Transformative Lessons in Summer 2021

My current writing space spills over with change, a transition, and preparation. It resembles this summer season of my life as I have been home and now get ready to head back to school. 

Quiet moments have been interrupted with the good gift of family. I have seen the beauty of both solitude and community.

Leaving Liberty last spring, I came home carrying much more knowledge and growth than I had first showed up with. I also left with the weariness of people pleasing and not resting well. Jesus entrusted many new opportunities to me and I wanted to do them all with a strength beyond my own. Jesus showed me the importance of my dependence upon Him last semester. So many days of my life at school were spent in prayer without ceasing and requests to the Lord on my knees. I struggled with letting things of the world distract my attention from seeking the Lord first. My desire for perfection in cleaning was on steroids. Jesus showed me how present He was in my current chapter while also reminding me that He saw the bigger picture.

You and I can often idolize other people’s walks with Jesus in thinking that they are precisely lived out without the struggles of being clothed in the flesh. I want to encourage you today to keep seeking Jesus no matter what is around you, despite the people who try to distract you, and through hard times that seek to halt you. 

Jesus has given me some transformative lessons this summer that I would love to share with you wherever you find yourself reading this.

  1. Every word that God speaks is true and will come to pass.

While at a service at my home church, I was worshipping yet fighting my thoughts. I was considering something which would ultimately be compromise since it is not God’s best for my life. As I was trying to place my attention on Jesus, a pastor spoke something that cleared my mind. He said that even the things we try to push off as insignificant matter if they were given to us by God! Jesus knows what He has spoken into us. He has given us glimpses of things to come for a reason! Do not compromise or settle for less than what He has spoken to you, brother or sister!

  1. In waiting for anything, we must realize that endurance is needed.

After reading through one of my journals, I realized that praying for endurance was a theme in this time of my life. What is endurance? By Google’s definition, the word “endure” denotes suffering something difficult or painful patiently. Patience is a fruit of God’s Spirit, my friend! Galatians 5:22-23 (CSB) informs us, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.”

James 1:4 (NIV) also tells us, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

We can view waiting as oppression or as an opportunity to extend our lives closer to Jesus, denying our own desires that lead to harm, and developing trust that His ways are better than our own. While reading through different Psalms, it astounded me how David waited on the Lord. He waited on the Lord. God was the one in charge of all of David’s seasons, and God was good even when David’s circumstances were really hard. Our circumstances never dictate God’s character. Jesus is reminding you and I today to trust in Him. Do not let the length of your waiting process blind you from learning more about His character in this day.

The enemy would love for you and I to grow bitter with the Lord. About two weeks ago, I had a long worship and prayer session that combated lies of the enemy. We must always replace the lies of the enemy with God’s truth. God is good no matter where we find ourselves. He is the Ultimate Gift and the ultimate Gift Giver. Let us check our hearts of idols and make sure we are not placing requests above being madly in love with Him.

  1. Seek peace and pursue it!

My best friend Mia is a gentle glimpse of God’s faithfulness in my life. She recently shared this Scripture with me. What are we chasing? A relationship? A job opportunity? An internship? A cute circle of friends to do life with? Ask the Lord to reveal to you what you are seeking. 

“Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it.” -Psalm 34:14 (CSB)

“Though the mountains move and the hills shake, my love will not be removed from you and my covenant of peace will not be shaken, ‘says your compassionate Lord.” -Isaiah 54:10 (CSB)

Peace comes only from our Father. Peace is not going to come from our best deeds, good works, or accomplishments. I beckon you to fix your eyes on Jesus. Seek Him. Pursue Him and all that He is this upcoming school year and for the rest of your life. Let the pressures of the world and the lies of the enemy be discarded in Jesus’ hands.

As you prepare to walk into a new school year, how are you going to prioritize the things that matter most to God? How are you going to love Him, love His people, and care for His temple which is yourself?

Let us seek Jesus. He is all that really matters. We are here for Him.

Thankful,

Haley

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