But, God

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience– among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ– by grace you have been saved– and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show us the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” 

(Ephesians 2:1-8)

I don’t have the eloquent words I wish I had right about now; all I have is a sleep deprived brain and the choked up feeling in the back of my throat that so often accompanies grief. Well, that and so many wishes desperately longing to be fulfilled in my heart.

Part of me wishes God’s plan for the last week was different, and yet because He has taught me to deeply rest in the beauty of His sovereignty, I don’t.

But that doesn’t stop me from wishing I wouldn’t have had to stand next to my best friend yesterday as we buried her little brother. But we did. Side by side, struggling to form the words of the hymns being sung around us and with shovels in our hands, we did. And I doubt either of us have ever done anything more difficult in our lives.

I wish Kevin wouldn’t have gone to be with Jesus just weeks before his sister’s wedding, but in God’s perfect timing, he did.

I wish I could take the pain from my second family’s heart, but all we can do is cry and laugh and question and praise our sweet Jesus late into the night together.

I wish the message telling me Kevin was gone wouldn’t have ever come through my phone at midnight in Alaska; I wish the Lord would’ve used another means to permanently transition me out of the village He had graciously allowed me to fall in love with over the last year.

I wish I would’ve had more than 12 hours notice that I would be packing everything I owned and moving 4,000 miles.

I wish I could’ve said proper goodbyes to my neighbors and teammates, youth group kids, students, and friends in Port Alsworth, but I praise God for the small group that was able to meet me at my bush plane to quickly pray over me as the Lord rushed me away from my home.

I wish I didn’t have to leave so many homes so frequently. Yet within this, God continues to remind me that my Home is not here; my home has never been in Colorado, Alaska, or Iowa– even though my coffee pot and clothes have now lived in all of those places in the last year.

In all of the pain and vertigo of the last five days, He has been the One to comfort and strengthen each of us, and I know because I know because I know He will continue to do so.

I don’t understand any of the events of the last week or the weeks to come; but God does. My line of sight and perspective is limited, but His is not.

We mourn the loss of our brother and our friend, but because of what Christ did for us on the cross and Kevin’s acceptance and love for Him, we know we’ll see Kev again. This week, we’ve grieved over the timing of our loss, but the Lord is reminding us that it has been Kevin’s gain. Just as he is preparing for the wedding feast for the Bride of Christ, we prepare for a wedding feast. And oh, his sister’s wedding next week will be so full of Jesus and His glory.

I will openly admit that there is a hurricane of transition and grief raging in my heart, but in this, God is so much more than a still, small voice and oh, is He good. He is good now in the raw pain and mess, and everything in me needs to proclaim His nearness to make it through the day.

Praise the One who died to bring us near to our Father– our comforter, the lover of our souls. Praise You, Jesus– the one who brought us out of the darkness of life separated from Him and into His glorious light. Praise You, for bringing us to life and seating us with You in the high heavenly places.


Praise You for seating our little brother with You and showing those of us here on earth the immeasurable depths of Your grace and kindness in our loss.

“But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace”

(Ephesians 2:13)

Sit and breathe Me in

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

(“The Road Not Taken” — Robert Frost)

I read this familiar poem on the side of a coffee cup the other day and couldn’t help but laugh to myself: Nope. That’s definitely not me.

You see, as an English teacher, I think this poem is… how do I say this?  Quaint. I appreciate it for the literary staple and genius it is, but it has never been the way that I handle life. No, I don’t methodically look at my options in life, nor do I opt to take the path less traveled– I take all of the paths possible.

Historically, my approach to life has been to run down every. single. possible. path that is laid before me and not stop running (to and from things) until God gently grabs my arm, pulling me back to His plan. (Or, sometimes if I’m being really stubborn, He constructs a wall for me to slam myself into at full speed, forcing me to stop.)

Hello, my name is Kacy and I readily admit that I am a runner by nature. (This is the spot where you say, “Hi, Kacy…” in the best monotone AA drawl you’ve got.)

As my Alaskan D-day has approached, I’ve sensed that running itch deep in my soul. But in true form to this season, and a promise that I felt the Lord give me back in April, He is doing a new thing in my heart.

He isn’t allowing me to run.

Every time I start to get antsy, God quietly tells me to put away the anxious tendencies of my past and simply be still.

For the record (and in case you’re new here), I don’t sit still well…

I run myself ragged at work and I hike and play volleyball on the weekends and I don’t sleep and then I go back to being awake 19 hours of the day, burning the candle at both ends. But I most certainly do not sit still. (Yes, I confess that I’ve purchased and subsequently drank the “You have to be ‘doing something’ to be valuable” American Kool-Aid. Busyness is an idol in my life, just as it is worshiped by our culture.)

But in this season, my running, Kool-Aid drinking tush has been benched.

Every stinkin’ time I’ve tried to run– be it to new experiences, or from pain and hard conversations, or prayer when I would rather be watching Law & Order SVU on Netflix– I’ve heard some variation of the instruction to sit and wait on the Lord.

For weeks the phrase I heard in my quiet time (as I tried to prematurely box up my life) was “Stay. Be present.” This gave way to God’s best ghetto command in the middle of relational upheaval: “Sit. down. and pray, child.” (I secretly love it when God goes a little bit “ghetto church lady” on me when I get a little too stubborn…)

I sat at ProsperOats (Hashtag: Shameless Denverite plug for my friends’ breakfast bar) ridiculously early one morning this week. As I sat and prayed, trying not to fall asleep in my smoothie, I asked the Lord if He had a new word to accompany the change of seasons I seemed to be teetering on the edge of. “Sit down and pray” just didn’t seem to fit right anymore.

As I meditated (slash napped with my eyes open…), “Sit down and pray” yielded to “Sit and breathe Me in”.

Hmmm… Another sitting commandment… Of. Course.

Lord, I’m so stinkin’ sick of sitting! I whined internally as I pulled out my pencil and jotted down this thought.

I felt a sudden, but hazy urge to study breathing. This led to a super theological Google search of the term “breathe”. Immediately an anatomy book diagram of lungs surrounding a heart popped up as the first search result on my phone. lungsheart

Too tired to think too deeply about anything, I grabbed my pencil and started sketching a pair of lungs. As I outlined and shaded in the sketch in my journal, the words to the All Sons and Daughters song Great Are You Lord started ringing in my ears.

You give life. You are Love. You bring light to the darkness.

You give hope. You restore every heart that is broken.

Great are You, Lord.

It’s Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise, we pour out our praise to You only.

And all the earth will shout Your praise. Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing, Great are You, Lord.

I stared at the diagram on my phone and suddenly felt overwhelmed by realizations about life.

How beautiful is it that we are alive simply because of the breath in our lungs?

I mean, the breath that oxygenates and powers my severely sleep deprived body is a gift from God. That same breath is the breath that we sing out when we praise God– or that we heave out in between deep, broken sobs when we sit crying at His feet when things don’t go the way we think they should.

Our very breath is a gift from God that is meant to show us something about who He is.

And don’t even get me started on the fact that He created our lungs– the lungs that I have taken for granted as a mere organ that keeps me alive– to surround and protect our hearts in the most literal sense.

Are. You. Freaking. Kidding. Me?!

How crazy is that?

How crazy is it that when we are brokenhearted, but use His breath to sing out to Him, that we feel His protection and love in ways we didn’t think were possible?!

I know that’s not a coincidence. No, that is His beautiful creation.

And in the midst of a season where I feel a little bit over exposed and fearful, even a little under protected, it is His breath in my lungs that is protecting my heart in the most literal of senses. And that reminder? That has been all consuming in the best of ways this week.

It is His breath that brings hope, redemption, and allows for new songs to be sung in the midst of changing seasons. It is because of His protection and grace that I can sing out, “Great are You, Lord!” even when I have no idea where I’m walking to or why I can’t run there.

May you experience the goodness of God in the breath in your lungs today. May you see the way that He protects our hearts when we use our lungs and His breath in them to praise Him.

“I waited and waited and waited for God.
    He knelt down to me and listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
    pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
    to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
    they enter the mystery,
    abandoning themselves to God.”

(Psalm 40:1-3 MSG)

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