But after the initial shock, I've learned to be thankful for it.
**I pause as I look over at the washing machine (of course all my great ideas happen in ordinary places) as it makes a sound that is like any other....scares me every time.....**
Anyway, I am thankful for every humbling experience because it reminds me how small I am compared to God, and how my ideas don't even compare. And of course, it humbles me, as much as it takes my pride and all these things that are "puffed up", throws them on the ground and stomps on them.
But I guess in the end, it matters that I'm making progress more towards who God designed me to be, even if it means looking back and reflecting a lot.
This is one of those times that I have to trust God's timing, because he sees the bigger picture. I do not.
And again, I can't stop here. Ending it here would make a great blog post, but then there's the real honesty--I have to deal with that.
I still feel this blockage. This resistance that comes from me.
I want to be lost in Him, so far gone...so far gone that nothing else will ever do...
I have to take the next step. If I even claim to love Him as much as I do, calling Him "better than life", I have nothing else to do but take that step, as hard and as scary and as challenging as it may be. I remind myself that I will be safe as long as I'm in His will, I just have to get this through to my mind.
My Lord makes my life worth living,
why not tell others?
But then sometimes I look at my short comings and my non-talents and feel so inadequate. How can I go to speak up or draw up these conversations? I don't even deserve what I have--this grace--why am I called to this? If I am? I guess this is putting into play 2 Corinthians 12:9-10....living it. I really hope Christ can overcome and use my weaknesses, because I feel like He's working with a lot of broken pieces, and with someone who often feels like she's drowning in herself because that's so much of her left, instead of Christ.
I am LOVED.
What else can I have?
I know some of you may think that I'm just describing the college life, which is some what true, but being able to manage all of this is a real life lesson that I'm living. Out of this lesson I also get to see me as having a heart of thanksgiving, one that realizes that just simply having these opportunities is amazing in itself.
Every hour we still need Him, and I'm okay with that. We face my days together.
Yes times can be hard and they can hurt because they are so challenging, especially when you're already so worn. This just calls us to lean, to rely on Him all the more.
It's like rain. Grass depends on the rain for growth, and although it can be overwhelming at times, it's ultimately the cause of the grasses' growth. And after the rain, isn't the grass even healthier and look even brighter?
This is what I get to wake up to in the mornings. No matter how scared I am of this week, next week, and all the other things that are happening I know that my God is bigger than me and my worry.
Now to just put this into action.
I just can't help but notice the change in my mindset here lately. When you trust God, you're trusting that He's already won. Each thing you do for Him is a victory He's already claimed--there is no failure when you're with Him. So going into things with a mindset like that, wow. There goes the worry. Because really, in all reality, what is there to worry about? When you rest in God and understand that He has you, there's a safety found, there's a desire that grows in you to do His will and the knoweldge that it's going to be okay.
But moving so much closer to God, how beautiful is that?
We spend so many nights, trying to get it all right. The things is, God is that one person who believes in us, because He is in us. That's why we can make it. So next time you feel like turning around, or stumble and fall when you're on your way to Him, remember what God's done for you, and why you're here. You're here for Him.
You may wonder how you can be yourself when you are giving up you, but in fact, you are more of yourself that you've ever been because you are becoming who God made you to be.
And when you consciously give yourself to Him, oh the victory that He makes! All because of His power in you. We still forget that He's SO much bigger than anything else we could ever do. Trusting Him is the only logical choice--don't you want to trust someone bigger than yourself? That can handle who you are?
And the guarantee that He will always be there, and has already won in the end....wow. Transforming power and strength He gives those who love Him.
So take that step, have that moment of surrender...and see what comes next.
"Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually."
"Because of your great power your enemies cringe beore you."
"Because your steadfast love is better than life..."
"Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us."
We just don't. We are called to give God our everything. That means we don't get to pick and choose what we worry about. There's no double standard. God calls us to give Him our all, all of us (see Matthew 16:24-26). As much as it hurts to say this, it's true. I know I need to re-examine what I give God and what I still hold back (and why I do), but what about you? What are you saying to God, "I can do this--let me worry about it. I don't want to take the deep risk of surrendering completely to you"? As extreme as this may sound, it really is what you're saying, isn't it?
This thing called trust gets especially harder when you know something's coming or the time of the event draws nearer...we look at the future so many times a day, I can't believe that we don't drive ourselves crazy. Why can't we just enjoy the present? We speak so much in past and future tenses that we forget to enjoy. Just take the days one day at a time! Don't forget when you live, and trust God in the presnt and the future.
"To you O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust."
"The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
How. Many. Times. Do. We. Do. This. To. Our. God?
Way too many is the answer. Wayyyyyy too many times.
He's so big. He's so steady. He's so calm. Our God just is.
We are so little, so small. We slip through the cracks.
We so forget how strong His love for us is. He wants us.
The older I get the more I see how undeserving we are.
I'm so glad He still wants me. Us.
How can we still hesitate to run to Him, with all this that we know?
But I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm yours
There is no more waiting. None. We have no time for it, don't you see? Waiting on more day--will it ever happen if you put it off? We have to give all of ourselves to God now. There's no holding back. There's no other time. It's when we stray or take just one step away that we end up looking to other people for our identity instead of our Maker.
I feel like sometimes we don't realize how bad this is when we are in the situation, even if the person(s) we look to people of faith. It just doesn't seem as bad when your in it until you can see the ramifications and damage (stopping growth is sometimes more damaging then taking a step backwards, I think). Any time you do step away, it may be little things such as a lack of continuous joy (because when God's the center of your life, there is joy like nothing else) or everything seems bigger and more overwhelming.
But when you actively seek God with your heart, your you....it's a whole other story.
My Lord is my all, and I want to keep it that way .
I was praying really hard the other day just to have energy to face the day. You see, I thought I knew exactly how the day was going to go. I really thought I knew. And that's where I was wrong. Not only did I have enough energy to face the day, but I was blessed the whole entire time. Seriously, I had a great day. This is just one of the millionth times where God has blessed me abundantly and has had a good-humored laugh when He sees me trying to do things myself.
I am proven wrong so much by Him anymore. Honestly, I'm so glad. I'm tired of trying to do it on my own and live up to these expectations that aren't His. He's the only thing I need to face my day.
"So we can say with confidence, the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?"
But as the song played, the word victory came up and a realization hit me--that God has victory over me. My selfish ways, my sinful heart...He's already won. He's fought for me, pursued me. I am His! How great of a thing it is to be able to say.
A second song lyric that I heard was it is finished. Hearing this I realized that it IS finished. God has already won--all the things we do, no matter how many times we fail and will fail (oh, how many is that?), it's finished. He's won. There's nothing we can do to mess that up or undo what Jesus did for us. How freeing is that? That our Lord is the perfect sacrifice and our God will catch us when we fall. This mercy and grace that He has for us is of a divine nature, because I know that's the only way I can ever be saved.
Some days I feel like the post Fire. Some days, I feel as if I 've completely lost it. But reading this verse, I figured it out (as in, it spoke to me really). Seek means to actively search, not just to find. So when the waves are big and look mighty and tall, it's time to just look away from those things and set your heart on finding the Lord. We already know He never leaves us, and that He's always there. Just because we feel one way or another doesn't mean that that's how it is. So push aside your finicky feelings and take a step closer to your Savior, your God. The one whom you love because He first loved you.
At the end of the day, you really just get to see what matters. What truly matters. In the grand scheme of things, we are so little and He is so BIG. His plans for us are made of love.
The one thing that I really take away from this book was the expiation that the more you realize your need for God, the more you pray. The more you pray, the more you desire to pray.
This is so relevant to my life because each and every single day I realize this need a little bit more. With this need, I have seen things change in my life--it's all about seeking Him. I never really knew how to go about that, but once you taste His goodness, you can't really even get away from this never-satisfied desire to know Him, talk to Him, reach out to God. He grows closer to us when we take these steps. I know recently, I have begun to understand what having a heart for His word means and what real prayer actually entails. My eyes and heart have been opened to receive all this information and teaching and mentoring that I have been blessed with the oppertunity to have acess to. With all this I need to apply, He guides me with a gentle hand and tells me that He's bigger than everything in my life.
Part of me wonders why no one ever told me about how exciting this part of faith is where you get to learn and see God guide you and shape you before your eyes. Maybe I'm just seeing it in a really plain way, because I know it's different for everyone. I think that people might refute this by saying "It's just a stage of your faith that you go through" but really, when you think about this, how can you not be excited about God all of the time? When does this go away? Since when does the striving for growth stop? So maybe God's been ironing out some kinks and cutting out the parts of my life that are immature and so self centered. Yes, I had them and yes, I still do. So much. But I get to grow and change and realize that everyday I get to have the love of Jesus on my side, next to me, close to me.
I lay me down I'm not my own,
I belong to you alone,
Lay me down, lay me down
Hand on my heart this much is true,
Theres no life apart from you
Lay me down
A path that's especially different from everyone else's. I could go on and on and on with specific examples and such, but it's becoming plainer and plainer every day. I can't even believe some of the things that have happened to me lately--whether good or bad...its all got to be for something. Something BIG. Because God is a BIG God, He has BIG plans. And I'm right smack dab in the middle of them. This also means I'm not sure of what's going on all the time (aka never....) and am somewhat perpetually confused. But that's okay. It's not up to me to figure out the answers to life's biggest questions, just pursue God's will in everything I do, every aspect of my life, and all the while giving glory to Him. This is the purpose of my life.
This is what I've tasted, and I. Want. More.
Right now, this is the funniest thing I've ever overheard. I am seriously holding back giggles. But I'm not even going to tell you all what it's about. Sorry. Dang, I seriously want to laugh. Anyway, I haven't been thinking about much lately. I've just been trying to survive. And get better at time management. And try to balance all of the spontaneous impromptu things that I randomly decide to do. Which may or may not be in my best academic interest. But I'm learning. And trying not to slack just because it's the end of the semester. *Sigh.* Oh my.
I just want you all to know that the reason I have such great pictures on my blog is because I am THAT person who has her phone out and is stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, is randomly rearranging something, or is bent over in a weird position trying to get the right angle. So realize the labor of love I go through by taking beautiful pictures of campus and the great outdoors (honestly it doesn't bother me being that person, I don't really care. What does make me upset is when everyone looks a bit grumpy because they miss the beautiful world around us on their way to class, but that's just me).
The more I write though, the more I think about patience. I'm learning what that looks like. And I'm also remembering how hard it is. Sometimes you have to wait a long time for something. There may be a million reasons why, and sometimes I feel as if it's because I'm not ready yet. Or this impatient version of suffering is meant to increase my endurance. I realize this, and that they are good for me. They help me grow. It's just a bit harder to put into practice. In the end though, you finally understand why you waited so long. Why you endured what you did. It also allows you to appreciate how special something or someone is. And how much more fruitful you can be in a certain position if you just wait until you're ready.
Oh the strength of that word. One part of God that I learned (really, re-discovered, but I'm still learning it) is the fact that he cares for us when we are at our weakest and most vulnerable. When we have been fighting the good fight and have been on the journey to get us to that point, we are weary. Tired. Worn. Drained. But God still provides. Whatever it is that He knows you need--food, rest, a conversation, a hug, a smile, a person. God is a good God who comes and protects us when we are at this point. He is the guard and the caretaker for our spent souls all at once. He is an all-consuming fire that engulfs those who try to lay a hand on us. This is the God we work for, labor for. The one who loves, fights and passionately pursues us. That's why I love Him.
Then again, it still takes a lot of prayer and seeking to iron out all the grey parts. Do they ever go away? Not really. But they don't matter when you look to God for your purpose (Romans 8:28).
But it doesn’t stop there. He pursues us when we push Him away, holds us when we can’t seem to let go and just be in His embrace. How thankful I am for that. So thankful. Anybody else would have just dropped me on the street and left me on my own. Especially by now. It seems that the more I realize that I have this indescribable need for Him, the more sick I seem, the more haunted and plagued by things of this world, things of Satan and of my own self. How horribly sick I am! And yet He still pursues.
When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love
On display for all to see
You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin
You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy
You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life,
In You death has lost its sting
Oh, I'm running to Your arms,
I'm running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign
You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here
In Your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I'm letting go
Oh, I'm running to Your arms,
I'm running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign
With all the things that I'm learning and what I need do to make sure I really learn it, it's a lot. All at once. These people, places, things that are coming up...I'm slightly tired and not exactly sure how to handle all of this. And sometimes even the good things are not always good. There are bright spots, usually moments spent talking to God, or learning some truth/realization or talking with certain people. Then I look at tomorrow. And sometimes that frightens me. How will I keep my eyes on God and things above when I know the business that threatens to consume me when it's not even that day yet? How is that going to work? I think instead of drilling the focus, focus, focus (which is a bit more about me, what I can to do make things better and to focus on Him...that's the problem, the "I" and "me", even if I have good intentions) like I have been for sometime, I need to relax into His presence more and more. And just breathe.
I came across Psalms 19:7. "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul..." and saw that I need to let that happen. However that may be. I think it's different for every person, but there is a common thread of letting Him be in control of your life, not you. So this brings up the question: What do you need to do to let God revive your soul? The truth is, now matter what condition you're in, you need this. You need Him. Read Psalms 19 if you don't have a place to start.
I forgot how good it was to come home.
I seems in the middle of everything, all this busyness, this chaos, these distractions, the stress, I have forgotten how to rest. Coming home reminds me that at the speed I am going (which is very fast) I have to make it a priority to refuel.
When I come home, apaart of me is scared that everything I have at school is just a dream, and will disappear when I'm gone. I never want to loose it, and never in a million years did I ever think that I would have the quality (not necessarily the quantity, but that too) of things that I have here.
It's hard sometimes to tell which is my real life (home or school), when I guess they both are...I just feel more grounded at school because there is routine, stuff to do and classes and homework to focus on. But it's nice to pet my puppy sitting at my feet while I type this. :)
And you know, everything else, when you learn to live only half a room and a mini fridge and no toaster for your bagels or Poptarts (trust me, microwaved Poptarts are just not the same), the things like TV and all these expensive entertainment luxuries just don't matter. There is no appeal anymore. I just want to talk with people. Talk. Spend time with them, get to know (and re-know) them and just catch up. This happened when my brother and I sat up the night I came home and talked until two in the morning. So much for extra sleep.
Even though, sometimes I am SO convinced I am the most BLESSED person in the WORLD. I have so much. And yes, Jesus loves me. He gave Himself for me and for you.
One example of this is Waffle House....
My friends Jessie and I have a lot in common. When we figured out that we both go to WKU (we haven't seen each other since freshman year of high school) we decided we needed to catch up. We did this by going to Waffle House at 7:30 in the morning. As a morning person, this is just about the coolest thing that can happen on a Friday when you have no classes. I'm SO excited to go, even if I'm lacking a few hours of sleep. Seriously, a chocolate chip waffle is a pretty good motivator. As I sit here right now typing this, I really want another waffle. I do. Overall though, it's a good place to sit and talk and catch up about the things that are going on. Having a place far away from everything that is so routinely daily just to get out and go and leave and LIVE sometimes is so nice. And having the right person to share it with is necessary too. When these combine, you have a recipe for success and a good time. Although the bottom of my laptop is probably slightly sticky with syrup, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.