What God Does With Death

It’s Easter week. My heart’s focus is redemption. More than any other time of year, this week calls to me, it grabs my attention and makes me take a long look at life. And in this process of discovery, there are truths that I don’t want to forget. One of the main truths I see is what God does with death.

I’m not just talking about physical death. I’m talking about the death of hopes and dreams, death of desires and passions: the death of the heart. Let’s be honest with each other—sometimes externally we’re entirely alive but inside we are absolutely dead.

And there’s probably a very understandable reason (or perhaps a whole list) that explains why we are dead. While important to our condition, the reasons are not the focus of what happens next.

Think about the whole focus of Easter and ask yourself this question, “What does God do with death?” And hear the answer, full of love and tenderness, “He brings life.”

Jesus chose death.

His family, his friends, his followers, and even his enemies all thought it was over.  But God wasn’t finished, because he does something incredible with death.

He brings life.

And that gives me hope. Because I know death. I know human death and I know the kind of death that tries to creep in and suffocate. If we’re honest, we all know the kind of death that tries to steal our hopes and dreams. The “death” that wants us to give up. But I’m telling you that you have a choice. Don’t give up! Hang firm on this belief: death is not the end—it’s a new beginning.

Jesus didn’t stay dead. God had this incredible redemption plan for Jesus and he has one for us too. Resurrected life. Jesus lay in the tomb 3 days. To those on the outside it looked like everything was over. But, deep inside that tomb, there was something remarkable happening.

And that very same remarkable thing happens in our lives.

Jesus rested in the Father’s hands for 3 days. And then came the RESURRECTION! He came out of the tomb and was practically unrecognizable. He had to prove who he was by his scars.

And I promise you this: God still has the same plan. The answer to death is always life. When some piece of our life dies, God asks us to place ourselves in his hands and rest. In that place of rest he breathes life over us. He restores our soul, he renews our mind and he revives our heart. But that won’t happen unless we let go and rest.

So maybe this Easter week you find yourself in this very place. You’re broken, beaten and the weight of life is crushing you.  Maybe you’ve come here unexpectedly or perhaps you saw it coming. How you arrived doesn’t matter. Why you’re dead inside doesn’t matter. What matters is that death is not the end and this IS your time for life.

If that’s you, then I’m asking you to be intentional to the place of surrender. Lay aside the deadness and your perception of personal responsibility and circumstantial disappointment. Simply rest in your Father’s embrace. Allow him to renew you from the inside out, and stay as long as it takes.

His plan for you is LIFE, and it’s going to be glorious! When you come out of this tomb, you (and probably others) will only recognize the “you that used to be” because you still have the scars. The scars are a reminder of what was, but now life takes center stage in the radiance of hope restored and dreams revived. RESURRECTION! Faith and passion become focused determination to live this “redemption story”.

But you have to make the choice to believe that death is not the end. It’s a choice to embrace surrender. And yes, this choice costs something, but the blessings far outweigh the cost.

Life is captivating, and it’s coming for you. Love. God’s love. It’s coming for you. Open your heart and get ready. It’s time for resurrection.

God is real, he is alive, and his love brings us to life!

 

 

A Day for Celebration

Everyday.  To me, celebration is necessary.  It is relevant, and it inspires.  When I’m looking for a reason to celebrate, then I will surely find one.  Some days the celebrations are obvious, some days they are hidden.  Regardless, there is something worth celebrating every single day.

Look for it.  Seek it out.  On the gray days, dig deep, keep your eyes wide, and refuse to believe that celebration is not meant for you.

Why?

Maybe you’re in the midst of a struggle and can’t find it.  But Jesus is celebrating you. He’s cheering you on.  He rallies to your side.  He sees your struggle and your fierce determination.  You haven’t given up. You are loved.   And that’s reason to celebrate.

I think about all the people I’ve lost and what I miss the most are not the huge “party type” moments.  No, it’s the little ones.  I miss the moments that seemed insignificant- the moments that I wouldn’t have thought I’d remember years later.  But I do.  I miss the quiet celebration in my heart over 5 minute phone calls with my dad about nothing.  We simply talked about the day. And simplicity didn’t seem significant then, but it does now.

So I will celebrate- with good food, hard work, and satisfying rest.  I will celebrate with laughter over funny youtube videos and “minion speak” with my kids.  I will celebrate with 5 minute conversations and holding hands.

FullSizeRender

And in that place of celebration, my heart is satisfied.

 

Suffering is not a competition, and neither is your response.

Everyone has an opinion on the crises throughout our world. Here’s my 2 cents. Suffering is not a competition. It’s not an “us vs. them” or a “me vs. you” scenario. Pain is pain. Period. Here’s what I know- we all face pain. Our circumstances are different but we feel the same way inside. And if we allow it, pain changes our perspective. Pain has the ability to give us eyes to see and a heart that beats with passion and purpose.  I don’t have to experience your exact circumstances to feel motivated to do something to help you.

But here’s the kicker—I can’t just feel the motivation and let it fizzle away. I must choose to embrace the compassion in my heart and do something for you. From experience, when I let the compassion fizzle, it dulls my sensitivity. The more often I’m moved but do nothing, the less compassion I will feel in the future.

You can say that the refugee crisis is a religious thing, and you can quote verses to back yourself up—either for or against. I’ve seen it go both ways. But I’m telling you that it’s not a religious thing. It’s a cry from the depths of humanity to live and breathe. And that’s a hard thing to fully understand from the comfort of an American lifestyle. But I can’t close my eyes to their struggle and I can’t silence my ears to their cry.

No, America isn’t perfect. Yes, there are many other groups of people who need our help. But it’s not a competition. If you feel compassion for veterans, then help them! If you feel mercy for the homeless, then help them! If you feel tenderness towards at-risk youth, then help them! And if you are concerned about the refugees, then help them!

But don’t feel compassion and let it fizzle. If we decide not to help the refugees it means that fear has won—the terrorists have won, and they have terrorized us to the point of their control.

Let love win. We’re not all called to do the same thing, but we must do something!

Our Adoption Journey!

November is National Adoption Awareness month (#NAM), and you can follow along on my Facebook page for a month long look at our adoption!  I’m sharing our story and would love to have you follow along.  Find me here.

-Marie

Adopt the older child.

According to a 2015 UNICEF report, of the 132 million orphans worldwide, 95% are over the age of 5.

Over 125 million orphans are 5 or older.

What are you going to do about it?

IMG_5007

This is my son Lungelo.  Many say that he is blessed to be a part of our family.  But they’ve got it all wrong.  We are the ones who are blessed.  I am blessed.

I’m blessed- he calls me “mom”.

I’m blessed- he gives never-ending hugs.

I’m blessed- his smile lights up my life.

I’m blessed- he says “I love you.”

I’m blessed- he falls asleep in my arms.

I’m blessed- he laughs, he’s loud, he’s full of life.

Is adoption easy?  No.

Is parenting easy?  Never.

But the beauty of all I’ve received far outweighs my “sacrifice”.

There are 125 million kids just like him all across the world.  And they’re waiting for someone like you to open your heart and let them in.

Adopt the older child.

-Lungelo’s mom

PS- If your heart is stirred (and I hope it is) message me for info!

This is a MUST listen kind of song

This song has been in my heart all day and if you haven’t heard it you must listen.  Now.  Click the link and listen to it.

Hopefully I’ll be posting a blog in the next couple days about “why” this song is all I hear right now.  Stay tuned!

Hereos- Amanda Cook

Let the heroes rest
Let the striving cease
I lay down my crown
Here at Your feet

I will trust
Here in the mystery
I will trust
In You completely

Awake my soul to sing
With Your breath in me
I will worship
You taught my feet
To dance upon disappointment
And I, I will worship

Let the weary rise
Lift their eyes to see
Your love crushing every lie
Every doubt and fear

I will trust
Here in the mystery
I will trust
In You completely

Awake my soul to sing
With Your breath in me
I will worship
You taught my feet
To dance upon disappointment
And I, I will worship

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
You are making all things new

Awake my soul to sing
With Your breath in me
I will worship
You taught my feet
To dance upon disappointment
And I, I will worship

Soak in it.

-Marie

Today–I choose.

Today I do not choose to remember the tragedy, as I will never forget the devastation.  Instead, today I choose to pursue light, life and love.  I choose Jesus.  And I trust that he will continue to shine his light into every corner, crack and crater in my life.  His love always wins, he always rescues and his redemption never ends.

Regardless of how deep the sorrow goes, his love is deeper still.

This is for me, and this is for you.

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,297 other followers

%d bloggers like this: