Tuesday, December 27, 2011

30-Day Photo Challenge Day 17

Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently

My "This Season" blog post/facebook note that I put up recently kind of gives a vague back story of what this John 20:29 picture is really all about. The short story is that the past year of my life has been the most challenging year ever - spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Between some crazy life lessons, depression, whacked out emotions, and physical ailments, my life was a mess in 2011. Starting a few months back ... I think it was sometime in early October ... God really started teaching me some things. The young women's Bible study that we did at my church over the book, Lies Women Believe, was a huge factor in helping me learn a very important lesson that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I've blogged about it before, but the recap is that during 2011, the trials I faced threw me into a crisis of faith. I really struggled to believe that God is good. I played the pain card ... just like so many people do. My faith was rocky. I would ask the question, "How could a good God allow this junk into my life?" I struggled with my faith, my calling, my position in life, my thoughts, my attitude, my life ... for months. And Lies Women Believe ... the very first lie of the book addressed my question - "Is God really good?" The lie is that He is NOT good. But the simple and undying Truth is that He IS good. And as I wrestled with this TRUTH, for weeks upon weeks, I finally came to re-realize and re-accept that GOD IS GOOD. And I learned, through all of my wrestling and seeking God, that God is good (and faithful) ... and His Goodness and Faithfulness is totally unrelated to me ... and unrelated to how much I need Him to be Good and Faithful. He is Good, and He is Faithful not because I need Him to be to survive this existence but because HE IS. All by Himself. All for His own glory. And as I rolled this Truth over in my mind, I continued to see how mighty our God really is. He is Good, and He is Faithful because that's who He is ... and it's all for His glory ... and yet, He shares His Goodness and Faithfulness with me every single day ... by giving me my every breath, by providing me with food and shelter and clothes to wear ... by giving me incredible parents ... by teaching me more about life and purpose and Himself ... and the list goes on. A God that big and great doesn't need me. He doesn't need to give me even just glimpses of His Goodness and Faithfulness ... but He does. *Big Sigh* Wow! ... Get excited about this people!!! This is incredible stuff!!!! And all because we serve an incredibly perfect and gracious and giving God! :D

But I still haven't told you about this picture. I took this picture at the Calvary Ladies' Retreat this past October. It's an awesome picture for a few reasons. First of all, God had spoken this verse into my heart and mind a few weeks earlier, giving me a HUGE revelation about my current circumstances and about His will for my life. Incredible, right? It's also an awesome picture because I was using this verse as one of my key talking points in my talk at the ladies' retreat (the theme being based on the book Lies Women Believe - still cool, I know!). But I like this picture the most because I found it hanging above a door on a cabin at the camp. When I first arrived at camp, I couldn't remember which path to take to get to the lodge - I took the wrong path. But on this path was a row of cabins, each with a verse hanging above the door. And whatta ya know ... my verse! The verse God had been pressing upon my heart for weeks, teaching me so much! ... I remember sitting in the car for a second, tears coming to my eyes (no, I didn't cry ... but it crossed my mind), and laughing to myself. I wouldn't have found that verse on that cabin if I had taken the right path to the lodge. Wow. ... And so this picture is very important to me. A huge gift from God, really. It is a constant reminder to me that I must BELIEVE WITHOUT SEEING. I must BELIEVE that God is Good, that God is who He says He is, that God is Faithful, that God is working at all times and in all seasons of my life ... even when I can't SEE what He's up to. I don't wanna be like Doubting Thomas who had to SEE Jesus' nail-pierced hands and side before he could believe Jesus had risen from the dead. I want to be Mical Masterson, the woman who believed in her Savior with her whole heart, never wavering, always believing without seeing. Oh, Lord ... that's what I want. Please help me become that woman of faith.

And that's why this picture has made such a huge impact on my life recently. A long-winded post, but wasn't it worth it?

Lord God, keep growing me into the woman you've created me to be. Pick me up when I fall. Help me keep running the race, even in blind moments ... help me believe in you! Thank you, Jesus, for your call. Thank you choosing me and teaching me and loving me. You are Faithful, and you are Good. Be glorified in me today and always. I love you, Lord.

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