The Eighth Year

Happy Friday Readers!

friday

Quick life update: Started my new job resolving insurance claims, moved out of my Mom’s place, it’s finally consistent sweater weather in Dallas, and God is continuing to move in mysterious ways.

It’s wild that exactly a year ago I landed in Australia excited, curious, and with a smidgen of fear about what the new adventure would hold. I was so grateful God finally granted my dream to live abroad. Little did I know, He would use it, and a couple other dreams come true, as a painful catalyst to bring me into a deeper relationship with Him.

“Pain removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul. “

-C.S. Lewis

Exactly 8 years ago, I decided to give my life to God. On a chilly November 16th evening in Boston during my first semester of college, I was baptised and proclaimed Jesus as Lord of my life. I had the smallest inkling that it would be a challenging journey, but I had no idea how intense it would be.

This past year walking with God was the hardest by far. I have explained it to others as “open heart surgery with no anesthesia” This is a huge victory because I didn’t numb the pain of broken dreams, heart wounds and loneliness, I felt all of it. God was constantly upping my trust levels as I wrestled to let go of what I wanted. I finally started to understand that leisure, escapism, and busyness were not going to provide the peace and growth I truly craved. Only God could cradle my heart through the darkest storms.

boatstorm

“Jesus was asleep at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. Frantically they wakened him, shouting, ‘Teacher, don’t you even care that we are all about to drown?'”

-Mark 4:36

February was when things started getting extra rough, money was getting low, no job in sight, friendship troubles, and character issues getting exposed all over the place. I remember talking to God about how I totally believed in Him and His Word, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to be truly devoted to Him any longer. I couldn’t see how things would turn around and I was angry at Him for allowing me to venture out to Australia if He knew my faith would fail. I could hardly stand to read my Bible, it just reminded me of how far I had fallen and my prayers were weak whimpers.

I thank God for the retreat I went to about a month and a half later where a few course changing conversations happened. A friend of mine who was there asked me how much I had been reading my Bible lately and I was honest about my minimal effort. Her response was unforgettable. “So you’re on the battlefield with no armour getting slaughtered by Satan.” Shooketh. Then she challenged me to read like crazy since I had no job and a bunch of free time, tough facts, but real facts. We prayed together and I just cried because I knew where I wanted to be, I just didn’t know how to get there.

Ariel

“‘Even now,’ declares the Lord,
    ‘return to me with all your heart,
    with fasting and weeping and mourning.’

 Rend your heart
    and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
    and he relents from sending calamity.”

-Joel 2:12-13

Even now when you’ve gotten to the end of yourself

Even now when you’ve sinned greatly

Even now when everything is falling apart

Return to Me.

From there, God showed me the power of His Word and His love. I totally thought I blew it too badly for prayer, fasting, and reading to work. Sure I’ve seen things move amazingly when I do it on behalf of others, but I didn’t have much faith in it for myself. I wondered, “Is His grace really sufficient? Will His power actually be showcased in my extreme weakness?”

The rest you know if you’ve been reading my blogs. I had to face my sins head on, be completely vulnerable and dependent on God, and surround myself with people who were going to hold me accountable. God has revealed Himself in so many incredible ways, I think it’s the most I’ve ever enjoyed reading the Bible and spending time alone with Him. It’s also the most I have ever missed God and looked forward to the next life. He is seriously good all of the time, I’m the one who’s all over the place.

calming

God isn’t planning on giving up on me. He’s continuing to show me that the impossible is possible with Him. I can be a better friend, daughter, sister, co-worker, and representative of Him if I rely on Him to transform me. I am forgiven by God even when someone can’t forgive me or I cannot forgive myself. If God is giving me another chance, that has to be enough. I’ve spent too much time allowing pride and guilt to control me instead of God’s Truth. If God is going to have mercy on me who am I to oppose it? God is God, no one else is. The crazy amount of spiritual growth I’ve had this year is a testament to God’s grace and power, it has zero to do with me, I’m triumphant because He made it so.

mulan

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

-Ephesians 3:20-21

Thank you Kristen, Sterling, Mariah, and Lai-Yan for studying the Bible with me 8 years ago and showing me what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Thank you to everyone who has prayed, encouraged, fasted for me and with me and loved me throughout this challenging year. Thank you God for seeing my heart for you and carrying me to new heights and depths when I couldn’t even look up at You.

Now begins the 9th year, I have no idea what is to come, but I know it will be worth it in the end. Here’s to more years of learning about God and unlearning the patterns of this world.

*Blasts The Climb by Miley Cyrus*

freeze frame

Moore Awaits ♥️

 

2 thoughts on “The Eighth Year”

  1. Wow my sister amazing! Happy Spirthday! Truly encouraging to read this about your life and how we are put in situations to fight for God that much more. I’ll keep you in prayer always. May God continue to have favor on you and bless you more each day.

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