Nurturing Creative Intelligence

I’m scared to be good at something. To be the center of attention.

I know that there are things that I am good at. I’m the kind of person who will work hard at something until the task is complete, and I only consider it complete once it meets my standard of perfection.

But I stopped letting myself be good at things I actually enjoy.

I’m good at cleaning and organizing. I’m a good cook (I kind of enjoy this only when I can get creative). I know how to write and I know how to study. And my dad always tells me I am mechanically inclined, just like him.

I took a step back and saw that I haven’t let myself be good at things that God gave me a healthy desire for. I’m afraid of public speaking even though I used to be great at it and want to be able to speak to groups of young women one day. I don’t read as much as I want to. I gave up practicing singing, in part because of the fear of being in front of people. I gave up art in junior high after bringing too much attention to myself.

The art thing is actually what made me see how bad this problem is. I have been dying to paint for the past few months even though I have never painted in my life, aside from those cheap watercolors I played with as a child. I used to draw, but it was so long ago that I wouldn’t know where to start. I figured that if I felt this strongly to do something I’ve never done, then maybe it was God. I finally saved enough money to buy myself some brushes and acrylic paints just to see if I could do it. My husband was supportive of me as always. He had never seen me do any kind of artwork during the 6 years I’ve known him.

A couple of days ago, he was gone for a few hours in the evening and I decided to paint something for him. I didn’t know what it would be until I started painting. I just knew my first painting would be for him since he sticks with me through everything. I spent 2 hours painting nonstop, and it actually looked good! He came home and was genuinely surprised about how well it turned out. He told me that although he knew I would do well, He thought he would have to compliment me on my potential rather than the painting itself (oh, how I love him, haha!). He was excited for me and continued to tell me how great it was.

I told my dad about it the next day and he said, “I’m not surprised. You were always a talented artist as a child”. He didn’t say it in that way that parents do when they think you are good at everything you touch. He was serious. And I could have cried.

I’ve spent the last couple of days thinking about this and how it made me feel. I haven’t let myself be good at something, enjoy it, and let people compliment me on it in ages. I don’t need people to tell me how wonderful I am all the time. But I do believe encouragement is necessary to keep a person’s hope alive and to succeed. This little bit of encouragement made me see that I need to start pursuing the things God gave me creative intelligence in. This blog is one of those things!

Everything will all have its own timing, but I’m tired of putting off things I could enjoy because I am afraid to succeed.


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Choosing to see His goodness in my life.

I want to share with you what’s been going on with me lately.

I had fallen into a rut (hence, the break I took from blogging for a while) and finally came out of it by the time Christmas rolled around. God pulled me out of it with His still small voice directing me in a way that I didn’t even realize was Him at the time. All He did was tell me to buy a gift for someone, and when I obeyed Him (not knowing it was Him for sure) it opened the door to this amazing journey I have been on. One small act of kindness inspired by the Holy Spirit set off this spiritual domino effect in me that I don’t think I could stop now if I wanted to.

I feel like ever since the beginning of December, God has been doing a lot in me each week and I just haven’t blogged about it.

Last weekend one of my best friends got married. My husband and I were both in his wedding. We have known for almost a year that we were going to be in the wedding party, but it didn’t really hit me until the day before the wedding that this scenario isn’t common for everyone.

Here is our friendship back story…

My friend and I went to a private school where the boys and girls are in separate classrooms for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. The only co-ed class we would have together was math. I didn’t have many friends at the time. Little ole me goes to math class on the first day of 7th grade and I get assigned a seat behind this boy who was quiet and stayed to himself. I had to borrow so many pencils and paper from him the first week of school that we ended up having to talk. And I am so glad we did. He has truly been like family to me for almost 13 years.

Flash forward to 2010 when I meet the man who is now my husband. I let him know up front that my best friend was a guy, so obviously they had to meet sooner rather than later for both of them to have peace of mind. They met and became great friends…

Such good friends that my friend asked my husband to be his best man in his wedding. I almost cried with joy as I stood up there as a bridesmaid and looked on as my best friend got married with my husband standing behind him. I love both of those men more than I can express and in completely different ways. I am grateful to have them both in my life. Isn’t it beautiful how God can build those kinds of relationships and it is still only a fraction of what we can have with Him? I realized as I stood there that not everyone has that kind of friendship in their lifetime. The kind that is unconditional and rides out every storm. I’ve got that in both an old friend and a husband.

The wedding was beautiful but we were exhausted the next day and didn’t go to church. Which leads me to another cool thing that happened to me.

A couple weeks ago, I was contacted by someone to be a guest blogger for their new blog (you can check it out at The Pursuit of Happiness). I was excited because I am still new at this and it is challenging me to put my thoughts outside of myself in more ways than I am comfortable. Since I stayed home on Sunday, I was able to finally put my post together. It wasn’t much but I was happy with it. I sent it out and it was posted on Friday. I’ve already noticed some more traffic coming to my blog as a result of it. I care less about that and more about how I can hopefully have a positive impact on at least a few people for however long I do this. I’ve even felt the Lord nudging me to get into painting and possibly incorporate that into my blogging somehow. We’ll see how it goes!

After all of these things and other recent events, I’ve been overwhelmed with gratefulness for everything God is to me and everything He does in me. I don’t care that my life hasn’t looked “normal” for months now, or that I’ve had a cold for two weeks, or that I had to miss out on the birth of my great nephew because I have been so busy and sick. I feel the Presence of God all over my life and I know I’m right in the middle of His good and perfect will even if it don’t always feel like it. There is a knowing in my spirit that casts out any doubt that my flesh tries to feel.

Those are just some of the things I have had going on. God has been teaching me how to trust that I am hearing His voice in ways I never could before. He has shown me how to appreciate the things that seem small but are really life-changing. And he has taken away much of the fear of vulnerability that I have been struggling with for years. In many ways it’s like I am seeing the world through different eyes. My heart is full!


God is always moving. What are some things He has been teaching you lately? Comment below and tell me about it!





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Christianity is not dead.

I was just reading a post from one of my favorite bloggers. This person said they were noticing a decline in Christianity and in the way people view Christians.

It really broke my heart to see that because it is the same experience thousands of other Christians are having in their own communities across America. This post will most likely be long. I feel the need to talk about my observations of this topic. It is not a criticism of the other blogger (I highly respect this person!), but rather what I have seen with my own eyes from where I live and those I am connected to through the body of Christ.

Let me just jump right in.

First and foremost, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). We cannot forget this. When we forget this, we start panicking when we see people leaving our churches or “backsliding”. We have to remember if He stays the same then either we are doing something to directly or indirectly push them away, or God is cleaning house. OR BOTH…. Which is very likely based on the current state of our nation.

If Jesus is the same, and the problem is that WE are doing something wrong, then what is it that we need to change?

We have to stop being so divisive within the church.

Look at the lack of unity there is in the church. I can’t even name all the different denominations there are. The Bible gives us the understanding we are supposed to have on this.

1 Corinthians 1:10-17 NKJV

Sectarianism Is Sin

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

(Let me be clear. Based on these verses, I do not believe the church should have denominations. The church I belong to is connected to a denomination, but myself and many of the members consider ourselves nondenominational because of the direction the church is moving. We are still unified as a body.)

There are denominations that have been founded when people within a church begin to disagree to the point that some people leave and start their own church to preach what they think is right. They say they are church planting (which is actually a thing so I am not speaking against real church planting) but in reality, their church split because of disunity or wounds inflicted on each other and now they are building a new church foundation on top of animosity toward their brethren.

This was the beginning of some of the most prominent denominations within Christianity. This is why if you go to the South you will see multiple churches of different denominations in every community. Everyone wants to bring what they think is the truth to their community.

There is one highway that goes through a small town near where I live and there are 4 churches within 2 miles. All visible from the main road. All of which do not have large attendance. All of which have been there probably longer than the 25 years I have been alive. The surrounding community is poor and most of the people living there don’t attend these churches. The church people there seem nice but the churches are not growing. This is partly because they were built on a foundation of resentment toward other denominations, among other reasons. Which brings me to my next point…

You need the younger generation in the church for the church to survive and thrive.

There has been much said about the current young adults and teens in America. I’ve been an adult for 7 years, married for more than 4 years, and I STILL have people older than me start conversations with me with the words “your generation (insert complaint here).” It is never ending.

Here is a video I watched recently that well describes some of my thoughts on this if you want to watch before your continue reading.

“This is exactly what’s wrong with this generation” video.

With that being said, my point is that people cannot continue to shift all the blame onto the children, teens, and young adults in the church and expect them to stick around through adulthood. They need truth and discipleship starting at home and with the church as a family.

Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

This may mean you have to admit that you haven’t always said or done the right thing and make intentional steps to change your approach for the better. You cannot just birth children, take them to church, let them attend children’s church if the stories are watered down, then attend a youth group if they aren’t building a real foundation because they play games and eat pizza every time there is an opportunity to learn something, then just send them off to college and expect them to automatically know what to do or how to apply the Word of God in every life situation.

They need to be part of a family that prays and pursues the things of God together, and they need to be part of a church that reinforces that. This enables them to go out into the world and repeat that and build on it.

These children are reaching milestones in their lives without being prepared for the spiritual battles they will be facing. They can’t reconcile the craziness of this world with the goodness of God. Because of this, they turn away. They stop coming to church because they don’t feel or understand the Holy Spirit and they don’t want to go through the motions of religion. They want more. Our spirits cry out for more because we were created to be in communion with God.

So these young people stop going to church and that only leaves the parents and grandparents who attend. Not only are there less people, but now the people who are attending are broken over the loss of their babies to the world. Some parents show unconditional love and pray that their children return. Some parents cut off their children because they feel like they should’ve known better than to abandon their faith.

The problem here is that they probably never had real meaningful faith. They had the idea of faith in their minds and not in their hearts. If they truly knew God, lived by the leading of His Spirit, and felt His love, they wouldn’t want to leave that behind for anything in this world.

People who have had an encounter with God and have that firm foundation in Him do not leave the church easily. They do not just wake up one day and decide they don’t want to do it anymore. Either they never had true faith, or they love God and they just didn’t feel loved by the people or the church they were part of.

Passion is something we develop in our youth. We are looking at a generation of the most passionate people the world has ever seen. God created them that way for a purpose. Unfortunately, all of them don’t have the foundation they need to live out that passion on the correct platform. It is getting distorted and not bringing God the glory. Imagine the passion with which they pursue the world being directed toward pursuing God instead. That is what we are born for.

This has been a major issue with my generation and those younger than me. But it is becoming a growing self-realization with people who have been in church for 30 years or more as well. I have increasingly seen people leave churches they have been at for years and taking their families with them as a result of not feeling connected to the people or not feeling connected to God through the church they attend. They finally hit a wall. They are tired of not having that passion for God and not seeing His promises fulfilled in their life, family, and church.

They lack deep understanding, relationships, and passion. They don’t all turn away from God. They just struggle to find a church they feel like is a reflection of what God promised.

Some of these people leave church completely while others try to find a new church. Church-hopping is what people call it. It can be successful in helping them find a church home if the seekers are forgiving and have the right motives in the search. But a lot of these people end up hopping around and never feel truly connected to the body, keeping everyone at arm’s length.

I am finally making it to my last point. Thank you for patiently reading this far!

How can we evangelize and bring in new members, or even just keep the members we have?

When we operate out of pure love and compassion, people see something in us that is different. It isn’t tolerance. It is grace. It is forgiveness. It is hope. It is the Holy Spirit.

When we stop looking for reasons to be quick to point out sin in others, when we start loving them where they are at, and when we pray for them and have a servant’s heart toward them even when they don’t deserve it, then they will see Jesus in us. Then they will want what we have and He will lead them to change.

It cannot be pushed on people and it cannot be received through simply growing up in church. Every person must be presented with the fundamental truths to make their own decision and it has to be done in love toward them.

Churches that understand this are seeing new and lasting salvations every week in church, in the workplace, on the streets, the grocery store, and at schools.

I have seen it with my own church and I have seen it in numerous churches in our nation.

I’ll give you an example. A man from our church passed away last week and our pastor preached at the funeral. The man had a heart for the lost and wanted an altar call at his funeral. The message our pastor preached was simple but important, then four people got saved at that funeral.

Christianity is not dying. Christianity is SHIFTING. People are beginning to wake up to how truly ALIVE they are in Christ and see that without Him everything leads to death.

This is something that takes time. Some churches are not seeing it yet and others are dying in the wilderness thinking it will just show up at their doorstep.

It isn’t about how many churches there are. It is about what is going on in those churches and in our hearts. Jesus drew crowds of people. Do we not think He can still do that today?

If you are part of a church that feels like it is dying, or it is at least not growing and you don’t know why, I suggest that you take a step back and maybe visit a growing church in your area. Don’t worry about growing your church. Just be about your Father’s business and live like Jesus. Do some research and see what is happening outside the walls of your own church. Keep an open mind because you might see some things that surprise you. Do not be afraid. Trust that the Holy Spirit will show you what He is doing and how he wants you to be part of it!



I would love to see what the rest of you think about this. Feel free to share any testimonies you have in relation to this!





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My first REAL New Year’s resolution.

I took an unplanned break from posting. It all started when I broke my cell phone, which contained all my notes and Bible verses that I had saved. That may seem like a lazy excuse, but it threw me off my game.

The reality is that I think I was already looking for a reason to hide away for a while.

It turned into a break from a lot of things. Some of it I needed a break from and some of it was completely unnecessary. But it happened anyway… and here I am again!

I am happy to be back in time for the new year.

Not that it means anything special. It’s just that this year has been one of the hardest years of my entire life.

I’m over 2016 on so many levels.

I’ve been thinking about everything I’ve been through this year. Although much of it was difficult for me, I learned a lot about myself and about the people around me.

I’ve seen things about myself that I don’t like and I’ve withdrawn from people in fear that they would reject me.

I’ve had moments where I wished I was anyone except myself.

I even had a moment where I was tired of being a Christian because I was sick of feeling like I wasn’t good enough. Thank God that thought didn’t stick!

My prayers became less about asking God to fix me and more about asking Him to give me understanding of who He is.

My view of others is now more of unconditional love and compassion instead of unrighteous judgements.

I’ve seen prayers I’ve prayed for years answered in ways that I never expected.

I’ve made decisions solely based on the leading of the Holy Spirit and went against everything that looked right in the natural to do so.

I’ve accepted that I can’t always be right and learned how to ask for advice without fear of being criticized.

I’ve felt loved in the middle of me not loving myself, without ever saying a word about it to the people showing me that love.

I had the best birthday (my birthday is in December) and Christmas this year all because God revealed himself through the guiding of the Holy Spirit in me and the love of my friends.

And I’ve come to appreciate my life for what it is even if it isn’t what I thought it would be at this point.

God has done a huge work in my heart, and it continues.

I want 2017 to be about my full submission to the Holy Spirit. I want to crave His word and His love every moment of every day.

I want everything I think and do to operate out of communion with the Holy Spirit.

That is my one and only New Year’s resolution!


Romans 8:5-6 NLT

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.





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A lesson in leaning into the unexpected.

I love it when I talk to God about something, not thinking it’s a big deal to Him or anyone else, then He proves me wrong.

Well, I actually hate being proved wrong (it’s a problem I’m working through). But when God does it, it brings healing and freedom.

You see, He has consistently been sending answers to my prayers lately. He always listens to me. We converse all the time. But, like everyone else, there are those things that I bring up to Him that I feel like get shelved and not addressed for a long time.

God is great like that. There are some things that we need immediately and other things that need to wait for the right moment to be responded to. A moment that only He can see is right.

For a while now, I have been praying for God to open doors in my life to stronger relationships, possibly a mentorship (if He thinks it’s necessary), and for me to develop the humility to be vulnerable enough to get close to the people He sends my way. (You can see some of this in my previous posts.)

I felt like none of this was getting a response from Him. My most heartfelt and painful prayers are about this, and I always get silence.

I hate to admit it, but it was effecting my ability to fully give myself to worshipping Him and serving Him. I’m still learning to do those things even when I don’t get what I want because He knows best.

About two weeks ago, I started seeing a shift. I was asked to spend a little quality time (my love language) with a friend. This turned into a conversation that helped me deeply and made realize I am not so alone in some of the things I’ve been going through. It encouraged me to keep my head up and hold out hope that God will do a work in me and in those around me.

This was an answer to prayer and I didn’t have to do anything accept show up when God gave me the opportunity.

Then this past week, I got a call from another friend inviting me to go on a trip over the weekend to the Awake Deborah Conference at Church of His Presence in Daphne, Alabama. I said yes again… man, I am on a roll! I’m not the most spontaneous person in the world. So having less than a week’s notice on this and still deciding to go was a huge step for me.

I knew at the time of the invite that this was another answer to prayer. I didn’t know exactly how yet, but I could feel it. There was expectation filling my spirit. But I was afraid.

I was afraid of staying with other women and being rejected. I was afraid the trip wouldn’t meet my expectations. I was afraid I might show a side of myself that isn’t always so pretty and sweet. I was afraid that somehow I would let these women and God down.

All kinds of thoughts were running through my head, but I went anyway because I wanted the breakthrough.

My final prayer before I left for the trip was that God would use the trip as a stepping stone in my process of learning to be vulnerable.

He responded alright…

I made a point to open up and talk to the girls for the first two days and it was fun. Some of the main talking points of the conference were about the depth of the relationship of the five women who led it. This was an example that I needed to see to prepare me for what I didn’t know was coming.

Then it happened…. I got miserably sick on the third day. Which was the last day of the conference. I’ve never been sick like that in front of anyone except my parents, my cousin (who is more like a sister), and my husband. How much more vulnerable can you get than vomiting in front of people you are still getting to know…

Talk about humbling.

I couldn’t go to the conference the last day and I was sad about that. But I couldn’t help but laugh about it. Although I do not believe God made me sick, I do believe that He used the situation to show me how much these ladies cared for me. He reminded me that He can bring joy and love into any situation. He showed me it is okay to be vulnerable and it is okay to let others help me. I don’t have to do everything myself and I don’t have to be perfect. When I try to do everything myself, there is no need for other people in my life. Serving each other and loving each other through the not so easy moments is what strengthens true relationships.

I’m in awe of how creative God is with His responses to our prayers. He takes His time to write a story and is patient with us as He watches it play out through our various choices and missteps along the way, even though He already knows the ending. How beautiful that is!





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My thoughts on elections (as a Christian).

I don’t like politics.

Every time I say this, people automatically rule me out as having no knowledge of current events.

They misinterpret what I mean.

Just because I don’t like politics it doesn’t mean I’m completely blind. I still keep up with what’s going on in the world as much as I can and have opinions on many things in this category.

What I don’t like is how everything becomes an argument these days. People don’t talk about things by way of a normal discussion anymore. I opt out of participating in it most of the time because of this.

This post is not to tell you who I’m voting for or to judge anyone else for who they want to vote for. I respect everyone’s choice even if I don’t agree with it. That’s where they are at and I wouldn’t ask anyone to vote differently than what they feel is right. All I can do is say what I believe and pray it helps.

What I do want to do is address Christians on this because I feel that we, as a community, get it backwards way too often.

By backwards I mean we place being an American before being a Christian.

Answer this openly and honestly….

Do you think that (no matter who gets elected president) God is not aware of what is happening in the US? Do you think that He is incapable of turning all things for His glory?

Our eyes need to be on eternity and on what we can do in our everyday walk of life that will change the atmosphere around us. Our souls should cry out for the salvation of others and the furthering of His kingdom.

I see so many Christians crying out for judgement and lashing out in anger and fear because of politics. This is sad to me.

Love God and love others. That is His commandments to us. Use your life and your voice to change the hearts of those around you and direct them to Christ instead of hanging your hope on an election. God never promised us that everything would be easy for us.

What if the election of a president who leads this country down a path of destruction is what it takes to turn people’s hearts to God? I’m not saying that will be the case with any of the candidates. But if it is, would you be angry? Or would you see the opportunity God is giving us to be a light in the darkness and to bring His children home?

We must be Christians (children of God, followers of Christ, led by the Holy Spirit) before we are anything else. This is supposed to be the foundation of every decision we make after we are saved.

Our hope comes from the Lord! Not from the world.

I pray that each of you will see the purpose in the struggle in your personal life and in our nation. That you will see the vision of God’s kingdom manifest on earth and begin to approach conflict and suffering with more understanding than before. And that all fear and anger about the world and our nation’s current events will be gone in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Let me know your thoughts on this topic. Even if you aren’t from the US! I love hearing outside perspectives on these things.





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Don’t give up.

I’m trying my best to be honest with myself and everyone else in this post.

I haven’t been posting at all lately because I haven’t been able to fully accept what’s been going on with me. I don’t know where I picked up the bad habit of hiding certain feelings and being painfully direct with others…

Let’s just say my husband is great. (Thank ya, Jesus!)

As of late, I have been in some hardcore battles. Some of it is circumstantial. Most of it is mental. It is like everything I’ve learned about God’s nature and how to deal with life goes completely out the window just long enough for me to have a mini breakdown.

Does anyone else experience this???


Yes, I had a small breakdown this week. Not at the “I need to go to the hospital” point. But I was overwhelmed, tired, and hurting in so many ways. I just had to take some time to cry.

There have been so many words spoken over my life and confirmation that I am where I am supposed to be. But I keep having this nagging feeling that I am not doing enough and that I’m letting people down. I thought I had defeated this junk in my life but it has been coming back with a vengeance.

I don’t want to say that I’ve been depressed, because I have been there and this doesn’t feel quite like that. I do think that this has to do with some level of perfectionism in me that I did not realize was there.

I mean, I knew it was there. But not in this way.

When I’m already going through something like this on the inside of myself, adding external problems to the mix does not make it any better. It makes me feel totally out of control. This terrifies that perfectionist side of me.

I’ve actually gotten to the point where I don’t even like it when people pray or prophesy good things over me because right after they do I’m thrown into the completely opposite situation from what they prayed. It makes me feel like I did something wrong. Then I feel like I’m wearing these thoughts and feelings on my sleeve for everyone to see (which usually isn’t true).

This is probably God building my character and teaching me something. But right now all I feel is pain when it happens. That is my fault for not looking at it right. Because of course I appreciate the words and prayers!

The difference between this time and last time is that I can feel the peace of the Holy Spirit trying to shine through this. In the past, I couldn’t see anything God was doing so I would just sink deeper and deeper. Although my flesh wants to sink this time, I feel God catching me. It hurts, but I can see that it will not last forever.

That is how it works after all. We aren’t supposed to fully know the “who, what, when, where, how” of things while it is happening. If we knew all that up front then we wouldn’t learn whatever it is we need to learn.

The pain is real y’all.

But I’m keeping my eyes on the promises. Some of these promises are so close. I just know it.

I’m not giving up this time. There is too much to lose by giving up and too much to gain by keeping on!

God is still doing so many good things. My prayer today is that my focus does not get shifted from what is most important!


Jeremiah 29:10-14 NLT

This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”





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