Reading through my text messages, facebook messages, emails, and twitter from the past two weeks is astounding. My mouth is honestly wide open. I cannot believe the words that I am reading. Not just one time or two times, but over 20 times. From best friends, from family, and from people I haven’t spoken to in years. They are all dripping with encouragement, leaking grace, and shouting God’s love.
To put it simply, I am in awe. Of Jesus. Of His love for me. Of His grace for me. Just in awe.
As most of you know, I am planning a trip to return to Kenya this summer while also trying to raise money for a drug & alcohol rehabilitation center. Over spring break, I asked for addresses to send support letters to and I got so many responses. Not only did people send me their addresses but they sent the MOST uplifting messages, filled with joy for God’s plan for my life and excited to be a part of it. Well last week, we announced our t-shirts that were on sale for our rehab center. We got over 70 responses in less than 24 hours. All of them with their own encourage messages and love-stricken words. I don’t deserve it. I do not deserve one bit of it. But then something dawned on me today.
I do deserve it. And you know what? So do you. You are a sinner, yes, but you are saved by grace. While the cross represents how scandalous and dirty our sin is, it also represents how much the Lord thinks of you. It represents how incredibly much He loves you and how He would truly do anything for you.
You deserve it.
You deserve love.
You deserve encouragement.
You deserve joy.
You deserve grace
This is not a prosperity message, so please don’t misunderstand me. The months leading up to this week have not been easy. The mission trip I’ve been planning to Kenya has had multiple people be a part of it and drop out of it, it’s had plans change many times, and it’s been a rough spiritual battle to follow God’s will for this trip. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that taking on the building of a drug & alcohol rehabilitation center in another country (even if it is with my main chick, Shalee) is easy. It’s been so spiritually taxing. I have asked myself about 5 MILLION times if this is what God has for my life. Because honestly, funding $8,000 for just the first phase of a project is hard to imagine in human eyes. I’m not gonna lie to you people, it’s really hard. It’s also hard to imagine the end of the project. I am ready to look in the eyes of addicts and telling them that they are freed, that they are redeemed, and that Jesus loves them…I am not ready to wait for money or wait for resources.
That being said, before the past two weeks, I have felt overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. Feelings of not being good enough, feelings of “why would He want me?”, and feelings of just plain…lameness.
All of these encouraging messages have told me what I already told you, we deserve it. We deserve what Jesus has for us. And what Jesus has for you, is the BEST.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20
I could have never painted this picture for my life. I could have never imagined serving Jesus in Kenya, serving Him through addicts, or serving Him with the people He’s given me. This is what that verse means. It does NOT mean “He will give you more money than you could ever imagine” — that’s not where I’m going.
Trusting God’s plan for your life will lead to blessing. I don’t believe that the definition of blessing is riches or material things (this would mean that our poverty-stricken brothers and sisters aren’t blessed). Being blessed is being content in where God has you and finding joy in that. I know people that make no more than $5 a month, and they are the most blessed people I’ve ever encountered.
Okay. Rant over. Here’s what I’m trying to tell you: Jesus loves you and wants to show you exactly how much He loves you. Here’s another clue: It’s totally okay to know that Jesus loves you. He actually wants you to know how much He loves you. Because when you start to grasp God’s love for you, it grows your faith and love for Him and draws your nearer to Him. It draws you further away from your own plans and closer to His.
Basically, it turns a lazy, boy crazy, alcoholic, rude, Christian into a broken, redeemed, restored, full of thankfulness, Christ-follower. I don’t know who I’ll be and I honestly don’t think much of myself, but I know that my Savior does.
I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. You are your Beloved’s and He is yours.
The Lord is intimately acquainted with YOU (Psalm 139-get wrecked). He wants you to know that. He knows every moment of your life and He truly finds joy in every single part of you. Even the parts of your past that you want to hide, He is excited to use those things for your good and for other people’s good. In the end, sweet friend, He adores you. He loves you. He deeply cares for you.
If you feel the need to think of yourself as worthless (the world/Satan is strong, I get that) – I need you to remember that Jesus Christ made you. He intimately made every single part of you and He truly loves ALL of those parts. You trust Jesus’ opinion, right? Well you need to trust what He thinks about you. Don’t doubt His love for you because of circumstance. A circumstance only lasts a moment, God’s love is eternal.
I have rambled all throughout this blog but I just wanted to let you guys know that I am incredibly thankful. If you have sent me any sort of message, not over the past couple of weeks but over the past couple of years, the Lord has truly spoken through you. The Lord has used you to build me up and teach me that God’s plans are best. Thank you for your realness, thank you for encouraging me, and thank you for trusting me with Kingdom work.
I love you dear friends,