Good golly this week last week has been a weepy one. So many emotions. Dare I say, a bit of enemy warfare as well? Somewhere between the tears of sadness and soppy allergy-ridden eyes I realized – I can’t see clearly anymore. I lost sight of what’s around me, what’s behind and what’s ahead. I felt trapped, again, in unresolved hurts and histories.

Blech.

I blink and rub my eyes but it tends to make the itchiness worse. Rubbing irritates. What I need is something that heals at the source rather than temporary touches on outer layers.

Friday morning begins with a sweet note from a blogging friend with an encouraging video to remind me, “He Knows”. Oh, I cried over this one. Thank you, Lord. Then, a friend listened and prayed. Another voxes & says she’s praying. Still, I’m fighting this enemy of defeat and calling it out. It’s time to go now.

Friday night we had plans as a family to attend one of our favorite outings in the area, Walburg Biergarten, for their pretty-much-every-weekend Oktoberfest. We love the music, dancing, games & fellowship with friends.

Alas, my eyes and my nose had other plans. After all, it is spring in Au-choo-stin.

achoostin

Instead of preparing to head out for the evening, I laid in bed barely able to see. But, I had my phone as well as some of my favorite friends at times like this, Net & Flix. We decided to skip the series and episodes usually enjoyed, like Murder, She Wrote & Columbo. We went straight for a movie.

Would you believe, I was the only one left in the family who hadn’t seen “God’s Not Dead” yet? For real. How is it that the the primary driver behind all the media at our former non-profit Christian library had not yet seen this flick?

Something (insert muffled “Holy Spirit” – achoo!) drew me to choose this movie tonight.

Oh. My. Word.

I NEEDED TO SEE THIS MOVIE. On Good Friday nonetheless. That was by chance you know.

A few times throughout, the tears were flowing again, but this time for a reason altogether different.

To see the pressure & the isolation around each of the character’s who chose to stand firm on the kingdom of God. To see their bravery, oh my heart is overflowing with greater appreciation for the struggles others face. Persecution is real. Sometimes it’s outright hatred and sometimes it’s felt more subtly through the enemies’ constant whispers & lies, which I tend to fall prey to.

If you’ve seen this movie, or you know this phrase, you may be familiar with the Newsboys song of the same name. A few words from the chorus give me a great big smile, for more reasons than you might suspect.

He’s living on the inside roaring like a lion.

godsnotdeadroaring

You know who LOVED this song? Who loved lions? Who wanted me to scratch his back like a lion and absolutely fell in love with the lion Aslan? My little ‘O’. My foster son who came to us as a 4 year old. Oh, his smile and the way he laughed and roared like a lion.

Those memories are like precious joys bottled up and remembered. The joy my heart felt then, and still does now, to know that he had an opportunity to learn of Aslan. Of Jesus. To remember how his heart was touched by the mighty lion that represented life, love, redemption & goodness. The very lion that died in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” to pay the price of sinful, thieving, selfish, snobbish Edmund, and rose again.

The lion who rose.

When praying this message over little “O” so that the deeper truths would be ingrained in his heart later in life,  my heart smiles with the thought of a life forever changed and generational chains broken. Because he learned of Aslan.

Roaring like a lion. Living on the inside.

Of all the painful moments that occurred at “the ranch”, there were several redemptive and amazing ones too. It’s totally not a coincidence that as my faith felt weak these last several days and as I knew I would be writing more of our fostering journey, this beautiful memory would come to mind.

Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again. – C.S. Lewis

On Easter weekend. On Good Friday. The day we remember that Jesus died on the cross while we wait for Him to rise on the third day – just as He said He would.

And He is good like that. He does what He says He’ll do.

My heart comes alive again and with renewed energy & excitement, I proclaim.

God’s Not Dead.

Father God – my belief in how mighty & powerful & good & loving you are has wavered so greatly this week. I’ve trembled under the storms as my faith felt shaken. Thank you for loving me still. Thank you for not giving up on me. Strengthen me to fix my eyes so firmly on you that I can see clearly always.

Amen.

with love, Jolene

Oh friend, how glad I am to see you here. I’d love to have you join me in this messy journey of faith. Maybe you could share your stories too.

Together, each day, may we see the God who sees us. Trust the hand that leads us.

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