There’s a space on my bookshelf lined with patterned, leather, and wire-bound books with pages and pages of stories, prayers, and my heart poured out on paper. I don't know when or how it started, but I’ve been a journaler for as long as I can remember. For years, I hadn't had the desire (or been brave enough) to pull them off the shelf and actually relive those years—until just a few months ago.
One Saturday, I sat on the side of my bed with stacks of dusty, mismatched journals in my lap and began to wade through over 15 years of my life. Within minutes of flipping through the pages, I couldn't help but cringe, and so wanted to tell my 21-year-old self: “What the heck are you doing, Honey!?” I could hardly keep reading, but I hunkered down and read through the seasons of my life scribbled down on paper. The "college and single" years when I was such a mess and so apathetic towards the Lord. The "newlywed" years full of selfishness and pride; with lots of growing up to do. The years in the trenches of being a "new mom", with self pity and exhaustion on repeat. I read it all.
As weighty as it felt and as frustrated as I was with my younger self, I sat there Not able to escape the overwhelming theme running through my life:
God was always patient, always compassionate,and always faithful in my life.
He never stopped pursuing that mess-of-a-girl in those pages, and He never stopped loving me.
With each page, I saw my heart slowly (and I mean slowly) grasping more of The Gospel. I could see my heart changing towards people, towards my husband, and towards God. I started recognizing my sin quicker and began to see my weaknesses as a way for The Lord to be strong in my life.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6
Throughout this sermon series, Embracing the Tension, we’ve explored different topics of grace and truth—some harder than others to discuss, but each week we looked to God’s Word and waded through topics that cause a little pull in all of our hearts. Some of us might have left some Sundays feeling weighty and frustrated that we “just can’t pull it together” in some areas Or even struggled with some of the hard truths of what God has called us to.
I bet, just like me, if you looked back over a broad view of your life you’d see the same thread I do — Jesus patiently working and moving in your heart in ways you may not have always seen. God revealing truths to you that, although once hard to grasp, are now a firm foundation in your life.
Think about it: Looking back, what areas or seasons of your life have you seen the Lord’s faithfulness? His patience towards you as you’ve grown in your faith? Thank Him for His faithful pursuit of your heart and that He promises He will continue the good work He has begun in you.
Prayer: Father God, your love and patience blow me away. Thank you for your faithfulness in my life and that even when I’m a mess, you never give up on me. God, help me trust and believe your promise that you will continue the work you have begun in my life until Christ Jesus returns. Amen.