The One He Loves

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Growing up, my elementary best friend was our pastor’s daughter of a very large church. Everyone knew who she was and treated her special because of it. My best friend all throughout middle and high school had the best dad ever. He was a very prestigious and well known businessman in our area. He taught me what it meant to be respected by men, and he was the first inkling of what it could be like to be fully loved by a father. He taught me how to wash cars and that I should be treated like a princess. I’m so thankful for him.

But he wasn’t my dad. And if I’m honest, there were so many times I wished he was.  

A few months ago I had a dream that wrecked me to my core. It changed me forever. I’ll never be the same.  

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In the dream, I was at our church that we attend now. Everyone was scurrying around, you could hear the buzz among everyone, because Tim Tebow was there. I remember not being too impressed. 

I have this thing with famous people. They put their pants on just like I do every morning, they’re normal people just like me, so I don’t get too worked up about them. It’s not to say the anointing on their life shouldn’t be honored, it definitely should. But for those famous people that are Believers, it’s just that, an anointing from God. He’s the famous one. 

Back to the dream, I walked in church and was running late (shocker). The only seat that was available in the entire church was the one behind Tim Tebow to the left. I sat down in the seat ready for worship. 

And Tim Tebow turned around to me and started talking, doting on me, saying all of the nicest things. He was treating me so special. I started to cry because what he was saying was so kind, but I had seen this before.  

He thought I was our pastor’s daughter.  

It was a compliment. I love our pastor, and feel very much like he’s a spiritual father to me. 

“Wait, wait, I’m so sorry. I think you’ve misunderstood. I’m not the pastor’s daughter,” I said.  

“I know, but your Papa’s. Your Papa’s daughter.” he replied.

In the dream, I ran to the back of the church where I normally worship and laid down on my face, sobbing, completely undone.   

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I woke up from the dream crying. And every time I remember this dream, even as I’m writing this, my heart swells and my eyes fill up with tears. 

I remember Papa God whispering to my heart that favor follows me because I’m His. That I’m a big deal, because I’m His daughter.  

My best friend’s dad was great, but He doesn’t hold a candle to the Father I’ve found in God. That dream positioned my heart to not only receive from Him more fully but receive from others too. It marked me in a way that I’ll never be the same. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about John, the beloved. So many people poke fun at him, because he wrote those words about himself, “the one that Jesus loved.” But the more I think on it, the more I think we might could learn from him. 

John’s identity was fully established by being loved by God. The deeper I go into the heart of the Father, the more I’m learning that His love changes everything. And the greatest part of me, is that I belong to Him. 

I’m my Father’s daughter, the one that He loves.  

This dream I shared is yours too. You’re the one in the story with extra favor, that is spoken highly of, and doted on. Because if you are in Christ Jesus, you’re only identity, you’re true identity is established in the love of God. 

You’re the Father’s daughter, the one that He loves. 

How I Pray for My Children

How I Pray for My Children

When I was 16, I went down an aisle during a mission’s conference and told Jesus I would follow Him to the ends of the earth, I said “yes” to go wherever He said to go. I thought back then that looked like a remote village in Africa, with children from the orphanage all piled up in my lap, and red dirt covering my clothes. And while my heart beats wildly for those children, my mission field is in my living room.

I was wiping bottoms one day and sweeping goldfish off the floor, and God reminded me of that fall day all those years ago, when I said yes to Him. And I realized I didn’t have to go to the nations to mother the vulnerable, I was staring them right in the face.

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Choosing Peace

Choosing Peace

I don’t think I’ve ever, in my entire life, experienced such rest and tangible peace as I did when we stayed in Moravian Falls last weekend. Just coming off of a full fall speaking schedule, I honestly had no idea just how strategic the Father had placed this weekend as a bookend, summing up such a full season.

The original plan was for me to go to Moravian Falls by myself on a writing retreat. Because let’s be real, with three little kids and all the things that comes with them, writing something than a few paragraphs at a time, just isn’t happening. (I’m writing this very blog post during quiet time! And all the mamas said. “Amen!”) I’ve known for quite some time there is so much in me stirring around, just waiting for the chance to come out. I just knew I needed to give myself space to let those words be birthed.

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