I’m Giving Up.

 

Sister.

It’s called a narrow road for a reason.

It’s rough. And tough.

The ground is uneven, it’s dirt-paved, and there’s a few spikey plants.

 

I think that sometimes we get the idea that following Jesus is going to be easy.

That it’s going to be glorious and joy-filled and romantic.

And, yes, it is.

But it’s also hard.

I’m going to be real:

Sometimes I feel like I’m walking in the pitch-black.

Sometimes I just can’t fight and conquer that one sin.

Sometimes I don’t have faith and my heart is harder than a stone.

Sometimes I want to throw in the towel and call it a day.

 

Hear me: Jesus doesn’t condemn me for that. Jesus doesn’t condemn you for that.

I’m writing to you with a heart that is wavering, even on the solid-rock that He is.

I’m writing to you with a soul that’s given everything away and is wondering if it’s all worth it.

 

I feel like I’ve given it all.

I’ve given my heart. My plans. My life.

I am abandoned and surrendered.

 

God called to Abram,

Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. (Genesis 12:1-2)

So, Abram went.

Abram gathered up his family. His possessions. His hopes. His dreams. His plan.

And He went. He set out towards Canaan.

 

I can picture the heavy load of bags on his back. I can feel his heavy heart.

I can picture his weary feet. I can feel his weary heart.

I can picture his dry eyes. I can feel his dry heart.

 

The heat is blazing on his face. He can feel the sweat rolling down from his forehead. His eyes are dry from dust blowing. His feet ache and the skin is rubbing raw. His brother’s child is asking, “Where are we going? What are we doing? Oh, father, tell us.” His wife is wondering the same thing. He hears the steps of his people.. lightly tromping, foot by foot on the dry ground.

With every footstep, he wonders. He left a perfectly good life, a life with comfort and family and a house and food. His faith clings to the faint memory of the voice of the Lord. His heart grips that hope tightly, step by step through that rugged nation.

 

Oh, sister, how greatly do I see myself, do I see you in that story.

We were busy and content and comfortable living our life.

Yet one day, a piercing, booming, whisper of a voice, the divinest of all, called to our heart of flesh.

He called us to leave everything we know. He called us into a land and a life of blazing, living faith.

And we followed.

 

He had given it all. Yet I can’t imagine that the trek through that desert nation was pretty.

Oh, sister.

Did you give it all up when His divine voice called to you?

Are you trekking but don’t know where to?

Have you sacrificed everything you have?

Is your heart as heavy and worn as your feet?

 

May I gently and lovingly remind you, my sister, that His voice is faithfully leading you Home.

It’s not a matter of this nation or that, of this college or that, of this job or that.

His voice calls us Home. The way of Jesus is to Himself. The path that Jesus blazed was to the gates of Heaven.

OH, sister, He calls our hearts more than He calls our feet.

Yet if He leads our hearts through the wilderness of this life to the kingdom, then how much more will He lead our feet.

 

Take heart, my friend.

The doubts are real and the frustration is strong.

The heat is heavy and the dirt is dry.

Girl, you’re headed home.

Take heart.

 

May I bring light to our faith-filled ancestors:

Abram left all that he had and trekked through an unknown land. Noah built a huge ark and loaded it with animals before the flood happened. Sarah had a child even though she was way too old. Abraham offered up Isaac, his own son, as a sacrifice. Moses led a nation through the Red Sea.

Kingdoms have been conquered, mouths of lions closed, people have walked through flames of fire unburned, giants killed, the dead raised back to life.

Normal people, with a faith that doubted some yet blazed more. And after all that, read this:

 

Hebrews 11:13-16

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Oh, sister, you may never receive your promise here in this life.

Let that sear your heart for a moment.

You may never receive your promise here in this life.

 

For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.

But hear me, we were never in it just for this life.

We are seeking a homeland.

Hear me: If you are only in this whole “Jesus thing” for the blessings in this life…. You can return. You can take back your old life. You don’t have to finish this trek. You are free to turn back.

 

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

But we, my sister, we are convinced in the deepest part of us that we are citizens of Heaven. That there is a better, heavenly country reigned by our sweet Jesus, and that day by day we get a little closer.

Oh, sister, your faith is inspiring. Your devotion is honorable. God is not ashamed to be called your God. He is preparing for you a city.

 

Friend, as my heart beats in this present moment, I feel consumed with this life.

Consumed with the sound of my feet walking through the desert to a land which I don’t know.

Oh, endure.

Oh, press on.

Oh, sister, run.

He doesn’t call the faint-hearted.

He calls warriors, fighters, lions.

 

When we get to the gates of the Kingdom, we will hear a voice like trumpets, like roaring waters, like a great multitude, booming and deep yet gentle and loving, saying to us,

“Well done, good and faithful servant.”

And we will realize that we sacrificed nothing in light of His love.

 

It’s all going to be worth it.

Every tear. Every move. Every step.

Girl, flee from that sin. Have a faith of fire. Break the worries of this life. Be reckless for the Gospel.  

My sister, we are going to throw off everything that hinders and run right after Jesus.

Through the wilderness. Through the foreign nation. Through this life.

 

I’ll meet you at the gates of the Kingdom.

And we won’t regret a thing.

 

With much, much love. And a heart blazing through this desert nation, eyes locked on Jesus. –Melissa

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23 thoughts on “I’m Giving Up.

  1. Beautiful! Particularly like these lines (but honestly, the whole thing, too): “But hear me, we were never in it just for this life.

    We are seeking a homeland.”

    That’s what I need to remember and not to whine that I’ve felt like I was/am in some inferior Plan B. Nope. Plan A was a perfectionistic dream anyway and I would’ve been miserable to get everything I thought/think I wanted and to lose my soul in the process.

    Jennifer, who hangs on by a thin thread sometimes, but is still clinging to Jesus with all I’ve got

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jennifer,
      I am so glad that you enjoyed the post- especially those lines! It’s so true that this life is but a flicker compared to eternity! Sister, you are EXACTLY where God wants you. Stay close to Him… He is a good Father who wants to give us fullness of joy and the fullness of His love. As you said- keep clingin’ to Jesus with all you have- He’s holding you right back! Much love!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just started following your blog and I’m so glad that I did. This is one that will be saved and read over and over when it’s been “one of those days…” Thank you sweet sister!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, Melissa. I don’t know you, but a friend of mine shared one of your post the other week and I loved it. Now, as I’m reading this post, I just see how much love and delight you have in the Lord. I love how real you are, how you speak from your soul. I am encouraged; but know that so are many other people who have read this. You are inspiring, and I pray that God continues to grow you in Him so that you may keep encouraging other believers to fight the good fight of faith. Thank you so much for this!

    Like

    1. Cassie,
      WOW okay this literally made my heart so happy. Thank you, my friend, for such beautiful and encouraging words… I appreciate you so much! And please know- your blog is full of light and love.. words that, without a doubt, are touching hearts every day! As you said… keep fightin’ that good, good fight! Much love, my friend!

      Like

      1. So kind. Thank you so so much. I look forward to seeing more of the journey God has you on. Much love back at ya!

        Like

  4. O M G !!!!
    That was so good, and what i needed to hear. I love all of your post, and always looking foward to them.
    Thank You for posting these awesome Blog post that do nothing but make my heart happy, encourage me, and gives me sweet reminder of how GOOD God is in the mist of REAL life !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rickia,
      Awh, my friend, I love your joy and your enthusiasm! I can hear it even through these words hahah! I can’t thank you enough for your encouragement… I am so glad that they remind you of God’s goodness in the midst of this crazy life! Amen! Stay close to Him and stay true to shining that bright, bright light and deep joy to everyone.. He loves you! Much love!

      Like

  5. Hi Melissa! I stumbled upon your blog a few days ago and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time – thank you for posting these reminders. If you don’t mind me asking, do you consider yourself a particular denomination?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura,
      I am so glad that you enjoy the posts! It’s my joy and pleasure to write them! I would consider myself non-denominational. I’ve been to some Baptist churches, some non-denom, and some charistmatic… and my heart is for sure convicted of beliefs of the Holy Spirit associated with non-denominational. Let me know if you have more questions! Much love, my friend!

      Like

  6. Dear lady,

    What a perfect word to begin the new year with!
    I have been in such need of courage these past few weeks…. But only because I started looking at my problems and how to solve them instead of the Great Solver Himself! My eyes had turned away, and discouragement has eaten away at my faith.
    Thank you for the reminder to gaze upon Jesus! He works on sooooo many layers and levels- all for our salvation! We must endure that desert for a season and catch a glimpse of our true Homeland! I have forgotten those glimpses. We are not home yet. Th deepest wishes and triumphs of our heart have not yet seen fruition.
    “It will ALL be worth it.”

    And He counts it ALL. Every step. Our failures in our eyes are not often failures in His.

    This made my heart so happy.
    This is a promise I can hold to and believe in. Believing in the INVISIBLE life that is so much. More. Real. Than the one we can see!! We get discouraged in that desert because our eyes turn to the pain we can see, instead of the great work He has promised us- promised us that we. Will. Become.

    Thank you for reminding us of the TRUE promise.

    “I will write upon her a new name, the name of her God. The Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will be upheld from them that walk uprightly.”
    (Ps. 84:11)

    Thank you, sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hannah,
      Girl WOW you are amazing!! I feel so encouraged after reading this- God has given you a way with words and you so brightly and passionately shine His light through them! I am so glad that the post touched your heart. I loved what you said, “We must endure the desert season to catch a glimpse of our Homeland!” So true that our wanderings will not show us to be lost.. but rather to be following the WAY all the way home! Yes- He has promised to complete the good work within us on the day of Christ Jesus! Amen! Love that verse from the psalms. A new name… sun and shield.. grace and glory and good things! He is soo good! Much love to you, my friend!!

      Like

  7. Thank you Melissa. Well said. The journey is never easy when He calls. It is hard, painful, full of hungry days and hardship. Each step feels like it will be you last but He is there. He is always there, watching over, protecting, loving us. He never leaves us in the midst of the storm, the fire, the battle. No, He is right there. Our pain is His pain. Our hunger is His hunger.

    He never left our side once during our 40 months of homelessness as we followed Him in faith and obedience. I promise you, He will never a single soul alone that chooses Him over all else.

    Excellent words of faith and encouragement from one who knows by experience the truth of these simple, but elegant, words.

    Homer Les
    http://www.homelesandwandaring.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Homer,
      Thank you!! Yes- we are called to the narrow road, where it is difficult and dark, but yes, God is always, always walking with us. Like the 40 years of the Israelites in the desert- God led them forth by the pillar of fire by night and cloud by day. He is so near. Thank you for story and for your encouragement! May God bless you!!

      Like

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