Deep Water

So tonight, forgive me, but I’m going to reblog one of my favorite posts from 2016.

We’ve been dealing with a family emergency, so I haven’t had 2 minutes to sit down and write to you, my dear friends.

So thank you for giving me an extra couple days here. This post is ringing true in my life right now more than ever, perhaps it will for you too. Happy New Year friends. 🙂


Ever feel like your life is a broken record?

Like there’s something that you just. can’t. break free from? Just can’t quit or fix or resolve?

How many times have you gone to bed and thought, “Well, I’ll try again tomorrow.”

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Ask anyone who’s breathing and they can relate.

“Go out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Luke 5

This is a pretty famous story in the bible. The gist is this: Jesus takes a fisherman named Simon, out into a boat to teach and fish. Simon was clearly not a very good fisherman, because he had been fishing all day and all night and ended up with diddly squat.

So then Jesus says His infamous one liner: “Go out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”

Ofc, Simon protests, “Lord, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

He does. And proceeds to fill up the net with so many fish that it nearly breaks. So they summon another boat and they fill up both boats with so many fish that they begin to sink.

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OK, whatever, great story. I’m not a fisherman, nor really a fan of fish… soooo what’s the point here?

I was at church the other day, and they read this story. And they talked about the usual: about following what Jesus tells you to do. About being “fishers of men.” Yaddy yaddy yaddah.

Frankly, I’ve been hearing the same preaching on that verse since I was 5.

And as I was walking home, as one does in NYC, my mind was wandering and pondering. Thinking about that story. And something new was put on my heart.

DEEP WATER.

Those were the two words that just flooded my heart.

Deep. Water.

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Back in biblical times, fishing was a lot different than it is today. First of all, it was done with nets. And secondly, the majority of the fishing was done from shore or in shallow water. The fisherman would either throw the nets from shore, or they’d put a big dragnet into shallow waters with a boat, and then drag it in from the beach.

Going out into deep water was a big deal, as there weren’t motors — so it was hard work. And it required a big, strong crew. So the techniques used for fishing were mainly from the shore or in shallow waters.

So.

Deep Water.

Jesus tells Simon to go out to deep water.

AKA: do something different. Do what is difficult. Do something radical.

Simon had been trying and trying and trying unsuccessfully to catch fish.

I don’t know about you, but that just sounds dismal. You’re out in the hot sun all day. There’s no deodorant. No bug spray. Your nets and buckets smell like old fish. There’s no Pandora to listen to. And you’ve been working your arse off all. day. And you literally have nothing to show for all your hard work. Hell, you don’t even get a good selfie out of the whole situation! I’d be about ready to bang my head against a wall!

We don’t have to be fisherman to understand this sentiment.

Doesn’t that sound like recovery in a lot of ways?

Doesn’t that sound like life in a lot of ways?

How many times have you tried and tried to do something and just fallen short?

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Studying for exams. Trying to make the varsity team. Getting a promotion at work. Trying to win over a particularly difficult person. Battling an addiction or harmful thought pattern.

There were phases in my recovery where it felt like every day I was casting out net after net after net and coming up with nothing. I’d slip up with exercise. Get fixated on perfection. Let ED harangue my body image and self-worth.

I was trying. But getting nowhere. Perhaps you can relate.

Deep water.

I had to go to deep water to do something.

I had to do something radical. Something that was significantly different than what I was previously doing. Something that was hard, potentially dangerous, and quite scary.

I had to surrender.

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I’m gonna keep this short, so as not to get preachy.

The last thing to take away, was that Jesus didn’t tell Simon to go out and catch those fish while He lounged on the beach sipping Pina Coladas.

Jesus was in the boat with Simon.

Jesus went out to the deep water with him and helped Simon haul in all those fish. They did it together. And the results were glorious. Miraculous, even.

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What’s the deep water in your life? What’s something radical that you need to try, in order to change the outcome of an unfruitful fishing effort?

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The fish are out there. Waiting to be caught. So many that they’ll sink your boat. But you’ve got to leave the shore in order to catch them.

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“Go out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”

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247 thoughts on “Deep Water

  1. Speaking of surrender…After Peter caught all of that fish, he could have made a lot of money selling them. But he left everything to be fishers of men…to follow Our Lord.

    So sorry to hear about your family emergency. 🙁 I’ll keep you in my prayers tonight.

    1. Wow!! I never thought about that…so true. He left it all. How powerful. And thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Yeah, this is uncharted territory for our family. Hugs and love xox

      1. Me too!! And I feel like I’m witnessing one as we speak. God is good. And He upholds us, even we don’t know what to ask for or how to ask for it. 🙂 big hugs xox

  2. And… After the cross he seems to have gone back to it; a little lost and wandering. Jesus came to get him again to remind him of the kingdom mission he was called into. (And!! This was after Peter betrayed him!) What a God he is.

    1. I know, it is seriously amazing. And gives us hope…especially those of us who do quite a bit of slipping up—*cough*me*cough* haha…but seriously, it is so comforting to see that incredible mercy and forgiveness. God is good. hope your 2017 is off to a great start 🙂 hugs xox

      1. Actually, my 2016 ended with two “miracles” so 2017 is great so far.
        Have you considered that you’re not “slipping up” – which has negative impressions? Think of a child learning to do something. If they falter and need to learn do we say they’re slipping up?
        Another thing, since you’ve got me preaching now, in the Bible, forgiveness comes from two words. One has to do with our response to God’s graceful forgiveness (See 1 John 1:8-10.) But the other word and the amazing aspect to this is the forgiveness that comes freely from God’s heart – before you asked, made things right, got your act together. (See Col 2:13-14.) That word – charizomai – comes from the word for grace!

      2. Really!! That’s so awesome! Oh wow — what a powerful thought and truth. Grace is powerful. So powerful that it’s hard to wrap the mind around. Because the slip ups don’t register in grace – it is an undeserved gift!! God is so good. It is hard to understand just how good. Thanks for your wonderfully encouraging words. You’re a great friend! hugs xo

  3. Powerful writing and testimony! Prayers for you and your family . Jesus is in the boat with you …praise and thank God for the power of His Holy Spirit! You are not alone!

    1. Thanks Rick. Amen to that. He is in the boat with us. Frankly, that’s the only reason our boat is still afloat at the moment. We are so blessed to have Him and each other. God is good. Thanks for your encouragement and prayers. big big hugs xox

  4. So sorry to hear about the family emergency. Prayers for you and all involved. And, thank you for this post (as I’ve just found you). Very thought provoking and true. Surrender, trust, faith…words that are so simple to type yet something I need to be intentional about. Thank you again and prayers.

  5. Ooh I love the story and the quotes, this message is very important to keep in mind. I wish your family the best in this time of emergency. The deep water I’m going through right now is being honest with myself. I’m trying to figure out the why behind one of my greatest fears and I’m not getting anywhere! It’s been nearly a week! So yeah I need to try something radical.

    1. thanks love. I really appreciate that. yeah, self-honestly is deffffinitely an area of deep water for me too. I always have to remind myself that rome wasn’t built in a day 🙂 hang in there my friend! sending big big hugs xox

  6. THIS is exactly what I needed to hear.

    I’m a lot like you in that I have heard this Scripture so many times and have felt the call to “cast deep” but too often I forget that Jesus is in the boat with me. THANK YOU for the reminder.

    1. Aw thank you so much. I’m really glad it resonated with you! yeah, the fact that Jesus is in the boat with us is honestly what has gotten my family through these past several days. We are not alone 🙂 Thanks for your kind words. Massive hugs xox

      1. All the best Princess Caralyn… Jesus is in the boat, in you, in your entire family, and will help steer tha boat through his presence, word and actions… Dare to Go Deep… Amen

      2. ❤❤❤that is such a comforting thought and image. Yes He is. And that’s why this little old boat is staying afloat right now. Dare Togo deep—I love that. ❤❤❤❤❤❤

  7. Prayers to you and your family ..and yes this is so how I have been feeling and a little overwhelmed and sad ,,lost my best bud my pups about two weeks before Christmas and nothing has felt the same . thinking of you hope to see you back on soon but take care of your family first. Hugs

  8. Isn’t it amazing what happens when we have quiet time to mull things, but not only mull on God’s Word, but digest it and listen to what God puts in your heart to understand. Your sharing of that gave it new light for me as well. Thank you!!

      1. I used to dive for lobster. You start with a single breathe and kick down to the bottom and once there. You look for moving rocks because lobster aren’t shiny red until you cook them. The sea, does guide you as if God is next to you.

      2. Oh wow, what an incredible experience! I’m not huge for fish or really seaweed or anything, so I’d rather eat them then dive for them 🙂 hehe God is good xox

      3. Hehe. Yeah. I was in Hawaii and Mexico and a bit of Canada. You do it for the tourists, really. Maybe Peter felt God rather than God fishing with him. Like, the peace you get when you’re deep in the forest and you become a part of nature. Men can’t make forests or fill oceans. There was a saint that was like Peter in Spain he was a farmer, I forget his name but people said they could see angels turning the soil with him.

      4. I was meant for great things like, everyone else but settled on a manageable existence. 🙂 Peter is very, macho but seems insecure of his offering to Christ. Peter wants to die for Him but cannot seem to live for Him.

  9. Thank you so much, my friend. I’m glad that you reblogged this – I needed to read it. It’s important for me to remember that the Christ is always with me. What I’d like to do radically different is to be present, FULLY present in the moment. Thanks for asking.

    Happy New Year, and many blessings to you for this coming year!! May it be filled with grace. Love and Light, Debbie

    1. Thanks so much Debbie! Glad you enjoyed the read:) amen – He is always always with us. A good reminder for me as well. And yes! Gotta work on being fully present too! Sending big big hugs! Happy new year, friend xox

  10. Thank you so much for sharing. Good luck with the new year and god bless you. Would love your feedback on a few of our short stories at our blog Gastradamus. Let me know what you think of Lardy Arms

  11. Really needed that right now! Thanks C! Hope your emergency gets sorted soon and that everyone is okay 🙂 Will pray for you and your family.

  12. Thanks a lot for this dear!! I totally identify with this. God bless you & I pray that the situation you are facing is resolved speedily & without delay by the power of God.

  13. Like Ester in the bible was ready for her time, everything, that got you this far BB, has readied you to face this time. ‘In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loves us.’ Romans 8.37. Prayers and Love.

    1. Oh my gosh what a powerful verse. And so true. Thinking back to everything I’ve been through, and all the time leading up to now, God has been faithful and good and has been preparing me the whole time. I am grateful. Thanks for the prayers and wonderful encouragement. Big big hugs xox

  14. Praise the Lord! Follow Jesus and become a true fisher of men’s and ladies souls. Fish where Jesus tells us, and catch an amazing net full. Let’s pour out our trust in Jesus, he is the Way to Heaven. Have a great 2017. God. Bless!

  15. I absolutely love this analogy. I received an analogy similar to this one as it relates to my ministry, Transparent Treasure. Thank you for sharing this. Some of us are in a season of launching off and we are partially afraid of what we may encounter. Some of us know what we are called to do and who our target audience is. We just hold back because it looks like a lot to bare.

  16. You reblogging this post is awesome timing for me; after a second visit to the Bethel church in Redding, California, I am applying to attend BSSM (Bethel Supernatural School of Ministry) this fall! Stepping into deep water, 5 hours away!

    And speaking of deep, I just noticed how deep your eyes are. Maybe it’s a really flattering photo that was used for this post, but your eyes are are beautiful. Just saying.

  17. Happy New Year!! If I may add layer to your excellent perspective. I am a very active dreamer, and I choose to see water in my dreams as a metaphor for our emotions, or emotional energy. So, if this story were a dream of mine, I would interpret it as telling me to look for the source of my passion. The water is emotion, and the fish, a symbol of God, are our divine purpose. (Fish don’t live in logic, they live in emotion.) The shoreline is crowded and very competitive, with most people staying there because they don’t know how to fish in deep waters and are afraid to try without guidance. So they compete vigorously with their family and neighbors for the few fish that they can get there. Something that leaves many people feeling lost and unfulfilled. Jesus acted like a spiritual guide to Simon. Showing him how to plum the depth of his emotions to find the source his passion, his purpose… which, of course, had him following Jesus.

    1. Hi Craig! Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. What powerful perspective. I absolutely love that. Yes we can never go wrong when we follow Jesus. Thanks again for the great food for thought xox

  18. I remember reading this then and it still rings true now! Be bold be radical ! Go into some deep water in 2017! Blessings !

    1. Thanks Soph! That’s right! You’ve been a diehard reader:) I’m so grateful for your continued friendship. You rock. You’re a blessing to me 🙂 yay for deep water! Hugs xox

      1. You’re work Is a ministry to me! I can always count on a solid post from you! You’ve been an inspiration to me on my own blogging journey! Xo

  19. Great bible reference, Yes! surrender is the word. Trust is the other …..that He will lead you to greener pastures as it sais in Psalm 23 written by David who was a shepherd boy himself and knew everything about the role of a shepherd. David whom God raised him up to be a great king because he rusted in the Lord. Now I know we don’t have shepherds nowadays, but this is an important psalm because the role of the shepherd is crucial to the sheep’s livelihood. Sheep are really at the bottom of the hierarchy, they frighten easily and can”t really look after themselves or solve problems. if there is noise near water, they won’t drink it and die. So Jesus is our shepherd and we his sheep, but it signifies that Jesus will take care of all our needs and when we go through the valley of the shadow of death(our tribulations) Jesus who is our good shepherd, with His crook and His staff will protect us and lead us beside still waters.(There is a lot more to Psalm 23-see my blog for more). I’ve got a family member to read this everyday and after a while when he was ready, the answers came and he made a complete turnaround and was healed. God bless Caralyn <3

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, surrendering … easy to say, hard to do! I love that psalm too. What a comfort is that, to know that He delights in taking care of us. Wow what a powerful story. So glad to hear that. Thanks for stopping by. Big hugs and happy new year xox

  20. Thank you, loved it. This is one of my favorite stories because the next thing that happens is Jesus invites them to leave all that money (fish) right there on the shore and “come, follow me”
    Sometimes the radical is the the best option.

  21. Great post BBB. Jesus did really do those guys a solid. They never caught anything unless He was there pointing to where tondrop the nets. Just sayin… 👍🤘😜

    1. Thanks Dan! A solid indeed! Hehe 😎 isn’t that true about all aspects of life! Thank goodness for His guidance! Hope your 2017 is off to a great start. Hugs and love xox

  22. Beautiful post. It makes me think of Davos where basically he says deep calls into deep. The deep on him was calling out to the deep in God. We often have to go deep to get the bigger reward. I love your blog. Be blessed!

  23. In life we tend to do the same thing over and over that had once been successful. Then comes a time when that tried and true method fails to provide expected results. At this point we can either continue with our habit and fail more and more, or we can sail into foreign, deeper, or unknown waters and try again. It takes courage and faith to step forward into the unknown and is not for the weak of heart.
    But fear not, for God will never ask you to walk alone and as long as you allow Him to, He is walking right beside you.

  24. I’m glad you liked that story I’ve started writing on my blog, “I Have Found It.” I was worried that no one would like it.

    And thank you for this post. You gave me a new way to think about a story I’ve heard a lot.

    Thank you for all the good work you’re doing.

  25. This is an awesome testimony of perseverance, an inopportune time, and the challenge to walk by faith in obedience. I can tell you for me, after I have been working all night long, my chances of not giving an earful of complaints is more likely to happen that saying, “Yes Lord”.

    These were experience fisherman that knew all to well the best and worst time to throw the nets. However, I am so glad that God is able to do things that we do not have the ability to do. He is able to flood our lives with blessing at the most unexpected time, in the most unexpected way, with the most unexpected people.

    Great life-lesson.

    https://aspirations-of-living.blog/

    John Hayes

    1. Hey John, thanks for this thoughtful response. You’re right, He CAN do things that we cannot do. And how grateful am I for that flooding that only He can provide. hugs to you xox

  26. I missed this one Caralyn – its a challenge to all of us. I like what someone once said to me that in the presence of Jesus, how could the fish resist – all scrambling into the nets to get close to him!

    1. Hey there friend! Oh, good, I’m glad it was new for you 🙂 hahaha oh my gosh I’ve never heard that before about the fish but it’s so true! They were practically jumping into the boat! 🙂 hehe hugs xox

  27. I hope all goes well with your family…wrapping you all in <3. Yes, deep water and if something is worth doing, it;s worth giving it your all. <3 xXx with hugs x

  28. Great post. I think I had read it in the past from you (some of the expressions reverberated) not sure. Will reblog it today. There is some strong stuff there. Happy New Year. Hope that fam situation gets resolved. Sincerely; MAO

  29. Reblogged this on andnowmiguel and commented:
    This is from a fellow blogger. She has some great posts. I hope you enjoy it. It talks about Trust, heeding, obedience, and experience following the carrying out of God’s challenge. Shaky bu rewarded. Growth.

  30. I hope your family can find peace. And this was a great post. I literally would be uncomfortable with going out to deep water, so far that I could no longer be oriented by the familiar shore. In the past I have had radical faith in Christ and would obey, appearing crazy to the world. But now I need to look at this passage again and really consider the “deep water” in my life today. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. Me too! i hate when I can’t see the bottom!! same here, I’ve got to find that deep water too. thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

  31. Thank you for this post. I really needed it. I really enjoy your blog! I just started mine and you are a huge encouragement. I hope you have a great new year!
    – Maddie

  32. First, I just want to let you know that you and your family are in my prayers.

    Thank you for reposting this blog! I was just (seriously, like 2 hours ago) listening to a podcast with the author of a book called “Into the Deep” about prayer – how prayer and a relationship with God is like going out into the deep. He is there with us. We don’t know what will happen when we start praying and when we surrender to Him, but we trust that it is good, because God can only bring about what is ultimately good for us.

    Wishing you and your family a safe, healthy, blessed 2017. God bless you! xoxoxo

    1. Than you so much Lulu. I really appreciate the prayers so much. What a coincidence! Sounds like an awesome podcast. I’ll have to look that up – into the deep. amen to that. we’ve got to surrender. happy new year, my beautiful friend! hugs xox

  33. Hi again.

    🙂 You can’t help but be “preachy” when citing the gospel stories. But when you do, you’re being generous, sharing riches that are only found one place.

    Deep water is a wonderful takeaway from this account. I hadn’t noticed that (much) but you’re absolutely right; it’s a key component of how the miracle happened. And it was a miracle.

    I usually notice Peter’s response when he saw the catch – trembling, on his knees telling Jesus to get away from him because he was a sinful man. He was a fisherman by trade and knew very well that this kind of thing literally NEVER happened. I love that part because it means God will meet us in our jobs – our occupations – and give more than we can contain if we (as you said) cast our nets in deep water.

    The other part (yes, 3-point sermon Johnny here) is that Jesus told him he would become a fisher of people. This really is preachy because the call is to be someone who shares his/her faith to help others come to faith. But I notice the “fit” of Peter to the task. He’s already a fisherman. He knows the business. He just needs to adapt his business acumen to a new field. That applies to every believer – it’s no mistake that we’re salespeople, marketers, engineers.

    I recommend Timothy Keller’s “Every Good Endeavor” .. great book on that last subject.

    Sorry to dribble on .. you can tell that I love this story. Thanks for opening it up!

    -John

    1. Thanks for your kind words, John. Yes! A miracle indeed. And so true, being a fisher of people — how powerful is that?!? Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  34. Deep water. That’s a new aspect to that story for me, too. And that’s been true for me too, Father nudges me out toward the deep places with that wink and if I go…broken nets.

    You know what I like about this story? Peter didn’t know Jesus. But all it took was one catch of fish and he saw..I don’t even know what, but someone so much more holy and worthy than him. And he tries to push Jesus away ‘–I’m way to bad a person for you to be hanging around…’ and Jesus kind of just nonchalantly twists his paradigm around with a, ‘don’t be afraid. Come on, I’ll show you how to fish for people.’

    1. Thanks for this Carson. That’s so true about Peter! It’s hard to believe that he literally left everything after that once encounter. Just speaks to His incredible way of drawing people in. And what an example..no matter how we push, He always finds a way to break through. God is good. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re having a great week! Big hugs xox

  35. Thanks for the post, Caralyn.

    It’s interesting you blogged this at this point of time. The last I had processed this event was when the school I had been involved with about 5 years ago, hit a crisis (I inherited a massive deficit and a bad budget when I joined). The passage that had spoken to me then was the one in which Jesus says to throw the net out on the ‘other side’ and at that time, my question and seeking was for the ‘other side’. That said, we had a sudden influx of business a few months down the line and at the end of the year, we made up the deficit, made the bad budget good (it was a loss budget – making the budget meant we would have a loss!) and actually made a small profit. It was a standing testimony of how faithful God was and changed the way I looked at budgets.

    This year, the school I’m currently in is in a similar situation, with 6 months of bad business and after having had to deal with intentionally non-complying teachers, I’ve been having a persistent feeling of having hit a plateau with my professional development, and what direction it should head this year with our, now, very small team of teachers. I don’t believe your post is a coincidence.

    What strikes me is that it’s not human strategy, but a command from Jesus, and the disciple’s response ‘… but because you say so…’ is to me a critical indicator for the need to seek God’s will and heart at these points, because it will often go against the grain of strategizing, board decisions, and management thinking to obey God and bring the business into success. The second thing is that these points of God’s intervention come at peaks of human failure, when morale is at the lowest, and the tendency is towards action to rectify, and not reflection to seek the will of an invisible being.

    Your post had given me food for thought along with the unmistakable pointer to seek out what God wants in this season.

    God bless.
    Indi

    1. Wow, Indi, that’s incredible that you were able to turn that school around. I will definitely pray for your current situation. God has clearly blessed you with great problem solving skills and I know He will do powerful things with you. So glad this crossed your path when it did. Big hugs xox

      1. That’s kind of you, Caralyn, but really, as in the case of the fish, God did something unnatural (in the light of the obvious failures of the expert fishermen, who beyond the shadow of a doubt knew when and where to fish), and His advice seems facetious, but it was obviously the power of the Spirit who drew the fish in to a place they perhaps may never have come.

        Really, it was God who turned the school around. And I know you meant that without any doubt. I need to say it though, because it wasn’t my doing. I was perplexed, and had no idea what to do, and sort of fumbled my way through unfamiliar territory – I’m a teacher, not an account+administrator+trainer+businessman+planner cyborg! My family will vouch for that. 😀

        The pain of many unfamiliar situations has forced me to wear hats I’m not comfortable in, and then God stepped in with such enormous grace. Bless His name!

      2. Haha a cyborg:) that made me chuckle. Yes, I totally get that. God is the source for everything in life. And He always steps in with enormous grace, indeed. Yes, praise be to God! Thanks again for all your encouragement and support. Xoxoxo

  36. Great post! I’m glad you led me to it by putting a Like on my Quiet Christian Speaks – Part Four. I hadn’t even finished proofreading my post in place when your Like appeared. Wow! Thanks!
    I’ll be checking out some of your other writings. God bless you.

  37. Really needed this lesson today, so thank you for posting. I, too, have had a tough time trusting God’s word. Often times thinking he’s flat out nuts. But I always think of one of my favorite verses when I start to have my doubts. It comes from the book of Jeremiah.

    17: 7-8 But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

    I can’t worry about I have to overcome. I have to trust that what I’m overcoming was put in front of me for a reason. That God does, in fact, give his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers.

    Thank you again, for this! My first time reading something from you and I picked the one I needed. God bless, always.

    1. Hey friend! Oh, thank you so much. I’m so glad that this hit home with you. It’s true – trusting God is a lot easier said than actually done!! Wow I love that verse. Thanks for sharing it! hope you have a beautiful weekend! hugs xox

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