PASTOR EMILY HASTINGS

 
emilynew.jpg
rhythms.jpg
 

WHAT DOES GRACE MEAN TO YOU?
For me, when I think of grace I think of dependance, ability and favor from God. I think of the reliance we get to have on Him as believers, the empowerment we receive by His Holy Spirit. The scandalous thing about grace is that we do not deserve it – we can do nothing to earn it.

As believers we are totally released from striving in our own strength, freed from feeling the need to be the strongest or most perfect, because when we continually rely on Jesus, running to Him in our weakness and imperfection—He helps us to be the strongest we could ever be. This to me is the practice of being “Strong in the Grace.”

HOW DO YOU FIND A RHYTHM OF GRACE IN YOUR LIFE?
I have found rhythms of grace in my life by learning the habit of continually asking for help and relying on what God has to say for my life. I have found it is making a habit of trusting Him for his empowerment, strength and answers on things. When my way is not working, that is usually when I realize I need to ask Jesus what his way looks like. I will often just begin to ask the Lord for his thoughts on things; ask Him for His wisdom and listen and wait for His answers and wisdom on things. We always need His grace, I think it's just the art of asking for it and being aware that He is willing to provide it. Hebrews 4:16 says “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

HOW DO YOU LEAN INTO THE GRACE THAT'S ALREADY THERE?
Leaning into the grace that is already there for me is being open enough, humble enough, childlike enough to ask the Lord for help, as it is there for us to access. It’s having a continual dialogue with Him as He is our best friend and only wants the best for us. For me, leaning into grace is tuning my ears to what He is saying to me, rather than what I am thinking.

WHAT DOES REST LOOK LIKE IN YOUR LIFE?
Rest looks like knowing who you are and what you’re called to. It's having peace with God, yourself and the people around you. It's knowing your purpose and your season. A lot of the time, we try to find rest through changing things outwardly, slowing things down physically, having a glass of wine or two and overdosing on Netflix. I believe it is so important to find physical rest in a healthy way. However, it is the inner peace that only God can give that truly gives us rest. As much as it might be having alone time as an introvert, or seeing all your friends at once as an extrovert (not me), it’s also receiving His peace in the midst of it all.

HOW DID YOU SEARCH FOR REST BEFORE YOU FOUND JESUS?
Before Christ (B.C.), I found rest by recklessly escaping reality. I would take drugs, go out to nightclubs until the early hours of the morning, my pursuit to get as high or ‘out of it’ as possible. I lived for the weekend and for the euphoric highs that substances would give me before knowing Jesus. It was a place I would let go of everything—all my worries and concerns. However this destructive lifestyle only caused more problems. When I understood Jesus’ love for me and who He is, my desire to seek rest this way dissipated. He is the only place to find real rest—as He says, "Get away with me and recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest” (Matthew 11:28).