Hello faithful readers and followers! A few of you have asked—“where did you go?”

I’m still here; Alive in Grace is still alive, but general operations are just slowing down for a season.

In January and February I was teaching a class, participating in a class and reading a book all focused on SLOWING down. It’s like God was trying to get my attention or something : )

God has been moving in some pretty mighty ways around here lately— new ways that are uncomfortable and exciting and exhausting and beautiful all at the same time. Ways that make you sit back and question, and then press in, and question some more.

It was like I finally had made sense of God— shoving Him into my Chelsey-sized box that worked with my understanding, and frankly, my schedule. And then God did what God does— He proved He doesn’t live in boxes or fit inside my comprehension. He is bigger. Greater. Wilder. And more powerful than what I had been giving Him credit for… I had just been too “busy” to see it.

Over the past year I have heard a constant still, small voice repeating the same invitation “deeper still, Chelsey.” I would say, “Yes, of course God,” but was unwilling to put the time in to truly go deeper. Connecting with God and spending time with Him has always looked about the same— peaks and valleys. This roller coaster relationship was propped up by seasons of daily devotions, conferences, powerful Bible studies and inspiring friendships. All of these things have been great, and critical in bringing me to where I am today, but none were sustaining. I knew my walk with Jesus needed to be more personal, driven by deep intimacy, and that He was inviting me to something greater— an adventure written by Him, not my limited humanity. 

God has been inviting me (more like adamantly pursuing me) to less DOING and much more BEING…with Him, in His word and being obedient right where He has placed me. It is easy for me to get ahead of myself and try to push an agenda that is my own, instead of taking the time to sit and be with my Father…getting to know His heart and following His lead. I guess maybe I thought in some way I had arrived somewhere, but God has been revealing to me that all of my life on this earth is going to be about transformation (Romans 12:2). About process. About the pursuit of a life of deep communion with Him.

We cannot be transformed more into the likeness of Christ without things breaking. Whenever we accept His invitation to go “deeper” we will come face to face with the pieces of our humanity that God longs to transform—and these are usually the pieces of ourselves we have been holding on to for dear life. (Pride, jealousy, greed, selfishness…you know, all the sins we so easily hide and suppress and try to convince ourselves that they are no big deal.)

In this season of discovery I have (somewhat painfully) realized my identity can be wrapped up in a lot of crud that doesn’t matter. It’s a good discovery, because it is breaking chains and bringing freedom to places where I had quietly, and somewhat unintentionally, leaned over to God and whispered “I got this one.”

As I press in and tip-toe into the unknown of the “deeper”, there are things in life that just need to slow down and create space for this new process and season of discovery. And, sadly, the current forward motion of Alive in Grace is one of those things. I will still be sharing some guest posts, but not as much as I had been, and will hopefully be doing more writing of my own. The e-newsletter and book studies are also going to be taking a break.

Thank you for understanding and being on this journey with me. It is amazing how God has used this space over the past year to bring healing and encouragement through the variety of vulnerable and honest guest posts. I can’t wait to see this continue in a new way.

If you too have been desiring to go deeper with God, to grow in transformational intimacy with Him, would you reach out to me? I would love to share some resources and encouragement and prayer. Or if you are thinking you want to see God outside of the box you have maybe put Him in, I would love for you to reach out too! chelsey.nugteren@gmail.com

So thankful for a patient, faithful and relentless God!