I have been unfaithful.

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I have been unfaithful. It took me a while to realize it, but when I did, my heart was broken. These past few months have been a whirlwind for us. We have been so busy moving, finding a new church home, new friends, and starting new jobs. Honestly, we have been blessed beyond measure. Things haven’t been easy, but they have taken us on a journey of the new and unexpected. And somehow, in the middle of all the excitement, I became unfaithful.

I found myself spending more time in the aisles of Hobby Lobby than in-between the lines of God’s word. I began to obsess over watching Netflix instead of waiting for my next sermon to upload on YouTube. My social life flourished while my prayer life suffocated. Sunday mornings didn’t seem to have the impact that they did before, in fact, I felt embarrassed to go to church. Embarrassed because I realized that I let another week go by without growing a millimeter closer to Jesus. I would feel Him drawing me close, gently asking me if I would spend time with Him. My response was, “I’ll make time tomorrow,” and tomorrow came and went while my Bible laid dormant on my shelf, collecting another day’s worth of dust. I had gladly accepted the blessings that my Father gave me, but I made the mistake of allowing the gifts to become greater than the giver. Instead of satisfying the hunger and thirst of my soul with the one who truly could, I turned to the possessions and entitlement, keeping my eyes fixed on the things that this world has ever-so-sneakily taught us to.

I became distant with my husband. We were no longer standing firmly side-by-side on the rock foundation of our faith. We were standing on it back to back, wondering how we had gotten here when things were going so good. We became short with each other and found ourselves lonely in our marriage, even though we still had each other. Our devotional life didn’t exist. Our prayer time together was rare. We felt lost, Like we were in a wandering in a desert and yearning for water, with no energy to even cry out to Jesus to help us. We would say, “we have to change this”, and it wouldn’t. We became complacent. We knew it had to change. We knew that we were capable of getting back to where we are, and we knew we both wanted to. We just didn’t know how.

I somewhat grew up in church and would sing hymns, but as I got older I had forgotten most of them. When my husband and I were dating, we would sing hymns with his family, and I had to do a lot of learning. But there was one that always stuck out to me, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” If you have a few free moments, I would highly suggest you take a listen to this version –> Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Every day that passed that I left Him with my silence from neglect of prayer, He was faithful. When Jesus was inviting me to sit in His presence and I ran from Him, He was faithful. He saw the dust growing on my Bible and knew that I was not refreshed with His word, but He was faithful. He never left me. He never had forsaken me. He never neglected me. He patiently waited for His daughter to return to fellowship with Him and to show His goodness. I had never felt that so strongly until a few Sunday’s ago during our worship at church.. I wanted to worship and pray to Him so badly, but I was embarrassed that I had waited so long. I was ashamed that I had neglected Him and put other things before Him. I wanted to just let it all go and ask Him to forgive me and raise my hands to Him, but I felt like I couldn’t because I had waited too long. I remember thinking to myself, “I’m just going to participate on the sidelines. Lord, I’m here, but I can’t worship you because I don’t deserve to. I don’t deserve you.” And the truth is, I don’t. But that’s what makes Jesus so, so amazing. All of a sudden, I felt His embrace wrap around me like a warm ray of sunshine. I literally felt Him holding me, drawing me back to Him and showing me how much He loved me. In that moment, I realized He had been waiting this whole time. He had been waiting for me to come back to Him. All I had to do was surrender. I had been forgiven and renewed, brought back to right relationship with my creator. I found myself thanking Him for the desert that I walked through, because I was able to realize just how strong His love is, how true His promises are, and how faithful He is.

Since that time, our lives have flourished once again for Jesus. Our marriage is at one of the highest mountaintops it has ever been on, my bible no longer has a layer of dust gathering on the cover, my prayer life is alive and active, and I have my eyes focused on God and the things that He is showing me and teaching me every day. It’s all too easy to get caught up with this world and all that it has to offer, but it will never truly satisfy. I’m grateful to have been reminded of that. I’m grateful that I walked through the desert to realize that my King is who He says He is, and that He loves me like no one else can. I’m grateful that I was shown more of His glory and more of His truth. He loves me, despite the fact that I fail Him. And He loves you, too.

Dear friend, it’s by the grace of Jesus that I have been able to share this part of my journey. It’s humbling. Honestly, it’s a stark reminder that the Christian walk is far from perfect, there are plenty of struggles in it. But the struggles that we go through are nothing compared to God’s glory. Once you have believed that what Jesus did was for you to have relationship with God, and you surrender your life to Him, Romans 8:39 says that “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” He. Is. Faithful. He was faithful for enduring the torture and mocking that He did before He was hung on a cross, bearing everyone’s sin. He was faithful when He conquered the grave 3 days after His death. He was faithful when He promised the Holy Spirit would live inside of whoever believed in Him. And He will be faithful to you.

::Psalm 86:15::

 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Why Called Upon Water?

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When you are as out of the loop with technology as I am, starting a blog seems super intimidating. And trust me, it is, so please bear with me as I get started on this process. 😉 I have been a huge procrastinator with starting Called Upon Water, and it has made me appreciate how patient God is with His children. About this time last year I had a tug on my heart to start a blog. One of the biggest questions I revolved around was “what is the title going to be?” It was amazing to see God already at work in this. I started thinking about all of my favorite bible stories and how each one spoke to me in such a profound way. As I was reflecting on God’s goodness, I was reminded how close He was to my husband and I on our wedding day. Nathan and I wanted our wedding to be completely focused on Jesus. After all, it was because of Him that we were getting married. We chose the song “Oceans” by Hillsong for me to walk down the aisle to. Little did we know how much the lyrics would become a blueprint of what we were going to have to do in our lives. The song starts with;

“You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand”

In Matthew 14:22-33 the story is told of Jesus walking on water. There is so much that has happened that has lead up to this point, but one key thing to remember is that the disciples that have seen Jesus perform miracles and have heard his sermons, still do not believe that He is the son of God. They literally just watched Him feed 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread.An impossible situation was made possible before their eyes, and they STILL questioned Him. Again, I am so thankful that God is incredibly patient.

I  don’t know about you, but that reminds me a lot of myself. There have been so many instances in my life that can only be explained by God, but even after that, I still didn’t believe He was who He said. So, even though it seems like the disciples are being a bit ridiculous when they don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God, I have to take a step back and remember that I was once in their position. I did the exact same thing when Jesus was proving Himself to me.

After Jesus performs the miracle of feeding 5,000, the disciples are loaded onto a boat and He retreats to a mountain to pray. Out on the lake, it began to storm. Not like a gentle little rainstorm – more like a booming thunderstorm that caused the winds to crash the waves against the boat.  Let’s just say that it wasn’t smooth sailing. I can’t even imagine what the disciples were feeling at that time. They had literally dropped everything to follow a man claiming to be God’s son, and now they are in a boat in the middle of a storm and He is nowhere to be found. I’m sure they felt abandoned, tricked, and angry.

Right before dawn came, Jesus walked out on the lake to them. The bible says that the disciples were terrified and they thought that He was a ghost! He immediately called out to them telling them that it was Him, and to have courage and not be afraid. I love how Peter responds to Him. Verse 28 says; “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied,” tell me to come to you on the water.” And Jesus did just that.

BOOM. That was it. Peter did not hesitate. He crawled out of that boat, and set his feet on that water. And did he sink?! Nope. Welllll, not at first. See, when Peter had his eyes focused on Jesus, he could walk on water like he had done it all his life. But keep in mind, there was a storm that was raging. Once he remembered the chaos around him and took his eyes off of Jesus, he doubted and began to sink. I love how Jesus was right there to rescue Him when he was submerging under the crashing waves. That’s exactly what God does with us when we drift from Him; He rescues us, too. He always has His mighty hand of grace extended out to us, hoping that we will come running to Him. He is a Father who longs to have fellowship with His children.

I love what happens after this rescue mission. Jesus and Peter climb back into the boat with the others, and the bible says that the winds died down and that all of the disciples worshiped Jesus and proclaimed that He was the Son of God. It took all of that convincing for them to finally realize that He was the one!! And I was the exact same way! When I read this story, I think so much about when I first came to Jesus. I had known some of the bible, and I knew the basics of the gospel. But I had no idea what it really meant, and to be honest, I doubted that it was even real. I just thought Christianity was another religion.

But then, I had a storm of my own. More like a category 5 hurricane. I felt no hope. I felt lost. I felt like I didn’t matter. When I least expected it, Jesus revealed Himself to me. He came after me. In my mind, I was battling with choosing to believe in Him, or try the next thing to fill my empty life. Just like Jesus called Peter to walk to Him, He called me upon water. And I went. For the first time in my life, I felt peace. I felt acceptance. I felt forgiveness. I felt complete. And just like Peter, I went walking on water knowing that Jesus was who I was searching for. I had my eyes on Him because He was my last hope. I had to abandon everything I knew to embrace a love that I had been looking for my whole life. And it was worth every step.

My life has since been changed by the love of Christ, and I am on a continuous journey to become more like Him. Every day is an opportunity for me to share the love of Jesus and to show God’s glory to a dying world that desperately needs it. And that is exactly why I started this blog. It is just another outlet for me to share my heart, to give some hope, and to help lead people to the cross. People who are in the exact same situation that I had once been in. People who may possibly stuck in an addiction, filling themselves with junk that will never satisfy, or held down by heavy chains of their past mistakes. If this is you, I am going to tell you right now that you are Peter. You are in a boat being rocked by the windstorm gusts of a life searching for what will make you complete. And Jesus is calling you. He is asking you to trust Him completely with whatever it is that you are holding on to. He is welcoming you to partake in a fulfilling and beautiful life with Him. He is wanting you to know that the sin He conquered on that cross was payment for every single sin you have ever committed. He is waiting to reveal to you that it’s truth that He rose from the dead, and that He conquered death forever. He is ready to give you the gift of eternal life and to make a home in your heart. He is calling you upon water. Will you go?

Blessings, friend. ❤

-Tareja