We want comfort.  We idolize easy street and when we hit bumps in the road all we want is to get back to the smooth.  But I’ve come to see: life is a  a collection of bumps and detours. What really shapes us is not the picture perfect that we post on social media. What shapes us is the junk.  I feel like my past year has ‘pressure-cooked’ learning and growth for me. And when I reflect on that aspect of this past year it’s mind blowing (for lack of eloquence)! Verses tell us to consider it joy when trials happen. why? Read these verses in Romans 5:3-5.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us — they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengths our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

These verses describe my life! Would I ever have chosen cancer? No. Do I think God gave me cancer? No. But being ripped from comfort, thrown into stormy waves, many beautiful things surfaced.  I met my Jesus anew, I fell in love with my husband all over again, humanity showed her beautiful compassion to me. These are things that can not be taken from me.  This reflects 1 cor 13:13 “there are three things that will ENDURE — faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love!”

Jesus’s love for us wasn’t picturesque. No, it was gruesome. Similarly, I’ve come to see that life’s beautiful in an ugly and uncomfortable way. This began to happen when I  let Jesus’s love take center stage. 1 Cor began to have more meaning when I needed a love that endures all things (vs 7). I desperately needed Jesus’s love as my life was exploding.  There were many weeks this past year that I clung- desperately clung- to the image of Peter walking on water. The part where he started sinking and freaking out.  The part where he is reminded to just keep his eyes on Jesus.  Those desperate weeks I felt like peter- sinking.  The waves threatened mightily to overtake me, so I just kept looking to Jesus so I could do the impossible- get through the storm that all but engulfed me.

I battled hard for joy, courage, strength, hope, and faith.  Jesus said, “if you seek me you will find me if you seek me with your whole heart”. So I sought Jesus with my whole heart. And I surrounded myself with an army of Believers.

Now, the Storm has lulled and I feel like maybe we are catching our breaths.  Yet, I am reminded to keep actively remembering God’s FAITHFULNESS . Just as the Israelites were continuously told to remember and commemorate the faithfulness of God I hear God reminding me of the same.

You see as life is calming down I’ve starting thinking about things like what will my kids wear for their birthdays, for Halloween costumes, for family photos. These are all good things- but I must remember they are not the main point.  Not the main point at all! (I’m reminded of the phrase- let’s keep the main thing the main thing)   You see life just got really real again in our peripheral life. In the wake of this I see it clearly again: I may not get costumes organized for Halloween or birthday party planned all pinteresty. And that is just fine. That is absolutely fine; because that stuff really doesn’t matter. What matters is being actually present to celebrate.  Praise God I get to see my twins turn 2!  Praise God I get to celebrate my 1 year survivor anniversary! I never want to forget this lesson of what REALLY matters! I am frightened of how easily I felt myself starting to forget.  It shocks me that the “norm” around me so easily begins to draw me in.  I am appalled that I forget my days to spend with my precious children are limited.  Though these days are a smattering of teeth-gritting, tired-exhaustion, frustrating, heart-warming, awe-filling, proud-momma, marraige-straining, marraige-building they are the richest most treasured blessings. And I want to live actively present in this blessing, because I’ve got alot to celebrate!  But make no mistake, this is a choice, an active choice.

In this house, we choose to rejoice in the Lord as long as today is called today!

Because that IS the main thing.

Forgive me God for so easily forgetting.

Thank you God for being faithful.

Our God is good! ALL THE TIME HE IS GOOD!

Will you join me?

I invite you to recalibrate your compass with me. I’m striving to ensure I’m not being guided by comfort; but rather that Jesus is my true North.

 I invite you to keep your eyes on Jesus through the storms of life.

I invite you to continuously reflect on and remember what God has done for you through salvation and what He continues to do throughout your own life story.

I invite you to rejoice everyday for God is Good, all the time!