that even when heat comes, there is no need to fear for its leaves remain green and there is no place for anxiety in even a whole year of drought, for even then it does not cease to bear fruit.

and may you be so comforted by His spirit that one day you say, “the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be His name.”

God hears you, God has not forgotten you, God sees you, God knows. (exodus 2:23-25)

rainy thoughts

today is a “sit awhile, cry a little” day. and it’s okay to feel this, even in the “crying because why am i crying” of it. i told someone recently that i miss writing about pain, and it was mainly because i hadn’t been feeling. oh how fast i’ve been running. running fast and free, yes… running with my guard up saying i’m a fighter, rise like a warrior, go Jesus go Jesus when i was also blocking myself from feeling.

it’s okay to feel this. in all of the unraveling and untangling that is being pulled up from below.

it’s okay if you can’t find the words, let me take your coat and this weight off of your shoulders

it’s okay if you can’t catch your breath, you can take the oxygen straight out of my own chest

it’s okay. hug yourself hard. hold yourself tight. there are a million things running through your brain but a million and one things that remain true in the midst of you. 

// and when the light has faded from the skies, and you can’t see the road ahead, remember the One who paved the path. when the things and people you love and cherish tumble off the shelves and out of your reach, remember the One who’s always just a heart cry’s away. //

dear “post-China” me

far away. 6,867 miles far. 57 days (and counting) far. it hurts that it feels that far away. i know you miss it. the people, the place, your kids, your team. yes, your heart made its home in new spaces. but hey don’t lose sight. it means your heart grew by the hundredfold, and that is a wonderful thing. things may look different now. your heart breaks all the more, but oh, your heart loves all the more too. you found yourself in China, but you didn’t lose or leave yourself there. you’re still here, blazing just as bright and beautiful. remember the fullness of joy that has lined your journey? don’t lose it. (i’m telling you that now, and i know even now you laugh and say it’s already lost) but listen –– even here, you have the capacity to be just as full. the same power that did exceedingly more still has exceedingly more for you today. in this year. in this place.

so in moments like these when you need a pep talk, picture the stars shooting again. our Dad is so loving that He puts His goodness, power, and beauty on display before your eyes. maybe the stars don’t shine as bright over in this corner of the world. but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, illuminating your dark. and hey maybe it means you need to turn your gaze to another corner to find it shining. maybe not as steady, maybe just blinking, but shining all the same.