God Fills Our Hearts with Love: Even when Suffering

facebook_1416850691347-001

We lost my husband’s father (link for more)…

…had someone told my husband and I on our wedding day, that in the year of our 25th wedding anniversary we’d lose both dads to lung cancer, I think we both would’ve buckled in grief before walking down the isle.

Unimaginable!

But I need you to know that if our suffering ultimately encourages other souls around us to know God will help them with ALL things, filling their hearts with love–even when suffering–then I’m confident this will honor our memory of my husband’s father more than anything.

After all, nurturing souls was the core of my husband’s dad, wanting everyone to join him at his celebration party for and with Jesus, in all things.

Just like my husband’s father stood under the cross praying for us the day he married us 25 years ago, I believe in my heart these prayers continue even in heaven, petitioning on all our behalf we celebrate Christ’s love.

God FIlls Our Hearts with Love: Even when Suffering

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. ~Romans 5:1-5

Grateful God fills our hearts with love. Even when suffering.

Grace Gratitudes,

-rk

Grace Faith

Grateful for this gift of faith, inspiring me to celebrate grace gratitudes:

The Gift of Faith

Faith is the thread we hold onto when our life is falling apart.

We experience it when we see the power of an ocean and the fragility of a dried-up dandelion.

And we know that in such times we are in touch with the Spirit.

In describing this gift of faith, I am not saying that we always feel vibrant and confident.

Even the most spiritual and most faithful among us at times

have dark moments and gloomy moods.

But with faith we have resilience, we have a reservoir of courage,

strength and hope to draw on when we encounter pain.

And we stand ready to be used by the spirit in whatever plan God has for our lives.

When we feel the Spirit, it’s like coming out of a fog.

We know it can get foggy again, but we also know that there’s sunshine behind the fog,

and the mists will clear, and the Spirit will shine through once again.

The light of the Spirit frees people, unburdens them,

fosters growth and transformation and allows them to make healthy choices.

Spirit comes to us like wind blowing through and through–

taking away pretenses, games, phoniness.

We are who we are. We are set free.

And free people help to set others free.”

-Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse

IMG_8058

Strength & Peace in Pain

This has been an I’ve-never-been-more-miserable-season.

Cancer took my dad. I’m watching my husband help his dad fight cancer…

I hate cancer.

But I also want you to know I’ve never been more filled with strength and peace only God can give.

“… when we are weak, He is strong…”

-2 Corinthians 12:9

“…peace which surpasses all under standing…”

-Philippians 4:7

Trauma has a way of bringing us to a day-by-day, moment-by-moment pace as it forces us to measure our powerlessness, and stop enforcing and inserting our own strength and resolution into crisis as we realize we’re asking the impossible of ourselves, ultimately surrendering to the gift of pain, letting God be God. I can stop playing god by setting down my self sufficiency.

At least this is what trauma is teaching me.

Exhaling as I hand the reigns of control and masks of, “I can do this on my own,” pride to Him.

I’m a Christ follower because I’m broken and need a Healer. So I get to be broken, because I am.

Releasing.

Exhaling.

So as I continue in this season of trauma which is seeming to be my new normal–with crisis being my break–I need you to know I’m OK. Ney, I’m better than OK, I’m thriving in the covering of my Healer God, watching Him work His strength and peace in the most miraculous of ways.

I wouldn’t change that for anything.

He is my, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

-Isaiah 9:6

This is my way of saying thank you for praying as your petitions are my life line, but I don’t want any to worry. God is in control, and I’m encouraged.

Today’s devotional from “Jesus Calling,” by Sarah Young is a reflection of my heart sentiments above, and also a gesture of appreciation for your love and support.

Grace Gratitudes,

-rk

November 4 Devotional, “Jesus Calling,” Sarah Young:

Walk peacefully with Me through this day.

You are wondering how you will cope with all that is expected of you.

You must traverse this day like any other: one step at a time.

Instead of mentally rehearsing how you will do this or that,

keep your mind on My Presence and on taking the next step.

The more demanding your day, the more help you can expect from Me.

This is a training opportunity,

since I designed you for deep dependence on your Shepherd-King.

Challenging times wake you up and amplify your awareness of needing My help.

When you don’t know what to do, wait while I open the way before you.

Trust that I know what I’m doing, and be ready to follow My lead.

I will give strength to you, and I will bless you with Peace.

*

-Exodus 33:14

-Deuteronomy 33:25

-Hebrews 13:20–21

-Psalm 29:11

IMG_6480