The Prophecies Fulfilled – Prisons Series #4

So we’ve talked about the depth and the breadth of God’s love, and we know God keeps His promises. This week, the week of Christmas, I will answer the question of how Jesus fits into this freedom puzzle.

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In the second post of the series, I wrote about how a lot of Isaiah’s prophecies were about Jesus. A lot of these prophecies were encouraging to the people of Israel; they spoke about a new era of freedom, a day of vengeance against their enemies, a day they would win a victory the bad guys couldn’t take away. In some ways, they sound a lot like battle songs.

These prophecies include a lot of vivid imagery. Isaiah painted some really beautiful pictures so that the Israelites had something they could see in their minds and believe in. This imagery made it easier for God’s people to trust in them.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
To grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

Isaiah 61:1-4 (ESV)

Favor and vengeance go hand-in-hand in verse two, along with comfort to those who are in mourning. What a distinct difference. I think, in this passage, God did not mean vengeance against the peoples of earth but against the sorrow within it. His agenda in this prophecy is to declare war, not on an “evil” person, but on evil itself.

How does He do that? With love, of course. It is who He is, after all.

God declares war on evil, not with swords or guns, but with tender, loving care, by placing crowns on the heads of the poor and by building up ruins and replacing shattered dreams with new life.


By the time Jesus actually arrived on this planet, the Israelites had suffered 70 years of slavery in Babylon and exile in other surrounding areas, and while they were allowed to return to their land, they still lacked their own king. Even more, for the 500 years or so before Jesus was born, God was completely silent; there were no prophets to speak to the Israelites on God’s behalf. At this point, they were not expecting a baby in a manger, a child who would become a carpenter for the majority of his adult life. They were expecting a warlord who would lead them into battle and righteous victory over each of their enemies, as King David had.

They were not looking for a man who lived his life guided by love and compassion for others before anything else. Raised on stories about the God who sent plagues that destroyed Egypt just to free them from slavery, their expectations of the Messiah prophesied about in Isaiah became corrupted. Their hope was in the God who destroyed their adversaries, God incarnate who was indestructible and would not lose a single battle, stomping every single enemy to the ground.

But God knew better. He knew something different was needed. After the way the animal sacrifices failed to cover the sins of His people, and even before He created Adam, He knew there would need to be a better answer, one that would end humanity’s striving for perfection and inevitably falling short each and every time.

Enter stage left: Jesus.


Instead of a militant champion, the Israelites received God in the form of a human, who lived three decades as a normal human being in a normal human life. That, followed by Jesus’ healing and deliverance ministry, led solely out of compassion for the people in His vicinity, was enough to make the Pharisees seethe with hatred. They didn’t get the five-star general they wanted; they got what their thirsty souls needed: a shepherd who would guide their perfection-hardened souls home.

As it turns out, Jesus actually read the passage I posted above in the synagogue one day:

And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to [Jesus]. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 4:17-21 (ESV)

Wow. I need a moment to let that sink in.

I kind of love that Jesus stopped right before the part about vengeance. It’s almost as though He didn’t want the people listening to focus on that singular aspect of the passage. There is so much kindness in the verse Jesus chose to read, so much compassion and generosity. These characteristics are defining traits of who God is, and I love that they are showcased in the one passage Jesus chose to read out of the entire book of Isaiah. Jesus knew His mission in life was to provide that Good News I wrote about last week, and He made sure to lead His sheep home well, in everything He said and did.

Jesus followed every letter of the Law until the day He died…but then He beat death itself and came back to life, and those rules that bound us to unattainable perfection lost their power. We should still follow the Law, but we can rest soundly, knowing that Jesus paid our debt. He carries our burdens for us. We can stop striving for perfection; stop trying so hard to be what we can never be. In Jesus’ name, through His life, we are free to be who we are and to know that identity deeply, truly, and fully.

Our freedom rests on Jesus’ shoulders alone, and what strong, sound shoulders they are to carry us home.


God Keeps His Promises – Prisons Series #3

Over the past two weeks, we’ve been delving into the meaning behind God’s love and the depth thereof. This week, I’ll show you how God keeps His promises.

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Now, we all know that famous verse in Jeremiah, chapter 29 verse 11, but the greater context of this book of the Bible enhances the beauty of that verse 100-fold. Jeremiah was called “The Weeping Prophet” for good reason; he foretold of Israel’s induction into slavery in Babylon and that the people of Israel would be strewn across the earth, even outside the area of the Middle East. All the other prophets of that time lied and told the Israelites what they wanted to hear; Jeremiah was the only one who stood up for what God truly wanted to tell His people, and he withstood a lot of persecution because of it.

But the thing is, Jeremiah didn’t just tell of how God was turning His back toward Israel; he followed it up with how God was going to bring them back, each and every person who was thrown into slavery or exile, no matter how far away they found themselves.

“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”

Jeremiah 29:10-14 (ESV)

The Promise here is oh, so sweet. God promised that the Israelites would find Him, and now that we are included in the fold of His flock, we are included in this promise. Even while we are in exile or feel enslaved by our circumstances, we can still seek and find Him. We can pray and know He will listen! God will bring us back from exile and restore us to fullness in Him!


If I’m not mistaken, Jeremiah always followed his prophecies with promises like this one, constantly reminding his people that there is not only bad in their future, but good as well. There is so much hope in that. The Israelites had committed unforgivable acts of treachery toward God – they had begun sacrificing their children to false gods, yet God still promised to bring them back and restore their former beauty.

Do you know what happened after seventy years passed while Israel was enslaved in Babylon and Assyria? God followed through on the promises He gave through Jeremiah and delivered them in the best way:

“Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel – he is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”

Ezra 1:2-4 (ESV)

God kept His promise and then some.

Not only did He send them back home as He had promised, but God actually sent them back with all the resources they would need to rebuild the Temple and their cities, as well as food and livestock and money to make their long trek back. King Cyrus made it the law that people were to support the lost Israelites coming home.

As ocean waves crash continually upon the shore, we know that God’s good plans for our freedom come new each day. We can be assured that though we pay consequences for our actions, that perfect, agape love still abounds. If God can forgive heartless murder of hundreds of children, there is nothing God will not forgive in your life. All you need to do is seek Him first above everything else and ask for forgiveness. God never planned for hardship to be the only way we live. He is a God who frees His people.


If you look at Ezra 1:4, King Cyrus does not call the Israelites slaves, though they were that. His viewpoint of God’s people was much higher than that; he calls them survivors!

If we are to step into all God has for us, we need to let go of the old labels that have held us back. For instance, I am no longer a shy, timid little girl anymore; I have been freed from that old me. I am a bold writer and speaker who has no issue calling people out of their mess and into the beauty of who they were created to be, and when I feel those tendencies crop into my heart, as they inevitably do, I need to remind myself who(se) I am. I am a survivor of my bullies, no longer a slave to their lies.

The identity of survivor instead of slave is only one prayer away. Your salvation is between you and God, and if you ask with a humble heart, He will never say no. The Good News is that your consequences have been paid for you! The moment Jesus died on that cross as a sacrifice, the very Law that gives us rules we can never been good enough to attain was fulfilled in completion for every soul that walks this earth. Our God is faithful and just, and since Jesus’ sacrifice took place, He is obligated to forgive us because our dues have already been paid. All we need to do is acknowledge our need for that salvation and ask for His forgiveness.

Your new identity is waiting. Salvation is only one prayer away.

To Bring the Prisoners Out from the Darkness – Prisons Series #2

Last week, I wrote about how God created this world with freedom in mind. This week, I’ll delve more deeply into how His perfect, agape love demands freedom.

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In the book of Isaiah, we see a deep portrayal of the character of God. In this part of Israel’s history, God begins calling His people back to Him, hoping they won’t follow a future king into the kind of rebellion there is no coming back from, though God knows they inevitably will.

Let’s read an excerpt from one of Isaiah’s prophecies:

Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives birth to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it:
“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,
To open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.
Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Isaiah 42:5-9 (ESV)

I love the honor Isaiah starts with here. He has the privilege of opening up for what God has to say, and he chooses to open this prophecy with the fullness of how God created our universe, from the broad expanse of the heavens to the intricate inner workings of the human: not just body but spirit as well.

Read again what the Lord has to say here. Listen closely to the kind of love He offers. God knows that each and every other thing we idolize holds us captive without us realizing it. He knows that every other thing we worship demands more and more from us until we have nothing left to our names but empty shells. God knows He is the only one who sets us free, who gives us more than we can hold or ever offer back, and He refuses to allow false gods to take His glory, and rightly so.

In this passage, God reminds us that He is the one and only God who opens blocked-off hearts to feel again and sets those hearts free from soul-bondage. Our Lord is the only one who does that; why would we ever choose another?


Do you know what makes this even more beautiful? The Lord is talking about Jesus here. A lot of Isaiah’s prophecies speak about the Messiah to come…before Israel has even lost its standing with God. The Lord saw the sin to come and knew that animal sacrifices could only ever go so far. He knew we needed something someone, a better sacrifice. Before God ever created us, He knew that in order to save us, He would have to give Himself up as a sacrifice – an eternal being that was perfect and could never die would need to do just that. When the Lord speaks of a covenant that opens the eyes of the blind and sets prisoners free, he is speaking about the person of Jesus and all He would do as He walked this earth!

Can you imagine 12-year-old Jesus asking the priests in the temple about the prophecies of old? Can you imagine the sheer weight of Promise laid onto His shoulders as they spoke about all Isaiah foretold? Can you imagine with me, for a minute, being this 100% God and 100% human person, still a child, living and breathing on this earth, hearing this passage truly for the first time and knowing it’s about you?

“…I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness…”

What a mighty calling.

God came down from His high throne in Heaven to become one of us, so that He could become the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. Animal sacrifices and peace offerings could only go so far, but this one would stick. This Sacrifice would end it all, the striving, the trying and failing, the never-being-good-enough-to-get-to-God….because He came down here to get to us.

What a mighty thing to think,
that we’ve been called to be the very same thing
to the sick people who have not yet found this Doctor.


Love does not just demand that we be free. It also demands that we set each other free.

Earlier this year, I was told about Isaiah 58, the chapter on fasting. This chapter of the Bible revolutionized the way I view fasting. Did you know it actually has nothing to do with “me” or even my own relationship with God? We are meant to fast our food in order to give it to people who have none. We are meant to fast clothing in order to give it to those who have none. We are meant to fast our bad words in order to encourage the hurting souls who have no good ones. I’m sensing a trend here…

When I asked God what I should be fasting during that season, I felt led to the following passage:

“…If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour out yourself for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.”

Isaiah 58:9b-10 (ESV)

That first phrase of this passage embodies love: “take away the yoke from your midst.”

That thought can get a bit convoluted in our minds. It took me months of asking God what that meant before I realized…the answer here is forgiveness. If our hands are full of grudges, there is no room for His goodness. If our souls are full of resentment, there is no room for that perfect, agape love of His.

I haven’t kept it a secret that I was bullied as a child. I forgave the children who did most of that bullying last year; you can find that story here. In May or June of this year, I was actually approached by one of those children. This now-woman, who was not my worst bully by far, wound up apologizing for treating me the way she had so long ago. I  could tell she’d held it against herself for so long…since it happened in seventh grade.

It was good for me to hear that apology, but do you know what was better? Months later, as she read a letter of forgiveness that told her not to hold herself against the person she used to be, I got to watch tears of healing roll down her cheeks.

Taking away the yoke from our midst, releasing people from the prisons they’ve locked themselves in, means letting God remove each bit of hurt and pride and then sharing that healing in our souls with the people who need it most. Oftentimes, the people who hurt us the worst are the ones who are hurting in the worst ways themselves.

Take away the anger and declare peace in your heart.

Strip away the resentment and share forgiveness with each other.

Wipe clean the slate of shame and replace it with freedom.

Let us help each other in releasing each human being from the prisons we hold ourselves in. As prisoners, we can’t get out alone, but together and with God, we can lift the gate doors off their hinges and break free.

We cannot do this alone.

But together, we can.

There is Freedom – Prisons Series #1

From the beginning of time, laid in the foundation of this earth, there is freedom.

Before the years started coming and going, before the seasons began to change, when Adam and Eve were created and resided in the perfect climate of Eden, God breathed His perfect, agape love into humanity’s lungs, and we were born.

The thing about God’s perfect, agape love is that it gives way to the other party; in this case, that’s us. Agape love, in its core, is a freeing thing. Take a second to read Paul’s famous chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13, and you will find a trend of love bowing in humility and giving way to the will of another. If there is anyone who has to be in chains, love would be it.

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Built into the Law God gave Moses is system of setting captives free (Deuteronomy 15). Every seven years, under the jurisdiction of God’s Law, ALL captives were to be set free. Every slave, every debtor, every human being under the authority of another… Everyone was freed. There were no exceptions. “The Lord’s release [was] proclaimed” (Deuteronomy 15:2), and all sins were forgiven among the Jewish people. 

That was God’s Law. Everyone had the chance for freedom.

This is why there are countless Psalms about captives being freed. The Jewish people all had personal experience being set free, having all iniquities forgiven 100%, or else being the one who did the forgiving.

This is what “The Afflicted” had to say about this freedom:

Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord:
That he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
To hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die,
That they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord, and in Jerusalem his praise,
When the peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

Psalm 102:18-22 (ESV, emphasis mine)

This afflicted person (literally, only called “One Afflicted” as the Psalmist) wanted nothing more than to ensure the people coming after him knew of God’s sovereignty in the realm of freedom. He wanted to make sure that people “yet to be created” would know the absolute goodness of a God who “sets free the people who are doomed toward death.”

God’s aim on this earth, since Adam and Eve sinned in Eden and messed it up for the rest of us, is to hear the cries of the weak and weary oppressed. No human being was ever meant to own another, and no human being was ever meant to be owned. No human was ever meant to live under oppression in their bodies, souls (mind and emotions), or spirits.

We are living unhealthy, oppressed lives, yet without the power of God, we can never be free from them. We need to recognize God’s heart for us, that we were meant for lives much greater than the ones we live.

This is God’s Law: Everyone has the chance for freedom.

There’s a song by Jon Foreman I’d like to share with you as we begin this series together. It’s called “Your Love is Strong.” I’d like to highlight the end, where he sings a few lines that follow along the Lord’s Prayer listed in Matthew 6.

Our God in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy name
Above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us weary sinners
Keep us far from our vices
And deliver us from these prisons

Thank you for reading this post, friend. This is only the beginning of the Prisons series, and it only gets better from here on out. I hope this series will bring you the freedom into your soul we all desperately need.

Chased After

chased after

When you don’t think you are seen,
When the people around you act like you’re invisible,
I see you.

When the depths of your unsearchable heart
Lie untouched by human hands
Or touched by them the wrong way,
I know your ache.

When all the world has turned away from you
And left you alone with all your pain,
I seek out your heart.

When you feel unloved,
Unwanted, like garbage,
I send you little hints of all the ways I love you.

Like a good game of hide-and-seek,
I search after you with gladness.

You Know Who You Truly Are

I’m not much of a crier, but if you know me, I’ve been bragging about the beautiful movie Moana, and the fact that it makes me cry. Every little bit of it brings me to all sorts of emotional tears, but the scene with Moana and Te Kā/Te Fiti makes me sob. every. time.

Moana is a pretty relatable character; we all have expectations to live up to that squelch what we feel is our true calling. But does anybody else relate to Te Kā – the lava monster that mercilessly attacks anything that gets near to her?

te ka above moana

Just me? Well…

For those who don’t know, the demi-god Maui steals the heart from a sleeping goddess Te Fiti, and Moana is tasked with bringing it back to her or watching her island be turned to hard, dead ash in front of her eyes. The thing is, when Moana reaches the peak of the mountain where she should find Te Fiti, she finds, instead, a bottomless lake where she should be. Turning to look back at the monster attacking her, Moana finds the markings where she’s supposed to place Te Fiti’s heart on the lava monster’s chest.

In stealing Te Fiti’s heart, Maui turned her into a raging monster with a new name: Te Kā, who turned to survival mode, attacking everything in sight. Everything about who she was changed completely; instead bringing life to the islands surrounding her, she brought them death. That is, until Moana caught her attention and spoke these words to her:

“I have crossed the horizon to find you.
I know your name.
They have stolen the heart from inside you,
But this does not define you. 
This is not who you are.
You know who you are…
Who you truly are.”

*Cue Meg crying* ❤

Can we stay in that moment for a minute?

moana and te ka close

It’s hard to catch the reason for the tears the first time.

It’s still difficult to articulate the second and third times.

In one singular moment, Moana makes the choice to not feel scared of Te Kā any longer. The story of Te Fiti, the being that brings life to the world, has been told for generations. Moana knows this is but a temporary embodiment of the goddess and not her true form; this is a result of injustice done to Te Fiti. Moana knows her true form is more beautiful than anything she’s ever seen, and she trusts in this knowledge though it’s not what she’s seeing in front of her eyes.

Moana knows the identity of Te Fiti, even while she’s staring at the evil monster Te Kā.

How beautiful that is. So much hope can be found there. Do you see it yet?

We are the lava monsters, and Jesus is the beautiful Moana.

He crossed the horizon to find us.
He KNOWS our names.
Sin has stolen the hearts from inside us,
But by His grace, this does not define us.

If you’re reading this today, I promise you are not a lava monster, regardless of how much you might feel like one. That changed the day Christ took our sin upon His shoulders. That’s the true beauty of the Gospel – God split the sea so we can approach Him; He brings our hearts back to us, cools our fiery anger with His loving touch, and returns us to the humans He created us to be: life-bringing beings who dig up the crispy, burned soil around us so that it may produce good fruits again.

te fiti diggin up soil

You CAN produce good fruits again; all you need to do is accept Christ’s gift of a brand new heart.

We are all of us lava monsters, and God gives us all our hearts back. ❤

+85,000 smile points

Rainbow Story Sessions: Elle Laye

As I reflect on my journey and skip through the puddles from the storms that washed me down the path that has brought me to the present, I am reminded that the storms that raged with winds so great and waves so high, though they battered and knocked me down, they never made me drown. As many times as it seemed it was the end, or as bad as I wanted it to end, I now understand it was a moment of redirection to the bigger picture of God’s great love and purpose for my life.

1. Visuelle Photography-Elle Laye

Hi! I’m Elle, a single mama to 3 wonderful kiddos (Jackson, 12, Avery, 9, and Harrison, 8), a commercial photographer, singer/songwriter, worship leader at C3 Church on 78, and my favorite tile…Daughter of the King.

2. Visuelle Photography-Elle Laye

I come from humble beginnings. My dad was a poultry farmer by day and a musician by night. As a child, I felt like I could relate to the birds kept in the cages on our farm. I felt trapped, and since I was born near-sighted, I couldn’t see the distance between reality and my dreams, but I knew there was more than dirt and gravel roads. I wanted to travel on paved roads and climb to the top of the big-city buildings. I’ve wondered…As a child, why did I long to be in a place I wasn’t placed in?

3. Visuelle Photography-Elle Laye

Recently, I was reminded of the building that sat behind out house. We called it “The Building.”

My dad built it for his recording studio; it was 20 feet by 10 feet and 8 feet high. The exterior was light blue with black shingles, and it had two windows to let in ambient light. The interior was padded with dark red, commercial-grade carpet that covered the walls to sound-proof the room.

4. Visuelle Photography-Elle Laye

My sister Bex and I loved going in there as kids to create wild sounds on the keys (cats in space was one of our masterpieces) and sing at the top of our lungs on the mics.

5. Visuelle Photography-Elle Laye

At night, I would peek out the back door window of our house to see the little light that was on, and I knew my dad was recording new songs. After a couple years, the light started to fade, and The Building became a junk room for all of the things we didn’t want any more.

Years passed, and spider webs covered the keys; the sound equipment was covered in dust, and you could no longer walk in the room without stepping over a mountainous pile of clothes, toys, and things of old we no longer wanted.

6. Visuelle Photography-Elle Laye

My parents divorced in 2004 and sold the farm. The Building was torn down, the junk was thrown away, and the new owners who bought the property built gorgeous homes where our humble abode used to reside.

7. Visuelle Photography-Elle Laye

2004 continued to be a very memorable year. I graduated from high school, got married, and had my first baby. What seemed to be the start of a happy story ended up becoming a dismal chapter.  I spent the next decade in darkness and depression. I lived with the spirits of control, intimidation, manipulation, and fear. My husband and I went through several rounds of separation, and I continued to run instead of facing my problems.

I had 3 babies by the age of 22; I was a young mom with big dreams in a glass cage. I was upset, angry, and confused, and bitterness took root deep within, so I flew as far as I could go, landing at the edge of the ocean. Our little family ended up on a small island in coastal Georgia, Saint Simons Island, at the end of 2012. For a moment, I thought I had escaped from everything I didn’t want to face, but I soon realized I was still trapped in my circle because I was the common denominator.

8. Visuelle Photography-Elle Laye

Towards the end of the 3 years we lived on the island, the winds of the storm around me started to get heavier, and the waves left me breathless. The death of my marriage is what finally broke me. You see, over the years, I continued to try to salvage the piles of junk that filled my building. I tried to repair my parents’ marriage through my marriage, and I tried to fix those things in my past that were broken. God then intervened and sent the storm clouds that immersed me in rain.

I now understand why the storms came. They were there to wash me clean and to remove the debris from inside of me.

9. Visuelle Photography-Elle Laye

Just as the new owners of the farm tore down old structures to rebuild their mansions, God has to level us out so He can restore us. This life is a construction zone. The buildings we try to build are never up to code when we try to construct our lives ourselves. We need the Architect who holds our blueprint.

For the many years I had lived my life outside of God’s purpose, I had finally come to the crossroad of understanding that He is the potter, and we are the clay. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I  know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a hope and a future'” (ESV).

10. Visuelle Photography-Elle Laye

God has promised to restore our buildings. My love and passion for music has always been part of my roots. The paved roads and big city buildings that I desired to reach as a child are of symbolic measure. He has called each of us to do great things. Even though all of our purposes are different, none are less important than the others.

A year ago, after moving back to Athens and dropping my bags, the Lord called me to lead worship at C3 Church on 78. The desires of my heart of being in a band and encouraging others through music has come to pass. Serving and leading others into the presence of God in worship is a dream come true.

God had to remove the junk in my building to remind me of its purpose. As the mist and clouds scatter, I see the rainbow on the horizon.

11. Visuelle Photography-Elle Laye

Without the rain, we won’t grow, and without the sun, Jesus, we won’t become stronger. Remember; the storms are not here to drown you. God promised He would not let that happen again, and that is why He sent the rainbow to remind us of His great love in restoring the buildings that will one day be completely restored in His timing and in accordance to His majestic blueprint. Keep looking up; your rainbow is among the clouds.

12. Visuelle Photography-Elle Laye