Beautiful In Time…

Before I share my thoughts, I just want to take a minute to encourage you to go and read John 11 before going any further. There is so much to be learned from this passage, so don’t miss out by just reading this!

The story starts with two women, Mary & Martha, sending a message to Jesus. Their message is a plea for His help, as we learn that their brother Lazarus has become very sick.

The first and main thing that caught my attention when reading the passage, wasn’t that they were bold enough to send Jesus a message, but rather Jesus’ response to their plea for His help in John 11: 5-6…

It doesn’t seem to make sense at first glance…it’s essentially saying that Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus…so when he heard Lazarus was sick, he didn’t go to help them. If you think about it literally, or don’t stop to really ponder it, you can miss such a powerful message in just 2 short verses and think like I did at first…”Okay, well that makes no sense! If he loved them, why wouldn’t he go and save Lazarus?”

If you continue reading, (SPOILER ALERT!), Jesus does go to Martha, Mary, and Lazarus eventually. We find out in verse 39 that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for 4 days when Jesus finally got there…so, as it seems, Jesus is a little too late as not only is Lazarus now dead, but he has BEEN dead for 4 days.

The passage then details Martha and Mary’s interactions with Jesus in which they share their disappointment, confusion, and sadness at his seemingly late arrival. What I love about Mary’s interaction with Jesus is that as she falls at his feet and says “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!” Jesus sees her at his feet, weeping and the Bible says that He is deeply moved and troubled. He asks her where they’ve laid Lazarus, and when Mary invites him to “Come and see”, Jesus weeps. In the shortest verse of the bible, “Jesus wept”, we see such compassion and empathy towards Mary, even though Jesus knew what the outcome would be for Lazarus when He raised him back to life in just a few short moments. This is the most beautiful evidence to me of Jesus’ humanity. He sits with us in our pain, even when He already knows how the story ends or what the outcome will be. He knows the pain you are feeling, and can wipe away your tears, because He knows the weight of what you are carrying around.

Jesus then arrives at the tomb of Lazarus and the Bible says again, that He is “deeply moved”, as He simply tells them to “move the stone” from Lazarus’ tomb. Martha responds to his directions with doubt, saying “But Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there for 4 days.” I think it’s important to note that the Bible includes this, and we can better understand the significance behind Lazarus being in the tomb for 4 days and Jesus waiting to arrive when we are familiar with these Jewish customs:

  • Typically when deaths occurred, the mourning process could take up to 90 days. During this time, many people would come to comfort the family who lost a loved one
  • When someone died, they believed that the person’s spirit stayed with them for 3 days and could possibly come back

When Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been in the tomb for 4 days already. So while the time of Jesus’ arrival didn’t make sense to Martha & Mary, I believe that Jesus had a greater purpose ultimately in waiting…I mean, just think of how many people were able to witness this miracle, with more and more people probably arriving each day to mourn with Mary & Martha. Also, since Jesus waited until Lazarus had been in the tomb for 4 days, any doubt that this wasn’t a miracle but was just Lazarus’ spirit returning to His body would have now been implausible. It had to be a miracle!

And this is where the lesson comes in as Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb and he walks out…A L I V E ! !

So often we want Jesus to answer our prayers and solve our problems right away. We don’t want to feel any pain, any sadness, any hint of loneliness. But what if God has a purpose for your pain? What if there’s a reason He’s having you wait? Think of the impact those extra days had on Martha, Mary, and all the other Jews mourning with them who also got to experience the miracle in God’s timing. JUST when they thought there was no more hope for Lazarus because he was dead, THAT is when Jesus showed up. His delay and lack of intervention on their timing was not a lack of love. Don’t forget that in your life too.

There is PURPOSE in the delay. God is faithful. God is good. God is all-powerful…and He is all of those things, whether or not He does the things that you want Him to do, and whether or not He answers your prayers in your timing. God’s delays are NOT denials, but He works on His timeline, not yours.

I think this verse sums it up beautifully…

Just read those words again and let them sink in. He has made EVERYTHING beautiful, in its time. Not some things, EVERY thing…and not in our time, but in HIS timing. And sometimes, a hard truth to learn, is that we cannot fathom what He is doing, but what we can do is TRUST.

So the next time you are tired of waiting and think there is no hope left, remember that in between the time of Mary & Martha’s cries and God’s answer, there was a lot of pain and sadness, but there was also many special moments in which they drew close to God and saw His genuine and authentic love for them. They showed Him their pain and He felt it with them. Let God sit with you today in your waiting. Be honest with Him, but trust and wait on His timing. It will be beautiful in time ❤

Little By Little

With Spring getting closer and closer, I’ve been thinking a lot about growth. Ed and I have had our home for a little over two years now and we walk often in our neighborhood. On one walk about a year ago, Ed noticed that the tree in our front yard had grown enough that the stick that once was helping it stand up was now off of the ground, no longer giving it any support or help as it could stand on its own now. I pondered how that little tree captured a picture of growth in our lives… As we take small steps we can easily become discouraged by feeling like we aren’t making any BIG progress, but this so-called “big” progress happens over time. Our little tree was watered, went through seasons, had some good days, some cold, some icy…just as we too go through seasons, good days, and bad.

There have been many challenging things going on with my job lately and last week was really tough for me. As I was walking Maverick, I saw a huge tree that had fallen down during our most recent windstorm (it was a crazy one!). After the discouraging events of last week, I thought to myself…I am that tree. I thought I had good roots and when the storm came, I fell over too. (I tend to be dramatic and also inspired a lot by trees apparently)

I thought about it as I continued to walk and was so touched as I noticed several other trees that were beginning to bloom. I felt God telling me that THOSE trees were me.

While God is working on things within me and “knocking them over”, He is also doing new things and growing me. Just because something changes or we go through a tough time does not mean we have failed or “fallen over” so to speak.

I immediately thought of this verse…

And this passage…

The truth is, with God as the center of our lives, we will be transformed and grow, just like the little tree in our front yard. The truth also is that following God means that He is pruning us. He is teaching us and helping us to be more like Christ each day and sometimes, that means letting go of things that once grew us, but that now is hindering us from growing our faith or being Christlike. When that happens, it doesn’t mean that our lives our over and that we’ve failed miserably. I’ve come to find from my walk that it means just like Isaiah 43:19 says, God is doing a new thing. I do not perceive it yet, but I know that I will. So in the meantime, I will not be discouraged by changes in my life that feel hard to me. Instead, I will trust that God has a plan! I will be grateful for His pruning, remain in Him, and wait with anticipation! I will take that small step…then take another…and another and soon, I will look back and see how far God has taken me and how much I’ve grown by being faithful in the “small” steps…just like our little tree 🙂

Serving Over Circumstances

There’s something about the stillness of the night & the warm glow of the fire that just makes me feel so at peace. On a girl’s trip last weekend, we gathered around the fire, with flannels and blankets abound. Conversation quickly turned to boy talk, as it usually goes with young women gathered around a fire! While we were chatting, I started to share how instead of doing a garter toss at Ed & I’s wedding, I was trying to think of alternate ideas. One of the ideas I had read about online was having the groom wash the bride’s feet as a sign of service. I thought that would be unique, but maybe a bit forced if I asked Ed to wash my feet and had people watch…plus, I’m not a feet fan, so I wouldn’t want to make Ed wash my feet!!! Lol.

Then, the same night we got back from out trip, I just so happened to read about Jesus washing his disciple’s feet. Coincidence?? I think not!

To give some context as to what makes this story all the more powerful, this is the portion of the Gospel in which Jesus is about to be crucified on the cross. At the time, He was very aware of what was about to happen to Him and His response was to go and pray. This passage in Luke 22 turns into a vulnerable moment, in which Jesus asks God if he would “Take this cup from [Him]; yet not [His] will, but [God’s].” In a moment of complete honesty with God, He asks Him if there’s another way. If there’s a way that would be less painful. He knew the intense suffering He was about to face, and so He turned to His father to ask for help. In that moment, it says “An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened Him. And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

Clearly this was not a simple task, and Jesus DID feel pain and sorrow. He knew what He was doing, and He knew that it had to be done, no matter how painful it would be. That was His mission and purpose for coming to Earth, to be the sacrifice for our sins so that we could CHOOSE to have a relationship with God.

In His humanness though, Jesus was struggling. Isn’t that crazy to think? Jesus struggled too. I hope that’s comforting to you today, because I know it was to me. But I love His response to His struggle. He prays and prays and prays. He is so honest with God, literally asking Him if there’s a less painful way for this to happen. He accepts God’s will, no matter if it aligns to what He wants. And it’s in that moment, that an angel appears and strengthens Him. But guess what…that doesn’t fix all of His problems or change what is about to happen. It says Jesus was in ANGUISH. Torment. Suffering. Pain. And what did he do? He prayed again, earnestly. His praying did not change the events that were to happen, and Jesus knew in detail everything that would happen to Him. He knew of the betrayal, the false accusations, the rejection, the physical pain, all of it, but still He continued to pray, despite the answer He received.

And that is why I’m in awe of this story of the washing of the disciples feet. Jesus, as we just saw, is in anguish and overwhelmed with sorrow at the events about to occur. He is praying, asking God to change the pain He is about to have to feel. He gets an answer…not the one He wanted…but He continues to pray. And while He has all of this going on, He is still a servant and concerned more about others than about Himself and His own situation.

In John 13, it says “It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” At this time, Jesus is having what would be His last meal with the disciples. Let’s remember again that He knew EVERYTHING that was about to take place, including the fact that one of His own disciples (Judas) whom He loved would betray Him over to the very people who would crucify Him. So while everyone is eating, Jesus gets up, pours water into a basin, and begins to wash His disciples’ feet. All of them. Even Judas, the one who would betray Him. That’s right…He used His last moments on Earth to humble himself and wash the feet of His disciples, when He could have so easily sat in self-pity over how much pain and suffering He was about to go through.

Can you imagine washing the feet of someone you knew would betray you? Can you imagine taking the time to wash people’s feet when you were about to be hung on a cross? Can you imagine putting aside all of your needs and worries just to wash some people’s feet??? I can’t. But that’s the amazing thing about Jesus. He’s not like us. He didn’t just serve those who loved Him back, He served and loved everyone, including the one who betrayed Him, because He knew what His ultimate purpose was, and He wanted to use every last minute He had on Earth to serve others, despite what was happening to Him.

I feel led to heed that same call today. Set aside your circumstances, and serve. Let Jesus be your inspiration today and serve others not because you think they deserve to be served, but because you know that it is your mission to serve others. And when you are struggling today, let prayer be your first, second, third, and forever response, just like Jesus!

Lay it All Down

This sucks.

I feel stuck, like we are moving backwards.

It seems like we’re going back to last March, but this time, surrounded by more worry and fear.

It feels heavy. Sad. Dark.

On top of that, it’s winter. It’s cold and dreary. Darkness comes so early now.

I’m tired of forgetting my mask and having to wear it all day while trying to teach.

I’m tired of schedule changes. I want consistency.

For so long, I enjoyed the stillness of being at home. I was so thankful for the change it brought to my life.

It helped me re-focus and re-orient my priorities, but now it just feels like we are back to square one.

It feels lonely. It feels dark. It honestly sometimes feels hopeless.

Sometimes I get tired of looking for the bright side. Reminding myself that “this too will end” and “it’s only a season” only helps for a while.

I’m listening to worship music, writing these thoughts down in my journal when suddenly I hear just the reminder I need…to lay it all down.

And at the feet of Jesus, I fall.

For a minute, I thought, I am so overwhelmed. I am sad. I am frustrated. I am tired.

And He said, lay it down.

Come to me. Talk to me. I want to hear.

Are you struggling? Come tell me about it.

Are you tired? Frustrated? Bring it to me.

Nothing you have to say is a surprise to me.

Lay it ALL down & lift your hands UP.

Lay It All Down Lyrics, By Will Reagan & United Pursuit:

Bring your worry, grief, and pain
Every cause you have for shame
Lay it all down
Lay it all down
When your cares have buried you
And there’s nothing left to do
Lay it all down
Lay it all down
At the feet of Jesus
At the feet of Jesus

Carried on but your heart was tired
Feared the worst and felt the fire
Lay it all down
Lay it all down
Filled with all those anxious thoughts
And your doubts became your God
Lay it all down
Lay it all down
At the feet of Jesus
At the feet of Jesus

Lay it all down, lay it all down
Lay it all down, lay it all down
Lay it all down, lay it all down
Lay it all down, lay it all down
Lay it all down, lay it all down
Lay it all down, lay it all down
At the feet of Jesus
At the feet of Jesus

When we’ve given up on better days
There are memories we can’t erase
Lay it all down
Lay it all down
When we’ve come to fear what we can’t explain
And there’s nothing here that can ease the pain
Lay it all down
Lay it all down
At the feet of Jesus

Don’t carry today what He wants to carry for you. Bring it to Him. Lay all your worries at His feet.

Give it Back to God!

We all know about those dreaded New Year’s resolutions that we so excitedly make…just to quickly not follow through on a few weeks later as we settle back into the chaos and business of life after the holiday season. At the end of 2019, I decided to make a list of resolutions and to commit to doing them ALL in 2020…But, for real this time! The list quickly grew, and I ended up having about 20 different resolutions. I tried to make them things that I’ve always wanted to do, but always make excuses as to why I can’t, in an attempt to hold myself accountable to actually doing them. I also tried really hard to make them feasible, because I knew that if it they weren’t reasonable goals, they weren’t going to happen.

So now with just 2 months left of 2020, I sit here starting at my wall of sticky notes with just a few of my resolutions left. I put each goal up on my wall to be a visual reminder of the goals I wanted to accomplish this year. Each time I finish a resolution, I get to take a sticky note down! It’s been so much fun, that I may have even already started to make a list of resolutions for next year too! But, alas, 2020 is not over yet…so, back to this year’s goals…

Two of the resolutions that I felt God put on my heart for 2020 were to “Read a book about hospitality” and to “Read a book on loving others sincerely”. Many of my other goals for the year centered around these two things, including: doing 20 random acts of kindness, making it a priority to call the people I love each month (if not more), writing letters of encouragement to people when I felt led to, volunteering locally, getting coffee with new friends, inviting new people over to get to know them, and many more just like those.

Well, here we are, with 2 months to go in the year (which is honestly unbelievable to me!), and I just started reading a book I ordered from Amazon with hopes of meeting my two book-reading goals that I just mentioned. The book is called “The Simplest Way to Change the World: Biblical Hospitality as a Way of Life”. I’ve only read one chapter so far, but it’s so CLEAR to me that God put this goal on my heart for a very specific purpose as Ed and I navigate getting married and buying our first home, and I just wanted to share a little of that inspiration and story with you this morning with hopes it might encourage your or challenge the way you think about the things God has given you and how you use them.

Here’s the book if you want to order it! Or, you can borrow mine when I’m finished 🙂 I promise it will be before 2020 ends 😉

As a quick update, Ed and I are in the midst of having our first home built and it will be ready for me to move into sometime in February. The home-buying process has been a roller coaster ride to say the least. We’ve spent a lot of time praying, asking, and seeking God’s will for what our future home looks like. There has been pre-mature excitement, disappointments, and many lessons learned along the way that could be an entire other blog post, but the biggest things that I learned through the process can be summed up in these three points…

  • My future home is not for me, it is a gift from God that He has given me to use for His glory. (I’ll explain this more later if you’re thinking “Whaaatttt??”)
  • Don’t put so much weight in your material possessions. They are fleeting and be taken away at any given moment…terrifying, right? The things we are given are tools to be used, not idols to be worshipped.
  • This life is fleeting. If we focus so much on all of our things, we will miss our true mission while here, which is to tell people know about Jesus. Our homes, jobs, etc. could be taken with a blink of an eye. As quickly as God gives, He can take away, so don’t put your hope or happiness in your possessions, but instead, in God.

With those lessons sitting heavy on my heart as we are coming out of the initial frenzy of the home-buying process, I began reading the book I mentioned above, and I am now starting to see more clearly the vision God has for Ed & I’s life and our future home.

God has been convicting me to realize just how short our lives are here and how important it is for us to grasp and understand that our eternity is in Heaven. Not just for our sakes, but for the sake of the people around us who we can share Jesus with. I’ve felt convicted to live with a reckless abandon and desire to tell others about God and how He has changed my life completely. I want to be more BOLD. I want to speak truth and help people experience the freedom a relationship with Christ brings. I want to be obedient and able to say “Yes!” to anything He asks Ed & I to do. I want to love people deeply and to encourage them. I want to provide for others and take care of them, especially in the moments they feel like they can’t take care of themselves…and the thing is, that NONE of those things can happen if I don’t view all my possessions as God’s.

I am learning that I can’t be so focused on my house, that I forget the one who created and gave me my house. I think we so often view “missions” as far away trips to third world countries, and while those are necessary, I’m feeling more and more that God is calling Ed & I to witness to others by using our future home to invite in the people who live right next door to us. I’m realizing that it’s not at all about God blessing us with a home for ourselves, but rather, He is giving us a home for us to temporarily use to invite others in so that we can bless THEM.

So, what “thing” in your life is holding you hostage? What “thing” do you need to give back to God as rightly His? How can you use the things He has given you as a tool to tell others about Him? Bless someone else today with what God has blessed you with! It could be your money, health, job, property, spiritual gifts, or even relationships…I challenge you today to use these things to be generous and to advance the gospel, not yourself! Be a good steward of the things God has entrusted you with. After all, that is WHY he has blessed you with them…to bless others and make Him know!

Give God YOUR All…

Have you ever felt like you have nothing left to give to God? Or maybe you’ve felt like what you do have to give Him is inconsequential in comparison to what you see someone else giving Him…

I imagine that’s exactly how the widow felt in this passage. Can we just imagine for a minute what was going through her head as she stood in the temple watching others give their offerings?

Picture the crowds of rich people, probably adorned in beautiful clothing, tossing large sums of money into the temple treasury. Can you hear the loud sound of all the coins they toss in as they carelessly walk away, without a worry about their ability to eat a meal or buy whatever they need later that day?

With that picture in mind, I think it would have been so easy for the widow to talk herself out of giving that day. Can you imagine the embarrassment she may have felt as her two little coins hit the treasury and made a small clinking noise, compared to the loud noises the sums of the other people’s giving would have made? She could have easily talked herself out of giving, knowing she was a widow who really truly needed the money in order to support herself and have food to eat. She could have just walked away, ignoring the whispers of the people she passed by as they commented on her ragged clothing, late husband, and sad situation. It would have been easier to just walk away and pocket the money, feeling like her offering was insignificant compared to the others, but she made a CHOICE to still give, despite all these things.

If you believe you have nothing left to give to God today, that is a lie. Instead of feeling like you have nothing to give, like you’re bucket is empty and barren, offer God today what you DO have to give, no matter how small or trivial it feels. Don’t fall into the comparison trap and see what other people are giving Him, because God looks at each individual heart and situation, just as He did with the widow.

In it’s literal meaning, this passage refers to financial giving, but there are many other ways we can give to God including how we spend our time, or even how we use our talents and gifts. What I think is so special and moving about this passage is that God noticed the one who had the least, but gave the most. He was not upset with the rich people who gave, as far as we can tell, but the widow was the one who stood out to Him.

God is looking at your life today, just as he sat in the temple back then, watching the offerings being made to Him. He wants to see what you give, out of what He has given to you. Give him YOUR all and be comforted knowing that just as He was watching in the temple, He is looking over you today, just waiting for you to use the gifts/time/talents/money He has given you for His glory, no matter how small your gift may feel to you. He sees you.

Entering the Kingdom: Not by Our Works, but by God’s Grace

I love the parables of Jesus…simple stories that give such vivid images of truth. In Matthew 20, Jesus tells the seemingly simple parable of a landowner who goes searching for workers to help him with his vineyard. When he finds workers, they mutually agree to be paid a certain amount, and off they go to start working.

Fast-forward to a few hours later, the landowner goes back into the marketplace at 9am, Noon, 3pm, and 5pm looking for more workers. Each time he goes back, he sees workers standing around, waiting to be hired, so he invites them to come and work in his vineyard.

At the end of the day, when the workers are called back in to be paid, the landowner tells his foreman to begin by paying the ones who were hired later in the day first (some of them only having worked for 1 hour), then to finish the day off by paying the ones who started working early in the morning, so they are the last to be paid.

So, as the workers were all waiting to be paid, with the 5pm workers being paid first, you can imagine the surprise when it’s finally time for the early workers to be paid…and they are given the exact same amount as the workers who started at 5pm.

I don’t know about you, but I think I would’ve personally been so frustrated if I had woken up early, worked hard in the heat of the day, then stood around waiting to be paid…only to watch groups of people who worked only 1 hour or 3 hours, get paid the exact same amount that I did for a full day of hard work.

As you can imagine, the workers started to grumble and complain, and I imagine them saying things like…”What? Why am I getting the same amount as them? I worked for 12 hours and they only worked for 1, yet we are paid the same??” Or “I’ve been here ALL day, now you made me wait to get paid, and now you are paying me that same amount as the men who worked only ONE hour…how does that make sense?!”

The landowners response is so good…he simply replies to their complaints by saying, “I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for this amount?” Take your pay and go. I wanted to give the one who was hired last the same pay as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am being generous?”

and BOOM, I imagine at that point, the tired workers, just frustratedly walking away and shaking their heads. And while I completely understand their frustration, I think there’s an important lesson to be learned here on the negative impact of:

  • Comparing your work to the work of others
  • Being upset when others receive a blessing you feel you deserve, or being upset when others receive a blessing you don’t think they deserve
  • Counting on our works, rather than grace to save us

I see two different attitudes that the early workers could’ve chosen to walk away with: on one hand, they could have been grateful for the pay they received & the opportunity they had to work all day and they could’ve chosen to celebrate with the other workers who were blessed enough to receive a full day’s pay in just a few hours or less and the ability that gave them to be able to support their families…

OR, as they actually responded, they could have felt ungrateful and entitled to receive more pay for the work they did since they worked longer and harder in the heat of the day.

Instead of choosing gratitude and celebrating the blessing given to the other workers, they were greedy and not God-honoring with their response. They were filled with selfish ambition, jealousy, anger, and probably even envy towards the other workers…and just think, what good did that do for them?

So I ask these questions of myself today as I go to work in my own “vineyard” (actually an elementary school :)), am I working for the Lord or am I working for my own personal gain? When I see others succeed and my work goes unnoticed, how do I respond? Do I celebrate the wins of others, or do I harbor envy in my heart?

As for me, I am walking away from reading this story with a humbled heart. The thing is, the point of this story isn’t even actually about the money, but rather, the Kingdom of God. It’s a parallel to what we are called to do here on Earth, while we are waiting on Heaven.

God is the landowner, and we are the workers. He calls us all, some earlier on, some later on, and some right at the end of our lives. BUT, our “compensation” for our “work” will be the same, because we are not saved by how much work we do (thank goodness!). Instead, we will all receive eternal life, IF we accept Jesus into our hearts and believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. So it’s not at all about how many hours or how hard we work, but instead, it’s about the grace we are given, just as the workers in this story were given grace and a blessing, despite only working for a few hours.

Let’s thank God for that same grace that He has given us! And let’s be THANKFUL that it’s not about how many “hours” we work, or what we do, it’s about what He DID and the gift he has bestowed up on so that we can spend eternity with Him, no matter when we start or how hard we work in His vineyards.

In the Stillness…

Jesus came & prayed with me today.

I felt His presence next to me, sitting, reminding me to just sit with Him in the quiet. Relax. Enjoy His presence.

He kissed me on the forehead and walked away, promising that everything would be taken care of and that nothing would fall apart in the few moments I took to be still in His presence.

Feelings & emotions rose up, as I realized I was in the spot I always am.

Finally SITTING & asking for God to come be with me & help me. He was, and always is there. The one not fully present is me.

But God loves me & He knows me. He will always call me back to stillness with Him. He will always be there & I can always be there with Him too, IF I choose to quiet everything except His voice & presence.

I will lean into His peace. He has peace for me. I will pursue quiet places & times with Him. I will quiet the noise of the world around me to talk to & be with Him.

When I am unraveling, He is there already, with a comforting hand & smile, nestling me to come sit & lean into the quiet stillness He desires for me.

I need these times of quietness to blot out the things around me that all too often take away from my time I could spend with Him. And it’s in these times, when I actually quiet the world around me, that I hear most from God, not because He’s finally speaking, but because I am finally listening.

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