“For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:3-8
It’s been a long time since I’ve written. The Lord has done so much in and around me – blessed be the name of the Lord. Just like Mary, mother of Jesus, who ‘pondered all of these things in her heart,’ the Lord and I have been talking, I’ve been learning, there’s so much He’s been orchestrating, I have just stood back in awe and wonder, watching as the symphony plays. Do you realize the Lord is the One who orchestrates and the One who plays all of the instruments?!
I began this blog – rachel in raleigh – to chronicle critiques on whatever books I was reading. Then it evolved into more – happenstances in my life, pretty pictures of pretty objects. I hit a rhythm. Then my life changed.
The Lord blessed my husband and I – blessed us ABUNDANTLY MORE THAN WE COULD ASK OR IMAGINE OR THINK OR COMPREHEND with a baby, from the minute of conception, a little human, living inside of me, taking form, taking shape, being FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY made. What a mystery – what a magnificent display of the great glory of God.
The Lord stilled my heart, slowed my step. He said to me, “Be still and know that I am God.” Like a weaned child sleeping in mommy’s arms, I waited and rested and trusted in the Lord. With Great Anticipation.
And oh how the wait has been worth it. Oh how beautiful the journey. Oh how beautiful the Lord our Sovereign God.
It all began about a year ago – well, in November. So a little over a year. The Lord began to work in and around Tyler and me. Sluffing away old. Pulling back layers of yesterdays. Filling our deepest with Him. Building our interior lives. Rooting us like trees into the banks of His living waters.
There’s so much to say here – so much to share with you. I will as time goes on, I am sure of it, because like David in the Psalms, I desire to proclaim to the nations! to everyone! the great glories of the Lord, share more and more of all the Lord has done and is doing in my life.
For now, I will share these things with you.
Read again the scripture that begins this post. I am going to let you in on a few things the Lord has taught me, not specifically and primarily from this 1 Thessalonians passage, but this passage does encapsulate much of what the Lord has taught me/ is teaching me.
First, and most gloriously, the Lord has taught me the fear of the Lord, to fear Him. I will not I WILL NOT back down from using the word, the phrase ‘fear of the Lord’ or ‘I fear the Lord.’ That’s what people do when they are afraid of this term. That’s what people do when they are afraid of what people might think of the Lord. I will not back down because ‘fear of the Lord’ is THE reality of the Scripture, THE response of the believer. Psalm praises the fear of Lord, Proverbs instructs men to fear the Lord. The Old Testament strongly demands humanity fears the Lord; the Cross catapults us to our knees in fear of the Lord. Paul, after being transformed from the wicked man Saul, calls the Church into fear of the Lord. One of the main books besides the main book, Scripture, that encouraged and instructed me in this way is Ed Welch’s When People Are Big and God is Small.
Second, and how this all intersects with the blog, as I slowed from writing – though I wanted to continue the blog someday – I wasn’t sure how or what or where to go with it. I had read this book that talked all about how to build a successful blog. And I thought, my blog will not be able to do this. I will not be able to do this. Because the book said – and other successful blogs attest to the book’s advice – that a blog should have a pointed focus (a good thesis statement as I understand it as an English major), the posts should be concise – and the book meant short in length, not so much concise in thought – and with just those two pieces of advice, I mulled over and mulled over them, thinking, it’s never going to happen. I couldn’t decide to write only about pretty objects or happenings in raleigh or book critiques or any other very pointed topic. And, for goodness sakes, just look at this post. It’s way too long already.
Then, I decided. with great confidence and steadfastness in the Lord. to write anyways.
I decided – I’m not going to fear man and follow in the ways of pragmatic advice. Rarely has this worked for me anyways. So many times I try to do what the good, pragmatic advice of the world instructs and the Lord thwarts my way. It’s not that the advice is bad at all. And it’s not that good Christians cannot or should not follow advice (One great example is Dave Ramsey and the like with his envelopes. I have tried and tried but sakes alive, the Lord practically tears up my envelopes. But obviously good Christians take the envelope advice and it’s fine).
I decided – I am going to write from my life. This will be my thesis statement. Some posts will be on pretty objects, others on happenstances and upcoming super fun events; some will be book reviews. But I will not be held to it; there will be other posts. And the blog won’t just be NOT this. It WILL be “sharing my life with you as well.” As I lean into and learn from the Lord, as I do all for the glory of the Lord, I will share with you from my life.
That is, even from the beginning, how this blog was named. rachel in raleigh.