Two weeks ago was the night of worship at my house I’d been planning and preparing for the entire summer. The theme: Fiesta. I spent numerous midnight hours scrolling Pinterest for the perfect inspiration for this sweet celebration. I asked friends to help with food and kept the theme of bright, fun colors consistent with all things. I kept clicking the purchase button on Amazon determined to make this night special even if it meant going over budget. Many hours went in to having everything as ready as it could be as we had never done anything like this before. I wanted it to be perfect in every way. Special.


The day of I rushed to get everything in its place, ready for my guests. It felt like time was running out. With experience in party planning and many niece and nephew birthday parties, you reach a point where some things don’t matter-if you can get it, have it then great and if not-whatever!


My childhood bff came over early and helped get things set out. As my friends started arriving each one of them asked what they could do. I’m not the best at asking for help and well, I have a tendency to just do things myself. Besides, I wanted them to come and just enjoy without having to do anything.

After greeting my people through the madness of what still needed to get done and the anticipation of what was even going to take place, it was time to start-time to eat! After eating and communing together (which I never did eat until it was over) it was time for worship, which is what the night was all about anyway. Worship. Praise. His Presence. Declaration and taking territory of what was being promised.


It was a beautiful time in the presence of God with some amazing friends and family! It was everything I was hoping it would be! Freedom. Creativity. Purity. Peace. Rest. Joy. So much more!


Here’s the thing-when it was over, I realized:

• I left the bag of balloons I insisted my niece help me blow up in the bedroom-just dropped them randomly and never went back to them.

• The chopped tomatoes and two salsas I asked my sister to make didn’t make it to the table.

• Oh, those precious cactus cupcake toppers for the churro cupcakes a friend made-forgotten

• The fiesta fringe for photo taking never got put up

• I noticed I threw my dirty clothes in a mad dash to get dressed and ready in five minutes in my bedroom where I told a friend she could put her baby bag! Talk about embarrassing!

I honestly had a moment where I felt bummed that these things didn’t happen, went unused or could have been better. And then I felt the Lord impress upon my heart……”those things didn’t matter.”


At the beginning of that week, my spiritual momma prayed over me and one thing that was spoken was just a casting off of the anxiousness of good-which I interpreted that as, only what is necessary-only what is needed even if it’s good, let it just be God. My desire for excellence and perfection needed to submit to what God already ordained for that night. And if so, it would be easy.


Afterwards as I finally got a taste of sister’s sopapilla cheesecake bar dessert and let myself rest, I thought about all these things and was led to the story of Mary and Martha.



 

Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. 40 But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.” 41 But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 🤍



 


We make it so hard to sit at the feet of Jesus when our schedules are full, our to do list is overwhelming and our idea of what we need and who we even need to be outweighs the grace available for us to just come as we are and bask in the presence of the Lord. It’s easy though to just come and sit with Him.


I was thankful that the list I would soon sit and ponder on didn’t rear it’s ugly head during the evening and that when it was time to worship, my heart took the posture of Mary’s sweet expression of humility and love to her Savior.


Drop the to do list. Stop the striving. Receive Grace. Choose the good part-the better thing. He just wants you. All other things can wait. Some things just don’t matter. But life spent knowing Him, truly knowing Him intimately-that matters. 🤍 Our need for perfection and excellence shouldn’t overshadow our need for our Bridegroom King.


“The King is in the field” 🌾👑 Meet him there!


“but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42 NIV




This past Spring when I thought promises were coming to fruition and seeds were beginning to bloom, the Lord led me to a season of Cherith. This has been an intense and overwhelming chapter of life, but nonetheless, this is the place I truly found who I am and whose I am.



“Go from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan [River]." 1 Kings 17:3



It was a beautiful Spring afternoon outside a well-known coffee shop when I shared heartache and disappointment with a sweet friend who spoke of her own season in this barren place of complete surrender and trust. I thought, "ugh, I do not want to go there!" After taking her advice on a book by Priscilla Shirer to read, I rushed to Mardel to purchase the book as well as a new bible. My heart needed to hear God's voice in a way I had not and as a dedicated journaler, my bible was full of all the things I have been praying for and declaring. Those things I do believe were still God's plans and decrees. But in this moment, the Lord was calling me to take my eyes off my plans, my dreams, my desires and put them on His. HIS WORD was all I could rely on and all I hungered for.


While in Mardel, God confirmed this detoured path in a way only he can. I searched through every shelf that held a bible and could not find the perfect one, at least not what I had my heart set on. I got tired of looking so I decided to find the book about Elijah and when I could also not find that on my own I asked for help from an employee. She led me to the book but it was a study-and I thought no, I don't think this is it. But I opened it, and I opened it directly to the section labeled in big letters: Cherith! After this I went back to search for a bible and on a bottom shelf my eyes caught this hand painted beautiful cover. The brush strokes of pink and blue hues with hints of gold and no exact design or aesthetic called my name as if it was a reflection of everything in my heart. We often don't see the beauty of the unknown as our hearts settle in anxiety where every detail drawn to perfection is more of what we crave. Yet, I could see the beauty in the abstract bible-this unfiltered masterpiece-holding in my hand the pieces of something unseen and unknown.


I got home and sat down to look at these new items that God gave me as we rerouted our plans. As someone who enjoys and believes in the meaning of words, numbers, colors, all the things and how God uses them in every day life to reveal His heart and insight of Heaven, I decided to look up what this Cherith place even was. Because to be honest, I had no idea.




(I asked God for a tangible picture of my Cherith while on a weekend retreat-this was it!)




Cherith-pronounced "KEER-ith"

The meaning of Cherith is:

a cutting; a separation; winter stream


There's that word winter again! I didn't fully understand because God was speaking of the winter season being over and the barren places bursting with beauty. How could this be? Why am I here? Well, one answer to that is some words we get are for that exact moment and some are for other appointed times. In the spirit realm it may not be Spring yet although in the natural we see it.


"Elijah fed by the Ravens" is also what popped up in google as I searched this foreign place. And so I go to open my new artisan bible and for fun (because I know you do this too) decided to turn to where the gold bookmark rested in between the crisp pages. Maybe God would speak something specific! And so, I opened the bible to where the gold bookmark was placed, and my eyes went immediately to 1 Kings 17 with a title that read:

"Elijah fed by the Ravens"


Yes! That really happened! God speaks and shows and is constantly with us each day ready to reveal mysteries, secrets, wonderful things! And He ALWAYS confirms His Word, because let's be honest-we don't always act or respond to what He says and He is such a good God that He will not let us miss it!


I knew then, that while this was definitely not the place or season I saw coming or wanted to be in, He made it clear that this was necessary. I had to surrender and let things from the past even good things like my hopes and dreams be cut away so that He and only He could make things NEW!


What a hard process it has been-my season of Cherith. Quiet. Solitude. Loneliness. Rest. Resilience. Strengthening. I am just rounding up this 4 month season. A season of silence at times. I learned at the end of April when my back was against the wall that nothing that I could say, do, or actually even pray in this moment was going to change someone else’s heart. The struggle was intense. Emotionally I had moments where I just wasn’t okay. But after the back and forth between what I know God said and what was being presented to me, deep deep down I still felt hopeful. I still felt myself believe that God could do the impossible. The Bible is full of impossibilities. Pages and pages of suffering proceeding celebration. Miracles, signs and wonders. Even when my dreams felt crushed and my lungs gasped for air, I knew that God could still perform His Word. Now I didn’t just supernaturally become okay all of a sudden. It took being fed daily by the ravens at this bittersweet brook hidden from all I had hoped for. And through the daily provision of a God who Sees, the hurt and hardened parts of me began to break away as healing and wholeness filled my lungs and set my heart and feet free to move without the restrictions and limits my own expectations and ideas kept me bound in. In the hidden place, a slow-flowing stream and meat and bread from the unlikely is where I found freedom.


"You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to sustain you there with food. 5 So he went and did in accordance with the word of the Lord; he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he would drink from the brook."
1 Kings 17:4-6

What is so fascinating about this scripture you ask? First of all, ravens are not really the kind of birds you want to be fed by every day. They are not the cleanest birds. But the beauty in this, and the symbolism is that ravens represent provision! God was essentially saying that Elijah would have everything he needed because God is Jehovah Jireh- the God who provides!


And can I tell you something? As I sat at this winter-stream, the ravens were faithful to come! God has revealed so much about who I am as His Bride. There have been some not so great things broken off of me in this barren and foreign land, yet there has also been a refreshing. My faith has gone to an entirely new level, one where security and trust surround me instead of fear and anxiety.


My heart is truly at rest and peace as I continue to wait upon the Lord.

His Word does not return void. (Isaiah 55:1)


My sweet friend that led me to this land called Cherith- she was right! While she grieved with me at the circumstances I faced-her spirit was excited! She knew God would meet me in the hiddenness. And He did- He really did!


And more good news......the brook has dried up!


"It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land." 1 Kings 17:7


And how does my soul find rest in this? I look around and see a summer of drought in Texas, oh but I can hear the sound of rain!




A Prayer at Cherith


Lord. let my heart glean in this place that feels foreign for you have not forgotten me. While the world shouts we are to be seen, I find rest in knowing that I am seen by a God of love and compassion. You are a God of peace and comfort. You are the greatest reward, Jesus. My soul takes delight in you, even in the barren place and at the winter-stream. I ask that you would cut away the old and breathe new life into me for today and my new season. I praise your name in even the darkest moments. You are there. You have gone before me and made the way. I will rest. I will listen. I will follow you and I will love you all the days of my life. I wait on you as I wait for the rain, the sound of heaven and of your faithfulness. Jesus, you are everything and without you I have nothing. Thank you for being willing and loving me so much to lead me into a necessary season preparing me for all that is to come. Thank you for providing. Thank you for healing. And thank you for setting me FREE!










"If Elijah had a playlist at Cherith"


"Decided" Kristine DiMarco

"Closer to God" Anne Wilson

"Take Me There" Anna Golden

"Your Nature" The Belonging Co. featuring Kari Jobe

"Dancing" Elevation Worship featuring Joe L. Barnes and Tiffany Hudson

"Real Thing" Maverick City Music featuring Dante Bowe

"Wouldn't It Be Like You" Bryan and Katie Torwalt

"Firm Foundation (He Won't) Maverick City Music featuring Chandler Moore and Cody Carnes

"Gratitude" Brandon Lake

"Let It Be So" Kirby Kaple

"You" Davy Flowers

"Gonna Be Alright' Ryan Ellis

"Teach Me To Dance" Jervis Campbell

"Canvas and Clay" (King of My Heart) Trible & Maverick City Music

"Sound Mind" Bryan and Katie Torwalt

"Love Note" UPPERROOM

"So Close" Brandon Lake & Amanda Cook

"Breathe/What A Friend I've Found" Hillsong Worship

"Still God" Anna Golden

"Thin" Housefires featuring Kirby Kaple

"Let It Happen" United Pursuit featuring Andrea Marie

“Honey in the Rock” Hillsong

"Too Good To Not Believe" Brandon Lake

"Back To The Beginning" Dara Maclean

"You Saved Me" UPPERROOM

"Jireh" Maverick City Music


I have had this title in mind for awhile now. Actually, since January when I poured my heart out to one of the women closest to me as we determined God was telling me to rest. What was spoken to me was there would be "release in the rest." This was pertaining to my writing and also speaking, releasing what God has put inside of me, what He was calling me to release for such a time as this as I rest in Him. I looked at this woman and mockingly said, "What am I supposed to write? When God says to rest?" And here we are.


Let's have an honest moment here. Ask yourself, "Am I at rest?" I'll give you a moment.


We fill our lives with all the busy things, get the kids here at this time, make sure to grab the groceries on this day, meetings, workouts, ministry events, keeping up with others, building, growing, and let's not forget posting all the highlights of our lives on social media. We scramble to accomplish what we feel called to, the responsibilities placed upon us, the roles we are called to walk in, expectations and outcomes, yet most days we completely miss God's heart for rest. The enemy has even perverted God's design for rest, coming in hard with an underlying religious lie that resting is doing nothing, yet we find ourselves in a hamster wheel overwhelmed with busyness. Oh, but we are being "still."


I thought all these things. I entertained the lies also. When things would get tough I would want to run away and mask it as "resting." But to be honest and very vulnerable, I haven't rested in 4 years. 4 YEARS! Four years of taking care of family and grieving their deaths, as well as putting all of my heart into someone I felt called to love. There hasn't been any rest.


4 years ago, I had given up everything to move in with my Mom to help my Grandmother during sickness until she passed away. At the same time, my Dad was sick also, and he passed away just 6 months after my Grandmother. 2018 was a time of great loss and grief. I look back and know that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, and I would do it all over again if I had to. There were precious moments even in the time of death and sorrow. I didn't want things to turn out the way they did, especially when it came to my Dad. I said every prayer, casted out every spirit, declared and decreed. But God still felt it was best to take him from us. How could my heart be at rest when everything I tried failed? When hopes and dreams have felt so out of reach? When delay after delay has swept over me keeping me in a constant struggle between God's Word and the enemy's lies? We are told to keep going, keep striving, keep pushing, keep trying to make it happen-nothing wrong with these things, but do you ever get tired of carrying all the weight on your shoulders?


I certainly do. I am a natural nurturer. I am a typical Enneagram type 2 which is the Helper. Eve has nothing on me! I was created to help----I thrive when helping others, giving, assisting, doing-but somewhere along the way I gathered up this false responsibility that I had to fix it, had to do whatever it takes to make something happen, to change myself and be who others would want me to be, to carry the burden upon myself. I want others to get it, you know? To know God the way I know Him. To experience deeper intimacy with a Father who loves them. To be set free.


I recently realized that I cannot control what others think, do, feel or how they experience God. I cannot drag them across the finish line or pray the boldest prayer to get them to cross over into the promised land. I'll admit, somewhere along the way in this 4 year season, I lost myself in that.


Back to January, I had to ask myself, "what does rest look like for Jessie?" The answer was: worship-dance, learn to play the piano

write-blog, write a book

create- start a ministry to help women connect to their Creator and creative calling

get healthy- prepare myself physically for future things

let go-------------


I have done/am doing all these things except I never let go. I never let go of what God said and how I thought He was going to perform what He said. I never rested in it or truly in Him. I wrestled and struggled with having to get it right, line up with perfect timing, and be ready-again, nothing wrong with those things, but what was the motive of my heart?


Last month, I was crumbling at Crumbl Cookie, haha-how prophetic! While waiting on my delicious waffle cookie, I had a moment where I saw the photo a sweet friend took of me at a women's conference I helped with in March. I was on top of the world that day. Speaking boldly, proclaiming and declaring, yet I was crumbling a month later. What happened? A quick downward spiral into the unknown that left my heart broken and devastated, defeated and empty.


As I stood their in line waiting for my name to be called, I heard a convicting whisper from Holy Spirit, "That woman that you were that day, are you trying to become that woman for man or for the man that died for you?"


I couldn't respond. I ate my cookie quickly, chewing on the question.




 


Sometimes things just don't make sense. If they did at the time God gave us revelation (which He does not even have to do, by the way) where would we be trusting Him? What and who would we be resting in? Because at the end of the day, He is the Giver of Life. He is our peace and place of rest. It will never be our husband, our family, our position, our bank account, our talent....our greatest calling and purpose is being a Child of God. It's just that simple. No strings attached. Resting is really getting to the place that being a Son or Daughter is enough and that because of that, He is enough.


It has taken awhile to come to the Cherith Ravine where daily provision comes by the ravens...

this is my current place of rest.

My full surrender.

Resting and Trusting.


If you're feeling overwhelmed, if all the things you've tried just aren't working, if the promises seem too far out of reach, if you feel a need for a deep breath,

then ask God,

"What does rest look like for me?"





Declarations of Rest


When my heart is weary and heavily burdened, you give me rest. You refresh my soul with salvation. As I join my life to yours, I find rest in you. Your yoke is easy, so my burden is light.

(Matthew 11:28-30)

You refresh me when I am weary, and you satisfy me when I feel faint. (Jeremiah 31:25)

You gift me with rest as I dwell in your presence. (Exodus 33:4)

My Hope is in you as I rest. You lift me up on wings like eagles. (Isaiah 40:30-31)

Your rest leads me beside still and quiet waters. My soul is refreshed and restored as I am led into your paths of righteousness. (Psalm 23:2-3)

I let go of the past and everything weighing on my mind as you quiet me in your love. You rejoice over me with sweet songs and shouts of joy. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I will remain in you, abiding in who you are as joy is made full, complete, and overflowing within me. (John 15:1-11)

As I rest in you, my mind is renewed bringing clarity to your good, pleasing and perfect will for my life. (Romans 12:2)

You create in me a pure heart, and you renew a steadfast spirit within me. As I rest in your presence, you restore to me the joy of my salvation. You give me a willing spirit, sustaining me in all things. (Psalm 51:10-12)

You have promised me a faith-rest life. I will enter into your rest and embrace the fullness of your promises. Resting in you leaves no room for doubt and unbelief.

Instead I will experience your faith-rest life, as I cease my own effort and works. (Hebrews 4:1-11)

My striving has ceased, and I know that you are God. (Psalm 46:10)

I loose myself from carrying the weight of my promises being fulfilled. For you have declared the manifestation of your word and promises will come not by might, nor power, but by your Spirit. (Zechariah 4:6)

I will remain secure and rest in the shadow of your wings. You are the Hope that holds me, my great confidence. (Psalm 91)


Shalom.







"Sarah’s faith embraced God’s miracle power to conceive even though she was barren and was past the age of childbearing, for the authority of her faith RESTED in the One who made the promise, and she tapped into his faithfulness."

Hebrews 11:11




1
2