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"You rule the raging of the sea;
When its waves rise, You still them."
-Psalm 89:9

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Recently, God has been dropping a lot of words down into my heart.

Some of these words come in the form of loud burst of laughter and chuckling at the joyous moments when He sees me catching a glimpse of His heart.

Sometimes it comes in a song, a sweet melody sung over me as I bask in the presence of His light shining in the dark.

Some words come in the form of a reminder through a friend, a prayer uttered, a note given, a hug shared.

Well this particular word, came in the form of things tumbling from my mouth without the filter of my brain, falling out of me, in the midst of an exciting conversation through which I’ve lost my train of thought but God just pushes out a series of words that form a sentence that He wants for me to hear, He wants for me to listen.

My friend slapped me in the arm and we stared, wide eyes, gasping while trying to be quiet, silently laughing in the middle of the night. I inhale, exhale, inhale and my feet aren’t so steady as we both realize the crazy impact and significance these 3 words hold.

Well played God. You’ve definitely caught my attention.

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I have this 20 minute time slot during which I want to write this quick update. As you can tell, I’ve been pretty busy. I’ve always loved life in Montana, but SBS is a lot of work! No wonder! It is a school after all =)

We’re already a month into our second quarter of SBS. It’s pretty hard to believe that Christmas break was so long ago, because I feel like we’ve just started second quarter. Since then, we’ve finished our New Testament studies, we had a party (and a hilarious anti-talent gong show), we’ve done our New Testament Oral Exam (had to memorize key verses, reason written and main ideas for the 26 books of the NT that we have studied - we have not done Matthew yet, that’ll come at the very end of SBS next quarter) and my first class on Genesis is in less than half an hour!

We didn’t go through the New Testament in chronological order (or in the order it was written), but we will be going through the old testament in Chronological order, which is pretty sweet. Taking the 3 and a half hours to read Genesis the whole way through was difficult, but very interesting and actually really fun! (You should give it a try! No skipping on the names!) and I’m excited to get into the Old Testament, to see the consistent, never-changing character of God in the Old Testament.

A quick something that I was thinking this morning: the more I study the bible, the more I talk to God, and pray, and focus on Him, the less smart I become.

By that, I mean that the more I’m in His word and seeing who God is, the more I see how small I am - not in a bad way. It just makes the grace and love of God that much bigger and even more awesome. Seriously. He’s so good. He’s good when I’m good, and He’s good when I’m not good. He’s good. It’s the only truest thing I can hold on to, always.

Anyway, off to get ready for class!

Dawn Joy.

Just wanted to share this: A YWAM Montana atmospheric frozen winter experience =)

Just really needed to hear these lyrics tonight.

Broken-hearted I come
My cup is empty, my mouth is dry
See how quickly I fall
Burdened with darkness
Heavy in lies

I want to cry, but I can’t
I try to stand but I fall down again

I need You to carry me
I need You to carry me
I need You to carry me
When I am weak

O this can’t be enough
To just say I’m sorry, to confess my fault
When I’ve hurt You so much
And now I am asking for You to do more

I want to cry, but I can’t
I try to stand but I fall down again

I need You to carry me
I need You to carry me
I need You to carry me
when I am weak

I’m always weak…
When I first met you I drew you in close to me
Your weaknesses covered with strength and security
I’ve never left you, nor will I ever leave
Child believe, child believe

But you are strong…
When I first met you I drew you in close to me
Your weaknesses covered with strength and security
I’ve never left you, nor will I ever leave
Child believe, child believe

I need You to carry me
I need You to carry me
I need You to carry me
when I am weak

Carry Me - Jenny and Tyler ft Mac Powell

Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek him.

- Hebrews 11:6

Truth! I like it.

I am God’s favorite

I have been blessed beyond imagination today. His voice has been so loud and clear all day, it’s crazy!

Yesterday was my last year.

What I mean by this is that, yesterday really was the last day for a lot of things. A lot of things I had to lay down. A lot of hopes and dreams that now are laid down, another grain of sand in the desert of my life. A lot of expectations that I lad to lay down. A lot of things I surrendered.

Yesterday, God brought to the surface, to eye level, a lot of things that I thought I had let go of, but I actually had not. God brought to mind things in my past that I was hurt from, that I allowed to create fear in me, that I allowed to create barriers that seem to stand miles and miles high. I never could see the tops of those trees. I never could see past those rapids. I stood, feeling so small at the foot of what I thought was a mountain…

Then God showed me, it was only a hill… and beyond that hill lay other hills. Hill after hill, they slowly got higher and higher, and slowly I took his hand and climbed and climbed and climbed, like I was ascending a set of round stairs towards the stars. With every step we took, we broke off a chain. Every moment I looked back, I shook off other grains of sand, and pebbles, and rocks that were weighing me down.

Well, we got to the top. Finally. And there’s still one more wall that I need to push down, but it’s hard, and it’s heavy, and It’s frightening, I don’t know if anything else is going to fall down with it if I push it down.

But I know God wants me to push it down. So down it goes.

Yesterday was my last year, my year of being 24. And with yesterday, I lay down my hopes, my dreams, my expectations for my year of being 24, like grains of sand that got lost on the desert floor, so that I could pick up His dreams, His will, His hope for my life.

I woke up with a song in my heart. I woke up feeling noticeably different this year. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way before. I don’t know if God’s ever spoken so clearly before. But He is now, and that’s what matters.

I am His favorite - He loves me, He trusts me, He sees me, He blesses me, He hopes in me, He desires me, He’s in me and I belong to Him.

I’m so excited for 25. I’m beyond ecstatic, and I just know in my heart it’s going to be a great year. I already have a new name, and an anthem. I’m surrounded by people who love me. I’ve been gifted with so many awesome opportunities. The endless blessings of God are so tangible, and His goodness is above every thing, every circumstance, every obstacle that can be thrown at me. His goodness is above all that. His love is above all of that.

And… the coolest thing, is that He’s got enough love for everyone to be His favorite ;)

It’s been a good 24 years, Abba, thank you.

Who I am

So, I have a small pocket of time to share with you tonight, something that I have been mulling over and conversing with God about. I just wanted to share this with you, because I think it’s amazing and God is amazing.

Several weeks ago, I was at church on a beautiful Sunday morning. I go to a small family church, here in Montana. It’s in a little redecorated Barn, during worship the kids are free to roam around, as are the big kids (aka, the Adults) and for me, it’s a picture of freedom and family.

Someone had been talking about how to walk in the identity of Christ in me. He talked about how we liked to wander around at the foot of the mountain of “I’m not” and get lost in the forest of “I should have”. It was a powerful image, and in my heart I knew - I’m not called to live in that. We’re not called to live in that. We need to shed those lies. God calls us to "I am", and we can walk with Him.

Another thing that was impressed upon my mind, was - God has not called us to BE God…
He calls us to be LIKE Jesus, and there is a difference.

During worship, lyrics flowed over me like the soft ripples of a healing stream.

"You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown, where feet may fail…
And there I find You in the mystery, in oceans deep, my faith will stand…”

I knew in my heart that God was reminding me that He is, was and always will be with me. God loves me as much He loves. That sounds incomplete - but it makes total sense in my mind. See, His love is so much, that it just is. It cannot be measure. The way He willingly gave His Son’s life for me shows me just how much He loves me, and how much He loves you. As much as He can love, He loves me.

This is what He spoke:

The old is washed off - so accept and receive the newness that I have promised you, my beloved. You are not “not enough”, and you don’t have to worry about the “should haves”. You are not unloved, you are not slow, you are not stupid and you are not undesirable. You are, as I have made you to be, and you are loved.

As I shed off the old skin, tangled in lies, messes and untruths, I felt a weight lift. One of my girlfriends from SBS came over and prayed with me, and God spoke, loud and clear, to both of us.

Peace. Joy. Peace. Joy. Peace. Joy.

The revelation that came next rocked my socks off my feet, and knocked my emotions completely off kilter. I burst into an array of tears and laughter.

I have given you a new name - You shall be my Joy, and my light. You are my Dawn Joy. You are my light that breaks through the dark, and you will bring Joy. Be joy, my Joy.

Yes, Abba. I will receive.

Dawn Joy.