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 12, 2017

The Only Perfect Thing

This morning in church, the question was posed:
What one thing would make your life perfect?

The answers included more time, security, money, patience, faith.

I started not to say anything but heard myself blurt out:
God. Only God would make my life perfect.

There was the awkward look and the quip that I must be more spiritual than the others, and I wanted to reply:
No. I've just been crushed enough to know the truth.

The truth is "the perfect life" is a lie.

The Deceiver says the perfect life is one that is easy, comfortable, without stress. It is safe, controlled. And with that comes the mirage, or Big Lie Part 2: if you have the right stuff, you can make your life the perfect life.
If you have security, you won't have to worry about crazy happenings again.
If you have money, you won't have to worry about bills or finances.
If you have enough patience, you won't feel frustrated with situations or people.
If you have enough time, you will get everything done.
If you have enough faith, you can release the things into your life that you need so the struggles really aren't struggles at all.

But here is the truth:
There is no earthly thing that gives us control over circumstances or outcomes. Nothing.

None of those things keep our kids' hearts from being broken.
None of those things prevent crushing medical diagnoses.
None of those things promise peace in relationships.
None of those things guarantee we won't have struggles.

See, according to Jesus, the perfect life isn't a life without struggles. The perfect life is how we live within the struggle...Who we live within the struggle.

We have no control over what happens in our lives, but we control how we walk through what comes.
We have no way to prevent pain or suffering, but we can choose how we walk through the pain and suffering.
We cannot protect our children or grandchildren from struggles, but we can show them how to hold onto and trust God through those struggles.

The perfect life isn't about avoiding the hard road or the painful places. The perfect life just knows Who carries us as we walk the hard road and face the painful places, and the only thing that will ever make a perfect life is God.

copyright Jerri Kelley @ 2017

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Because Lonely Happens...and It is Always Hard

Tonight I am watching Fireproof again. Encouraging myself in the Lord. Knowing prayers get answered, and miracles happen. Sometimes waiting is hard, but God is faithful.

It's kind of what I do when I am sick and coughing so much it hurts, and it is after 8:00 pm, and the kids are in their rooms,'s quiet.

I'm not depressed. I'm not even sad. But sometimes evenings drag on, and they get lonely.

I'm not the only one who knows this.

In the last few weeks, three people I know have lost spouses, and one mom has lost her son. That is a lonely most of us can never fathom, and we don't to.

But it isn't just folks who have lost someone.

Today I read on my friend Nicole's blog, and she is experiencing her own kind of lonely. She is with the person she loves, but she is trying to find a belonging place with a community of believers, and that is its own very real kind of lonely.

 And tonight I'm praying...for all those who are lonely.

Father God, thank you for reminding me how long evenings can, for reminding me how big a couch can be when I sit on it by myself, for reminding me how quiet the house can get. I sometimes forget, and it is good to be reminded.

Tonight I lift up to you so many people who are facing long evening, long nights, and long days, people who are facing hard weeks and months, who are feeling the most horrifyingly excruciating numb known to man, and I ask you to be a presence for them.

I ask you to speak into the quiet. I ask you to speak into the lonely, in all its silence and screaming whispers. I ask you to step into the empty that can be filled with so many regrets and questions and...

God, this is not poetic lonely. This is heart-wrenching, breath-stopping lonely that can crush a person. This is lonely that only you can speak to, and, Lord, I ask you to speak to it.

I also ask you to set the lonely in families as you promise in your Word. I ask you to bring hope, to breathe into crushed spirits whose dreams are mangled and dead.

I ask you to hold onto these people when they can't hold onto you. Stand firm when they are screaming and kicking and yelling and hurting so badly that there are no words...just tears upon tears upon tears and screams of agony.

Father, I ask you to set the spiritually lonely into spiritual families where they can worship you and grow and be encouraged by you.

And, Lord, I pray that you would speak to your body and tell them how to be the family the lonely ones need. Tell them the power of a phone call, an invitation to a movie, coffee, helping with thank you notes, not trying to fix things but just being a presence.

Father, I ask you to speak peace and comfort and strength and hope to those who are hurting, for those who are looking for a place to belong, those who are stunned from the loss of where they belonged, and those who have given up belonging. Father, don't give up on them. Be fierce for them. Fight for them. Stand right beside them...even when they don't see you...or don't think you see them. You are an amazing, loving, faithful God. I pray that you would be that for these beloved hearts.

Thank you for being a God who  sees and seeks the lonely.

I love you, Lord.