I'll be completely honest with you. There was a time I was scared of what God was going to do in my life. I rested in knowing that whatever it was would be for my good, but I was so fearful of how He was going to get me to that place. I held my life (and sometimes still do) with closed fists.

I love the gentle spirit of the Lord. He's so strong, yet speaks so powerfully through whispers. It's like He walks right up to me and puts His hands over my white-knuckle fists and whispers for me to trust Him by slowly opening them. I'm learning daily to be open handed with my life. Just like forgiveness, keeping open hands is a daily choice and doesn't come naturally.

Looking back on my life I can't help but be entirely overwhelmed by how GOOD God is. Is life always perfect, without fault or disappointments, or hurts? By no means. But in every situation that was meant for evil, that could've destroyed, that was painful or worrisome, He has always turned it into something good. The best part is that it's been in ways that I never could've even dreamed up myself - and this girl can dream. I love that Jesus doesn't tell us what is going to happen. By love, I mean strongly dislike. HA. But no really, I do love it. Because for real y'all, if He told me what would happen in my life and things He'd ask me to do, I'd be like HECK no. Hard pass. But when He walks me through the battles and the amazing, blissful mountain tops one step at a time, He's gently allowing me to grow and preparing my heart for the next thing.

You know how in nature, forest fires actually help to regrow the forest? Plants regrow beautiful flowers every year after they're pruned? Trees regrow after being cut down?

"For there is hope for a tree,          When it is cut down, that it will sprout again,          And its shoots will not fail.

'Though its roots grow old in the ground          And its stump dies in the dry soil,

At the scent of water it will flourish          And put forth sprigs like a plant.'"

- Job 14:7-8

God loves to restore. I love the part in this verse that says "at the scent of water it will flourish." All throughout the Bible, water is often connected with the Holy Spirit. I've seen this so clearly in my life and in Stan. When the Holy Spirit is present, you change. You flourish. You can't help it! It brings water and life to dried up roots.

“Then the LORD God formed a man

from the dust of the ground and

breathed into his nostrils the breath

of life, and the man became a living


- Genesis 2:7

God brought me down to dust. He cut me down. And He built new. It was so painful, but it created greater life, strength, vision, and fullness of the Spirit in me like never before. It doesn't feel good to be cut down, to have to face fears and pain. But the rebuilding, the restoration, and the healing is a process that you will not walk alone in. Jesus is present in our weakness. I've felt a closeness and intimacy with Christ in those moments like never before. It's something I often treasure and hold close to my heart in the most amazing, joyful of seasons.

The difficult things in life are not easy. Facing fears head on is hard. I want to encourage you that Jesus is with you right now, and even when you find yourself rejoicing, He will be dancing with you. Trust the process and rest in His grace. You are fiercely loved. The best is yet to come.

Sweater from Meshali. Check out her amazing Restored project!