Constant. Present. Loving. God.

This post is an annual post, that usually comes along in December. Those of you that have been following my blog for the last 5 years (I can't believe it's been that long), probably have a good idea of what I'm about to talk about. Those of you that are new here.. let me bring you up to speed as quickly as possible. You see, 9 years ago on December 19th, 2005 my family lost our home to a house fire. When I say we lost our home, I mean that literally. Everything. Gone. It was a mess and it still gives me nightmares at times, it's unfathomable to think that that happened 9 years ago..

So why am I writing this post 3 months early? Because this  year is going to be different. This year, I want to be focused on the joy of what came from that situation. The amount of incredible things that have happened since that day are too numerous to list, but there's one thing that sticks out... one thing, that means more than anything else. My Salvation. That's right, 9 years ago I wasn't a Christian. In fact, I wasn't really much of anything, except angry. I was angry even before the fire, but afterwords that anger grew into complete disdain for God. I cursed him in my car, I turned my back on Him at every turn, I all but renounced any inkling of faith I had in God. The driving force behind my anger was simply this, and it's something many people wrestle with: If there's this great and wonderful God, why on earth did I stand with family and watch my home of 17 years destroyed by fire? Where was he? Why didn't he make it rain that day? At 17 years old I didn't have the answers to these questions, other than that God must not be as great and powerful as everyone says... I was simply afraid.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

Looking back on that time in my life, after 9 years of absolute and complete transformation of who I am, I see now that there was no reason to be afraid. Even when I was spitting in the face of Jesus, even when I was crying out and cursing God... 

He was constant. He was present. He was loving. 

God made sure everyone was safely out of the house before anything bad happened that morning,. 
God was the person comforting me while I was screaming in agony.
God protected the firefighters who fought like mad to save anything they could.
God was who found Grandpa Don's 1950 Purdue class ring so I could feel some sense of peace.
God was who gave me the gift of writing, so I could try and process everything I was feeling
God was the community of Hope, that literally wrapped His arms around me and provided
God was my school, my friends, my family, and the strangers that comforted me at every turn.

And 9 years later, after the beautiful rescue God performed through my Salvation, that lesson holds true...

He is constant. He is present. He is loving.

God built a beautiful new home for my family to share with others, that is filled with love.
God is the person I cry out too in agony when the pain from that day rears it's ugly head.
God is still protecting me, and providing for me.
God is who blessed me with two good jobs, a reliable vehicle, and a home I can call mine.
God is who has continued to bless me with the gift of writing, and is using it for His Glory.
God is the community of Hope, my friends & family, who I would literally be lost without.
God is Community Church of Columbus, who have loved me from day one.
God is who entrusted to me this youth group, which is filled with kids that love me like Jesus daily.

And as I continue to walk through life, pursuing God, working towards glorifying Him in all I do, and yet still falling short of the glory of God on a daily basis, that lesson will continue to be truth...

He will always be constant. He will always be present. He will always be loving.

God will transform the hearts of my students, and use them to glorify the Kingdom.
God will continue to provide new and exciting opportunities.
God will continue to show me grace and love.
God will always be with me, never leaving and never foresaking.
Naturally, God brings everything full circle... as I began to write this post today, I saw a picture on Instagram from one of my favorite bloggers, talking about a new worship album and how it literally brought him to tears...

The name of that band and the name of their self-titled album:


Because irony is beautiful, and God takes the dark and dirty in your life, and makes beautiful things.

Grace and Peace,