Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lost in Translation

Lessons learned thus far from being home:
  • You can cry a lot of tears behind rosy sunglasses, without anyone noticing.
  • Friends are the ones who can look past your frown and remember how great your usual smile is and won't stop making you laugh until your smile is back.
  • Being in love is a wonderful thing.
  • Sometimes the best thing to do is just move on.
  • God is bigger then our plans.
I never thought it would be tough coming home. I knew I would miss Nashville and I had grown a lot there but I feel totallly lost in translation. It's not that I am craving to be back south, actually I am not desiring to be anywhere. Nothing feels right. And my friends all swear it is for the best and something better is on it's way and perhaps they are right. But wow, my heart is aching for rest. There is no peace within this soul... something is not right, something is stirring- somethings about to change.  

I don't plan on going to campus much- like I thought I would. There is nothing there for me now. I don't feel the blessing, I don't feel the grace. Sure, I love the people but God's saying it's time to move on and my heart has already done so.
But where did it go?
What passion is burning for?
What is the next great adventure I will embark?
What will begin to shape my life for the next year?
Will it be my internship? 
Will it be the Roberts Wesleyan campus?
Will it be something, will it be anything?

What if it is time to just focus on God. To rediscover love. To get healed up? Would I be okay with that? Can I sit still for another 4 months? 
What if it is time to begin, like :::really::: begin. What if my ministry life is right around the corner? What if something crazyyy is about to happen?

Either way my future looks and FEELS like a big question mark right now and although I am so so so grateful for my friends, faith and family--- I am lost in translation.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How will I answer?

"Sooo... what was it like??" 
"Heyy girl!! How was Tennessee, was it everything you hoped for?"

By this time next week I will have heard these questions a couple dozen times.
*sigh. How will I answer? I promised myself I would go to bed early tonight but when the darkness sat in after my exciting day my mind took over. Thoughts & thoughts & questions & questions took over. Not in a bad way, just memories, expectations, various discoveries. I mean I have been here for 3.5 months, that is a long time.

Ya know when people go to foreign countries and they come back all radical because they noticed how wasteful or war-hungry our nation is? Well consider Tennessee my 3world country trip but replace selfishness and ethnocentrism- with Sex, Drugs and Rock n' Roll. Twice this week I have gone off on two guy friends of mine about how destructive promiscuity is. I mean you can't look at the girl's faces I have been for these months and tell me differently. People get hurt by all of us lonely ones trying to fill a void with semi-good relationships. We need to hold out, stop jumping into everything... especially beds. So I've learned a lot about this topic obviously.

But what else?
Was it everything I had hoped for?
Was there anyone girl I am going to miss?
Did I make a difference?

All I know for sure is- tomorrow I get to see two of my best friends, tonight I can't stop reading her letter, yesterday was a tough day at work and three months ago I had no idea just how faithful and good God really is. As for all the other questions, I don't really know- words don't really explain. I mean how do you tell someone that your entire inner being has completely changed? How do you describe the transformations I have seen? How do you depict the picture of life living in God's favor? 

Today they had another goodbye party for me and the things people said were what I always wanted to hear, the evaluation was everything I wanted to get rated, the letter she gave will forever remind me why it is I do what I do- yet somehow none of that matters now. The affirmation I needed before I no longer need. The constant knocking at the door from Jesus has been answered. The recognition I wanted from my hard work is worthless now. The letting go process has already happened and been healed. I don't care if Tennessee turned out to be what I expected or not. I don't care if I'll work for Mercy again. I just want Him and I want her to know what a life living for Him looks like. Whatever that looks like and whatever I have to do to get there is what matters now.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Do & Receive- Psalm 37

Last post I wrote "If you don't know where to start, start in psalm 37"
Here are my thoughts. Two things happen in Psalm 37. 
God asks and we receive/He tells us do something and He gives us even better things.
Here is an outline:

1.  God asks/He tells us do something: 

Do not fret over evil ways
or the success of evil men.
Do not be envious.
Trust in the Lord.
Do good.
Dwell in the land.
Enjoy safe pasture.
Delight in Him.
Commit your ways to Him.
Be still before Him.
Wait patiently.
Be content with the little you have. 
Give generously.
Turn from Evil.
Refrain from anger.
Take refuge in Him. 

2. We receive/He gives us even better things:

Evil men and their treasures will wither away.
You will prosper.
He will give you the desires of your heart.
Your righteousness will shine.
Your passion will bloom.
You will inherit the land.
You will enjoy great peace.
The Lord will always uphold you.
In days of famine you will enjoy plenty.
He will make your steps firm.
You will not fall.
Your children will be blessed. 
God will not forsake you.
He will protect you. 
He will give you perfect words.
The Lord will give you wisdom.
He will not let you be accused.
He will not leave you to your own strength.
He will give you a future.
He will break your strongholds.
The Lord will deliver you.

Greater than a great life

"I've found a love greater than life itself
I've found a hope stronger and nothing compares
I once was lost now I'm alive in you
I'm alive in you"

I remember sometime before my trek down to Tennessee singing a song about life being greater, I paused and thought is it?  This is one post I referenced this expereince ((  But there was another one that I can't find, sadness. Anyways- I went through a whole list things I love like picnics, Starbucks, Christmas, dates, etc, etc and thought do I really LOVE God more than these things? 
I had to answer no. 
I didn't quite grasp the transformation that could be found in Him. I did not quite grasp the freedom, the joy, the rest, the beauty, the wonders, the desires fulfilled the "real-ness" being in love with God would bring. And more so than that... loving God for who he is even without any of the benefits. Could it be worth it? The biggest choice to choose to chase after God all your life to lay down your desires for him... can it be worth it? Can those seeds I have been planting for years, with deep conversations, watering via text messages, pruning with discipleship clippers, can they really bloom? Will I ever harvest?

In October 2008, I wrote this post (( declaring I would give my life to sow seeds. It is now April 2010 and my seeds just bloomed. I have started to harvest and it feels great. And with all those questions from before I can boldly say with all my heart; YES YES YES YES!!!
He is greater than life.
He is the answer.
He is the love we all need. I lay it all down Lord.
I call you Lord on purpose, not as a taught behavior.
I will allow you to direct me, to refine me, because guys listen, hear me, believe me:
"I have found a love greater than life itself" 

Maybe Its time to harvest.
Maybe its time to plant seeds.
Maybe it is time to open to the bible for the first time,
or maybe it is time to plant that church you have wanted to do for years.
But it really is time because "by grace I'm free, you've rescued me-all I am is yours; I once was blind but now I see"

If you don't know where to start, start in psalm 37.
I will post about a life lived there later this week.
And if you feel like you have already done that and you are dried up tired of waiting for your calling, getting no response- begin to do what Jesus did, that will keep you busy for awhile. Heal the sick, believe for miracles, sow into his kingdom, naturally and supernaturally.

I just get this picture in my head of my standing on stage with thousands of believers in the audience and saying "You want revival? You want revival?" Then one by one I point to my heart, my head and my wave my hands and whisper revival each time to motion that revival must begin in ourselves first. Live a life greater than a great life. Then, the revival will come, and the revival will come. But it is only after the THEN that it can come. Delight in Him and He will delight in you.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A love I don't deserve

I put on the pink aeropostale "love" shirt he got me.
I read through some of the cards he has sent me.
I got to chat with him for 12 minutes this morning before he went to church.
I miss him, a lot.
I tried not talking to him for a few days, just to clear my head.
There is a lot of doubt in it that honestly he doesn't need to hear about.
Will I share my heart with him yes, but I don't need to do it every 2 hours,
when my mood drastically changes each time.
I am not really sure what I am scared of.. or fascinated with, or threatened with... or enthralled by.
ha. doesn't that just prove how all over the place I am lately.
Guys, for as happy as I have always been- 
I don't think I know how to be happy.
And for as loved I have always been-
I am not sure if I know how to be loved.
What I am experiencing is a love I don't deserve!!
Doesn't anyone get that??? 
Doesn't anyone think he will just up and leave?
And there it is... the reason for the chaos. 

The heart of a adolescent girl waiting on the couch for dinner, realizing he is never coming back- and he never did. I wish the hurts of our childhood didn't affect us as much as they do. I'm not saying we should use them excuses, or let them skew us permanently but for so long but they do so without us even realizing it. And I don't care how great OR NOT great your parents, environment, childhood was- it affects you, and you can't be blind to it. You must awaken your repressed thoughts, you must kick those awful coping mechanisms, you must figure out the root of why you are, the way you are and deal with it. Look your past straight in the face & say you are stronger then before and it can't have you anymore. Stand on solid ground and refuse to let it's complacency, it's denial, and it's ache rule your life anymore. Even when hurt is all you have ever known and it's easier to just continue on the familiar path- REPENT, meaning turn from your ways! Save yourself and those who desperately love you, I am not trying to preach the gospel here-forget God for a second if that's what has got you hung up- don't you feel like there is something more to life? Something you may not deserve, but you would like to have anyway? A freedom on this earth from your deep yet fresh wounds? The way to receive it is to deal with your junk. Do everyone a favor- find a way to work through life's disappointments. Be in communication with someone about your heart and what has got you so stuck.

In order to not be a hypocrite here is mine...
I am terrified of a love I don't deserve. 
I am terrifed of a God who can see my disgusting life, yet still wrap his arms around me and call me his daughter.
I am terrified of a boyfriend who can look at my past and still find me precious. 
I am terrified to live a pure life thinking my value is in the immorality I have known for so long. 

I am broken, but I know the way out. I must awaken that girl on the couch and let her know gently her father figure will not be coming home tonight, or ever. ::::However, that does not mean she is not worth loving, that doesn't mean the pain her mother will feel for years is her fault, that doesn't mean that her brother's problems are her fault, that doesn't mean she is unworthy of love and that most certainly does not mean she is not valuable, precious or worth waiting for:::: 

Ask me what I learned in Tennessee, this is my answer: I am worth waiting for.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Whats in your Easter Basket?

I had the privileged of putting together and hiding 33 Easter baskets this past weekend.
At least 8 of those baskets went to first time receivers.
The first time receivers were girls ages 18-25.
I won't go into details why... but the point is God is about redemption.
Although they received these baskets 15 years after most children do-
He gave them much more than most children receive.

What is this more you ask?
Well inside their plastic egg read:
"God thinks you're a good egg. Good enough to share His inheritance with. Be blessed this Easter. 
Romans 8:17 'Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.' " I won't go into what I feel a life full of Christ's sufferings & blessing entails... rather I want to talk about your Easter Baskets. 
What was delivered to your heart when Jesus said "It is Finished"

Did you know that when you woke up Sunday morning you had a chance to find your hidden treasures? Did you know there was a gift of eternity anticipating your arrival? Did you know there was a Father waiting to ravish you with gifts? Well, if no then let me touch upon just some of those things you had in that basket... and no worries- God really isn't really a holiday kind of guy so this treat is available to you anytime, anywhere & it's all you can eat, so grab a hand full each time before you head out the door- that way you can share with others also.

In your basket there was and is today a chance at complete healing and absolute freedom. There is a PEZ dispenser loaded with scriptures that can put a little hop in your step. There is a packet of stress-free peace waiting to be opened. There is a golden ticket hidden in a dark chocolate bar nicknamed "Wonka's defeat of satan" that is available for a get-away escape from headaches, abuse, disease, negative thoughts, addictions, self-harm, self-hatred, and the wrath of God.

There are several mini nuggets of joy and some clusters of faithfulness. There are long-lasting flavor strips of love and droplets of praise. Underneath the fake grass is some caramelized hope, a guaranteed energy bar and a foiled wrapped permanent promotion. 

Sounds like a great basket huh? The best part is the moment you start believing that you can have the basket, that you deserve that basket, and that that basket was made for you... you can have it. You can have all of it. God loves you, for you. Not because of your performance, not because of your perfection or imperfection. Not because someday you'll be great or you are already great. Not because your grandma feared the Lord or because your the good kid in the family. God loves you because there is no one else like you, because you are His work of art. Take the basket for goodness sakes; if it real was candy there would be no hesitation... why then miss out on life's true purpose and sweetness. Y'all I love me some Reese cups but there ain't nothing like the Lord's words upon my lips... sweet as honey. Proverbs 24:13-14