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What If You Get It Wrong?

Recently, I was struggling with an important decision. It was tearing me apart as I was allowing the lies of the enemy to compromise what I know to be true.  I was lamenting to a trusted and wise friend that my fear was I would get it wrong.  My friend said to me, “D’Anna, what if you do get it wrong?”  It was then that I remembered that Jesus’ gift of salvation does not come with a qualifier that I get it all right.  If my performance was a qualification, that would mean I have some responsibility for my salvation and in my eyes, I would never be enough.  How exhausting that would be!

Thankfully, I can take no credit for my eternal destiny.  Any good work I do is as a result of the Holy Spirit’s presence, not my power.  I cannot even take credit for faith, for it is from God, as well. (Ephesians 2:8).

Are you wrestling with getting something wrong today?  Has the idea of not being perfect or falling short thrown a dark disguise over the veil of truth that is meant to set you free? (John 8:32).  I pray if you find yourself here, you take the hand of truth today.

Father, I repent of the times I fail to believe. Help me and my friend remember that you and your promises are the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) AMEN.

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A Mixed Bag

Dear friend, You may need to hear this today. It is perfectly reasonable that you are both a masterpiece and a mess at the same time. You may not feel like a masterpiece, but here is the evidence in Ephesians 2:10~ For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus. Yes, it is true you are a mixed bag. So. Am. I. We live in a fallen world, of flawed people, with fluid laws, feeble morals and a fierce enemy who wants us believe to false ideas about ourselves. Not one of us is perfect, but freedom is not found in our perfection, but in the forgiveness of our failures.  You are loved!❤️

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Fallen but Forgiven

c0f0a014d0ca6c9b6745b46b89df2196Dear friend, I know you need to hear this today. It is perfectly normal that you are both a masterpiece and a mess simultaneously. You may say, “I do not feel like much of a masterpiece right now, but Oh, you are! See, it is confirmed here in God’s infallible word~Ephesians 2:10~ For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus. Yes, it is true you are a mixed bag. So am I! That is because we live in a fallen world, of fallen people, with fallen laws, fallen morals and a ferocious enemy who wants you to believe fallible ideas about yourself. Not one of us is perfect, but our freedom is not in our perfection; it is in the truth that we are fallen citizens, but forgiven children! You are loved!

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From Our Struggles We Find Our Strength

It was June, the summer of 2005.  We were preparing to move from Hoover, Alabama to Vestavia Hills, Alabama.  Carter, my son,  was six and Macey, my daughter,  four.  This particular week, the kids and I were participating in Vacation Bible School.  I made a deal with them that if they learned our new address and phone number by the end of the week, on Friday after VBS we would get ice cream.  Every morning on the way to church and every afternoon on the way home we practiced in the car over and over again.

Friday morning came and along our drive I asked Macey, “what is our new phone number going to be?”  She answered with ease and efficiency.  Then I asked Carter, “what is our new address going to be?”  He too answered correctly and promptly.  A silence fell over the car until a little voice piped up from the backseat.  In the most curious of tones, Carter asked, “Hey mom, I was just wondering, what our new last name is going to be?”  After I caught my breath from laughing so hard, I explained that there are some things we are born into, and they never change because they were given to us.  I am not sure my answer made sense to him, but it seemed to satisfy his curiosity at the moment.

We have had to ponder a similar question a lot together over the past two years.  His life was changed forever two years ago today, July 28, 2014 due to a traumatic brain injury.  All of our lives were changed.  Despite all the redirections, again I can tell Carter, some things will never change because they were given to us.  The One we did not earn that was given to us for free will never change.  Although our physical locations may change, and we change, our identity as a child of God will never change.

The moment we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are adopted into the family of God.  Our identity, as his beloved son, or beloved daughter can not be altered by circumstances.  He delights in us on our best days, and just as much on our worst days.  No amount of good works or model behavior can earn us His love.  They were imparted to us when we chose to believe.

Ephesians 2:8-10 ~God saved you by his grace when you believed.  And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

What a gift we have in Jesus.  I cannot even fully comprehend the depth of His sacrifice. He has been a faithful friend to us through the hardest of times.

It is not because we have Him that our lives are easy. It is because we have Him that our lives are changed for the better.  He brings purpose to our pain and consistency to circumstances that continually change.

Last night I was replaying the last two years in my head.  I never knew looking back on my past tears would bring so much abundance to my present years. Situations that seemed like the hardest of times were in many ways the sweetest of times in retrospect.

Suffering is the soil most fertile for growth and change is often God’s conduit for the cultivation of hearts. We can joyfully and fully embrace our struggles because we later find we have walked out of them having found our greatest strengths.  

We are all still works in progress in our family.  It is a cradle to the grave process, but we can rest in the assurance that it is as it should be.  Thank you Jesus for loving us in all our brokenness.  Remind us everyday to rest in what was given to us and will never change-You.  We love You Lord Jesus.

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The One That Will Never Change

It was June, the summer of 2005. We were preparing to move from Hoover, Alabama to Vestavia Hills, Alabama. Carter was six and Macey four. This particular week, the kids and I were participating in Vacation Bible School. I had made a deal with them that if they learned our new address and phone number by the end of the week, on Friday after VBS we would get ice cream. Every morning on the way to church and every afternoon on the way home we practiced in the car over and over again.

Friday morning came and along our drive I asked Macey, “what is our new phone number going to be?” She answered with ease and efficiency. Then I asked Carter, “what is our new address going to be?” He too answered correctly and promptly. A silence fell over the car until a little voice piped up from the backseat. In the most curious of tones, Carter asked, “Hey mom, I was just wondering, what our new last name is going to be?” After I had caught my breath from laughing so hard, I explained that there are some things we are born into, and they never change because they were given to us. I am not sure my answer made sense to him, but it seemed to satisfy his curiosity at the moment.

Carter and I have had to ponder a similar question a lot together over the past year. His life was changed forever one year ago today, July 28, 2014. All of our lives were changed. Despite all the redirections, again I can tell Carter, some things will never change because they were given to us. The One we did not earn that was given to us for free will never change.

Although our physical locations may change, and we change, our identity as a child of God will never change. The moment we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are adopted into the family of God. Our identity, as his beloved son, or beloved daughter can not be altered by circumstances. He delights in us on our best days, and just as much on our worst days. No amount of good works or model behavior can earn us His love. They were imparted to us when we chose to believe. Ephesians 2:8-10 ~God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

What a gift we have in Jesus. I cannot even fully comprehend the depth of His sacrifice. He has been a faithful friend to us through the hardest of times. It is not because we have Him that our lives are easy. It is because we have Him that our lives are changed for the better. He brings purpose to our pain and consistency to circumstances that continually change.

Last night I was replaying the last year in my head. I never knew looking back on my past tears would bring so much abundance to my present years. Situations that seemed like the hardest of times were in many ways the sweetest of times in retrospect.

Suffering is the soil most fertile for growth and change is often God’s conduit for the cultivation of hearts. We can joyfully and fully embrace our struggles because we later find we have walked out of them having found our greatest strengths.

We are all still works in progress in our family. It is a cradle to the grave process, but we can rest in the assurance that it is as it should be. Thank you Jesus for loving us in all our brokenness. Remind us everyday to rest in what was given to us and will never change-You. This picture is a side by side taken one year apart.

This week we have been at the lake surrounding ourselves with friends who remind us most of the love of Jesus! Thank you all who have joined us this last year and this week. We love you!