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Archive for the category “grace”

Confessions and Questions of a Pastor’s Wife


only king forever

Lately I have been feeling as if there is something more to what we call worship. There is something more than what we stuff inside of our Sunday morning box. There is something more than traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation. There is something more than what a certain denomination instructs us.

I am part of the United Methodist Church, and I was born and raised in a traditional United Methodist Church. It’s all I really know in regards to denominations. I was baptized as an infant, brought up in the children’s and youth ministries, and even worked as a Youth Minister in my hometown United Methodist Church before marrying and moving from that town. I am still connected with the United Methodist Church, but am now part of a contemporary UMC.

I share all of that to say, that lately I have been feeling a suffocated in this denomination. Not at all in my faith, just in the boundaries of this particular denomination. I feel as if somewhere along the way tradition, handbooks, and old mindsets have put it at sort of a standstill. It has become stiff. It leaves me searching for the life, the passion, the complete surrendered worship of Jesus.

Have we become so concerned with the way things have always been done, the business side of things, and handbooks that we have failed to be a holy and set apart people who have hearts that are bursting with worship of our Lord and Savior? Have we become a people more concerned with titles, roles, and committees that we have neglected the very reason the church exists? What happened to focusing on Jesus more than focusing on whose permission is needed to approve changes in the building? What purpose does a church bulletin serve in the actual worship of God? Does having a certain title or holding a certain position make our faith stronger? Do any of these things make me “Christian?”

My questions could go on and on, but that would probably take up a lot of space and therefore turn this blog post into a novel. My point in all of this is to say that my heart is yearning to just worship Jesus with no limits. I don’t want to be a stiff follower of Jesus. I want to be a WILD one! Yes, you read that correctly. I want my worship to be wild just like His love for me. I want to focus more on developing and growing my relationship with Jesus than on creating another committee. I want people to see Jesus shining through me.

My feelings can’t all be put into words at this moment, but I know that God is stirring my heart in this matter. He is calling me to more. He is calling all of us to more. We should want more.

God Is Close to the Brokenhearted


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This morning as I was driving in my car I had Jesus Culture playing. I usually have some worship album playing in the morning to set the tone for the day. And Jesus Culture is one of my favorite worship bands. The song playing as I drove was “Heaven is Here,” and the words seemed to just be a bit louder this morning. They seemed to stick a bit more than any of the other times I have listened to this song.

Here are the lyrics:

We won’t stop crying out to Him
Cause He hears us everytime
Yeah He hears us everytime

We won’t stop pouring out our love to Him
Cause He loves us everytime
Yeah He loves us everytime

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you

We won’t stop going out to Him
Cause He meets us everytime
Yeah He meets us everytime

We won’t stop living only for Him
Cause He’s faithful everytime
Yeah He’s faithful everytime

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to God
Shake up eternal signs

Cause heaven is hear now
He’s all around us
Heaven is Jesus
It’s the moment we meet

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you 

These words really were echoing in my head, “We won’t stop crying out to Him cause He hears us every time…We won’t stop pouring out our love for Him, cause He loves us every time…We won’t stop going out to Him, cause He meets us every time…We won’t stop living only for Him, cause He’s faithful every time.”

This morning my heart was breaking, as it is another month of not being pregnant (if you haven’t followed my journey up till now, check out my past posts in regards to infertility and my faith). Another month of feeling defeated and crushed. Another month of feeling as if the enemy was doing a victory dance on top of my head and laughing the whole time, as I sobbed on the inside and then began sobbing on the outside.

BUT GOD. God knew all of this even before I woke this morning. He knew how my heart would break. He knew the defeat I would feel. He knew the lies the enemy would feed me. And He knew He would be there for me no matter how crushed I was. And He chose to speak to me through a song. He chose to remind me of His faithfulness, His love, His strength, and His hope. He wrapped His arms around me as my mind began whirling in a hundred different directions. As the questions began coming like a freight train. As insecurity and doubt began creeping in. As the enemy began throwing his fiery darts at me, my God became my shield and my fortress and my comfort. As He ALWAYS is.

Once the song ended and another song began to play, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “Choose joy.” I sat in my car and began saying that to myself…”Choose joy, Jaclyn. Choose joy.” I firmly believe that one of the enemy’s biggest weapons against us is our own feelings. He was trying his best to get me to sink into a dark place this morning, and just like the faithful Father that He is, God showed up and began speaking life into me.

Am I still brokenhearted that I have no celebratory news of a little Turner this month? Yes, but I know that my God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3) and “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). So I can keep crying out to Him, because I know He DOES hear me every time. I can continue pouring out my love for Him, because He DOES love me every time. I can go out to Him, because He WILL meet me every time. And I can continue living only for Him, because He is FOREVER faithful. The enemy is a liar. My God is my everything, and I will praise Him despite my feelings. I will praise Him even if I have questions. I will praise Him simply because He is The Great I Am, and I know He loves me more than I can ever fully understand.

My friend, I have no idea what you may be experiencing or what lies the enemy might be telling you, but what I do know that God will never fail you. He will always be there for you, and He will always be your shield. Drive into Him even if you don’t understand. Drive into Him even if you can’t feel Him. Drive into Him even if you can’t see Him. He is there. I promise you that.

One of Those Days


Today is one of those days where I would love to hide away on a deserted island with absolutely nothing “baby” around. Yes, it’s another month where Aunt Flow arrives instead of a “Big Fat Positive.” I was really hoping for a Thanksgiving announcement, but that just won’t be happening. I really have no eloquent words or thought provoking paragraphs to write down. All I have is raw emotion and an admittance of wanting to pitch a temper tantrum that would make a two year old in the midst of “the terrible two’s” look pretty angelic. Will it solve anything? No. Will it make me feel better? Probably not. But that’s where I’m at. For the moment.

I am trying to remind myself of the message I preached this past Sunday. I spoke on the story of Hannah and how there is grace in the struggle, in the sorrow, and in His sovereignty. To be honest, though it’s hard to see it at the moment. Do I know it to be true? Yes. But can I see it right now? No. All I can think on is how I desire to have a child with my husband and nothing is happening. Nothing. And my mind begins to go into panic mode thinking of how I am about to be surrounded by pregnant family members during the holidays, and I want to scream. Can I eat my dinner in a closet somewhere? Oh, and let’s not forget that the media had to share that Kelly Clarkson is pregnant.

Yes, I know that I sound like a little kid pitching a fit. But this is real. This is something I never thought I would have to deal with personally. This is one of the most draining and difficult things I have ever dealt with, and well as I put it earlier today, it sucks. As I type this I want to breakdown. The depths of my soul cry out for Jesus because I don’t know what to do. He is the only place that makes sense even though I feel like He isn’t making any sense. I know deep down that He makes perfect sense despite my feelings. So into Him I will continue to press.

http://youtu.be/JmVxRl5bc4Y

Stamp of Approval


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We all want a “stamp of approval” on our lives. I mean nobody likes to be told that how they behave, how they parent, how they treat others, how they live their lives, and anything else that involves their decisions is well, let’s just say not up to par. I will admit that I don’t like being told that some of my decisions and choices aren’t always the best, and sometimes I have issues with authority (oops, how did that skeleton get out the closet). But lately, I have felt God making me more aware of that fact that not everything people do in their lives has His official stamp of approval. Oh, we like to put it there though don’t we?

How many times have we done something, said something, or behaved a certain way and thrown God’s stamp of approval on it knowing good and well He was probably shaking His head at us the entire time. I mean, come on. 

I have noticed a lot of “stamps of approval” lately that have been placed by human hands, not God’s. It upsets me, and it breaks my heart. Since when did we become so blind to the fact that if it isn’t in line with God’s Word then it does NOT get His stamp of approval? 

You can’t live with your significant other and have sex outside of marriage, and turn around and proclaim that God is in control of your life. No. God’s Word is very specific when talking about sex outside of marriage. Scripture tells to even flee from the very hint of sexual immorality. Shacking up with your significant other before marriage falls into this category. So, I am sorry, but God’s stamp of approval does not get placed on this. 

You can’t cuss and drink like a sailor, and then turn around and sing God’s praises. “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.” (James 3:10) “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery;” (Ephesians 5:18) God’s stamp of approval doesn’t get on this either. 

Divorcing your spouse because you “fell out of love,” or for any other reason other than abuse, adultery, or abandonment, and then saying that God is opening up a new door for you. No, God’s stamp of approval doesn’t get on this either. “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:9)
I realize none of this is like swallowing sugar….more like salt. It’s not easy for me to type this. I am more of a warm and fuzzy kind of gal, with a side (ok, maybe an extra side) of sassiness. But it really breaks my heart that God’s name seems to be placed just about everywhere now. We like to think that if we include His name then everything will be ok. 

Look, I am a divorcee. I went through a divorce, and I know the pain that it brings. It’s not easy. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I won’t go into details of that chapter of my life (that’s another post), but I will share that it was a hard struggle for me. And I also know that divorce was never in God’s plan. Ever. God is not an advocate of divorce. Just like he’s not an advocate for shacking up, cursing, drunkenness, wrong behavior, nasty attitudes, lying, cheating, stealing, and the likes. 

Oh there is grace. His sweet wonderful grace. And we can have it at no cost to us, well let me take that back. His grace is freely given to us, but we do have to lay down our pride, self-centeredness, and our ego. We can make poor life choices and be forgiven. God doesn’t turn His back on us when we make decisions that don’t line up with His Word, but that doesn’t mean He approves of them either. So, maybe instead of putting His stamp of approval on it, we should strive to make better choices and seek His way. Maybe instead of looking at our poor choices and thinking to ourselves that God orchestrated the chain of events (you know, so we can feel better about ourselves), we should ask Him to show us His way apart from those poor choices. 

I am by no means perfect, and I don’t have everything figured out. God knows that, and I would never claim to be the girl who has it all together. Really, I am a broken soul in desperate need of my Savior everyday at every moment. I fail Him daily. I make poor choices. I hurt people. I don’t always have the best attitude. I can be snotty and plain out rude. I don’t always love my spouse like I should. I don’t always give my kids my best. And there are times when I try to put God’s stamp of approval on things I have done so that I can feel better. I confess. But that doesn’t mean it’s right. It doesn’t mean it’s ok. I cling to Jesus everyday because I know if I don’t, I will slip right back into the pit He rescued me from. And it’s a dark pit that I don’t ever want to return to. 

Friends, this post isn’t meant to be judgmental or cause you to have a pound of guilt strapped around your neck. And isn’t meant to make you feel bad about yourself. This post is as much for me as well. My prayer is that this post will cause all of us to take a good hard look at our life choices before we try to put God’s stamp of approval on them. And if they don’t line up with His Word, I pray that we wouldn’t try to force His stamp of approval on them. I pray that we would seek His way above our own way, even if it isn’t the easiest or most comfortable. I pray that we would rest in His grace, love, and mercy, and trust Him to always lead us in the right way. 

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:14)

Grace & Peace, Jac

He’s The Remedy


I am going to start this post off by getting the ugliness out of the way. I didn’t sleep very well last night, at all. I was having some pains that were making it difficult to get comfortable. At 1:30 am my eyes popped open, and I wrestled with myself to go back to sleep. There was no way I was going to get up and do anything at that time of the night (I mean, those days are long gone). I finally got myself back to sleep only to have my eyes pop open again at 3:40 am. Ugh. This time it was a combination of needing to go to the bathroom and Alaska (our husky mix pup…..she is almost 7 months old, so get a picture of Godzilla in your mind) whining at my feet. I got out of bed and headed straight to the bathroom. I thought I would figure out Alaska’s problem after I dealt with mine. Alaska surprised me as I came out of the bathroom. She was sick. Again, picture Godzilla being sick. At 3:40 am, this dog had to get to sick. Really? I mean, doesn’t she know people sleep at that time of the day? So, half awake I proceeded to clean up her mess, only to discover this wasn’t the first time she had been sick while I was getting my beauty rest. Seriously?!? After I got everything cleaned up, Alaska and I headed back to bed. My alarm woke both of us up at 6:30 am, and we started this cycle all over again. Alaska, this time, was escorted outside so that she could be sick to her heart’s content without having to worry about having to clean it up. (Yes, I do have a heart and I love my dog dearly. Don’t start thinking I am all Cruella Deville over here.) Let’s just say the spring in my step this morning hasn’t been very “springy.” More like a zombie walk where one foot just gets dragged along for the journey. 

It was finally time to take the kiddos to school. Austin, Kirstin, Princess (the Chihuahua), and myself loaded up in the car and headed to school. I felt like it was a David Crowder Band kind of morning, so I hooked up my iPhone and played a bit of the Remedy album and a bit of the Church Music album for our morning commute. God has such a way of speaking (or singing) into our lives at exactly the right moment and with exactly the right words. We tend to miss it at times, but this morning I heard Him loud and clear. As the music played my attention was perked when the song “Remedy” played (from the Remedy album). 

He is the one Who has saved us
He is the one Who forgave us

He is the one who has come 
And is coming again
He’s the remedy

Oh, I can’t comprehend
I can’t take it all in
Never understand
Such perfect love come
For the broken and beat
For the wounded and weak
Oh, come fall at His feet
He’s the remedy
He’s the remedy

 

I began thinking on how the worst of days cannot compare to the saving grace and saving power of Jesus. He is the remedy for it all. He comes in like the knight in shining armor and makes everything right. Not even a lack of sleep stands a chance against Him. 

Then, my attention was drawn again to the song “Shadows” (Church Music album), as I heard these words:

Life is full of light and shadow 
O the joy and O the sorrow 
O the sorrow 

And yet will He bring 
Dark to light 
And yet will He bring 
Day from night 

When shadows fall on us 
We will not fear 
We will remember 

When darkness falls on us 
We will not fear 
We will remember 

When all seems lost 
When we’re thrown and we’re tossed 
We remember the cost 
We rest in Him 
Shadow of the cross

 

Again, God was reminding me that He has me. Zombie walk and all. He has me in His hands, and He’s not letting me go. No matter if I am plagued with a lack of sleep, unexplained secondary infertility, not feeling good, and whatever other situation and circumstance I can find myself in, He has me. 

I can rest in the shadow of the cross, knowing that Jesus Christ is the remedy for it all. He makes all things new. ” See, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) He makes wrongs right. He turns darkness into light. He holds me safe in His arms despite the chaos that may surround me. He brings joy where there is pain and sorrow. He brings hope when it seems all hope is lost. He brings love where there seems to be none. He brings grace where there is shame. He is the remedy. There is nothing too great for Him. 

Come fall at His feet, He’s the remedy. He’s the remedy. 

Listen to Remedy here:http://youtu.be/4DPdWn7m3I0

Listen to Shadows here:http://youtu.be/7TF35CmGB4k

Something Beautiful


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Yesterday I had this picture in my mind as I listened to NEEDTOBREATHE’s song, “Something Beautiful.” I saw this picture in my mind, but the woman at the feet of Jesus was me. I was at His feet completely broken and sobbing, just in need of Him and His touch. As I listened to the song over and over again, I was consumed with His Presence. I could feel Him with me in my car as I listened. He was all around me. He was with me. 

This journey of infertility has been a difficult one, to say the least. It is not one of those journeys you expect to find yourself traveling. You don’t pack your backpack with everything you will need, put on some form of protectant cream, or even pack snacks to enjoy along the way. No, you just find yourself on the journey somehow. Unprepared. No protectant cream and no snacks. Some days the journey isn’t as hard to get through, while other days feel as if you are traveling through quicksand every step of the way. 

This song, “Something Beautiful,” spoke to me yesterday as I was driving. And I found myself having a spiritual experience with every word. 

 

In your ocean, I’m ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin’ on my feet
It’s like I know where I need to be
But I can’t figure out, yeah I can’t figure out

Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There’s only one way to figure out
Will ya let me drown, will ya let me drown

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

And the water is risin’ quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can’t be sure when it will subside
So I won’t leave your side, no I can’t leave your side

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

In a daydream, I couldn’t live like this
I wouldn’t stop until I found something beautiful
When I wake up, I know I will have
No, I still won’t have what I need

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful 

It’s amazing to me how God uses the littlest things to speak volumes into our lives. There in my car, through a song, He spoke to me. He touched me. He assured me that despite this difficult journey, He’s got me. He loves me. He adores me. And He knows my brokenness, my hurt, my sorrow, and my desire. There in my car, I was somehow at His feet. I was reaching out to Him as He was reaching out to me. There in my car, He reminded me I am His beloved no matter if I find myself in a valley or on a mountain top. 

And as I continue to walk this journey for who knows how much longer ( I pray I do not have to wait till I am as old as Sarah or Elizabeth, Lord. Please.), I will continue falling at His feet singing, 

Hey now, this is my desire Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful To touch me, I know that I’m in reach ‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful Oh, something beautiful

 

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I Am Spoiled


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As I was preparing the coffee pot this evening for mine and Brian’s evening cup of coffee, I got to thinking about how over the years I have been accused of growing up a spoiled little rich girl. Yea, for some reason some people have actually been offended by my aspirations to better myself, get an education, and live a certain lifestyle. I will admit, this usually makes me pretty defensive. But this evening, I began thinking about it a bit more. I am going to take it as the Lord opening my eyes to how “spoiled” and “rich” I really was growing up, and still am.

I grew up with loving parents who provided a roof over my head, clothes for me to wear, and food for me to eat. My parents taught me manners and proper social etiquette. I was raised to believe in Jesus Christ, and taught Christian values and morals. (I may not have always followed them as a teenager, but I came back to them when I woke up from my selfishness.) My parents never let me do without the things I needed (there is a difference in what we want and what we need). I didn’t get a horse, a brand new car, or every thing I thought I just had to had. My curfew was earlier than most of my friends, and I wasn’t allowed to watch certain shows.

So yea, I would say I was pretty “spoiled” and “rich” growing up. Probably not in the way that the world deems spoiled and rich, but I was spoiled with LOVE. I was rich because of the upbringing I had. My parents never gave me a reason to question whether or not they loved me or wanted me. I was cared for, loved on, and nurtured in the best way. I was brought up knowing the love of the Father, how important faith is, and that our hope is found in Jesus.

And now, well, I am still spoiled and rich. I still have faith, hope, and love. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, clothes to wear, and a family who loves me. I may not have the wealth of Bill Gates or the fame of Taylor Swift. But I have a God who loves me more than I can comprehend, and He has blessed me beyond measure.

So yea, I guess you can say I am still a spoiled little rich girl. 🙂

Weaknesses Are the Key


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As I was doing my morning study of Gideon today it was hard for me to hang on to layers that God was peeling away from me. This study has been causing me to come face-to-face with things about myself that either I have tried desperately not to see, or I have just been so out of touch with my Christian walk lately that I couldn’t see them. Either way, God is doing a work on me as I mentioned in my previous post. It’s a hard work to go through, but at the same time it is a sweet season.

Isn’t that how God is though? He loves us enough to take us as we are, but He will never leave us as we were first were. This is true for every season of our life that we find ourself in as well. Who you were when Christ first drew you to Himself is not who you were a year after that, or even 3 months from that. Who you are today is not the same person you were yesterday or last year. God is continually doing a good work within us. We just fail to recognize that at times. And this is the truth that God brought to my attention today.

You see, I have been so focused on my weaknesses in my life that I forgot all about God’s goodness. Oh sure, I had the head knowledge of His goodness, but lately my heart has had trouble acknowledging His goodness. So this morning as I was faced with the statement from Priscilla Shirer, “Our weakness is the key to unlocking the favor of God in our lives,” and then left to ponder the question, “What is your 300” (reference the number of men Gideon had in his army to face the Midianites), I was broken to the core. God got through to me, and I couldn’t hold onto the layers He was desperately wanting to peel away from me. I had to acknowledge that it is through my weaknesses that HE is made strong. His grace IS sufficient for me. My weaknesses are not necessarily a bad thing, as I have been viewing them. They are the very thing that drives me to HIM. Without weaknesses, how could God’s power be revealed through us?

I thought I would share some of my “300” with you. Not as a way to boast or as a way to get you to feel sorry for me, but as a way to be transparent with you and show you that I struggle too. Also, by sharing my “300” I hope it encourages you to be honest with yourself and face your own “300,” but not in a negative way. Face them with the thought that these things are what is going to bring about God’s favor in your life.

My “300”:
1. Secondary Infertility
2. Insecurity
3. My Past
4. Finances
5. Being a good Wife
6. Being a good Mother
7. Being successful in my business

These are all areas that I struggle with. Not necessarily in the fact that I think I am awful in some of the areas, but I do have my doubts that creep in from time to time. There are times in these areas where I go into panic mode and lose sight of God’s goodness, and I try to take full control. BUT GOD. Today He has reminded me that as long as I try to control everything, His power cannot be revealed.

Friends, God will take the “300” in your life, in my life, and use it to bring about some of the greatest blessings. We cannot even begin to truly comprehend His complete goodness, but we can start to acknowledge it. We can let go of our weaknesses and stop trying to do everything ourselves, and just give it over to Him. I am convinced that if we want to see true victory in our lives, if we want to see God’s power displayed in our lives, then our weaknesses are the key to do that.

Grace & Peace, Jaclyn

Sweet Season


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Do you ever feel like God is doing something in you, but you just can’t quite put your finger on it? That is how I am feeling lately. I can sense God doing something, working within me. But if you were to ask me to explain it, I couldn’t put into words adequately.

I started Priscilla Shirer’s study Gideon a couple of weeks ago, and God has been using it to speak right to my heart. I started out thinking I was only going to prepare to lead this study and that God was going to use it to touch other women’s hearts. But God. Oh, those two simple words. How they change everything. God has been peeling back the layers of my heart with every lesson. He is doing a work within me right now, & it is a much needed work friends.

I will be honest and share with you that my walk hasn’t been as close as it should be, but He is changing that. He is bringing me back to Him. He is revealing to me & reminding me of His great purpose. He is reminding me of His calling on my life. And it is oh so sweet. I cannot wait to share with you along the way friends. This season of my life is one where my Almighty Father is drawing me into himself & allowing me to taste yet again that He is good. He is showing me that I am not much different than the insecure fearful Gideon, whom God chose to use to do great things. This is a sweet season.

Taste & see that The Lord is good. ~Psalm 34:8

Breaking Comfort Zones, and Experiencing Grace and Love


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Yesterday was a day where I felt the Lord leading me out of my comfort zone, yet again. You know I have discovered that when God moves you out of your comfort zone in one area, more than likely He is about to move you out of your comfort zone in another area of your life. And it is really futile to resist, because one way or another, you will be moved out of it.

So, back to yesterday. I felt the Lord nudging me to check up on a friend who has just had a baby. I have not been a very good friend in checking up on her consistently, as it has been difficult for me. Not that I am not happy that she is experiencing one of the greatest joys a woman can ever know, but simply because I have found myself in a place that I never thought I would ever be. The place of secondary infertility. (If you haven’t read my story on this, I encourage you to go back a few posts and start from the beginning.) It’s not that I am not happy for my friend. It’s not that I am mad at her for getting pregnant and having this precious baby. It’s just a hard and difficult area in my life that I have to daily work through (some days are better than others). So, we have texted back and forth during her pregnancy and since her baby boy’s arrival, but I will admit I have been guarded. I have tried to pull back. I have even been a bit snotty. Yes, I am confessing here and being real with you guys. I have my faults and weaknesses just like anyone else, even as a Pastor’s Wife.

But yesterday as I was getting ready for church, I felt the Lord nudging me to check up on her. You know just to see how she was doing and how precious baby was. I tried to resist a bit, I admit. But I sent the text. We texted back and forth, and then it happened. The Lord had to do it again. The Holy Spirit was prompting me to apologize. Say what? Yep, He was telling me I needed to apologize for my behavior. I was like, “Seriously, Lord. Do I have to? (Just like a kid, right?) I mean, this is going to be uncomfortable.This will not be easy. It’s going to be awkward, God. What if she is mad at me? What if she shares with me that I have hurt her feelings or something? God, I will be exposed!” yea, all those thoughts went through my head. As I stood there with my phone in my hand, staring at our text conversation, I did it. It was hard. It wasn’t easy. It was awkward and uncomfortable. As I waited for a reply I even began replaying the conversation with God in my head. Then came the reply, ” I appreciate your apology. I know it’s been rough on you, and I think about that (and you) all the time.” What? Her accepting my apology really wasn’t took me off guard. It was the next statement. She was thinking about me. Even with my wrong attitude, she thought about me and my feelings. Talk about humbling. It still gets me as I look at it this morning. It’s not surprising in a way that this behavior is out of character for her. It’s surprising in a way, that despite how I behaved she never thought ill towards me. How Christ-like is that?

Does this mean, that my struggles with my feelings about my infertility are gone? Not at all. But I do feel a sense of peace and a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. God doesn’t push us out of our comfort zones as a means of torture. He pushes us out of them as a means of growth. He wants us to grow and blossom into the men and women of Christ that we are created to be. And we can’t do that in our comfort zones. I was hit with the uncomfortableness and the awkwardness yesterday, but most of all I had to face my own sin. I had to come face to face with my wrong attitude, and admit that I hadn’t been acting in a way that was Christ-like. And you know what I got in return? I got the love of Christ overflowing back to me. I received grace and love.

I pray that when God nudges you to step out of your comfort zones, that you are obedient. I pray that you experience the grace and love of Christ overflowing back to you as you break the bounds of your comfort zones. I pray that you choose to offer grace and love to those who step out of their comfort zones with you. Comfort zones are meant to be broken so that God’s love can be made known.

Grace & Peace, Jaclyn

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