Because of some real struggles over the past year I've had a difficult time going to church. I won't go into all the details but Sundays became a real battle in my heart and I felt like most of the time I was losing the battle. It was difficult because for my whole life I had loved going to church more than anything else. By the time I returned to the states I felt like my heart had turned into stone - so cold and hard. But I held unto the promise in 1 Peter that after having suffered for a while, Christ himself will restore my soul.
I haven't been completely restored but I have felt the melting effect from the warmth of the Holy Spirit illuminating my heart with truth and love. Sometimes all I can do in the presence of the Savior is sit and weep. Much of the melting comes from the welcome home hugs, words of thankfulness that I have returned to Chattanooga, recognizing God's generous provision of a home church family that loves me because they dearly love Jesus.
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me." Song of Solomon 2:11-13
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17