Oceans Deep

Finding & Following Jesus in the Deep End of Life

Category: Be Still

Enough

What if Jesus isn’t really enough?

The thought came roaring at me, a fiery dart launched from the enemy straight into my wounded heart. I was vulnerable and hurting, and my enemy chose his timing well.

The question felt like a swift slap in the face, and as quickly as my mind retorted preposterous! I felt a catch in the deepest places of my heart. I would readily confess with my lips that He is most certainly enough … but in that honest moment, I realized that not every cell in my being agreed.

We talk about it, sing about it, proclaim its truth on Sundays and at Bible studies … but when the rubber hits the road, do we really live like we believe Jesus is enough?

As if in a movie, the enemy flashed before me many of the “what ifs” that like to worm their way into my mind and wreak havoc:

What if I’m always separated from my family by 2,500 miles?

What if the relationships I desire never flourish as they could and should?

What if my deepest hopes and dreams are met with failure—forever?

Do I truly believe that He is enough to satisfy, give joy, render hope, and provide a rich and meaningful life of purpose and peace, whatever my circumstances?

As scary as it was, I asked the Lord to begin showing me the truth of His sufficiency. I needed to journey with Him into my doubts and even my scariest “what ifs” to truly learn that He is all I need.

For Such a Time As This

All month, we’ve talked about this difficult world in which we live, striving to find stillness and peace in the midst of our rejections, loneliness, and brokenness.

Our belief about Jesus and His sufficiency is paramount, as this critical issue will govern our thoughts, emotions, and actions when life goes from manageable to overwhelming and clearly out of our control.

Perhaps you’re in an easy, breezy season of life, where your biggest frustration is a Pinterest cupcake fail. If so, praise God, get on your knees, and thank Him for such a season.

But if you find yourself facing a crisis or a future that feels difficult or sometimes downright unbearable, let the piercing words of truth ring in your weary head:

It is for these gosh-awful, knee-bending circumstances that Christ came in the first place.

There is no oh, I hope He can sustain and satisfy me in this mess—there is only of course He can. This is the very space in which He is ready and able to display His sufficiency.

God’s Word says, My grace is sufficient for you . . .

Even when the marriage fails and the healing doesn’t come and the friendships never materialize and the job falls through and the abuse continues and the shadow of loneliness still haunts us?

Yes.

. . . for my power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).

Even when our most hair-raising “what ifs” become our reality?

Yes.

 Even then. Especially then.

Only He can cover over all our complicated mess, sweeping us up in the warm embrace of His love and making sense out of the tangled web of our pain. He longs to prove His sufficiency to us—perhaps He is trying to speak to you this very day through your circumstances!

Listen.

What Ifs & Worst Case Scenarios

I want to ask you a hard question: to where are you running for satisfaction?

Food? Approval? Success? Relationships? Sex? Substances? Your inner self?

www.meredithhcarr.com_EnoughNone of these things or a thousand more like them will ever be enough to meet your deepest need and mine. None of them will fill us in the way we so desperately need to be filled.

The enemy makes a convincing argument that we must have these crutches. He entices us to believe that Jesus is fine and good—but when the furnace of life really heats up, then we’ve reached the limits of His sufficiency.

Sweet reader, this is a lie, plain and simple. If Jesus isn’t enough when life falls apart and the other shoe drops, then faith itself loses its deepest significance, having been relegated to yet another feel-good life strategy …

But if He is enough, even in our worst-case-scenarios? Then we may jump and sing with joy, for there is no darkness or pain on this earth that is beyond His reach.

Oh yes, rest assured that Jesus is enough. For you. For me. In anything. Always.

You and I can go through the worst and come out on the other side, still standing, because of the power of our Great Redeemer. We can be still, we can thrive, we can find restoration—we can embody the words of Romans 8:37 and look up to find that we are more than conquerors through Him who love[s] us (NIV).

Leaving Lesser Things Behind

This week, I want you to try something: whenever you feel yourself needing a “fix” from your go-to source of comfort, stop and talk to yourself.

Yes, that’s right—talk to yourself. When you’re hit with that fear, that pain, that temptation, or that doubt, then stop and whisper: Jesus, you are enough.

In the grocery aisle, in the midst of the temper tantrum, in the middle of the meeting, in the quietness of your own room, whisper it under your breath—and draw strength from the truth that you don’t have to reach for that lesser source of comfort, for the Source of all comfort resides with you.

When you feel empty, feast on and be filled by God’s word. As you whisper the truth of His sufficiency, hold onto His very great and precious promises. One of my favorites in this season comes from Psalm 90:

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days (Psalm 90:14 NIV).

I know this is an excruciatingly hard lesson to learn, one that we will likely be learning and expanding on all our lives. I know it means letting go of our hopes, dreams, crutches, and all the things we believe we must have in order to live a full and contented life on this earth.

But it is in the letting go that I’m confident we will find the lasting satisfaction for which our hearts yearn. Jesus said, For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it (Luke 9:24 NIV, emphasis added).

Let it go, dear readers. Entrust yourself to the sufficiency of Jesus, and get ready to experience firsthand the miraculous dichotomy of finding the abundant life when you abandon it to Him.

Blessings,

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The blog drawing this month was a success! Congrats to readers Adam Tisdale & Heather King for winning the freebies this time, and a huge THANK YOU to all of you for reading and journeying with me. You guys are awesome!

 

This post wraps up April’s Series, Be Still: Practicing the Art of Stillness in the Midst of Turmoil. You can find all the posts from thiswww.meredithhcarr.com series by selecting “Be Still” under the list of categories.

I hope these last several weeks have brought you hope, challenged you, and encouraged you to lean ever deeper into our Father!

Thank you guys for reading and commenting – I love hearing how God is working in your lives! Life is truly better when it is shared with one another. 

Be sure to tune in next month, when we’ll be starting a new series all about motherhood! 

Cultivating Community: Stillness in the Midst of Anxiety

Happy Monday, readers!

Today, I’m excited to bring you the first installment of a new monthly feature, Cultivating Community. I love sharing with y’all the words God puts on my heart, but I also want this blog to have the feel of a virtual community.

There are so many great writers with words God has laid on their hearts, and it makes me happy to share their words with you too. I believe we all benefit by sharing our stories and hearing the stories of others–so that’s a little of the heart and purpose behind Cultivating Community.

To get us started, I am happy to introduce Chelsey Coffey, one of my COMPEL “sisters.” She graciously agreed to contribute an article centered on this month’s theme, and I’m happy to share her thoughts with you today.

As we near the end of this month, I hope her words will encourage you as you seek to be still in the midst of all the things our enemy throws at us. Read and be blessed!


Being Still in the Midst of My Anxiety

by Chelsey Coffey

First of all, I want to say THANK YOU to Meredith for this opportunity to be featured on her blog. It is such a blessing to be asked to Guest Post. I wrote this piece to go along with the Oceans Deep theme of the month: Be Still.

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I was diagnosed with anxiety at the age of fifteen. When I turned eighteen, it got to the point where I was on and off different medications and was experiencing panic attacks on a regular basis. It was a constant, awful feeling of not knowing when it was going to hit next, feeling like I couldn’t breathe, and having no control.

When I was twenty-three, I gave my life to Christ. My anxiety did not magically disappear – I know God’s not a genie with a magic wand. But as I grew in my relationship with Him, He began to change my heart.

I realized He didn’t take away my anxiety because He wanted me to learn to rely completely on Him.

When I was in tears and sick to my stomach over the chaos that was my job, being a single parent, and my financial burdens – one day He said to me “Be Still.” Even in the midst of all this? Even in the middle of the craziness I have to face today? “Be still,” He said.

If you have ever suffered from anxiety or have been anxious, you know how it can consume you. You know how it gets to the point where you are out of control and you can’t “calm down” (no matter how many times someone tells you to).

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7 NIV).

Is it possible to be still in the midst of my panic and cast all my anxiety on God?

image002_AnxietyI found it was possible with time and discipline. God loves me and wants more for my life than to be living in a constant, anxious state. I found that my God is bigger than my anxiety. I found that if I am completely still in His presence and rely completely on Him – it will go away.

God hasn’t taken away all of my anxiety. There are days where I am completely overwhelmed, and the anxiety takes control of me again. But when I remember His request for me to be still in His presence, I stop, and I wait. I wait for His loving arms to wrap around me in comfort. And although the problem that caused me anxiety hasn’t gone away, I know I can rest in His arms.

 

image004_BioHi I’m Chelsey! I am a Christ-Follower, wife, mother and writer. My husband and I are currently in the beginning stages of planting a church. In my spare time, I love to read. You can connect with me at my blog www.chelseycoffey.com, on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/chelcoffeypage, or via Twitter at www.twitter.com. I pray that God blesses you today!

 

All Things Bright & Broken

I love the old hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” Indeed, He has made all things well, all things glorious . . . but a quick scan of the world and my own life can’t help but draw out the question, what about all those things that are broken?

What about those bridges burning hot and bright in the night, those open wounds that—try as we might—can’t quite seem to heal, or those relationships that resemble something akin to the Mayan ruins? What about the brokenness manifested in our very own bodies in the form of illness, disease, cancer, infertility, and on and on?

I know firsthand the sinking, spinning feeling of watching a part of your life shatter, right in front of your eyes. Perhaps you do, too.

What are we to do with all these things in our world, our relationships, our careers, our families, and our bodies that are just broken?

Do you know, dear reader, this is not the world God intended, nor the world He created? Do you know that your brokenness grieves Him just as a parent grieves over a child? As believers, this seems an obvious truth, but I’m finding how comforting and important it is to remind oneself of it, and often.

In his Bible study “Recovering Redemption,” Matt Chandler poignantly describes what happened the moment sin entered God’s perfect creation:

Everything screeched violently out of sync from the rhythm and harmony of God’s original design. Rebellion had been declared against the King of glory. Everything was broken. Everything is still broken.

The reality of our fractured world can quickly overwhelm and crush the spirit. Do you ever find yourself flinching as you watch the news? I know I do.

We are all so full of longing, so full of desire, so overcome by our seeking hearts, the manifestation of which sends us off into a million different, destructive directions. The result? Even more brokenness enters the picture.

The excellent news in the midst of all the mess is that we do not have to stay and wallow in that mess! We are not without remedy.

Provident for us, we serve a God who is well acquainted with our brokenness—and who stands ready and able to speak into those splintered places, bringing new life, wholeness, purpose, and beauty out of the ash pit in which we find ourselves.

The scripture is full of verse after verse detailing God’s redeeming, restoring work in our lives. In promise upon promise, our Father makes clear His heart for us as His children: He longs to restore, heal, and bind up what’s been broken in all of us.

Isaiah 61 contains what I believe to be some of the most beautiful promises in all of scripture:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor . . . (Isaiah 61:1-2 NIV).

Similarly, Psalm 147:3 promises, He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (NIV).

Our God meets us in our need, as He is well acquainted with the realities of living in this damaged world. Jesus shares in our brokenness, for indeed, His very body was broken for us. We affirm this truth every time we take communion and whisper the familiar words, this is my body, which is broken for you (1 Corinthians 11:24 KJV).

There is an abundance of rich symbolism found in broken things—and as much as we may hate when things are cracked and crumbling, our Father exudes a tender love of and compassion for broken things. If you feel broken today, know that your life is fertile soil, ready to grow into a living example of beauty from ashes, of dead bones rising, of resurrection power.

Only Jesus can bring this healing power to our brokenness—not success, not relationships, not approval, not even physical healing of our mortal bodies.

He heals us on a level that transcends our humanity. He pieces back together the shattered remnants on a level that surpasses even our earthly lives, for His healing reaches into our very souls—soothing, smoothing, and sealing them for all eternity.

I don’t know what kind of brokenness you’re experiencing in this season of life, but I want to speak www.meredithhcarr.com-2these words into your hurting heart: God is on your side. He didn’t cause your brokenness, nor did He want it for you. He’s on your team and mine.

Don’t ever forget it.

Don’t ever buy the lie, as I have in the past, that somehow God isn’t for you and doesn’t care about the fractured places in your life. Oh, dear reader, he most certainly does care—and He is the only one capable of restoring what is broken.

I want to tell you this simple thing: do not fear the broken places in your life. Do not fear the broken hearts, broken bodies, broken souls, broken jobs, and broken relationships. For it is from these messy, frustrating places that God will fashion lovingly redemptive materials, skillfully weaving them into the tapestry of your life.

He never wanted brokenness—but He takes it and turns it on its head, bestowing on us a crown of beauty instead of ashes (Isaiah 61:3 NIV).

Run to the foot of the cross with every ounce of your brokenness, bringing it before the One who restores your soul (see Psalm 23:3 NIV). Let Him begin putting all those sharp, jagged pieces back together.

I’ll meet you there, and together we can marvel at the incredible, illuminating story God is writing out of the darkness.

Blessings,

Mere copy

 

 

 

 

 

www.meredithhcarr.comThis post is a part of April’s Series, Be Still: Practicing the Art of Stillness in the Midst of Turmoil. In what ways have you seen the Lord bring restoration to your brokenness?

Are there circumstances you’re able to look back on now and see His redemptive hand? Share your encouraging story with us and start a discussion in the comments below! 

Join me on Monday as I’ll be launching the first installment of “Cultivating Community,” a new monthly feature that will bring words of encouragement from a different guest blogger each month!

And be sure and come back next Friday as we’ll be finishing up the month of April by diving into the tough question: is Jesus really enough? 

The Gift of Loneliness

It was a simple question: what do you have coming up in these next couple of months? My mom asked me this as we drove to the airport, and I had to do the one thing I despise doing the most—dropping her off after a nice, long visit.

And while her question was simple enough, I couldn’t believe the overwhelming sense of loneliness washing over me as we zipped up the 5 and I thought about the answer.

Oh, make no mistake, my schedule is full—I’m not sitting around with my two children, isolated from people and social interaction. Every week is filled to the brim with appointments and therapy sessions and grocery shopping and Chick-Fil-A runs and sometimes play dates, when our locked-in schedule allows.

And yet, busyness does not equal connectedness. And in that moment, I felt the ache created when you find yourself surrounded by people yet still feeling alone.

I marinated on this question the whole way back from the airport and for days afterwards, until I sensed the pressing in of another question—

Can loneliness be a gift?

The Treasure of Ultimate Fellowship

As counterintuitive as the thought seems, I’m beginning to see how yes, it may indeed be a gift, tender and hidden deep in the layers of our heart’s hollow places.

When we’re facing loneliness, be it born out of a desire for friends, for a spouse, for children, for genuine soul-connection with other human souls, it’s easy to slip into a place of feeling forgotten about and unseen by God.

But in reality? Nothing could be farther from the truth. No matter how alone or empty or unseen you may feel, your reality and mine is that we have a God who is never unaware or unconcerned with our lonesomeness. And in truth, He is the only one who can fully meet our need to be fully known and loved and cared for.

Psalm 34:18 says:

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (NIV).

Dear reader, do you know what an amazing promise this is? When you are crushed under the empty weight of loneliness, God is closer to you than ever! His loving, restoring spirit is hovering above and around your broken heart, wiping those tears from your eyes with an unseen tender hand.

I know this to be true—know it in my own restlessness, my own tears, and my own spirit, which has been crushed at times by the hollowness of solitude.

In a world where we’re limited to our 5 senses, let us never forget that the God who we cannot see still sees us. We are never alone, no matter how void our hearts or homes feel.

Never.

In my need, I sensed God drawing me into a deeper, more focused fellowship with Him. Sometimes, the throbbing of an achy heart is the fastest way for Him to grab and maintain our attention—to cause us to be still before Him, making ourselves available to receive the soul-satisfying peace that comes from communion with Him.

Loneliness GraphicLysa TerKeurst recently wrote that, “God wants us to know that times of silence are really pathways to closeness with Him.”

Perhaps God feels silent in your isolation. Perhaps your request for a spouse or a better marriage or deep friendships or children seems unheard, a prayer sent out into an empty void . . .

. . . yet perhaps the Father is using that void to invite you into something far better, far richer, and far more satisfying than any earthly gift you could imagine.

A Season to Embrace

Our God longs for us to know the truth of His love and ever-lasting presence. He loves us so much that He is willing to let us experience the pain of loneliness in order to pull us into ultimate fellowship with Him.

In Romans 8:38-39, Paul wrote:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (NIV).

I don’t know about you, but this is a love I want to know—not simply in my head, but in my deepest heart . . . even if it takes the uncomfortable force of loneliness to get there.

Sweet reader, let me encourage you to inhale a deep breath and let go. Allow stillness to permeate those empty places within your heart. Jesus is there, in all those places.

And the loneliness? The desire? The silent answer to your prayers? I believe it is a season, settled upon you with a purpose. And like all seasons, I don’t believe it will last forever.

I believe there will be friends. A partner. Children. Laughter. I don’t know the future, but as King David believed in Psalm 27, so I too believe that you and I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (NIV). Perhaps this goodness will look differently than we anticipated … but I nevertheless pray and hope for those things for you and for me.

In closing, may I offer up a challenge for us both? Grab your Bible or your Bible app, open up to Psalm 46, and take 10-15 minutes to be still, slowly drinking in and savoring the words of this short, powerful Psalm.

Speak to Him. Let Him speak to you. Ask God to show you how your loneliness may indeed be a gift, and then get to unwrapping, my friend.

Treasures await.

 

Blessings,

Mere copy

 

 

 

 

 

www.meredithhcarr.com

 

This post is a part of April’s Series, Be Still: Practicing the Art of Stillness in the Midst of Turmoil. In what ways could the Lord be using your loneliness as a gift? I would love to hear, so feel free to start a discussion in the comments below!

 

Join us next Friday as we’ll be looking at ways to find peace in the midst of brokenness.

 

When You End Up in the Rejection Pile

The e-mail arrived early one morning in my inbox. The cheeriness of the subject line grated against my half-asleep nerves and belied it’s un-cheery content. My tired eyes quickly scanned the words:

Thank you for sharing … so honored you submitted … yet

And there it was: the dreaded yet. The despised “thanks, but no thanks,” to a guest post submission.

This wasn’t my first rejection letter, and it won’t be the last … but this one stung. I’d poured my heart into this guest post. Prayed over it. Wrestled with it. Read and re-read and edited until I felt a surge of peace and hope as I clicked the “submit” button.

And yet … there it was, the verdict in cold black and white: my best wasn’t good enough.

Like a solid punch to the gut, my shoulder slump said it all. I was defeated and discouraged, the zippy wind sucked right out of my sails. In those blurry moments immediately following disappointment, the internal debate began in earnest in my mind:

What’s the point in continuing when a big fat “no” awaits me at every turn?

Why am I even writing if no one is reading it?

If my best wasn’t good enough, then what will ever be?

The Reality of Rejection

Perhaps you can’t relate to the specific rejection of an aspiring writer, but I’m willing to bet that life has well acquainted you with the prickly reality of rejection.

We can all look back and recall those jobs we didn’t get, those relationships that didn’t work out, those friends who betrayed us or simply forgot about us, those heart-crushing “no’s” we’ve received.

Whatever the context, rejection hits us at the core of who we are, attacking our identity with ruthless intent. It says you are not good enough, smart enough, talented enough, pretty enough, successful enough, and on and on until we unwittingly begin to agree.

Sitting there at my desk, cloaked in the uncomfortable robe of rejection, I asked God how I could be still and maintain perspective in the middle of these painful moments. As loudly as the lies called, I couldn’t help but think, there must be a better way than that of self-condemnation.

The Limits of Rejection

The Lord used this experience in my life as a kind of “wake up call,” forcing me to look more closely at why I write and for whom I’m writing. Rejection has a way of getting our attention and pushing us to answer hard questions.

Am I writing for the sole purpose of achieving publication? Recognition? The praise of men? If so, I’ll be sidelined and rendered impotent by rejection in no time flat.

Or am I writing because God has called me to do so? Am I faithfully following the path before me because He’s asked me to—bumps, bruises, and all?

If we can confidently say we are following God’s will, then there’s very little room for discouragement and self-doubt, for Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished (Luke 1:45 NIV).

One of my favorite verses, Psalm 138:8, says:

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of Your Hands (NIV).

When you and I face a setback along the way or a “no” that seems unworkable and unreasonable, we must remember that God’s plans for us will stand. Rejection cannot limit or thwart God’s work in our lives, provided we walk in obedience and trust, expectantly looking for Him to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).

And truthfully? All of us could likely look back on at least one of those rejections and see how God saved us for something better, rescuing us from what we just knew we had to have. He is indeed a good, good Father, giving us what we need rather than what we want.

Even when it comes in the form of a “no.”

The Redemption of Rejection

How can we find stillness in the churning of disappointment and foiled plans? We must direct our minds to the truth, meditating on His word versus the lies our enemy throws at us.

God uses rejection to direct our paths. Just as an open door means “yes, walk in this way,” so a closed door simply means “nope, we’re not going in that direction.” Rejection is not an indictment on who you are.

Our enemy would love nothing more than to have us doubting our identities, our worth, our calling, and even God and his goodness.That may sound like Oprah-worthy fluffy self-talk, but I believe it to be the truth. Our enemy would love nothing more than to have us doubting our identities, our worth, our calling, and even God and His goodness.

And lest we forget, our God is infinitely kind and understanding. Jesus walked this earth and felt everything we feel. Referring to Jesus, the prophet Isaiah wrote:

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering (Isaiah 53:3 NIV).

So when we’re drawn to unrest on account of rejection, may we remember to run to our Savior and give Him our pain—He understands!

When we want to wiggle and wriggle in the emotion of our failed ways, may we refocus our minds and sink deep into trust, for God is always working His good and gracious plans out in our lives.

And when we’re faced with the hard task of sitting still and waiting for God to unfold His purposes, may we hit the pause button and allow our senses to download the beauty and blessings present in each day.

The pain of rejection is real, sweet reader, this I know—but His ways are so much higher than ours (see Isaiah 55:8-9). So shut the door on yesterday’s rejection and allow it to propel you forward into the confident rest we have in Him!

 

Blessings,

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This post is a part of April’s series, Be Still: Practicing the www.meredithhcarr.comArt of Stillness in the Midst of Turmoil. How do you practice being still when faced with rejection? I would love to hear, so feel free to start a discussion in the comments below!

 

Join us next Friday as we’ll be looking at ways to find peace in the midst of loneliness.

 

Let’s Get Organized

Happy Monday, readers!

So this post is a little different from my typical ones, but I wanted to share some upcoming changes to the website and give you guys a chance to win some freebies!

As most of you know, I’ve been writing for essentially my whole life, but at the Lord’s guidance, I’ve become more serious and focused about pursuing this craft over the past year.

A part of that journey recently involved becoming a member of COMPEL Training, a phenomenal resource developed by Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries. If you’re at all interested in the craft of writing (particularly non-fiction), I highly encourage you to check it out!

In just a short time, I’ve been amazed at what I’ve learned and what God is teaching me through this training. It’s been inspiring and also a bit like drinking from a fire hose!

While going through the teaching materials, it became clear to me that I could use more structure and organization for this blog. You guys have been so gracious and supportive, continuing to read even though I’ve probably driven you a little crazy by playing Russian Roulette with the days and times that posts are published.

So for your sanity and mine—with God’s direction and leading—I’m whipping this blog into shape!

Here’s what you can expect from me:

  • Regularly scheduled posts, published on FRIDAY of each week
  • Monthly THEMES, so you’ll have an idea of what topics are coming up
  • Incorporation of a regular monthly feature, be it a book review or a guest post from a fellow COMPEL member. It is a joy to be a part of such a talented group of writers, and I hope to share their work with you all!

As my own way of saying THANK YOU for reading and encouraging me, I’m going to be selecting two subscribers through random draw to receive a small “inspiration” gift to inspire and encourage you in your walk!!

This freebie will include:

  • Starbucks gift card – because hey, who doesn’t need caffeine?
  • Starbucks mug – that caffeine needs a home!
  • A copy of the Inspire Forgiveness Anthology, full of encouraging stories, poems, and devotions related to forgiveness (including one by yours truly!). Who couldn’t use a reminder about the importance of forgiveness?!

It’s a hard and sometimes scary thing, this pursuing of a dream—this pouring out of heart and soul and publishing it into the void. So this is a small way for me to say thank you for reading and journeying with me!

To be eligible for the drawing, simply sign up to receive posts via-email. And, since I only post once a week, I can assure you I won’t be bombarding you with e-mails :-).

**Note: view the website from your desktop to subscribe. I don’t believe there’s currently a way to subscribe via e-mai from your smart phone, but I will look into this!

Not to worry—for those of you who already subscribe via e-mail, you’ll be entered to win too!

Sign up by Monday, April 25th, and the winners will be chosen on Friday, April 29th!

With that, I’m thrilled to share with you the theme for April—Be Still: Practicing the Art of Stillness in the Midst of Turmoil.

www.meredithhcarr.com

I don’t know about you, but the concept of stillness has been on my mind a lot lately … probably because I feel anything but still, inwardly and outwardly. So much in our lives pulls and tugs at us, dragging us away from stillness before Him and into a pit of worry, anxiety, and fear.

In one of my all-time favorite passages of scripture, the Psalmist writes:

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10 NIV).

What would it look like to embody this kind of stillness?

In the midst of rejection?

In the midst of loneliness?

In the midst of brokenness?

In the midst of our deepest doubts about Jesus and His sufficiency in our lives?

These are the tough issues I’ve been wrestling through recently—can you relate? If so, I would love to hear from you, and I look forward to journeying through these tough issues together in this space.

So with that, I’ll sign off—thankful to be able to tell you that, Lord willing, I’ll see you Friday!

And let me again say a heartfelt thank you—your comments, messages, likes, shares, etc. encourage me more than you know, and I deeply appreciate each one of you!

Much love and many blessings,

 

Mere copy

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