Counting the Cost

"I'm saying yes to YouAnd no to my desires I'll leave myself behind And follow You"

Those were the words I heard as I washed each dirty dish from the amazing weekend we just had. they caught me off guard. I stopped and looked at my phone, and saw "the cost" by rend collective. I had been listening to music all morning, singing along, but this was more than just a song. it made me slow down and think. Jesus wanted me to hear these words if I wasn't going to listen to his.

the past couple of weeks have been hard. personally, I have been struggling spiritually and mentally like never before. God has been shaking me, breaking me down, and laying out the depths of my heart right before my eyes... I have been learning a few things...

1-I am a mess. im not perfect and I don't have it all together. and Jesus loves me still. He doesn't just love me. He desires intimate relationship, a close knit bond with me. And I realized, after praying this: "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts", that I am not nearly as attached to him as I thought. I am selfish, rude, and all about myself and my needs. and He loves me so wonderfully and passionately yet. I am blown away by this still...

2- Jesus breaks us apart to put us back together. I am in the process of this. He is breaking me, ruining me, sometimes I cry and beg him to take it away but I realized after reflecting on the glorious resurrection, that people must be broken apart in order to be put back together the right way... our Father's way. And we aren't, I'm not, hurting and wandering for no reason. There is supernatural, godly purpose for my suffering and heartache. There is purpose for yours.

God is molding me and making me into the Jesus follower that He wants me to be and made me to be. it hurts, but so did the cross. death came, yes, but LIFE sprung out of that grave. and I can trust that whatever God is doing in me and in my trials and life-situations, His purpose is to create in me a pure heart that loves Him and glorifies Him with every beating second. The sinful flesh in me is dying each day that I hold onto Hope. The Spirit, Jesus's own spirit within me, is growing stronger, stronger, stronger with each slaying of my flesh. I must decrease that He may increase. it hurts. I don't like it but I love Him. I must stay obedient to saying YES to Jesus because in reality, my "self" is dead. Jesus is the life in me.

"I do not need safety As much as I need You You're dangerous But Lord You're beautiful"

As I go through this time of refinement and testing of faith, I am reminded through this song and countless prayers and verses, that Jesus doesn't promise me comfort and safety all the days of my life. Following him is dangerous but, oh, gloriously beautiful. I am broken before Him as I realize that it is in the pain and heartache that I experience closeness with Him because Jesus too suffered. He suffered beyond anything I could ever imagine and He gets it. He understands. and He holds me close. It's my decision to realize & accept His Presence or not. I am humbled and hurt that I have been neglecting that scarred Hand held out for me.

"I'll chase You through the pain I'll carry my cross 'cause real love Is not afraid to bleed Jesus Take my all Take my everything I've counted up the cost And You're worth everything"

with all of my heart, I want to mean these words. my soul is thirsting to chase him through the desert if that's what it takes. my flesh and my selfishness have left me choosing hopelessness in this truly minor situation in my life. I realized yesterday during worship that Jesus is Hope and if I lose hope, then what do I have? Hope is Jesus. Jesus is everything.

Jesus, ill carry my cross, confusion and all, because you're worth it. amen.

Katie is a follower of Christ, a wife, the blogger and founder at Hot Tea and the Empty Seat, and a full time photographer. She lives in TN with her husband, Joe, and Siberian Retriever, Penny. She loves spending time with her husband and encouraging others in their walk with Christ.

Written By: Katie Kashner

Katie is a follower of Christ, a wife, the blogger and founder at Hot Tea and the Empty Seat, and a full time photographer. She lives in TN with her husband, Joe, and Siberian Retriever, Penny. She loves spending time with her husband and encouraging others in their walk with Christ.