But before the beauty comes pain. Before the beauty is brokenness. Your plans are wrecked, remember? It hurts. It's hard. You have dreams and hopes and expectations; & it all comes crashing down before your very eyes.
And there He is. Jesus. To pick up all the pieces of my broken heart and shattered dreams. Smiling. Arms stretched open. He IS comfort. He IS strength. He IS joy. And He gives these things to me & He pieces my heart back together and places new hopes and new dreams in me that are now founded in Him and are so much greater.
A year ago my plans were simple. My dreams were small. My priorities were mixed up. It took a broken heart, some shattered dreams and my Jesus piecing me back together so much more beautifully than before to realize these things.
I stand here today a different woman. A woman grounded in faith, hope, and love. A woman who is bold and courageous to do the uncomfortable and face the impossible -- with God at my side. A woman who listens to the Lord, not man.
I stand here today with a new plan, to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. . ." Matthew 28:19-20
It's a year later and I have a whole year of experiences under my belt. Experiences full of the Lord's presence and grace. Experiences full of the Lord's love and comfort. It's a year later and I finally have my priorities straight. I can say that with confidence.
So when different people come at me and tell me to get my priorities in order -- I can confidently say, "they already are." Jesus told us to love God & love people. That's the priority. That's the plan.
""Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."" Matthew 22:36-39
2 Timothy 4:17