I’ve hesitated to write about what God has been up to.
Truthfully, I feel like I’m only beginning to understand the smallest sliver, like I’ve been handed three puzzle pieces and I see the connections but I don’t know what it will become.
A few weeks ago I mentioned one or two threads of this story to a friend. It was basically a mess. Because everything is in process, putting words to a story or to ideas or things God is showing me seems like writing two lines of a book introduction without knowing the plot.
But. Here’s what I can say.
I’m learning about water.
(Weird, I know.)
Everything is pointing back to water in some capacity, but there are three moments in the Bible that have somehow managed to show up in my life almost every day this summer:
The Israelites crossing the Jordan. (Joshua 3)
The Samaritan woman at the well. (John 4)
Peter walking on water. (Matthew 14)
Each of the three are colored in bravery, surprise, and hope. Each of them have movement, each story involves water.
This summer I’ve once again been facing the question of whether I stay in Birmingham or pack my bags for a new adventure. I’ve showed up in the beautiful ordinary of right now. I haven’t walked on water this summer (obviously, because I would Instagram that thankyouverymuch) but there have been many moments of stepping out of the boat and away from safety.
I recently wrote about how grief and happiness hold hands. But this truth follows that one: choosing happiness and joy is an act of bravery.
One of my old posts came to mind this morning as I thought about how to begin putting words to what God has been doing since May. (Let’s be clear: I majored in Wordiness but sometimes explaining a moment or a lesson is all but impossible.)
Written last August, This Is My Brave is about two things: choosing to stay in Birmingham + water.
Guys. Like… what? I don’t know. I don’t even know. Soon after that post went up, I wrote about braving the stay, finding permission to grieve, and the water source — the moment in Haiti that changed it all for me. The message I’ve been told this summer is different than last time around, and yet there God is in the midst of it all, always weaving threads together and connecting the puzzle pieces.
I’ll tell you more as time goes on and words are given to me to share, but in the mean time I want to tell you about three Illustrated Faith kits that made me laugh right out loud. Because, well, remember how I told you everything this summer points to water? Remember how it’s brave to choose joy? And remember how I wrote a book covered with ampersands (this is an ampersand –> &), a book about trusting God in the unknown in between seasons of life?
The three kits I received are titled:
Yes & Amen
I Am Strong
If you put them all together, the three kits have one resounding message: Through Christ, Who is our bravery, we can joyfully say yes and amen to all of His promises, believing they are sure.
I’ve actually never journaled in my Bible, although I do write little notes in the margins. I’ve gone back and forth about purchasing a journaling Bible (this one is my favorite right now) but when DaySpring asked if they could send me a few kits to look at, I figured a plain notebook would work and said yes. Update: notebooks totally work.
My favorite part, hands down, are the double-sided cards that come in each kit. One side has a design and the other has a verse. Also, the washi tape is fantastic but that’s a given.
This is my first attempt at Bible journaling (blank notebook coloring? what do we call this?). It combines all three kits through the words and stamps and I kind of love it.
From what I can tell, several of you journal in your Bibles so I hope you’ll leave suggestions, ideas, and tips in the comments! I don’t know what I’m doing, but somehow that doesn’t seem to matter much at all.
Because this is it. Water and bravery and joy and coloring outside the lines.
affiliate links have been used // I received Illustrated Faith products in exchange for an honest review
So cool to read about your process as God lays down clues – not just because I love that stuff but because he moves in my life like this, too. I am looking at pieces that keep dropping, and I HAVE NO IDEA. :) But I apply faith. That’s what I do when I am looking for a do. At some point there will be “arrows on the sidewalk” (aka Jess Connolly), we know this. Thanks for sharing before it comes together perfectly – that, too, is faith.
Yes, I love that lesson from Jess! Thank you for reminding me… I had forgotten about it over the summer.
Kaitlyn, I love that the Lord is so good at building our faith and teaching His children through patience! I can so relate to your experience of having the puzzle pieces but not knowing what they will make! I’ve given the analogy several times that I feel like an Israelite in the desert sometimes, God is sustaining me as I’m carrying a big basket on each arm – full of tools, experiences, knowledge, gifts and blessings. It’s both a heavy burden and an amazing blessing…that He has/is equipping me. I have a job to do but I’m not sure what it is exactly or where it will lead me. Yet I keep going towards the light. Yes, here am I- in the in between. I’m not sure the truth and bigness of it all will ever be revealed in full here in this life, but I’ll just keep traveling and seeking and I’m pretty content that it will all unfold just as He’s designed. Love your stories.
Oh girl… “I feel like an Israelite in the desert sometimes” goes right along with the Israelites crossing the Jordan. Someday, hopefully soon, I’ll have the words to write and it sounds like we may have similar feelings and storylines with that.