Author: Kristen Mudrack

From the Inside Out

Maybe today has been one of those days that seems to have knocked you down more times than you can count.  Maybe, at the end of a tough week, all you want to do is go home and sleep.  Or maybe going home is the problem.  I can’t pretend to know what you’re feeling right now, or how your day, week, month, or year has been.  But I can point you to the cross, the healer, the One who loves us no matter what.  This song, From the Inside Out, is one I’ve known for a long time, but maybe it’s what you and I need to hear today.  A thousand times I’ve failed Still your mercy remains Should I stumble again Still I’m caught in your grace Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame I’m pretty sure that a thousand times is a gross underestimation of how many times I’ve screwed up in my 24 years of life.  And yet EVERY time, God picks me up, dusts me off, and puts me right side up again.  EVERY time.  And His grace truly is enough.  Enough for me.  Even though I’m not perfect, even though I don’t believe that I am worth anything sometimes, even though I fail, and I fall, even though I am broken and bruised and battered...

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No Burden You Carry

No burden we carry is ever unknown.  I’ve been pondering this statement a lot lately. It comes from a song I sang years ago in church choir. God does know our burdens and He cares. He cares so much He took everything upon himself, and made Himself nothing, subjecting Himself to death – even death on a cross. Even when we feel like our world is crashing down around us, or the waves of sorrow are crashing at our doors; even when we feel like there’s no one else that knows or cares, when the snow piles up so high that you can’t see over it; even when your next step seems uncertain, even when you walk out all alone; even when you don’t understand, even when disaster strikes and tragedy looms over our heads – God is there.  He knows the burdens we carry, He comforts us in our pain, He lifts us up when we aren’t able to pick ourselves up, He cares. Even when it feels like no one gets it, no one understands what you go through every day, every hour, every minute, the things you struggle with and the temptations you truly wrestle with, He is there. I know it’s hard to feel His presence sometimes. I know it’s hard to believe. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve been so far down in the dumps that there is only one person who could have pulled me back...

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To You, Wherever You Are Today

Walking down the street, I see people hurting. Of course, I do see people who are incredibly and indescribably happy. But also, I see people putting on a smile even though their heart is breaking. I see people who are in trouble. I see people searching for something. I see people who need a word of encouragement today. Maybe you’re one of those people I passed on the street this morning (figuratively, of course) and you need to hear you are not alone. You are not the only one who is struggling. You are not the only one hurting. You are not the only one smiling through tears. You are not the only one who needs Jesus. May these words encourage you today, wherever you may be walking, whatever your circumstances, and whenever you may be feeling these emotions. To the weary and overwhelmed, you are not alone. It may seem like there is no end to this tunnel right now. It probably seems like your world is crashing down around you and nothing is ever going to change. Rest assured, you are not alone. Christ has offered us rest in Him. Take your cares to Him, lay your burdens at His feet.  He will care for you in this time of need, even though it may not be what you are expecting. When you are overwhelmed, run to Jesus. His perfect peace will...

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When Your Walls Fall Down, This is Where the Healing Begins

When you were a kid, did you build towers with the big cardboard blocks?  Maybe you built the highest tower possible, or maybe you were the kid that ran around knocking down everyone else’s towers. When I was a kid, I liked to build walls around myself.  Enclose myself in so that the walls were all around me.  And I’ve done the same thing with my life. Maybe, like me, you’ve built walls around your life.  You convince yourself that they keep your heart safe.  You convince yourself that the higher your walls, the safer you are.  You convince yourself that the thicker your walls, the less people can see of the real you, and that’s a good thing.  Because if they were really to see your sin, your hurt, your brokenness, your pain – they wouldn’t want to know you.  They’d run in the other direction.  I used to think that my walls were my security, my protection from the world, from the hurt.  That if I had higher, thicker walls, no one could see the real me: the ugly, torn, and worn girl who does not see herself as beautiful; the girl who struggles with feelings of worth and inadequacy; the girl with the life-shortening illness; the girl who is alone; the hurt, broken, sinner in desperate need of a Savior.  When we build up our walls, we...

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Sharing Your Testimony Is Easier When You Realize It Isn’t About You

Sharing your testimony is a phrase that we throw around a lot in Christian circles.  For a long time, I didn’t think that I had a testimony.  When people shared their testimonies at summer camp, retreats, or from the pulpit, they were always testimonies that were so heart-breaking yet so powerful and moving that they spoke of a great God.  I didn’t think there was any way that I could measure up to that.  It was at a Christian summer camp in middle school that started to change my mind. Our group traveled into the city to a park, where we were asked to share our testimony with some inner city kids.    The guy before me pulled out one of those perfect testimonies that left my heart in pieces on the floor and my hands raised to our eternal God.    His story: being misdiagnosed at birth with the very disease that I have.  Well, that put my “testimony” in the trash.  I took the paper out of my pocket and ripped it up.  I don’t remember what I said.  The one thing I remember is that I told them that I had Cystic Fibrosis (CF).  I’m pretty sure I started crying at that point and sat down.    But I still was convinced that other people’s testimonies were better than my nonexistent one.    It wasn’t until my...

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