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This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery
“[It is] as if [David] had said, Separated from God I am nothing, and all that I attempt to do ends in nothing; but when I come to Him, I find an abundant supply of strength. It is highly necessary for us to consider what we are without God; for no man will cast himself wholly upon God, but he who feels himself in a fainting condition, and who despairs of the sufficiency of his own powers. We will seek nothing from God but what we are conscious of wanting in ourselves. ...the reason why God is represented as a portion is, because He alone is abundantly sufficient for us, and because in Him the perfection of our happiness consists.” -John Calvin, on Psalm 73:26

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Monday Morning Munch No. 151 – Goodbyes

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I hate goodbyes. 

I hate when people say, “This isn’t ‘goodbye’ it’s ‘see you later,'” because it’s just putting some nice words on a parting of ways that feels more like a breakup than a hopeful parting, and I always hated euphemisms. Can’t we just say, “This is stupid and it hurts and we hate every millisecond of this torture”?

Tomorrow morning we’ll get on a plane and leave Iasi, making various stops along the way until we land in our hometown in Kentucky 24+ hours later. But, before that, hugs will be given, enough tears to fill at least 48 liters will be shed, and goodbyes will have to be said.

Or, if you’re like me, you don’t say anything except “I love you” over and over because you refuse to say the repulsive G-word (and you’re crying too much to get any proper words out).

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The Vasilius = my Romanian family. Florin is the director of Romania Missionary Fellowship and the pastor of the newly constituted Adora Christi Baptist Church in Iasi, and is pictured with his wife Denise and their kids (some of my favorite humans), David, Andrei, and Estera.

I love these people so much. And writing that feels like an insult because it doesn’t even begin to hint at what I really feel for them. 

Though it has been laid back and not as fast paced as previous years, this trip has been one of my favorites. There have been so much laughter, so many fun adventures, so many prayers answered, and so many holy moments. Those are my favorite, you know, those moments dripped in divine, lathered in grace, and abounding in the love of our good, good Father. The ones where your heart feels like it’s experiencing faint but glimmering echoes of the weight of glory to come, the splendor of the Savior, and the reality that He is Immanuel—God with us.

And then your good, good Father ordains a goodbye that feels anything but good. Yet even in the hurt there is usefulness. Goodbyes become advantageous when you allow them to point to the day when there will be no more loneliness, no more tears, and no more farewells.

I don’t know about you, but that’s good news for me because I’ve already said enough goodbyes this year alone to last a lifetime. I don’t want to end any more relationships. Regardless of whether it’s over a breakup, a death, or a transatlantic flight, I’m just so over the parting of souls.

And that drives me to the Gospel.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” -2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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So as I spend our last day in Romania trying to be fully present while actively fighting grief and the aching over what’s about to be severed, I’m forcing myself to remember what we sang in church yesterday morning:  My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. 

I have no eloquent words or pretty ways to wrap up this heart rant of a blog, I’m just trying to do what Matt Papa told me one time and that is to brainwash myself with truth. And the truth is my hope is built not on the shifting sands of this present evil age but on the One who was and is and is to come. The One who was severed from His Father in order to die the death we deserved and present us faultless before the throne.

Because Jesus endured the goodbye of His Father, I can endure the goodbye of tomorrow in hope that there will one day be no more.

Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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