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V I C T O R Y - Hello July!

In ten minutes, the clock will strike midnight and I will have been carried through another June. I can check it off the 2018 box and thank God He's made a way again. This time, He revealed a little more of the picture, a little more of the purpose behind the pain. He sprinkled the days with joy and simple pleasures. My birthday was so sweet and filled with all my favorite things and people. The healthy little boy I never dreamed we would have blew out a number three candle the morning of his birthday and then loved his birthday party with precious friends a few days later.

I caught a glimpse of what this ministry life is going to look like and fell a little harder in love with Jesus. Miller Grace days were just what my heart needed them to be: slow and gentle with a few pink balloons and sprinkles thrown in. When I needed to see hope the most, I did and it brought me to tears. On the hardest day, my tiny boy seemed to be programmed to stop whatever he was doing periodically throughout the day, walk directly to me, and hold me in a tight embrace for several moments. That evening, I had the chance to pour into a younger woman and be reminded of how faithfully God has worked since I was her age. Then, I found a priceless Heaven Day surprise: my first published article on a newsstand in my hometown.

The enemy tried so hard to steal my joy yesterday. It was our sixteenth wedding anniversary. We have so much to celebrate, but that punk of an enemy kept trying to tell me this day would never be the same. I'd always remember the one we spent making funeral plans. The love and pure wonder of June 29 are gone. I would never be able to focus on the beauty when the ashes are there, too. Finally, just as all the restaurants were closing, my sweet groom and I told that devil to get behind us, phoned a friend to watch the kids, and went out on the town like two kids ourselves.

Just like our first date before I could even drive - we went to Wendy's and to watch a movie together, then talk all the way home. (Why yes, we have always been fancy.) The lady at the drive-thru window told us it was our lucky day and refused to take our money. She had no idea what day it was. We have no idea who paid for our food, but we know Who was behind it. Standing at the ticket window, we learned we had enough points for a free movie ticket, too, and I just laughed. God blesses us in the funniest ways when we kick the enemy out of the way and just follow Him instead.

There are so many other incredibly amazing parts of this June that I am not at liberty to share, so many beautiful, awe-inspiring ways God is making Himself known here in our ordinary walls. It all comes down to love. Our God is greater than any trial we have ever or will ever face and He loves us like such a good, good Father. That love is harder to see and understand in some seasons (and months) than others. This is one of those times when it is so evident it is tangible and we are grateful beyond words. Death has truly lost its sting and victory is ours in Christ.

Oh friend, I hope you know how what a conqueror you can be in Him.

"Death is swallowed up in victory."
"O death, where is your victory? 
O death, where is your sting?"

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:55a-58

There were so many times when I could not see the light of day. We have seen so many seasons when we did not know how the ends would meet. We have fear, failed, fallen, and done anything but follow. All He has ever been is faithful. The Lord is so able to untangle the messes we find ourselves in. He alone can lift the chin that is weighted down with despair. Hour by hour, then day by day, then week by week, then month by month, now year by year, He keeps mending what was broken. He keeps restoring what was lost.

He keeps redeeming all that once felt abandoned. He keeps tipping the scales from sorrow to joy. The sackcloth is on the ground where it belongs and He keeps teaching us to dance to a new song. He keeps turning the volume on the world down and we are hearing His promises louder than ever and we are determined to follow that voice all the way home. He keeps throwing every mountain that comes before us right into the sea. He is God Almighty and He is more than enough for me.

I could never thank you enough for taking time out of your busy Summer to read these words, to follow along on this journey God has set before us. I am so honored and humbled by your kindness. It is my hope now to go back to sleeping at night and squeezing every ounce of joy out of what is left of Summertime with these babies. Your prayers are appreciated as I enter the waters of this new position at our sweet church.  I would love for you to stay tuned to all the future posts as I stop making excuses and start putting feet to my faith again.

I'll find my way back to this keyboard every chance I get. I have a standing date with this keyboard set for every Thursday evening. I am sure life will get in the way, but God proved faithful every single day of June, so I am determined to trust Him for Thursdays, too.  Go ahead and click the "SUBSCRIBE" link at the top of the page to receive email notifications when a new entry is posted. If you are on Facebook, please like, follow, and share the Grace on the Hill page. If you are in the Bowling Green area, I will be starting a Bible study back up on July 11 and we will meet every other Wednesday. We'd be thrilled to have you join us. We will even share our cookies. :) More info will be posted on this page.

As I said before, I'm all in and I want to see God glorified in any way He sees fit. I covet your prayers because no one is more prone to wander than this girl. May we learn to abide in Him like never before. Let's make much of His name in the time we are given, y'all. He alone is worthy.

Happy July, friends!  May God bless and keep you until we meet again!


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