I will trust in His unfailing love.

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But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for He has been good to me.

– Psalm 13:5-6

This semester in Washington, D.C. has been an unexpected journey.  I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around the details that make the story what it is. Part of me wants to sit down with you and let you know everything that has happened, and the other part of me knows it’s not possible to convey everything. I can tell you this – I prayed a simple prayer of direction before coming here, and God has answered my prayers.

God is creatively sovereign. He has challenged me, grown me, shaped me, held me, loved me more than I’ve experienced before. He has put people in my life that I might have otherwise shut out and blessed me through them. He has revealed to me what I should expect and what I need to give. He has shown me that He is good.

At my darkest and most confusing moments, He impressed upon my heart, “Trust in my unfailing love.”  You see, I have this tendency to think that I can hold everything together. I can shoulder the burden and carry the load on my own. I can make it work. The problem is… I can’t. A few weeks ago, I heard faith defined this way: “Faith is using our God-given means to do what we can and trusting that God will do the rest.” I need to use the gifts that God has given me, but I will always be too small. Even so, God can use my smallness to point to His bigness. God transforms and redeems the unfit and broken things I offer.

He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.

– 1 Thessalonians 5:24

When I arrived in Washington DC, I fully expected God to reveal more of His calling to me.  However, I expected Him to reveal what He wanted me to do in my way.  I put boundaries on where God could lead me.  And you know what?  That’s not faith. But I am slowly learning to trust in His unfailing love.  Sometimes that means not knowing exactly where the next step is. Sometimes that means taking one very giant and definitive step. Sometimes that means resting in your Creator, knowing that He will surely do it.

Why am I putting this on my blog? Because I want to proclaim the work that God has done in me. I trust in His unfailing love. I trust that He will do it.

Home, Sweet Home, Home, Home

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Yes, Washington DC is starting to feel like home.  The thought of leaving in just a month overwhelms me, and I wonder when I will be back.  Where will I call my home?  I realize that I’ve been blessed to call three incredibly wonderful places my home – West Linn (Portland), OR; Santa Barbara, CA; and Washington, DC.  The question, “Where are you from?” has grown increasingly difficult to answer.

A few weeks ago, at the National Cathedral, I walked into the Hall of States, which includes state flags and a guestbook for each state.  I couldn’t help but wonder, Which book should I sign – Oregon or California? I know Californians everywhere are griping about the fact that a girl from Oregon wants to call herself a Californian.  However, I submit to you this: Anything below sixty-five degrees is cold, I feel most comfortable in flip flops, and I’m pretty sure the ocean is calling my name right now.  Meanwhile, my Oregon side recites its case: Powell’s Books, dependable rain accompanied by actual seasons (which do not exist in California), and luscious green beauty.  One day I tell my friends I’m a Californian because I’m FREEZING and the next day I’m clearly an Oregonian because they sell the most Christmas trees.  And now, Washington DC is entering the picture and becoming an undeniable part of me.  I’m sure I’ll soon be fighting for the cherry blossoms, WMATA, and Library of Congress.

Well, to finish my story, I ended up signing the Oregon book.  After all, I’d like to think I’m a loyal person, true to my roots.  However, in the midst of this predicament I found something special. On the front cover of the book was a prayer for Oregon. Naturally, I had to read the prayers for California and DC, too.  So, perhaps you will join me in praying for my homes:

A Prayer for Oregon

Author of all majesty, how bright is Thy glory upon the land of Oregon!

Blessed by the trees upon their hills, the valleys in their verdure,

and the dry places waiting their turn of fertility.

Praise be to Thee for the precious gift of rain:

drawn into heaven from the sea, caught again upon the snowy peaks,

returning fruitfully down the strong rivers

giving life to Thy people in their orchards and city places.

May their lives be likewise lifted to Thee, and blessed and sent again

to do Thy service upon the earth.

So may the land be renewed, and the souls of Thy servants;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

A Prayer for California

Golden state, golden state who posts the watch on Farrallon’s isles?

Who lifts up Shasta’s snowy crown and keeps the high passes of Sierra Nevada?

Tis Thee, O Lord, who hast ringed a royal valley with such ramparts.

That within, blessing may lie among the palms and poppies,

the orchards and vineyards and manmade waterways.

Praise the good monks in their missions;

Drake in his ship; pioneers and settlers;

who all sought life in Thy Name

from Tahoe’s emerald blue to the surf dancing upon the breathless coast.

Hallow, O Lord, our questing too:

that we may behold the beauty of Thy truth;

far off among the stars and close in the charters

we devise that peace and friendship may endure upon the lovely face of earth;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.

 

A Prayer for the District of Columbia

Sanctify anew, Thou Ruler of Destiny,

this bit of federal soil which our forefathers set apart from any State

to nourish the high mission of our common government.

Bless, O Lord, the precious branches planted here:

The deep-rooted responsibility of Law, the even measure of Justice,

and the leadership aptly chosen and held aloft before our people.

Grant to all who serve in this District

the same vision that drew Columbus to a new world, and a kindred steadiness of purpose

to that of the first President whose name and flag we bear.

So by Thy grace may we be worthy of that special place given to a capital city

in Thy holy name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.