Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Your will be done"

I have had two major life verses in my life, that I have repeated to myself over and over again when times were rough.
The first one was Jeremiah 29:11. As I drove by myself from Iowa to LA in the spring of 2009 through hills of Utah in an extreme downpour this verse came to mind.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I breathed easier knowing that God had a plan, that should my car die, should I die, in this barren land with 100 miles to the next gas station, that it would be a part of God's plan. That should I live, it would be a part of God's plan. God had a future for me.

This was my verse until winter 2013, when I met someone who had the same life verse. When I was in a relationship that would change my life. When I experienced my first panic attack, as I heard that verse coming out of his mouth, and knew God was clearly speaking to me.
My prayer had changed that fall. That relationship had caused me to change. The words of my lips and pray of my heart had changed to a simple phrase, "Your will be done."
Yes I had a future and yes, God still had a plan for me, but what I needed to remind myself of was that God's will needed to be done. It wasn't about me, but about God.

Today as I reflected on this, I began to think more and more about the Lord's Prayer. About how Jesus instructed us to pray.
It starts out so simple.
Our Father - Ours not just Jesus', not just mine, not just yours, but OURS. We may not agree on predestination or the end of the world, but none of that matters. We have the same God, we share the same Father. We are a community of believers. Often we forget that.
who art in heaven - God is reigning over us, He is where we want to be.
hallowed be your name - God is are holy, God is worthy to be praised.
your kingdom come - Your kingdom God, not mine, not Joe's, but Yours.
your will be done - God what You want, what You will, what You desire. Not me, not my wants, not my wills, not my desires.
on earth - On earth, in this place. God's will be done here and now, where we walk and live.
as it is in heaven - let this place on earth be a mirror of heaven.
Give us today - Today, not tomorrow, not next week, or next month or when we graduate or get married but today.
our daily bread - God will not let us starve. He will deliver the manna from heaven. He will feed us. Daily.
and forgive us our trespasses - We will screw up. We are human and we fail, but God will forgive us.
as we forgive those who have sinned against us -  we need to forgive. Holding that grudge, holding that hurt, does nothing but hurt us. If God can forgive us, we need to extend that forgiveness onto others.
And lead us not into temptation - I am prone to screw up. It is only with God that I don't fail. If God is leading us, if our eyes are on God, we will be safer from temptation.
but deliver us from evil - God can rescue us. God DOES rescue us. He is the only thing that saves.

Matthew 6:9- 13, how simple, how beautiful. How often we just repeat the words from memory, without pausing to think about what they really mean.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

My head is full

Trying to lay down to sleep and my head is full.
Full of thoughts about inmates and how they are loved and that no matter their past crime they still deserve to know they are loved. (By God and by others)
Full of thoughts of how no one deserves love but God loves us all anyway.

Full of thoughts of the power of the written word. The value and meaning behind that someone took the time to write something down. 

Full of over processing and over thinking. 
Full of feeling and emotions and tears.
Full of a heart that doesn't fit in my chest.

Full of a God who holds it all easily in His hands. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

I don't get it. 
Stay up past bedtime, mess with sleeping schedule; for what? To see another day come in? That happens every day, every day is new, every morning is fresh. 
No point in losing sleep over one more day.

See you kids in 2015. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Because you will never read this

You will never know that I first realized I loved you on Christmas Eve. 
You will never know how my heart broke in that realization. 
How my heart still breaks in knowing that the man I loved was never meant to be mine.

Love is powerful and strong and leaves a mark.
Love is dangerous and beautiful and hopeful. 

My love for you left a scar. Christ's love for me has made me whole. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

I am a bad friend

I am horrible at relationships. I must have missed that day in school.
I am not just talking about dating. But friends, family, coworkers, God. Any and all relationships, I have never been good at.
In grade school I didn't have a lot of friends. My birthday parties were always just family. I hung out with cousins and the neighbor kids, and even those relationships I couldn't make last into middle school or high school. 
High school I hung out with a few people, but once again I was bad. I rarely initiated the conversations or the hang outs. I was always on the receiving end. 
College I sat in my room until people came and talked to me. During summer breaks I rarely spoke to those people. Out of sight out of mind seemed to be the running theme.
Even now as a grown woman, with all the technology we have, if you are not a part of my day to day life I don't reach out to you; even if you are, I don't reach out. I sit and I wait. I wait for someone to speak to me.
I do the same thing with God. I don't hang out with Him daily. We see each other on the weekends and a few times during the week, but usually I just sit around waiting for Him.
I wait for Him to reach out to me. To say something big, to comfort me when I hurt, to grant me knowledge and wisdom and peace. 
I sit with my phone always on me, waiting. 

Part of my reason for not reaching out to others is that I never want to be a bother. I don't want to interrupt their life. And what if they don't want to speak to me, like I want to speak to them. 
But see the thing is when I do reach out and reconnect with those old friends, things are as if they have never changed. They love and care for me the same way they did before. 
God is the same way. When I open up and speak to him. He opens up and speaks to me. Loving me and caring for me the same way as before. But taking that first step is always the hardest and scariest, the fear of rejection hangs tight.

God I am sorry I have been a bad friend.
Friends I am sorry I have been a bad friend.

I promise I will try to do better. That is all I have. The promise to try. 


Friday, October 3, 2014

Hope

"Be astonished! Be astounded! For a work is being done in your days that you would not believe if you were told." - Habakkuk 1:5

Some day I will look back. Some day I will look back at this time and this place and be amazed and in awe of what God has brought me through and what He has brought me to. 
And so for now I will hold on to that moment in the future. I will hope for the day that I can sit in a place and time and say "For this. This is the place and space God has brought me to. What a better place than I could have imagined."

Monday, August 11, 2014

Get out

I heard something recently that really broke my heart.
A man who was a leader in a church(not the church building I currently attend), it was found out that he was having an affair. Not just a one time indiscretion but he was in a relationship with someone who was not his wife. When his wife confronted him about it he admited to the affair, he told his wife that he wanted to seperate, that he wanted a divorce, that he loved this other woman.
Obviously my heart broke for the wife.
But that is not the part that really broke my heart.
Obviously since he was a leader in the church, church leadership was going to get involved. They would ask him to step down from leadership, which I feel is appropriate, but I also was informed that they were going to ask him to leave the church, and my heart broke for him. My heart broke for him. He is a wounded individual, he is a hurt man, he is a sick man. He obviously needs the healing and love of Christ.
But my heart also broke because of the way this other church is responding to sinners. To say no you have to leave, instead of we are going to stand here with you though this and love you through it. And obviously there is the thought that this is the church the wife goes to and wanting to protect her. And that I understand, 100%. He caused her harm and we should want to protect this woman in the church. I feel like we should do everything we can to protect the victim. But when it comes to an act of sin, and granted he has not asked for repentance, he is not repenting of his behavior in any shape or form but I feel that that does not give us as a church justification to say you cant come here any more. My heart breaks for this man who is obviously troubled and stuck in sin and the devil has a hold of him. And instead of our response being hey I am going to fight for you and instead of fighting for him and saying no this isn't appropraite behavior, you can't do this, I am going to stick with you through it, we are kicking him out until he changes his behavior.
One of the things I have heard from my own church recently that makes me love my church so much, is the phrase, Belong, Believe, Behave. First we get to a place where we feel like we belong and out of that belonging can come a belief in Christ and out of the belief, comes a change a behavior. So its not that we have to do good in order to be saved, and its not that we have to do whats right in order to be saved, and in order to feel like we belong. First we have to feel like we belong and we have to feel safe, and out of that comes a sense of belief and a sense of trust in Jesus Christ and out of the trust in Jesus and relationship with Him comes a change in behavior.
So my heart breaks for this man who is stuck in sin, my heart breaks for this man who is being kicked out of the church.
My heart breaks for his wife who is heartbroken at this betrayal.
And my heart breaks for the church.
I pray that he can be loved, I pray that he can be known. I pray that there is someone out there who will say I am going to fight for you brother. I am going to walk with you through this. And I will be here, til the day that you believe and I will be here til the day that you repent, and til the day that your behavior changes. I will make you feel belonged, I will make you feel loved despite of and because of your sin.
Just the way Jesus loves us because of and in despite of our sin.