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Belief Over Misery*

One of the important things to remember when blogging or journaling is to write about both the bad and the good moments.

Why the bad the moments? To be honest. To remind yourself and everyone else that perfection can't be found here, and struggles will come. And sometimes, because it helps to vent. For me, writing my thoughts down helps give them focus and clarity. But also, it's important to record what the issue is, what you're dealing with, so that you can see later how you've grown. More significantly, you can see how God is working.

That's why we have to write about the good moments, too. They are like the monuments the Israelites used to build to remind themselves of God's provision. It's all too easy to get caught up in circumstances and see only how bad everything is. I'm so prone to that. I forget too quickly the ways in which God has provided for me in the past--but keeping a record helps combat spiritual amnesia.

So today, I am writing out of a sense of awe. That's something I haven't felt in a while.

God came through for me this week in a very powerful, undeniable way. And I...I am humbled by it, knowing that I don't deserve it.

I know I keep bringing up this Ireland thing...but I've been timid about it, afraid of having the door closed on me. It's happened before. So I've been looking for signs and signals, clues to see if this is actually where God is leading me, and not just my own wistfulness. Today I feel like God is confirming some things, and beginning to make a way for me.

I ask you to continue praying for me, not because I'm still so uncertain, but because I'll need it. There will still be struggles and doubts; I'll be under attack.

I'll continue to give updates. We don't leave until next month--July 12th.

Again, I just felt like I needed to record something positive. I've been dealing with a lot of negativity in an area of my life lately (specifically, my calling, gifts, and purpose), and this week was like...the sun coming out after a thunderstorm. (No offense to rainy weather!)

I was led to the Psalms the other day, and found myself reading 23 & 25. 25 is where Third Day got their song "My Hope is You," and that was kind of an anthem for me the other day. Psalm 23, however, is so well-known that I don't often pay attention to it. It's cliche. Or so I thought.

But suddenly, words leapt off the page:

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
It's not cliche, after all. It's beautiful. It's just become so commonplace that I stopped noticing.

I don't want to stop noticing what God is trying to say to me--on the contrary, I want to hear more and more.

I've got my heart set
on what happens next
I've got my eyes wide,
It's not over yet,
We're miracles,
And we're not alone....*

* --Taken from the Switchfoot song, "This is Home."


Anonymous said...

I used to look for signs and symbols to know whether I was going in the right direction or if God was wanting me in a certain place. And then I found out that if God really didn't want me somewhere He would just prevent it. That is, when I'm walking close with him.

Madelie told me one time "Cynthia, stop praying for signs. If you want to follow God's will, He will make it clear for you. So, don't ask 'God, what is your will?'. Instead say, 'God, whatever your will is I trust you to make it clear to me.'"

Just like Paul tried to go to Asia three times and he was stopped all three times. Then he figured out that God didn't want him to go there. Sometimes God gives us peace before we step through the door and sometimes after we step through the door.

So, sometimes we don't find out what His will is until after we've made a decision. I believe you have made a good decision to go to Ireland. God will let you know if you should stay...or return and come back later.

So, have no doubt. Don't give Satan any room. You know that you're suppose to go. Whatever happens before you get there or while travleing or after you get there. Just rest assured in the peace that He gives you that you are doing what is right.

Sorry this was so long.


blake elizabeth said...


thanks for the comment! virtual paths definitely count! (and you sound pretty cool yourself.)

so, IRELAND. ooh man, are you in for the trip of a lifetime! ireland is a topic i'm very, very passionate about, so the request for advice could result in a novel if i'm not careful. :)

first of all, i'm stoked that you're going to greystones of all places, because it is one of the cutest, quaintest, little harbor towns of all time. probably my favorite place on earth.

ok- my advice.
1. go to the happy pear (hip, earthy, organic food market) and get a fresh fruit smoothie. (ask around if you can't find it- it's a pretty prominent part of greystones.) :) and make sure you go upstairs to drink it - it's so cute up there.
2. walk along the beach by the rocks early in the morning.
3. if you like coffee, homan's coffee shop is just a little bit beyond the happy pear and they serve bewley's coffee which is delicious.
4. take the DART (dublin area railway transportation) into dublin. it's just fun to ride on and gives a nice tour if you sit by the window.
5. if you get a chance to hike, do it! you won't regret it.

there's so much more i could say, BELIEVE me, but i'll leave it at that. hope your time is amazing (i'm sure it will - it's IRELAND) and hope this "advice" helps.

ps. just curious... what's the prayer conference for/about?

blake elizabeth said...

ahh the Y! it holds an extremely special place in my heart. it's a big old house that's just... great. very cozy. there's a room to the right just as you walk in called the "red room" which has a bunch of couches and a fireplace.. a great chill room. there are several other rooms on the first floor, including a big dining area. then there's a staircase that leads up to the second floor which is where the bedrooms are. there's 3 bathrooms, i think, and like 8 rooms (that are either doubles, or triples and then there's one 4-man). (there's also another building next to the main house that might be used. it was where the guys in our group slept when we were there so i don't know what it looks like..) there are laundry facilities... two washers (in the house) and two driers in a little shed behind the house. i don't know what your laundry situation will be, but i would think those would be open for use...

ok i better stop or i will talk your ear off! have a great time! i'm excited for you!

blake elizabeth said...

i'm so glad! (!!!) excitement is exactly what you should be feeling right now. :) ireland is definitely exclamation point worthy. happy travels!