You know how it is with those sweeping statements! We all say them from time to time, and in the moment we truly believe them.
"I will never..." or "I will always..."
...and I think our eternal God just laughs and laughs.
Last week was a Long. Week. Am I right? For some it was filled with celebrating, and for some it was filled with mourning - for many it was filled with a bit of both.
This is real life and we all have things come at us that pull on our hearts and call us to our knees. I'm not even talking politics or national and international news. I'm talking in your real every day routine, life comes at us.
I don't know about you, but I know I gave my heart and my life to God years ago. It's just that sometimes I forget...
Sometimes He taps me on the shoulder and holds His nail-scarred hands out to me, waiting for me to once again place my heart where it belongs. In His loving and capable hands.
Life comes at me and things unfold and unfurl and All. the. Feels. start to unwind and all of the sudden, I am acting like my heart - my opinion, my very life - is my own. But it's not. I freely offered it to Him and asked Him to take and make it a sacrifice... make it holy... make it shine... make it look more and more and more like this Jesus whom I am so madly in love with!
Yesterday, at Dad's House, we talked about Freedom. We have been laying our foundation, digging in to our Core Values before our official launch day and it just so happened that we planned to talk of freedom long before this last week unfolded. I don't know what your facebook newsfeed looked like... I hope it was diverse. But even with my diverse Friends List, I was discouraged by both sides. The Jesus that was being talked about is not the One I know.
Our pastor said it best with a status update on Sunday.
I can not tell you how much I love this. This is why when God and Shawn asked us to come alongside and start Dad's House - we said yes. This heart... this passion... this truth. The Gospel makes everything better. If it's not making it better, it's probably not Gospel!
So no matter what 'side' you are on... no matter what your heart and hands are saying - whether wide open with hope, or clench-fisted with frustration... if you, like me, gave your heart to God then we must remember that He doesn't pick sides and He is the owner of our hearts.
As we gathered yesterday to worship, we could feel it in the air... something was going to happen. Before one chord was played, God was there. After a long hard week, He was so excited to meet with His bride - and we came. We gathered and poured out our hearts that belong to Him... we let Him have His way. His way is always filled with Love and Grace and compassion.
There was one point during worship - well, the tangible Presence of God was thick in that room and I could barely stand... at one point, -we'll just say it like this: There were more voices in that theater than there were people. I got up to pray at the end of the service and with shaky knees on holy ground I found the mic and paused. He likes it when we pause, when we wait on Him. I breathed in deep and prayed for the big things... for Charleston and churches burning... for many who are crying out and don't feel heard or seen... for grace to pour out and for love to win.
I'm really not sure what I prayed but I know in the midst of it somewhere I said something about how we are not here to make a political statement, but we are here to make a Gospel statement and that statement is this: Love wins!
Love wins! And can I just say this? Love wins easier when we remember that we gave our hearts away and laid our lives down to follow Him.
It's HIS side... It's by His pierced side and under the Almighty shadow of His wings that we stand.
It's His love that we pour out... Always...
"Lord, let us never forget..."
(but then sometimes, we do.)
P.S. I'm linking up with these lovely writers:
The Community over at #SmallWonders
Karen Deschenes Courcy for #TuesdayatTen
Laura Boggess over at #ChasingTheBlueFlower
Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday