So many things on my mind tonight. Praying for friends and family who are struggling. Praising with those who have seen blessings this week. It's always something, isn't it? Remembering to look up, to be still and know...sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. I want to see His hand in all situations - the good and the bad. It's just so hard sometimes...but then I remember, we don't walk alone. I am reminded of that by a very special lady quite often.
One of my dear friends...is a warrior. I simply cannot think of her without that word going through my mind. Oh, she's so much more than that - she's feisty, she's funny, she's a little wild (I sometimes wonder how much trouble we would have been in had we known each other in our teens or early 20's! LOL), and she's a fiercely devoted mother. But warrior is first in my thoughts when I think of my sweet friend, Cori. She is one of the first ones I go to when I am in need of prayer. She is also one of the first to kick me in the pants when I'm down in the dumps, constantly pointing my thoughts upward to the Heavenly Father.
Oh, to have walked the road she's walked...I don't think I would have survived. But she's done much more than survive. She has thrived. She has looked straight into the devil's eyes and claimed Jesus' victory over him. Time. And. Again. She is fearless. Don't get me wrong, I know she struggles. She was struggling this very morning. But even in her darkest moments, she never lets go of God's promises. She is confident in His presence, in His power, and in His undiminished love and protection in her life. She knows what it means to have plans that are good and godly, only to have God reveal HIS plans that are altogether different. And when she picked up the pieces of those shattered earthly plans, she trusted in His promise that all things work together. He is in control. She may crawl into a ball in the wee hours when the night is darkest...but she crawls into the Father's loving arms and seeks His reassurances. Then she comes out to face the morning with a will as strong as steel.
I have a lot I am praying about tonight. I have some serious concerns flooding my life right now...others not so serious, but still weighing me down. I'm so thankful for my friend's prayers in times like these. She never makes anyone feel that their needs and concerns are frivolous or miniscule. She doesn't compare her burdens or her journey to anybody else's. My friend is a sweet and constant reminder to me and unto all she ministers to find rest in our Heavenly Father's arms. The fire we each go through will be different. Some endure much more than others. But He can and will make beauty from ashes. He is faithful to us all. And He is always good.
Isaiah 61:1b-3 "He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."