Thursday, August 25, 2011

Currently Loving...August 2011 Version

I haven't done this in a very long time, but it always seems to remind me of the unique design that God had when He created me.

....His songs of worship over me
....early morning runs in the darkness and stillness of the new day
....knowledge of a new career
....anxiety of change/transition
....sitting in the presence of my Savior daily (multiple times)
....dancing around like a fool in the living room of my apartment
....singing at the top of my lungs in my 1999 Corolla I affectionally call "Captain"
....the role of Aunt Cristyn to 9 wonderful nieces/nephews...8 here on earth, 1 in Heaven
....the role of encourager, to strangers, friends, co-workers, family, church community
....being encouraged in a season of so much unsettledness
....that your flesh may feel lonely, but you are never alone
....the challenge of a half marathon only 14 weeks away
....the joy of entering a new decade of life in a few months
....the continued dream of a helpmate and family of my own
....laughter, at myself, over something super silly
....remembering that I'm animated and expressive and I have a peace about that
....writing once again
....renewed hope for a passion that has been growing since the age of 14
....the excitement and nervousness of the unknown
....learning who He truly is and how to place all my trust and hope in HIM


"Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our sufficiency comes from God" ~ 2 Corinthians 3:5

It's interesting the flood of memories that come rushing to my mind when I read this verse.  You see, when I was an undergrad at SMU I was a part of an amazing group of godly women.  We were a Christian sorority, fully on fire for God.  Passionately loving and pursuing Him and walking life with one another.  I read the first word of this verse now and immediately I can recite the rest of it without blinking an eye.  I remember all the times we'd recite it as a group at the end of a Monday night meeting.  I sure do miss those days and often times wonder why I didn't invest more of myself into it.

It's interesting how appropriate this verse is right now in this season of life.  My heart is broken over a relationship and like I've done in the past when a relationship ends, I throw myself into whatever else is going on around me or in my life.  Whether it be work, family, friends, writing, sleeping, exercising, learning to cook...and the list goes on and on.  I somehow convince myself that if I can be content in doing all these things on my own strength then I'll be just fine.  And to some degree there is truth and wisdom to this theory, however over the last two and a half weeks I've found that all I really want is to sit in the presence of God.  Worship songs are played louder, and heard in a completely different way.  My extra drive time between jobs is spent processing through what God is telling me about where I've been and where He wants to take me.  I love how He's gently reminding me of the passions I so conveniently tuck away somewhere when someone else comes along.  And this by no means is the fault of the other person, but purely and fully mine.  And you dear reader have the privilege of being the first to hear me admit it.  I allow passions and dreams to die when I believe another might be coming to fruition.  Of course this too has some validity to it, but when it is by my own hand, my own doing...without trusting in God's doing, then it's not healthy.

The truth of the matter is that without God, I am nothing...with Him, I am everything.  And even in those times when I am not everything, He still loves me (and you).

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lessons Learned in a Sea of Tears

"If I'm down don't count me out; I'll slowly get back on my feet; stumblin' and fumblin', but I keep on coming; just as long as you're not giving up on me"*

"Oh, the only thing that matters is to love; This is the only lasting treasure; Love endures all things, and believes all things; and hopes all things; love never ends, love never ends"*

"We knew joy was coming, we just had to wait"*

"Won't you be my voice calling; won't you be my hands healing; won't you be my feet walking into a broken world; won't you be my chain-breaker; won't you be my peacemaker; won't you be my hope and joy; won't be my love"*

The above are all songs that I've heard over and over again in the last week.  They couldn't have come at  a more perfect time.  The reason is irrelevant, but what I will say is that God has been trying to get my attention as he constantly is... but for whatever reason I've finally answered his knock with absolute abandon over the last two weeks.  My eyes had been fixated on the things of this world and that which I truly believed would make me happy and what I convinced myself was in my best interest.  That which I believed without a shadow of a doubt that was God's will.  The truth of it all is that what He is asking of me is to allow grace to flow, that when I stumble and fall I would get back up again and keep running after Him.  To love with abandon and without reservation.  To trust Him, even in the dark, lonely, and/or sad times... joy is coming in the morning.  And most importantly He's asking me to be His shepherd, that I would help guide those lost and lonely back to Him.

My heart breaks at the thought of who I've become sometimes.  The love I fail to show, the grace and mercy I fail to give, the anger and frustration that can so easily entangle me and hold me captive.  Deep in my heart I long to run after God, to dive in blindly and trust that even if life "feels" hard or things don't make sense, it all will in the end.  I gotta believe that at the end of the day God wants me to rest fully in Him and leave all the details in His hands.  To embrace my "shattered dreams" so that the ultimate dream that He is calling me to can be fulfilled.  I hurt right now, deep down the questions I have about my life, the direction I'm going, the unanswered prayers, the false hope, the lies I've believed, the false idols I've placed my trust in... it is all killing me inside.  But alas, there is a tiny little light, a small flicker of hope where God rests and is pushing through the pain to ignite a raging fire throughout my whole being.  With that I gotta believe what He says... love endures all things, believes all things, hopes all things... love NEVER ends... HIS love never ends.  

"I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.  What you have done is wonderful.  I know this very well." ~ Psalm 139:14

"You restored me to health and let me live.  Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish.  In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction;  you have put all my sins behind your back." ~ Isaiah 38:16-17

*Back to You, MercyMe
*All That's Left, Steven Curtis Chapman
*Sing Hallelujah, Steven Curtis Chapman
*Won't You be my Love, MercyMe