Sunday, October 19, 2008

Standing at the Line...

It's been a while since I've really sensed God moving in my life. I know He is up to something, I trust that, but when I hear His voice and a vision comes with it...those are the moments I long for. I often keep these visions hidden behind closed doors within the pages of my journal, but I felt a strong desire to share this one with you all (my readers) as I have a feeling there might be others in the same place in their relationship with the Lord.

As I've been praying through this season and asking God to speak to me, to show me the next step He has blessed with an incredible vision, one in which I have yet to walk through. There is a line that has been drawn in the sand, not a temporary line drawn with a stick, but rather a permanent line made out of steel that won't disappear. In fact, once I cross that line there is no turning back, that line made out of steel, once it is crossed, will quickly become a gate that cannot be opened. Once I cross the line I'm leaving behind the pain of this season and I'm just not sure I'm ready to do that. I know it sounds crazy, but leaving behind the pain of the known and walking into the unknown scares the heck out of me.

I share this with you as a source of familiarity, but also in the hope that you will stand and believe with me to pass over that line, to finally fully let go of all that entangles me and keeps me from going to the next level in my relationship with the Lord.

Know that even in the times that God takes away He is preparing you for something even greater. I've witnessed before my eyes on more than one occasion in this season as God has taken away, but in the aftermath has left behind something yet to be discovered. God bless and don't stop hoping!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Cardboard Says What?!?

"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony"
~ Revelation 12:11

Months ago I attended a church service where at the end multitudes (okay, so it was like 20-30, but still...that's a lot) of people came out one at a time holding a piece of cardboard...large enough to read from the crowd. Each person had their own and one by one as they stepped out they showed one side that shared a past struggle or sin in their life, but on the other side was their personal miracle. On the other side was what God had done with that struggle or sin, what He had done to heal them. If you had asked me over 7 years ago what my cardboard sign said, this is what you would have read...

"I struggle with anorexia, low self-esteem, and poor self image."

...of course that was then, and now it says this...

"He redeemed me by the blood of the Lamb and renewed my self worth...I AM healed!"

So what got me to writing tonight? Well, lately I've been in repeat mode with worship music...the same songs one right after the other all 30-45 minutes of my drive time between work and home and then some as I study or just relax for the night. One of which is Desperation Band's "Overcome" (I strongly recommend giving it a awesome!). Towards the end of the song you hear different people exclaim their struggles and sins and how God helped them overcome. I'm in a state of learning to overcome, of allowing God in to help me overcome. As I hear these people explain their struggles and sins and the declaration that God helped them overcome, I remember that scene at church months ago...the scene where I couldn't even try to hide my tears if I wanted to.

So here I am now...standing with another cardboard sign and as well as I'd like to think I can hide behind it...people start to notice. If nothing else God knows and that's enough for me to know it is way past time to let Him in to help me overcome. What does it say today, well...

"My heart is broken, confused, and lost...where are you?"

...but it will say this soon, I know it...I trust that it will...

"God helped me overcome!"

What does yours say, do you have one right you even know?

~ C

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Story to be Heard...

I had some time to kill the other day before class so I headed to the cemetery to visit my nephew's grave site. Kinda strange I know, but there always seems to be a peace when I go there. Life kind of stands still, even if just for a moment. I have one friend who always questions why I go there, knowing full well that the person I'm going to visit is not actually there. I'm not sure what it is, but I find it to be a safe place and those times I go to visit little Billy's grave or even my grandfather's (who is resting there as well) I find that I have so much to say. So much of life (good or bad) to share with them. I know they aren't there, but I guess seeing their names written in the ground opens the floodgates of words for me.

The point of this blog is to note what I observed on my most recent visit to the cemetery. I got a bit turned around trying to find my nephew's grave site and as I was turning around to go back in the right direction I paused for a moment. I noticed an older man in the distance visiting a grave site of a loved one and for a moment I just wondered what the story was behind it all. I wondered if it was the love of his life that he was visiting, if it was a child or grandchild, niece or nephew. I realized that every person there, whether in permanent rest or visiting, all have a story. My grandfather had a story, and my nephew, as young as he was had a story too. I watched with a happy heart, a compassionate heart as the man stood there for a moment with his head bowed, blew a kiss and turned to get back in his car. It was such a heartwarming moment, to know that even though there are loved ones that have gone before us to help prepare the way for us, they will forever have a place in our hearts, they will forever have a story to be told. I believe that Avery will be the one to share with her future brother or sister about Billy just as my grandmother has filled in all the gaps in the story of my grandfather for me and my siblings.

I just wonder how much time we take now to sit and listen to our loved ones share their stories while they are still here on earth with us. Do we make the time or are we always too busy? Lately being too busy just sounds like an excuse to me (and I do it too, regretfully). I just never want to be too busy that I miss something...whether it be big or small. There could be a ton of time left for us, or there could be just a short time...not to be depressing or morbid, but do you know who knows your story? Do you know who can share it with those you go before?