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The sun has set, but my heart feels restless. I’ve seen flowers blooming on stems that once hid tightly wrapped buds, like a toddler’s fist holding the last of remains of a crumbled cookie. Blossoms lightly spilling onto the ground beneath trees swelling with foliage tell me spring has done its work. I look at the calendar and I know summer will soon fill my days like the ocean running up to the shore at high tide. Yet, in the deepest, most quiet parts of my heart, I feel as if I’ve just been standing still. You know that feeling you get, when you plant your toes in the sand — and you hold your breath brave and the ocean crashes up around your ankles and then, as the tide recedes, the rush of water feels like the whole earth is moving beneath you, carrying you into its arms ahead? I’ve been feeling this way. Life isn’t always easy. So many voices around me. I’ve been trying to orchestrate the myriad of decisions that rush at me left and right. Some days, it seems the best I can do is to stand still, plant my feet and not lose my place. My soul feels tired and weary — because you and I were made for more than just surviving our days. We were made to be God’s beloved. Refreshed. Vibrant. He’s placed in us a part of Him that no amount of productivity, goal-setting, or accomplishment can fulfill. God’s placed in you and me — a longing for beauty and rest, that is often awakened by feelings of restlessness, desire and maybe even pain. It’s in those honest moments of reflection, we find God’s quiet voice still whispering, speaking, and inviting us to be known. You are not forgotten. I know the this place where you’ve hidden. Beneath the busyness. Beneath your unspoken words. I see you. Your heart. Your story. Your questions. Your need. Come to Me. Let Me love you. Then, all of a sudden, we remember that God brings the surf to gather speed onto the sand, so we can feel the pull of the moon, brush the hush of the sea to our feet. It’s the touch of Jesus, longing for us to stop and hear him say: “Come to Me. You who are weary and heavy laden. Let Me give you rest.” {Matthew 11:28} Even among the daily routine, there is a quiet Voice — God’s whispers of love — that no amount of busyness, weakness, guilt, failure, brokenness, stress, or hurt can erase. As sure as each turn of the ocean, the Holy Spirit will never leave us. And His intimate voice of reassurance will never tire. It’s easy to give in to fear, that something in us — our past, our fears, or our worries — could ever somehow separate us from our place of refuge: Himself. But, look up to sky. See how the sun rises each day to meet you in the morning, as it falls quietly through your window onto your breakfast table. Look at the blossoms on the tree whose arms have been barren through the frost of winter. Then, dare to slow. Be still. And let the quiet of that moment invite you to hear these 7 Things Your Soul Needs to Hear: 1. I will be your shelter. I will be your home. No matter where your journey takes you, you belong to Me. “You are my shelter and my shield; I put my hope in Your word.” {Psalm 119:114} 2. No matter who hurts you with their words, I will heal you. I am your safe place. “In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.” {Psalm 31:20} 3. When your arms are empty of dreams, I will sing you a new song. And it will be yours and Mine. “He has given me a new song to sing.” {Psalm 40:3} 4. Don’t hide your worries from Me. I will never tire of your worries. Come closer and bring them all to Me. Again and again. “Do not worry . . . look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap . . . and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” {Luke 12:22-25} 5. Let go of what holds you and let Me hold you instead. What others don’t want, I want. You are mine. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.” {Isaiah 41:3} 6. My heart is your home and sure shelter for this journey. Not because life is perfect, but because My love for you is irrevocably perfect. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” {Jeremiah 31:3} 7. My choice to choose and love you is irrevocable. You are forever in my heart. This I pledge. “He has set his seal of ownership in us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge, a guarantee of what is to come.” {2 Corinthians 1:22} Slow down, be still. Let go. Slow down, just breathe. Still believe. You have all you need. Loved in the arms of Jesus. Be loved. And be free.

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