1/20/2014

When It Doesn't Feel Right...

It's an interesting thing to look back on who you once were. After taking several years away from a blog-forgetting about it actually-and returning to read it, I found myself swaddled in self-reflection.  Mostly I wondered, "Who IS this girl?  This girl that thinks with clarity and sees the world through kingdom lenses and reflects on the world around her?" My first instinct was to think, "What has happened to me? Why can't I even think like that anymore?" But the answer came clearly. Life. Life happened.


You don't get to be 31 and single without a little heartache baggage and likely a few trust issues. Trusting others, trusting yourself, and most of all, the gut-wrenching battles in trusting the Lord. These battles have the potential to affect your innermost being, who you are and who you want to be. I recently met a friend who knew me in 2006, and he blatantly told me that I am not who I once was. He's right. Maybe I am jaded. Maybe I am cautious.  But I don't see the world through the na├»ve, rose-colored glasses that I once did.  For a long time, I felt guilty that I could not manufacture the joy or happiness that I felt a Christian was SUPPOSED to have. Guilt turned to shame and kept me in the pit. Held there by the pressures of Christian subculture to mask sin, shame, and depression.


I thought that was what I was supposed to do. It is still expected of me in some circles.


Truth: I don't have my act together.  I doubt, I yell at God, and I question His work. And you know what I've learned.....


My God is big enough to take it. He loves me, even when I am Habakkuk. Even when I am David.  Even when I am Peter. Even when I am me.


Life is hard to swallow right now. In various sectors I feel used and small. So, I sat in church this weekend and I felt as if the worship leader was guiding me to give an emotional response to the music. Suddenly, I was confused. Should we give an emotional response to God?  I get emotional at baseball games. They make be happy. Should I manufacture some sort of "feeling" in response to God?  And what if what I am feeling is not worship or praise? If I offered my honest emotion in that moment, I would have been angry and confused. Probably yelled something like "I don't FEEL like things are OK right now! Why aren't you fixing it?!" The thing is, I know that I am not alone. I know that there are Christians around the world that "feel wrong."


Thank Him that His grace is not contingent on how we feel.  Even if we feel wrong.


But what do we do with it?


We wait.


We cry. We pray (even if it's just a groan that the Spirit translates for us). I heard some very wise words: we cannot pull ourselves out of the pit. So we wait for our Savior to fight for us and hope (as much as it can even hurt to think about that word) that He will. Remind ourselves of what He has done. Read old blogs and journals. And breathe. Just breathe.


"You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.”  2 Chronicles 20:17




4/01/2008

Yeah, so today, I'm fine. A little off-kilter and hungover from a 10 hour night of sleep, but fine.

My friends and I ate at Babe's Chicken this weekend in Burleson, TX. I stepped away for a little solitude (of which I crave lately) and a nearby outdoor heater, and I watched two little girls start up a game-- something about how many times they could jump on and off the sidewalk without falling over. The scene was amusing for a moment, then they both stopped and isntantly, one little girl started making "new rules" for the game. Suddenly, I had mental flashbacks to games in which a friend or myself would make up arbitrary "rules" for a game in order to make it more interesting. Then I started thinking. At such a young age, we learn the art of placing rules on ourselves - dictating what we can't/can do without ever knowing (or even having) a reason why the rule is in place. Doesn't that carry over our lives? I think we have such a hard time living in the Spirit because rules are welled deep within us - a taught habit at a very young age that slowly encompasses every aspect of life. Once we learn this has happened, I think the rest of our lives, we learn how to free ourselves from this legalistic-like bondage. Either we place rules on ourselves, or rules are placed on us. For one, keeping up with all of them is absolutely exhausting. Trying to follow the rules of the ones we care about leaves us spent and empty. Thats where I find myself. Trying to escape. Trying to do what I think is best, regardles of what the world around me believes. Is this this following the Spirit? or disregarding the wisdom around me? I heard this morning that we are called to love, but not called to love stupid. Interesting....

3/31/2008

Stifled....

I think I want a re-do on today. Not that anything particularly bad has happened today or that I am angry or depressed, but somehow, I feel like I can't breathe. I feel like something in my life is completely out of sync, and I have no idea what it is or how to fix it. I feel like the Spirit inside me is stifled by something - be it sin or something else - but something is keeping me from progressing. Something keeping me from moving on, from living. I havent blogged in a while, but I thought that maybe if I did, I could process what I am feeling. Part of me just wants to go home, go to bed, wake up and do it over tomorrow. Where is life? Funny thing is, I hate being this dramatic and tomorrow, I will think I am a moron for doing so. Nonetheless, my thoughts are down and we'll see where I am after a commercial break. :)

9/24/2007

are you being served?

My current occupation is definitely one of the service industry. One might think that since I work at a Baptist Seminary, my job is all smiles, all the time. However, although I do have the privilege of working with some fine people, I often come across one or two patrons that show somewhat less-than-average value in my position. For a vast majority of my academic career, I have placed (often misplaced) great time and effort into the betterment of my mind (particularly in languages). Working in my respective office, I am in contact with dozens of language students daily, seeking the aid of my co-worker who happens to be the school's tutor and language guru. I have come to find out that one of my greatest pet peeves is when people underestimate me or my ability. One lively afternoon, a kind gentlemen came in the office in search of a German tutor. I explained to him that we did not have one on staff, but that German was actually my major in college and I would be happy to help in any way I could. The response I received was one in which I was imposed to interpret that I was merely a secretary and if I hear of a REAL tutor, then I was to contact him. My thought process included the following exhortations: I can help you! I want to help! Let me help you! I promise I know more than you think I might know! I know what I am taking about! Let me do it! I then proceeded to relay this story and my frustration to a couple of friends. However, approximately 10 minutes later, I found myself before the Lord who was voicing the very same exhortations of me. So this brought a whole new perspective to the afternoon.....

9/18/2007

movie theaters and thriller dreams

Yesterday might have been a perfect afternoon... well, almost perfect. I decided that I was going to take an afternoon after work just for me and spend some time alone doing things that I enjoy. After work, I ran home to shower quickly and headed out to get a massage. When I arrived at the parlor the masseuse was in Arlington, so I quickly opted out (and good because I would have been convicted later for spending so much money on something like that!). I then headed downtown and took a walk around the square. About that time, my college roommate called. Now, this is divine because I have not talked with her in MONTHS and have not seen her in about TWO YEARS, but I love her dearly, and she has been on my mind lately. She knew nothing about what is happening in my life, so I got the chance to catch up with her. She is in her fourth year of medical school in Mississippi (her husband is in his third) and one of the most precious people that I know. I was reminded of the people that the Lord has placed in my life who genuinely care about me and I know would be there in a moment if ever I was in need. (kinda like a It's a Wonderful Life moment). After walking downtown (it was BEAUTIFUL) and taking the standard Barnes and Noble/ Starbucks browse, I went to see the movie Becoming Jane. Mind you, I have seen it before, but something in me wanted to see it again, to experience the story one more time. If you know the story of Jane Austen, the ending is bittersweet, but as I wrapped up in my blanket, hot dog in one hand and diet coke in the other, it was perfect. After a long day, a long several months of going and thinking and trudging, I rested. Then, I went to Starbucks and got something with e double-shot and went home to warm it up, wrote a letter (of which I am now committed to doing daily) and read in my bed. Dreams were a little like a suspense thriller last night, but I woke up alert and ready for the first day of the rest of my life =). No deep thoughts today, but thank you, Jesus, for all kinds of rest.

9/13/2007

Forgiveness

When I would blog in the past, it was interesting and even inspiring to watch the world around me and discover His glory and presence in all ways of life. Today, I feel empty, anxious, full, peaceful... all in one. In Bible study last night, we talked about getting out of our boats (comfort zones) and how the Lord, knowing full well that we would fall, sends us out. My heart is caught somewhere with the Lord between begging for his mercy not to fall and succumbing to his grace, knowing that I will. I was talking with the Lord last night and before I began to present my petitions, I started to confess the-- often numerous-- sins of the day. Then I stopped. I realized that as I was confessing my sin to him, I neglected the most important part. Although it has already been atoned, I was neglecting to ask forgiveness for the transgressions against the Father. I think too often we don't hesitate to acknowledge our sin, before the Father and others; however, I know I fail in recognizing that this sin, by nature, is an abomination against a holy God and each sinful thought and action is spitting in the face of the very grace and mercy of which I ask. Confession is nothing without repentance. Repentance includes the acknowledgment that forgiveness is needed by the Father and choosing to flee. Do I flee?

9/11/2007

a little peace of heaven....

Ok, I am back in the blogger world (after a long sabbatical). I will not attempt to review the last year and a half, but know that life is a long, hard journey and through it all, we are not who we were yesterday and for this, the Lord is to be praised. I am not really sure if anyone will read this anymore, so I assume that this writing is more for myself than for the blogger world at-large. So, here we go.....
The past few weeks of my life have been a war with the Lord. In reflection of Jacob, I feel like my struggle with the Lord has broken my hip, femur, and skull. At a point of utter despair the other night, a friend said to me, "Not everyone gets to wrestle with the Lord." This thought echoes in my mind. I am struggling to find joy not in spite of, but BECAUSE of my struggle (I believe I addressed this in a previous post - amazing how the Lord continually seeks to sanctify an area of our lives until we actually get it right.) I am learning how to be "crazy honest" before the Lord, convinced that he cares more about our relationship with him than how much Scripture we can quote back to him or how many times we can say "Your will be done." I felt that to be intimate with him, this is not sufficient. He wants ALL of us. I once cried before a treasured friend and apologized for being such a baby. He turned and squared me, making me promise never to apologize for being real with him. I think this is how the Lord wants us to approach him. No apologies for honesty. It is only in these times, times in which the Psalms tell me that he is listening, that I have found peace. Only when I am on my knees in my living room crying my eyes out and begging the Lord to move, is my soul--somehow--peaceful.

Grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies to mind
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case....
We'll give thanks to you
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in you
We are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or need
If you never grants us peace
But Jesus ...... would you please?