the desert place

*Full disclosure – I wrote this a few nights ago when sleep escaped me, life drained me, and Jesus lovingly reminded me of who He is through it all.  I still find myself in this season that feels a lot like a faith-drought, but I am waiting on my Jesus and trusting Him through this desert place*

Here I am in this season where I feel as if I’ve lost my fire, my desire, and my awe of Jesus.  And here I am reading and praying and wanting so desperately to snap out of it because it feels wrong, and it feels fake.

But isn’t it funny how God seems to speak even when we don’t hear him?  I’ve been reading the same Psalm twice a day for the past two weeks and right now it’s almost as if I’m reading it for the first time.  It begins with this:

“The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” 

It’s as if through this waiting for the voice of God or waiting for the “feeling” of his presence to find me again in this dry season that God simply speaks.  Not in a roar or a huge rush of excitement in an ‘ah-ha’ moment, but a quiet moment at about 12:15 AM, in the dark, when I’m worn out and tired. And this is what he says to my heart –

“I am your Shepherd, you shall not want.

You want this amazing moment when you find Me after a dry season, but I just want you to rest in Me.  You are worn and you are burnt out and you are exhausted. I want you to simply sit with Me.  Not wanting a  big show of Me, but simply waiting–not wanting–in My presence.  

Allow Me to refresh your soul. Let Me, your Healer, soak up the heaviness and revive your spirit. I want to do this. I want you to let Me do this, but you must be still.

You must stop moving. Stop wanting. Stop beating yourself up because you feel like you should find Me by being swept up in a big rush of worship or revival. 

I decide how and when to speak. I know what is best for you, and right now that is to remind you–gently and softly–that I am your Shepherd, your Protector, and your Provider.  You don’t always need life-altering moments and heart stopping feelings. 

You need Me, and you will find Me as you lie down and let Me watch and work over you, as you walk with Me by waters of rest.

I am your Shepherd. You shall not want.”


Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside waters of rest.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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(beautifully) in over my head

Let me preface this by saying that if you have not heard “In Over My Head” by Bethel Music, stop what you’re doing and look it up right now.  I could honestly just stop here and this would be enough because this song is that good.  When I’m searching for answers/guidance/help, music is a big way the Lord reveals these things to me.  It may be a single sentence or the whole song, and often it comes when I least expect it.  This song was no different.  It was a normal day of me getting ready to go sit and study for hours and hours, and then I heard this song and it stopped me in my tracks.  The honesty, the purity, the genuineness of the words just wrapped around my heart and stopped me right where I was.  So here are my thoughts:

How many times have you felt overwhelmed? How many moments have been filled with doubt and insecurity because you find yourself in an unfamiliar place, way outside your comfort zone?  Think of those times, or maybe you’re in one now, and say this:

“I was (am) exactly where God wanted (wants) me to be.”

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I think we have all (especially me) become too quick to cry out and question why God would put us in a situation/season of life where everything just seems so difficult.  Where we just don’t understand why we’re having to deal with everything happening in our lives.  Why?

Because we don’t have the perspective our God has.  We aren’t all-knowing.  We don’t know what’s going to come out of these hard times, and it’s in these moments that we have to remember that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.

God has planned each moment of your life and purposefully laid it out before you, preparing you for each step before he reveals it.

So while you may not understand the purpose behind you walking through some kind of heartache or sickness or all around stressful time, God knows that in order for you to appreciate what is in your next step you must walk through this first.

God may call you deeper into a place you’re not entirely comfortable with to help you break down the human-sized box you’ve tried to fit him in.

He may have you walk through a little fire today to truly appreciate the joy you’ll find tomorrow.

Or He may even take you to a point where you feel like the waves are crashing over your head and you can’t catch a breath and you would do anything to just make it all stop.  No, this place isn’t pleasant, but it is purposeful. God may allow this season to continue because he realizes the need for you to trust him in every aspect of your life.  He may know that in order for you to accomplish the amazing life he has set before you, you have to come to a place where you finally give up the control you’ve held so tightly to and are willing to follow him wherever he may lead.

Whenever you find yourself in one of these overwhelming phases of life, remember that the Lord is sovereign.  Remember that he is with you through all of it.  He knows how you will come out of this phase and what you will find in the next.  Trust him. Give him control.  Allow him to to take the lead and follow him wholeheartedly down the path he calls you to walk, even if he leads you to a place where the waters are deeper than they’ve ever been before.

Every moment God is preparing you for something.  Whatever that may be, wherever that may lead you, my prayer is that you come to accept these moments not as a punishment, but as a place where God is beautifully, carefully, and lovingly molding you into the person he created you to be.

I pray you see the beauty of these “in over your head” moments as God works in you to become your sole desire, your only source of hope and joy and peace, and where he reveals himself as the only one worthy of such a title.  Don’t feel defeated by these moments, see them for what they are: a beautifully broken place where you find yourself lifting your heart to the One who strives so hard to protect it, saying “I’ve lost control but I am free.”


The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. -Psalm 37:23-24

“Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing his praises…We went through the fire and flood, but You brought us to a place of great abundance.” -Psalm 66:8,12

The One who formed you says, “Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” -Isaiah 43:1-2

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I am Martha.

As Jesus  and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.  Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.  But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing.  She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come help me.”  But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about.  Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken from her.” 
Luke 10: 38-42

I read this story and  I think to myself, “How does Martha not realize that spending time with Jesus while he is in her home is more important than worrying about the house?”  And then I sadly realize that I do the same thing each and every day.

If only I could get ahead in school, then I can spend time with Jesus.  If only I could keep my house cleaner, then  I could rest easier.  I’ll just watch one more episode on Netflix, then I’ll read my Bible.  I don’t have the time to do my devotional.  I can’t go to church because I have plans with a friend…and the list of things I daily put before the Lord goes on and on and on.  I quickly let these distractions take my focus away from the one thing that will give me true rest…because I am Martha.

I worry and I stress out and I often find myself overwhelmed by the list of things I need to do.  My relationship with Christ is often the first thing I put on the back-burner as  I try to find time for everything in my seemingly busy schedule.  But honestly, my issue is not time, but rather my simple decision to put things before my relationship with Jesus.

Jesus may not physically walk through my door and demand that I stop worrying about all the details..but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t want me to lay down the distractions and just rest in his presence.

We don’t have Jesus physically walking around with us, but we do have the Holy Spirit living within us, surrounding us, and walking with us each and every day.  As a follower of Christ, it’s embarrassing how easily I forget this.  I get caught up in the day-to-day distractions and the never ending to-do list found in the calendar I have grown to call “My Second Bible” (awful I know), that I lose sight of the incredible power of the Holy Spirit waiting for me to take the time to truly live in it.

I’ve read this passage many times before, but each time it seems to shatter the view I have of my life.  To me, this is a passage that bears repeating each and every time I catch myself overwhelmed by the list of things I need to do and giving them priority over my faith.

My prayer, for myself and for anyone else willing to acknowledge their Martha-state-of-mind, is that we lay down the distractions and just be with Jesus.

I pray we stop placing emphasis on the daily struggles of keeping everything perfectly in place, and allow ourselves to simply sit at the feet of the only One that can give us peace and listen to what he has to share with us.

I pray that we find ourselves intentionally spending time with Jesus, and not just doing so when we have “free time.”

I pray we shake off the worry and the stress that hold us back from joyfully loving and praising the God who created us.

I pray that we remember that we are graciously saved, wholly forgiven, and unconditionally loved, because nothing is more important and more inspiring than our being gifted eternal life.

I pray that we grow to become the Mary that Jesus spoke of when he said “There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken from her.” (v. 42)

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