A Fruit Tree in Winter

5:27 PM

Jeremiah 17:7-8 says:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.

For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit."

From The Daily God Book

"I can be changed by what happens to me.
But I refuse to be reduced by it."
Maya Angelou 

 Life has a way of messing up our plans. Plain and simple. We send up prayers—which sometimes get answered, sometimes don't, and sometimes make us wait. It's all about finding a balance and focusing on the eternal matters. We must remember that not every bad circumstance in life is a tragedy. As my pastor once said, stop placing "$1,000 worth of emotion into $2 problems."

Life has a way of changing us. Sometimes it's for the better and sometimes it's for the worstwe get to decide. While we cannot control what circumstances come our way, we can control how we handle and react to them. We need to be strong. 

If God showed me all I would've had to deal with these past two years at the exact time I'd be dealing with them I'd say, "Ahhh... no thank you, nevermind!" And I probably wouldn't be the same person I am today because of it. I wouldn't know the courage it took to quit my job (in a failing economy) to open a dream business (which I had no prior experience at) that I would manage for the first two months w/out my business partner (as my sister gave birth to my second nephew opening week) while dealing with the tragic loss of my best friend (whose funeral I attended two days before we started training our staff). Talk about a whirlwind of emotions—let alone fatigue! I've got the flesh of a 25 year old w/ the life experiences of an 80 year old. 

All of what I've been through reminds me of a scene I watched a few weeks back from one of my favorite shows (Private Practice). In it, one of the characters asked her friend, who was dealing with a terminal illness, "How do you do it?" Her friend replied, "Honey, we're women. Strength finds us." It's true.

I like today's quote because it's relevant to this Winter season. A lot of times, the colder, darker days can bring about a sense of sadness. While our life may not have changed drastically for the worse, there's something about the chill and lack of light that can damper a mood. And if we are going through troublesome times, it only intensifies our emotions.

This makes me think of Mercy Me's newest hit 'You Are I Am.' I think they're an awesome God-inspired band and the lyrics to this song really spoke to me. I've definitely been the person they describe: doubting God, questioning His love for me, wondering if He even cares about my pain... And yet, I'm still here, pressing on. I'll get little whispers from Him now and then regarding my worries—if I look close enough. Sometimes it's through a verse I happen to come across, a loved one who happens to say the exact thing I need to hear, or a sense of peace that, even if I did screw up, He's capable of putting it back together. 

As long as I'm seeking Him I can't be far of course. If I'm placing Him first in my life than surely I can't be ruining it.

"I've been the one to shake with fear
And wonder if You're even here
I've been the one to doubt Your love
I've told myself You're not enough

I've been the one to try and say

I'll overcome by my own strength
I've been the one to fall apart
And to start to question who You are...

I've been the one to believe
That where I am You cannot reach

You're the one who conquers giants
You're the one who calls out kings
You shut the mouths of lions
You tell the dead to breathe
You're the one who walks through fire
You take the orphan's hand
You are the one Messiah
You are I am
You are I am"
Mercy Me

Music to inspire you: 'You Are I Am'—Mercy Me

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