an odyssey: year 5, day 364.

One of my favourite past times while sitting up in my cot was playing with the early morning light on my hands that snuck through the slats of my blind. I played and cast shadows as my mind wandered. My roommate gave a cough. She was another friend on the mend who’d recently arrived and been mended after a nasty relationship left gaping claw marks in her chest. She resettled and I went back to playing with the light, my mind wandering to thoughts of You and how far my journey had unfolded since I’d arrived.

After years now, I’d had the chance to observe You in various harrowing scenarios. I’d had the chance also to build my own history with You.

Oh in those days how I didn’t know what to make of You. I was always keen on having people figured out, but You I just couldn’t unpuzzle. I scoff at my skepticism of Your intentions now. Not for a moment in all these years – never once – has Your character faltered.

No matter the amount of times I tried to catch You

trip You up

screamed at and became combative with You when I was in a state of pain and despair and delusion..

No matter the amount of times I watched You warily as You approached my bed side with a treatment

No matter how many times You found me wandering down the middle of city streets at 4 in the morning..

You stayed gentle, spoke the truth of my conditions softly with me. When I hurt You, You were quick to forgive me when I apologized. You spoke kindly to me, and didn’t hold my relapses against me.

Another cough from my roommate, this time wet and crackly. I snapped out of my memories and swung my feet out of bed and into my slippers on the floor by the side of my cot. I made haste to her bedside where now she had started to choke in her sleep. I ripped back the covers and could see a deep crimson stain spreading across the front of her night gown in the faint morning light. I bolted across the room to the blind and flung it wide to let the sun in.

“LORD, Come quick!!”

You were already by her side by the time I turned back around from the window. After some minutes of Your working over her, she quietly resettled and resumed her sleep as if never perturbed. You pulled her blankets back over her after reassessing Your work, tucking them in around her. Looking up and catching my gaze, You offered Your hand to me and I took it. We stepped out into the hall and You linked my arm through Yours as You pulled the door closed behind us with a soft click. We proceeded silently down the sun lit corridor to the examination rooms.

There was not a soul that sought Your sanctuary that You would turn away. You would take every wounded that managed to clamber or get carried to Your front door. Sometimes, You would go out and come back in carrying someone.

Regardless of who that someone was, all the people here would respond to You differently at first. Each had been badly wounded by different life circumstances, and it was fascinating and sometimes quite sad to see how the patients would treat each other. But still, You’d mend them and watch over them. I think about a year into recovery I realized the way You watched over them wasn’t just to mind they’re progress, but You genuinely loved each one. It was mind boggling. Especially since always at some point in the relationship that patient had to choose to fully trust that You were who You said You were. That part was always difficult to observe as a bystander. I wanted to shake the people who didn’t know You like I did when they would turn Your care that they desperately needed away. But You would never force them to stay. A sanctuary was a place of peace and protection for those who desired to stay, but I realized over time that if people were not here by their own accord it would be more like a prison. So strange that a place of such beauty like this could be considered a prison. But then I remembered how terrified I was when I was in fits of pain and delusion.

I’d learned over the years that there’s some mysterious aspects to Your nature, but it’s people who throw me into confusion about who You are. I’ve had to learn to be careful.

I used to know about You from others, but what my heart really longed for was to know You. Personally. Intimately. You are the best authority on Your own character after all.

[patient log status; completed.]

[archived.]

[impending log – 03/25/2017]

 

 

an odyssey: year 5, day 363.

I’m realizing that Your hospital isn’t such a daunting and clinical place. After the years I’ve stayed here, I’m starting to realize it’s actually more akin to a sanctuary. It’s when I venture back out into the world without You, forgetting and abandoning what I’ve known of Your character, that I run into trouble. But inevitably evil wounds me in such a way that leads me to remember You and Your loving skill with mending.

You’re not cold, clinical, and distant like they portrayed You to be. I once vehemently believed You were. I think often people forget that our story started with me despising, resenting and running from You. But in my time with You I had the opportunities to watch You work on others, pouring all Your concentration into the patients in distress on the table in front of You. That grimace on Your face that I once confused with a grimace of disdain and disgust now has context and is better understood from an onlooker’s perspective. It wasn’t disdain and disgust, it was a grimace of genuine concern – one that knew that this work You were doing would be the deciding factor between life and death. And You knew that in their disoriented state, these patients were combative because they thought the pain You were causing was torture instead of resetting bone, removing shrapnel, stitching up gaping wounds and dealing with ravaged tissue. You knew they might not understand for a long time, but still You saved their lives anyways.

Maybe I would’ve seen it more clearly if I hadn’t been trying to claw and beat Your hands away when You were tending to my wounds on the table for the first time. I’d just been through the worst thing possible to my mind and after snippets of stories about You, I had known only fear of You. At one time I thought kindly of You, but I couldn’t reconcile what I had been through with my unknowingly shallow understanding of who I thought You were. Still as my hands clawed through the air searching for Your face, You skillfully dodged and kept working. You knew that I didn’t know what I was doing. You forgave me anyways.

I was comatose for a few months. I knew somewhere in my consciousness that I wasn’t alone in my room. Somehow I felt You there. I sometimes heard other patients too. You’d come visit me, check in on how I was doing. You always knew exactly what we all needed and exactly what pace we all would mend at. You were always patient, always kind. Always long suffering. Even though I could tell I was slowly but surely healing I would still shy away from Your hand when You reached for me. It was very confusing. I trusted Your ability to heal me from whatever was coming my way, that You’d help me overcome the obstacles. But I also in my heart believed that it was because of You that I was in need of You to begin with.

When I would come to, You’d ask me about the distrustfulness in my eyes when I looked at You. At first tentatively but soon increasingly with a degree of defiance I would retort with the aforementioned reasoning. You’d calmly listen. You seemed sad, but not surprised not shaken.

“In time.” You said. And my defiant glare would swivel upwards from where my hands gripped my blanket to Your eyes and the breath would get knocked out of me because I thought Your response was a challenge but the love in Your eyes told a very different story. I’d be internally reeling in confusion but You’d peacefully smile back, smooth my hair, check my vitals, then go attend to other patients.

[patient log status; completed.]

[archived.]

[impending log – 03/24/2017]

 

Sister, I Will Abide with You.

It’s been really impressed on my heart lately the necessity of abiding with one another as women. I don’t know about you, but I sincerely cherish the women who I am blessed to be surrounded by. All of us are in a different stages of growth, and every one of us -though still in the process of sanctification- has a beauty that points towards our Redeemer and King. Masterpieces take time and hard work, deep thought and planning.

But I can’t help but feel a heaviness, because everywhere I look I see girls and women holding themselves to impossible standards. I see them critiquing each other and themselves. Things that can only lead to self destruction or the destruction of others. I’ve been guilty of measuring myself to people I don’t even know and to those that I do. I have desires on my heart that I feel like aren’t getting fulfilled fast enough or that never will be fulfilled. I doubt at times if my prayer is doing anything at all. I forfeit dreaming for the fear that if I do, I will be dreaming to no end about things that will never come to be. I stare at myself in the mirror and find myself lacking in more ways than one. I wonder why I am not accepted by some, and long to be acknowledged by others. I am simultaneously a courageous fighter and a shameful coward. I am my own relentless critic.

We were given the gift of speaking life through our words. God created by speaking things into existence, and by being made in His image, we have the gift of speaking words that can create atmospheres of peace, safety, rest, and comfort, or words that can rip down and destroy.

I bring this up because it’s come to the point of being imperative that I do. The looks shot at each other to see how the girl sitting across from you on the transit to see how she measures up has to stop. The glare across the foyer because she’s wearing something that isn’t your style needs to be questioned. The shaming of each other’s appearances is deplorable; I’m sorry, but who put you in the judgement seat of what beauty is? Have you forgotten that beauty is not outward but internal and that you condemn yourself but making yourself judge and authority?

Or what if another woman is further along than you? What if she gets engaged sooner, has a stable job, is more accomplished in an area where you are lacking? I mean, we’re talking about desires here. Things you are constantly longing for to come to be, some of which obviously may not have been mentioned in that short sentence. And not only that, but desires that you have been waiting for, praying for, patient for, worked for, hoped for and seem to be so easily handed to someone else?

This year for me has been rough. I thrive off the people I’m surrounded by and I’ve been surrounded by people that.. make me feel like a ghost. I love God, but I want to love Him more. I’m so grateful that He’s as faithful as He is because quite unfortunately I’m not as faithful as I’d like to be. As much as I’ve had people encouraging me to stay in the Word, come to small group and the like, I’ve really been craving just someone to abide with me. I’ve just been longing for someone to just.. be with me. I don’t care if there’s talking, I don’t care what we’re doing. I just want to be around someone who is choosing to hang out just because, because I’m finally realizing the beauty of how much it means to have someone actively choose to be with you rather than leave you to fend for yourself.

And I can’t honestly say I’m alone in this feeling of loneliness. Time and time again I hear from girls that they too are lonely, and only the specifics differ. So what am I doing just sitting here?

I’m feeling the weight of utmost importance that I open up and also maintain my friendships. Now that sounds kind of obvious to the point of being silly and embarrassing. But what I mean is that I’m feeling an energy build that is driving me to actively seek out and pour into the lives of the girls and women around me. Though I’ve struggled hard, I’ve been wildly blessed in some ways, so why not share the blessing? I’m not someone who even kind of has it all together (though maybe you’ve been misled so let this be me doing away with the guise), and so I can openly acknowledge that I will fail at this sometimes. But please promise me you won’t let where you are and where you want to be prevent you from reaching out to a sister who’s somewhere you want to be… because she’s struggling too in a different way and may really need someone to reach out to her and that person very well may be you. The mindset of comparison is the mindset that destroys. I’ve watched it try and happen in my friendships. I thank God I was able to notice it was happening before if did any real damage and that He gave me the courage to step out and address it. I’ve had to swallow my pride and be humbled. I’ve had to beat down feelings of entitlement, step back, and as a beautiful friend of mine said just last night “realize that people are on a different path than the one I’m on.”

But it’s so worth it. Because when evil comes a-huntin’ it’s looking for the lost, lonesome, and broken to pick off which translates to any and all of us if we don’t come together and fight for our friendships.

So how do we fight for our friendships? I became actively involved in celebrating and abiding with my friends. And honestly it was hard, because they did indeed have things working out for them in ways that I wish they were working out for me. We have desires for a reason, but we need to actively wait for them to be fulfilled and be pouring into each other while we wait. We need to abide with each other in trials. Please listen. We need to abide with each other in trials. We need to have each other’s backs. And I’m not talking some superficial click, “we’re all sisters forever can’t you tell by our selfies” sort of stuff. I’m talking about the being on the phone till late hours because a sister needs to be heard out. I’m talking about not even “joking” about a woman being anything less than beautiful. I’m talking being there when we’ve been disappointed. I’m talking holding us accountable so we can be our best selves. I’m talking about being honestly loving and lovingly honest. I’m talking opening up our homes for her to find refuge from a world that’s hunting her down because these days women are getting poached like our bones are going to be the new ivory tusk accessory or inlay. I’m talking sharing the gospel with her because she’s never had someone truly love her in her whole life. I’m talking not shaming her because she’s longing to be cherished by someone, anyone. I’m talking about being an emotional shelter for each other, pulling up two chairs, pulling out the tea and talking it out, praying together, or not saying anything at all and resting in the quiet.

And you may say gee, that sounds like a whole lot of commitment. You know what? For as many women as there are out there.. yeah. That’s a huge ton of commitment because every woman is broken in her own way. But that’s why we all need to get up and get in the fight for one another. This is not a spectator sport; consider this you being called to the frontline.

So to the lonely, the hurting, the lost, the unloved or those who feel unlovely, I have not much, but I will share it with you. I am one person and an imperfect one at that. I cannot fix you, I cannot promise you what no human can – that I’ll always be able to be here for you, but please talk to me, let’s go for tea. Or a chat. Or something.

I was filled to be emptied. So let’s go.

Sister, I will abide with you.

London, Oh London, My Heart Bleeds for You and with You.

To date, this is the most difficult blog post that I’ve ever written and felt the need to have to write. It grieves me deeply that a post like this is necessary. But it is, and so I will write.

For those who haven’t been to London, or have known London by just passing through, you’re probably familiar with all the awesome gourmet restaurants we have, Richmond strip, Western University and Fanshawe College, our infinite farmlands, and other cool things like that. But I’m here to let you know that like every other city, London has it’s issues and is in severe need of people who will actively care for those that call it home. If you go to wikipedia (yes, wikipedia, I know, I’m a university student and I’m talking about wikipedia because I know that’s where most of you will google anyways), you’ll find out that as of 2011, we have 366, 151 people here. You’ll know that London was the central hub for the military in the 20th century during the two World Wars. We’re the sixth largest city in Ontario, the eleventh largest urban area in Canada, and that were in the snow belt and get crap tons of snow (that last bit is personal experience, wikipedia: not necessary). But what wikipedia doesn’t have is stats like the fact that 16.7% of Londoners, or 61,147 are living below the low income measure. It doesn’t talk about all the store fronts that have been papered up and advertised “for lease” for the past three to four years with no bites. It doesn’t talk about how it has about 6-8 head shops on Richmond Strip alone. It doesn’t say don’t go past the bridge by the VIA and Greyhound stations that takes you to the broken side of town where you should never walk alone at night.

So how do those stats translate into real life and affect just one person who happens to be waiting outside of her best friend’s mom’s work?

It had been a tight squeeze because my best friend offered for me to come over to her place for a sleepover after our afternoon class so I could see and converse with some human beings who wanted to have me around for a change. I told her I’d meet her at her mom’s work so her dad wouldn’t have to drive all the way back to back track to pick me up. I lost track of time getting ready, made for the soonest bus, and still got there with plenty of time to spare. I was standing in the middle of the city’s biggest plaza which is always busy during the day… with people loitering and having no where to go and nothing to do because the majority of them are unemployed and homeless (do to an assortment and/or combination of things, some of which most likely have to do with the economy collapse and all the factories that have closed down and so on – see wikipedia). It’s been weighing on me the fact that I’m so useless, save to observe these people who mill about. Some are agitated, some are listless, some are paranoid and anxious, some are boisterous. Some dart this way and that after a bus, some kick the ground and check out the scuffs they left, some talk to themselves and tuck themselves away from prying eyes. And the classical music playing over the intercom doesn’t miss a beat, installed to discourage loitering, though for some it’s the only beautiful thing they’ll hear all day.

Almost every person I’m observing is wandering around with no where to go and all the time to get there. And as I’m standing there taking it all in I find myself faced with the question, Father, what can just one person like me do to help these people? I’m a student with no funds, short on time at this moment, not much at my disposal to offer up and they need more help than I can offer. London, you’re a small city, but I feel useless to you. And the man in the corner who’s tucked away by himself snaps his fingers as if to get someone’s attention and talks to himself and gives an arbitrary whistle. Just then I turned to see him, and he walked back out the front door he came in just minutes ago, leaving me to my thoughts and conundrum. I turned around to look through the glass doors behind me to see the McDonald’s customers enjoying their orders, and a little family of three (a dad and a boy and a girl) standing in the building’s entrance foyer. Just as I was glancing at the family, the little boy let out a cry as his dad took him and pulled/shoved him over to the opposite side of the entrance door to the room they were standing beside that had a “for lease” sign on it. The dad stood over him as the boy shrank against the glass with tears streaming down his face and with fear in his eyes protesting his dad, saying he hadn’t done something. His dad growled words I couldn’t make out back. The scene lasted maybe 30 seconds. Composing himself, he turned back around lifting his phone but saw me watching and realized I had seen the majority of what just happened. He quickly looked down and busied himself with something on the screen. But he knew I had seen him, and was still watching him.

Perhaps after reading that, you would like to hear what I suspected was going on. You’d like to hear what I think of that dad and the little boy who was afraid of him, or maybe you’ve already formed your own opinion. It’s tempting to say that there’s clearly more than meets the eye to this story, but in reality, all I have is what I saw. And what I saw I have said above.

So after about a minute, I composed myself and pushed open the glass door that separated me and that little family and walked up to the father. I could feel the tension rise as he felt me approach.

“Sir, what is your biggest worry in life right now? At this moment, what gives you the most stress? It doesn’t have to be specific – it can be general, but just tell me what it is if you don’t mind.”

He eyed me and then looked away. His mouth tightened as a thought popped into his mind, and his eyes darted back to mine and then away again as he said with an edge of uncertainty, “I just want to give my kids a good place to grow up.”

“Sir, do you mind if I pray for that right now?”

“Uh…. sure. Yea.”

And so I asked if I could put my hand on his shoulder, and I did. And as I prayed I broke down. After we finished praying, the tension was completely gone from his shoulder as I lifted my hand off. When I removed my hand, he went back to his phone.

“Sir, do you mind if I give you a hug?”

He said no, and so we hugged. Perceiving that I thought that a person wants to be let go after a certain amount of time, I loosened my hold, but he kept his.

“Thank you. I seriously needed that today.” And he let me go.

And I walked away because my best friend had just arrived to take me to her mom’s office.

I don’t know what that man’s story is. I don’t know if his boy did anything that needed disciplining, I don’t know if the father was abusive. I don’t know their financial circumstances, I don’t know if he was telling me the truth. I don’t know any of their history. I don’t even know their names.

I do know, that being a parent is super stressful and sacrificial from observing parents. If they’re economically troubled as I suspect they might be, I could not imagine the amount of stress that heaps on to an even more stressful task. One day, God willing and in the right context, I hope to be a parent myself. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs this side of heaven has to offer, so I’m told. I do know, that I had a little bit of time and not a whole lot of money. I do know that I, by myself, can’t build Rome in a day. I know that the places God puts me and with which people are not a coincidence. I know that every one is broken in their own way, that we need each other, and we need the love only a Father can give – everyone including fathers. I know that broken things require mending.

I know I can be opinionated. And that our society believes that if you feel strongly about something you’re opinionated about or feel offended by someone who disagrees with you, then dammit your opinion should be something that everyone else agrees with and dare not challenge… but, that’s not true or sound.

Regardless of if that was abuse or discipline – a piece of info that would have been a conclusion of my inferring things into what I saw – that man was still broken, which means he needed mending.

And not by me. Humans are infinitely complex (very much like their Creator who created them in His image.) By grace and love. Things that I can very imperfectly offer a portion of. And I can only offer it because I have known love and grace and It has known me and doesn’t shy away at the shameful things I’ve done when I myself have put others in line with my crosshairs in the past. I struggle with my own conundrums and vices, same as that man does, deferring only in specifics as to what with.

Trust me when I say that it’s worth it to ask,

Father, how can I serve London today?

Be Fearless.

I really don’t know where to start with this one. But I would like to initially state that there’s a good reason it’s in my blog title.

It’s a reminder to myself.

People define fear usually along the same line of thought with one pretty consistent pattern, but there are fears and phobias for just about anything you can shake your finger at or imagine. Some fears seem silly or evoke a burst of embarrassed, shaky laughter. Some fears bring about night terrors, anxiety, depression, insomnia, nightmares while awake, paranoia, and other acute or chronic symptoms.

Fear is something that I have at times in my life struggled against desperately. As I’ve grown up and been through more than one round in the ring, the Light has poured in and I’ve seen daylight at the end of my once seemingly endless tunnel of night.

Which is basically a super uber overly abstract way of saying that when I became a Christian and met Jesus and He became my Lord and Saviour, fear was conquered for me. These days, I only need to remind myself of His love, and bam. That fear that I had gets afraid and gets lost. If you’re wondering more about how that works, here’s a link to another one of my posts: https://takeheartbefearless.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/fear/

So how does this all relate back to this blog?

So glad you asked.

Blog writing freaks me out. Plain and simple.

And let me be a living testament that life stories breathe life into peers. On a grander scale, it’s incredible the things that I’ve seen God do with a person’s life story. I’m begging you, please, never see what you’ve been through as for nothing. He uses stories to bring people to life, to bring hope and encouragement, and to bring people who were once alone into community together.

Where there is Love, there can be no fear. Where there is no fear, people are set free. Don’t let fear inhibit your ability to love on others who need it.

There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:18-19).

Wha-Bam.

There are some things that God has most definitely given me.

A knowledge of self, the apparent incapacity for an emotional comfort bubble, and the inability to put my heart anywhere else but on my sleeve, and a deep and irrefutable desire to understand or at least be able to love on those I come into contact with.

And the majority of life, I’ve seen all of those things as weaknesses.

I thought once that I might be a strong young woman with a lion heart. I tried my best to have a shell, but if you know how, it’s really not hard to cut me to my core. Besides, trying to have the shell that I thought would be ideal was rather… well, it made me bitter though it was at first affective. Unfortunately it kept the good out as well as the bad.

There was a middle- aged man named Eddie who had Downs that I met while waiting for a bus on a cool day after some grocery shopping. Walking towards me with a new copy of Fame on blue-ray dvd, he saw me and walked right up to me and started talking to me about his love for the movie and all the dancing there was in it. He continued on about how he’d ordered it and it’d finally come in and how nice the sales people were for helping him and holding it for him. I also love dance, and our conversation continued on as though we’d been friends for a while. We got on to the half-filled bus, and I sat down and he came over and sat down right next to me so we could continue talking. He asked if I could read the packaging to him and I obliged. He then asked if I could take the plastic off so he could observe the inside. I again obliged. And all the while I was conversing with him, my heart was breaking. I almost started crying right then and there, because we (and this is a generally we as a society) need people like Eddie so desperately badly, but we are so quick to discard him because of some things he deals with.

I love people who come and talk with me about how I’m doing, or my day, or just want to strike up a friendly conversation about life. But to be honest, I get nervous around others sometimes because I’m not sure if what I want to talk about is something they will even consider talking about never mind want to.

Eddie had every right to be nervous and bitter because of how people may have treated him in the past. And yet he was so, so kind and has been such a blessing in my life even though I was around him for only 15 minutes.

I want to be like Eddie. I want people to walk away from me feeling like they’re appreciated and have had a breath of fresh air. I want people to walk away feeling like a better person: more inspired, more encouraged, understood, appreciated, loved, cared about.

My brother, Eddie, and my Father who created Him,

Thank you. I am inspired and encouraged because of you. And I will never forget how you blessed me. I pray that you use my “weaknesses” to bless others and bring glory to You. I pray that one day I stop seeing Your gifts as weaknesses, and that they are intentional and purposeful, and beautiful.

Fear.

It’s pretty late at night, or early in the morning however you decide to look at it, and I’m pretty exhausted after a very emotionally, mentally, and spiritually trying day yesterday.

I don’t know if any of you can relate, but I’m feeling beyond compelled to write what I’m about to.

This is for those of you who have ever been scared. And I mean, nightmares when you’re awake, that sense of dread you can’t shake, feeling like something is out to get you kind of scared.

I just want to pray that this post really take hold of you and set you free from that.

So I went through some pretty sketchy stuff yesterday. I won’t get into details, the details aren’t necessary. I met some people in a very broken part of town, and they had a lot of behind the scenes issues and a lot of really dark things had taken root in their lives. God protected my friend and I through the whole encounter (thank You Jesus for always remaining faithful), but it was brought to our attention afterwards that we had just both walked through a pretty bloody war zone.

After talking it out, having some prayer and community, we were pretty zapped of energy the rest of the day.

When it got to bed time I knew I wasn’t going to sleep. I felt like I was still rattled by the days events and there was something about the things that happened that just really stuck with me. I was afraid to turn out the lights.

I turned to some scripture, and a verse stuck in my head, and I repeated it until I fell asleep after praying on the phone with two people. It was this one.

“This God – His way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.” (Psalm 18:30)

I did get some shut eye around 12-2 a.m.

But then I woke up, and still felt like I was battling down the dread that I was about to get attacked by something. After about forty-five minutes more of saying this verse to myself and really meditating on it, I really felt compelled to understand it more. This verse was not a stand alone, it was one that summed up the truths of others. Praying that God would show me what I needed to know to shake this fear I was feeling, and verse after verse, I was set free and my understanding made more complete.

Listen really close and know this. Bind it to your heart.

Fear will always submit to Love.

The two cannot coincide in the same place. And the kind of Love I’m talking about is Jesus going to a cross and laying down His life so we may be set free if we accept Him as Lord and Saviour. The Gospel. It’s good news because it INVADES DARK PLACES. It claims and is relentless and will not stop growing until it has your whole heart. I’ll let these next verses I found speak for themselves. And if you are one who struggles with fear and dread, let these be your sword verses.

“This God – His way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him. (Psalm 18:30) For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. (1 Peter 4:6). For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7). There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:18-19).”

There’s a lot of important details I could probably pull out of this and show you, but I think perhaps it’s best if you just marinate in it yourself and let the words wash over you. If you are interested to know what stood out to me, shoot me a comment and I’d be happy to oblige you.

But as for right now, if you’re awake and haven’t slept and are feeling exhausted because it’s almost 5 in the morning, my prayer is that you rest in this Love that bought you at the highest price so that you might be set free from the things that keep you awake at night.

Thank You Jesus.