From birth to death, God uses the ups and downs we face as a
means of building character, instilling integrity while
administering refining grace to shape us into the people He
created us to be, if we’re willing. No matter how old we are, it’s
exciting to know that He isn’t finished yet. If you’re still
breathing, there’s still opportunity.
Life, when it’s real, is messy.
It doesn’t always look like postcards, fashion magazine pages, red carpet photos and movie reels.
It challenges the neat little box of what we think life should look and feel like.
Spurring us on to dig deeper, to be more honest with ourselves, others and more importantly, you.
In our messiness, you don’t cast us off or throw us away; you desire to draw us closer. To show us how you see us, the people around us and situations we face.
You engage us to love on us, give light, necessary correction and always direction to our path.
You never turn away. You’re always there, waiting for us.
You remind and reassure us that while we’re not perfect, we’re perfectly loved.
Every tear has a story. Some tears are shed in sadness, repentance, anger or joy.
Yet, some tears fall because of standing in the awesome presence of God.
Overwhelmed by his grace, mercy and amazing love, the saturation of his spirit in
our hearts is expressed in uncontainable tears.
No matter the reason, tears are cleansing for the soul.
Before making assumptions or judgements, know the story.
Fearfully and wonderfully made, you didn’t make a mistake. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, there’s no one like me. Let the standard of beauty I aspire to, be one of compassion, strength, gentleness and authenticity.
Fearfully and wonderfully made, I embrace all that I am and all that you’re cultivating in me, for your glory. Use what I perceive as weakness or flaws to show your character and strength. I come to you as I am, nothing more.
More than a baby born in a manger, defying our search for the perfect gift; you are Christ. God wrapped in humanity, acquainted with our frailty, you came to save and light the way.
Law, order and judgement are on your shoulders. In your love and compassion for us, you tip the scale with grace and mercy undeserved.
God of the universe, creator of everything by breathing and speaking it into existence, you can have anything, but you long for us. Made in your image, the greatest gift we can give you is our hearts, lives, time and love. The greatest gift we can ever receive is you, beyond Christmas Day.You are the greatest gift every day.
A woman sits on a park bench crying. Not sobbing, but softly allowing tears to stream down her face. Some passersby take notice. A young couple pushing their baby in a stroller glance. Unsure about approaching the woman, they awkwardly hurry by. An older woman stops and sweetly tells the woman she’s too pretty to be crying and that she’ll ruin her makeup. Finally, an elderly man takes a seat on the bench with the woman. Such a gentleman, he offers his handkerchief and asks why she’s crying? What makes her so sad?
The woman turns and looks at him with sincere eyes, stating her tears aren’t from being sad or angry. She explained that as she sat on the bench, basking in the sunshine, enjoying the cool spring day, she began to reflect on how much her life has changed for the better; the challenges she’s overcome, the experience of feeling truly loved and the willingness to show compassion and love towards others. The woman went on to say that her life changed when she obtained a deeper understanding of who she is – a child of God, a daughter of Christ her King. The challenges and setbacks she faced in life equipped her to walk out her purpose and be of service to others.
She assured the man there was no need to feel sorry for her because she was finding fulfillment and peace unlike she’s ever known. Who cares about a perfectly made up face when you’re sitting awestruck before a perfect God.
and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lordfor the display of his splendor. – Isaiah 61:3 (New International Version)