Counter-clockwise View

Changing of Perspective

At work (unless its raining) I love to walk a small circular path next to the lake outside my building. It is a pleasant and beautiful scene, accompanied by birds singing melodies,  frogs bellowing messages, and the geese gliding effortlessly across the water. And, on most days there is a warm breeze blowing to make the walk even more wonderful.  It truly is a peaceful, and lovely place to get in a little exercise. A couple of weeks ago, I was taking a fast-paced jaunt around this little circle when I decided to switch it up a bit and take 3 counter-clockwise loops. It was on my first  time around when the view made me pause and take in the beauty. You see, the scene traveling clockwise, while lovely, was very different from the one which arrested me mid-walk. I could hear Holy Spirit’s whisper in my soul – “Sometimes, you need to see things from a different angle Tonya, to get the better view.”

The presence of Jesus captured me in those moments.

The past month has been one sprinkled with uncertainty, fear and grief, yet  mixed with joy, and excitement. To say it has been a little odd would be an understatement. I have heard before, every new beginning starts with an ending.

Goodbyes are simply a part of moving into something new. I have felt those goodbyes down deep in a place only Jesus has access to. I am forever grateful His scars know how to heal.

The simplicity of choosing to switch up my routine walk led to a powerful moment of healing. God lovingly cupped my face in His hands, and turned my eyes to see things a bit differently. Instead of being disappointed in me for grieving the goodbyes I had said, He allowed me to see loving freely makes you vulnerable and open to making life-long connections. Those kind of goodbyes are hard.

Just ask the disciples.

Just ask anyone who has ever loved deeply.

It is ok to grieve forlorn farewells and greet happy hellos at the same time.

The change in view led me to see how life is full of sorrow and beauty – often at the same time. It is what makes life the journey it is. Jesus took a different approach to culture and religion, and He often took a route the disciples did not understand. After taking my counter-clockwise walk, I have thought about this a lot. I believe Christ wanted them to see things from a different perspective, to see life from His point of view.

The Craftsman who built with His hands was the Chief Cornerstone the builders rejected . The King born in stable, without an earthly throne, is the King of all Kings. The Healer who could raise the dead to life is the Physician who heals with nail-scarred hands. Yes, His truth is the wildly wonderful lens I want to view my life through.

It would be a tragedy to believe our lives could never be a mix of good and bad, ugly and beautiful, confidence and uncertainty or sorrow and rejoicing – often in concert with each other.

To try and not experience it fully because it feels odd, or seems way too hard, is to slight ourselves of the gorgeous blessings of a counter-clockwise view.

 

Kaleidoscope of Faith

Sometimes I forget just because I have not literally seen His face, audibly heard His laughter or physically sat at His dusty, divine feet, does not  mean I have not truly experienced His goodness.


If I would only be still, and look at my life through the kaleidescope of faith, I would see Him more clearly.

The little hands that work so hard to write their letters perfectly just to hear their teacher say, “Wow, great job!,” is His voice whispering, “I have called you to do an important work.” 

My Savior’s sweetness can be felt when a precious little one takes a break from her lunch just to come give her teacher a hug.

The Holy Spirit’s grace abounds as this writer’s pen flows with words of wisdom and encouragement that can only come from the heavenly place where living water flows endlessly.

My Father’s loving arms embrace me when my friend sends me a text to say, “Hey, I just wanted you to know I miss you and I’m thinking of you, always,”

And, how about the calls and texts from my baby brothers that make me smile and laugh with such sincere joy? That is a taste of what it must have felt like to walk next to Jesus as a friend and brother.

My list could go on and on.


The myriad of ways God shows Himself present and active in our lives is beautifully variegated.  Oh that I would be more open to see the subtle, yet profound, truth – ordinary moments become extraordinary in the presence of the King.





Sidenote 😁
Lisa Harper is an amazing Bible teacher and a Spirit-filled speaker. Her book, Believing Jesus, is what the Lord has used to stir my heart tonite. The book of Acts is going to be an incredibly moving study, I’m sure.

Join us and share all that the Lord does in your life too!!

I look forward to hearing from you!!

Companion Faith

I began my author’s journey a few years back, only dreaming of one day getting to know different women of faith (and writing about them.)

In January of this year, the Lord impressed upon my heart 12 sisters of faith (from the Old and New testaments) to open my life up to. He has placed them on my heart faithfully every day, calling me to learn more the beauty of how He uses our unique personalities (and walks) to influence and mold our individual faith.

God is, after all, the Creating Personality, as A.W. Tozer said in his precious book, The Pursuit of God.

I must give a shout out to my “Isaiah-til-we-are-100” friend, who encouraged me to jump in and kick-start the introduction process to these astounding women of faith. She challenged me with this text – “Tell me how Priscilla’s faith inspires you?”

Honestly, I thought I knew a little about her already, however, as with any individual, there are personality layers, and if you want to get to know them, you have to spend quality time with them. Therefore, I asked our Father to introduce me to his precious daughter in a way that would change me for the better, and I know this is just the beginning.

Priscilla was an amazing woman of God. It is evident her husband was sure to trust in and depend on her. I have no doubt he knew her worth was greater than all the rubies in all the world.

She was always mentioned alongside her husband, whether it was in the family business of tentmaking, the mentoring and discipling of Apollos, giving the Apostle Paul a home, hosting Church in her home, or in being willing to lay her life on the line for the sake of the gospel and her friend.

One commentary made this statement, regarding the quietly humble and faithful discipling ministry of Priscilla (and her husband Aquilla,)

“If we cannot be great, by God’s grace we may be the means of making others great.”

She willingly and graciously partnered in the gospel – being a woman poured out for Jesus. She is only mentioned a handful of times, but what an impact one woman’s faith – in the hands of her Father – made!!

She was humble, steadfast, hardworking, and a wise servant of Christ as she aided in furthering His gospel and building the Church.

After spending a little time with our Father, and meeting Priscilla in a brief encounter through the Word, I believe what inspires me most is that her companion style faith was genuine and steadfast.

She was a true partner in both marriage and in ministry. What a beautiful picture of her unique faith.

The quiet, yet profoundly influential, life of Priscilla, resonates with my teacher-heart.

The children placed under my care are the future, what a privilege to learn from this woman of faith about being compassionate and gentle in the way I mentor and teach the truth of His love for us.

Our Creator knows us – He knitted us in our Mother’s womb and called us to do anointed things for Him. He will use our uniqueness to design our faith. And, He most assuredly will use one woman’s faith in the most marvelous of ways!

Choices

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.                    (Deut. 30:19)

Today I have been reminded how fortunate I am – and how powerful choice is.

Life, marriage, relationships – all require a choice.
…a choice to love (even when it’s hard,)
…a choice to serve another (and not yourself,)
…a choice to respect the process (especially when it’s a slow one,)
…a choice to share the bad along with the good (we all have both in us,)
… and a choice to see the good around you (it’s a matter of perspective,)
…a choice to walk by faith (and not by sight.)
…a choice to live in gratitude (even while walking through a valley.)

There are people around the world who have had the privilege to live life in freedom stripped from them. They are not allowed the opportunity to marry whom they choose, or work where they want to. Many folks cannot speak freely without fear of imprisonment or death, yet they choose to rise above it and courageously live in joy and not bitterness.

Choice. A tiny, but life-altering, word.

I pray to be reminded swiftly if I should begin to see this game-changer as anything less than a blessed gift.

May my choices have the purpose of Christ behind them,

be infused with surrender to His will,

and sparked by servant-hearted motives.

Oh, that I would always choose life, as the Scripture encourages me to do.