When Harvey Hit Texas

When Harvey Hit Texas

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My room is a cute and cozy but very small. It's been my room for fifteen years and I love it, 

but, 

it kind of reminded me of where my heart has been for about as equally as long. 

My mom sat on the edge of my bed in that small room the other night and we were having one of our many long conversations and she shared with me a prayer that she had been praying for me for awhile. 

She prayed that I would begin to care for more than just my small world. 

To care about more than just what was going on in my life and the lives in close proximity to it. (Don't you love Mom's?)

And I had begun to pray the same thing for myself. 

Father, burden my heart with the things you care about, with the things your heart is burdened by. 

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I could feel in my heart an indifference when I heard about hard things happening around the world that I couldn't hear, taste, feel, smell, or touch. Out of sight out of mind.

It was in direct contrast to the heart of Jesus. 

Life was going by with all of its disappointments, hurts, and scars and they had become large and all-consuming. 

But for the first time I started praying prayers with hands wide open. Prayers with a willing and surrendered heart, ready and excited for what God was going to do. 

I was no longer living in a box with a "plan" for my life. 

And it was freeing, exciting, and scary.

And all of the sudden when hurricane Harvey hit Texas, it was like the floodgates of my own heart swung wide open. 

I could hear, taste, feel, smell, and touch the hurt of displaced families, ruin, chaos, loss. 

And I'm in truth ashamed of the indifference of my heart up until very recently, 

but, 

God's been so patient with me and,

sanctification is a process & its a journey. We don't get everything together right as God does the miracle of saving us. 

But wow. It's freedom, it's tenderness, it's life-changing to "wake up" and look around and see Jesus' heart everywhere. 

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He loves us deeply and cares about us deeply and cares about what we desire, but He's not just about our dreams, our desires, our plans, our hurts. 

God's heart hurts for the hurting and ours should, too. 

Sometimes life is a lot harder than we expected & its distracting & it saps our strength & it can feel like its breaking your heart. 

But this story is about a lot more than our story. 

Have you been living inside the walls of your own cares & concerns for a long time like I was? Does your life only consist of your own life? Does it seem daunting and scary and unfamiliar to pray prayers that mean God's heart-surgery is going to happen? 

Pray them. 

There is freedom in loving unreservedly & it opens your eyes to the story that God may have written for you that you never imagined for yourself. A story that encompasses a thousand other stories and shines a light for the Ultimate Story of them all. The Gospel that saves, redeems, restores, has purpose in hurt, softens hearts, and writes beautiful stories.

Loving people and hurting for people and desiring to be God's hands and feet will take you places you never thought you'd go.

And for the first time you can whisper send me (Isaiah 6:8) and really and truly mean it. 

- jennifer

*I've included a link below to an organization called Convoy of Hope. They provide domestic and international disaster relief and are active in helping the victims of both hurricane Harvey in Texas & hurricane Irma in Florida. There are all kinds of ways to get involved including volunteer work & donating to where your money is most needed. This is a practical way to get involved in showing compassion and love to the hurting lives of those around us* 

https://www.convoyofhope.org/

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