The Shalom of God

About a month ago, I started meeting with a random mix of people who had been studying Hebrew, the Torah, and Jewish culture. I have always been interested in Jewish traditions and have learned about it at a very surface level. I was so grateful that a few of my friends shared with me about this group. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

This year has been a little hard. It hasn’t been my normal hard where I have crazy natural, tangible circumstances to deal with. This year has been more of a spiritual fight. I tell people that I don’t normally attribute much to the enemy, but he for sure has come for me this year. Much of the time I feel as though he is winning.

This battle has been playing out in my thought life like never before. As my birthday approaches, I am feeling a shift coming. It’s interesting because it falls right before the beginning of the Jewish new year. This gathering together with believers who are digging into the depths of the Torah and how Jesus actually lived has definitely helped to usher in this shift I’ve been sensing.

Honestly, I have been wading in a lack of peace. I have felt such unrest and discontent and a bit doubtful in several areas of my life. It’s not a super fun space to be in.

At our basic definition of the word, peace is quiet or a lack of disturbance. In Hebrew, words have such deeper meanings than we have translated them to mean. Peace is the word Shalom, but it goes far beyond our idea of peace. Peace is actually only a small part of true Shalom.

 

To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!

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The Ebb and Flow of Friendship


Y’all! Friendships are hard! And they take a crazy amount of work! I know. I know. I’m preaching to the choir. I know a great deal of people. Many I would consider friends. Some are newer and some I have known for decades. The older I get, the more I desire authentic and lasting friendships. But, people are people. We are flawed and imperfect. We make mistakes, hopefully ask for forgiveness, and try to do better the next time.

I have a friend that I have known for almost a decade. It has been a wild ride to say the least. We’ve seen valleys and mountain tops. We’ve laughed and cried. There have been births and deaths. For the most part, it’s been good. For the rest of it, it has been a bit exhausting. Super intense would be an understatement. I think I walk in grace for people and their struggles, but sometimes the weight of it can become overwhelming.

Earlier this spring, a really hard season hit our friendship. I’m not going to lie. My heart was broken. I felt hurt and forgotten.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever had a friendship where one person’s stuff was always heavy and you carried it just as though you were going through it yourself. That is our friendship. I told her I wasn’t sure if she knew the weight her life had on those around her. I told her I needed a break. I didn’t want a breakup. I consider her a sister. I want our friendship to last a lifetime. But, for the sake of my mental and emotional heath, I needed a little distance. Sometimes we forget that God cares about those parts of our lives just as much as our spiritual health.

 

To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!

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