Tone Series with Cathy Semeria
Documented by Lisa Larson
what do the words ‘so worth loving’ mean to you?
That you are worthy. You are loved immeasurably more than you can ever imagine. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are perfect in every way. There is no one like you. You are holy, redeemed, forgiven. You are chosen. Your identity is in Christ. You are known. He knows your name.
when you hear the words dark and light, what comes to mind?
They immediately remind me of the words our precious forever 19-year-old daughter, Tini, wrote in her blog a month before she went to be with Jesus for eternity. Her blog is called Stirring Heart and her writing is titled “A Spark in the Dark“. Joy is a difficult thing. It is not, however, to be mistaken with happiness. Happiness is based on circumstances. Joy is an orientation of the heart. It remains even in the most strenuous moments and has no barriers or limitations. It is from a God of unconditional and everlasting love. And I compare it to a spark in the dark. As small as a spark in the dark might be, it can be seen by all those around it. And if those sparks encourage further sparks, a tremendous light can be created and overcome any and all darkness. So, as easy as it is to say, “my one life and heart probably won’t make much of a difference, considering how many people there are in the world,” you’re wrong. Sorry, not sorry! “There is power in one heart, just as there is power in one spark.” ~ Tini Semeria
did you find God in the middle of darkness?
Absolutely. I am still walking in the darkest season of my life. On April 27th, 2016 our world was shattered into absolute dust. Our youngest daughter, Christina “Tini”, was a Sophomore at UGA. At the end of her Spring Semester right before studying for finals, Tini and her three best friends went to pray off campus at The Iron Horse in Watkinsville. They prayed, they danced, they laughed, they were full of the joy of the Lord. On the way back to campus the driver of the car lost control...no speeding, no texting, no drugs...doing nothing wrong, just praying together off-campus. Tini and her three best friends went hand in hand to be with Jesus together for eternity that night. God was right there with our beautiful girl and with us. Our family was immediately surrounded by an incredible community of God’s people. We were and continue to never be alone. He held us, wept with us, comforted us, wrapped His arms around us and whispered over our hearts...I am here, I will never EVER leave you. The Lord has NEVER EVER left us- His promises hold true.
"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." -Lamentations 3:22-23
The Lord is faithful. He is in the business of making us new, redeemed, "beautifully broken" people if we will hold onto our faith, keep our eyes fixed upon Him and embrace our brokenness and pain as a gift to minister to others in pain and in their brokenness. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" -2 Corinthians 5:17. My hope is that I can take others’ hands and help walk them home on their journey here on earth. I long to be the hands and feet of Christ to others. I pray every morning for the Lord to cross my path with someone that needs to know there is hope and that they are loved. No, we will never be the same, but the Lord continues to take our beautifully broken pieces and blesses us over and over again.
what did you learn about His love for you at that time?
God is faithful. God is a good, good Father. He is near to the broken-hearted. He covers me with His feathers and under His wings I find refuge. He sees me and He never EVER leaves me. His plans for me are good and He uses my story in His BIG story to bring others to Jesus.
what would you tell the next generation about God?
There’s nowhere I'd rather be than with the next generation. HE sees you. HE loves you immeasurably more than you can imagine. He has made you in HIS image. He has gifted you with unique gifts and passions. Your life matters for HIS kingdom. Live your life on purpose for HIM. IT'S URGENT. Tell your story. Be authentic and vulnerable with others. When you share your story you are unlocking not only your own heart, you are allowing others to enter a holy sacred space that gives them permission to unlock their own heart. You are telling them they are not alone. We are all here to hold each other’s hands as we walk with each other on this journey to our eternal home. Look for the least, the last, the lost and the hopeless and let them know they matter, they are seen, and give them hope.
Don’t waste your pain. Be that wounded healer in this world. In your brokenness and darkness is where God will shine the brightest light to the world.In your weakness HE is strong. He takes the ordinary for His extraordinary purposes. GO BE THAT SPARK IN THE DARK. God believes in YOU. I LOVE this generation. YOU ALL are world-changers. #sparksinthedark #livesonpurpose #roar #matthew51416 #gotini #goYOU #bestill
Matthew 5:14-16The Message (MSG)14-16“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Below are the links to Tini’s original song “Be Still” where she is singing and playing her guitar and her full blog “Spark in the Dark”.