Monthly Archives: August 2010

The Sweetest Sound

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If there’s one thing in life I’ve learned, it’s that nothing compares to hearing God’s voice.

I remember one time, just like it was yesterday. I was sitting outside of my church on a faded green picnic table. The pond in front of me was as calm as could be, and boasting the most beautiful reflection of a crimson and orange sunset, with storm clouds wavering on the horizon. Birds sweetly singing on my right, cars driving past on my left. The salty tears of bitterness and anger were flowing freely. I felt like I was holding my heart in my hands, in a million little pieces. I had reached the end of me. I was ready to give up.

I cried out, “God, there’s so much work to do. I’m so messed up! My view of you is wrong, my heart is destroyed. I don’t know if I want to try to fix this. I want you to tell me it’s ok to give up.”

Instantly, there was a cool evening breeze that rushed over me. It stirred my spirit, and left goosebumps on my skin. I heard the sweetest sound in my soul. It was simply the words: I love you.

That moment has carried me through the last 3 years of healing and life’s everyday struggles. Even writing about it has me overwhelmed at the faithfulness and love of God.

I love to visit that picnic table and simply remember the moment. I long to be reminded of the sincere vulnerability of my heart that day, and deeply desire to carry it my whole life through. I’ve learned that God doesn’t always tell us what we want to hear, but He always says what we need, if we allow ourselves to be open to what He has to say.

Love With No Conditions

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I am a God who heals….

 I serve a God of love unconditional. Who’s love will bring healing to my heart, soul, and mind-even without me asking. The closer I walk with Him, the more in tune I am to Him prompting me to ask for healing in a certain aspect of my life; and/or He’ll simply open my eyes to the next area to work on.

 My view of love needs healing-plain and simple. It does. My view has come a long way from what it was, but I can feel His gentle touch leading me closer to a better understanding and comprehension of what love really is.

 My friend Sarah has a tattoo that says “Love With No Condition”. I am a conditional person, it’s my nature. Again, I serve a God with an unconditional love. If it’s my goal to be Christ-like, should I not also strive to love unconditionally?

 Can the overflow of love that should pour out from receiving the love of Jesus have different layers? For example- The love I have towards my mother would be different than the love I have for the homeless person in the street. I don’t think so. The key word here is not ‘the love I have but rather it’s ‘the love I show.

 The way I express and show the love of Jesus will look different from person to person. I have a different relationship with my mother than I do the homeless man on the street, but my love should not be less. The way I express my love, however, will be different.

 God has not revealed yet how the difference will/should look, but I will seek His word, pray and continue to live a life of love until and after He does. Figuring out the balance between boundaries and unconditional love is not an easy thing.

  I’m left with the question- Can a conditional being even begin to love unconditionally?

A Beautiful Design

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The awareness of your inadequacy is not something you should try to evade…

 Inadequacy and trust go hand in hand. The more we acknowledge our neediness and let go of our pride, the more we are able to see our need for God, and therefore have the ability to trust Him all the more.

Betrayal, abuse, loss, addictions and a plethora of other things all cause us to direct our dependency elsewhere; whether it’s inwardly to ourselves, or outwardly to a substance or person. Our security and possibly a state of normalcy begins to be placed and/or based on these things our hearts have been through.

I don’t believe it’s a natural thing for anyone to be able to openly admit or acknowledge their neediness and inadequacy but so much healing and restoration can begin with confessing our need for God, and each other.

 God delights in our acknowledgement of our need for Him. He didn’t create us to be self-sufficient. He created us with a need for Him, He created us for a relationship.

 What is it that you find yourself putting your dependency in? Where is your security placed? Has your heart been broken one to many times, that trust is no longer an option? Have you deprived yourself of love? What is the hardest thing about admitting you need someone? Why do we try and evade our inadequacy? Have you taken advantage of someone else’s inadequacy? Have other’s taken advantage of your vulnerability? Why do we constantly feel the need to be strong?

 The brokenness that so many of us have endured has caused our hearts to become callused to the idea of restoration and ever trusting again, therefore creating a false sense of security in our ability to take care of ourselves.

 The flaw that we view as inadequacy is really a beautiful design to bring us closer to God….and each other. Let yourself be loved.

Darrell

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A week of transition; of change. New places, new faces, but still the same God.

He’s been really teaching me a lot about His heart, and His agenda vs my agenda.
For example. I believe it was Friday morning, I had the privilege of meeting a man named Darrell. I went for a run on centennial trail. Towards the end, I noticed a man sitting on a bench, looking very somber. I continued past him, but with each step I took farther away, the more burdened my heart became. I knew I needed to talk with him. I turned myself around, headed back the way I came, and sat ‘next’ to the man. I wasn’t sure what to expect. We made small talk, and I learned that he is from Gainesville, FL. He’s here because his wife took his kids. His heart for his children, and his love for his wife blew me away. He’s sleeping in the streets of Spokane, just so he can maybe reconcile his relationship with his children.

That day I got a clearer view at the heart of Jesus. I caught a glimpse of God’s heart for the poor and needy, the orphans and widows, the homeless and drug addicted. These are the people that Jesus called His friends. Darrell has feelings, hopes, dreams, goals; He’s just like you and I. He showed me the pictures of his children that he keeps in his wallet, the bread he bought so he could feed the birds. There may or may not be any truth to his story, but who am I to say I’ve never told a lie? He may have been intoxicated, but does that mean I should pass him by or love him less? Why is it so easy to overlook those who don’t fit into our view of a ‘normal person’? I’ve learned that pretty people can be ugly, and that the outcasts of this world can shed a beautiful light like I’ve never seen before. Take the time to love on someone that no one else will. You’ll be glad you did.

I chose to lose my agenda and follow his, and was blessed beyond measure for my obedience. It makes me desire to be even more ministry focused, to keep my heart open to His agenda ALL day. To have a listening heart. To be obedient.

Jesus, let my love for you over-ride my selfishness. Let me bless others out of the overflow. Open my eyes to needs around me. Give me a fearless spirit. One that does not worry about what others will think if I talk to ‘this person’, one that will know that the center of your will is the safest place for me to be. That you are the everlasting arms beneath me, I have nothing to fear. Remind me that following you, and only you, is the only thing worthwhile.

Finally Free

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Deuteronomy 12:10 “But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and He will give you rest from all your enemies that surround you so that you will live in safety.”

For the first time in a long time, I feel safe.

I laugh because I went from living in a town of 170 people to roughly 200,000. I used to be able to go for a walk in the middle of the night or before sunrise by myself, now, not so much. I traveled halfway across the country, leaving all that was familiar, and have never felt as safe as I do now. I have never felt so protected and provided for. I feel the presence of God all around me.

Sometimes you need to be uprooted so you can grow. It’s amazing to me, how when I left, I felt like this huge burden was lifted. I am free. Freedom…..something I’ve never truly known. It’s glorious. I am no longer smothered by negative people. I can finally think for myself and not be told I’m wrong. I finally have breathing room.

Thank you Jesus for placing me here, for the ability to be free in You. For taking care of me and knowing just what my heart and soul needs. Thank You for forgiving my resistance to this change. Thank You Jesus for bringing me to this place of rest, where I can be refreshed and restored. Thank You for delighting when I bask in your presence. You are so good to me. You have stolen my heart, I am forever yours.

I am finally free…