You have found your way to my little corner of the internet, and I want to personally welcome you.
You are here for a reason. It is my prayer that you would feel welcomed, loved, encouraged, and equipped.
If you didn't know, I have a series of blogs called Ashley's Journal Entries. In these blogs, I post real thoughts and prayers from my journal. I share these with you and vulnerably open myself to you because I want you to know that we all struggle. We all have imperfections. We all are weak and in need of a Savior. I will be the first to openly admit that I have a fair share of issues myself. But what I have been reminding myself of recently is the gospel.
I have grown up in church, and heard of the good news of Jesus since I was a little girl - but sometimes I forget.
I forget that Christ's death was for me and that it covers me and cleanses me from all my unrighteousness. I was brought to tears when I recently read Romans 3:22 which says "righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."
So, my dear friend, you are not alone in your struggle against sin. Let us both share together in this freeing and beautiful truth that we have been given righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ.
Today's journal entry was inspired from Genesis 16. Do you remember Abraham? He was a man that God had called to be the father of many nations. God blessed Abraham and told him he would soon have a child in his old age with his barren wife Sarah. Abraham believed the Lord would do this for him.
But as time passed (10 years!!), Abraham and Sarah still did not have a child. They grew impatient and antsy. They decided to take action on their own without the leading of the LORD. Sarah said, "Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her" (Genesis 16:2). So Abraham had a child with Sarah's servant Hagar. Hagar conceived and this caused much tension between Hagar and Sarah.
As things got worse between the two women, Sarah "dealt harshly with [Hagar], and she fled from her" (16:6). I cannot imagine what both women must have been feeling. Sarah may have felt jealousy and bitterness toward Hagar. Hagar looked with contempt on Sarah (16:4) and must have felt immense amounts of pain as Sarah dealt harshly with her.
Although Hagar fled from people into a desolate wilderness, God still found her. The text says, "The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness..." (16:7). We know for sure that God cared for Abraham and Sarah, but to see that God also cared for their Egyptian servant warms my heart. He loved her so much to the point of finding her in her sadness, anxiety, and brokenness. He saw her as a real person with feelings and needs.
You should open your Bible to Genesis 16 and read the rest of the story. I pray that, just like Hagar, you would be blown away by how God really does see and look after his people. After Hagar's encounter with God, "she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me" (16:13).
A few weeks ago I was trying to juggle planning for a wedding, running a business, moving out of my house, and so much more. Emotions were running high as I was preparing for a completely new season of my life. As I was reading Genesis 16, the words "the LORD found her" jumped off the page at me.
In my anxiety, stress, and unstable emotions, I felt the comfort and peace of the Lord surround me. This prayer spilled out of my heart:
Find me where I am at,
In this mess, in this anxiety, in this storm.
Find me as I am,
hiding from people and emotions.
Find me in my helplessness,
my flesh and heart are failing.
Find me and meet my needs;
Clean up my mess, soothe my heart, calm my storm.
I am lost in this battlefield of my mind,
So Lord, please find me.
I battle with anxiety on a daily basis. My mental health is constantly on a roller coaster ride. As I go through these ups and downs, I cling to the Lord who is my constant. When I feel lost in my own storm of emotions and anxiety, I know my God will find me.
I hope this was a comfort, encouragement, and blessing to you today.
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