Sunday, September 25, 2011

one day soon, these fears will be put to rest
extinguished like a fire
put out like time-out
killed like a pesky fly.
I only pray it happens before he comes--
before I know he is coming
so that in You this heart may be blessed.

the mind knows it is irrational to question
stupid to doubt
not of You to buy the lie,
because Your love is always enough
always abounding
always true
no exceptions.

it is a process, though
and for that there is grace
but let the process be progressive rather than
clearing rather than
and securing rather than

A heart is fragile and unable to be controlled
but You are greater
than our hearts
more powerful
than emotions
bigger than
past bruises and scrapes.

In You alone, I find rest
In You alone there is peace
"When the battle rages
for all that I am
You hold my future
in the palm of Your hand."

I am choosing to surrender that which gives me life,
for it is only given when it is lost
and since You have already paid the cost
I am trusting your plan over

"Send me your light and your faithful care,
   let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
   to the place where you dwell.
4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
   to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
   O God, my God.
 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
   Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God" --Psalm 43:3-5

Sunday, September 18, 2011

 In wandering, there is blessing.

We all go through periods of wandering, and in regards to faith, it might be something we feel as though we know a little too well. It comes at different times, and we usually try to avoid it like the plague, but inevitably, wandering happens because life happens.

Life happened for me in these last six months. I had been seeking the Lord with all that I was for quite awhile, but when my plans still weren't panning out, when my circumstances still seemed like one question mark after the other, I became directionless and quite frankly, exhausted.

So often, my relationship with the Lord is based off feelings. It is one of the trickiest traps we can fall into. But I fell and I fell hard, and even though I was trying to seek Him throughout those dry months of summer, I wasn't feeling Him so I continued to wrestle with Him.

Two weeks ago, though, Jesus performed the most tangible act of grace that my young faith has yet to experience. It not only flipped the flickering switch of my heart back on, but also reminded me of how phenomenal and real our God is.

I prayed that Saturday morning after I found out I didn't have to work, telling Jesus that I didn't know where we were currently at. I told Him I needed to be refreshed in a new way, in a way that would wake me up and remind me of His goodness and His realness. He takes me on this hike that tons of Jessup students went on, and brings me head on into a situation where nothing but His power, His knowledge, and His peace could have brought me through.

My lifeguard training was suddenly being put to use, to care for a stranger that had gone down a steep waterfall, completely slicing both his forehead open as well as the right side of his stomach. He was in pain, he was bleeding profusely, and for two hours I was the primary responder that had to anticipate what was going to happen next. I was going for a day of sunshine and friends, but instead I was at the bottom of a canyon, potentially holding a man's life in my own two hands.

You're told in training that adrenaline kicks in; you might get really shaky, you might panic, you might have an emotional breakdown during and after. These things never came into full fruition for me though. Jesus kept me calm throughout all of it; weirdly calm. I have never been in an emergency situation period, much less been the person controlling one. Yet I knew exactly what I needed to do, even though I had only been trained months earlier. I had the confidence to stick with my gut when others tried to call the shots, I had the empathy to be with that man with my words, keeping him stable, talking with him to distract him from the pain. I had all of those things though, because of the Holy Spirit's divine power in me. It is the craziest thing that has ever happened in my life, and I can't stress enough the timing of it in relation to my walk with the Lord and the way He used that day to glorify Him.

He showed me His realness that day. He proved to me, even though He doesn't have to and shouldn't need to, that He is here and He is living and He is intricately involved in my life. In all of our lives.

That's grace, you guys. That is phenomenal, divine grace. Jesus put me in a situation that He had been preparing me for since I got that job, knowing I'd be there that day, knowing I'd be in a time of wandering with Him, knowing that it would wake me back up and ultimately bring Him every ounce of the glory.

It blows my mind all over again to write it out, even though I have processed that day out loud already so many times.

I know this is a novel, but I encourage you; let wandering bring you to the feet of the living Jesus, and be ready for that moment in which He reveals the work He has been doing in midst of our humanness and unawareness.

PS, look at the poem I wrote on the entry for Sept. 3. This all happened the next day. Jesus is so real.

Friday, September 16, 2011

There is nothing like a beautiful, Friday afternoon to yourself. I came back today to an empty apartment, which normally I wouldn't like, but for a few hours tonight, it was so perfect, and so needed. I put on my sweats, whipped out ingredients for this delicious toasted barley salad with caramelized corn, zucchini, and tomato, and listened to the lovely music of Bon Iver. The window was cracked in the kitchen, sun pouring in, and the slight breeze was enough to make my soul overflow from happiness.

The salad was even more flavorful than I could have imagined. All the produce was seasonal, fresh, and organic, thanks to the amazing Living Social deal I scored. (I got $20 worth of Whole Foods groceries for only $10! Did anyone else get it? It was practically a steal.)

I used red corn and yellow corn, and summer squash along with the zucchini. The dressing makes the salad-- lemon juice emulsified by olive oil, with pepper, fresh basil, and garlic. Honestly to die for. I paired the salad with organic chicken breasts seasoned with lemon pepper, black pepper, lemon juice, and some dry basil. It was the perfect combination and made for a very fulfilling, satisfying meal.

In a perfect world, I would have an actual camera to take an actual picture that could actually display the detail and colors of the meal, but until money grows on trees, I will continue to use my phone. (Which kills me by the way, really kills me).

I'll be heading home after work tomorrow to get in some productivity alongside some relaxation, so rest-assured, I will be posting again very soon!

Happy weekend!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Together, we are a struggle and a Victory
a battlefield and a Shelter
a question and an Answer.
You’re consistent and I’m consistent
and sometimes that makes our
relationship hard.

I love You but can’t always show it
don’t always show it
won’t always show it
yet somehow You are able to love me back

I don’t know why You do it.
Why do You keep doing it?
Sometimes I wish You wouldn’t
because the fact that You will always be here
just always, forever, be here,
can be hard to understand
especially when it’s true.

It makes zero sense
when I know the pages of my heart
are riddled with black spots and tears
and big gaping holes that at times seem impossible
to fill.

It’s just that its thirsty for something
but doesn’t know how to quench it;
so it grabs onto everything but You
and is surprised when it doesn’t fulfill.
It should know better by now,
but the missing piece remains
and its directionless
body is leaving a stain.

I don’t really get You sometimes
I hope it’s okay that I may never get it
but I want to trust enough to know that
You are real and You are good
and dryness is okay because dryness is life.

You aren’t in the business of substituting
trials for joy
dead fruit for new fruit
patience for deliverance;
no, Your goal is to work with me through it
wrestle alongside of me
push me to believe in You,
because You believe in me.

Loving You is hard and not feeling You harder
because all I really want is
to talk with You for hours
and hear You say my name
and be hugged when I cry
and gently pushed when I’m scared
but since Your love calls me to faith
I will try to understand that
by choosing to do life with You.
One day those things will be true
and never again
will Love
be something that is
or confusing
or questioned
but rather
and instinctive
and perfected.


I will wait for You there, Jesus.