Have it abundantly.

 It’s really hard sometimes.

It’s hard to believe that life, now, can be abundant…

When you are running out of money.

Out of energy.

Out of joy.

2016 was not the easiest year for us as a family. My mom had surgery that ended up handicapping her, requiring the family to pitch in for long term care.

Both of my grandpas passed away.

I was strung thin in ways I haven’t been before, as a wife. As a mother. As a daughter.

And I will be the first to admit,

Stress and me don’t make great bedfellows. As a planner, I tend to get bogged down when hit with tsunamis of the unexpected… especially when the outcomes are long-term or permanent, such as disability and death.

And let’s not forget the drag that sometimes becomes the day-to-day. When laundry piles up, cars break down, library books become overdo, and the kids refuse to nap. In the midst of it all, you (you know, the person pre-marriage and kids) seem to disappear. You are a stranger to yourself, and that is a special, wearing stress all to itself.

I was creating this sign pictured for a friend of mine, and as I mapped the words onto the board, I thought to myself…

You know, sometimes I feel a bit dead on the inside in the monotony of my days.

You know, sometimes I feel that life and this fallen world has taken more than it should.

You know, sometimes my souls feels cast down, to the point of destruction.

But you know who those feeling are from, friend? Read it with me:

The. Thief.

The thief.

Now, here’s the thing: hard things lend to hard thoughts and questions about yourself, and often, about God. And I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. Life should be examined, and honestly, so should our faith.

But you know what?

I tend to go there, and stay there for a while. Instead of being a weekend stay, I book a room for a month, sometimes two. Depending on the trial, I have booked in dark, doubting thoughts much longer.

And that, my friends, isn’t helpful. 

But I know, unfortunately, that it sometimes can’t be helped, either.

There have been times, especially after my miscarriage and after the birth of my daughter (ppd, anyone?) that I took a long retreat into this hard place. And I longed with everything in me that I could just reach down, yank my own bootstraps, and get along with my life.

Maybe it was the hormones. Or the grief. Or a combination of them both, but

I tried. I tried to get myself out of the dark place,

And failed. Miserably.

So, like a child that was lost, I decided to be still and wait for God would have to come and get me. 

And He did.

Maybe you are going through a hard spot. Maybe your weekend trip in a dark place has turned into an extended stay unexpectedly.

Do something for me? Do something for you?

Every thought that kills a piece of you… every thought that steals your joy… every thought that destroys the identity of who you are as a daughter or son of King Jesus…

Give credit to where credit is due, and know that the Master of Lies has come as a thief and he is robbing you.

Know that Jesus doesn’t want you to live in those lies, and in the aftermath of the feelings they create.

Jesus came to give you Life, not lies.

Not just any life, but an exorbitant, free one. A life, in ample supply of gratitude, grace, and the goodness of God.

Freeing ourselves from burden of mistruth is the first step to reclaiming the life that is already won for us.

Have confidence to possess your life in the manner your Creator intended for you to have it– abundantly.

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