one of several theme songs in this season.
The story of Jonah has been on my mind for the past week and through a few conversations I was made aware that I am at a crucial place in my story. I’m standing on the dock, facing Nineveh with my back to the boat headed for the other direction.
Only the town/city in my story is not Nineveh, but right here where I am. I am not to go, but to stay. Stay put. Fight every urge to quit or run away. When tension and conflict appear, my instinct is to flee. And the conflict remains.
I keep hoping that I’ll wake up one day and life will become magically better, happier, and easier. Shiny happy diamonds and days at the beach.
But I’ve realized that I’ve reached the point in my life, journey and faith where I am seeing more of the backstage and the underbelly where singing a bunch of shiny happy songs isn’t going to make any of my circumstances better. I have reached the place where I see that there is a great cost to being a follower of Jesus. That obedience is absolutely painful and extremely messy. That my feelings are incredible liars and I’ve chosen the easy road for a very long time. I’ve learned that I’m a terribly slow learner. I’m very reluctant to listen to the hard things that God asks of me. I whine, I beg, I plead. Not THAT God, not now. How can you ask me to give THIS up God?
I wonder if this is the point where some give up on God because it gets too hard. I don’t blame them. It’s hard, it’s messy, it’s confusing. But my faith isn’t going anywhere but deeper. My foundation is being rebuilt as the lies are torn down. A more stable, more true foundation of identity and worth and discipleship. It’s going back to the basics.
I’m working with preschoolers every day during the week, and oh, how sad it is to see myself in those toddlers. The terrible twos. The tantrums. Mine. Pretty embarrassing at 30 to relate to 2 year olds.
Yes, God asks for ALL of me. And YES. It is PAINFUL. It requires sacrifice. Surrender. Often. I thought I’d emptied every last bit that I could empty, and I turn around and he continues to ask me to empty more. He won’t stop until I’ve given every last bit. ALL of it. ALL of me. My false identities, my idols, things I hold onto, dreams and hopes and desires. Lies about myself. Strongholds of deceit, prideful, arrogance, entitlement, anger, jealousy and envy.
For too long I have believed the ideas of the world, that I should be happy, that I should do what I love and get paid for it, that my work would define me and fulfill me. That growing up would be easy. That relationships would be free from conflict. That I would get along with everyone.
Some days I feel like I’m fighting a battle that is going to last for years and years and how could I possibly get through it all right now. I crave a break from all this. But I also want to reach the other side of this, avoid getting swallowed by a hungry giant fish and avoid having guts all over me.
No turning back. The cross before me. The world behind me.
i think i’m ready to come back. i’d been using this really great site called jux for the past several months which has been really helpful for me to process and have something to look back over as a visual reminder. sadly they are closing their site down soon because there is a lack of users and lack of growth. very unfortunate because they have a really great product, and had started developing an iphone app. anyways, all that to say that this was a little nudge. so i’ve updated to a new blog theme and tweaking some stuff here and there.
more to come very soon :)
(special thanks to photographer Nisarg for allowing me to use his image on my blog)
Oh God, would you make me like soft clay:
love-able, that is, open my heart to love what you love, not just the subjects that I “care” about.
fashion me, form me, rearrange me, rework me.
so that at the end of this season i would care less about me and more for the least. for others.
may i be willing to do the work you have for me to do.
may i be open to the pushes and changes and
growing and molding that’s going to hurt.
may i be sensitive to the work of the Spirit
ready to move my feet and my hands when you ask,
more receptive to the lessons you have for me.
increase in me as i decrease.
grow my love for you like never before.
rekindle the ashes of the love i have forsaken.
i am in a very complex season in which blogging is not something i can do right now. journaling and writing is helpful but i require the safety of a smaller circle, a taller wall, less windows and the safety that is found in there. i will return if (probably) and when (at some point)
so i found a great new temporary home.
but if you’re dying to know what i’m up to, there’s always instagram :)
keep up the prayers. send love letters. postcards. encouragement always needed.
This startling statement caused me to weep, ugly cry, tears pouring down my face. It hurt me that I had hurt the Lord in this way. This was the first time in 3 months that these words had been presented to me in this way, in these words.
I had loved another. Oh, how that hurt to say. The weight of my sin and the pain I caused Him.
It’s time to fall in love with my first Love again. To return to my Beloved.
This question has plagued me almost everyday for the past 3 months. My identity was so warped and wrapped up in my doing and my talents and my pursuit and my passion. Stepping back and stepping down has been overwhelmingly confusing. Who am I?
Some days I’m ok and I don’t think about “IT”
But other days I can’t avoid it or get away from it and I am faced with ugly feelings and ugly thoughts that I can’t turn off and they plague me so. Questions and criticism and judgement and pain. Watching others enjoying what was once my true love is painful. It would be easier to walk away from it if I knew I wouldn’t encounter it weekly, and sometimes daily. Like an ex-lover I have to face everyday, the wounds are still very raw.
It’s hard to know if I’m trying too hard to look back or fighting to look away. When it’s right in front of you it’s hard to distinguish. Like walking away from something and walking around the corner only to see it again. Gone only for a moment and faced with it over and over again. How do you let go of this? How am I supposed to feel? How am I supposed to handle the emotions that show up right alongside every sighting? These questions linger and remain unanswered. But a jarring response came nonetheless.