Rachael Marie // June's Love Story //
June is my birthday month. To celebrate all that God has done in the last 15 years of my life, can I share my story with you? Can I share all the good things that the Lord has orchestrated for His glory? We're a family. It's time we open up and let Jesus in. And let others into our stories. They just might change your story.
When I was little, I had really bad pain in my knees. They told me, "You can't do jump rope anymore. You can't run. You can't do this or that." Stopping those activities didn't change anything.
Sporatically my stomach would start hurting and I didn't want to do anything or go anywhere. I was so afraid of throwing up that I almost made it happen. They told me, "Youre gluten intolerant. You're lactose intolerant. You can't eat this or that." Changing my diet didn't change anything.
One night in the summer before 5th grade, I threw up. It didn't last very long but my stomach ached and ached. I had a dull pain in the right side of my rib cage. So I went to the doctor. Eventually I was referred out to a hospital for a test. When the results came back, the verdict was that my gall bladder wasn't working at full capacity. 8% function is all I had left. I stopped gaining weight. I wasn't growing or thriving. I was already a stick to begin with, but now I wasn't healthy. A couple weeks later I went in for surgery to have it removed so it wouldn't continue to make me sicker. Surgery went great and I had no side effects. I started to feel better. I started to get better.
We found an amazing church and since then I'm still learning. I've gone through many seasons in the past few years and it has been terrible and frustrating at times, but it's also been wonderful and amazing and so incredibly worth it. Overtime, I forgot about the pain I had in my stomach. It went away for the most part. And then Jesus brought everything to completion. He healed me at my first Winter Retreat, in 2015.
The pain I felt had to become less important than Him so He could actually bring me a miracle.
Recently I have been super discouraged. I didn't understand why I went from seeing miracles and healings and signs and wonders one day to seeing nothing the next. I went through a season of not seeing His glory. Not seeing His goodness. Not seeing His faithfulness. Nothing changed. I've been in this season for a while now and it only brought me discouragement. I was too caught up in seeing only my problems that I was blind to seeing the King of Glory. But then I realized it. My belief in who Jesus is had to be refined so I could begin to step into the calling He has for me.
All of the things that have happened to me after I've had an incredible encounter with the Lord have been only stumbling blocks. The enemy was trying to attack me in the place he knew God was refining and strengthening me. He was only trying to create a diversion for me. I had to learn to fix my eyes on Jesus and focus on Him and not the distractions of the enemy.
I had to put myself aside and focus only on the beauty of my King so I could start to see the change that was happening all along.
I'm going deeper with Jesus. I'm learning to pursue His heart. I'm surrounded by incredible leaders who love really well. I have learned so much from them and their investment in my life. (Jordan, Cheyanne, and Sean, I couldn't be more thankful.)
I've created an expectancy in my heart for God to move. I'm reading His Word and learning about who He is. And I'm encountering Him. I'm seeing His goodness and faithfulness in my life. I have spent time alone just with Jesus and I've learned to fall in love with Him. And to fall in love with Him over and over again.
I'm starting to see Him changing my perspective and my focus. No, not everyday is sunshine and rainbows. And I miss the point, a lot. But Jesus reminds me when we first fell in love. I'm moving forward. It doesn't matter what pace I feel like I'm moving at or how little progress I've made. Jesus is in no rush.
I know I'm moving forward because I'm not who I was and I'm not where I used to be.
I am a Daughter of the King who is radically loved and that's all that matters. I choose to pursue joy. It doesn't matter how much I've struggled. It doesn't matter how long my head is spinning with misunderstanding. It does not matter how unqualified I feel or how discouraged I am sometimes.
If my whole life is a valley until I get to Heaven and then it's a mountaintop, then my yes is established in Jesus. My yes is to Him and all He wants to do. No matter what I go through. I can rest and be confident in knowing that He is good through every season.
I've realized that if it weren't for the seasons I've walked through:
I wouldn't have found Jesus.
I wouldn't have come alive in Him.
I wouldn't know what trust is.
I wouldn't have known what love is.
I wouldn't have learned how to fall in love.
I wouldn't have seen God's goodness or faithfulness.
I wouldn't know who I am.
God is really good at being a Dad. He's really good at loving you radically. He's really good about orchestrating everything for your good. He's really good at being Himself and it's up to you to choose if He's enough for you.
I am far from perfect. But what I can be confident in is the fact that God is good and He has a plan. At the end of it all, I can run back to the reality that God is good and I am a Daughter. And I know that nothing that could ever come my way could ever change that.
"But I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope; The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him."