You Brought Us To A Place Of Abundance

I look back at where I have come from and know the One Who has sustained me. I look through my journals and see the One Who has delivered me. I look at my relationships and I see the One Who has comforted me. It's so encouraging to finally be in a place of peace, clarity, and consistency. I get to wake up every morning and take a deep breath of mercy and grace. But there was a time where I did not see clearly, where everything around me was foggy, and all I knew was despair, pain, and suffering. Would I trade that for anything? Absolutely not. I would go through it all over again. You might think I'm crazy when I say that but It's so easy to slip back into complacency- to forget the taste of what being desperate for the Lord is like. I never want to forget that, I pray that the Lord keeps me in a place of humility to remember and have that same urgency of prayer as I intercede for my brothers and sisters who are facing trials right now in this moment. 
If there was one passage out of a devotional that I could read everyday for the rest of my life I would choose one that comes out of " Streams in the Desert." This not only portrays the reality of what suffering feels like, but it ends with so much hope and life. I just thought I would share it with the world, because we all go through a time of testing, grief, and mourning at some point in our lives. I hope you find this to be an encouragement for anything you ever have to face or are facing now. 

"We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance."
(Psalm 66:12)

"It may seem paradoxical, but the only person who is at rest has achieved it through conflict. This peace, born of conflict, is not like the ominous lull before the storm, with its fresh, purified air. 
The person who may appear to be blessed, having been untouched by sorrow, is typically not one who is strong and at peace. His qualities have never been tested, and he does not know how he would handle even a mild setback. The safest sailor is certainly not one who has never weathered a storm. He may be right for fair-weather sailing, but when a storm arises, wouldn't you want an experienced sailor at the critical post? Wouldn't you want one at the helm who has fought through a gale and who knows the strength of the ship's hull and rigging, and how the anchor may be used to grasp the rocks of the ocean floor?
Oh, how everything gives way when affliction first comes upon us! The clinging stems of our hopes are quickly snapped, and our heart lies overwhelmed and prostrate, like a vine the windstorm has torn from its trellis. But once the initial shock is over and we are able to look up and say, "It is the Lord" (John 21:7), faith begins to lift our shattered hopes once more and securely binds them to the feet of God. And the final result is confidence,  safety, and peace.

"The adverse winds blew against my life; 
My little ship with grief was tossed;
My plans were gone- heart full of strife, 
And all my hope seemed to be lost-
"Then He arose"- one word of peace. 
"There was a calm"- a sweet release.

A tempest great of doubt and fear
Possessed my mind; no light was there
To guide, or make my vision clear. 
Dark night! 'Twas more that I could bear-
"Then He arose"- I saw His face-
"There was a calm"- filled with His grace. 

My heart was sinking beneath the wave
Of deepening test and raging grief;
All seemed as lost, and none could save, 
And nothing could bring me relief-
"Then He arose"- and spoke one word, 
"There was a calm!" "IT IS THE LORD." 
-L.S.P.

This photo shoot was a lighthearted, spare the moment kind of thing that my roommate and I had a blast doing one day. I share this because in light of what I just talked about, I could not have gone through what I went through if it wasn't for the people that surrounded me in that season. Granted, April and I recently got connected and became roommates not too long ago, but she is family in the body of Christ. She is my sister who the Lord has so sweetly placed in my path. I'm thankful for passionate and selfless sisters like April who are so simple- who love so simply- and who want nothing more than to gain Christ in all they do. It's fills me with so much joy knowing that there is one bond we share and rejoice in together and that is Jesus Christ Himself. Praise the Lord for life-giving friendships! Today I celebrate a new season, new friendships, & new beginnings!  My Father is always doing a new thing! Now, let's celebrate this beautiful free soul...

Ashley OrozcoComment