Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Recent Lessons in Faith + Grace

{note: I wrote this post the middle of last week, two days before the LACP. It seems hard to believe that this was just a week ago. In the busyness of everything I didn't get it finished + stuck it in my drafts folder to be retrieved at a later date. Namely, today. =) Even though in a way it is past + irrelevant, still I thought I would go ahead + share it, as a little testimony of what God can do when we yield to Him + His plans.}

And I have a lovely picture here for y'all today! (haha, NOT)

This is what you have for lunch when its the day before the first LACP showing + you are wanting to break your record of being sick every year over the play + you woke up this morning with a sore throat, a cold, and extreme fatigue.

Ah, the joys.

So there's my big bowl of vegetable soup (with plenty of onions/garlic/chicken broth), oversized mug of peppermint tea, and dinner roll. The dinner roll is added for yumminess, since, sadly, I don't believe it has any healing properties worth mentioning. (unbleached flour healing? Nah.)

It is Christmas Play season here right now. (for those of you who haven't followed very long and don't know what this is, it is a huge, $30,000 drama that my church puts on every Christmas. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever been a part of, but there is also an unbelievable amount of work + energy that goes into making it all happen)

 And just to be 100% honest, it has been a tough past two weeks. The play this year is so dynamic in how its been written + how the gospel is weaved throughout EVERYTHING and as a result of that, the spiritual warfare has just been unbelievable. I was talking to a friend from church the other day about the amount of bizarre and crazy things that have happened just in the past week, and all of a sudden it just hit me: "This stuff is so abnormal that really the only way to explain it is that it really IS totally spiritual warfare. "

All that said. It has been ALOT. I have had my patience tested and tried in ways that I never dreamed possible. I have lost my temper so many times I'm embarrassed to even try to count. It has been a refining time for sure. I've failed and failed and failed. People that I normally love so much (and still love so much!) have just rubbed me the wrong way. There were more areas of leadership for me this year but along with leadership comes still being under other people's authority and I'm realizing again just how good that really is for me since I don't do very well with it. And working with a team of people that are just as opinionated + determined as one's self definitely makes for many moments when you just have to extend grace and hope that others will extend grace to you too! (easier said than done though) There were comments made, and things said, and decisions made, and plans changed. There were things that were going perfectly + smoothly and suddenly there were changes made and I found myself nearly frantic with how it felt like I was just losing control of everything I had worked so hard for.

Two Sundays ago my pastor preached a message on grace. I can't remember the exact title but what I do know is that it spoke to my heart. It was the perfect message for that time in my life. He talked about how God gives grace + forgiveness to us, and we need to be willing to extend that same forgiveness + grace to people who are part of a trial or difficulty in our lives.
At the time I remember thinking "I need to remember this for the craziness next week."
Haha-I had not a clue what was coming! I've been involved with the play for three years now + this was the first year I have ever experienced conflict + issues like this year. It's been almost uncanny how many things seemed to fall apart, and go wrong, and just how many stressful situations came up! One night just a few nights ago, I came home from rehearsal thinking, "If one more thing goes wrong, this whole play is just going to go up in smoke!"

One of our deacons preached the message last night (our church service was combined with the last rehearsal) and he talked about how this play can produce faith in all of us, if we let it. He talked about people who do things you don't appreciate. He talked about misunderstandings. About spiritual warfare. And about LETTING GO + LETTING GOD use it all to increase our faith and make us more like Him.

Wow, I am so thankful for men of God who are willing to preach His Word. Both times I felt myself feeling very small in my pew, feeling like God had this message just hand-picked + prepared for me. I so needed those reminders, both for this season of preparing and then also for the upcoming play this weekend. If I can just get my eyes off myself + what I am comfortable with, and keep focused on JESUS and remembering that He sees the bigger picture!

{Here's a little "teaser" shot of me and my "LACP Mother". =) More to come shortly!
It is strange to look back now and think that all this was going on just several weeks ago. To think that now it is all history + a thing of the past. The rewards live on, though. God moved in amazing ways-just amazing! The way He blesses the faithfulness + obedience of His children never ceases to awe me. He is so good. It was so incredibly worth it. I would do it all again. Can't wait to post about it all soon.}


"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end, Amen."
Ephesians 3:20+21

-Chels

7 comments:

  1. Oh, Chels...I was praying for you last weekend, as I know that was a busy time for you and your family. I know exactly what you mean about things being so FRUSTRATING!!! Thank you for sharing! And yes, God's grace is sufficient even we as people fail...I'm constantly reminded of that!

    Oh, and the picture is lovely=) can't wait to see more=)
    Praying for you! Thank you for your friendship!!
    ~Rachael

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  2. Chelsy,
    Thank you for sharing! I always enjoy reading your blog posts. You are always so encouraging and uplifting, while even sharing through the hard times! You have been in my thoughts and prayers as you and your family participate in this wonderful play about Jesus! I can't wait to hear all about it!
    Praying for you,
    Glory

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  3. What an encouraging post, Chelsy! Thank you for sharing what the Lord has been teaching you with us. Trials are always something that, when they come, they may seem difficult and we may give into wrong responses at times (which we all do!), but then when we look at them from God's perspective, they come into a whole new light! Truly, as you reminded us, trials come so that we may be refined and perfected. They come so that we may be conformed to the likeness of Christ! We go through fire and waters at times, yet all trials and all opportunities that the Lord gives us are for our good- the qualities that the Lord desires to develop in us! His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses (II Corinthians 12:9,10)! Thank you again for sharing! I am so thankful that you decided to still post this, and for all the Lord is teaching you.

    Also, I really like the dress you're wearing; they are very pretty colors! I am looking forward to seeing the pictures you will be posting!

    Thank you for encouraging us as an older sister in the Lord! God bless you, Chelsy, as you continue to pursue Christlikeness! Blessings to you!

    Your Sister in the Lord,
    Morgan Roth Psalm 27:14

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  4. That outfit!!! Please don't tell me you made it!?!?! You know what? I would almost just totally wear that dress around to random places. #likeaboss You rock it, Chels!! Did someone from your church make it? Did you buy it?

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    1. Hey lovely!
      Well, I kind of made it. =)
      My pastor ordered it from a costume company in New Hampshire, but when it arrived it was WAAAY too big. So I took it apart + remade it.
      If I would've had more time I probably would've just made the outfit myself, but it was a last-minute decision so we just bought it and I altered it.
      And I LOVED it too! First time in three years of being in the LACP that I got to wear a beautiful costume. =) Such fun.
      And speaking of wearing it to random places...well, at the one showing during a little break during two of my scenes I ran across the street + got coffee at the coffee shop. Everyone in that place just stopped and STARED. It was hilarious. Obviously not the typical outfit they were used to seeing walk in the door. =)

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    2. Chels...that is great that you were able to remake your costume! Great work, friend! And so happy that you were able to wear a beautiful costume=)
      And...that coffee shop story...wow...too funny, girl!

      Totally looking forward to more pictures of the LACP!!!

      Hope ya'll are having a lovely Christmas Eve!

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  5. A lot. It is two words. Not one.
    -Former teacher

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