And the Soul Felt It's Worth

Sitting in church this last Sunday we were singing the usual and expected Christmas carols. Having grown up in church I must admit that the majority of these beautiful classics I know well... most by heart even. However this last Sunday something struck me as we were singing Oh Holy Night. I confess though I know the words to this song, like so many other carols, I don’t KNOW the words like I ought.

Long lay the world
In sin and error pining 
til he appeared 
and the soul felt it’s worth.

This verse fell on my spirit like a rock. The idea of the hopelessness of the world’s sinful state before this Child, and the absolute reversal of humanity’s future fortunes with His arrival. Up to this point, the history of the world since the fall of Man had done nothing if not long for and desire... sin... destruction... its own doom. The world ached for it. As the carol laments, it pined for it.

And yet- He appeared! And the soul felt it’s worth!

What a line- that last piece. The soul of the world finally feeling it’s worth. Meditate on the meaning of these words- like Mary, heavy with expectation and promise, the soul of humanity which had known nothing but sin and error, death and decay- now beheld a glimpse of the promise of forever. The promised Messiah- come to give meaning, worth, and resolution to the aching world. That divine inspiration, supernaturally valued spirit, and treasured eternal spark within mankind was suddenly ignited into fire with this baby. What a marvelous thing!

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Today dear ones take a minute to thank God for the hope that came with His Son. Christ came to give your soul worth- better yet, to give you meaning, to tell you that you matter, and to have you know that you are worth it. Jesus was born and was killed so that you may know how much you are loved and treasured. No matter what you’ve done. No matter who you are.

May this season awaken your soul to its worth under heaven and in eternity. Live as such dear ones! Walk as such! Love and be loved as such!

Living Intentionally Fearlessly Truthfully!
LIFT! and walk in your worth today!
~Bethany

(Oh Holy Night - lyrics Placide Cappeau ‘Minuit, Chretiens’ - music Adolphe Adam c. 1847)

Finding God In... SEXUAL ASSAULT

I have spend the past few months of my life building emotional barricades. To protect myself, to avoid, and to ensure that no one could fully reach me. Yet beyond those walls a whirlwind of confusion, betrayal, and hopelessness consumed me. The pain of acknowledging my sexual assault gripped me and stripped away pieces of myself that I desperately clung to- yet somehow I still felt them slip between my fingers. The greater the storm weathered behind my walls of self protection, the greater I felt that I was incapable of being loved. I was repulsed by men, myself, and the idea of shining light on my dark and ugly situation; so I did my best to bury it. With the burying of my hurt though, I started to drown myself too. I spent many days covering the gifts that God equipped me with, determined to never allow someone to hurt me again. Instead of radiating joy, compassion, and gentleness- I hid myself in layers of sadness, shame, and anger. It wasn’t until I hit an unexpected low of raging anger through a panic attack that I chose to pray into my pain of being sexually assaulted by someone I considered to be a good friend. As God unveiled those jagged blankets of protection I casted upon myself, He took my hand and began leading me into my freedom. At first, I only slowly inched forward. I extenuated the situation in my mind in attempt to relieve some of the intense emotions I experienced. It took weeks to turn my resistance around into acceptance. And once I hit that milestone- again it took excessive tears, long therapy sessions, fits of rage, and even throwing things to allow acceptance to meet the beginning of healing. It was ugly. Some days I felt angry for the injustice, some days I simply felt sad for myself, and others were spent feeling frustrated at being 'stuck' in a season of healing. My emotions took deep root in pain and felt too heavy to bring before anyone. But in my brokenness is where God spoke softly to me and held me together. He gently took apart my defense mechanism so that His love could flow freely.

It is through each shattered piece of my heart that God shed His light. He taught me to become acquainted with each step of the healing process. To stop and look around, to sit in the stinging pain when I felt it, to cry out to Him in it. On the days where I felt stuck and helpless, He sent people to sit in the mess and cry with me. On the days where I felt intense anger, He sent a dear friend to pray peace over me as I launched big rocks over a cliff in between my tears. On the days where I felt so frustrated with what felt like a lack of progress, He scattered little gifts of joy to sustain me. Currently, He is showing me how much He absolutely delights in me. And through this whole process, He has directed me to passages throughout scripture that tell beautiful stories of redemption and healing.

Sometimes I wish for this hurt to be gone. I wish I didn’t second guess people who try to love me through it. I wish little things wouldn’t set me off. I wish this wouldn’t scar my heart, and instead it would quickly disappear. But, this will be used for good. This pain that I have become so familiar with will one day allow me to walk with someone who has too, been broken. This suffering will not return void and the enemy can no longer dangle fear over my head. I know that God is piecing this story together to bring glory to His Kingdom. He has promised me His peace. Finding Him in this mess has been an long journey leading to many new places that are uncomfortable and sometimes scary. But never has He left my side and never has He given up on me. This is a journey that is leading me closer to Him. And I believe in the glorious freedom He has for me despite all of the lies that tried to chain me back.

~Lizzie

Spring Has Sprung

…and with it new growth, new opportunities, new life, and new possibilities. If you’re anything like me, after what feels like days upon days of sunless winter skies, Spring feels very much like the proverbial breath of fresh air. We find ourselves searching for those newly-green sprouts shooting out of the ground, knowing that the early daffodils and hyacinth are close behind. We open windows on the warmer days, filled with sunshine and relish the warmed, cleansing air that the breeze brings. We breath deeply of the rain-soaked air after spring showers, knowing that much-needed moisture will help bring fresh greenery. Yes… we love spring. We yearn for spring.

Our souls are no different. So often life seems feels like this as well, regardless of the season. Work, school, family, relationships can grow stagnant… sunless if you will. We long for something- anything that energizes and puts fresh color into our days. We want spring for our souls too. We want that pop of a new hue and fragrance that puts another, fresher, earthier aroma into our lives. So often our days, emotions, heartaches grow dull and gray- we need an infusion of warmth and colored vibrancy. In short, we need revival. Deep, gut-wrenching, radically altering revival. Much like a field of blossoming flowers can alter the landscape dramatically, we need the same for our dreary souls.

Jesus is that change! He brings change both physically in the earth, bringing the new seasons, as well as Refresher of souls. Scripture never tires of telling us how much goodness and revival Christ can and does bring to us. God is as faithful and reliable as the changing seasons. We never doubt that spring will follow winter and summer after spring. This regularity of seasons is unchanging (though sometimes may feel like it takes forever!) God is no different. The Refresher of our souls can and will bring fresh air into our lives as well. Check out some of these verses about God refreshing us. He promises to do it! Ask and receive it today dear ones!

Acts 3:19 teaches us to “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

The Psalmist praises in chapter 19 verse 7, “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.”

Psalm 23:1-3 celebrates, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”

Spring showers? “You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance.” Psalm 68:9

God promises in Jeremiah 31:25, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

If today you are weary, in need of some color or a breath of fresh air, forlorn and feeling forsaken, tired and in need of a change of season turn to Jesus! As He brings the spring rains to the earth, so also will He bring the refreshment we all so desperately need. He is our color-painter, our water-bringer, the season-changer, the temperature-warmer, and our soul-provider. Let Him change your season today!