He will remain

For so long, I have yearned to write on here. On July 17th, my husband came home from a conference. At this conference, a discussion of a job happened with a company. In Washington state. As he laid on the couch and we discussed what this could mean, the thoughts in my head rushed. No, this can’t really happen… can it?

I am the type of person that can’t help but gush and explain all of my feelings. I am a verbal processor and the fact that I couldn’t talk about this with barely anyone… killed me. My emotions for two weeks went from beyond scared to excitement and then finally freaking out. I thought through all the different angles on what would have to happen in Lucas and I’s life. How would my relationships change? How could I leave my job, leading Young Life and this Northmont community that I had finally settled into? I would have to make new friends, get a new job, new grocery store, hairstylist… EVERYTHING. In my head I kept thinking, “Lord I am finally okay and content in life’s circumstances. Why must everything change again? What if I steep back into depression? What if? What if? What if?”

Thankfully, the beginning of August came and this company flew us out there. We were able to spend a day in Seattle and then 3 days in Bellingham, where our soon to be home would be. I love to travel. But I had never traveled with the lenses of “this will be your new life” and it was hard.

Over the past month, I have cried on many shoulders, said my final goodbyes, packed up our home in boxes and enjoyed this time of lasts. And God has been present throughout every step. I have no doubt that the Lord is calling us to Bellingham with some purpose we will soon found out. I know he will care and comfort us. Strengthen our marriage. And provide deeper intimacy with Him.

A friend shared a piece of scripture with me from Genesis that has been on my heart. In Genesis 12, you have Abram being called by the Lord into what would be the Jewish people. No law, no temple, no organization. Just God and sinful creation. It says in verse 1 “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Later on in verse 4 it says, “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…” The Lord called and Abram went in faith, not knowing what would happen, leaving all he ever knew, completely trusting. I wish I could hear what Abram’s thought process was. Did he doubt in his head if this was the right decision? But this same thing happens countless times within the Bible from Moses, to David, to the disciples and Paul. God calls his people out in faith, asking them to trust Him and know He has their good in mind.

So with that I leave the hymn that so perfectly expresses my prayer.

“Be still, my soul, the Lord is on your side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to your God to order and provide; In every change, He will remain.

Be still, my soul, your God will undertake. To guide the future, as in ages past. Your hope, your mind, your will let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright.

Be still, my soul, the hour is hastening on. When we shall be forever with the Lord, When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, Sorrow forgot, love’s joys restored.

Be still my Soul. Praise Him.”

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adulting

It has been 3 years since I have written anything. So much has happened during that time. I have found myself more than ever aching to get some words on a page. I thought, “I’ll start over with a fresh new blog.” But I wanted this to show a progression of who God is slowly growing me to be.

Since 2012 I have:

  • Graduated from the University of Dayton
  • Started teaching at Northmont High School
  • Started leading Young Life at Northmont High School
  • Met, dated and married Lucas Hall
  • And bought a house

A.K.A I became an adult. bluh.

God has been faithful and has taught me beyond what I could ever imagine through those times. Change will always bring growth and the biggest place of growth has been where I place my security. I have the problem of placing it in people.  God decided this could be no more. Therefore, this past year has been by far the most difficult in my life. It’s always painful for the Lord to rip out something that was dug down so deep. And of course I’m stubborn so that doesn’t help. But to know now that my significance and value is only from Him and He determines it. A simple truth but it’s always the simple ones we have so much trouble with.

Through the last 11 months, I have also encountered one of the driest and darkest times of my life. To not go to the Lord and have no desire to do so is a scary feeling. Your heart slowly hardens and you become someone you were never intended to be. It’s then in those times that the evil one is able to whisper lies and you eat them right up as truth.

I lost the will to fight this year and God didn’t step in for a while.

He let me go through the desert but only so I could arrive in the Promised Land. And this was not without love. But I believe God wanted to teach me something, something big and since I’m so hard-headed, it had to be a VERY large sign. And of course, this was very simple truth as well.

He must be my everything. My source for life. My first, my second, my third. I must also watch what I say to myself every minute of everyday. Not what I think of myself because “…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8, ESV) And our thoughts can be so fickle and deceiving. But how I talk to myself is so important. The statements of “I am not loved, I am alone, No one cares about me, I am not good enough, I am a failure…” MUST be fought. Some say I can’t help what I think or say but that is untrue. You just do not want to change what you think and what you say. The Lord has given us the Holy Spirit to live and dwell among us.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13, ESV)

Abound in hope! Therefore, we do not need to stay in our depraved thoughts but can fight them, stop them and change them through memorizing and knowing scripture. For if you have ever experienced the amazing power and healing that comes from His Word, you know what I write to be true. If not, press into this thought and bring it before Him.  

My last thoughts:

Joel is a weird book and we don’t hear a lot of people talk about it. It’s short and nestled with the other short books at the end of the Old Testament. It easily gets lost. In Joel we have the usual case of His people losing sight of Him. Joel 1 – 2:12, there is talk of locusts, starvation, drought and then the terrible visitation. But before it gets to nasty the Lord says:

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
And rend your heart and not your garments.
Now return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in loving-kindness
And relenting of evil.
 Who knows whether He will not turn and relent
And leave a blessing behind Him,
Even a grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?” Joel 2:13-14, NASB

He declares to His people to come back to Him, rend (tear) their hearts open for Him because He is gracious, He is compassionate, He is slow to anger, He is abounding in loving-kindness and He is relenting of evil.

What sweetness for my soul.

Great Wolf

Leader weekend at Great Wolf Lodge is this weekend. I always look forward to leader weekends, spending time with friends, laughing, staying up late, worshiping and growing. This weekend is also where I bought my epic and controversial wolf shirt last year. Though I got a lot of heat for this purchase, it was well worth it and I stand by my decision. I will be wearing it all Saturday. I look forward to posting about the weekend and all that I come out with.

antonina grace

 

 

Back 2 school.

With school officially starting yesterday and homework already due tomorrow, it’s time to get back in the swing of things. I am excited for this semester. Excited for what it will bring and the growth that will happen. I often fall into the habit of not being still. So I have decided to make it a point to be still this semester.

So prayers for that.

Some music I have been listening to lately that I highly recommend:

If You Were the Only Girl in the World – Perry Como

From the Morning – Nick Drake

Latter Days – Over the Rhine

Going to California – Led Zeppelin

antonina grace