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rainbow promises

I captured this image this week with my phone one afternoon after a quick rainstorm we had here in Florida. I always love how rainbows remind me of God's grace and presence.

Last week one afternoon I was having a bit of a pity party. I had been fighting a virus for about a week and then I sprained my ankle while out in the rain getting groceries. At almost 6 months pregnant, I just felt defeated and tired. I was having trouble seeing the "rainbows" in my life and was focusing more on all the negative.

And then I listened to a sermon from Matt Chandler. It was from a series entitled Recovering Redemption, How Christ changes everything. Matt said, 

" Don't begrudge the difficult days. Don't hate them. God is working in the mess.--He will never lay on you what He will not bare up with you"

It's amazing how much I needed to hear those words at that exact moment. It's easy to believe them when everything is going right, but sometimes in the midst of trials we need the reminder. We need to hear that we have not been forsaken and that there is purpose in every single trial.

I am reminded once again of James 1:2-4
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."

Yes, these times of trials...they are when I am growing the most. Not in the easy days. These days are filled with God seeking moments; bringing me closer to Him. And for that, I find joy. I am grateful for His rainbows all throughout my life, reminding me I am never forsaken.

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“It’s okay to not be okay.This is a safe place. This is a safe place. Don't be afraid. Don't be ashamed. There's still hope here. There's still hope here."

These are powerful words in a song entitled Exhale by Plumb.

There is so much suffering in this world. My own mother fighting her battle with cancer. My father –n-law slowly losing his life to Alzheimer’s and my mother-n-law giving all of her strength to care for him. Friends battling their own wars; their own tragedies and sicknesses.

Poverty, abuse, divorce, addictions, depression, loneliness.

No matter how life may look on the outside, we will all face our own fight at some time during our life. At times these fights may seem trivial as we look at the problems in the world around us. And then there are times that we are so engulfed in the fight we can’t seem to find air. We can’t seem to catch our breath.

I want to teach our children that it's okay to not be okay. To realize they can't do life always on their own. They don’t have to be afraid or ashamed. I want them to truly feel God’s amazing grace in their lives. To see the love and peace that only comes from surrendering to Him.

Today, I send out these words of hope and affirmation; a reminder to all that it’s okay to not be okay. There is a God much bigger than any of us, waiting to give us everything we need.

“Just let go, let His love wrap around you. And hold you close. Get lost in the surrender. Breathe it in until your heart breaks. Then exhale. Exhale.”