Clinging to the All-Sufficient One

My brother went home to be with Jesus seven years ago this month. Sometimes I still catch myself thinking about him as though he were here. It’s crazy how much time has passed, and yet how closely those memories still hug my heart and mind. Shortly after he died, I received this picture frame from a family friend:

Simple, yet powerful. Because every morning I wake up to these powerful and secure words from my Savior. When I graduated college and faced unmet dreams, when symptoms of Lyme disease resurfaced in my body, during the countless hours of praying for the salvation of those I care so deeply for…at every moment of every uncertainty and question and fear, these words penetrated my soul: “Brandee, trust me. I have everything under control.”

As I enter a new season of life, I’m confronted with my dependence on that which is insufficient. I’m certain my struggle is our struggle. How often we look to our spouse, friends, parents, and children for love, acceptance, and belonging. We look to our possessions to measure success. We look to our successes to measure our worth. We look to drugs to numb our pain, our bodies to measure beauty, people to please us, and the world to guide us.

So when do we look to Jesus? We’ve heard that He can satisfy all our needs, yet do we look to Him as though He could?

During a recent conversation with my sister, Michelle, God gave me another truth to sustain me through these upcoming years. Michelle spent most of two years apart from her husband while she attended school and he got stationed out of town for work. She then lost her dad and her brother within six months of each other. I asked her how she got through it, and in one word she responded: God. Let me try and capture the essence of our conversation, as her wise words can benefit us all:

“Every day is a battle to choose God and not our flesh…it is constant. Yet if you allow Him, He will sustain you. If you allow Him, He will be everything you need. But you must allow Him and you must look to Him. Do not harden your heart or become bitter. Cling to God.

During our conversation, I heard God speak these soon-to-be-framed words…because I need to wake up every morning and read it, I need to dwell on it in my sleep, I need to be reminded of it throughout the day:

I don’t want to just believe this statement, I want to experience it. To know Him as the ONE whose love completes me, whose words guide me, whose promises encourage me, whose fellowship offers me companionship. I want to taste of His all-sufficiency. I want this truth to penetrate my soul, my mind, my understanding, and my experiences. He is everything I need. He is everything you need.

I hope you hear His words to you today, and that this truth penetrates your soul as you look to Him

“{your name}…trust me. I have everything under control. And I am sufficient for all of your needs. –Jesus”

It Could Be Any Day…

We’ve waited 5 years for the opportunity in this moment. Years of hoping and dreaming for God to open a door to medical school for my husband are now contingent upon the response we’ll hear any day.

The response may fulfill those dreams. Or it may momentarily shatter them. Either way, it will shape the course of our lives and greatly affect our immediate future.

This seems grave, doesn’t it? See, this is how I’m tempted to view the situation. This is also an indicator to how I’ve handled future prospects in the past. In all honesty, I’ve gotten it all wrong. I’ve been hoping in this opportunity — this dream — for my husband. I’ve been hoping in something that is not certain. I’ve been hoping in tomorrow.

The problem with hoping in tomorrow? It may not come. The opportunities may not last. The dreams may not be met. Tomorrow is not promised us. So what do we hope in?

If we hope in the desires, dreams, or expectations of what tomorrow holds, we will ultimately be let down. If we hope in God in HIS love and sovereignty over our lives — we will never be let down because we’d know that we can trust Him with our lives.

While we may hope for tomorrow, our hope is not anchored in tomorrow. Our hope is anchored in God because we can trust Him.

Perhaps you’re waiting for an answer too. Perhaps you’re waiting on a decision that will affect your immediate and extended future. It could be a job. It could be a pregnancy test. It could be a school. It could be a diagnosis. Are you hoping in tomorrow? Or are you hoping in a loving God who holds it all in His hands?

Whatever tomorrow brings, my prayer is that our hope would remain steadfast in our God…anchored in Him, confident in His good purposes, certain of His sovereign love.

Journey of Trust

..Rhode Island Coast..
..Twin Red Doors..
..Walking the Streets of Boston..

I’ve spent the last two and a half weeks visiting my twin sister in Connecticut and looking at medical schools for my husband on the East Coast. As I flew back across the country to California, my emotions felt as great as the distance between these two coasts.

After looking at the medical schools where my husband applied and being with my twin sister, my other “other half,” the prospect of moving in a year is more real and my emotions are a messy mixture of hope and anticipation, fear and uncertainty, confusion and frustration. Ooh, the joys of being a woman — the ability to feel 6+ emotions at one time…

Though we like to think otherwise, we walk blindly into each coming day. I don’t know where Mike and I will end up in a year from now, but neither do I know what awaits us tomorrow. I could succumb to the fears and uncertainties of life and, in so doing, become a nervous wreck; or I could get so caught up in my hopes and longings that my way seems to be the right way. But though we plan our steps, God directs our paths[1]. I am grateful He knows my deepest desires, but even more grateful that I can trust in His sovereign plan.

So in the midst of these scattered emotions and in light of life’s uncertainties, I will surrender to the only stability upon whom I can trust: Jesus, the Rock of the Ages. He promises that He will guide me and stay with me, and He promises to be my strength along the way. So I will not wait in expectation or in fear of tomorrow. I will not hope in a life that passes. He is my Rock, and He never changes.

What changes are you going through today? In the midst of these uncertainties, what promises of God can you confidently stand upon? How can He be your rock, your strength, your hope?

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” –Psalm 18:2

[1] Proverbs 16:9