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Saints, We're Going Home



Dear saints, as some of you know I have been rejoicing in the birth of my son and adjusting to a new and joyous life as a first time mama at forty years old—all glory to God. After years of infertility, I have been given a child. My little love is deeply attached, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but this means I rarely have a moment to put a clear sentence together and I’m literally typing this right now with one hand. Furthermore, my mental capacity for in-depth studies is about ten percent, so I do not have any profound eschatological thoughts to share. But I did want to pass along three things on my heart with hope it will encourage you in these days.

1. We're on our way home. Let's bring everyone with us.

I don’t have many dreams worth sharing, but one stands out. Years ago I dreamed of a mountain. I was on a path near the top of it, and could see for miles. The air was sweet and balmy. Grasses and flowers swayed, practically shimmering with soft aliveness. No other human was visible, but the presence of God was everywhere around me and it was the most beautiful and peaceful place I had ever seen or felt. I want to weep just thinking about it. And in the dream, as I do now, I remember the urgency and longing to bring everyone with me. I wanted everyone in the whole world to come and experience the peace, the loveliness, the contentment of "at last, this. This is where I was created to belong." I woke from the dream with an almost childlike desire to tell everyone about the mountain. 

While I haven't tried to unpack every detail of the dream, I'm sharing because it is an illustration of our mission in these last days...to tell everyone of the goodness and grace of God, and try to bring everyone with us when He calls us home. Our human minds cannot fathom all God has in store for us. But look around...even in this fallen world, under the curse of sin, we are blessed by the beauty He has made. Imagine what is to come! We must pray for wisdom so we are always ready to share the gospel with a world in desperate need of hope. 




Because, isn't it good news? This world, with all the violence, division, unrest, and tragedy, is not our home. We who believe have the hope of eternal life. Last night, while rocking my son in the moonlight, I was remembering the words of Jesus who said so lovingly, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go, I will come again and receive you to Myself…” (John 14:1-4)

This is the King and Creator of the entire universe, my friends. Of the sea, the sun and stars, the springs of waters, the air we breathe, and the babies we kiss all day and night. He knows you by name. He knows the number of hairs on your head. And He is preparing a place for YOU. You have a home, eternal in the heavenlies, built for you by the Prince of Peace where rent is not due and the water pipes won’t break. There will be no riots on those streets of gold, no politics, no pain. The hand of God Himself will wipe away your tears. 

More than ever now, folks need to hear this. Whether we have one day left to live, or forty more years, we must do everything we can to share the truth with those in need, and to guard the simplicity of the gospel from those who try to distort it.  

I know times are hard right now. Perilous, treacherous. But hold fast, my friend. We’re almost there. And this is why we must...

2. Run with endurance the race set before us.

I'm wrestling with this deeply. My life has changed radically and wonderfully in the last few months, but has also brought unfamiliar struggles with the flesh. Perhaps it is amplified by a new sort of tiredness and a whole new set of potential anxieties, but I'm not running well and have cried out to the Lord for help. I keep thinking of the exhortation, "Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown," (Rev. 3:11) and fear I've lost it. I have wept and prayed over this, over my failures and struggles and sins. In my flesh I feel a weakness like never before. (Just being transparent here!) 

The apostle Paul teaches us to run so we might win the race (1 Cor. 9:24-27), but fear tells me I lost it long ago and have become disqualified and there's no hope for redemption. But most of these warnings and concerns going through my head are tinged with shame, which means they are from the enemy rather than the gentle conviction of the Holy Spirit. So instead of listening to them, I am striving to focus solely on the word of God: 


For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: (Heb. 10:36)

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (Heb. 12:1-3)

 




I don't know what you're going through, my friend, but if you're in a similar place I want to remind you what He has reminded me: 


For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.—Heb. 4:15-16


And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.—2 Cor. 12:9-10


Don't give up. He is faithful. He is coming soon. Run with endurance. Look unto Him, the author and finisher of our faith. His grace is sufficient. "Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand." (Rom. 14:4) This includes us, too, my friend. So keep looking to God, and...

3. Be thankful. Pray always.

Other than sharing the gospel, this may be our most important calling: the call to prayer with thanksgiving to God. No matter what we are going through, it's something all of us can do. We can sit in traffic and pray. We can wash dishes and pray. We can nurse our babies and pray. We can lie in a hospital bed and pray. We can turn off the TV, shut down YouTube, log out of Instagram, and pray. 




As we experience what may be the hardest days of our lives, personally or historically, we can turn to the Lord in prayer and remember that He is faithful and He WILL keep His word. He works all things together for GOOD for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). This includes everything we are seeing globally and everything we walk through privately in the dark of night. 


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)


What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Rom. 8:31-32)



I want to close with this uplifting message for my fellow sojourning saints: 


“Onward, dear Pilgrim.
There is none in the heavens, or on earth, like our God.
He is good and all His ways are good.
One foot, now the other, dear friend.
We're on our way home.” —Jess from Raising Oaks & Arrows





Thank you for all of the comments, well-wishes and prayers! They have been humbling to read. May the Lord Jesus bless you. He is coming soon, friends. May you watch for His appearing with great joy. —Hillary


Post A Comment

49 comments:

  1. Aw Hillary such a cute baby! Blessings! <3

    Yes! May we go home soon... I'm certainly ready. ;)

    -Jack Nichols

    🚫 🍇

    ·····|\︵/|··
    ··╱É· É·╲··
    ··╲\▼/╱··

    Foxman on the Wall

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    1. Robert... :) Good to hear from you. :)

      You know The Fold^2 is still up and being used on MeWe.

      I just couldn't stay on FB any longer.

      Love and blessings brother! <3

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    2. Thank you, Jack! He has certainly brought so much unspeakable joy into our lives.

      Even so, come Lord Jesus! We are ready and longing for You!

      Blessings to you, dear brother.

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  2. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Hillary. I've thought about you from time to time. Your son is beautiful! And so is your heart. I share in your struggles of being a mom and a believer. And having a heart for others. And also feeling like I have fallen so far short. It's easy to get discouraged.

    I want to share a dream with you I had a couple months ago. In my dream I was running in a forest. I knew somehow I was in some sort of war or battle. I fell. My foot got caught in a trap and I was badly injured. But I pulled myself up and kept walking. Not running anymore. Just walking, limping even. Stumbling. All around me I could see others who had fallen too. I started helping others up. And they in turn helped more up. And we all just kept walking together and helping each other. None of us very fast. All of us wounded somehow. When I woke up, I felt in my heart that God had just showed me what "running the race" really looks like.

    Stay encouraged and thank you for your heart for encouraging all of us in the midst of your own trials.

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    1. Wow, Lilie, I agree with Miguel...mic drop! Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your dream. It really ministered to me deeply and nearly made me cry. What a powerful illustration of the race. I do believe that dream was a gift from the Lord. I may save it for future encouragement.

      Sending a warm hug your way. Thank you for your kind words.

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  3. Thank you Hillary for this encouragement. I was still thinking today: How long do we have to wait for Him to come.
    We must persevere and not despair!

    God's blessing to you and your family!

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    1. Thank you, Arno! I don't know how much longer but we know it's soon. I keep reminding myself that all of our days and breaths are in His hand. None of us will wait longer than a lifetime to be in His presence. In the meantime, we go about our Father's business. May He keep you encouraged!

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  4. WHAT AN AWESOME AND MOST EXCELLENT STORY AND TESTIMONY!!!

    And what a beautiful photo of you and Solomon!

    Right there with you sis! The movie "Ford Vs Ferarri" has graced my BD player a lot lately. I am not a big race fan but the guy in me has a thing for endurance racing like Le Mans. As hard as we run, as far as we go we still have need to pull into the pits to refresh, reload, repair and restore. My wife and I often reflect to (Ecclesiastes 10:10),

    10 If the iron is blunt,
    and one does not sharpen
    the edge, he must use more
    strength, but wisdom helps
    one to succeed.


    Sometimes it is good to consider the Greatest Commandment in reverse. We are called to love ourselves on the way to loving others and God. Loving on and caring for ourselves is an important factor in loving others -- especially God. So fear not and take that pit stop as needed. Sometimes we may find divine appointments in our moment of rest.

    Can't wait to make Kingdom cake with your family. I've been busy inviting everyone over for a slice!

    God bless, sis!

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    1. I always get a big smile and sigh of relief through your encouraging, uplifting words, Pastor Rich! Thank you! And I'm holding onto this: "Sometimes we may find divine appointments in our moment of rest." YES!! So true! Thank you for that reminder and this perspective.

      Also, thank you for your kind words! You are a true blessing to me and the rest of the body and I hope you keep inviting folks in for our cake. :) It'll be epic! Lots of love in Christ, brother. God bless you!

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  5. Thank you for your encouraging words!

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  6. Miss you, sister Hillary!! Blessings to you and your new family!! Can’t wait to see you, Jack N. and the whole Fold gang “up yonder!!”
    Love you, Sis!!
    Robert Mueller

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    Replies
    1. Miss you too, Robert! I'm with you....so looking forward to our gathering! I hope you're doing well, dear brother. Thank you for the kind blessings. May the Lord bless you and keep you in these days!

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  7. Wonderful encouragement… Thank you!

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  8. Hello Hillary! Congrats on your beautiful son! Thanks for the encouragement in running the race! I am a new first time Grandma. My daughter, named Hilary just recently had her new little son, Owen Isaac. What a blessing indeed! A gift from God. I am a nurse and it is a fearful time out there in the nursing world, as well as the world..... but God! I daily feed on His Word with Baruch Korman, from loveisrael.org. He does live translation from Hebrew and Greek, word for word, line by line, chapter to chapter. He is going through the whole Bible. I have learned so much... He is a Jewish believer in Jesus! I have been paying particular attention to bible prophecy this past year and Baruch's teachings are so clear. He has a document called the 1335 Kingdom - The Last Reich which gives a timeline of endtime events, directly from scripture of course. I highly recommend. God's blessings continue to be upon you.....Leslie Forgie

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    1. How wonderful! Congratulations on your new grandson! What a miracle. I love life and babies and am so grateful that God has blessed us in this way...me with my first son and you with your first grandson. Oh, the joy!!

      Thank you for the study recommendation! It sounds like a wonderful resource. I love when teachers go though the bible like that. JD Farag, a pastor I watch on YouTube, does the same. I learn so much from him.

      May the Lord protect you and keep you in His peace. Thank you for your kind words!

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  9. Bless you Hillary, your words were like "apples of gold in settings of silver"! Really needed them...thank you!

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    Replies
    1. You are so kind, Keith. May the Lord protect you and keep you in His peace.

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  10. Congratulations, sister on your beautiful bundle of joy. We love and appreciate you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you dear Brenda! That is so kind of you to say. I'm truly humbled.

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  11. Thank you Hillary. Beautifully written and much needed during this time. God Bless you and your family.

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    1. You are so kind, Michael. Thank you for reading and for this blessing. May the Lord keep you encouraged and strengthened for His glory.

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  13. Dear Hillary,
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart with us. I too had struggles as a new mother many years ago. But you have a much stronger faith than I did at the time, though God was always faithful. My "baby boy" turns 35 next week. Keep looking at Jesus, He will not let you down and looks upon your heart, dear sister. Hope to see you soon in the sky.
    Megan

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    1. The Lord is SO faithful, as you have said. What a joy to live for Him and to have Him in our lives. Thank you for your encouragement. I know you know what these days as a new mama are like and I'm glad to hear that by the Lord's graciousness, your dear son is in the prime of his life. Thank you for the reminder that Jesus looks upon my heart. It's so easy to see all the ways I fail on the outside. But God!! God bless you.

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  14. Oh, how I have missed hearing the words, God gives you. The Lord is speaking through you, and many are blessed. I praise Jesus for your happiness with your child. God bless and anoint you more and more, my sister

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    1. What a kind a gracious word, my friend! I hold them close to my heart. The Lord is so good. May He bless you and keep you in His peace, with health and joy in these days.

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  15. Thanks Hillary! I would say we've all been experiencing more or less different attacks for some time. The enemy would like us to stop moving forward, to get discouraged, and to give up. But God ... As a result, we come to the throne of grace and beg our Heavenly Father to help us. But also to sing praises, even with a sad heart, it changes the way we see what we live so much. Even though praise is a prayer, it lifts us up to our Lord. And the devil loses another round of the game. The power of praise! And WOW! What a nice baby! Carole xx

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    1. Amen, amen! Thank you, sister, for sharing your wise words! And I fully agree about the spiritual attacks. I've been thinking about Eph. 6 almost every day. Sometimes I don't know when something is a spiritual attack vs. something being of my flesh. Either way I need to walk in the Spirit, live in the Spirit, and put on the whole armor of God because this is a spiritual war.

      What are your favorite praise songs? I sing them while holding my baby and would love to know the ones that have blessed you!

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    2. Hillary, This is one of my Fav's. (Don't remember where I found the link, possibly it was posted here previously):

      Chris Tomlin - Is He Worthy?
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c6pl6CaiD0&feature=youtu.be

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    3. Dear Hillary,
      My praise is like Amazing grace. but
      I have several praises which are like prayers that I sing in my French language, Psalm 61, Psalm 23, and many others.

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  16. Beautiful post. Thank you sister. You and your story are an inspiration and encouragement to all of us. Maranatha.

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    1. I truly appreciate you so much, dear brother. Thank you.

      Come, Lord Jesus. We are longing for You. We love You.

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  17. Congratulations on your darling little man!

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    1. You are so kind, Beatrice! Thank you!

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  18. Hillary - when I see a new article here (I check often), I plan some quiet time to read it. When I see one from you, I get really excited and plan extra time for yours! Don't tell Gary and Greg, but you are my favorite writer here.

    Congrats on your baby!

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    1. I'm glad to know Unsealed has blessed you so greatly, Dean. Gary, Greg, Jeff, and the others are all such a gift to the body of Christ. It's utterly humbling to be among them. God bless you!

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  19. Love you my Friend and your beautiful baby boy! Thank you for a breath of fresh air as we put our shoulder to the wheel and our eyes to Heaven as we await His appearing while finishing the race set before us! Blessings

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    1. Love you too, dear one! Thank you for these kind words! Sending a warm hug your way.

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  20. Thank you Hillary for the encouraging post and Congratulations on your little man!

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  21. Great to hear from you again. Best one handed post I have ever read. May the Lord richly bless you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing your photo and introducing Solomon what a beautiful boy. Our prayers are with this church on the web. You are a blessing to us all.

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    1. Brother Jeff, you are so thoughtful and generous with your encouraging words and prayers. Thank you, and may the Lord keep you in His joy as we finish this race for His glory.

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  22. Lovely article thank you dear Sister. I was 39 when my wife and I had our first child and 49 when we had the third, 5 years ago. Time really does fly and there have been some amazing and difficult times. I look forward to Heaven to be able to have a decent sleep after 14 years of deprivation, but I bet when we get there there is no such thing. Ah well I'm sure the overall package will be well worth it. Love you & your little sprogling Jason Smith

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    1. I love hearing stories like yours! And sleep...what is that?? LOL. Thank you for the love and joy on our behalf, brother. We'd love for Solomon to have a sibling, Lord willing. So if we're 'still here' we may be following in your lead. :)

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  23. That's a great photograph ...

    thanks for all your great posts through the year and congratulations on your bundle of JOY!

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  24. Jesus Only Y'all - JOY! - Maranatha!

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