Cheers to another year

I’m 24 years old today. Whew, that’s a big number. Cheers to another unknown and exciting year of holding on tight to His coattail. Prayers appreciated!

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What do you call Him?

What do you call our Father? How do His many names embody or reflect each facet of His character to you? Which speak strongly to you? Which do you hold closely to your heart? I have my favorites. Share yours!

El Shaddai Lord God Almighty

El Elyon The Most High God

El Olam The Everlasting God

Elohim God

Immanuel God With Us

I AM The Great I AM

Adonai Lord, Master

Abba Father

Qanna Jealous

Yahweh LORD

Jehovah Nissi The Lord My Banner

Jehovah-Raah The Lord My Shepherd

Jehovah Rapha The Lord That Heals

Jehovah Shammah The Lord Is There

Jehovah Tsidkenu The Lord Our Righteousness

Jehovah Mekoddishkem The Lord Who Sanctifies You

Jehovah Jireh The Lord Will Provide

Jehovah Shalom The Lord Is Peace

Jehovah Sabaoth The Lord Of Hosts

(Info retrieved from Bible and Blue Letter Bible)

Two are better than one

Take a few moments to listen to “Winning the 3 Legged Race – Week 1” to gain a sound Biblical perspective on the importance of strong community. A convicting message that echoes my life in VB thus far… GBC’s pastor spoke the aching words of my heart. I cherish my sisters who live afar, but I desperately need new sisters nearby. Hoping that this message will be as convicting (and yet encouraging) to you!

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!…And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”                                                                           Ecclesiastes 4:9-10,12

I love You, too

I realized something while journaling today. I realized that I feel far from Him. I think a part of me knew that I felt this way, and another part of me has been in denial. God is my rock. He is where I rest my soul. He is the source of my strength. He is the mighty foundation of my life, and I don’t know what my life would look like without Him. I never want to know what my life would look like without Him. It’s from my Rock that I gain my meaning and perspective for life. He is my joy and my hope. He is my source of life and purpose. He is my everything.

And I have missed His recently. I have missed Him terribly.

I realized today that I have disconnected with Him amidst work and school and headaches and sleepy prayers. I feel like I’m running full throttle at all times without enough mental stamina to finish one coherent prayer. I feel like I’ve lost my Rock. I feel like I’ve lost my heart. I feel like I’ve lost me.

I don’t like feeling this way.

I know that we all encounter seasons during which our spiritual walk ebbs and flows… perhaps this is just another season of trial for me. But, this trial (in particular) worries me. And I’m not a worrier. The current season of fatigue, separation and stagnation from Him worries me, because the life that I’m living now is what my “adult” life will look like from here on out. My mind will be consumed with stressful work situations for 10+ hours a day. My evenings will be used to prepare for the following day. Sleep will force its way into my life, because my head hurts too much to focus on any one topic after 1900. Free time is non-existant and relationships are wavering. I seek to hold on to Him through readings, scripture memory and morning devos. Big fail there. My early morning devotions tend to be read for completion, not comprehension… TMS is not going too well… no real accountability or fellowship here in VB… blahblahblah, that’s how I honestly feel… I can’t seem to focus on Him even though I want Him and I need Him…

This just isn’t like me.   

The aforesaid issue has been mixing with another seed of doubt, too… Does God love me? Does He truly love me? If so, why do I feel as though the desires of my heart have fallen on deaf ears? Why have I sought patience and trust and reliance upon Him for years in certain areas of my life, and yet He remains quiet on the subjects. I sometimes wonder if He hears my prayers and cares for His daughter when she’s crying out to Him in prayer each night. Does His heart hurt when I’m struggling so hard to “see the silver lining” and praise Him when I simply cannot make sense of reality? lies, lies, lies…

Satan is taking advantage of this season of separation… he is twisting Truth right before my very eyes, and I feel too weak and far from my Father to fight back.  

On the flip side… He has blessed me BEYOND belief in major areas of my life, so why can’t I simply accept His decision to abstain from action? He is my great and holy LORD. His wisdom and purposes are far beyond my comprehension. He has the ultimate good at the forefront of His mind. He will act however, whenever, and forever how He pleases. The fruition of the desires of my heart will be mere gifts from Him that are deserving of praise for His glory.

Back to journaling… My attention was brought to Ezekiel 37:1-14 today. (He knew that I needed to read this section of verse…) It is a prophetic revelation from Ezekiel concerning Israel. The LORD brings Ezekiel to a valley full of dry bones. Yuck. God then tells him to bring the bones back to life by the power of His words. And it happens. Muscles, tendons, flesh… the whole shebang. God’s dead creation was revitalize simply by the power held within His words. The created was recreated. All for glory. Then the Spirit is breathed into the people. (The NIV calls them “a vast army”… gives you a picture of the scale we’re talking about here.) This “army” was a deceased Israel. These were God’s chosen people. But, they still required a rebirthing to take place. Not only does the LORD subtly exemplify His love for His church in this story, but He also demonstrates the need for God glorifying dependence on His Spirit for life. That’s a good lesson to glean. An old A.W. Pink quote that I love has been on nonstop repeat in my head recently… “Christ died not in order to make God love us, but because He did love His people, Calvary is the supreme demonstration of Divine love. Whenever you are tempted to doubt the love of God, Christian reader, go back to Calvary.” I have clung to this truth recently, because it is in fact just that… TRUTH

Eat that, satan.

Life continues to remind me that He is my ultimate necessity and only true need. It is my prayer that my heart will continue to seek contentment in Him alone. All else is icing on the proverbial cake… icing makes life sweeter, but I will rest content with the precious gift of having cake alone.

I will face trials all the days of my earthly life. I will also be loved by my Father forever. Past, present, future. I can hear Him say so boldly, “I love you, Christina Kelley. I love you SO much. I died for you, and I now live for you. Hold fast.” That sort of perspective makes the tough days not quite so tough…

Running the race,

Christina

Shortie

This post will be short and sweet. My heart is incredibly grateful towards Him on mornings like these. Simple mornings. Real. Raw. Fall-flavored. Full of Him.

Favorite Thing #1: I bought my first Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks today. Short, soy, no whip. Delicious!

Favorite Thing #2: I think the part of these mornings that I enjoy most is the fact that I have the time (and presence of mind) to sit with the Word while sipping on my beloved espresso drink.  Amidst the hustle and bustle of the coffee shop, I can step outside of my hectic world of school and work to spend time with Him. It’s in moments like these that I can open my mind and heart to the deep truths locked in the text of that great book. No stress, no headaches, no time constraints. I typically like to meet with Him on a beautiful mountain top, but I suppose a coffee shop will have to do for the time being… the beach is wonderful, but I can feel the longing in my heart for those beautiful mountains!

Favorite Thing #3: This song.

A well-caffinated young lady,

Christina