The Good in Goodbye

Inspiration comes from the most unexpected places

Sometimes, you take your little siblings to see a movie thinking that the only point is to make them happy… and then you get even more engrossed in the movie than they do.

My mind is a crazy place, y’all

Theological connections in movies that aren’t even intended to be there pop out to me and utterly blow my mind from the edge of the theater seat. Even animated talking cars can bring me to tears and cause me to turn my eyes inward.

I guess my case is blown, Cars 3 got me good last week.

We all come to those confusing stages of growing up when it’s time to leave behind what we have always known and always done. Over the past three years of my life, I have had more than my share of those pivotal moments that comes at the end of one chapter and the start of another. And you know what? Those moments are hard, bittersweet, and filled with longing for what will no longer be… but when handled correctly they can also be some of the sweetest and most meaningful parts of life. They may not be as good as the chapter just ending… they may be even better.

The sweet nugget of truth nestled in the movie is that the real beauty of life doesn’t come until you take what you thought would be the best… and send it on.

If all you’re living for is your fifteen minutes of fame — your state championship, your college acceptance, your senior prom — you’re going to be let down. That sounds harsh, but it’s true. Living for yourself will never satisfy you. It will never be enough. And you’re going to be crushed when you can’t live out what you thought was the dream anymore.

Maybe the best days are still in front of you though, it’s only you who needs to believe it.

I can tell you from the other side of the fence that it’s really true. The more abiding, fulfilling, and lasting side of victory, is watching the victory of those you love. The victory of pouring into someone and helping them succeed. That’s what makes the best days of life.

Sometimes, good really is found in goodbye.

Goodbye to what is comfortable. Goodbye to what we thought we wanted. Goodbye to people and places and circumstances that were only meant for a season.

Jesus told us to not grieve His leaving because He was “going to prepare a place for {us}” (John 14) and that the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, couldn’t be sent to us until He left.

Abraham set out for the land God promised, not knowing where He was going, leaving behind everything and everyone He knew and love, and through Him God built His nation, His people.

In Philippians Paul describes how he lives by saying, “one thing I do. Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead. I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.”

Sometimes, there really is good in goodbye. Sometimes we are called to leave behind what we’ve known and loved. Sometime it is best for us to neglect our own glory, our own comfort, and what we think is best. Allow Christ to pour into you and in turn pour out His blessing and love on those around you. I promise it will be worth it.

“A word is just a word until you mean what you say, and love isn’t love until you give it away.”

A life isn’t worth anything when it’s spent storing up treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven by giving your life away.

— Taryn

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{Almost} Nothing Lasts Forever

I never thought this week would come. Some things have just been a part of my life for longer than I can remember. Those things are often the same things that I take for granted. Even if something has a monstrous impact on my life, that doesn’t make it impenetrable. Even good things… even great things… come to an end.

“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of Our God remains forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

Not just the mundane grass withers. The radiant orchids also fade. The beautiful lilies will droop and fall. Even the most precious and beautiful parts of life are only ordained for a time or a season, not to last forever. And that doesn’t mean they were bad. God made them beautiful for the time and season that He ordained for them. And the new flowers? They will bloom to be just as beautiful in their time, even if we may not think so at first. Don’t harden your hearts against the beautiful new works God wants to bring about in your life.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

There is only one thing that we can cling to and trust to be steadfast, unchanging, even when life spins out of control. We must run to the feet of Jesus, cling to our Savior who is the same yesterday, today, forever (Hebrews 13:8). His Word is unfailing, His promise is unshaken, and no other powers in earth or in Heaven are ever going to change that. And the same power which raised Christ Jesus from the dead is the giver of every good and perfect gift.

Almost nothing lasts forever, y’all, so don’t expect it to. Love every second of it while you have it, but trust our loving Father to know the perfect timing for everything. And trust that no matter what comes or goes, He’s never for a moment letting us go.

Taryn

The Beautiful Gospel

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3-7)

Sometimes something sends me back to being seven years old.

I can vividly picture sitting around the living room with my Dad strumming on his guitar and my siblings and I loudly singing “Shout to the LORD, all the earth, let us sing”

I remember determining that I needed to know all the stories in the Bible and perching atop my playset for four hours until I had read every last page in my picture Bible.

I remember realizing the weight and beauty of the gospel through childlike eyes. Back then it was simple, sweet, beautiful.

I wish I hadn’t ever lost that perspective.

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“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” — Timothy Keller

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Last night during Bible Study at church, we discussed the gospel. How hopeless we are without Christ and how He gave us so much more ham we could ever fathom.

And it sent me back to being a little kid again.

The gospel is so simple and yet so profound.  It doesn’t take a scholar to understand that the Great Exchange was a huge deal. Nothing we could possibly ever do would make us enough, so God sent His Son to take our place on death row. His Son, Jesus, took all the punishment that we deserved. Not because we were good enough, loved Him well enough, or earned our salvation. But because He is God and He is good and He loves us so much.

I don’t want to get caught up in the nuances and Greek meanings of words to the point of forgetting the weight and beauty of the Gospel.

I want to learn more about Christ and His Word every day of my life, but I never want to forget how the gospel first hit me.

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“If the gospel is old news to you, it will be dull news to everyone else.”
― Kevin DeYoung

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Jesus loves me. This I know. Let that sink in. The Creator of the Universe made you and knows you and loves you and wants to make Himself known to you. That’s pretty mind blowing when you think about it.

I want to go back to having the simple faith like a child that Jesus talks about in Matthew 18. I want to let the beauty and majesty of the gospel really sink in and change how I live my life every day.

— Taryn

I know it’s been a few weeks since I posted last, life has been crazy, but I have several drafts and ideas going for the next few weeks, so I will try to be more consistent:)

Grace Upon Grace

“What love the Father has lavished upon us that we might become children of God” (1 John 3:1)

Ephesians 1 paints a beautiful picture of the Fatherly affections bestowed upon us by our Creator. Imagine it, we who have rebelled constantly against His will, He died a merciless death to save. God was under no obligation, no contract, no requirement to save us. We never have and never will deserve His forgiveness and love. But He freely offers it anyway. 

“Every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17)

“I have come that you may have life, and have it in abundance” (John 10:10)

Not only does Christ’s death seal us for forgiveness and salvation, He blesses us here on earth with new life. He gives us the Holy Spirit as a down payment of sorts, according to Ephesians 1, but this isn’t a mutually beneficial agreement. God did it for us because He loves us. He doesn’t owe us anything.

“He has blessed us with every heavenly blessing” (Ephesians 1:3)

Now you may notice that it doesn’t promise every earthly blessing. Jesus says quite the contrary when He warns the disciples in John 16 that, “you will have troubles in this world”. But every heavenly blessing that the Father has to bestow, He does in abundance. We are coheors with Christ, our future is sealed, and we have hope of a place where there will be no tears. 

After all, we know that “all God’s promises are yes in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:20)

The Great I Am has given us more love and grace than we could ever deserve. He didn’t stop with creation. He didn’t stop with redemption. He didn’t stop with salvation. He continues to bless us above and beyond what we could ever deserve. He strengths, heals, restores, and claims the victory in our lives each and every day. 

We don’t deserve it, but He doesn’t care. He loves us. He died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). And today, we are still sinners. I’m still a sinner. But my God who started a good work in me is carrying it on to completion (Philippians 1:6) 

Taryn