It is probably pretty hard for most of us to not to look at 2020 as one of the toughest years in our generation. I told my husband, Jace, last night that it seems like it follows me around like a dark cloud. Every time I feel a wave of optimism or even an ounce of normalcy or sense of being “in control”, a deluge of bad news rains on my mental parade. A choice is before me: let the whirring vortex of despair envelope me or stake my heart in truth. “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” - Psalm 121:1
It is the gut-wrenching, awful reminder that I actually need to hear: I am not in control and things may not be “OK” but that does not have to mean that I am not OK. Hear me when I tell you, I am not necessarily a beacon of hope right now. I actually feel so defeated, but instead of trusting my feelings, I am leaning into what I KNOW (letting my mind talk to my heart)…God is still a good and kind Father.
There is a strange sort of comfort in that a lot of people are feeling the same way. We can and need to be a source of encouragement to each other. Sweet gifts of community have blessed me at just the right time. My husband and I are re-learning how to love one another well in new ways. I feel my Heavenly Father lift my chin to look at Him: “lift your eyes, my daughter, be strong and courageous. Put your trust in an unfailing hope.” Tears of relief come, a deeper joy untied to circumstance takes root in my heart.
Stacy Pardoe from the Desiring God blog describes how she held on to truth during a particularly difficult time in her family’s life:
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
It’s comforting to know that when I seek the face of my Father, he promises to meet me. God is not only “with me” in a general sense, but he draws near to me personally. I might not feel a tangible encounter, but I can trust that he is listening and that he wants to meet with me. When difficult times arise in our lives, it’s tempting to grow frustrated and even bitter. In our bitterness, we’re tempted to turn away from God. But he longs for us to draw close to him, and he promises to draw close to us.”
I am a big believer that creating tangible reminders of hope and beauty have power in uplifting the soul. The Be Strong and Courageous necklace and earring studs are my tribute to the anthem of hope. My prayer is that they would be a gentle, loving reminder that even when things feel so out of control, it’s OK because the humbling truth is, we are never really in control. Let that whirring vortex lead you into the arms of the Father, who loves and cares for you.
The Be Strong and Courageous (inspired by Deuteronomy 31:6) Necklace and Earrings are made of high-fire ceramic stoneware, glazed in a matte black glaze with a lustrous 22k gold finish. The chain is 14-20 gold-filled with paper-clip style links and is adjustable 15-18”. Charm is gold on both sides. Earrings have sterling silver posts and ear nuts. Option to upgrade to Titanium for super sensitive ears.