Journal Entry ~ 11/17/17

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! 
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 
3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!  - Psalm 119:1-3

Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart. If we desire to be happy, to feel His peace and strength when facing our trials, then we need to keep His testimony.  We find His testimony to us in His Word. These are the words He chose to communicate everything we need to know about Him. We hold His very own testimony in our hands every time we open Scripture. 

In these verses, we are not only challenged to keep the Word of God because it is His testimony, but we are to seek Him with our whole heart. Everything we have, everything we do, every part of our heart should be yearning after Him and His Word. That’s a whole lot to take in when you’re a new believer. For me, that didn’t happen over night. I accepted Him into my life as my Savior, but I still wanted to maintain control of my heart. I believed Jesus died for my sins, but I still wanted to manage my time. I would get into His Word when it was convenient for me.

He grew me slowly at first because I primarily only read His Word at church. I leaned in and listened when I was there, but I rarely opened up Scripture on my own. He increasingly brought opportunities into my life where I opened His Word more - bible studies, small groups, programs with children, the conviction to start daily devotions with my own children. I learned more about His Word in those days, but I still wasn’t consistently, habitually in His Word on my own. 

Over time, I continued to grow to know His Word more - I knew the stories and I was familiar with most passages. I sang worship songs, and through those I even memorized some Scripture. I spent more and more of my days at the church, serving and working for Christ. I went to services weekly and loved learning about our Lord, and I even became a leader in the church. He was a regular part of my life, but I still didn't open the bible consistently on my own. I would open it to teach others, but He and I didn't spend regular time alone together. I knew His peace at that time, I knew happiness, but it wasn't consistent. It would come at certain times, but there were just as many chaotic, anxiety-filled moments in my thoughts. 

One day, I was challenged to make Him my first priority in the morning - every morning, without exception, before my feet even hit the floor, I was asked to commit to opening Scripture. I accepted the challenge and it changed my life. Happy is how I would describe my life now, blessed is absolutely what I am these days. Yes, I still have moments of sadness or anxiety when trials hit, I still have moments of anger when my buttons are pushed - I am far from blameless, but they are significantly fewer and farther between. He has grown me, and changed me in incredible ways by getting into His Word every single day without exception. He has revealed such truths and understandings to me during our quiet times together. More than anything, though, He has brought me such peace, strength, and wisdom that chaos and anxiety not longer dominate my thoughts. I simply cannot imagine beginning my day any other way than with my Lord and Savior. 

Today, I do try to seek after Him with my whole heart, but I will be honest and say it didn’t start there. Even when I accepted the challenge to open Scripture every single day, I wouldn't say I sought after Him with my whole heart. It was a challenge that began as a checklist item - I couldn’t very well hold a leadership position in the church without saying I opened Scripture every day, so in good conscience, I wanted to be able to say I read His Word at lead once a day. But we know His Word is living and active, and as I committed to giving Him the first fruits of my time, He began to change my priorities. Now, I can’t imagine beginning my day with Him and the wisdom He brings me in His Word. What was once a challenge is now my delight. My heart does seek Him every single morning.

As I posted in my medical update yesterday, I truly feel blessed in this diagnosis. So many people have shown up in my life to show me how much they care and each of them share His strength and encouragement with me; and the impact on my physical well-being has been surprisingly easy to manage. I am enjoying the break from my regular schedule and spending more time relaxing and reflecting. Most days, I simply feel incredibly blessed. I’m happy and I’m content with where He has me. But I know that is only because I keep His testimony by getting into His Word every single day, without exception, and because I seek after Him with my whole heart. 

Press on, ladies ~ you are loved 💗

Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists.  It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst.  Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps!  Here is the link:


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