Stripped.

Today I posted a question on my Facebook page.

How is your life now compared to how you thought it would be seven years ago?

I remember being 18. A band new college freshman. An unbroken heart. An untested understanding of grace. A toddler’s faith. That year, in late summer, I sat outside just before the start of my first classes and made a list of things I wanted.

Things I thought I needed.

The last seven years have held more moments than I can remember and some I can never forget.

If one word were to summarize my years in South Carolina it would be stripped.

There have been moments I felt I had nothing sacred left to lose and moments I felt like I had the world at my fingertips.

Yet, through it all I’ve learned one thing.

When the piece of Holy ground I stand on is all I have and I can still rejoice, then I have found abundant life.

Simply put, in the moments of pain and the moments of hope, Christ has made himself my constant.

I struggle with what tense to write that in because it’s a relationship and it’s ever-changing. Hopefully, ever-growing but, in the way of human nature, sometimes slipping into apathy.

Yet, there are moments of Spiritual insight when you know you have been forever changed. Revelations that cannot be undone.

The times in the fire have shown me the strength of God. The times in the sunshine have shown me the love of God. Both have shown me the constancy of God. His purposes, grace and healing were in all the circumstances.

People cannot be our constant. Circumstances cannot be our constant. Dreams cannot be our constant. Life is painful. That is one of its few guarantees. People hurt us. We hurt ourselves. Our dreams go unfulfilled. Death separates. Illness steals. All the sacred things fall apart.

When we hold the world with open hands we are truly free.

One of my greatest fears is losing Tom. My heart starts to break when I even think about it (no lie, I teared up writing that).  It would be death that did it – nothing else could come between us. Yet, I know this with every fiber of my being -  because I’ve known Christ in the fire I could survive even that devastation. My God is my constant.

That reality drives me to my knees. Asking Him for the grace to live each day. To love when I want to fight. To pray when I want to be numb. To love more, not less, when I’m afraid.To press into His goodness so I have the strength to continue on.

I need a daily vision of Him so I can offer up the things I hold sacred. He will never take things just to wound us but, sometimes he may take things that will wound us. He’s not afraid to scrape our hands when we cling to things that don’t bring life or, when we cling to anything tighter than we cling to Him.

When He is our constant we have Divine perspective. As my pastor said on Sunday “when we are intimate with God we can better understand his silences”. He will always be strong when we are not. He will always be grace when we cannot. He will always be truth when we know not.

Writing this has just made my heart ache to know Him even more.

This song is one of my life anthem’s.

I didn’t think it was possible but I like this version better than the original Lifehouse one. So, I’m posting it.

Blessings to each and every one of you reading this.

May you know the God who longs to be your everything.

May He be your constant through each ache and joy your life holds.

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