Panic + Peace.

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Peace…

It comes in many forms, but for me it is often most felt in the early mornings when I first wake up.

My typical mornings include: Coffee. An open window. My journal + Bible. Prayer.

Though not long, eloquent, or flashy, those precious minutes represent a quiet communion with God, bringing peace and perspective to a day that has yet to unfold.

A month ago, I woke up early and began my normal morning routine. My Bible reading that day focused on Genesis 11—the story of the Tower of Babel.

For the first time ever, this felt profoundly sad to me. Imagine losing the ability to communicate as you always had. Your whole world would be different—how you function, how you process. Everything would change. Though Genesis 11 does not say how the people reacted to God’s decision, I can only imagine there were feelings of frustration, isolation, and perhaps, complete panic.

But the beauty of this story is that it was not hate that propelled God to confuse the speech of mankind; it was love. His decision—which may have separated families, friends, and communities—could seem cruel at first, yet it was rooted in a deep desire to shepherd man’s personal holiness and dependency on Him. He knew what the people needed.
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A few hours later, my phone rang while I was driving down Northwest Highway on a perfectly normal, sunshiny Friday afternoon. It was my dad—one of my favorite people to talk to—but he sounded different when I answered…the voice of someone with bad news to share. I then learned that my mom had suffered a stroke. My beautiful, vibrant mom—a “perpetual 35 year old,” as my aunt Beth had once said—was facing possible paralysis + loss of speech…all in what felt like a blink of an eye.

I’m not going to divulge much more about her health; I believe that is her story to share. But I will say this: in that terrible, heartbreaking moment, I could relate to the people from Genesis 11 so very much.

The knowledge of my mom’s stroke felt like a loss. It felt like panic.

…But it also felt like peace. A peace I hadn’t truly experienced until that point. Even in the sadness, there was abundant comfort in the knowledge that God was constant, faithful, loving, and near. Though the Williamson family may not like it, we truly, deeply believe that God saw it fit for our wonderful mom to have a stroke and that He is taking care of us in ways that we do not see, nor fully understand.

His nearness sustains us, and His peace overwhelms any sign of panic.

KAT

Currently listening to “Abide with Me” by Sara Groves

I Shall Not Want.

Today’s been a funny day. Not bad; just off.

I couldn’t seem to shake feelings of restlessness, discontentment, and frustration at my current circumstances. And if I’m being truly honest with you, it feels as though God has been holding out on me.

My mind knows better than to believe that lie, but I think we all feel that way sometimes. And boy, is it miserable.

Anyhow, the song “I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad has been an encouragement today. God can satisfy me entirely out of His fullness. Amen and Amen.

I love the following stanza:

“From the need to be understood;
And from a need to be accepted;
From the fear of being lonely;
Deliver me, O God.
Deliver me, O God.
And I shall not want, no, I shall not want;

When I taste your goodness, I shall not want.” 

I have no idea what’s going on in your heart today, but maybe you also need a reminder of God’s goodness…or you can simply place this song in your back pocket for a later day.

Enjoy.

KAT
Obviously currently listening to “I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad

time, age, what have you.

Just some thoughts on this Monday. Actually, the word “thoughts” is generous. These are really just ramblings with no clear conclusion or moral. And yet, it felt good for me to write them down, so I decided it may also feel good (or deeply vulnerable) to share them.

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TIME:

I recently received a work email that contained the date of every staff meeting for the remainder of 2017. Trying to be a more organized version of myself, I began adding each date to my calendar, one month at a time, until I got to September—and my stomach dropped. Why? I think I suddenly remembered the amount of change that happened in my life from March of 2016 to September of 2016, and that caused my head to spin a bit. My whole world looked different over the course of those 6 months. And I suppose there is a fear of that happening again. I’m very comfortable in my current world. Who may be in…or out…of my life 6 months from now? What will be different? Or, maybe even more scary, what will be the same?

AGE:

I’ve always been a big proponent that aging is a good, good thing. After all, if you’re not aging, you’re dead. But the strangest thing happened the other day. I was at dinner with a group of friends of various ages. One guy was joking that he could never remember how old he is, and when he finally told the table his age I was surprised to learn I was quite a bit older than him. Now I know that age is just a number, but for whatever reason, I suddenly felt a little self-conscious of my 27-year-old self. The guy then began to guess the ages of our friends around the table. But when he got to me, he just stated my age…incorrectly, might I add. He was only off by a year (he thought I was 26), but still, did I correct him? No. What is it about aging that produces shame? I’m not even old! And still, I felt the need to be younger.

WHAT HAVE YOU:

Spring has never been my favorite season. Growing up in San Antonio, it felt like a wanna-be Summer and attending school in Nebraska, it felt like a wanna-be Winter. (I guess the same could be said for Fall, but for whatever reason, I have no qualms with that time of year.) But the other day while on a run, I noticed the green buds on the trees and felt such delight—and not just in the beauty of the new, pretty leaves, but in the fact that Spring once again did come. It’s something we humans have no control over, yet we can trust that year after year plants will produce new growth.

Winter won’t last forever. Spring will come.

I know, that sounds elementary. But somehow it felt profound this year. I can trust God with the little on-goings of my life because He’s the same God who allows Spring to come each year. Surely the God who is in charge of the seasons—of the redemption of fruitless plants after the cold and harsh winter months—will oversee the seasons of my life as well.


Ok, I lied. That last tiny essay had a bit of a moral/conclusion. But we’ll just label the first two under “Kat’s life is more of a mess than her Instagrams lead you to believe.” Still, I hope something resonated with you. And if it did, I’d love to hear about it.

KAT
Currently listening to “I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad

Lent.

Up until this year, the season of Lent had never held much significance to me. Now Easter, on the other hand… I was all about that holiday. After all, the very faith that I live and work for hinges on the events that we celebrate on Easter. But Lent? Everything about it seemed unappealing—from the name (I mean, lent?) to the fact that I mostly associated it with a period of time when eating chocolate is frowned upon.

Last week I was introduced to the She Reads Truth Lenten study of Isaiah, You Are Mine.

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I’m not sure of everything that God is teaching me through this study yet, but I am sure of this:

Lent is a season of remembrance and thankfulness for all that Christ has done for us. And though I’m late to the game, I’m officially onboard.

I did decide to give something up, but I’m keeping that thing to myself to hopefully continue in a posture of humility (because if I’m being honest, what starts as best intentions in these situations often end with me being arrogant or self-righteous—two things lent is definitely not about).

I made a playlist for this season of songs that remind me of Jesus’ great love and sacrifice for me, while also encouraging  me to keep my eyes ever fixed on God. And if you’re participating in this season of Lent with me, I hope these songs will help remind and encourage you as well.

Lenten Playlist 2017

  1. “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by Chris Rice
  2. “I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad
  3. “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Chris Rice
  4. “Song of Joy” by Midtown Fellowship
  5. “Hallelujah, Lamb of God” by Midtown Fellowship
  6. “Man of Sorrows” by Shane and Shane
  7. “Sing to Jesus” by Fernando Ortega
  8. “Trust and Obey” by Chelsea Moon and The Franz
  9. “He Will Hold Me Fast” by Keith and Kristen Getty
  10. “Rising Sun” by All Sons and Daughters
  11. “Oh To Be Loved” by Thad Cockrell
  12. “Before The Throne of God Above” by Sojourn
  13. “The Spirit and The Bride” by Matt Maher
  14. “Be Still” by The Fray
  15. “Rock of Ages” by Sandra McCracken
  16. “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” by Page CXVI
  17. “Be Still, My Soul” by Kari Jobe

KAT
Currently listening to “Be Still, My Soul” (one of my very favorite hymns)

Fear.

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What’s your worst fear? Spiders, being chased, a college final?

I’m scared of many things. In fact, I once told a friend about a guerilla that had escaped its cage at the Dallas zoo and caused all sorts of terror in the typically happy, kid-friendly environment. To this, my friend said, “Oh, so you’re super scared of guerillas?” My response… “well, sure, if I were being chased by one.” Moral of the story: I’m often scared of things that will never happen to me or that I have no reason to be scared of.

Fear has found many forms throughout my life. Some of those ways make sense…who wouldn’t be scared of tornadoes, man-eating snakes, or killer clowns? But other great fears are a bit more complex. You know, those internal fears that eat. you. alive.

Today, I’m sitting with two fears that made appearances in my life this morning: failure + being unknown.

Let’s start by talking about the former.

I totally failed at something this morning. Like, 100% failure after trying really hard. Isn’t that everyone’s worst fear–that you will give something your very best shot, and yet fall short? Perhaps for some, failure brings feelings of depression or self hatred. For me? Just fear. Fear that I’m not who I should be. Fear that I’ll never “reach my potential” (whatever that means…). Fear that I’m not enough.

The other culprit in my oh-so-scary day came from a super non-threatening comment that I took out of context. Upon hearing words that seemed untrue about myself, my brain immediately told me lies like you’re unknown/unloved/unseen. And there, ladies and gents, is where the fear set in. I was having an identity crisis with the best of ’em.

I almost named this post “The Panic of Being Unknown,” because isn’t that how it feels when you realize that you might not be known by others or, even worse, yourself? I felt unknown by myself when I didn’t succeed, as I have always identified with being an achiever. I felt unknown by others when someone said something that didn’t line up with who I perceive myself to be. Panic leads to fear, and fear leads to a whole lotta misery.

Here’s the truth of the matter: I’m still very much dealing with this identity/fear thing. I don’t have it down, so I won’t even try to wrap this post up with a pretty bow. But I will leave some Scripture below that reminds me of where my real identity lies. Not in successes; not in popularity; in Jesus Christ alone. And when He alone is the object of my identity, I find a different emotion in my life: peace.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” -1 Peter 2:9

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” -John 15:15

“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.'” -Isaiah 43:1

“And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
-2 Corinthians 1:21-22

“And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.” -Luke 8:47

KAT
Currently listening to “Pieces” by Amanda Cook