Not Your Average New Year

  As I sat in this spot yesterday, I thought to myself “This is as good as it gets. My favorite bookstore, on a beautiful Christian university campus, and this incredible view of God’s work.” But I was wrong, and I couldn’t be more excited about being shown just how wrong I was. The night before we had worshiped with some of my favorite musicians. I was absolutely elated to see Colton Dixon, Rend Collective, Matthew West, and NEEDTOBREATHE all perform to the glory of our sweet God. But it just got better from there. The next night we listened as Humble Tip shouted at the rooftops his excitement for being loved by Christ. We listened as we were reminded of our call to be a light and to show love to a hurting world. There should be no theological argument, no show of fancy tricks, but an overwhelming desire to love the people that God has put in our lives. Even if you’ve only seen them in passing. We were taught that it’s not about our mess, our pain, our scars. Those scars tell a story, just as the scars on Jesus’ palms. And as Clayton King poured out his heart about the God who remains by your side through the hardest times of your life, through death and through darkness, we watched as nine hundred and seventy five people gave their life to Christ. I’m brought to tears (again) now just writing this and seeing that image in my head. Students, parents, people of all ages made their way to a quiet room to thank God for His love and for His forgiveness and grace. And it was beautiful. But the night wasn’t done, at least not for me. For King and Country took the stage and spoke on respect, on chivalry, and on being a soldier in Christ’s kingdom. Again we heard of our most important calling, to love one another. “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2” Nothing. Without love we are nothing. And every minute of this reminder was beautiful. As we came closer to midnight, the night was closed by Casting Crowns. As many of you know, I’ve asked God for this baby for many years. And for many years I was told no. During that time God spoke to me through music, as He often does. And almost every single one of the songs that brought me through that time, is performed by Casting Crowns. They prepared to sing one of which songs, called Held. It talks about letting go and to just. be. held. Don’t keep it in if it hurts, let the tears come for they are not wasted. Your cry is never lost on God, and you are never left alone. As I’m watching this song be performed directly in front of me, I looked down to see the slightest hint of a baby bump pushing on my tshirt. And I wept.
Guys, God is SO good. And not just because I’ve been given what I wanted. No. I could have been told no for the next 10 years and God would still be good because He would be right there with me. I don’t have to ever go through a dark time alone, no matter how long it spans. His love for us is unfathomable and no matter what we’ve done in the past, no matter how we feel about who we are, He wants US. The very God that not only has everything in the palm of His hand, but CREATED all of it…wants nothing more than for our hearts to call Him father. Despite our ignoring Him and pushing Him out of every corner of our lives, despite treating Him like a joke He DIED for us. In a horribly painful and the most humiliating way. And yet while He hung there and bled to death, His only concern was not for Himself. But for His fathers forgiveness for the one’s who put him there in the first place. These were people that hated Him with every fiber of their being, and all God wanted was for them to be forgiven anyway. God doesn’t love us only if or when we’re good. He loves us ALL the time because HE’S good!! And what’s more, even DEATH could not hold Him! And if you’re still alive, He is not done with you. So this year let love be your focus. Love your neighbor. Love the stranger walking past you with their head down. Love the man, woman or child huddled in a heap of dirty clothes with the sign asking for help. Love your family. Love the people who rub you the wrong way like a piece of gritty sandpaper. Just…love! Live a wildly passionate life and show the world that change can still happen. It’s not over yet, it’s just beginning! And seek Christ. I PROMISE you, you will never find a more understanding, forgiving, raw, pure love than the one our Father wants to show you. Happy New Year my sweet friends! And as always, stay weird. ❤️


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