Some More Thoughts

-This blog has become a place of release for me; to give voice to some of the silent thoughts in my head. Life isn’t pretty. It’s messy 99% of the time and I don’t want to give off the illusion that its all rainbows and happy puppies and kittens with Jesus. There are times where it’s a battle and there is a beauty within that struggle when you’re drawing closer to Him. He brings joy to all seasons that we go through and while it doesn’t make sense to me most of the time, I know that He is worth the battle.

-It seems that things are changing in my life, almost like a season of transition for me. I only know of bits and pieces that are changing, but still. It’s change and sometimes I don’t handle change too well. I have a tendency to become lazy and even though change frustrates me and causes me to be hateful and ornery, its a good thing most of the time.

-Another thing that has changed for me recently is the whole mentor-mentoree thing. In the midst of a conversation last week, I found myself becoming tired of performing and having to take on a mentor role and ready to relax. I had come to a place where I was ready to open up and be known. I’ll admit that I had spent a good part of the afternoon trying to read this friend until I realized that she was constantly being read by so many around her and there was no need for me to try and read her. I just needed to enjoy the moment and the calm silence and the friendship. After admitting that, there was a freedom in that confession and release. It was such a good thing for me.

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December 2nd

It was a great day. It was a “get out of town and turn the cell phone off” kind of day. I need this kind of day more often than I will admit. Social media fuels quite a few of my insecurities, to be honest, so disregarding the phone really does help kill that fuel. But yesterday was priceless to me since there are very few people that I open up to and when it happens…it’s a good day. (Especially when it involves steak and Starbucks)

This morning, though, I am painfully aware of my humanness and brokenness. It’s crazy to think that I wasn’t aware of how broken I was before this past year. The best part is being able to see and understand how Christ takes my brokenness and begins to methodically work on me. He doesn’t work on or heal me the way that I expect Him to. Rather, He does what He needs to in me that will bring Him the most glory…no matter how painful it is during the process.

Okay…I know that I’ve talked about the healing process on here before, but that’s the thing: it’s a process. Yes, Jesus could miraculously heal my brokenness but I have come to the place where I’ve realized that He isn’t after only my wholeness. He wants me and is willing to use whatever it takes to draw me in close to Him…even the hard things. I don’t think that God’s unwillingness to miraculously heal me makes Him an angry, irrational, unjust deity…He is there in the midst of my hurt and pain and He also loves to take broken people and let Him shine through them. Does it make sense to me? Not all of the time, especially in middle of my pain and heartache…and that has happened quite a bit over the past few months. But for me to sit here and try to make sense of it all is exhausting. All He ever asked was for me to trust Him.

With all of that said, there’s still more healing to come for me. There’s still more deep rooted idols to be exposed and more “why” questions to be answered. I know some of it may look like coping, but it isn’t. It’s the healing process and it won’t look the same every time. And that’s okay with me. Whatever He wants to use for His glory, then so be it…no matter how painful it is.

Sunrises and Sunsets

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I know why the sunrises and sunsets have been beautiful the past two days. My Heavenly Father has been trying to cheer me up. I’ve been low for almost two days now…really low. After realizing that a small chapter of my life was coming to a close, along with a doubt that sat in my head, I woke up low Monday morning. It’s the lowest I’ve been in several months and I’ve been fairly low at several moments during that time. The stresses of life don’t usually help during these moments; rather, they add to the lowness. The only relief that comes and soothes is the very presence of God, the One who bandages and heals me. There are very few friends who know the depth of my lowness right now and those two were the ones who didn’t run from me. Instead, they listened and then carefully guided me back towards the Father.

Part of me feels like there is a conversation that needs to happen, but I don’t know if my heart can handle it. I really don’t know if its going to slip back into idolatry again or if it will be shattered once again. Because I understand how frail I am, I’ve learned to keep this as my prayer and I whisper it again this moment:
“Father, give me the strength not to force whatever Your hand is holding back that You want to use for your glory.”

Something good for the morning

Read this from a devotional this morning…enjoy.

…Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

When I am anxious about some risky new venture or meeting, I battle unbelief with one of my most often-used promises: Isaiah 41:10. The day I left for three years in Germany, my father called me long distance and gave me this promise on the telephone.

For three years, I must have quoted it to myself five hundred times to get me through periods of tremendous stress. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). When the motor of my mind is in neutral, the hum of the gears is the sound of Isaiah 41:10.

When I am anxious about my ministry being useless and empty, I fight unbelief with the promise of Isaiah 55:11. “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

When I am anxious about being too weak to do my work, I battle unbe¬lief with the promise of Christ, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

When I am anxious about decisions I have to make about the future, I battle unbelief with the promise, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).

When I am anxious about facing opponents, I battle unbelief with the promise, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

When I am anxious about the welfare of those I love, I battle unbelief with the promise that if I, being evil, know how to give good things to my children, how much more will the “Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)?

John Piper, Future Grace, Multnomah Books (Colorado Springs, CO), page 59

Some thoughts…

What’s been rattling around my noggin lately?

-Fasting is always an interesting time, mostly because of the crap that starts to rise up from the depths of me and rear its ugly little head. I’m talking about old, sinful bents and habits that had been laying dormant – they start to rise up and you get to kill them off. Toss in weaning one’s self off of the afternoon Mtn Dew and eventually coffee, so that makes for a crazy time physically and emotionally and even spiritually. But…lots of water and warm socks definitely make it a little more tolerable.

-As a part of this fast, I deactivated my Facebook last night. That was a huge stretch for me because I had never done anything like that before, but I’m also glad that I did because I needed to get away from it. It’s strange, but I know that I will probably be rocked to my core the next few weeks and I want to be as close as possible to Jesus. My focus needs to be on Him. If I have to toss aside one temporary thing just so I could have Him, then so be it. This earth has nothing for me.

-Balance and reconciliation are two words that have been coming up a lot lately. I still don’t understand what they mean, but He does. I just pray that I have the strength and ability to step back and not force anything that’s out of His will or timing. Though I do enjoy being random in the midst of waiting.

November was a strange month for me last year. It might be almost as strange this year. But whatever happens, it happens because God has this and He is running the show.

Faith

“Jesus said that unless you know Him like a child you’ll never really know Him at all. Kids don’t know about facts, and they certainly don’t study each other. They’re just with each other; they do stuff together. That’s what Jesus had in mind.”
-Bob GoffLove Does

Love

“I get why people don’t want to go hand-to-hand with the depth of kindness Jesus found common. I get why it’s easier to just say what sounds like the right stuff from inside a bunker. The problem is, the Bible said the only weapon any of us really have is love. But it’s love like a sword without a handle and because of that, sometimes we’ll get cut when we pick it up. It’s supposed to be close contact, though. Love is always that way. I don’t think Bible verses were meant to be thrown like grenades at each other. They were meant for us to use to point each other toward love and grace and invite us into something much bigger.”
-Bob Goff Love Does