Today is my moms birthday and I am so thankful or all that she has taught me about how to live out my faith by loving the least of these. She is truly a prayer warrior and will never let a need of anyone go undone if she has anything to do with it. I thought about how notorious I am for losing my keys. Wherever I go I just sit them down and then when it's time to leave I have to gather the troops to find them. I realized this morning I get it honest. I remember growing up looking for mom’s keys almost daily! I actually have a cute key holder my friend made me last year for my birthday so when I am home at least I know where they are. Now days its moms cell phone and I am following in those footsteps as well therefore I am blaming it on my genes (haha). When I look back at my life and see all the seasons that led me to where I am I believe my perception of my Creator played a huge part in how I responded and handled the different seasons. One of the hardest seasons of my life was truly embracing God’s grace in my life and the way He looked at me. I looked at Him as if He was going to ZAP me for my bad behavior. I would read verses like “Be Holy for I am Holy” and realize that I was far from that and that would send me down the road away from Him. I loved Him from a distance; I just thought I could never really please Him. I mean really me holy? … My heart was as dirty and He was calling me to be like Him. I wanted nothing more than a close intimate relationship with my Creator and every time I would hear a pastor say those words I would sit and wonder why He and I couldn’t connect on this deep intimate level. I remember being at a conference with some students about 7 or 8 years ago and as the worship song was playing all over the arena students were responding. As I sang the lyrics with my arms lifted high I realized that I too needed to respond. I was holding my pain, my rejection, my brokenness my sin and my fears so tightly that I could barely breathe. The lyrics .. “take me to that place Lord, to that secret place where I can be with You and You can make me like you.. wrap me in your arms, wrap me in your arms”. Now that sounds sweet and cuddly but the thought of being alone with my Heavenly father scared me to death because surely He would be so disappointed in me. But as I stood there singing the song tears began to stroll down my face and I could feel my heart changing with every beat. I could feel God’s presence for the first time in MY LIFE in a different way. You see God never moved. He never lost His love for me. He never misplaced His grace. He never looked at me with disappointment. He never took away my worth. He never hid His presence from me. He never was out to ZAP me. He never stepped away from His throne…..that day I began to taste freedom. When I struggle now or cry out to Him for help it’s a different conversation we have because it’s my love for Him that pushes my heart to repentance or surrender not a fear anymore. I read a few weeks ago a verse in Hebrews (4:16) and it spoke so deeply to me. "Let us then with confidencedraw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." God's throne of grace never gets lost from me. At any moment when I feel broken, numb, fearful, joyful, hurt, or questioning why I am in the season I am in I can KNOW that God’s throne is sturdy and His steadfast love is always pursuing me. I can stand before Him with confidence and that truly makes me melt all over again. Today as you read this and you think that God has left you in this season you are in know that He sees you and He is carrying you through! Rest in His arms and allow Him to make you more like Him. Get lost in Him and you will NEVER be the same!