You guys!!! Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. I am blown away at the support you’ve offered and encouragement you’ve sent as I’ve stepped out in courage to write more. I can’t wait to see what He’ll do with it. I have no idea what that is…I’m just stepping out! At a class this morning with my friend I was thinking about the outcome of a situation I’m facing as I pray for healing for a friend and I got to thinking about my favorite words in the Bible. Two of the most comforting phrases in Scripture to me are, “But God” and “Nevertheless”. They both hold so much potential. Like the kid on the sidelines of a tennis match. You ever watch them? They are a ball of kinetic energy, waiting in runner’s stance, to run out in the 10 seconds they’ll have to catch the ball. Those two phrases are pregnant. Waiting to birth a miracle or a liminal space. Either way, all the provision, grace, strength, mercy, love, joy and patience you’ll need for the moment is IN them. Because God is IN them. But God. The but is necessary there because the word is preceded by an impossible, or impossible in human strength alone, situation. For example, Ephesians 2:3-4 “All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.” This massive gap between us and God. We can’t earn it (impossible) so He gave it through Jesus. You see the word ‘but’ negates what came before it. The impossible situation (insert whatever the Holy Spirit recalled in you as you read those words) becomes possible. The possibility though does not lie in the outcome turning out your way. The possibility lies in the faithfulness and ability of God to accomplish His will in the situation. Which in the end, is likely what you really want because it is better than the outcome you think you deserve. My ‘but God’ is big. The daughter of a mentally ill drug addict with no father in the home I learned quickly it was all on my shoulders. If we were going to eat, I had to provide it. If she was going to get her next fix, I had to get it. That is a huge weight for a child to bear and being a type A efficient worker who desires to earn her affection I got good at it! My mother saw that and got good at letting me. As a teen when I was separated from her, I had no idea who I was. I knew I could get it done though. Whatever “it” was. So, I continued to carry the weight of the world. Everyone’s world. It was exhausting. I remember well my sister introducing me to the work of Matt Chandler. His primary message is the same sermon with the good news over and over; I am not God. God is God. The last 23 years I’ve been unpacking what this looks like and statistically I’ve overcome what I should have become, my example, my mother. My story (impossible), But God (becomes possible). That is exactly where my next favorite phrase comes in, nevertheless. There are a lot of ways I wished or wish things would turn out, nevertheless. Nevertheless means in spite of that; notwithstanding; all the same. Jesus used it on the hardest day of his life on earth in Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me-nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” We see here our example of following God’s plans, setting aside our way and trusting God’s ways are higher than ours. For me it means, I have a way I want this to look. For my friend, I want healing. Total restoration. I want to laugh with them again. Nevertheless, your will be done. You see it all God. The biggest zoomed out view I am not capable of. You see that person on the other side of that suffering. On the other side of going down to the depths of dependence on you. I can’t see that yet. But I trust you. I rest in your faithfulness. I rest in your trustworthiness. I trust in your grace as my source of comfort until the answer is given. Ultimately it says, I want it this way, but I want your way more. No matter what that sacrifice looks like right now. Never. The. Less. They’ll be no less commitment on my end if it does not work out my way. I’ll trust your way is better. And so, the largest source of comfort, But God, becomes a struggle as I cry out But God! God this is what I want. This is how I want it to go, nevertheless, your will be done.