*Note…at the end of this post I’m sharing a special prayer request with you guys…so please stick through my muddled attempt at sharing what Christ is doing in my life (or scroll down!) and join me in lifting up a sweet family I know.
This past weekend, as I spent a little time updating the blog a bit, I spent some time reflecting on why I chose “Keep Calm & Love On” as my theme. Initially it came about as I kept tweaking and adjusting and changing to try and find a blog name that wasn’t already out there. I happily settled on “Love On” as a spin off of the “live, laugh, love” theme that was a big part of my wedding and my outlook on life. It was meaningful in a lighthearted way, I guess you could say.
Now, going on 2 years later of living, loving, and blogging…I’ve found that the meaning of this title is evolving into this much deeper truth than I initially realized…that it’s becoming much more rooted in who I am. It’s not the words themselves, but the message from my Jesus that they convey. It’s a message that is found in Romans chapter 8, verse 28.
“And we know that in ALL things, God works for the GOOD of those who LOVE Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
In Heather-ese, that translates to this: Keep calm & Love God…He’s got this.
Of course, when you put this verse in the context of a chapter, you get an even deeper understanding of the type of life God is calling us to. It is a life that is…
*Set free from the condemnation of death and the law of sin
*Governed by the spirit of life and peace
*Under obligation to live according to the spirit of Christ
*Made co-heirs to Christ, sharing in both His suffering and glory
*Made strong in weakness by the Spirit of Christ
*Called, justified, glorified
*Never to be separated from the love of God
No promises of an easy life, of everything going our way, of no hardship or suffering or loss. That’s not what the gospel offers. What God is saying to us in this chapter is that when we love Him and live according to His purposes, that we can rest assured that He will bring good through the bad. Good through the pain. Good through the chaos. Eternal good that is incomparable to the earthly good we experience in the here and now.
So no matter what we face, we don’t have to run around like the sky is falling…we are called to love. Stay calm, keep your eyes on Jesus, and love. It’s a lifestyle that’s much easier said than done, I know…but it’s part of that “sanctification” process that this chapter talks about, and it’s the type of life Christ calls us to. My God is so, so good…and I have to trust Him in that.
Doesn’t that, after all, make our trials worth going through? Doesn’t knowing that He promises to bring good out of the most ugly parts of us, out of the horrible tragedies we face, out of the confusion of this world make our hope in Him that much sweeter? Doesn’t it make you want to be part of that ultimate good?
It overwhelms me with awe, reverence, and…to be honest…a holy fear.
I truly believe that our nation would be turned upside down for Christ if the American Christian would stop seeking comfort and easy waters above all else, and begin trusting in God in such a way that we didn’t fight against the hard/scary/ugly…but rather loved God through it, looked for ways to proclaim His glory, to point others to Christ instead of pointing ourselves to the easiest route to quick relief.
Trust me when I saw that these words are probably more for me than for any of you…that I strive and struggle in this area daily…and that to live in that type of a way feels totally opposite of my nature.
But that’s what it’s really about, I think. Living opposite of what feels natural.
I’m going to stop blabbering on now, because this is a topic I could go on and on about…it is the essence of the biggest change God has been doing in my life in the last year or so. What I really want to do is share with you all some friends of mine who embody everything I’ve been talking about today…friends who are walking down a heartbreaking path and yet continually sing the praises of our Lord.
Brady & Brittney, college friends of mine, along with their adorable little boy Brecken, are expecting their second child…a baby girl named Brylen. They’ve recently come to learn that Brylen has a rare terminal condition with her brain, one which allows her to live only within the safety of her mother’s womb.
The world would tell Brittney to shut down…to terminate the pregnancy…to become bitter…to hate God. But our Holy and powerful God, who is Almighty in power and in strength, lives in her. And He tells her to love. He tells her to proclaim His name. He tells her to trust in the face of fear. He tells her that He will bring good through the life of their sweet baby, through their lives, and through this hardship.
And she is.
That can only be because of Jesus. There is no other explaination.
Only because of Him.
I ask you all to join me in praying for this sweet family, and to read more about the testimony of Christ in their lives on their blog http://ourangelhereonearth.wordpress.com. Their response to the path God has called them to has challenged me, blessed my heart, and affirmed to me the strength and glory of our God.
I know Brittney and Brady would join me today in saying that our God is so, so good.
KEEP CALM & LOVE ON
P.S. – I heard a song while running yesterday that spoke to this same idea…not sure who it’s by, but it’s called “Need You Now.” Check it out!