Since moving to Texas almost 3 years ago I have been back to P-town 4 times (including this past weekend). The first three trips back, good times were had, but there were also some really rough patches. Which might be news to some since I probably never mentioned the rough patches. Mostly I wanted to ignore them, pretend they didn’t exist, forget about them. I wasn’t very successful at doing any of those three things. Couple that with the fact that the 3 years I lived in P-town were the hardest years of my life. Not school wise, but just emotionally and life wise. I was dealing with a lot, working through a lot. So when it came time for this trip back, I was a little apprehensive. I was a little unsure how it was going to go. It put a damper on my excitement. Which was a bummer. Because I really was excited to go to Bryan and Katie’s wedding. I really was excited to see my friends and hang out with them. I really was excited to be back in Portland.
As my plane descended into the Portland area, the Lord simply stripped away all my worries, all my fears, all my apprehensions about the weekend. He calmed my heart, and gave me a sense of peace about the weekend. I just knew it was going to be a different kind of trip. And it was. While I was there I didn’t know why or how, I just knew it was. But as I’m reflecting back on it I’m seeing just how much the Lord was at work.
I serve a God of redemption, and this weekend was all about redemption. All the things I thought I’d lost or missed out on from my time living there and my trips back there. All the lies that the enemy had been tossing my way recently about my time in Portland that I had started believing. All the hurt and pain I had been associating with the place rather than the reason. The Lord stripped it all away and showered me with the truth throughout the weekend. He redeemed it all.
It was oh so fitting that I came back just in time for “Awaken.” Which was a time of worship at my church on Sunday night. Oh so fitting to come back and praise the God who loves, loves enough to redeem the hard times in our life for His glory!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9