Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sovereign Intervention

It was truly a glorious day. The sun was shining. There was a nice breeze. I was up early and headed down the road about an hour's drive for a work-related appointment. The whole way there just felt "right." I was singing, worshiping, praying...just enjoying the lush green scenery (compliments of all the recent rain) and having my own little worship service right there in the mini van. Yes, you read that right. I said mini van.

I was driving the company car - which I affectionately call the "Chicken Mini." One look at the van and there is no guessing where I work. Sad to say, there was no cow and no actual chicken on board.

It was a blessed morning. I was visiting a company-sponsored summer camp with more than 300 first through sixth graders. I can honestly say it was a blast. You know when you have those encounters with other believers - whom you've never even met - and it just turns into a spiritual shot in the arm? Yeah, that was this experience.

Which is why I was all-the-more devastated when I got back in the van and realized my great mistake. You see, before I set out on my hour drive I contemplated getting gas in town but rationalized I had enough to get me there and it's usually cheaper where I was headed so I thought I'd wait. But now I was looking at a gas gauge that read less than a quarter of a tank. But that wasn't the problem. The problem was I had grabbed my work bag, complete with computer, notebook and lipgloss (don't forget, I never go anywhere without lipgloss) but NO WALLET. Somehow I'd left it in my car...back home...an hour away!

There I am. Stranded. No gas. No money. No credit card. No ID. NOTHING. After the panic attack, I started to pray. I immediately sent a cry for help to my Knight, knowing he was an hour and a half away from my location. I had two options. Go to the local Chick-fil-A and beg or pull into a gas station and beg. Either way, it was a completely helpless feeling but I was desperate. Another thought popped into my mind - drive as far as I could until I ran out of gas and have someone meet me wherever I ended up. I opted to pull into the gas station and beg.

I had my Chick-fil-A shirt, name badge, key chain and van...but no credit card, no cash, and not even an ID. (Yes, I paid careful attention to obey ALL traffic laws!)

I knew my debit card number by heart and explained my predicament. But it was against policy. They couldn't prove it wasn't fraud. I asked for someone higher up, pleaded my case again, and (shamelessly) I may have teared up a little. In what was truly an act of God, I was granted permission and provision to be able to run the card numbers I had so carefully stored in my head! Thank You, Jesus!

The whole incident took an extra 5-10 minutes but I didn't care. I had enough gas to make the hour trip back and I was on my way. I was halfway into my return trip with a thankful heart returning to even more worship when I saw cars braking in front of me. I came upon the sight of a terrible accident - a truck must have rolled multiple times. People were stopping to help the man out of his demolished truck and a police officer was just making his way to the scene to offer assistance. All I could think about was had I been on the road 5 or 10 minutes earlier...

Provision. Protection. Sovereign intervention. Today I got to see it, witness it, experience it firsthand. It caused me to wonder how many times I go about my day and am completely unaware of His provision, protection and sovereign intervention in my life. Thank You, Lord, not only for how I witnessed you provide for me today but for all the ways I don't even see.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Putting Up A Fight

It seems that life can be going along just perfectly when --- WHACK! Out of nowhere a spiritual attack smacks you in the face. It comes without warning and it packs a punch with a vengeance. In my experience, the best way for the Enemy to leave you in a state of defeat is to convince you of the very thing you pray you're not. Or to confront you with the very thing you seek to avoid. He'll hit you alright. Right where it hurts.

It's like looking into one of those distorted mirrors at the carnival. Even though you know the misshapen, contorted image is not really how you look or who you are, the reflection is so convincing that it's easy to be tricked into believing it might really be you..

"Get thee behind me, Satan!" If I ball my hands into fists and put my arms up in a fighting position, do you think it will help ward him off?! Surely he's not afraid of me. If he was, he wouldn't be throwing such fierce darts my direction.

"In the name of Jesus..." Ah, yes. Now he must flee. I wonder how much pride he must have had to be convinced that he could be as great as the God of the universe. What distorted image of himself was he looking at to think that he deserved the position of the Most High God?! We laugh and mock but we're too easily duped to judge. And yet, the very One whom he sought to become, the very One whom he traded his own position of honor for is the One that he must bow to. Quite the irony I'd say.

I learned a little tune at kid's camp a long time ago:

If I had a little black box
To put the Devil in
I'd take him out and SMASH HIS FACE!!!
And put him back again

The pounding of one fist into the other hand while you scream about smashing his face seems like enough to make me feel better. I'm just being honest. And if you've never faced this ominous gloom and defeat, out of the blue, with no explanation, and for no apparent reason, then I ask you not to judge. If you have, then you can sympathize and pray.

I'll not live defeated. Don't you worry about that. But again, I'm just being honest. Why? Because I know I'm not the only one who's been hit with this attack. I'm not alone in feeling beaten up. And neither are you. So let's put on the armor, put up our fists and put up a fight. I mean a good, solid, spiritual, in-the-name-of-Jesus fight!

Now go and SMASH HIS FACE!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

I Do

"And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord." Hosea 2:19-20

There's no way I can possibly catch up on the last two weeks. Every time I sit down to blog, I honestly become overwhelmed and - albeit shocking - I can't come up with words adequate to truly share. Everyone keeps commenting about the joy and emotion that was seen, felt and witnessed that day. Dry eyes there were not. And there's a lot of good reasons for the tears of joy that were shed.

"What God has joined together..." Truly, there are no words to describe how the Author of this love story has penned it all. "Don't compare your love story to those you watch in movies. They're written by scriptwriters, yours is written by God." No mistaking it.

We often laugh about the ways our paths might have been crossing for years without us even knowing it. No more wondering - now we journey together, hand-in-hand. My heart in his. His in mine.

“Our story is one of a redeeming God who has had His hand of love and mercy upon us, not only giving us another chance at love and life, but using our lives as a testimony of his goodness and grace. Despite bad decisions or people hurting us, our love speaks to that of a God who looked upon us all as fallen sinners and loved us enough to give us life and give us each other so we could journey together. We know without doubt God has orchestrated our meeting and coming together and even our marriage.”

The pictures are masterpieces that capture more than just moments - they portray raw emotion. So I'll let them replace the words that I cannot come up with to describe the day I married my Prince.





How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me? Things so undeserved yet You gave to prove Your love for me...

Thank you, Lord. That's all I know to say. If you were in the room you would have felt it - the presence of the Holy Spirit so powerful, so present it couldn't be ignored or denied. His blessings He has bestowed, I know not why they've been poured out upon me. But I thank You, Lord.

**Photo Credit to Megan Vaughan Photography

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Beautiful

The kids were enthralled with each other. They were busying themselves with whatever they could get themselves into and not paying attention at all to me, my sister or my mom.

We were busy, too. Only our business was about a wedding dress.

Suddenly my 2-year-old niece stopped dead in her tracks, pointed her little finger up at me, stared with wide-eyed amazement and a twinkle in her eyes and asked "What doing?"

I smiled and replied, "Trying on my wedding dress."

With excitement and wonder she exclaimed, "You look like 'Rella," which is 2-year-old speak for 'Cinderella.' It's her favorite movie, but more than that it's every girl's dream.

Just a few days later a curly-haired 5-year-old girl asked me, "Will you look like a princess?" I nodded in affirmation.

I think we are born with it. It's deep within our hearts. It's the desire we have to be beautiful, cherished, adored, noticed. What I've come to understand is it's not the dress. It's not the makeup. It's not the hair (although I do love all these things). A fresh cut and color might usher a few compliments. Certainly a beautiful dress will turn heads. But these aren't the things that make one truly beautiful. It's nothing about the outer adornment that brings beauty.

Even so, little girls watch with wonder as Cinderella transforms into the princess she always knew she was inside.

Inside. There it is. At our core, the heart pumps a royal bloodline through our veins, reaffirming we are His princess.

The King is enthralled with your beauty, honor Him for He is your Lord.
Psalm 45:11

Beauty is one thing, but that wedding dress, what it represents, the idea behind it all is wrapped up in a heart captured. A heart captivated. A love so deep, so pure it transcends whatever sin and stains have tried to distort it. The bride of Christ ushered down the aisle, presented to her Groom. Her beauty is admired. Her heart is held safely by her Savior.

"Following hard after Jesus is the heart's natural response when it has been captured and has fallen deeply in love with Him." (Captivating)

Have you ever felt that love? Captivated by our Savior so our only choice is following hard after Him. What could be more beautiful?