Confessions

Sometimes we just need to out ourselves. Why? Because we need to say, “World, I’m a real person with so many faults. And God loves me so much – I can’t bear it. So I know He can love you too. He does. No matter how far away you feel.”

Yesterday was one of my worst days in Korea. I have this fantastical idea in my head that I love adventure and I’m brave and I’m kind of an overachiever…..and I’m sure I’m somewhat those things…

but I’m a follower. I love to be invited to go on adventures- but I don’t usually venture out myself.

There’s too many unknowns. I can’t handle the stress when something goes wrong or unexpectedly. I have doubt that God sees or cares what’s going on with me.

– so yesterday I stepped out believing that God would make a way – but it was more like hope than belief, cause later when I was waiting (for a promised place to stay the night) in a dark staircase for my friend to come home I was weeping beating my head against the wall.

Everything felt against me. Everything felt foreboding and terrible. I felt scorned and rejected. I felt useless. I couldn’t believe my way out of my unbelief in Gods provision or care for me.

Honestly I just wanted to give up on everything.

I wanted to board a bus, go home, and be MIA for the camp I’d committed to help with that week.

I wanted to lay on my bed and disintegrate into the blankets.

i wanted to just disappear and never ever show up again.

So if you ever think that I have something you lack, or if you ever envy my spiritual life, read this and know that whatever you’re seeing that’s enviable is the Lord. And not me, or of me, at all.

I confess, that I have unbelief and God is still working to reveal those places of distrust, those places of sin. And I realize that to the level that I step out in faith and obedience is the amount of grace and growth I will experience.

If you’re feeling frustrated and futile I want you to know that God still wants to use you, still wants to be in relationship with you, and still sees and cares and has a plan in your life; and this rough place doesn’t throw God off. It doesn’t sand away the good He’s planned for you. That your anger or your anxiety doesn’t faze God. He wants you to go ahead and invite Him into that moment too. And He wants to bring you peace and joy and life in and thru and in the midst of that.

…….

Later that night all my anxieties were ironed out. I woke up the next day refreshed and I had my best day in Korea ever.

God knows,

God cares,

and God already had a plan; and it’s a plan for your good.

 

 

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Wrongful Exclusion

You know what’s worse than struggling?

When people who struggle with the same thing as you try to prove that you are not the same as them. That you’re not a struggler. That you don’t and can’t have the same feelings. That you “just don’t know”. That you are not like them. And that your voice and opinion in the matter doesn’t count.

It’s so painful. Honestly its more painful than the exclusions you get from those who don’t struggle.

Its part of satans scheme to get you to give up.

To just give up and stop struggling and join one side.

To be a sneerer or a indulger.

What am i talking about?

……………………….

Do you have some of those people in your life who are not friends to you, but they need a friend so you are a friend to them?

I do.

I know how it is to be without friends and it just kills me when someone has excluded themselves so much that they lack friends.

So yesterday I was a true friend to this aquaintance of mine and afterwards she just wanted to talk. So I sat there and she grilled me. She had unresolved pain that she wanted me to fix by giving her answers that would justify her mistreatment of people in her life.

So she grilled me. And when I was vulnerable and shared that her struggle was my struggle she grilled me even more.

It was a witch hunt.

It was the  “prove it”.

I was there sitting in her empty house that we’d just finished packing and cleaning and i felt like i was tied to a pole and being slowly burned by her words.

I didn’t have answers for her probing interrogation and I told her that.

So then she used my words like a wip to hit me about on the head.

And I felt defensless and stupid and lame.

……………………………..

I deeply believe that we can’t choose our feelings

— but that we definitely choose to act on them or not.

We definitely choose to foster them or not.

She agreed with me – but she wanted me to either join in giving full reign to my feelings or deny them as evil and thus condemn her.

Our discussion left a bad taste in my mouth, and a realization that there are spirits that cannot be confronted with words of truth, or even words of grace, but that so much prayer has to be fought over and sown into for those times; for those discussions.

The struggle is real people.

Peter said it this way in 1Peter4:4, “They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.”

or in another verion: “They think it’s strange that you don’t join in these activities with the same flood of unrestrained wickedness. So they slander you.”

or yet another: “In [connection with] all this, they [the unbelievers] are resentful and surprised that you do not [think like them, value their values and] run [hand in hand] with them into the same excesses of dissipation and immoral freedom, and they criticize and abuse and ridicule you and make fun of your values.”

………………….

I told her that I deeply desire to know God above all else. That He was number one and that right now in my walk with Him to put my desires and feelings that I have struggled with above that, would be like cheating on my relationship with Him.

She called me a nun.

I tried to explain it to her like something I’d read a friend wrote one time. [https://squishylips.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/this-made-me-shake-a-little/] [http://carloswhittaker.com/2012/08/disneygod/] Something very much like what CS Lewis said that our desires are mere triffles compared to what God has for us.

That good doesn’t mean best.

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” –C.S. Lewis

I pray and I hope that someday she’ll know that.

And I ask: If you just think you’re “all that” because you get actively persecuted for giving into your feelings – don’t act like I’m just a religious person and don’t REALLY have a struggle because I choose for reasons I value to not act on my feelings.

Whether we decide to act or to restrain, the struggle is real.

And our experiences matter. Our voice is valid. And our feelings matter.

And what we do with our feelings have very real consequences in our life, here and forever.

I value my relationship with Christ.

I believe that He has good plans for my life.

I choose to put aside what I believe will satisfy me and say, “Not my will Lord, but your will be done.”

I choose to sow into the field He claims will reap everlasting joy.

I beleive that honoring His design glorifies Him.

I desire to glorify Him –

David said it this way:

1 Chronicles 21:24 “But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

2 Samuel 24:24 “But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver* for them.”

I will not honor God in a way that costs me nothing.

Can honor be any other way?

……………………………

I raise my voice and confess: I am a struggler.

God, may my struggles honor you.

 

….

*equal to about 200 days work pay….almost one year of workdays.

(there are 260 workdays in a year)

 

 

Unseen

It’s been….a few months since I last wrote.

I can feel something in me has shifted.

And this week, old memories have been flooding through my mind like an old reel…spinning out onto the floor of my subconcious.

How i want to kneel down and gather it up into my arms and throw it out some window. Out of my life, out of my thoughts, out of my reality.

Painful memories so deep that when the fingers of my mind pass over their brail like existence I find that they are scars – like that from some predator with long and unmerciful claws….- scars I didn’t realize were so deep until now.

Is this my chance to call Jesus into them?

Are my tears His tears?

…………..

Sunday evening after small group a few of the members that were still there laid their hands on me and prayed for me.

And words – words only i knew about myself came tumbling from their lips.Words that tore down whatever curtain hid me from their view.

And after that something like a hiccup weld up in my throat and came spilling out. Words. A cry – unbidden and uncontrolled- a wail spilled out followed by words that only my spirit controlled. They spilled out: “Father, father, father!” and then more – words my spirit knew and laid out to the Lord. Things I had no words for. Like a dam bursting inside and gushing forth they came,

And they prayed for me, casting off all death from my life.

And I felt the solid peace of God come to reign in my heart.

…………..

After that – too soon – I got on the bus and headed back home.

I felt like something raw.

I felt naked – shivering in the dark world – like something skinned and suddenly exposed into a world i’d only existed in from inside something.

……………….

I want you to know that God has a time and a season for everything.

I want you to know that whatever you plant you will reap. That you will get what you have been striving for- be it holy, or unholy.

I want you to know that if you keep seeking you will find.

I want you to know that God’s listening. God sees.

That He’s always ready -but He will always wait until you are too.

That’s what He wants. He wants you to be in the center of His will so that when you get what He has for you you can steward it well.

……………….

It’s raining. There’s no students today. I feel something like adrenaline in my heart. Adrenaline to do whatever. Whenever. However.

I want to know Him deeper,fuller.

But not like before.

Before I was on the other side of a wall i had built myself.

The wall I thought was there so I built it so I could feel it and lean against it.

So I could show God that there was something more.

The wall I prayed against, and behind.

My own personal weeping wall.

………………….

Now I’m standing in the grass.

There is a very tall mountain and there is grass.

The sky is touching the grass.

The grass is in the sky.

I am standing there and there are no roads. No paths.

I am standing there and He is standing with me.

We can walk anywhere.

“You are not replaceable to me.

I love you until my last breath.”

This is His voice.

“I do not give you like the world gives.”

His peace is warm and soft, and I realize that it was always there; folded like a silk sheet next to my pillow. Ignored, but there.

Laid by His gentle hand, there, beside me.

“I do not give like the world gives. I give freely to you at my own cost.”

His voice is gentle.

He is kind.

There is so much power and desire and longing behind His words, but He keeps His voice at gentle.

His voice is patient. But not with a patience that demands.

It is a patience that is drowning in joy. Like a laugh is about to come. So much joy that is waiting to envelope me in a hug that I cannot resist.

His voice is fire.

But fire that is just a spark. Like one single seed from a dandylion, popping off the head and floating into my soul.

Fire that is so soft that when it lands you can’t even feel it – and yet the heat -the heat!

It tears through you like the roar of a lion. So violently and so suddenly and so sharply that you could never run fast enough to escape it – nor could an ocean quench it’s sound.

Softly, so silently it tears away all your objections.

His voice.

Sewing together the broken fragments of your dreams.

Undefinable dreams. Just this. Never abandoned. Never alone. Heard. Valued. Wanted.

His voice knows your name like a hand knows the body it belongs to.

He smiles and His smile speaks your name.

Psalm 139:17-18 says, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
                                                                      How vast is the sum of them!
                                                               If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
                                                                    I awake, and I am still with you.”

He does not have a dream for us.

He is not fantasy or fairy dust – but He has Himself. Real and whole and pure.

And He loves us with a love that cannot be bought or broken.

…………………

Do you want that adventure?

I do.

At any cost I want Him to have me.