Two years ago today I wrote my first blog post. Ever. I reluctantly introduced myself by saying, “Fine, I'll Do It” at the continued prompting of my husband to start blogging. I'm not totally sure why I was so reluctant, except that it seemed like everyone was doing it and that was reason alone for me not to. Did you know I was the rebellious type? :)
But then I felt like I had something to say. Something that God was urging me to pluck out on my keyboard that might reach one or two, now and then. I think most bloggers feel that way at first.
So for 6 months, I wrote posts that were on my heart with sporadic and infrequent measure. I didn't have any fancy buttons for people to click on, I had no idea how to include a picture or a link in my posts. I began a blog that truly started with words.
Just words from my heart that began as prayers.
No contests, or newsletters to sign up for, or sponsored posts. No advertisements, or sponsors, or jaw-dropping photography.
Only me and my heart, writing down the lessons God was teaching me so that I could look back and learn again and again. And even now, my blog is fairly simple.
But then people actually started reading.
About 4 months in, multiple New York times best-selling author of One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp linked one of my posts on her blog and brought my first big day of visitors. What a blessing she is to me (read her books, trust me)! So I felt like I should take blogging a little more seriously. I began to feel the responsibility of sharing God's Word with accuracy and humility. Then some Godly and generous bloggers started reaching out to mentor me and to bless me-my Blogging Sisters.
Over the months, more people started to read and write to me. Every one, every person who clicked a link, or signed up for my posts on my blog, or asked me to pray takes up residence in my mind and heart and blesses me beyond belief. Each time someone writes a comment, I'm filled with joy that we can connect through this often obscure screen.
I don't know who most of you are, even though I know you visit from almost every country in the world. I know that you come, and that what God is teaching me is often right where you are at too. So we feel less alone. And that makes all these days and nights of writing worth it. I'm so grateful for you!
God has a remarkable way of speaking to me. Take today for instance. I shared on my personal Facebook page yesterday, that I was currently walking the deepest and darkest valley of my life. (Don't worry, I know I'm going to be okay because I know Whom I believe).
It's been ongoing for a while now, but it hit a new low this week. It's been one of those times when you think things just. Can't. Get. Worse. And then they do. Over and over again.
And though I may feel at times, alone and often weepy, and brought quite low, nor do I have any idea about what God is doing, or why-I know this:
God loves me. He sent His Son to die for me. He is a masterful, purposeful, creative, God. My personal God. The only wise God.
In the midst of this trial, I will never turn my back on Him. And often, I can't sense Him or feel Him with me. That is when my faith kicks in, and I trust Him.
He will never leave me. He will never forsake me. Or you.
Come what may, I will serve Him. He gave His all for me. My life is not my own, and just because I'm hurting terribly, that does not mean that He enjoys my pain. It will have purpose. I know it.
It's not that I am hanging on to Him even, it's that I feel Him hanging on to me.
Do you know what my first blog post was, 2 years ago today?
When I realized it was this post, I was strengthened. While reading it, I remembered that God tells us that in this life we will have trouble, those “Hard Time Mommy” moments, or months, or years-from age 2 to 102.
Our response makes all the difference. Will we turn away from God who beckons, or will we stagger towards Him instead?
If you are facing a great loss, a deep valley, a dark trial, stagger with me towards God. Believe with me that He is good, that He does not desire our pain but that God will use it to refine us, strengthen us, and to give us a hope and a future.
He will never waste our pain.
God does not change. His goodness is everlasting in the easy times, and in the hard times. His gaze is on you today, and He beckons you to come. I know I'm going to follow Him. I'll take your hand and bring you with me if you will let me. I will be limping along myself, but maybe we can hold each other up and cross the finish line together. Let's not turn away when the darkness comes and the valley seems long. Let's crawl towards the light and maybe we will find that we can run and not grow weary. We will rise on wings like eagles, propelled by counting our blessings instead of our sorrows, right Ann?
It still amazes me that it's been two years today since Mother Of Knights began. I wanted to write a post early this morning, but wouldn't you know it that I woke with a killer migraine. I felt compelled to rise anyway-and write this post.
It startles me that hundreds of thousands of you have been reading. And even though I often write with you in mind, it's always first about what God is teaching me.
Some lessons bear repeating over and over. My first post is as relevant today as it was back then. Hard times will come but we are not alone and they won't last forever. Thank you for helping me see that I am not alone in this world either. The community of Mother Of Knights readers has been a practical and spiritual blessing to me over and over again. So I'll keep writing one heartfelt post at a time, (even with a lingering migraine) and I'm praying that you will be encouraged too.
2 Corinthians sums it up for me. I know it's a lot to read here, but please do!! I would love to hear your response to the question at the end. And let's remember what we are here for:
Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.
3-4 If our Message is obscure to anyone, it’s not because we’re holding back in any way. No, it’s because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won’t have to bother believing a Truth they can’t see. They’re stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we’ll ever get.
5-6 Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.
7-12 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!
13-15 We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!
16-18 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.2 Corinthians 4, The Message
YOUR TURN! When did you start reading Mother of Knights? How did you find it? If you are going through a valley too, will you walk towards the light with me and not give up?
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