A New Year, A Same Struggle (Again)

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Today, a post I wrote 2 years ago popped up in my memories. Other than a recent career change and a new age, my life looks pretty similar to what it did then. I always think ‘man, in a couple of years, I bet my life will look like -fill in the blank-.’ Fast forward a couple of years and usually things are not quite what I had expected. Yet, the Lord remains faithful. He’s constantly reminding me that He is good- that my life is exactly as it should be. Some days are still a downright struggle, but over and over again He shows that His plans are always best, even if not always easiest. Today, I am thankful for His reminders.

My original post is below. {Keep in mind I will now be turning 32. *gasp* ;-)}


 

Next month I will be leaving one decade behind and entering a new one. While I’m not really scared of turning 30, I have been very aware lately that my life has not at all turned out how I thought it would. I never dreamed I would reach my 30s as a single. The past year in particular has been a roller coaster of ups and downs in my desires and wants. In some instances, I have been completely content and satisfied with my singleness. I’ve even had moments where I solely desired and wanted to be single. But, I’ve also had the overwhelming moments of longing for a husband. Recently, that desire has only gotten stronger. I’ve grown in my understanding of what a godly marriage really is and it’s only made me desire it that much more. 

But, I’m still very single.
I do believe the Lord is sovereign. I know he is in control of all things and has a specific purpose and plan for my life. But, I have been battling confusion and doubt and wondering what his plan really is. The past couple of months have been particularly difficult. I know I can be extremely cynical and critical and negative and I have been fighting it daily. I want to trust. I want to be patient. I want to exhibit grace and understanding. But, it can be downright exhausting.
I was reminded today of a post I wrote for CBMW almost exactly a year ago. Often times our lives don’t go exactly how we plan or expect. In fact, life can turn out to be the exact opposite of what we originally wanted. I’ve had to learn the difference between my will and God’s will. I’ve had to learn how to trust God’s goodness and sovereignty even when I don’t understand it. He is good. He is faithful. Even when I may not believe it at every moment. Lately, I admit, I’ve been lacking in belief (while simultaneously fighting it). I know that He remains faithful even when I’m unsure of it. My feelings or circumstances do not change who he is and that is extremely encouraging to me.
So, I may still be single at 30 and I’m sure I’ll continue to have my struggles with this reality. But, I also choose to trust the Lord and his plan for my life. I choose to see my singleness as a blessing and as a gift. I am comforted in knowing he is able to use me in whatever age or stage I find myself. No matter where we are in life, he has a purpose. But, first, we must relinquish our control and surrender it to him.
Here is my original post for CBMW:
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A Better Word to Singles Than ‘Just Get Married’

It’s no secret that singles are waiting longer and longer to get married. There are many factors that go into this trend. Prolonged adolescence. Career aspirations. Contentment in being alone. Distractions brought on by advanced technology. The list goes on and on and on. And this isn’t just the case in the culture around us. Singles within the church are not immune to this epidemic, either. Well-meaning people, even those I highly respect, seem to have the answer for this: grow up and get married. Christian singles are CONSTANTLY bombarded by this directive. And, while I appreciate the sentiment, I am not sure it’s the most helpful advice for us.

I see several issues with this push for singles to get married. First, singleness is not this sickness that needs to be cured. It is just as important and necessary to the kingdom as marriage. Paul speaks very highly of singleness in his first letter to the church at Corinth (ch 7). In fact, in some ways he shows how singleness can be more beneficial to the kingdom than marriage. We do not have distractions. We can devote our undivided attention to God and his will. We can do things for the kingdom that married couples cannot. There are singles right now doing amazing things for the kingdom that they might not otherwise be able to do if they were married.

Yet, this can be downplayed by the Christian culture. There is this huge tendency in the church to focus on marriage and family. It is the be-all, end-all. ‘Yeah, singleness is great for a time, but you can’t really start fulfilling God’s purpose for your life until you get married.’ I continually feel pressure to get married because the greatest roles I could ever fulfill in life are that of wife and mother. Somehow I am not as complete or as useful as a single. Or, at least, I feel that is what the church is telling me by her actions and words.

But, what if God’s plan for my life right now is to be single? What if I am fulfilling purposes that I would not be able to fulfill as a married? What if the church’s pressure for me to get married is actually drawing me away from God’s will for my life right now?

There is a real danger of pushing singles to get married. A lot of us really do desire to live according to God’s will for our lives. When we are told we should get married at every turn, we start to doubt that our singleness is being used for the kingdom. We start to wonder if we really are living selfishly in disobedience to God. But, what if we aren’t? What if this is his will for us? What if your incessant badgering for us to get married is actually leading us to walk away from his will?

Now, to be sure, many of us are called to get married. So, I do think it is good and healthy for singles to be taught about marriage and the beauty of the gospel that is found in it. However, pressure to get married a lot of times leads singles to jump into it prematurely. I have seen this happen numerous times. Young men and woman are told they need to hurry up and get married, so they do. Then, within a few years, they are either divorced or in miserable marriages.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Even if you jumped into marriage too quickly, Christ can redeem your situation. So, I am not at all saying divorce is the answer just because you got married too soon. Christ can restore you and your spouse and bring healing to your marriage. Don’t give up hope.

However, what if premature marriages could be prevented? What if singles were encouraged to wait on God’s timing for marriage?  We do not need to only be told to get married. We need to be encouraged in what healthy marriage really looks like and how to patiently and wisely move towards it.

Now, I know selfishness and disobedience are real issues in the lives of many singles. We should be confronted on these sins. If we aren’t getting married for reasons of the flesh, we need to be rebuked. However, I really don’t think the best solution for our selfishness is to get married, and I’m willing to bet the well-meaning advocates of marriage do not think so, either. It can really come across that way, though. ‘Oh, you aren’t married because you’re selfish? Well, you should grow up and get married to fix it!’

In fact, I am not even sure marriage should be the focus at all. Instead, what if singles were exhorted to live in godliness? What if we were challenged to completely surrender our lives to our Creator? What if we were told to repent of our selfishness, not because we are supposed to get married, but because we are living in rebellion to the living God? We need to get to the root of our sin. We don’t need the band-aid of marriage because somehow that will magically help us to grow up and become selfless. Otherwise, we would just be in selfish marriages.

If godly living was the focus of our lives, everything else would fall into place in accordance with God’s will. If we are seeking his wisdom and choosing to live everyday in surrender to him, those of us who should get married will be led to marriage and those of us who should remain single will remain single.

I think it’s high time the church needs to meet singles where they are. Get to know us. Invest in our lives. Encourage us to live our singleness totally and completely for the kingdom and God’s glory. Teach us what godly marriage is. Show us what it looks like. Then, allow the Lord to move in our lives in a way that only he knows how. Allow him to lead us to marriage if that is his will. Allow him to strengthen us in our singleness if that is his will. But, please, don’t tell us we really need to get married every chance you get. Your words, while well-meaning, may just be doing more harm than good.

‘Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.’ I Corinthians 7:6-7 [emphasis mine]

Welcome to counterthecurrent!

A new year. A new site.

Writing is one of the ways I feel I can best express myself. When I’m struggling. When I’m passionate about something. When I have a lot on my mind. Writing it all out brings such relief. There’s something therapeutic about reading the words in front of me. My words. Somehow I’m able to better process and think through things if I’m able to visually see it. Sometimes those words are just for me. Other times I love to share what I’ve written with others with the hope it will somehow be encouraging. Comforting. Challenging.

I started a blog years ago when I was struggling with different issues as a way to find relief. I didn’t keep up with it too much. A post here, a post there. Since then, I’ve had the great privilege of writing for other entities (CBMW, 9Marks, Gospel Taboo) and each time has been incredibly edifying. What an amazing opportunity to write out my thoughts about different issues, grappling with the gospel implications of those issues, and sharing it with others!

The more I write, the more I realize just how much I love it. It really is a deep passion of mine and I hope to do a lot more of it. That’s where this site comes in.

It’s no secret that living in today’s world can be extremely difficult. We are pulled in so many different directions on how to live and what to believe. It’s overwhelming. Sometimes we have others encouraging us in our journey. Sometimes we feel completely alone in it. Through this site, I want to share everything I am learning about different issues. Some of it will be more personal and some of it will be about current, cultural issues that we all are facing. Regardless, through all of it, I hope to provide a place where people can come for encouragement.

Maybe you’re here for answers. Maybe you’re here simply out of curiosity. Whatever the reason, I’m so glad you are and I hope you continue on this journey with me! I will be sharing a lot of new material and providing other resources I come across that I find encouraging. But, I kept some of my older content on here, as well.

Stay tuned for more!

When old struggles wage war

We all have different things we struggle with throughout life. Sometimes we think we’ve defeated our struggles only to have them spring to life again. It can be extremely discouraging to suddenly come face to face with an old battle you thought you’ve already won. Recently, I found myself in this situation. There are more things I struggle with than I care to admit, but there are two that always far surpass the rest- feelings of inadequacy and jealousy. 


My greatest struggle with them occurred in middle school and high school, so much so that those years were shrouded in depression and darkness. I started gaining control over them in college when I grew in my understanding of Christ and my identity that’s grounded in him. I still felt the sting of it from time to time, but, for the most part, I was able to bounce back pretty quickly with no real harm done. 

Over the past 6 months or so both of them started to creep their way back in, but I was able to mostly keep them at bay. Last week, they hit full force. I was face to face with them and there was nothing I could do but confront them head on. They were here to wage war. It was terrifying and extremely unpleasant. The Lord has been revealing a lot to me the past few months. He’s stretched me in ways I didn’t think was possible. None of it was very comfortable. However, this, by far, was the most painful. Here I was staring at old battles I thought were (almost) long gone. How in the world could this still be an issue? Haven’t I grown out of it by now? 

As with all struggles, there are always underlying issues. Everything we battle with day to day is a symptom of a much greater problem. When I came face to face with mine last week, immediately I knew there was something deeper going on. Why am I feeling inadequate? Why am I jealous? What’s the real issue here? After taking time to reflect, I discovered two things. 

First, I realized I am deeply lacking trust in the Lord. Really, most (if not all) of our issues boil down to the fact that we don’t really trust God. All throughout scripture he has revealed himself and has proven himself faithful to his word. He shows us he is God, he makes commandments and promises, yet we constantly turn away from him. Why? Because we don’t really trust him. Look at the fall. Right at the beginning of all things we see this play out. God revealed himself to Adam and Eve, he made commandments, he made promises. He had set up this perfect world for Adam and Eve to enjoy. But, look at what happens next. Satan, with all his cunning, comes on the scene- ‘Did God really say?’ In that instance, there was a questioning of God’s authority and character. There was a planting of the seed of distrust. God said those things, but maybe he didn’t really mean them. Maybe he isn’t faithful or good or trustworthy. 

Last week when everything came to a head, I realized my err and faulty thinking. All through scripture God has said and reminded us that we are created in his image- that our true worth and value and importance can only be found in him and the work of Christ on the cross. Yet, I found myself asking, ‘did God really say?’ I was questioning his authority and faithfulness. I was failing to really believe him. Not only was I failing to trust him, I was actually placing my trust in man. I was basing my value and importance on what man was telling me (or at least my perception of it) instead of what God has already made plain to me through his word.

Second, this situation has made me realize I have a real sense of entitlement. I believe I deserve certain things far more than I actually do. Truth be told, what I really deserve (as well as everyone else) is wrath and punishment. I don’t deserve any blessings or gifts. Because of my sin, I should receive God’s righteous judgement. Thankfully, God provided the payment for my sin through the precious blood of Christ. I have received salvation through his death and resurrection. However, shamefully, I sometimes feel this is not enough. As if this unimaginable gift is not already greatly undeserved, I have the nerve to think I should actually get more. I look around at what other people have and think,  ‘Wait a minute. I should have that. I deserve it way more than they do.’ I feel like I’ve paid my dues or l have lived a certain way in which God now owes me some reward. I have failed to truly understand and believe that even if I had NOTHING in terms of material/earthly things, I have far more than I ever deserve in Christ. God owes me nothing, least of all Christ. Yet, he offered him anyway. 

So, what is the solution when you come face to face with your struggles and heart issues? Honestly, I don’t have a cut and dry answer. It’s a messy process without any real steps. I do know it involves lots of tears. It involves stripping your heart bare before the Lord so he can cut it and shape it and make it what he will. It involves preaching the gospel to yourself everyday, reminding yourself of what Christ did for you on the cross. It involves pleading and begging God for restoration and genuine trust in him. It involves realizing this is not an overnight, quick fix. In fact, this side of eternity, we will never be completely free of our struggles and failures. We are still marred by sin. Sometimes, one of the best things we can do is tell ourselves we will continue to fail and succumb to our struggles this side of heaven. We must guard ourselves against the lie that somehow we, as followers of Christ, are supposed to have it all together and never endure the trials of this world. Yes, we have found victory in Christ and we have a future hope of the things to come, but  that does not change the fact we are still part of this fallen world. We will still stumble and fall. But, we will also grow and be refined in the process. We are constantly being sanctified through the work of the Holy Spirit.

I’m still fighting the battle that hit full force last week. There has definitely been some progress, but there’s still more to be overcome. In everything the Lord has taken me through the last few months, I have gained a greater understand of who he is and who I am as his child. It’s had its ugly and painful moments. But, oh, the richness of his goodness and faithfulness that’s been revealed through it all. 

It’s not the end of the world

It’s no secret that it’s becoming harder and harder to hold to traditional biblical beliefs and values in our culture. There are so many political and legal things going on right now that point to this fact. I’ve seen a range of reactions from Christians about this. There are those that seem pretty indifferent to all of it and have more of the ‘it’s no big deal’ attitude. Then, more prevalently, there are those who are angry and anxious about it and seem to have lost all hope. Both reactions are problematic. 

First, we should definitely care what’s going on in our country in regards to this. Perhaps things do not appear so grim right now, but, make no mistake, these issues are a trajectory of where things are leading. We shouldn’t be flippant about it. We need to be aware that things are only going to get worse.

However, we shouldn’t be worried and full of despair, either. First of all, God is sovereign. Even if these things were out of the blue or sudden, he is in control and is not at all taken by surprise. Let’s stop acting like God is somehow losing his grip on his creation. He’s not. The truth of the matter is that we really shouldn’t be surprised by these things at all. I think we have become so comfortable with our freedom that we have forgotten we are not of this world. Scripture is very clear that Christians who stand for the truth of Christ will not be tolerated by the world and, in fact, will be hated because of it (Matt 10:22). Peter goes as far as to say we should never be surprised by our trials, but instead we should actually rejoice in them (1 Peter 4:12,13). Look at the early church in Acts. They were beaten (some killed) for the sake of the gospel, yet never despaired. Even after they were beaten for preaching the gospel, they not only rejoiced in it, but went back out and continued doing it (Acts 5:40-42)! (No, I am not saying what we are going through now can be compared to what they were going through then. I’m saying they had it MUCH worse than we did and still never lost hope.) In the rest of Acts we can even see a direct correlation between persecution and the furthering of the gospel. God, in his complete sovereignty, uses the world’s hate as a means to display his glory and further his kingdom.
Therefore, it is absolutely ridiculous for us to be overcome with anxiety or fear over the current state of our country. We should care, for sure. But, worrying is completely counter to how we should be reacting to it. Instead, we need to calm down and breathe. We need to pray for our country. We need to pray for strength. But, above all, we need to pray that the Lord will move and work in whatever way he will in order to bring himself the most glory. 
I know this comes as a complete shock to some, but life is not about us. It’s about God’s glory. We need to quit worrying so much about self-preservation and, instead, be focused on how we can further the kingdom. It’s really not the end of the world. But, even if it is, don’t forget who’s in control of it. (Hint: not us.) God is completely sovereign over all things. Our duty, as believers, is to trust him and be prepared to live out his truth in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. 
‘Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.’ I Peter 4:19

ISIS, Mourning, Judgement, and Grace

Tonight my heart is heavy and my eyes are filled with tears. I just read about the beheadings of 21 followers of Christ at the hand of ISIS in Libya. Looking at the photos of these 21 men, I can’t help but be absolutely heartbroken. Everyday, we hear more and more stories of the evil actions of ISIS. And, everyday, my heart fills with more and more anger towards them. “When will you judge them, Lord? When will you utterly destroy them for their evil actions against your sons and daughters?” It’s hard not to desire the judgement and wrath against such evil. And, I think we are right in abhorring evil and desiring God’s wrath against it. 
However, the Lord has recently started to change my heart towards those who exhibit such evil. I have always been a ‘no mercy’ kind of person. If someone does wrong, they should be punished for it. Evil people should be destroyed. When I used to look at ISIS, I only felt deep hatred for them. I wanted to see God squash them like the varmint that they are. I did not want them to receive any mercy. In a sense, that is still true. I do still desire God’s judgement and wrath against all that is evil. And I know that He will one day stamp out evil once and for all and set things right. But, when I look at ISIS, it’s so easy to just think, ‘I hope they are killed. They deserve hell.’ But, recently, the Lord has reminded me, ‘you deserve hell, too, Katie.’
Talk about a hard pill to swallow. But, it is truth. We have this misconceived notion that sin is somehow on a scale. We see our own sin (lies, lust, pride, jealousy, etc.) as being at the bottom of the scale. We see the sin of ISIS as being at the very top. However, that is not how God sees it. Scripture makes it very clear that ALL sin causes separation from our holy God (Romans 3:23). There is no degree of sin to him. Sure, in an earthly sense, some sin brings greater consequences than others. But, in a spiritual sense, all sin condemns. All sinners are deserving of hell.
But, praise be to God, that is not the end of the story. In the cross of Christ, redemption can be found. I am so very grateful to the Lord for saving me all those years ago. I am in Christ. I am a new creation. I have escaped the judgement and wrath of God through the sacrifice and payment of Christ. But, apart from Christ, I am nothing. Apart from Christ, I am ISIS. My sin before Christ was also deserving of God’s wrath and judgement. I deserved hell and eternal separation from our holy God. 
Through this, I have become even more aware of the scandal and beauty of the cross. I have become even more overwhelmed by God’s grace and love towards sinners. And I have become more compassionate towards ISIS. Do I think they deserve God’s judgement? Absolutely. But, I also can’t help but be heartbroken over their lostness. I can’t even imagine the evil and hatred that has overcome them. I am moved to tears even thinking about that. They need Christ. THEY NEED CHRIST. Only Christ can heal the brokenness. Only Christ can snuff out the evil and hatred. Only Christ can make all things new. 
So, my prayer has begun to take a different shape. I still pray for God’s judgement. I still pray for God’s justice. But, also, I pray for his glory to be known. I pray that ISIS will be overcome with conviction. I pray that they will bow in total submission to God through Christ. May their eyes be open to their wickedness. May they turn to Christ for salvation. Yes, they are deserving of hell. But, apart from Christ, so am I. 
May we mourn the slaughter of our brothers and sisters for their faith. May we pray for God’s protection of them. May we cry out for God’s justice and judgement over these evil acts. But, may we also mourn the lostness of ISIS. May we pray for their eyes to be open. May we cry out to God to save them from their enslavement to Satan and sin. 
“Who will deliver me from the body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 7:24, 25

A new year, a same struggle

Next month I will be leaving one decade behind and entering a new one. While I’m not really scared of turning 30, I have been very aware lately that my life has not at all turned out how I thought it would. I never dreamed I would reach my 30s as a single. The past year in particular has been a roller coaster of ups and downs in my desires and wants. In some instances, I have been completely content and satisfied with my singleness. I’ve even had moments where I solely desired and wanted to be single. But, I’ve also had the overwhelming moments of longing for a husband. Recently, that desire has only gotten stronger. I’ve grown in my understanding of what a godly marriage really is and it’s only made me desire it that much more. 

But, I’m still very single.
I do believe the Lord is sovereign. I know he is in control of all things and has a specific purpose and plan for my life. But, I have been battling confusion and doubt and wondering what his plan really is. The past couple of months have been particularly difficult. I know I can be extremely cynical and critical and negative and I have been fighting it daily. I want to trust. I want to be patient. I want to exhibit grace and understanding. But, it can be downright exhausting. 
I was reminded today of a post I wrote for CBMW almost exactly a year ago. Often times our lives don’t go exactly how we plan or expect. In fact, life can turn out to be the exact opposite of what we originally wanted. I’ve had to learn the difference between my will and God’s will. I’ve had to learn how to trust God’s goodness and sovereignty even when I don’t understand it. He is good. He is faithful. Even when I may not believe it at every moment. Lately, I admit, I’ve been lacking in belief (while simultaneously fighting it). I know that He remains faithful even when I’m unsure of it. My feelings or circumstances do not change who he is and that is extremely encouraging to me. 
So, I may still be single at 30 and I’m sure I’ll continue to have my struggles with this reality. But, I also choose to trust the Lord and his plan for my life. I choose to see my singleness as a blessing and as a gift. I am comforted in knowing he is able to use me in whatever age or stage I find myself. No matter where we are in life, he has a purpose. But, first, we must relinquish our control and surrender it to him.
Here is my original post for CBMW:

My Desires and God’s Glory

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the personal desires we have in light of God’s purpose and will. So many of our desires are good, God given desires: relationships, children, careers, ministries, etc. We are not wrong in desiring different things in life, unless they are blatantly sinful desires or wants. Of course, even good desires can turn sinful if we allow them to become idols or obsessions. But, generally speaking, desiring certain things is not wrong. In fact, according to Scripture, we are supposed to desire good things. However, we must also consider that God has a specific will and purpose for our life. How do our desires and God’s will go together?

Scripture tells us that God will give us the desires of our hearts when we delight in him (Ps 37:4). We are also told that we can pray for anything and the Lord will grant it (Matt 7:7, Phil 4:6, I Jn 5:14). Not only has he given us certain desires, but he actually invites us to seek him for the fulfillment of those desires. But, what happens when we truly are living in Christ and seeking the Lord daily and still find our desires aren’t met? Has God failed? Have we failed? Is there some other element we are totally missing?


In my life, the most prominent unmet desire has been my want to be married. Although, I do still go back and forth between wanting to be married and wanting to stay single. I wrote more about that here. But, for the most part, I do desire to be married and I know it’s a good desire to have. Biblical marriage is an amazing example of the gospel and can be an incredible way to further God’s kingdom. Also, it is something that only takes place this side of eternity (Matt 22:30). I don’t want to miss out on that. I want to be a part of something that displays Christ’s relationship with his church. I want to go through the bright joys and deep dark places of life with a partner- challenging one another, pushing one another, refining one another, and encouraging one another to look more like Christ. However, for some reason, I am still single. I (imperfectly) desire to grow in wisdom and to live in total submission to God. I pray constantly for him to bless me with a godly husband. I pray constantly for him to mold me into a woman capable of being a godly wife. But, still, I’m single. It can sometimes be downright frustrating. He tells me he will give me the desires of my heart. He tells me to ask and I will receive. But, for some reason, not this. Why?

The answer I have found is, first and foremost, God must be glorified in all things. He wills and purposes whatever is going to bring him the most glory. Think about the cross. Christ desired for it to be taken from him. He prayed to the Father, pleading with him to remove the burden (Matt 26:36-44). But, ultimately, Christ desired the Father’s will above his own. He desired the Father’s glory above all else. So, he was obedient even unto his own death (Phil 2:8). He submitted to the Father even when it was against his own desire. He knew that obedience and living for the Father’s glory was more important than what he wanted. In fact, the one desire he had that far outweighed the rest was his desire for the Father’s will to be done in and through him. Christ was willing to surrender his own desire in order for the Father to be glorified above all else. In this sacrifice of Christ, we see the greatest example of God’s glory.

This is where I find myself today. Yes, I desire to be married and I will continue to pray for that desire to be met. However, God’s glory is what ultimately matters in life. I must always seek his will above my own. I must always seek to bring him glory every single day and in every single circumstance. Today, I am single. Today, I choose to use my singleness for his glory. I will continue to pray for a godly husband. But, more importantly, I will pray for him to do in me whatever will bring him the most glory. Yes, my desire for marriage is good. But, God’s glory is far better.

Monday Musings: Rebellion and Grace

I’m leading a study on Isaiah and, as I read through the book, I have the same reaction I always have reading the Old Testament: how in the world could Israel have been so rebellious? Time and time again Israel turned completely away from God. Even in times when God had just spoken to them or done a miraculous work right in front of them- somehow they still chose to completely forsake God and his holiness. And, while I’m reading, I always have this haughty attitude towards them.

Of course, as quick as I am to be judgmental, I realize, ‘Oh, wait. That’s you, Katie.’ How many times has God spoken to me through his word? How many times has he done amazing things in my life? And, in the midst of his blessing and goodness, how many times have I rebelled against him? Of course, it plays out in different ways than the Israelites, but my heart is still the same as theirs. One main way I see this is idol worship. No, I don’t worship other gods or have visible idols before him. But, I still practice idolatry. Whether it’s obsessing over my relationship status or work status or financial status or a multitude of desires I have, I’m constantly being distracted from the Lord and his holiness. I’m allowing all these other things to cloud out what he is teaching me and how he is blessing me. It’s appalling to me when I think about how many times I have placed my trust in things other than God. Just like Israel, I choose the way of the world far too often. As I read Isaiah, I can’t help but pity myself as I pity them. I can’t help but be disheartened by the similarities I see in my own life.
But, thankfully, that’s not the end of the story. All throughout Isaiah (and the rest of scripture) God’s grace shines through. God’s people rebel. He draws them back in. Over and over again God offers forgiveness and covers his people in grace.  And, there’s one way in which God offers his ultimate grace and forgiveness- the cross of Jesus Christ. Humanity is in complete rebellion towards God. Humanity deserves nothing less than total wrath and complete destruction. Yet, in God’s kindness and grace, he sent his own son as the payment for our rebellion so that we could be reconciled to him. I am so thankful for redemption in Christ. I am so thankful he drew me in all those years ago. Yes, I’m still in the flesh. I still fall into rebellion. I still find myself choosing the world at times. But, through the Holy Spirit, I’m constantly being drawn back to God’s grace. He’s always pursuing me. He’s always reminding me of the cross. 
So, as I continue to study Isaiah, I’ll remember my own rebellion. I’ll remember my own ignorance in choosing worldly ambitions over God. And, I’ll always remember the grace and redemption I’ve found in the cross. 
My rebellion is great. But, God’s grace is greater. 

Monday Musings- When I Realize Life Isn’t About Me

There are times in my life where stresses start stacking up in everything. Work, church, and life all seem to be too overwhelming. I’m confused, frustrated, annoyed, and feeling extremely inadequate. These are the moments I become the most selfish. I start feeling really sorry for myself and complain and whine about how unfair life is. You know, the whole ‘woe is me’ bit. I start to think that everything is about me. This usually lasts for a few days and then Jesus abruptly interrupts to remind me that it isn’t about me. He bluntly says, ‘Katie, it’s not about you even a little bit.’ 

This is where I am today. Christ reminding me of the gospel. Christ reminding me of what he did for me in his death and resurrection. Christ reminding me that really it’s all about him and his kingdom. It’s a sobering experience. Coming to the place of complete undoing. Coming to the place of realizing I really am inadequate. Coming to the place of understanding I am nothing without Christ. My life is to be a reflection of him. My life is to always be glorifying to him. 
I’m continually having to be reminded that sometimes the confusion and frustration of life is what pushes me to depend on him even more. In those moments, he breaks me in order to redirect me. I’ve become too comfortable with myself. I’ve started puffing myself up too much thinking, ‘Man, I’m doing some awesome things.’ He has to knock me down for me to realize it’s all about him. It’s all about the gospel. It’s all about sacrificing myself and my comforts for him and his kingdom. It’s hard, and it can get pretty ugly. But, then I remember the cross was hard. The cross was ugly. And it ushered in a new and glorious day. A day in which Christ reigns victorious and brings new life to a sick a dying world. That’s what it’s about, folks. And that’s what I will cling to today. 
‘But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ Philippians 3:7,8