Every Season Has a Purpose

Written by Nicole Roberts

Nicole Roberts is a dear friend with lots of wisdom to offer! To read more work by Nicole or see what she’s up to, Click on the link below.

Eccelsiaties 3:1 states, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Seasons bring forth different emotions, growth in our character, and life lessons. Each season we walk through has a purpose and plan. Whether it is a job change, a move, death of a loved one, etc. Recently I have come to this principle in a greater capacity. Here are some lessons that I have learned about embracing every season in life whether good or bad.

First, I have learned that no season in our life is ever wasted. Ever season that we encounter plays a part in us growing spiritually and personally, developing character, and pushing us further into the dreams and destiny on our lives. I have found this to be true in my own life through different job positions that I have held. Each position helped grow my abilities, built confidence, and has taken me to each new step in my career. I have never come away from a season not changed or better equipped to handle life.

Secondly, I have learned that every season has it blessings even when it may be difficult. Finding the blessings in each season can help us to remain focused and keep a positive attitude. This is particularly important when walking through a challenging season. Every morning before even getting out of bed, begin speaking words of gratitude. These can be things such as family, friends, job, etc. Seeing the blessings in our lives helps put situations and circumstances of life into perspective.

Lastly, remember that God is in control of the seasons of our life. He knows the seasons, good or bad, even before we do. God promises that He will never leave or forsake us, and that His plans for us are good. Romans 8:28 states, “We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan”. When we allow God into our seasons He brings peace and clarity. Embrace every season knowing that each season has a purpose.

A Letter To Perfectionism

Written by Heather Broughman

Dear perfectionism, 

You are not a friend to me. In fact, in many ways you are my enemy. 

You and your unrealistic demands, telling me that anything short of flawless is unacceptable and considered failure. Your nagging voice makes me second guess myself. I waste hours and hours trying to meet the standards that you set. Sometimes the thought of what you might say stops me before I even start, not wanting to fall short. 

You stifle creativity and slam the lid on my dreams. You are nothing but a liar and a thief. You’re like a milestone that I’ve placed around my own neck, a prison that I have willingly entered and locked myself in. But no more! 

I have come to see you for what you are. A hindrance, a nuisance, and my adversary. 

God created me, fearfully and wonderfully, and He gets the final say. From now on, I’m choosing His voice instead of yours! 

He looks at the heart and values effort. Instead of isolating and putting me down, He is right there beside me, ready to help as soon as I invite Him to step in. He calls me to holiness and excellence, but not perfection. And these standards that He’s set, He made a way for me to attain them. 

Where you always put me down, He always calls me up. When you direct my attention to what I lack, He directs my attention to what I have. With Him I know that He rejoices to see the work begin, that my value is not attached to my work, and that He is gracious to me. Instead of being a prison, His standards actually bring freedom. 

He removes the caps from my dreams and says the bigger, the better. He fosters and encourages creativity because, well, He’s the most creative being there ever was or will be. And today I write to let you know that I choose Him. I choose His voice over yours. I no longer agree with your standards, but with His. You are dismissed and no longer welcome! 

Sincerely, 

The Redeemed, (Insert your own name HERE)

My prayer for you today is that if you struggle with perfectionism in any area of your life, that today would be a day of freedom for you! No longer would you allow perfectionism to set the standards for you, but that you would come into alignment with the standards that God has set for you! And that you would receive His invitation to not go it alone, but allow Him to help and partner with you in pursuing the dreams He has placed in you and to create with the Master Creator Himself!

Stuck In Traffic On A Dotted Yellow Line

Photograph by Jonathan Lesher

Edited in Prisma app with Dallas

Jonathan Lesher is an incredible photographer who offers a unique perspective! Beside being a talented photographer, Jonathan is also a BMW enthusiast who loves running, coffee, and cooking breakfast. Would you like to view more photos by Jonathan? Click on the link below.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 ESV

“Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen.” Hebrews 11:1 TPT

As photographer, Jonathan Lesher, reflected on this photo, he said, “Like a bird in a cage. Hope is a prison and faith sets us free.” This made me stop and reflect on the relationship between hope and faith and immediately Hebrews 11:1 came to mind. Our faith is the ASSURANCE of things HOPED for. In the Passion Translation it says that FAITH brings our HOPES into reality, that faith is the foundation needed for us to receive the things that we long for.

As I looked at Jonathan’s photograph again, I noticed that the road ahead seemed to stretch out as far as the eye can see without any destination point. And then it occurred to me that in seasons of waiting on the Lord, the things we are hoping for can seem so far away, but it is hope partnered with faith that gives us a different vantage point.

I love pictures and metaphors, often when I ask the Holy Spirit for help in understanding the Word of God, He’ll use a picture or analogy to help bring the truth home for me. As I asked God about hope and faith in the waiting, a thought came to mind. HOPE is like a cage that HOUSES our God-given promises and longings. Hope being the expectation of a desire or promise being fulfilled in the FUTURE. Hope alone can seem like that long road pictured above, and that is where FAITH comes in! If our God-given promises and longings are housed in HOPE, the expectation that those things will be fulfilled in the FUTURE, then according to Hebrews 11:1, it is FAITH that is the assurance that although we haven’t yet seen the fulfillment of our hopes, they will come to pass! Am I saying that any old thing that we hope for or expect will happen just the way we want? NOPE! We’re human and some of the desires and longings we have are born out of our flesh and are not necessarily God-given. But if God has written a desire on our hearts or authored a promise, we can be assured that He has planned it, is actively working on it, and will bring it to completion.

So I leave you with a few questions for you and God to chat about:

  1. Does HOPE need FAITH in the waiting to keep our hearts from growing sick?
  2. What happens when we have HOPE but not FAITH?
  3. If you are currently waiting on the Lord to move in a certain area of your life, what’s the relationship status between HOPE and FAITH for you right now?

Perspective + Filters

Written by Heather Broughman

PERSPECTIVE:: Perspective + Filters matter. 

As I was spending time with the Lord, I felt impressed to take some photos. One object, different filters, different angles. It is amazing how perspective and filters can change what we see. In the series of photos above you can see what I mean. Each a photo of the same item, but yet none of them quite the same.

Perspective + Filters matter when we’re in seasons of waiting on the Lord. Maybe we’re waiting for a breakthrough, to step into the fullness of God’s promises, or maybe just to see God move. Although what can happen in this waiting period is that satan can sneak in and twist, distort, and pervert our view. He attempts to make things seem larger or smaller than they really are, to make the terrain appear bumpier and more difficult than it really is. He may try to filter our view through past wounds and lies. All so we’ll get disoriented and discouraged in hopes that we’ll give up. 

BUT ALL WE NEED IS TO CHANGE OUR FILTER + SHIFT OUR PERSPECTIVE…

HOW???

PRAYER + THE WORD OF GOD have the potential to change the filter we view things through. We can go to God and ask Him to reveal any lies that we’ve bought into or any place of pain or hurt that may be coloring what we see. God’s Word is the truth that helps us see things rightly, from His perspective. When we choose to filter things through what God has said, it’s amazing how different things begin to look.    

WORSHIP has the potential of giving us a perspective shift. It’s an opportunity to shift our gaze from self and the circumstances that we face to the heavenly and Jesus. And when our spirits engage with the truth of who God is…a beautiful thing happens…things that seemed to be confusing or overwhelming, through the lens of who God is, become clearer and less daunting. It’s like coming up higher to see things from where He sits. 

How might your filter be broken or a little off right now? Where are the places you need a perspective shift today? You have a freestanding invitation right now to come up higher and see things from His perspective…to engage God in prayer and His Word and to say YES to worship!!!

The Waiting

Written by Lexi Samples

Lexi Samples is a precious friend whose creativity and heart for Jesus are inspiring! Lexi is a recent MTSU grad with a major in photography and minor in journalism. She is passionate about seeing freedom in people’s lives through the vehicle of art. Her dream is to use art in the missions field to glorify Jesus, bring hope, and defend people against the enemy as freedom is unlocked in their lives. It’s my joy to not only share one of her beautiful photos, but also a heart stirring poem of hope! Do yourself a favor and go check out more of Lexi’s work!

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I sit beside you in this waiting 
Asking you to ease this cup of suffering. 
I sit before you with this longing
Knowing that you are still working. 

There's a sweet sorrow on my lips. 
I weep from the pain of pressing 
Mourning this broken heart it grips. 
But, I also rejoice in my professing 
That though I walk this valley 
You have not left me yet. 

I know in your timing it has to be
So help me be full of you in this waiting
And not the deep longing that's in me. 
Do the work in my heart. 
Turn me into your work of art. 
Help me to have joy in the mourning 
And surrender all, that it may be for you glory. 

A season of waiting is, I believe one of the hardest seasons to walk through. It can be a time of confusion and unanswered questions. It is a time of surrender where you must release control and the need for understanding while choosing faith to believe in the character of God. It is as 2 Corinthians 4 talks about where we must choose to focus on that which is unseen. When our situations and circumstances look the complete opposite of what we believe the Lord has spoken, and we feel pressed on each side, we have to trust that God is who He says He is. He is on our side and He will withhold no good from those who love Him. His timing will amaze us, especially when it’s not the timing we had hoped for.

Who Told You That?

Written by Heather Broughman

Who told you that? 
That you’re too much, that you’re not enough, that you will never measure up?

Who said that? 
That your value is tied to how good you are, to what you do, to how much you achieve? 

Who whispered that? 
That your dreams are too big, that you should just give up, that it’s safer to live small? 

Whose voice are you listening to? 

The enemy is like a playground bully who’s just waiting to knock you down and laugh in your face. He lies, he cheats, he steals, and attempts to paralyze and silence you all out of fear. 

Fear that if you knew, if you were convinced of what God says about you. 

You would conquer fear, be brave, and be bold. 

You would know that you are enough, that you are fully known, seen, and loved. 

You would show up, speak out, and cheer others on. 

You would take bigger leaps of faith, pursue God sized dreams, and pray crazy faith prayers.

You would be fully alive in God and bring others along as you run after Him. 

You would be a force to be reckoned with for God and His Kingdom. 

So take inventory with God today. Ask Him to reveal the lies and then show you the truth. 

Write it down. Speak it out. And ask God to seal His Word, the truth in your heart! 

The Unfinished Canvas

Painted + Written by Jordyn Byers

Today’s featured artist and writer is very dear to my heart! Jordyn Byers is an absolute treasure who has an incredible gift for discovering and creating beauty wherever she goes. Through the beautiful imagery in both her painting and words, Jordyn depicts the heart of God towards not only her but YOU, as well! To see more of the beauty that Jordyn is creating and capturing, CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW!

The most vulnerable time of the painting process is the unfinished painting. No detail work just frowned upon grid lines and unformed blobs of color. I, the artist, don’t feel ashamed of the unfinished process… until someone sees it. I then spiral into thoughts of being afraid that they think I’m finished, maybe they think this is the end, maybe they think I’m horrible at this.. maybe I am horrible at this.

Hidden until the end.
Only showing people if I show them what it’s going to be.
They can only see the process if they have the big picture too.
Always reminding people that I’m not done.
“I still have a ways to go.”

But then I return to my painting and now all I can see is “unfinished”. When to the canvas this is the closest it’s ever been to completion.

Imagine if the canvas could speak. How excited that the canvas would be if it could know that it’s no longer blank, but it’s got colors of tan and green and even some blue! The excitement that it would feel with every new color. To hold one more tree. To have one more rock. To hold the layers and layers of paint that no one will see because it’s covered in yet another layer. Hidden layers, but crucial layers.

I am thankful that God does not have the same “hide the art until it’s finished” mindset. When God sees me He does not see “unfinished”, He sees the beauty that He’s painted in me and He still sees the beauty that is to come.

My God is the Great Artist.

I get to have the excitement of the canvas.

To hold one more memory. To lose one more tear. To hold layers and layers of emotions that I get to share with God before they’re covered with another.

While I am not yet complete, I am not labeled “unfinished.”

“I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭CSB

Small Beginnings

By Heather Broughman

“Do not despise the day of small beginning, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,” Zechariah 4:10. This is a part of a message that an angel spoke concerning Zerubbabel, an important leader from the tribe of Judah and a descendant of David. He was tasked with rebuilding the Jewish temple, from the first stone laid to the last. But in the beginning stages the word of the Lord came through this Angel saying do not despise Small Beginnings or in other words humble beginnings. 

There can be so much pride attached to the completion of something. When we finally make it through our reading list for the year, when we hit some milestone goals we have for ourselves. It’s that sense of satisfaction, the thrill of accomplishment. But when you’re just laying the 4th or 5th stone needed to rebuild an entire Temple that sense of celebration and excitement is nowhere to be found and instead there can be discouragement or the attitude that says, “why even bother.” However, God calls us to move in the opposite Spirit concerning Small Beginnings. Take another look at that verse. The instruction is to not despise Small Beginnings. Why? Because the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. God’s heart and his thoughts towards us are important. If our hearts and our thoughts do not line up with his own, then they need to be brought into alignment. While we may be concerned and over analyze the situation, thinking that we don’t have what it takes to complete the task at hand, God is more concerned with our willingness of heart to even start or say yes to the thing that he’s asked of us.

I felt so stunned one day when I heard the Lord say to me, “I never said that I was concerned with you getting this right. That’s not what I asked of you. I am more concerned with you simply saying yes to what I’m asking of you. You may experience setbacks and you may have moments where you don’t exactly get it right. but that’s not what I’m after. I am more concerned with your heart and with your willingness to obey. That’s all I’m asking of you right now. Let me handle the rest. I just want to know if you will do what I’m asking of you?“ It’s not God putting unrealistic expectations or pressure on us that isn’t necessary. That often comes from us having a misunderstanding of who God is and his thoughts towards us. I had forgotten that the Lord rejoices when the work begins. I didn’t think about how I would be changed from encountering his grace and his mercy even in my failing. I overlooked the fact that in my lack and imperfection, God ends up with the glory.

Maybe you’re far from being who you want to be. Perhaps when you look at yourself and where you’re at you see how far you have to go and not how far you’ve come. Remember God’s heart. He doesn’t wait till the work is completed, He rejoices to see the work begin. Take sometime with the Lord today, unhurried time. Ask Him to shift your perspective, to open your eyes to see things the way He does. Thank Him for the small beginnings in your life…because SMALL STEPS ARE STILL PROGRESS!

God Doesn’t Write Hallmark Movies

Written by Jessica Miracle

Jessica Miracle is a Nashville area based worship leader, musician, and piano/violin teacher. She’s the wife of Joe and dog mom of Lainey. Today, my talented friend, Jessica, brings wisdom and perspective on our expectations of life and God. To connect with Jessica or view more of her work, CHECK OUT THE LINKS BELOW!!!

I like Hallmark movies. People make fun of me for it, but I do. These movies make me feel good, I know what’s going to happen, and the ending is always happy. In envisioning the movie script of my life, I want a Hallmark movie….but I’m learning that God doesn’t write Hallmark movie lives. I want Him to, but He doesn’t. If you’re like me, we desire our lives to be stories where everything works out perfectly in a two-hour chunk of time, where God answers our prayers exactly as we want Him to in our timing, and we get a neatly wrapped up happily ever after. However in reality that rarely is the case. God is a much better writer than that. He loves a plot twist, unexpected, seemingly impossible odds….there’s nothing predictable about a life story that God is writing. Now that’s not to say we don’t know the ultimate ending….that’s actually one thing of which we can be certain. But most everything else…predictably unpredictable.

God doesn’t write Hallmark movies, He writes Oscar winners.

In a perfect Hallmark world, the town is always saved, the marriage to the wrong person stopped, or whatever the dramatic is event that has a deadline is resolved just in the nick of time. In the real world….not so much. At least not always. I’ve been thinking lately about how, as we watch our stories play out, that the Lord doesn’t always abide by our human deadlines and/or absolutes. It seems like he often waits until our imposed deadline expires or whatever terrible thing we want to prevent happening happens. But then, where there seems to be no possible resolution to the situation, he moves in a way most unexpected. Deliverance comes from a place we never imagined, provision comes from a mysterious source, or there’s straight up supernatural activity. We don’t, and likely won’t, understand fully the why or how. But we do know this- Our God is the author of creativity. He rarely solves our problems the way we think He’s going to.

We see this over and over again in scripture. At church we’ve been reading through the book of Daniel. If the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were a Hallmark movie, the decree that they be killed would certainly have been stopped just before they were thrown in the fire. But it wasn’t. It looked like the story was over…. but it wasn’t. God (by way of an ‘Angel’- Jesus??) miraculously showed up in the fire with them and saved them. Again a few pages later with Daniel himself- a Hallmark movie script would have saved Daniel before He became probable lion food. But He wasn’t. The seemingly worst-case scenario was carried out and he was thrown into the lion’s den. It looked like the story was over…and yet it wasn’t. God delivered Him in a most unexpected way. No one would have dreamed a den of hungry lions would have turned down supper.

We see this even when we look at the story of Jesus himself. He died. He actually died. It looked like the story was over for three long days, and Jesus’s followers probably thought it was….but it wasn’t. Plot twist, He rose from the dead. Now when we apply this principle to our own lives, it looks like this- Just because the expected path to deliverance or to the promise didn’t happen when or how you thought it would, doesn’t mean the deliverance or the promise isn’t going to happen. Just because the deadline for action has passed doesn’t mean the story is over. Just because the unthinkable happens doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a creative way to bring about His plans. If He moved like we expected Him to all the time, He wouldn’t be God. If we fully understood His ways, He wouldn’t be worthy of our worship.

I think sometimes God lets us experience the disappointment of missed deadlines or puts us in situations where it looks impossible to increase our faith, to bring us to a greater trust in Him. He puts us in situations where we more fully realize that He is in control and we are not.

In reading the accounts of Daniel and his buddies, I got to thinking about another story in a similar setting- the book of Esther. There are a lot of similarities between these stories. Both accounts take place in Babylon-though not at the same time, both place Jewish people in high places of influence in a foreign kingdom, both books require those Jewish people to stand up for the One True God…and both books issue an edict of death to Jewish people. However, what struck me in the story of Esther is the way the Lord’s deliverance came about. In other biblical accounts we’re sort of programmed to expect God to do something obviously mystical when He delivers….we expect to see Him move in the overtly miraculous. In the story of Esther, however, His actions are more subtle. The decree is put forth that all the Jews are to be killed. Once again we would expect that the decree would be stopped- and yet it’s not….again. But what struck me about this story is that the divine intervention wasn’t flashy at all. Yes, it was dramatic, but the supernatural wasn’t as obvious. It simply looked like wisdom and favor for Esther and Mordecai being in the right place at the right time. Once again in this story we see the death decree wasn’t ever actually stopped…but instead Esther was given favor by the king and a law was issued that allowed the Jews to fight back. Deliverance was available, but they actually had to do the work themselves.

There’s a lesson in that, I think. Sometimes when God prepares a way it won’t look mystical, it will look like you doing the work to make it happen- in His grace of course. Just because you have to put in the effort to see what you know God has promised come to pass doesn’t mean it’s not His will. It’s ok to fight for the promise.

God’s answers often don’t look like what we think they’re going to look like. Sometimes His movements are subtle. Sometimes we have to do the work ourselves in His strength. Sometimes a word of wisdom comes from a leader or friend. Sometimes healing comes in the form of medical treatment instead of an immediate miracle. Sometimes a new career doesn’t happen through a crazy opened door but instead through an inspired idea and hard work. Sometimes a relationship comes not from a kismet moment but from putting yourself out there on a dating app (I know all about that one, haha). Just because we have to do some work to make a promise happen doesn’t mean it’s not God’s way, timing, or provision.

The bottom line is this- Don’t let your expectations rule. Don’t write off a new opportunity because it’s not what you expected. Don’t feel like you’re settling if God hasn’t moved by your deadline and you need to take action, the miraculous might just come as you take action. Submit each situation to the Lord and ask HIM to show you how He’s moving. Really submit it to Him and He’ll be faithful to open your eyes. Expect the unexpected, be prepared for the plot twist. Don’t think you can totally predict exactly how God’s going to move, because you can’t. But be at peace, because He WILL move on your behalf. His mercies are new every morning and He has promised that He make all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

God doesn’t write Hallmark movies, He writes Academy Award winners. Trust him. He’s a good story teller…. the best really!

The Source

Photograph by Lexi Samples

Lexi Samples is a precious friend whose creativity and heart for Jesus are inspiring! Lexi is a recent MTSU grad with a major in photography and minor in journalism. She is passionate about seeing freedom in people’s lives through the vehicle of art. Her dream is to use art in the missions field to glorify Jesus, bring hope, and defend people against the enemy as freedom is unlocked in their lives. It’s my joy to not only share one of her beautiful photos, but also a heart stirring poem of hope! Do yourself a favor and go check out more of Lexi’s work!

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It Is Finished 

Longsuffering exchanged for a different name
Shackles of pain lifted away
No longer captive of assailants unseen
Nail it to the door, an official decree
Torment undone, Instead call me F R E E


When all seems hopeless and lost, Jesus is the source of joy. He is the light in the darkness. He is our hope. Freedom is found in Jesus alone.