“The Lord your God is in your midst,
A mighty one who will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
He will quiet you by his love;
He will exult over you with loud singing.”
– Zephaniah 3:17
This verse has been my favorite for years. It is an unconventional verse and many have looked at me strangely when I cite it as my favorite. But I mean, what’s not to love about it?
Have you ever had a verse that God just uses and uses and uses to teach you in a billion different seasons of life? This is what this verse has been for me over the last several years. And it does a good job of illustrating how I’ve grown, even over these past few months.
Before coming to Zambia – to Poetice – I was very much in a season of “Winter.” What I mean is that God seemed silent and distant, and I was battling with some pretty intense anxiety. And I wasn’t pressing into God as much as I could have. But, during this season, I was most comforted by, “he will quiet you by his love.” I would say it and repeat it and repeat it during anxiety attacks. And it usually helped.
As I prepared to come to Poetice, God bean speaking to me again. And it was then that God began to encourage me about Him being “in my midst.” This was the mindset I came to Zambia with. Within our first week or so here, God had proved Himself to be ALL OVER this place. And He was showing me that He was ALL OVER ME! One of our leaders here, John was sharing (and has continued to share) about the idea of waking up every morning knowing that God is so excited that we are awake – that our whole lives are a radical response to His extravagant love. I was like, “that’s a cool way of thinking about it.” And then God began to remind me that part in this verse that says, “He will exult over you with loud singing.” That started to blow my mind. THEN, John spoke about Zephaniah 3:17 – ALL THE TIME. And it has been awesome. Like, the God of the ENTIRE UNIVERSE loves ME enough to sing over me – loudly! That’s wild.
This revelation was the beginning of God RIPPING down strongholds and beliefs in my life that are so false. Where I once was shy and timid and insecure, I am now bold and confident – because Jesus loves me and I actually believe it now. Where I once focused on others’ thoughts, I now focus on what God thinks of me. Where I once felt alone, insignificant, and forgotten, I know I am with God, a holy priest, and have always been seen.
An image of God has been using to drill home that last truth recently is a picture that He actually initially gave someone else for me. But He has just continued to speak through it. This image of me as a diamond among billions of beautiful seashells. And how as I continue to learn, grow, and chase after His truth, I come to the surface, never forgotten or unseen, and wholly beautiful. What a beautiful and special picture.
God continues to teach me about my passions and His friendship and my calling as I learn more. One thing that I am adamant about fighting for – one of the “fires in my belly” – is forgotten, neglected, and unloved children. One of my deepest desires is to see each child LOVED, safe, secure, and full of dreams and life- the way children should be. I will fight for this justice hopefully by service and teaching children in some way. More immediately and permanently, however, I will love EVERY CHILD in front of me like Jesus did, and makes sure they know about Jesus. Because justice begins and ends with Jesus.
This school has blessed my life beyond measure. I have never felt more secure in who I am or more equipped and excited to walk in my future calling. God is so good.
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