Today at St Luke’s a girl, no older than me, sang this song (Can’t Give Up Now – Mary Mary)
There will be mountains that I will have to climb
And there will be battles that I will have to fight
But victory or defeat, it’s up to me to decide
But how can I expect to win If I never try.

I just can’t give up now
I’ve come too far from where I started from
Nobody told me the road would be easy
and I don’t believe he brought me this far to leave me

Never said there wouldn’t be trials
Never said I would’t fall
Never said that everything would go the way I want it to go
But when my back is against the wall
And i feel all hope is gone,
[. From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/m/mary-mary-lyrics/can_t-give-up-now-lyrics.html .]
I’ll just lift my head up to the sky
And say help me to be strong

I just can’t give up now
I’ve come too far from where I started from
Nobody told me the road would be easy
and I don’t believe he brought me this far to leave me

[Hook:]
No you didn’t bring me out here to leave me lonely
Even when I can’t see clearly
I know that you are with me(so I can’t)

I just can’t give up now
I’ve come too far from where I started from
Nobody told me the road would be easy
and I don’t believe he brought me this far to leave me

I am listening to it now while I write this and I wanted to reflect on a few things.  As you all well know, I have had my share of troubles here in New Orleans and it’s been tough.  There have absolutely been times that I have felt broken and alone and wondered how I could have put myself in this position, taken myself away from my support system, and isolated myself in a strange city.  But I think about what my spiritual director, Sharon, suggested in our last meeting.  She was asking how I was doing spiritually and I was telling her that I have never felt close to God in the way that I do this year.  Sharon just looked at me and told me, “I think that’s because you’ve never needed him like you do this year.”

These past six months have absolutely been hard, and I’ve been more tired than I think I have ever been.  But while all of that was happening, my relationships have grown stronger.  Friends that I was losing touch with have become my rock.  I am learning how hard it can be to maintain friendships over long distances; hard but not by any means impossible.  I have become much more aware of God’s call in my life, much more thankful for every small grace, and much more aware of how much more I can be doing.

I have started volunteering at ARNO (Animal Rescue New Orleans) on Wednesday nights, walking dogs, many of which have spent their entire lives feral.  I have also been asked to join a fund raising committee for St Luke’s.  I am working out a minimum of five days a week, eating better, praying daily, and learning to play guitar.  None of these things would have been possible without this year.

I want to thank each and every one of you who is reading my blog.  Thank you for taking time out of your day to see how I’m doing.  Thank you for praying for me.  Thank you for believing in me and what I’m doing, even when I can’t believe I should be here.  Thank you all for being you.

I want to start recommending songs and books and prayers and anything else that I have had the privilege of being exposed to here. So here are a few book recommendations:

The Shack – WM Paul Young (one of my favorites)

Same Kind Of Different As Me – Ron Hall and Denver Moore (this book will change you, guaranteed)

A New Kind of Christianity – Brian McLaren

GOD BLESS

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