Nothing Is Ever Lost

I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” These are the final words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, as translated by Peterson in The Message.  I find myself echoing those words in my head this week and really pondering the Truth around that.  He is always with us, day after day after day.  If we truly live in that and truly understand Truth in that in our hearts, how can we ever feel lost and uncertain?  He is always with us and always present.

When I went to the Become Good Soil Intensive back in May, a knife was bestowed to me and the other men from our mentors.  This became a very special item to receive and a constant reminder of the journey and experience and the journey for the coming decade toward becoming good soil.  This was a good tool for one and something that I kept on me day after day, carving wood, sharpening it, and so forth. It was very special to me as it was to the other men of the Intensive.

Well, barely a month later, I was at the beach with my wife and kids for our annual vacation.  During the course of that week, what happens?  I lose the knife.  While out one evening, it fell from my pocket.  We searched all over, called the location we were at to see if anyone turned it in.  Nothing.  It was gone and I was crushed.  I was actually, more or less, pissed at myself for being able to lose it so easily.

So life, moves on.  We go back home and continue on, although I thought about the knife a good bit.  I know, I know, it’s just a knife, right? Only thing was, there was no replacing it. I could not order another just like it.  So back to business.  I make use of my Gerber knife and keep that on me, as before, but it never felt the same.  Besides, my wife and kids, only one other person knew about it being lost or even what it meant to me.

So, fast-forward to this week.  It’s the middle of the week.  I’m stressed with work and finances as we get closer to Christmas and meeting the requirements for counseling hours for my Masters program.  I was pissed and frustrated and even feeling lost with it all. I break from my work and go to the mailbox and find a package in there.  Inside there is the exact same kind of knife, which I thought was cool, then I turn the box over and see a sticker on the box that says “With God, nothing is truly ever lost.” You can see a picture of it at the top of of this post with the knife.

At this point, I am just floored. My knees nearly gave out under me and tears tried to come through.  If that wasn’t a God thing, I don’t know what is.  It was like God just told me in that very moment.  “Slow down my son.  Quit with the worry and stress.  Cast it all on me.

I went through this exercise of defining moments of my life before Thanksgiving and shared them all with my family Thanksgiving night.  Through it all, I was reminded of God’s constant presence through all of my my life, through the good and the bad.  He’s always been there.

How easy it is to forget this though.  Get back to life and the various things in our world begin to force us to lose sight of the fact that, yes, God is always there, how can we be lost if we truly have faith in that.  That’s when Jesus’ words a the end of Matthew right through, “I will be with you….right up to the end of the age.”  He has never abandoned us.  It’s not in some far off place.  He is right here with us.

God never ceases to disappoint me.  I think of Bruce Nolan from the movie “Bruce Almighty.”  At the end of the movie, Bruce is in the hospital, finds the beads that he had when his whole adventure with God began as he was crying out at the beginning of movie when his whole world was crumbling.  He looks up toward God and says, “Now you’re just showing off.”  That’s almost what it felt like.  This is why one of the things I pray everyday is break any and all limits I have placed on God.

With God, nothing is truly ever lost

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Stuck In False Comparison

Every story is unique.  Every individual is unique.  It’s pretty cool to see stories play out in the lives of others and to hear the stories that people have lived out up to now and where they are going.  Each of our stories takes a unique pathway that is only unique to us and how God created us to be.  There is a trap that many of us fall into however.  That is the trap of comparing our story to someone else and even wishing we could have a piece of that story.

Tonight I was sitting in a the men’s Bible Study at my church and we continued through a series on The Greater Adventure that Robert Lewis developed.  We are nearing the end of this teaching and this evening we began to talk defining moments in our lives.  There are many that I can point to in my own life.  Some huge ones in the past couple years and many going all the way back, some are tragic and some are great.

During this study, it was shown that part of putting this adventure together is setting time to reflect on our unique design.  Something came to me that I remember Morgan Snyder teaching on at the Become Good Soil Intensive and that was dealing with a spirit of false comparison.  How often have you tried looking at your story and then began to compare yourself to others?  Have you ever seen someone else’s story and thought to yourself, “I sure wish that was a part of my story.” “I sure wish I had a career like that.”  “I wish I was as great a husband and/or dad as that man is, or appears to be.”  There’s something in each of us, in our false self that often falls into this trap of comparison.  Maybe it’s not even wishing that you had a part of another story.  Maybe it’s diminishing your own story, thinking it’s not has significant as another person.  Morgan shared that in this spirit of false comparison we compare part of our story to part of another man story.

I love this teaching, because it’s been so helpful for me, as I have fallen in this trap of false comparison.  What was revealed and only after continued review of the teaching and then in reflecting on the study tonight did it sink in that God only tells us our own story.  My story is my own.  Psalm 139, “You have examined my heart and know everything about me….You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb”  This is so helpful to remember and think about.

Morgan adds in this teaching that once you get visibility on another man’s story, you realize that you don’t want any other man’s story but your own.  Nobody gets everything and it costs everyone something.  Meaning that nobody has it all figured out.  No matter how good someone story looks on the surface, there is always going to be something there, that you will realize that you don’t to have any part of, just has there is something in your story that others would not want to have any part of.  Just know this, it is so easy to get caught up in comparison and I’m so glad that the Father clarified this even more tonight.  So much so, I had to log on and write about it.  My story is unique to me, just as your story is unique to you.  Your story is the best story for your own heart, uniquely designed and woven by God himself.

When you get this and when you realize the power in this, this sets you up for even more freedom.  We can then stop worrying about the wrong things and begin to shift the focus more inward and truly get a clarifying view of the beauty of our own unique design.  Just to know that God loved you enough to make you in His own image, but designed with your own unique design and flavor.  How cool is that?  Why would you even want to have any part of something that God did not uniquely create in you and for you.

This is so helpful to remember.  You are unique to you and nobody else.  You don’t want any part of another’s story.  It was not a part of your fearfully and wonderfully made unique design.  All it does it feed a foolish habit that promotes envy and competition and begins to feed into feelings of our own inferiority which as mentioned before causes us to diminish ourselves.  Avoid that trap and don’t allow yourself to get stuck in a spirit of false comparison.

Qualifying The Called

What is your calling?  That is a question posed by so many people at various times and in a variety of contexts.  For the longest time I did not know what this meant or what it was to me.  As I’ve shared many times, over the last couple of years, this answer has began to gain clarity.  In a previous post, I shared that I was on a walk while out west and pondering who I was as a man in the eyes of God.  Then He showed up big time and showed me that He was about to take me down a very different path.

For the last couple of years, I have been in school, learning and studying, praying and pondering, and gaining wise counsel from trusted people around me.  Two months ago, we launched a counseling ministry within my church family, which was to be starting point in this new direction.  Over the time in my Masters program, I’ve learned some very cool concepts, techniques, and more around counseling people and counseling from a Biblical worldview.  Now came the time to put it all to work.

This has been a lot of the reason I have not written much the last many months as I prepared for launch and then began the work.  It has been a mentally and spiritually draining period of time in many aspects.  I’ve tried to figure out how to juggle this new work while still maintaining my current work in these early stages.  It’s not been easy to do.

There have been many days where I would wake-up and just wonder if I have anything to offer the people that have come to me for counsel.  I even wondered why God would choose someone like me to do something like this.  Like I’ve said many times, He completely shifted my paradigm and brought me out of my comfort zone in many ways.  Through much prayer, God has revealed that I don’t have anything to offer…He does!  With that, I just think, Whoa!!!  I have thought about that more and more and as these last couple of months have passed by, and although I know it’s very early, He is definitely right on the money.

I remember a quote I heard a few weeks back that said, “God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”  Don’t think I had heard that before, but as I ponder what He has done in my life and where is leading me, I think, Yes!  That’s exactly it. Then I start to think about the ragtag bunch that Jesus surrounded himself with.  None of these men were in any way qualified, but Jesus qualified them.  He taught them and equipped them, and then the Holy Spirit moved.

He qualifies the called.  I start to look at others around me that God has used in many different capacities to do His will.  All of our gifts are different, but the unifying link is that God uses all of it for His glory and we’re all a part of one body in Christ.  Answering the call is a great risk, in many capacities.  As I have seen, it pushes people away, who reject it. That’s not easy to contend with.  The beauty of it comes in pressing into Christ and in doing so, He begins to take the reigns and use the gifting that He has given us and perhaps, as in me, it has been hidden due to the road I had taken in my brokenness.

John Eldredge wrote that “An intimate encounter with Jesus is the most transforming experience of human existence. To know him as he is, is to come home.”  This is exactly what happened in my life.  Think of anyone you know that, maybe some of you, that have just been set on fire by your faith as Jesus came in and you decided to follow.  Look at his disciples.  You may think you have nothing to give anyone, but wait until that intimate encounter with Jesus.  Wait until he meets you on that road, like he met me.  You may think your not qualified, and you know what, you’re right.  He is and he will qualify and equip you, if you choose to trust in him and follow.

Forging A New Trail

I remember this walk I was on in January of 2015.  We had just finished a session at the Wild at Heart Boot Camp and the next hour or so was for each man to spend one-on-one with God.  We were given questions to pray about and seek God about. Those questions were how I saw myself as a man, how others see me as a man, and who does God say I am.  I never had taken time to spend in just contemplative prayer and discussion with God.  I remember sitting on a boulder over looking the snow covered grounds of Crooked Creek Ranch trying to listen for an answer, but not sure if I was hearing anything. 10361459_10204677376068595_8769313926448958482_n

After some time, I put my journal into my backpack and decided to take a walk.  I made my way to the main road that led out of the ranch back to Fraser, CO.  I remember waking and feeling the cool air and then watching my steps around some ice patches.  Once I got to more stable ground, I heard something that just blew my mind.  I heard, “This is who you have been.  You’ve spent too much of your life on this safe and wide road. It’s time for you to leave this road and take a new path.”  What do you do with this?  I remember later that day journaling, “I can’t take risks if I just stay on a path and not take the one less traveled.crossraods_520

I’ve thought a great deal about this walk lately and the new trail that God has been forging ahead of me these past couple of years.  I chose to let go of myself and the work He has done has been tremendous.  Last month, I began work in a counseling ministry and then have been given the chance to lead new men in discipleship and restoration of their hearts.

In some way I find the sense of humor of God in this.  I think of the quiet, reserved, and passive man that I’ve been most of my life.  He has taken that and flipped it all around.  He led me into counseling, where I am completing my Masters now and working with people one-on-one now.  On top of that, I continue to hear the call of God to seek the hearts of men beginning with this discipleship group.  I joked in our larger men’s bible study at church a couple of weeks back and we looked our value drivers.  To me, it related to Morgan’s teaching on Styles of Relating from Become Good Soil.  I shared with the men the parallel to Jesus and how he moves through each style or each value driver all in a manner of doing the Father’s will.  I talked about my predominant style, which we all have, but God will often need us to move.  I said, “I’m becoming a counselor, talk about moving out of your comfort zone.”

I can only imagine where God is going to use me next, but after sharing some ideas with some trusted men and mentors, the image is starting to come clearer.  As I said when I started this journey in early 2015, I have no idea where this is going to lead me, but all I know is that I am trusting in the Father to take the lead.  Proverbs 1:7 in The Message says “Start with God – the first step in learning is bowing down to God.”  That’s where I have start now.  I can’t take this to anyone, but Him first.

Where do you see yourself heading?  Have you ever sat with God and asked Him who you truly are and how does He want to use you?  Not everyone is meant to make radical shifts like this, but that is my story and this is how the Father chose to disrupt my life of complacency.  You never know when the answer may come.

the-road-not-taken-11The Robert Frost words, “Two roads diverge in the wood, and I took the one less traveled” continue to ring to me over and over.  It’s not going to always be pleasant and easy journey.  This road less traveled is full of potholes, rocks, and thorns.  I have days, where I venture back near the safer road and think, maybe I should merge there again.  I can’t though.  Once you have truly experienced God and His goodness and begin to follow, nothing can ever be the same.  You will be opposed, believe me, you will be opposed

It’s a journey folks.  To be able to step off the road of performance and the road of safety and comfort and to venture down a path where you can’t see around any turn only comes through faith.  Most of us never choose to take this journey.  Look at the traffic camera images every morning.  That’s most of us.  Trucking along day-to-day down the road we are all to familiar with.  Choose to risk and choose to forge a new trail where God moves ahead of you into the unknown.  The unscripted life is the only life worth living.

 

 

Don’t Stretch Yourself Thin – Self and Soul Care

It feels like it’s been forever since my last post.  I looked and realized that it had been almost a month and now a I look and we’ve entered fall (although it hasn’t yet felt like it in Georgia), and we’re just a few days from October.  The month of September has just flow by and so much has happened in such a short period of time.  I was on the road for two weeks, first to Liberty University for my final on campus intensive, and then over the pond to London for a week of work.  First trip over and it was a worthwhile trip.

In the midst of all if this, I begin to enter my Practicum/Internship phase of my Masters program.  With that we officially rolled out our new counseling ministry where I will base my work as a counselor, especially in the early phases.  A lot going on and then this week I begin co-leading a new men’s discipleship group.  I share all of this activity with one key point that continues to ring through my head and heart.  “Don’t forget to take care of your self.”As Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart…”

I know I’ve written about soul/self-care before, but I can’t reiterate just how important it is.  I went to my bride, Amber, this morning and said to her, “With all of the counseling and new ministry work that is coming along, please tell me if I begin to let it take over too much and if it is taking away from my time with you and the kids.”  One of the key things I’ve heard in my studies is that counselors and many in ministry as well, are horrible at self-care.  Burnout begins to set in, and then we have nothing else to offer.

selfcare-01bI’m in a season of transition right now, so there is a lot going on, but I don’t think it’s any mistake that God led me back to the mountains this year with Become Good Soil, where self-care was one of the key topics.  I feel that God is definitely teaching me to remember Him and to guard my heart through all of this work.  I’m fixing to take on the weight of so many people’s wounds and sufferings.  It’s not my weight to bear, though.

There’s a song by Will Reagan and United Pursuit that came on one morning while I was in Virginia early this month.  The song is called, ‘Take a Moment.’  The lyrics go as follows:

Take a moment to remember
Who God is and who I am
There You go lifting my load again

No longer am I held by
The yoke of this world
Come up under the yoke of Jesus
His yoke is easy and His burden is so light

I hear that song that morning and then that morning in class, our professor stopped her lecture to focus solely on self-care for a bit.  She realizes how important it is.  This just blew my mind when I hear this song and then that topic that morning.  The burden of other is not mine.  I have to remember who I am and who God is.  The burden was laid a feet of Jesus, at the Cross.
I write this, this morning as a reminder to myself and to share with all of you as well.  We can’t just take on so much that we lose ourselves.  We will kill our hearts and having nothing to offer anyone around us.
I sit in amazement of God as I think about this and how He continues to remind me of this important category.  Self-care and soul-care.  I was praying about this is morning and writing this post came to mind and then I read the latest blog post from John Eldredge at Ransomed Heart, and God just totally blew me away with this.  John wrote a whole post on soul care in the midst of the loss of Craig McConnell, who went home last month.  John writes:

“Soul care” is not a category for most people. They don’t plan their week around it. Maybe it feels unnecessary; maybe it feels indulgent. It certainly wasn’t a category for me for too many years. But my friends, the harsh reality is this: life is probably going to get worse on this planet before it gets better; all signs indicate it is getting worse at an alarming rate. “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5). In other words, if you think this is hard, wait till the dog squat really hits the fan.

We are going to want our souls strong and ready for the days ahead, not weary and weak. We are going to need our souls strong. So we must practice soul care. I, for one, am trying to make room for it as part of my “routine.” It really is helping.

We are going to want our souls strong and ready.  Reading this I was just like, whoa…I hear you God.  It’s so easy to take on more and more, but I am reminded continually that I can only take on so much before I run the risk of taken out.  Busyness kills intimacy and union with God and with those import to me, especially my family.
The bottom line is this.  Don’t stretch yourself so thin and stuff your time so full that you forget about yourself.  The enemy is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  If we are so caught up in doing more and more and more, we can’t guard hearts from attack and the enemy will find a foothold to setup shop.
This myth of busyness and multitasking is another tool of the enemy to take us out.  It leads us further away from intimacy with God, which leads closer to sin.  Take time to care for yourself.  Open up your calendar.  There is room, I don’t care what anyone else says.  There is time.  As Dallas Willard says, “Time is made, not found.”  You can make the time for yourself and for your time with God.
Don’t forget about your heart in the midst of all the busyness of this world.

Back-to-Back with Swords Drawn

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on my marriage.  Actually, I do that a lot.  It blows my mind that Amber and I are now in our 20th year of marriage.  We’ve been through so many ups and downs together over these last many years.  We’ve had our share of disagreements and many, many more moments of just pure joy of being in each others company.  I’ve been blessed over the last couple of years to primarily work from my house.  One thing that never gets old is spending our days together.  I get to talk to my wife while I’m working and spend day after day in her company, which I cherish.

I look all around us, and I see just how lucky we are.  We’ve seen marriage after marriage around us crumble or those that have already in the past.  It saddens us to see.  I was remembering words from the character, Nathan, in the movie ‘Courageous.’  He said something to the effect that divorce is so rampant because people “make it option.”  I have never understood why this is such a widespread epidemic.  It’s so easy to just call it quits now.

I realize that this is such a problem, obviously because of our fallenness, but also that when we hit road blocks in marriage we feel like there’s no way through.  Amber and I are beginning to read through the book ‘Love and War’ by John and Stasi Eldredge.  Early in the book there is something that is so widespread true where they share…

51ws2bvvfc5l-_sx331_bo1204203200_“Everybody who has been married knows this. Though years into marriage it still catches us off guard, all of us. And newly married couples, when they discover how hard it is, then seem genuinely surprised. Shocked and disheartened, by the fact. Are we doing something wrong? Did I marry right person? The sirens that lure us into marriage — romance, love, passion, sex, longing, companionship — seem so far from the actual reality of married life we fear we have made a colossal mistake, caught the wrong, bus, missed our flight…Maybe it’s just us…Nope. THIS IS EVERYONE (emphasis added).”

Marriage is full of its ups and downs and I think the picture of so many marriages failing and couples falling away from each other is the very image of man falling away from God when things don’t go our way.  How easy is it for us to turn from God and move further away from Him, when we feel hurt or experience pain and trauma in life.  We make it an option.

There’s a chapter in ‘Love and War,’ that while we haven’t read it yet, the title says a lot about who we are to be in marriage.  Back-to-Back with Swords Drawn.  It’s a given that there is going to be so much in our lives that is going to try to eat into our marriage and tear us apart.  Just as the evil one wants to pull you further from God, he wants to do the same to your marriage will use all kinds of tactics to do so.  This could be boredom and complacency, temptation of looking for that golden man or woman, financial problems, toxic soul ties with people around you both, and a host of other problems.  In marriage, you have to stand back-to-back and shoulder-to-shoulder ready to battle together against anything that will try to tear your marriage apart.

John and Stasi share something else on the same page regarding the struggles we face in marriage…

“For heaven’s sake, bring together a man and a woman – two creatures who think; act, and feel so differently you would think they’d come from separate solar systems – and ask them to get along for the rest of their lives under the same roof. That is like taking Cinderella and Huck Finn, tossing them in a submarine, and closing the hatch. What did you think would happen?

I love this, because it’s so true.  There are many that have the expectation that they should always get along when they marry, but as we all know, who have been there, it just won’t be the case.

In my home, I have all kinds of books and things I am reading or I use for my counseling studies and research.  We have a sitting area in our master bedroom and there is a chair and ottoman.  I have a habit of leaving my books stacked there where I can easily get to them when I need them.  Amber can’t stand it, to put it bluntly.  For our sake, I agreed to move them the other day.  The point is this, we just see it differently, but that’s okay.  It’s a matter of how we deal with it.marriage

Amber and I, just as with any marriage out there, are in this together.  Back-to-back with swords drawn.  The thing with the books stacked may seem so petty, but trust me, it can blow up in bigger things if you let it. One thing that can never NOT happen in marriage is communication.  Amber and I talk about everything.  She knows my heart and I know hers.  That’s what has helped us collaborate through our marriage and make it through the storms that have come along.  We fight through everything together.  So many times we’ve seen marriages fall apart, this key thing, communication is the one thing that was non-existent.

If you allow the enemy to setup shop in any part of your marriage, he will pry at you to tear you apart.  Don’t give him that foothold.

You are in two covenants in this life.  One is with God, through death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.  The only other one is your marriage.  A covenant is not a contract.  A contract is all about what is in it for you.  A covenant all about what you can bring to the relationship.  God desires to surrender your full self in relationship with Him and surrender yourself to your marriage to serve one another.

Don’t make divorce an option.  If you are finding trouble that seems so hard to get through, know that you’re not the first and there is a way through.  Work through it together and if need be, seek out a counselor to help you both walk through it together.  Back-to-back and should-to-shoulder with swords drawn, you can fend off the all that is thrown your way.

Been Pissed at God?

This is a subject that has dwelled in my heart for the last couple of months.  I wanted to write about it, but was not fully sure how to really do so.  When I was at the Become Good Soil Intensive in May, one of the things that came about through my mentors was in my own brokenness was whether I was willing to forgive God, knowing that God didn’t need forgiving.  It through me for a loop at first, but in prayer I did just that, to be forgiven and to forgive.  I pondered it for a while and then at the end of June, the subject came up again and this time with a little more fire.

I was on campus for a group counseling class and in the midst of sessions, the idea of being pissed at God.  I stepped in and mentioned my dad’s death nearly seven years ago, and although I never said it out loud at the time, I was exactly that.  I didn’t know how to process it all.  At the same time, everything from my religious marinade in me said this was not something you shared.  You can’t be pissed at God, or at least can’t say it.

angerBut when this was shared, it almost felt like a weight lifted off of the class and group as one-by-one, more people were willing to share their own emotion in this regarding their brokenness and that they too, were also pissed at God at their time.  I shared this last night in our men’s ministry study.  People realized that it’s okay, even though we were at this big Christian university share that emotion.  God is a big enough God to handle our raw emotion.  Last night, we were talking about a young-man at our church whose dad died in his arms when he was 12, and in sharing his story with the whole church Sunday, he let it be known that he was pissed at God too.

This emotion is okay.  It goes to our brokenness and flesh nature that when bad things happen in our lives that are out of our control, we are quick to blame someone in our anger and all too often, it gets directed at God.  For the two years after my Dad’s death, I did just that.  I was 31 when he died and I spent the next two years lost and angry and boy did I hide it well, even posing that faith and prayer was getting me through it all.  Total B/S.

God did something though, that I never expected.  He loved me through all of it.  I was not searching for answers from Him, but He continued to pursue me.  2 years after his death, God thwarted me again.  In my own desire to figure out direction my life, I stumbled across an app on my phone that many of us use.  The Bible app from YouVersion.  He had also led me to meet my now friend and pastor, Tim which led us to visit where he was pastoring, and is now our home.  I opened up the Word and begin to read.  Starting with daily devotionals and then I began to just read from Genesis to Revelation, day-after-day.  It was a start.istock_000005343680xsmall-425x270

I was reminded that things like what happened to my dad, or this kid’s dad, or any other tragedy or wound, reminds us that we are not in control.  We don’t like to admit things are out of our control, but it’s a fact.  Everything that occurs in this life is caused or allowed by God.  He knows every little thing that happens and cares about everything that happens to us.  I was led to Matthew 10:29-31, and this is Peterson’s translation in The Message. “What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays greater attention to you, down to the last detail – even number the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.

We can be angry with God, and yet at some point, we have to accept the fact that there many things out of our control.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face.  All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

I love that.  God will never let you down.  He’ll be there to love us and pull us through our times of pain, even when we are pissed at Him.  We have to be willing to turn His way and allow Him to Father us through our pain and grow us up a bit too.  We’re going to have pain, we’re going to experience trauma in life and sometimes, although misdirected, will direct our emotion and blame at God.  God will love you through it.  You’re worth more to Him than a million canaries.  He knows and cares about every aspect of our lives.

We have to choose to surrender to His sovereignty. To acknowledge that He is in control and trust what He doing in your life.  I sat in a class room with 40 something other future counselors and God is using each of us through our story and restoration.  I was in the mountains of Colorado with 47 other world-changing men, all of whom had trauma and brokenness of all kinds and yet, God was present with each of us and is using us.  This young-man at church has been on a broken and restorative journey since his dad died and yet God is using Him as well.cry-out-to-god

God will use us in our brokenness, pain, and anger.  It takes time to be restored, but when we reach that full surrender, you see it all, even the brokenness and trauma through a whole new lens.  It is trans-formative.  Romans 12 says, “You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you and quickly respond to it.  Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of maturity. God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (MSG)”

He will love you through your anger and will mature you out of it.  If you’ve been pissed at God before or even now, it’s okay to be, but how you respond from there and letting Him begin a work in you will make the difference in where things go from here.