For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Be Still and Know. I am God. And I am Good.

A few ago my friend Tracy Teppler messaged me that a package was on its way and please let her know when it arrived.

A few things I should tell you about Tracy. She has a heart that humbles me. Truly. It is beautiful beyond words. She shares my birthday, and she is in South Africa.

We've never actually met, and yet, when my world changed drastically, she would send emails that said exactly what I was supposed to hear. She listened. She loved, and she knew.

And now, she was sending a package.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been really quiet. Tracy is precious and keeps up with me on Facebook, so she knows about the oral surgeries and stuff, but she knows nothing about the internal stuff God is doing or He and I are discussing.

For instance, she does not know God has spent the last week speaking to me about the core of who I am and telling me to "embrace the fiery side of you." So when I received a package to "Ms. J. Kelley", I laughed. "Kelley" is my Irish maiden name. In my world, it doesn't get much fiery than that. Plus, I love that name. If it were not for my children, I would change my name back to that. It means "warrior". Some of my friends reading this are rolling their eyes saying, "Well, of course it does."

By the way, Tracy never knew me as a "Kelley", only as a Phillips. :-)

Nope. That is no "SA" as in San Antonio. That is "SA" as in South Africa. A world away...and right here, right now.

 I can't get the pictures to rotate, but the part you can't see is where she says she doesn't send regular mail anymore, but she did. :-)

And what did my wondrous package hold?

A DVD, magnet, and a bookmark.

And they could not be more perfect.

As I posted earlier today, I've been given the directive to "stand down", which means simply, "Be okay with being still." This is a hard thing for me. I was raised to believe I am supposed to be contributing. There is so much to do, and I need to be doing my share. I need to be actively pursuing God, serving God, loving others. I have the gift of writing. I need to be writing. I need to be LIVING my faith.

You know the really weird thing about living? You can't live if you don't rest. I read this week in On Combat by Dr. Dave Grossman that lack of sleep and rest will kill faster than a lack of food or water. Rest is necessary. In fact, it is so necessary, the Lord put a certain amount of time in darkness so we would be compelled to sleep and even declared an entire day necessary for rest. Rest is when the body and mind rejuvenates and heals. It is a necessity, not a weakness.

So I am resting.

And in my resting I hear a sweet whisper:
Be still and know I am God.

Or as I keep hearing it:
Be still and know.
I am God.

What does He want me to know about His God-ness?
I change everything.
Even when you can't see the change happening,
it is.
I am changing things.
Just wait.
And there is a whole other thing about butterflies I won't go into right now, but THIS? Just yes.
 Another thing the Lord has been telling me in all this is to focus on how good He is, not necessarily on the good things He does because really, that is about me and getting what I want or need, but simply about Him. It is a wondrously peaceful way to think, and instead of thinking about what I want and noticing when I don't get it, I simply think about Him and how good He is, and when I know how good He is, whatever the outcome, it is good because the only outcome that matters is Him and knowing Him. THEN my heart rejoices.

I don't rejoice so I can get something good.
Instead, my heart rejoices because I know how good He is.

The last thing I received is a DVD. Have you seen this one? Powerful story. Tracy wanted me to have it because it is a story of a man from South Africa, and she wanted to share something South African with me.

Don't you love when people love you enough to share themselves and give you a piece of their lives? To me, this is privileged stuff, this being let into the storehouse where the treasures are.

And that alone is a God-comment on conversations this week, but another thing God keeps speaking to me concerning topics I won't get into here is, "Remember the potatoes. You can't see anything. You just have to trust they are there. With these things I've promised that there is no evidence of, you have to trust if I say they will be there, they will be. Remember the potatoes."

Faith Like Potatoes.

From a half-a-world away.

Just goes to show God has the perfect gifts at the perfect times, and Tracy had no idea when she picked these up or put them in the mail. And had I gotten them that day, they would have been nice, and I would have appreciated that she did this for me because it is truly thoughtful and from her heart. However, they would not have spoken to be like they did now. So I am allowing myself to be amazed at what God did to make these arrive just on time.

And He whispers loud and clear:
"I am not controlled by time, and I will go wherever I need to go to get exactly what I know you need.
Be still and know, Jerri.
I am God,
and I am good."

And my heart rejoices.

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