Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's like I knew without knowing: A tribute to 2010

An amazing part of going to a Christian college has been the integration of faith in Social Work. One class in particular, the integration is the main focus and I love it!! One of our assigned readings is a book called "Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us". It gives suggestions on simple activities and responses to God that allows space for god to show up. Our assignments then are to do one 'discipline' a week and report back on how it went. 

This week I decided to indulge in self-care. Something others say I am not good at, but I really think for being as busy as I have always been and quite the overachiever I really do know when to take a break. Friday night I hung out with one of my girlfriends and just got ice cream and talked. Tonight I headed home after class, spread out a blanket and read love letters I have sent up to God throughout the past year.

I got to thinking about how amazing and completely transforming this year has been. I mean everything is different... everything. And for once I don't want to go back--- I want to go forward! Yay, for change! God orchestrated this whole year. He knew the challenges I would face, He knew the desires I would  sacrifice for Him. He knew how Graduate school was going to turn out and He most certainly knew I would find my heart's resting place at my internship. The very thing I was aching to have since my arrival back from Tennessee.

At the same time I was thinking about the photographer I work for ((also a real good friend for those who don't know  http://danachristinephotography.com)) and how she got to follow around a newly engaged couple (that morning) around all day as the gentleman surprised his bride to be with extravagant displays of love and elegance. I began to say out loud that I long for that and in the same breath I laughed and realize I already have it... God has shown me HIS BRIDE TO BE extravagant displays of love and favor and honor and grace and mercy and faithfulness. Time and time again this year, God heard my cry, He showed up and He provided. How can I be nothing but grateful?

So I decided to re-live this year trek I have had with Him. I knew my new year really didn't begin with January 1st, I think He was saving it for this moment. The moment I would realize how amazing He truly is and how blessed I am to be His child and lover all at the same time. He wanted me to sit in the blessings of the year and send Him praise, so He can begin to unfold my future. My very lovely future. 

So, if you have the time you are more than welcome to join me in re-living a beautiful year of my life. I pulled out different writings that now looking back make perfect sense for what He was teaching me in that season. Heartaches and celebrations that at the time were unprecedented. Somehow though, it's like I knew without knowing. I knew God saw my desires and He would answer, I just did not He would do it so perfectly and so quickly <3

Starting with my travels to Tennessee and living through the love and pain I experienced there. Then my return home that left me void and confused. My beginning journey into adulthood with my internship and Graduate school. My final decision to end things with Ryan and the unbelievable favor He poured into my life concerning my future at Youth For Christ. See what it is that has me so in love with this crazy God, this amazing, sweet romancer who never ceases to surprise me. Me, His bride to be  =)

 *The unknown... the unanswered... the leaving it in Jesus's hands... 
the full gas tank with 800 miles to go... 
the fresh packed luggage soon to be unpacked... 
the closed door soon to be opened, 
the first impressions ready to be made... 
the unknown- what a weird place to be*

It is so obvious He is jealous for my heart, He needs my full commitment to move on in everything, He needs to know that he can trust me to do His work, that He can start a fire in me and I will properly release it to others… and I am, I am holding back.

but even more so I believe I feel this craving because God wants me. I believe before he can answers the prayers of my heart, I must first remember what it is to marvel in His presence. What a blessing it is to sit at His feet and learn the ways of the Kingdom and feel His glory shine upon my face. 

Tears fill my eyes and start to run down my cheeks as I write- this is not common for me. Although emotional by nature, my heart is just overflowing with His desire for me. Yes, desire. That is exactly what I feel. He desires to be with me. He desires to hear my voice. He desires to see my dreams come true. He desires me. And honestly, what woman does not long to feel desired for? Or- desire to be longed for. I am not the creator of this thought, but why do you think we all have such underlying emotions, such strong ties to hope, a common need to be loved?

Shadowing what I can of the Program Director, as she has the job I want someday... but as I like to be, she is very busy.

Somehow in this process of myself staring at this hole I don't fit into,
I am falling more in love with myself.
I know who I am and I love it.
I know who I am in Christ. 

Am I meant to be great? Yes, but for His glory not mine. Am I meant to achieve? Yes, but not for my benefit but for others. Am I meant to do great things? Yes, but on His strength, not mine. Am I meant to get praise. No, no I'm not. I am here to serve not be served.

In your hearts you start questioning, "Yeah Kerri - that sounds nice but what about this addiction I am battling, what about my headaches that won't go away, what about the sexual abuse, what about waking up day after day feeling hopeless? How can I experience God and keep those out of my life once and for all? I am just so sick of battling this..."My answer, stop battling. Not even just the battle but the war has already been won. Step into God's love.

I am right there Kerri, telling you when to turn, when to stop when to put it into reverse. I will never leave you nor forsake you. It is your turn to lead. It's coming Kerri and it's coming soon so just prepare your heart. 

I feel so emotional here.
Like a train wreck yet peaceful.
Completely uncomfortable yet purposed.
Unstable yet steady.
Manic yet wise. 

Well, I guess that is why I am here. that is why I am a 'christian' the other six days of the week. That is why I consume myself in Your word, That is why I chase after Your goodness. That is why I refuse to compromise anymore. If-for-nothing-else that You will conquer in their lives- because in this story the battle has already been won, they just don't know it yet."

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.

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

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.

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.

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? 

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 than our plans.
    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. 

    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?

    We wondered are we wasting our youth? Shouldn't the age of 22 be filled with late nights, high heels and memorable stories? This is a place I come back to often. This question of whose to say what is fun anyway. 

    It is funny I would have no idea how to tell someone how to get from point A to B now--even though that was one of the points of this blog tocapture those moments and hopefully use them to touch people in their walk. But it would almost be like asking a drunk woman for directions...
    Hmmm... what a wonderful thought, being drunk on Him and His wine. 

    So here is the tribute to the place that loved on my unconditionally, ripped insecurities out of me and replaced them with true confidence. Here is to the town that taught me what quality and richness of life really is. Here is to the people truly chasing after God's heart and unwilling to compromise life--and succeeding in miracles because of it. Here is to the minsitry that awoken my heart and made a worker out of me. I miss you, all of you. But again, I know it's here where I am meant to be-- for now.

    I can be the Kerri who is on fire talkin' about freeing the captives and such or I can be the Kerri who defeated daily by torturing thoughts of worthlessness. I can think about the future and plan great dreams based on the word of God or I can use my own past to convince myself it will never happen. It's not about the emotion, it's about the truth.

    He is stripping me. Every plan 'b' my heart can think of He is ruining. He has placed me in the desert and I am too mad to look up. I honestly just want to hear the words "you are so beautiful Kerri" and the worse part, I know it. I even KNOW my own insecurities. I know what it is I want, why I want it, and how I am searching for it in the wrong places. Yet.. I still search. I still crave... I still desire to be desired.

    Tonight, we'd rather cry about the world than take a chance on faith.

    A positive thought though is how great my internship is... like really great. God has significantly answered ALL my prayers and stayed COMPLETELY faithful to his prophesies and had DOUBLY blessed me in my work. Which is such His character, how could He do anything different but love on me, spoil me, bless me when its the last thing I deserve. Thank you Lord, Thank you for just being YOU.

    Following God's plan for your life feels even better and more refreshing than an early morning run, a shower after a long camping trip, a first kiss, or the first day of fall. As many of you, I have closed doors in my life, that allows for me to notice or take on the windows God has set up for me. 

    We are all just lost. We are all in some way lonely. We all want a place to belong.
    We all, I mean I... I just wanted to have someone see that I was having a good hair night.

    So as a fair leader I wanted to do the same... what is it that God wants me to do with my *big October news... honestly folks- I have no clue. All I know is I need Him. I am desperate for Him. I feel unworthy, but He- He is good and He will  speak. Here is my homework:
    Joshua 1
    6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
    Dear October, I never knew you would be the answer to all my dreams-- please, please don't let me step out of God's will. 
     I wonder if the process of one's life coming together is just as scary as having one's life fall apart. Change, whether for the better or worse, still evokes fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failing and most importantly fear that one will lose sight of what life is really about.

    Today is the day. This is the season. There will be salvation in this Urban Ministry. And I will be in Leadership. I am lost but loved, confused but cared for, scared but sacred, I am ready to accept the new season... "Here am I Lord, send me" (Isaiah 6:8). I am claiming Zechariah:
    "Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: 
    'Return to me,' declares the LORD Almighty, 'and I will return to you' " 

    1 comment:

    Heather said...

    oh my...oh my....<3 i love you.