There Is Victory

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)

After spending a tumultuous year abroad on the mission field, I clung to this promise from Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. “Our present sufferings” for me was the feeling of being misunderstood, feeling purposeless, and ultimately spiraling down into hopelessness. Sound familiar? It seems to be a fairly widespread condition among humans this side of heaven. Whether we are in a valley or a mountaintop season of life, there will always be a sense that we’re not quite home.

As I served alongside the beautiful people of Nairobi, Kenya, with the nonprofit Chosen Children of Promise, I battled a depression that was no fault of my situation, but rather an attack from the enemy who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy anything or anyone that desires to build the Kingdom of God.

Only by calling on the name of Jesus to be my peace, my hope, my joy was I able to get out of bed most mornings. If you travel overseas to a developing country, you will be firsthand witness to something incredible. There is a rich dependence on God to be their everything. He is the provider; they may not have food for the day, yet He brings them their daily bread. He is the healer; they live and eat and drink in less humane conditions than you would think possible to survive; yet when they pray to Jehovah Rapha for healing, they praise Him and thank Him first when He heals them! He is the Best Friend; community and relationships are everything to Kenyans; and when you meet a Christ follower, you’ll know it because they’ll proclaim His presence in their heart loud and proud.

Witnessing this bold faith challenged my nominal walk. Go back a verse in Romans 8 to verse 17: “Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Would I be willing to share the sufferings of Christ (for surely He suffered in His time on earth), of betrayal, loneliness, rejection, being misunderstood, feeling homesick? Was it worth the dark night of my soul if He promised the glory revealed in me would be so much better it couldn’t even come close to comparing?

Near the end of my yearlong internship, I stumbled upon Hebrews 12:10-11, “Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

My fellow warriors, we’re not home yet. We still suffer death, sickness, strained relationships, depression, anxiety, joblessness, fear. Take heart, for Christ has overcome the world, and there’s no situation He can’t redeem. The dark night breaks with the dawn of the Son! He is producing a harvest of righteousness and peace as we are trained by His sovereign discipline. Cling to Him. Walk with Him. Take hold of your name: Co-heir with Christ, God’s very Beloved Own!

stay lovely,
the tall girl

(Find this article also on the CCV SoCal blog.)

When the Empire Falls

As I hurried down the metro stairs to catch the train out of Paris, I saw the mother with her empty stroller just in time to slow down as I rounded the corner. Her little boy had almost achieved a great victory as his stubby toddler legs escalated the final step.

IMG_1139I couldn’t help but stop and beam down at him as I tried to understand his world. Each 6-inch step was a 14-er mountain, one block along an avenue with his mother was a half marathon.

He looked up from his intense focus on climbing, and I immediately started clapping and “cheering” for him. The smile that lit up his face was too perfect. My surprise grew as he flung his arms wide, stumbled/ran to me, and wrapped his short arms around my calves, the highest he could reach.

My day was made. No fancy ordeal, no exotic new sight or taste, just a baby. Trusting without hesitation; innocent and perfect.

The wheels started turning. As the Parisian city skyline faded into rolling green hills of Chantilly, I thought of my travels. How was it possible that this 45-second interaction in a grimy subway station could have such a great impact on me? Even more so than the other events of the weekend, which I had truly enjoyed! Picnicking under the Eiffel Tower, acting like a local at the Sunday open-air market, exploring the City of Light in its high-fashion craze and juxtaposing architecture galore.

We can attain fame and popularity, money or a “quality of life” we nestle comfortably in, and create an empire for ourselves. So why are there so many depressed and anxious people, searching for what’s missing in their life?

This post isn’t to give you my opinion on this, although I of course have one. It’s much easier to read an op-ed, say something like “interesting perspective”, and then completely disregard and forget about it 20 seconds later. No, this is much too important an issue for that.

Instead I’m proposing a heart search. What is (who are) the most important thing (people) in your life?

But are you living like it?

stay lovely,
the tall girl

A Brief Diary Entry by a Goody Two-Shoes

Alright, I admit it. I’m that girl who does extra credit before the teacher even announces it, that girl who Continue reading “A Brief Diary Entry by a Goody Two-Shoes”