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Who couldn’t use more LOVE and less of everything else in their life?

I don’t know when this dream started in my heart as a young girl.

I had envisioned my grandfather, a minister, praying over my future husband and me on our wedding day, for as long as I could remember.

Fast forward to age twenty as my handsome husband and I, as newlyweds, left my home state of California to drive across the country to our new home in St. Louis, Missouri. We were in love, happy and excited for our future.

Yet, I didn’t have a clue how offended at God I was.

As we began settling into a new city, loneliness settled in my heart. Especially as my introverted self found it hard to make friends and feel at home in this new place.

My husband was filled with purpose, promise and excitement as he took on the challenge of his dream job, with his new bride by his side. I loved all of those things too, and yet I began to struggle.

The evidence started stacking up in my mind. Maybe God wasn’t as good as I thought. I didn’t think in these exact terms, or speak these words out loud. And yet, I found myself feeling angry.

Why did my healthy, vivacious Grandfather I loved get cancer?

Why weren’t the doctors proactive when they found the spot on his lungs?

Why did he get the sickest, to the point of being bed ridden, the month of my wedding?

Why did God allow the thing that mattered so much to me not happen?

The cancer inside of me slowly grew.

That is how the enemy of our soul tends to work. He plants a thought in our mind and walks away. He knows the chances are high that we’ll run with it, collecting evidence as proof if given the chance, and I did.

I didn’t understand, at that young age, how Satan slides in and finds a foothold in our lives.

Or, how our human nature seeks to have black and white answers that make sense, over trusting in God when things are gray, messy and uncertain.

It’s a trap we all fall in.

If we could figure it out, every step of the way, and have the answers to life’s dilemmas – with the wisdom to understand God’s ways – well, we wouldn’t be human or need a savior that loves us more than we can comprehend.

“We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit” (2 Corinthians 4:1-12).

Resistance is meant to get you and I to back down. To say, “It’s not worth it to do it God’s way.”

To question everything and to put God in a box for which we don’t have much use for anymore.

To learn to depend on ourselves, and not others or God.

If only I truly grasped this in my early twenties. If only I counted resistance as a reason to push through and believe God more, instead of an invitation to believe whatever I could conceive. Even now it’s easy to forget. To set aside what I know about God’s vast love for us, and His faithful character and plunge into frustration when it seems as though my prayers aren’t being answered.

Thank you Jesus, for your love that never quits even in our foolishness.

When we believe the lies of human understanding, He doesn’t turn his back on us.

God fights for us when we don’t think we need fighting for.

He loves us and woos us back to himself to find health and healing. He plants people in our paths to show us His great love in beautiful and unexpected ways.

I had more disappointments to come as my grandfather passed away. I was fired from a job. I acted so immature (showing my frustration), as my husband was being asked to lead in our church. Issues on the inside of us eventually come out when we don’t deal with them.

Thank goodness for God’s mercy and grace at work in all of our lives when we don’t deserve it, when we’re young or any age really, immature, hurting and such a baby in our faith walk. Even now, I may know more than I did, but I’m still learning about God’s great love for us.

Thank goodness for people God sends our way to love us right where we are.

Not condemn us, but love us.

Isn’t love always the key?

Right in the middle of Aldi’s discount grocery store I ran into a sweet lady from the church we were attending. Little did I know she would become like another mama to me. I am forever grateful for her.

Never underestimate the power of reaching out, of loving, of looking passed the outward actions and calling out the greatness in others. Whether you speak it out or show it by your love – it matters more than you will ever know.

I will never forget the delicious meals, yummy desserts and coffee we shared with Gail and Jerry at their home. It’s God’s love that captivates our hearts over and over again, in the most practical and miraculous ways, and often through people. God loves using people.

No matter where we find ourselves, isn’t love always the key? Cheering you on my friend!

With much love and grace,

Joelle Povolni

If this post encouraged you, I believe this one will speak to your heart too: Trust Feels Hard Some Days

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