I intended to leave this post as a standalone set of warm and fuzzy photos, but the Lord didn't let these words disappear from my screen too easily after I first let them slip from my fingers, so here I am with the all too familiar abc's lettering the page of a story that goes along with these snapshots of a lovely sunset in May.
Two weeks ago my car was broken into while parked in front of a majestic church in downtown Ostrava. My camera and gear were stolen, and my whole back window completely shattered. My roommate and my brother Tyler, quite literally, helped me pick up the broken pieces and sweep them neatly into a plastic bag.
My camera and the glass of my car were not the only things that were broken and stolen recently though, and not all things can be swept up and thrown into the trash. Without going into too much detail, I will say that the enemy loves to steal and deceive. It's not pretty. What's worse is when I walked into that trap and believed him that he had the power to steal truth.
"Cast all your anxiety on him because [God] cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings." - 1 Peter 5:7-9
Last week I needed my dad's help to stand firm in faith and to walk with me as I cast my anxiety on the Lord. My dad stood with bold faith in prayer for me when I fell weakly before the threats of the enemy. The Lord picked up the pieces, and, rather than sweeping them up and throwing them away, he carefully put them back together. He brought protection by the righteousness of his Son, Jesus, and comfort by his love -- love that I can never deserve, yet gratefully receive.
I had already planned a photoshoot with a family from my church before I found out my camera was stolen. Thankfully, my parents own the same camera I had used, so they lent it to me this past Monday. Glowing light poured forth through the trees and brought to life the inescapable joys of childhood wonder.
I am waking up. My car window has been repaired, and my camera has yet to be recovered. The nightmares have passed. The Lord has found me yet again and restores his goodness to places of sin and fear.
I still stand in wonder, along with this sweet girl, at how God creates beauty. He invites us into that with him. He has given us not only freedom by the name and goodness of Jesus Christ, but also a joy and gifts to partake in building his Kingdom right along with him. By this good news I praise him yet again.
Thank you, dear Lobels, for inviting me to take your family photos, which I have not actually shared here. :) I can't wait to send you the photos soon!