I would like to introduce you to a wonderful young lady, Nettie Clawson. She hails from my hometown in Pittsburgh. She describes herself as an "old soul"...I would say she has the faith and wisdom of someone twice her age. I know that at 22, I didn't have a passion for sharing my faith like she does...
I invite you to welcome her here and give her some lovin' in the comments below. She's working on getting her blog up and running so stay tuned...
Hello! My name is Nettie Clawson. I am a deep old soul that’s actually only been around for 22 years and was born and raised in a small farm town near Pittsburgh, PA. I have an adventurous spirit and vision to share Jesus with all that I meet. I am passionate about: Jesus, people, singing, writing and ounces of coffee daily. I also love kids and am currently a Special Education Teacher for Kindergarten through Fifth Grade students at a school in Cary, North Carolina.
Although I love the southern hospitality, I do miss my pop (soda) and talking to yins guys from the North. My dreams of: acquiring a southern accent by saying ya’ll, and drinking sweet tea, have definitely come true. I came to Christ when I was twelve years old as my Gram led me to front of the church altar to make the decision to commit my life to Christ. I continue to aspire to the vision Jesus placed on my heart then to this day.Meeting people right where they are, and revealing to them the reality of a relationship with Christ, is a genuine desire of my heart. It thrills my soul to write encouragements, therefore, I pray that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart will be pleasing in the Lord’s sight and that He will be praised! (Psalm 19:14)
You are not alone.
We smile when we walk past a fellow co-worker in the morning with the usual greeting of: their “How are you?” and our: “I’m good.” We’re relaying the message that we are okay and life is going swell. It is a surface answer for a deep issue. The night prior our pillow was saturated with hours of unending tears, and an additional amount of face paint was required this morning to cover up the deep dark rolls under our eyes to go unnoticed. Truly, we think, if only they knew. If only they understood, what we really were going through. The fact that our life was falling into shambles, and that we’re barely getting by. It turns out that we end up walking in a daze of defeat, and struggle to get through trying situations in this life…alone.
Studies show that more than half of Americans have no one outside their immediate family that they share their life story with. They are left lonely. Loneliness leads to isolation, depression, and potentially suicide. What if, there was an answer to all of this though. What if there was per say a “cure” to loneliness. What if people knew the truth that they did not have to struggle through this life alone? If we look at this verse: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Jesus talks to his disciple’s right before He was about to ascend into Heaven. He leaves a very important message for his disciples to remember. The fact that He was always with them to the very end of the age. Do you know the depth of what this verse means? Although Jesus was leaving His disciples, He was stating He would still be with them, but how? It’s like an oxymoron. How can He leave them, but still be there with them? Simple, with His spirit in their hearts.
God’s spirit is something so profound and important. The fact that God’s presence through all trials and struggles is something I recently experienced in a mighty way. Having my car break down, ending a relationship with someone I thought I was getting married to, and having a financial hardship is a brief glimpse of the trials, but through it all I noticed one simple yet profound truth. God was with me. There was something so comforting in that verse of Matthew 28:20 to me that I continually rehearsed over my life in the midst of the trials. The fact that He was with me through all of that hardship was more than enough.
My friend, can I tell you something today? You have two choices. You can choose to live in your circumstances, or you can choose to live above your circumstances. How? By choosing the joy that Jesus has given us with His spirit and knowing this simple truth. He is with you, He is with you, He is WITH YOU my friend! I can relate, I’ve been there. In the deepest, darkest times of your life when you feel as though waves of turmoil are crashing down on you God is whispering you are NOT alone, I am with you, just trust me. Those times when you have cried night after night, screaming “God WHY?” You are hoping, wishing, praying for an answer to cure all of your trials and struggles, but still not seeing or hearing anything. Do not lose hope. He IS doing something.
God will work his greatest in you when you hear His whispers. Why is that? How did God appear to Elijah when the Israelites disobeyed God and were coming after Elijah to potentially kill him too in 1 Kings 19:12? Not in the wind, or the earthquake or the fire, but God spoke in a gentle whisper, that still small voice. Do you realize when you’re screaming out to God “where are you?” or “why is this happening to me?” He is whispering right back you the whole time “just trust me because, I am with you.”
God is working in a deeper way through your trials and struggles now that will show you later and others that He is with you later to come. Yes, trials and struggles are hard. Yes, it’s not easy to make a choice daily to choose joy, but Jesus chose you when He hung on that cross and cried out “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Jesus chose you, when He was beaten and mocked and scorned. Jesus chose you to endure through those trials and hardships so that others can see your faith throughout them and glorify the Father. Jesus chose you to walk beside, and do this thing called life with when you had no one.
Now do you see, you are not alone? There are purposes in the pain and my friend, looking beyond every trial that we try but yet may never fully grasp or comprehend remember Christ staring at you with loving eyes saying I am here and you are important to me. Jesus does not want us to walk through that alone. He is so present in all of the struggles. Through our sorrows and celebrations Jesus is there. When you are ill or injured, Jesus is there. When you lose a job, or family member Jesus is there. When you have been blessed with an amazing community to encourage and support you, Jesus is there. Be encouraged to go through this thing called life with someone always by your side. Jesus. With Jesus you have the assurance that no matter what you face, you have the ability to choose joy. My friend, He is with you and He is working a greater testimony out of your trials.
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8
Bev, here again...I'll be taking a belated spring break to spend some time with family and refueling in God's word. I plan to be back the 21st, with a refreshed spirit. Please pray for our family...we said goodbye for now to our sweet, sweet, Zoe bear this morning. So thankful for how this silky-furred family member gave us glimpses into God's unconditional love...miss you girl...
Please keep praying for the safety of the children that we support in the Middle East though Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.
"HEAR THE CRIES of your brothers and sisters
in captive nations!
They do not ask for escape, safety, or an easy life.
They ask only for the tools to counteract the poisoning of their youth -
the next generation."
- Richard Wurmbrand, in "Tortured for Christ"