I am graciously kept.

What about the temptations, pressures, stresses, weariness, persecution, frustrations, suffering, confusion, perplexity, fears, and traps that we face now?

Does God do anything about that? Does he send his Son to die for our sins, raise him from the dead to open eternal life, cause us to be born again, and then stand back to see if we will make it to heaven?… NO. God does not just stand back after he has caused us to be born again. He uses his divine power to protect us all through life…” –John Piper, 1 Peter 1:1-6

We each have a personalized blend of that bolded list and honestly, it wears us out.

It causes us to question our standing. It results in exhausting attempts to manufacture our own goodness, our own security. But we must remember. We must relax our white knuckles. If we are His children, His coheirs, His creation, the strife is over. There is freedom.

We are seen. We are ransomed. We are kept.

In grace I’ll never fully understand, I am kept not just at the end of His arm’s reach, but tightly yet gently held in perfect love; hemmed in, behind and before as Psalm 139 flawlessly reminds. Through the messiness, the struggle, and even the simple, ordinary-ness of life, I’m continually reminded of the beautiful fact that the Lord, knowing my chosen mess, chose me still. If- okay, when I stray, when I fear, when I believe lies, when I try to take control, and even when I give in to the false promises of the very things he saved me from, get this… he keeps loving, keeps pursuing, keeps picking me up, keeps holding, keeps growing, keeps working, and keeps reminding me that no matter what my shame tells me was too great an offense, He is still keeping me.

Here’s the hope and plan for Kept: that one day this grows into a collection of stories of abundant life in ordinary life, whatever our ordinary looks like and that hearts are encouraged by what is written. There are no plans to follow typical blog rules; no schedule of posts, no catchy titles, or even topic categories. Disclaimer: there will be Oxford commas.

The desire to post my words comes from a realization that there can’t be too much encouragement and truth floating around. Many of us, in the past or even now, have dismissed our heart struggles with excuses of personality or of the way life supposedly just is. Countless lies have been thrown at us from the outside and on the inside and we’ve caught them. I want to work to drop them. In our homes, our marriages, our friendships, our workplaces, our community, our purchases, etc. The Lord is just not interested in pursing the individuals we think we each should be. He is pursing us as we are now. There is nothing wrong with a “normal” life, one that wouldn’t typically appeal to any artsy news feed; one that doesn’t involve any entrepreneurship, perfect diy home decor, or extravagant travels. There’s also nothing wrong with one that does. Let’s learn from each other in all of our beautiful different lives.

Thank you for learning with me,

Catie ←click that

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