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Faith, Hope, and Love

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.” // 1 Corinthians 13:13

In honor of Wes and I’s anniversary coming up this Monday, I decided to put up this little blog post with some encouraging thoughts, a few anniversary photos, and reflections on the beauty and growth that this past year has brought – both through the gift of our first year of marriage and through starting this EMC Business from the ground up.

As many of you may already know, I started this creative lettering art business the week after our honeymoon, so the timing of it all really is pretty special. Through it all, God has grown me in faith, hope, and love – and I pray that the words in this blog speak some encouragement, peace and joy into your heart the same way that they did for me while I was writing them.

On faith…

Through both our first year of marriage and my first year of owning this beloved creative business of mine, the Lord has grown my faith in Him like never before. At the time when I was starting this business, I was about to start graduate school for professional counseling (Wes was already in graduate school for Seminary), working all kinds of different part-time jobs, and I was just hoping for this to be a fun creative outlet. Little did I know that the Lord was going to turn EMC into a full-time business that has been such a blessing not only financially, but for my faith as well. He has shown me that He truly can do the impossible through one tiny leap of faith and provide in the most personal ways. I had absolutely no idea that one custom lettering art order would turn into what it has now, but all glory goes to Him and Him alone. This business has been a dream come true and put all of my favorite things – creative art, beautiful/joyful things, and encouraging others – into one place. And that, my friends, is something that only God can come up with!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” // Ephesians 3:20-21

“Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." // Matthew 19:26

Through this business, I have had the opportunity to share my love for creativity, beautiful and lovely things, and my deep love for the Lord with so many of you – and for that, I am forever grateful. I even got asked to speak on a fellow creative’s podcast just the other week and tell a little bit more of my unique story (as well as all that God has been teaching me through starting this business) on there as well – and I will make sure to post a link to it over on my Instagram page whenever it becomes available next week! Stay tuned! :)

On hope…

In the midst of all that is going on in our country and world right now due to the Coronavirus, there are many verses that the Lord has laid on my heart (that I will share throughout this post). But one in particular that has been running through my mind over and over again is:

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.” // 1 Corinthians 13:13

We all have worries and concerns right now - about vulnerable loved ones who are being affected by this virus, children stuck in abusive homes, fears about the economy, dear friends who have had to cancel weddings, canceled graduations for seniors (who many of which were going to be the first in their families to walk across a college graduation stage), and more...And these are just a few of the things that have been particularly heavy on my heart, but I know we all have so many we could list off.

But we must hold onto hope in the midst of it and put our trust in a God who is eternal and above all things.

It makes me think of another favorite verse of mine that I have clung to in different trying seasons of my life:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” // John 16:33

The verse behind EMC from the very very beginning was (and still is) Philippians 4:8:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

It has been so beautiful to see, now more than ever, how powerful this verse truly is. Because our hope is in the Lord, we can look above our present circumstances and have a joy that transcends circumstances and a peace that surpasses all understanding. When we set our minds on things above and learn to focus our thoughts on things that are lovely and worthy of praise, we demonstrate our genuine faith in the God of the Universe – the King of Kings – who works all things together for good for those who love Him.

Even amidst all of the craziness, fear, and worry that this virus has caused in our country and world right now (and personally for many of us), it has only deepened our faith and trust in our God who is still in control and will make all of this right one day. I loved these words that Shelly Giglio put up yesterday that read:

“Let’s not waste the faith we have spent our whole lives building during this challenging season of unknowns. It is for this season that it was built.”

As believers, we are called to be lights and hold onto faith, hope, and love in the midst of all that is going on. As Shelly put it, perhaps this is the season that our faith was truly built for – to be lights in the darkness, provide hope in the wilderness, and peace in the confusion. It makes me think of another one of my favorite verses that reads,

“Perhaps you were born for such a time as this…” // Esther 14:14

And I read these words in My Utmost for His Highest devotional the other morning that really spoke to me, too:

“The mark of one who has learned to believe is rejoicing. Remember that definition of a Christian we have given from time to time: one who is completely fearless, continually cheerful, and constantly in trouble. It is the continual rejoicing in the midst of trouble that marks the Christian life.”

Now onto love….

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love. // 1 Corinthians 13:13

On a happy note, I just wanted to give a huge shout out to my very best friend and amazing husband, Wes, who has been my biggest cheerleader and encourager behind EMC!

Our sweet friend Kilee (go check her amazing work out over at @kileewillowphotography) captured these beautiful anniversary photos for us a couple of weeks ago, before all of the craziness began, and it was so precious when she wanted to get these ones of Wes with me as I was doing some of my EMC artwork.

These photos give me all the feels, and just honestly demonstrate the humble, encouraging, and godly man that Wes truly is. He has always believed in my dreams, pushed me closer to Jesus, and seen things in me that I had never before seen in myself.

His constant love and support is the sole reason I had the courage to start EMC in the first place, and he has been cheering me on every step of the way. I truly don’t know where I would be without him!

I am better because of him, and I thank God every single day for giving me the most amazing husband I could have ever dreamed of or imagined! God truly was listening to all of my many many prayers over the years!

Happy happy (almost) anniversary, babe! As of Monday, March 30th, we will have been married for a whole year! It has been the most beautiful and joy-filled year full of so many precious experiences and “first” memories together. I love you more than I even knew was possible on our wedding day and can’t wait to spend the rest of forever with you by my side.

Your love makes me brave and it points me back to the feet of Jesus – every single day. You reflect Christ’s love in the way that you love and serve me, and I know that you are (and always will be) God’s greatest gift to me.

Thank you for being my biggest cheerleader, teammate, and encourager behind EMC and all of my many many dreams. As I’ve heard lots of creatives say…you truly are the “string to my balloon” and the very best man I know. I’ll love you forever!

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.” // 1 Corinthians 13:13

So sweet friends, I pray that we can all continue to hold onto faith, hope, and love during these times. And remember, we are all in this together. I challenge you to meditate over the verses I have included in this post, but more importantly – to go get in the Word yourself! God’s Word truly brings peace and life that only He can provide. There is nothing like spending time with our Creator. Hold onto faith, hope, and love during these times, friends. And know that I am here for you and praying for you!

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