Well well! Another year in this world has come and gone! It’s so amazing to look back on a year and see what happened! In March of this year I started blogging! In 3 months it will have been a year of blogging, once every week! I have loved it so much! It has challenged me, convicted me and matured me.
This year there were a few verses that I kept coming back to but one in particular seemed to come up over and over. When I was planning my video presentation that I’d have to do for Ottawa in July 2016 I searched verses on freedom and this verse came up:
‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.’
2 Corinthians 3:17
It was perfect so I used it in the video, but in the summer of this year I was once again drawn to it but this time I read the contextual version of the verse… and my heart was given to its truth even more freely!
‘But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.’
2 Corinthians 3:16-18
As I look on years past I tend to see how the Lord has slowly been taking the veil off my face more and more… like an onion… I am slowly being matured and shown the things of Jesus in whole new levels. I have had many times this year where I can’t/couldn’t even handle the thought of how beautiful my coming Bridegroom is and will be! Most times I am driving, singing along to a powerful worship song when I just start weeping at the thought of my King and Saviour; He is truly worthy of it all!
Something that stands out in this year is my engagement to Jeffrey... obviously! You all know how that went down and what a big change that brings to my life! So for the future: as far as I’m concerned nothing will happen to the blog, I foresee myself still posting once a week all of 2018, Lord willing! Maybe I will pre-write and schedule a few during the wedding and honeymoon weeks or get guest writers in! (Totally thinking out loud here!)
Anyway for the few people that take the time to read my blog thank you! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! You guys have been the biggest blessing in my life! I would write even if no one read any of them, but the fact that busy people with full lives take time to read my little ramblings still blows my mind! You have endured much, (especially reading some of those pointless embarrassing posts that I’ve done), and I am floored that you still come back!
Oh! I did a few little polls on instagram this year, a few months ago, and most of you said you like stories! I love that! Stories are one of my favourite things to read too! I grew up with basically the only book I’d ever pick up being a biography; I love/loved learning about men and women that have lived lives of adventure and faith. I pray it is something that will never leave my heart - listening to the wisdom people have gained through their experiences is a great gift and honour to me. There’s no way I’ll ever get to hear all the stories I’ll want to hear but I’m blessed with the ones I have heard!
There was lots of struggling this year. With knowing where God wanted me and why I was were I was. Seems so typical but my heart wanted to wander and go! Flying was a blessing for me in the way I could forget the world and just, be. I needed that, and there isn’t a day now where I don’t miss HOTEL CHARLIE FOXTROT, my instructor and the challenges flying brought! I pray that I’ll be able to finish, but that rabbit trail aside the other challenges were relational. So many ups and downs, ins and outs! But God is always good, and even when I saw things as pretty near hopeless he came through. Sometimes that was only in my own heart but He still came through.
With all the big changes that happened this year it hit home a lot more that I won’t get to have my mom here with me, especially with my near future having so many changes. I think I realized this year that every passing year I miss her more and more. Every Christmas growing up Mom would always call us into her room to do our hair Christmas Eve morning. Mom always bought herself Guylian Belgian Chocolates (if she could find them in stores) as her Christmas chocolate treat… they were her favorite. SO when we would get called into the room, well lets just say the chocolates were always found! We would beg to have one and she always let us pick one; I loved the seashells. Since mom died dad has successfully found four Guylian Belgian Chocolate boxes every Christmas and so the memory/tradition lives on! Things like that are brought to mind throughout the year, and I’m so thankful I’ll have stories to tell my children of the legacy of the grandmother that they never had the pleasure of meeting, but, if the spunk she gave me is passed on to my children, lives on through them!
Well on that note I believe I shall wrap this letter up! Sort of a melancholy letter but trust you me, God has been very good to me this year! Through Prayer Room, worship team, galavanting across the states in 5 days, road tripping and camping with my dear friend Anicka, a spontaneous week of camp counseling and many hours spent with family and friends, God proved himself my all suffisant Saviour! He is worthy of all our praise!
Merry Christmas my friends,
I am so excited for you all to read this blog post today! You are about to be graced with the story of a woman who I am honoured to call one of my dearest friends! I am so grateful that Anicka agreed to write a post for Beauty in the Storm about the opportunity she got to go to Myanmar in Southeast Asia. Even while she was there, and we communicated, my heart was once again stirred with a longing for the world to see and know Jesus, her joy and enthusiasm are contagious! Anicka is a absolute born writer and I love reading her work. I hope you all are as blessed and challenged by this post as I was when I read through it. Open your heart and enjoy the story that is to come!
I sat down after finding my seat on the commercial airliner and looked around me taking note of where my family and grandparents were sitting. When I get nervous I become nauseous and boy was I feeling sick. This was my first time flying… ever. I had won a huge contest that was taking me to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I was so excited, but quite overwhelmed with the opportunity. On top of all of those feelings though, it was the first flight that I was most anxious about. When all you know about flying is May Day (the TV show) then that tends to make one a little on edge. A nice gentleman sat down beside me in his aisle seat. I didn’t know flying etiquette so I just looked out my window watched the workers walking around the plane. He started up a conversation with the typical first question, “Where are you headed to?”, “Ottawa” I replied. After listening very intently to the safety protocol I tried to settle myself in for the 2 hour flight ahead.
The man wasn’t quite done talking to me though. He had noticed how intently I was listening to the safety message and how nervous I was. I’m guessing I don’t hide that very well. “Is this your first time flying?” he asked, I nodded,
“Really!.... Wow. You look a little nervous. I’m a pilot actually and I have flown in a plane lots of times. They are completely safe!”,
“You are a pilot?! Like you fly planes?”
“No I fly helicopters, but I have flown in lots and lots of planes.”
He proceeded to tell me a little bit about how safe a plane is and why. I immediately felt so much more at ease, this guy knew what he was talking about; not just head knowledge but experience too! He showed me how to track our progress on the screen in front of me. On takeoff, in flight and during landing my head and ears didn’t bug me at all. I had kept in mind what I had been told about combating pressure. It was such an awesome and smooth flight!
When the plane landed in Ottawa the nice gentleman let me off and bid me farewell; he stayed as the flight was going to continue to New Brunswick, his home.
It was the fact that I had a awesome experience with my first flight that led me to flight training. So many God orchestrated situations that fell into place. The nice old gentleman whose name I do not know. My (now) future father-in-law taking me up in a single engine plane. The fact that the first ever flight school started up that year in Portage la Prairie. So many things lined up to just pass it off as coincidence. I was in awe at how fast things came to be. Although I’m not currently flying I do miss it alot, and I definitely want to complete what I started. If anyone wants to take me up I am a very willing passenger! hehehe.
Its very good for a person to try and see how God is working in their lives. It makes life an adventure that you are constantly expecting to get better; how is God going to work in my life today?!
As I was laying on my thin mat bed on the floor of my dear friend's house we were talking about the beauty of Jesus; learning how to see beauty in every circumstance and moment in life. We talked about how grand and glorious the kingdom He is preparing for us will be, and how we just long to have a glimpse of it, yet blessed are those who have faith without sight. Tears were dripping down my cheeks slowly at the thought of the overwhelming beauty that Jesus possesses! Good thing it was dark haha. He is preparing a place for you. He is madly in love with you. The life we call reality isn’t actually reality, but the spiritual world and the life we will live in the presence of the Lord is the reality we have to look forward to as one that is greater than anything here, right now, on earth.
This is gonna be a very honest post.
Going back to the ‘faith without seeing’ topic, that's how I’ve felt my life has been lately. The devil has been very very good at throwing distractions into my life that make my times with the Lord harder to work for, and have also caused my soul to feel like it's been in the same spiritual spot for a long time with no new revelation or any particular unhindered umph for Jesus. As I told my future Dad-in-law it felt like life has handed me a spoonful of bittersweet…. translate that as you will. There has definitely the bitter and the sweet! But they seem to zero each other out, which consequently lands me back on my plateau. As I spoke this to our central plains prayer room group the other night a dear man, who started the prayer room in our community, told me it is “sometimes in the times of life that feel like nothing is happening, that is where the greatest growth is taking place.”. Oh, how I dearly want to believe that. That coming out the other side of this that I will recognize the ways that Jesus grew my heart.
I have seen my eyes were slowly opened to the beauty of simplistic, childlike love of Jesus. Seeing the small details of beauty in this life. Detecting Jesus in the smallest of circumstance. There is a tenderizing of the heart that needs to happen to be able to observe these. Spiritual eyes being opened. A training almost. Most people on the earth build up walls around themselves in an effort to protect their hearts, but the effect of that tends to make one more and more crusty. Everyone becomes very pedestrian in their view of life and all becomes a thing to complain about.
In conclusion to this somber post, it is one hundred percent worth living for Jesus. There will always be ups and downs, but it is in those downs that you see what your heart is made of. How can we ever know that if life is always a party? But, as a dear mentor said once, ‘The party is always where Jesus is and if Jesus is your Lord then that’s where the party is at; in your heart.’. Party or not though, Jesus will never ever leave you alone, so whether it feels like life is smooth and dandy or rough and dry He is always in it with you. I have felt Jesus very close before so I cling to that heart knowledge and pray that I come through worthy in the end. If you don’t quit you win.