take heart.

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So, here we are: January 5th. 

And yeah, some of us are planning to run that 5K, to write more, have a quiet time, lose the weight, stop procrastinating, get the junk room organized, quit smoking, make that person notice us — but most of all, we’re just looking for more resolve.

I think what stops us in our tracks by week three is that creeping feeling that we really don’t deserve that thing we’re after. One day, life will get in the way, and out of nowhere it has been a month since we went for a jog or stepped foot in the junk room. One day, the gossip at the office will say something mean behind your back and you’ll end up chain smoking four cigarettes and its easy to think in that moment that it has all gone straight to hell.

So let me just say this, before we even reach the one week mark and all the lies start throwing rocks at your window in the middle of the night and croon on and on about how you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not strong enough, not _______ enough: you were made for this moment. 

And I’ll be your Aibileen all day long, telling you how kind and smart and important you is. Cause yeah, its easy to forget sometimes.

Maybe you’re like me — sticking just your toes into the pool, hanging out on the sidelines and waiting for your big moment. Maybe you’re finally ready to chase down that dream, but you don’t know what tomorrow holds.

He goes before you. He will be with you. He is the Author of hope and dreams and second chances, and He doesn’t ever leave us where He found us. In fact, He tells us to not look back, but instead, look to the new things He is doing.

But sometimes, we’d rather look the other way. Sometimes, this new thing He is doing feels a lot like pain and grief and loss. Sometimes it looks like waiting for a diagnosis, or watching a family member walk down a road filled with desperation and heartache. Sometimes it looks like reaching the end of our rope, hands scalded from trying so hard to hold on.

I’ll say it again: you were made for this moment.

I believe the fringe of your rope is one of the most sacred, holy places.

We fear that it is the place that God’s love runs out. But what if it is the birth place of His grace? What if the end of our rope is the beginning of watching Him provide in ways that we do not understand? What if it is the starting line of immeasurably more?

What if, at the end of the rope, we find that hope is the anchor for our souls?

Because we know that the storms will come. We know that some days, we will feel our hearts capsize in our chests — but what if it is really the hand of God turning us over, molding us? Those things that feel like suffering in the temporal are shaping us and preparing us for the eternal.

And these stories of ours, conceived from mountains and valleys, are how we overcome.

My sweet cousin-in-law Julie came up to me at a family get together over the holidays and told me that I had inspired her to choose a word for 2015. Like me, she mulled over several before reaching the word she knew was for her. The word she chose was obedience. 

My breath caught.

He delights more in our obedience than any religious ritual, more than any sacrifice or hard bargain we could drive.

When God calls, He equips. He promises to go with us. We can change the face of nations when we obey. Giants are defeated when we step out in faith.

Our hope does not disappoint. This battle has already been won. We can rest assured.

Shalom.

  • Tracy

    Very powerful Erin !!

  • Casey Knight

    Wow, this is amazing! Thank you so much for your beautiful words! I’m very encouraged!

  • Chandra

    Love your heart, friend. This is what I needed for encouragement today: “I believe the fringe of your rope is one of the most sacred, holy places.” Because, that’s where I feel I am right now – on the fringe of my rope!

  • Tara Ulrich

    Erin love this! My word is brave. I try every day to be obedient to God but I know there are days that I fail at that. Yet God reminds me to be obedient. And when I trust in that promise, I believe God gives me the strength to be brave.