Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mover of Mountains

"I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt... you can say to this mountain 'throw yourself into the sea' and it will be done." - Matthew 21:21

Mountains thrown into the sea. How many times have we read that verse and taken it literally, that a mountain would be thrust into the sea at our command? How about metaphorically?

This time of silence has shown me a multitude of things, but one of the most powerful and precious pieces of this journey has been what the Lord has taught me through my prayers. Words are powerful. They have the ability to raise up or fully demolish others. They have the ability to destroy the attacks of the enemy. Our prayers have the power to make "mountains of difficulty seem as smooth as an asphalt road." That's because Christ give us the strength to face the adversities, the difficulties, the confusions of this life - and with Him by our side we can face anything.

In my own life these past months, those mountains have taken the shape of loneliness, silence, financial difficulty, homelessness, and loss. But these months have not only brought me difficulties and trials, but also some of those nearest and dearest to me. And it's in these months that, I believe, we were able to intercede for the other, to come before the thrown of grace "rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn."

Loneliness. The companion of a girl in a new land... unsure of where she fits in, how she fits in, and with the realization that this whole moving thing wasn't going to be as "easy" as she had planned. But the loneliness brought reliance. Reliance on the One and Only as a constant companion.

Silence. In no way is silence an extrovert's best friend. It's disconcerting, it's a time where a slew of questions constantly floods through one's mind "are they mad at me? Did I do something wrong? Why am I so alone? And why does it seem you leave me when I need you the most?" But silence brought realization. Realization that though He's silent, He's still working.

Financial Difficulty. This world of ours loves one thing very much, too much really, and that's money. When money isn't coming in regularly and bills start to stack up something inside anyone's heart just goes "oh crap, what am I going to do?" But financial difficulty brought trust. Trust that He knows my needs and meets them, while weeding out the wants.

Homelessness. For a woman, outside of relationships lost, losing a home is one of the worst things that could happen. The uncertainty of where she'll be able to rest her head, where she can go for safety and comfort, her fortress - is quite overwhelming. The question of "why me?" seems to ravage one's heart in this situation. But the homelessness brought reality. The Reality is that home is where Christ is - the heart. It's not 4 walls and a bed, but a deep, steady chamber that leads to the soul.

Loss. Now there's a word with a reality that hurts to the core. Loss. This girl, in this season, not only lost a home, lost a job, but she also lost loved ones. I guess every season of life has some sort of loss, but this one seems to far outweigh the others. For in 9 months this little world was turned completely upside down. What once was easy, now became difficult. What once was joyful, now was riddled with pain. And the loss of life that came with it now hurts for the fog has lifted and these people are gone. This woman's uncle and grandfather died within a month of each other. One was sudden and surprising, for the other it was time. But it doesn't discount the fact that what's left now are memories of the men they were. Veteran. Firefighter. Elder. Builder. Father. Grandfather. Hero.

I could say this season was a walk in the park, but it surely wasn't. It was a season drowned in prayer, in desperation to Jesus, in constant conversations with the Lord of "why" and "how long?". The prayers turned to declarations for the good to come, destroying the camp the enemy had pitched for so long. These prayers moved mountains in my soul so that I could finally see with a clear view, what all He had for me. Those insurpassable mountains of difficulty have finally begun to look as clear as an asphalt road.

I praise God for this season, for this silence, this loneliness, this loss... for in the midst of the "stripping all I once held dear" I can now fully appreciate the "counting it all as lost."


Friday, October 29, 2010

This life or the next

What a blessed week. Though life seems so overwhelming sometimes, God still has a tendency to move in random little ways to remind us of His love and guidance in the middle of the desert. This reminder came in the form of an amazing woman of the Lord who has been in and out of my life over the past few years. She's beautiful, she's intelligent, she's a Proverbs 31 woman in the making, and she has more wisdom and compassion than anyone I've met. After reading my blogs and getting "caught up" on my life, she sent me a powerful email, an email that touched my heart right where I needed to be touched. Her words spoke volumes to my weary soul, and I can't help but praise God for her.

As I was reading through her emails and through the various texts and emails from others this week I realized something: the Family of Christ, the brothers and sisters we have in Him is one of the strongest communities in the world. Though we're separated from each other, miles apart, timezones apart - we know that we have others praying for us, interceding for our lives, our hearts. And the best part of all is that one day when this world fades away, we will again meet one another in our eternal home. If we don't have the opportunity of seeing each other again on this side, we can rest assured that we'll meet again with Him. Praise the Lord!

All this talk of eternity really puts life in perspective - we're but a breath, a speck in the reality of time. And these moments, these friendships, these relationships we have are a stepping stone of preparation for what's to come. Praise God for community! Praise God for friends! Praise God for the family of believers.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A time for Silence...

I find myself in a period of silence in every way. I lack the words, I lack the courage, I lack the strength to verbalize my heart, to the wreakage I find there. So I sit, silently going through each day, wondering: Why? When? yet not finding my voice to actually say what I'm really facing, what I'm really feeling.

And all I can seem to muster is "I don't know, I don't know... I just... can't." My prayers have turned to silent moments with the Lord where my heart seems to burst at the seams, but nothing comes out. Day and night, with my mind in a fog, I look at the "why's", the "how's", the "what's going on"'s of life. And the silence continues. It's a silence I've not experienced before, a silence I've never known. It's a period of time where my God seems far and I seem distant, even from myself. It's a season of waiting... without the faith to hope. It's a season of stripping everything I once held dear and counting it all as lost. It's a season of overwhelming anxiety of the unknown future.


But this silence is not rested, it's not peaceful. No, it's difficult, it's deep, it's exhausting.

When will the silence end? When will the hope and the future come to pass? When will the valley turn uphill?

The simple answer and the difficult answer is: it won't this side of eternity. Life will be a constant of growth, of change, of challenges. And we must trust that He is working everything (even the silence) together for good. Though we may not see that good this side of heaven, we can know and trust that all will be known soon...

For there's a time and a season for everything under heaven... a time to be born and a time to die. A time for war and a time for peace. A time for reaping and a time for sowing. There's even seasons of blessings and seasons of famine.


In the silence I cling to the glimmer of hope I see, and in the silence I remember:

"Silence of our eyes, silence of our ears, silence of our mouths, silence of our minds... in the silence of our hearts God speaks." - Mother Teresa

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Poetry for a Savior

Poetry... where it all began for me...


You sustain me for today
You sustain me for this hour
I praise you, Lord, for being my strong tower

Needs and protection are what you provide
In the hours of famine within my life

You're Adonai, Mighty to Save
Omnipotent and Praiseworthy for all my days

Thank you for this moment; this hour a gift
For in you I find peace, comfort, and rest

Where you'll lead, that's for you to know
And for me to follow faithfully, wherever we go

Praise you, Father, for your care
For you are worthy beyond compare

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Waiting Room

It seems that life is so often a constant of change... a constant waiting room of what's next, what lies around the next corner.

Overwhelmed by the waiting rooms of life, the purgatory of the mind and heart. Seasons of patient listening to the will and desires of the One and Only. It seems that much of life is spent in the waiting rooms: justice, reconcilation, forgiveness, strength, healing, friendship, relationship, direction, understanding, transition, wisdom... and the list goes on.

It seems my life has been a waiting room for years. If it's not one room, then it's another: waiting on the decisions of others, waiting on the plans of the Lord, waiting in the knowledge of all things (good and bad) being worked together for GOOD.

Who's good?

Our good.

God's good for those who love Him.

And His word floods my mind...

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." - Psalm 37:7

So the waiting continues. The curiosity of what lies behind the door in the lobby of life overwhelms my heart.

Anxiety builds

excitement builds

anticipation builds

As the door begins to open.

How long Lord? What's next Lord? When will the door open?

"Though the sorrow may last for a night, the joy comes in the morning." -Ps. 30

Sunday, October 3, 2010

25 - Quarter of a Century - WOW!

I turned 25 today... 25. I seriously cannot believe that I'm here, in this day, in this moment. I still feel like I'm in High School. I remember like yesterday my 16th birthday and my Dodge Neon waiting for me in the driveway. Where did all those years go?? And what's happened to the age of innocence? The age when everything seemed doable and so fun?? Man, it's amazing how drastically life changes...

Speaking of which, the year of 24 was quite possibly the most challenging year of my life. I started off celebrating my birthday in Southern California, and shortly thereafter decided that I needed to move there. Then about a month later I met a boy who lived in SoCal, and after chatting for awhile, we started dating over New Years weekend. Then long distance happened, and I can say that it's not for everyone, especially me. It's so hard to be so far from the person you care about... not being able to do life together. Then February came, and I quit my job, I quit coaching cheerleading, and I packed my bags. March brought my move to SoCal, and April brought new friends and church community that I've never had before. May brought a job that I shortly thereafter lost. June brought confusion, July brought unemployment. August brought a new job - one I love. September brought the loss of a home. And now, here I am again, October 3rd - starting a new year.

As I leave Seattle today, and travel back to my new home in SoCal, I realize how much of my life has happened here, in this place. Memories flood my mind as I drive down the freeway, memories of a past I once lived, of people I once knew, of relationships I once had... they're everywhere. This beautiful home of mine has been challenging at times, but it's still where it all began. My best friend got married last night, and I'm just realizing how short life is, how much changes in a year, how powerfully God moves in everything... and a piece of my heart will always live in the PacNW - as my heart grows in California. So weird what one year can bring...

I've got this crazy feeling that 25 is going to be a year of Jubilee, of rest, of good things, of God's plans becoming evident. "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord - plans for hope and a future." Lord Jesus, may it be. May it be a year of blessings, of learning, of growing more in you. May it be a year of opportunity. May it be a year of loving others. May 25 be the best year yet.



Friday, September 24, 2010

New Trinkets...

Recently, I was reading up on Pastor Matt Chandler, from the Village Church in Texas. He is one of my favorite pastor's to listen to online, and he linked to this webzine called "Boundless". Let's just say, I'm completely amazed at the articles found here. They're definitely worth a read and speak such truth into the lives of the "Quarter Lifers". Enjoy my friends... well worth parusing these articles.

A Few of my favorites include:

*Marrying an Unbeliever

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Am is able

The questions and the doubts of life have plagued my mind recently and the "what if's" certainly seem to overwhelm at any given opportunity...

Will I get a job?
What if it's a job I hate?
Will I do the job well?
Did I make the right move?
Should I go home?
Will God show up in these circumstances?
Why do I doubt, why do I fear and worry?
What if nothing works out?

and the list goes on...

However, I've seen the powerful hand of God not only in the lives of the Bible - Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Paul, David, but I've seen them 1st hand in my own life. I've witnessed dead men raised to life. I've seen completely broken relationships restored. I've seen jobs given, financial provision provided right when needed. I've seen the weak become strong in their moment of greatest difficulty. I've seen the righteous prosper. I've seen people healed. And I've seen the love of Christ permeate the souls of many. For I Am is able. And if we take the time to look back and truly see His hand in our lives, we may be surprised at just how many times He's shown up in our lives or the lives of those around us. We may be amazed at all the opportunities He's provided. We may finally see the strength and courage He gives in the midst of difficulty. And He'll show us the growth we've experienced along the way.

For the suffering produces character, perseverance, strength, courage. The waiting produces patience, joy, and hope. The confusion produces trust and faith in the will and promises of the One and Only.

I Am is able.

Abundantly more...

Exceedingly more...

Amazingly more...

than we can ever ask or imagine.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just the way you are

There's this song on the radio these days that has a tendency to make me burst into tears in just the opening lines. It's a love song, a popular pop culture love song, that's actually meaningful and heartfelt - something we don't see much of these days. The Chorus is what gets me the most:

When I see your face
There's not a thing that I would change
Cause you're amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile,
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you're amazing
Just the way you are

Just the way you are. The sad fact is that SO many of us wander this earth questioning our worth and value. We wonder if we're pretty enough, smart enough, skinny enough, masculine enough, feminine enough, independent enough... and the lies of the enemy pervade our very existence. We're so hard on ourselves and we don't even realize it.

And this silly little song gave me a glimpse of how tenderly and genuinely the Father looks at and loves us. I see Him holding our faces in the sweetest way, bringing our eyes to His and Him saying:

"When I see your face, there's nothing I'd change, for you're amazing - JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. For I made you wonderfully, fearfully. I've created you specifically and called you accordingly. You are my child and I love you regardless of what you consider your 'weaknesses' - because I've already overcome all weakness and restored it with My strength within you. I love you - you're amazing - Just the way you are."

The promises of a God faithful and able, keep flooding my mind as I ponder His powerful, untainted, and never ending love...

Promises to give us a hope and a future.

Promises of working for the good of those who love Him.

Promises of peace that surpasses all understanding.

Promises to never leave us or forsake us.

Promises to meet us if we seek Him with all our hearts, all our being.

God the Father is only for our good, though we face many trials and struggles along the way. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. And the trials and the sufferings are doing a work in our hearts because we know suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

In everything - the loss, the disappointment, the confusion, the pain, the suffering, the waiting, the trials of life... He's there, He's working. Though it be a long, grueling process, we consider it pure joy, whenever we face trials of many kinds, because we know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

And please remember, dear readers, that God loves us, He fights for us, He longs for us - the real us. He doesn't need a show or for us to come with practiced prayers or perfect attitudes. No, He wants relationship with us....


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Passion and Purity

Elizabeth Elliot's "Passion and Purity" is the most recent book to be placed on my "finished" bookshelf. Talk about a tear jerker and a heart changer - this book has revolutionized the way I look at all things relationship, not only with men but also with Christ. Elizabeth shares the story of her late husband, Jim, and her courtship and eventual marriage (after 5 years of periods of separation, silence, waiting, and finally answered prayers). It seems so foreign to me for someone to wait 5 years for a man to finally figure out that the woman looking him in the eye is his wife. But the reality is Jim was called to the mission field and felt that the Lord had called him to a life of singleness so that he could focus his time solely on Christ. But little did Jim know that God had different plans for him, in the person of Elizabeth - a woman well suited for the life ahead with Jim.

As the book ends it leaves the reader with quite a few statements that rocked my world, one of which said, "Do our transgressions disqualify us for the Christian life? Quite the contrary. Jesus came into the world specifically for us who blew it, not for those who 'need no repentance.' He was wounded for our trangressions..."

This passage brought me to tears as I looked back on my own tainted past of impurtity. For years I've felt that my past transgressions were beyond the grace of God - that I somehow destroyed His love for me based on my mistakes. However, one of my dear friends reminded me recently, "we have such a tendency to think God is some mean, controlling Father that doesn't want to bless His children, when quite the opposite is true."

A simple reminder, but so difficult to set into our hearts. I don't understand how I can keep messing up and still have God stand beside me with open arms saying, "I forgive you. I love you, now let's move on." Moving on and letting go is so difficult, yet so incredibly freeing. Realizing that I can't change the decisions I've made and knowing that yes, I've hurt not only myself, but my future husband, strikes me to my core. But God's grace is big enough to redeem even the slimiest of situations -

"my grace is sufficient"

"even though I'm not pure?"

"my grace is sufficient"

"even though I've hurt people?"

"my grace is sufficient"

"Even though I often hate myself for what I've done?"

"My grace is sufficient for EVERYTHING - regardless of who you are or what you've done. My grace is sufficient for it all. Trust me - I love you."

Another section of the book talks about boundaries in relationship. What amazed me the most was the tender honesty of Jim and Elizabeth throughout their relationship. They steered clear of everything physical, even a hug was deemed "difficult" at times. They spent 5 years, rarely seeing other, writing letters, and when they did run into each other there was no physical contact- no hand holding, no kissing, rarely a hug. "Are they for real?" we ask. But in all honesty, I think they had it right on.

In my own experience, I can wholeheartedly say that being physical with someone only causes heartache. And the more physical we are with someone, the deeper the bond, and the more it hurts in the end. We go through the stages of "why did I do that?" or "how could I let this happen again?" to beating ourselves up over our mistakes. And again we're reminded, "my grace is sufficient for you."

"If virginity is to be preserved, lines must be drawn. Why put yourself in any situation where the lines may become smudged or obscure? Why take the risks? Why accept the pressure of tremendous temptation when you can easily avoid it by refusing to be anywhere where compromise is possible?"

Call me old fashioned, but I 100% agree. Draw the lines and stick to them. WAY easier said that done - but totally worth overcoming the temptation and completely worth the wait. It's in this statement that I see the reflection of Romans 7 so vividly: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." And the reminder in Romans 8 of our bodies being living sacrifices - living temples of the Holy Spirit that we shouldn't contaminate but be used to glorify God. It's for this reason, and many others, that new lines have been drawn... strict lines. Will it be easy? No. But that's where God's protection and grace comes into play - Inviting Him into the relationship even before it begins.

So I leave you, dear readers with 2 things:

Purity = freedom from contamination, from anything that would spoil the taste or the pleasure, reduce the power, or in any way adulterate what the thing was meant to be. It means cleannes, clearness, no additives, nothing artificial - all natural.

"Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things avove it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all... in fact the state of being in love usually does not last... but of course ceasing to be 'in love' need not mean ceasing to love. Love... is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforcced by the grace which both partners ask and receive from God. Being 'in love' first moved them to promise fidelity; this quieter love enables them to keep their promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it." - C.S. Lewis, Mere Chrisitianity

Love, therefore, is a choice...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wait... Patiently.

"95% of the Christian walk to maturity is waiting" - Catherine Harris

Waiting. Hopes up, oh wait, just kidding... wait again. Life seems to be a neverending waiting room where anticipation grows and fear definitely looms. Recently, a dear woman of wisdom shared with me the above quote... and boy was she right! The Christian life seems to be a by-way of waiting. We see it with David, the promised King of Israel as he hid from Saul for years though the throne was rightfully his. We see waiting in the story of Esther - a woman thrown into the unknown and scary world of a rather impetuous king. It's in the life of Jeremiah the prophet, who was called by God at an early age to be God's liason to His people, and it seems things never really let up for Jeremiah til the end of his life.

Life is all about waiting. But the growth comes with our response to "wait... patiently".

How often do our minds seem to race faster than our hearts? It seems we make rash, spur of the moment decisions based on emotion rather than careful pondering with the Lord on the issues at hand. And the more we run through this life independently of Him, the harder we fall when He does finally get our attention. Invincibility is not a virtue. Rest is. Being able to rest in the midst of turmoil and "what if's" is flat out miraculous. When our minds get the best of our hearts and fear suddenly sets in, the panic and the worry begin.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." - Phil. 4

That dang spirit of fear. The best acronym I've heard for fear thus far is "false evidence appearing real". One little thought crosses our mind and then that thought is lead to another, and soon enough we find ourselves stuck in a web of worry and deceit. We're convinced that something bad is going to happen or that God is simply not big enough or powerful enough to meet our needs and desires.

False evidence...

So when those looming worries swarm our minds, one way to minimize it is to think, "okay, best case this happens, worst case this." But maybe an even better way of fighting the fear that so easily entangles our lives is to reject the spirit of fear's power in our lives and ask the Holy Spirit to overwhelm us with peace and to replace the fears.

The other day I did that little exercise asking myself, "what are my worst fears?" Among the list were financial worries, relational worries, worries about family and friends, and even worries of failure and disappointment. So there sat my list... everything I was afraid of staring me in the face. "Okay," I thought, "so worst case scenario these things happen... now what?"

"Trust, my child"

"Who? What?" I said

"Me. Trust me, everything is going to be alright. I'm big enough to overcome the fears, I'm big enough to accomplish this and so much more."

"okay.... how?"


"How long?"


Now that one got me. Patiently. It's always easy to trust someone or something when you see results pretty quick, but when you get 2-3 months or even years down the road of trust it seems that the line begins to blur and that He's no longer there...

"How long, Oh Lord, must I wait?" - King David, boy did he know the frustration of waiting!

And the road to trust is daily self-control, it's lots of prayer, lots of journaling, lots of simply waiting in His presence. And the best reminder of all is that even those times when it seems He's not there when we pray or read or seek solitude with Him, He's still at work in our hearts. For it's the times where it seems that nothing is going on that the 95% of the Christian growth is happening... because all things will come "...together for good".

God is all about the good.

God's distance or allowing us to walk through valley's along the road of life is not his way of punishing us. No, it's His way of disciplining us. And punishment and discipline are not one in the same. Punishment is "you screwed up, now there are consequences", discipline is "rerouting one's direction to a better goal".

God is molding us in what seems to be the "darkness" of the valley, but His light will soon radiate and show the growth that's happened along the way.

And when it seems that all hope is lost or we feel completely defeated, Oswald Chambers reminds us, "The vision that God gives us is not some unattainable castle in the sky, but a vision of what God wants you to be down here."

He reminds us, "Ever since God gave us the vision, He's been at work."

So friends, don't lose hope, don't give up - for the race is nearly over, we're just a mile from shore. Don't quit over doubts and questions, for there's something you may learn. Don't quit for you're not a failure, until you fail to try.

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace" - Isaiah 55

Peace in His presence.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

But have not love...

"I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.

Love doesn't strut,

Doesn't have a swelled head,

Doesn't force itself on others,

Isn't always "me first,"

Doesn't fly off the handle,

Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn't revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies." - I Corinthians 13

Love is sacrifice. Love is killing pride, defeating selfishness so that other's may be blessed.

Sacrifice - to surrender or give up something of value.

As a culture, we seem to value ourselves more than anything else. We're the godheads of our own lives. If it's not good for me, then it's good for no one. Where once there was generosity, now there's hoarding. Where once there was care for the downtrodden, now there's only judgment.

How often do we even think of sacrificing for someone else? How often do we even see the needs of our neighbors?? And how often do the very people that need love the most get the least?

Failure to sacrifice, failure to love often equals a miserable life. Some of the most angry, depressed people, are also the meanest, most self serving types. This, my friends, is not love.

Love is the epitome of good. Love is the epicenter of true joy and meaning in life. And we must always remember - God is Love.

If we're meant to be more Christlike in our lives, shouldn't we focus first on the things listed in I Corinthians 13? Because if we gain the whole world, yet have not love, we've failed.

Love is the beginning. Love is the end. Love is the basis of everything.

Faith, hope, love. The greatest of these - LOVE.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Daddy's Day

My dad turned 61 today... or I guess it's now yesterday. As I called him this evening to sing "Happy Birthday" I started remembering the birthday's of his that I'd been a part of. But one sticks out in my mind... it was 14 years ago yesterday, my dad turned 47.

Now this wasn't just some regular old 47th birthday. No, this one was special - unique, if you will. For my dad was a miracle walking that day. 5 months earlier, on February 16th, I received a phone call from Harborview Hospital in Seattle (the #1 trauma unit in the Pacific Northwest). I was 10 at the time and home alone but apparently sounded like an adult as the nurse on the other end of the phone said the words:


Dead on arrival?? I learned that my dad had been in a serious car accident where a trailer's hitch had literally crossed the highway and made it's new post in my dad's brain. I hung up the phone, shocked, scared, nervous, and just plain freaked out. Then something came over me... a sense of peace and protection, and there I sat, in the middle of my kitchen floor with dear, sweet Dooly bear and I asked Jesus into my heart.

I knew life would not be easy, whatever the days ahead held for me. But I certainly wasn't prepared for taking a man and training him all over again from how to brush his teeth right down to how to butter toast. My dad lost a chunk of his frontal lobe, his memory station and anger management portion of his brain were gone - erased. So anything he learned he learned 15 times until it became hardwired into his memory. He learned to walk again. He learned to talk again. He learned his ABC's and his 123's. He went from being a vegetable to being a miracle in a matter of a year.

One year.

That's what the doctors told my mom, "he has 1 year to gain everything he'll need to survive and you'll be lucky if he's able to function past the age of a 6 year old". My mom responded with, "that's not an option - so you get me the best doctors, the best rehab, and I will make sure this man functions fully again."

Now I could say that this rehabilitation was a walk in the park, but it certainly wasn't. It was hours of fighting my dad and parenting my parent. It was days of worrying about whether we'd have to file for bankruptcy or not. It was months of literally living in my mom's van doing homework and running dad to and from appointments. It was a year of living hell.

But you know what? Despite the struggles, despite the pain and the abuse that came along with the missing anger control center- I wouldn't change it for anything. For that one day changed my life, not only by humbling me but also by providing me with the One and Only peace which transcends all understanding. That day brought me my sweet Jesus...

And I remembered today the truth of James 1: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."

Perseverance started when I was 10 years old. Adulthood beckoned me to stand up and lead that day. One moment a child, the next a woman. Did I consider my trials and pain as joy at the time? Absolutely not. However, God has this funny way of making us realize that joy is the best answer to extremely difficult circumstances.

I still don't quite know how or even why my dad survived that accident. But I do know one thing... that man is a walking testament to the Mighty Power of God - he's a walking miracle. So today, I celebrate a man that I sometimes don't understand and often overlook. And I celebrate my Heavenly Daddy reminding me of his grace and mercy each July 1st.

Happy Birthday Daddy... though we're far apart on so many levels I'm still grateful for you and for the experience/wisdom I've gained through it all.

61 years and still going strong - my Miracle Man.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The growth of character

Well friends, today is one of those days of simple reminders. Recently, I've been bombarded with the overwhelming process of healing that it seems each day something else comes up. Moving and leaving home seemed exciting at first, but is proving to be a much more difficult venture than I originally thought. I had expectations coming into California - for friendships, for ministry, for work - all of which have taken a much different path than I had anticipated. Needless to say, it's yet another season of growth.... another season of learning to patiently persevere and trust in the Lord. In the midst of the seasons it's so difficult to remember that it is truly, just a season. A time for everything under the sun, and for now that's battling the mountains of the inner hurts of my soul. I found the following quote and chapter in James extremely helpful as I say my prayers in the desert of life....

"When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends. Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed and you will find that you become men and women of mature character." - J.B Phillips

"...but if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways... blessed is the man who perseveres under trial for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.... but everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of a man does not achieve the righteousness of God.... but prove yourselves doers of the Word and not merely hearers who delude themselves." - James 1

And God keeps reminding me in the middle of the temptations, open wounds, and character building days to pray for those who's paths I've come across. Praying fervently and without ceasing for protection, for guidance and direction, for visions of what the Father would have them do, and for freedom from the temptations around us. So I pray these things for everyone who reads Father and those you have laid on my heart. Come quickly to the hearts of men, Father, and ignite our hearts for your desires and will.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Natural tendencies...

I have this tendancy that I absolutely hate about myself. It's called the fear of confrontation. But that's just the beginning. I'm realizing that it goes a lot deeper than I originally thought, so much so that I'm afraid to talk to certain people for fear that they won't like me or that I'll be misconstrued. I'd even go as far as to say that I get apprehensive about chatting with friends of friends for fear that I may say something wrong or the other person already has a tainted view of me because of someone else.

Ridiculous? Absolutely. Do I hate it about myself? Oh yeah. And do I still avoid certain social situations and awkward conversations because of it?? All the time. So much so that some people may think me rude because I'll see them from afar, wave, then walk away without even saying hello. Seriously?? It's called fear...

I'll tell you one thing, this has GOT to stop. I don't know when or how, but it's gotta stop. It's funny because in every business dealing I have I come across as this confident, well spoken business woman, yet when I have to see a friend or chat about something with someone, I run for the hills. My natural tendency in my personal life is to walk around like nothing's wrong. I can't stand it!!!

I need to get up enough courage to face my fears and walk up to the group of people who I really very much enjoy, instead of making a bee-line for a hiding place. I need to stop avoiding situations for fear of people not liking me. I need to step up and realize that sometimes things aren't going to work out, someone's busy, whatever the case may be - and be okay with it.

Oh dear Lord, there's a lot of me that needs fixing - and I thank you for presenting areas that I need to work on to me. For you did not give me a spirit of fear... yet I so often embrace the fear and get so entangled in it that I don't even know who I am anymore. Where did that confident and courageous little girl go? I know she's in there somewhere... but this grown up version of her is full of fragile fear, trapped in her own musings.

So I ask for faith. I ask for trust. I ask for increased opportunities to step out of my safety bubble and into the difficult things. I ask for the courage and the strength to step up and be me. And I ask for help with overcoming the push-over, people pleasing person that I so often am. Meet me, help me, mold me into the person you've created me to be. And let my 'yes' be 'yes' and my 'no' be 'no'.

Holy Spirit, please just help me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day...

Father's Day. A day, for many, that leaves us painfully aware of the hurt and abuse of the past. Where a father was supposed to provide, protect, pastor, and speak truth - we only see brokenness. It seems whether we're walking by a complete stranger or conversing with a dear friend, we all have some sort of daddy issue. But there are the rare few that have amazing father's, and I must say, you're blessed!

But those of us with the dad's that missed our softball games and recitals, worked late and found dates other than our mothers, the dad's who chose their own selfishness and pride over what was best for their families, the dad's who physically hurt us and emotionally threatened us, those who threw away one amazing chance to show and share love with their own flesh and blood - those dad's are what leave us damaged today.

We're in the midst of a broken society because the men are no longer being men. Men are being trained from an early age to be "distant", unreachable. And one generation begets the next generation, and the cycle of abandonment, abuse, and broken families continues. We're a mess of a culture and it's our own fault, because we have seemed to forgotten to let men be men.

So how are we supposed to identify with God, the creator of all, as a Father, when our own father's have dropped the ball along the way? How do we erase the damage from the past and not let it speak into our future? And what does it mean to be a father?

Jesus is our example of the character of the Father. If we take a look at the life of Jesus we see over and over again how Jesus cares for, loves, defends, protects, and provides for those he comes into contact with. And he gives the credit to His Father - who guides and directs his every move. Whatever the Father does, the Son does (John 5).

The story of the Prodigal Son and the reaction of his father shined new insight on the whole story. I could imagine the son sitting there with the pigs having an epiphany, much like we do as Christians, "I'm the son/daughter of the most powerful man around, yet I've scwandered my wealth and been irresponsible, and where has it taken me? Maybe my father will help me... but I've failed him in so many ways... I don't know if I can face him"

And, even before the blessing of returning is even given to us we run.

We run from the pain.
We run from the "what if's"
We run from the possibilities.
We run because we've not experienced the freedom of the Promise.

So we live in the slime with pigs.

We'd rather hide than face the punishment
We'd rather hide than face the grace
We'd rather run without ceasing than stop long enough overcome the fear.
We'd rather chains than freedom
Because we're unworthy

we're dirty
we're screw ups
we've done too much
we've gone too far
we've said enough
we're unreachable.

But the fact is that we have a Father who chases us and runs after us relentlessly. He sees us in the distance and SPRINTS towards us to save us from ourselves. He's running and saying, "come to me you who are weary and I will give you rest."

God, Abba, Daddy, Father
desires to give you rest.

He desires to give you peace.
He desires to defend and protect you.

He desires YOU.

And all we have to do is stop running and hiding long enough to realize that the very person we need the most has been standing right beside us the whole time. In the midst of the abuse - He is there. In the midst of the suffering - He is there. In the midst of the gutwrenching heartache - He is there with us. Standing beside us, cradling us in His arms. And though he allows certain things to happen to us, it doesn't mean he's abandoned us. He never leaves us, He never forsakes us. We are the one's who run - we leave for fear of punishment. We leave for fear that God will treat us the same way as our earthly father's have.

But He loves us. Oh how He loves us!

He loves.
He protects.
He provides.
He defends.
He prophecies over us.
He is everything we could ever want or need.

And He's big enough to conquer the biggest obstacles of our lives. He's strong enough overcome the biggest mistakes. He's able to heal even the deepest wounds.

And He forgives. He let's go of the past and sets our feet on His firm foundation.

For He is I AM.

And we are His.

"You are mine."
"I'm big enough to accomplish this and much more."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Season of Singleness

After a night of conversation with some dear girlfriends of mine and hearing their broken hearts open up about the loves they've lost, I couldn't help but writing...

Relationship comes. We open ourselves up and show the inner working of our souls to another... Then the words come...

be together

So we return to life, but this time void, lonely, hurt, confused...

We're broken
In the deepest
Most painful
Gut wrenching way

And we're so incredibly alone... It seems the world round us has found love, has found the one - and we sit back and wonder, 'but wasn't he supposed to be mine?'

So the what if's and the why's begin. The realization that our protection, our comfort, our other half is gone is truly unbearable. No more 1st hello's and last 'good nights'. No more silly jokes and sweet glances. No more conversation or growth.

Only death.
Death of a story
Death of a friendship
Death of the hopes
Death of the dreams
Death of relationship.

And the question remains... What happened? What about our hopes, our dreams, our futures together - what about our plans?

We process:
I miss his laugh.
I miss his prayers
I miss our conversations
I miss his safety and comfort
I miss our jokes and stories
I miss his strength and determination
I miss his touch
I just miss him.

Broken relationships. Broken promises. Broken hearts. And it sucks.

In the brokenness comes the attacks from the evil one: you're replaceable. You're not enough. You're unloveable. You're not pretty/skinny/fun/happy/whatever enough. You're a mistake. It's all your fault.

But it's a two way street and one may choose to love while the other doesn't. Either way we're left with an emptiness inside - a void that longs for the companionship, for a best friend, for someone to share in the joys and pains of life together. Our desire is for our husband.

And in the midst of the pain, the suffering, the rain - we see just how desperately our saviors heart breaks for us, his children, to long for him as we long for one another. Jesus, however gives us water that never leaves us thirsty. He quenches our soul and fills the void of our hearts. It's him who restores the brokenness - and gives us peace, faith, and love as we heal from the loss of love unrequited.

So in the season of singleness - yes we must heal - but we also must grow. Grow in our relationship with God. Grow in our friendships with others. Grow in our knowledge of truth. Pray for our future relationship, for our husbands. Encouraging others. Loving the unloveable. Finding God's purpose for our life here on earth. And going after it.

For before we know it... our love may come.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Power in Christ

"The power inside you far out weighs that puny piece of s*** you saw this morning." - the wisdom of my dear friend Christin

Power in Christ. How often do we forget the simple truth and promise from Christ that we will do the same miracles as him and even greater miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit inside us? But we've become a generation of laziness, where going through the motions of life is the answer, and we no longer crave the power of God, of Christ, of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all Christians.

Sure, we hear the stories of the Heavenly Man in China literally walking out of an ultimate security prison, unharmed and safe. We hear of people in far off villages of India raising from the dead only to have their whole village come to Christ. We hear of underground churches flourishing and lives being saved in the far most reaches of the Muslim world. But that's there - not here. We don't see miracles in America anymore. We don't have that power - it's gone.

But I say no, the power is not gone, it's just been stuffed for so long that we can't seem to find it though it stares us in the face. Faith is lacking, trust and belief gone.

And the thing is... we have power in Christ that we don't even realize. We have the power to "Say to that mountain move, and it will" (Matthew 17) We have the power to bring the dead to life. We have the power to overcome any and every attack of the enemy. And we have the power to command the angels concerning us and others to defend and protect our hearts from the demons that sneak in to destroy and steal. We have the power - we just need to trust and believe, to know, that it's there and accessible at any moment.

Friends, we also have to know who we're fighting against. What our biggest adversary is and how their armies work. Currently, I'm re-reading The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, and reading it as an adult just sheds so much more light on the simple ways that satan's armies go and attack us. They're in the form of irritation and miscommunication with others. They're in the form of gut wrenching nightmares. They're in the questions and the doubts that arise in our faith. They're in the words of others, the overwhelming attempts to see the future, the constant voice of "you're horrible, you're stupid, you'lll never amount to anything". The enemy knows just where to hit. It may be in relationships that seem to always fail. It may be the addiction to the porn or the drugs or the alcohol and the belief that we need "just one more hit to numb the pain". It's the jealousy of others being spewed on our hearts. His attacks are frequent, they are everywhere, and he waits at the door sniffing, sniffing, sniffing, until we let him in or start listening to the lies.

God is not a God of temptation. God is not a God of torture or self annihilation. No, God is a God of love, grace, mercy, forgiveness. He sees each and every person on this planet as His child - one he loves and cares deeply for. And God gives us the tools to fight against the lies of the enemy - they're found in Ephesians 6:

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth, buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguise all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvaton and the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on ALL occasions with al kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for the saints."

So what if we started standing up to satan with strength and courage? What if we stood up to the attacks with authority given us through Christ? What if we no longer trembled at the lies and fear and abuse that satan hurls on us - but instead reacted with steady, unyielding confidence in the Power that has been given us?

Chains broken.

Hearts mended.

Unstoppable Christians.

Unbeatable strength.

Unquestionable authority.

Unquenchable desire.

For Freedom in Christ for ALL.

We've got work to do friends - people are dying everywhere without the hope of Christ and the promise of eternity. We must start today - we must choose today to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, prompting us to His desires. We haven't a second to lose...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Complacent Christianity

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' - Matthew 7:21-23

Now that's something no Christian ever wants to hear! We often expect to just "get by" in our lives on earth, not listening to the call of the Lord, and definitely not utilizing the power of the Holy Spirit within our lives. We've become a generation of complacent Christians.

And on that day I imagine many of us will argue, much like is said in this passage, and say, "but Jesus, I went to Church for every holiday, prayed at Thanksgiving, and even gave an offering to the church every Easter! That should count for something." But God doesn't want the motions - he's not looking for "good people" that don't swear or gossip and who put in a hard day's work. No, what God wants from His children is for us to become more like Jesus in everything we do. And we can't be more like Jesus without relationship with him.

Christ should be the centerfold of every Christian's life. He should be the 1st person we talk to each morning, the person we run ideas and struggles by, the one who leads and directs our every step. However, in our society we're so overwhelmed with the "Noise" of the world that we often put Jesus in the corner and when the crap hits the fan we go and pull him out of the closet and beg.

Put yourself into that scenario. How would you feel if say your spouse, significant other, or parents would only call when they needed or wanted something? That's not really a relationship - and some would argue that it's a form of abuse. That't the same thing we do to Christ every time we say, "oh, don't worry Jesus, I've got my life under control, but if I need anything I'll let you know." That's a pretty bold, selfish statement.

There's this statistic that says that the top 5 people you hang out with most have the most influence on your life. Think about the 5 people you hang out with the most - is it a group of friends, family members, coworkers? Does Jesus even make the list?

The funny thing is that if we want to become more like Jesus, he should be in our top 5. He should actually be at the top of the top 5. We can't help but become better people when we spend time in the Word, prayer, and solitude/silence with the Lord. He speaks to us in the still small voice and reminds us what we're here to do. Instead of running to the friends when trials strike - what if we chose to run to Jesus?

So what's really being said here is if you know Jesus, faith is not about the motions or deeds you perform. No, it's about relationship. It's not being a good person, but becoming refined into Christlikeness. It's not arrogance or pride for being "better than so and so" (much like the Pharisee on the street corner in Matthew 6). No, when we really know Jesus - deeply, intimately - when he's our best friend - our hearts change. The needs and cares of others become important to us. We're suddenly able to see people as Christ does. We're finally humble and ready enough to ask God for His eyes as we look at the world and ask for His strength and provision for us to help those he lays in our paths. And soon we're able to see the needs of others as described in Matthew 25:

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'"

So instead of being "lukewarm", why not take a chance with Jesus? What would happen if Christ was the center of your life? What would happen if the Holy Spirit became our guide? And what would happen if we started actually listening and responding to the call God has placed on our lives??

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fallen World, Broken Relationships

Guess what! We live in a fallen world, and since Adam and Eve we've had a continuum of broken relationships. The man will slave and toil over the land, while the women will have pain in childbearing and will desire to rule over her husband. Since the Fall, we've battled against each other over and over again leading only to more conflict, more arguments, more broken families, friendships, and relationships.

Why is this? Probably the funniest and sadest part of this realization is that many of our earthly relationships fall apart on some simple disagreement or misunderstanding. And instead of facing the person and speaking about our hurts or our fears or even the misunderstandings, instead of attempting to fix the issue with another, we run, we hide, we find solace in the listening ears of others, and the once tiny misunderstanding is suddenly made into this HUGE issue that way too many people and opinions get involved in. "... a gossip separates close friends." Proverbs 16:28 - isn't that the truth all too often?

It's even gotten to the point where we inevitably take "sides", one group of friends/supporters against the other, and it means war! We see it in the tabloids - "Team Jen" or "team Brad" - T-shirts are made, boundaries are drawn - all because something private, between two people, has suddenly been thrust into the knowledge of others. Now, don't get me wrong here, I'm all for accountability and having someone who will ask the tough questions and allowing people into the pains and frustrations of our lives. But we need to learn to choose our "inner circle" wisely. Because out of our mouth the heart speaks - and if we're speaking to many about our inner hurts, the more likely it is that everyone in your "world" will know the details of everything. Confidentiality is a dying breed... trustworthiness is thrown out the window.

But this shouldn't be happening in Christian circles. This is not what God intended human relationships to be. No, He intends for us to treat one another as brother's and sister's IN Christ. Meaning whatever issues, whatever hindrances, whatever anger and resentment we have for our fellow Christ follower, we need to rectify. Because God's kindgom is not a place of separation and "sides", it's an open place of safety and surrender that He desires all people to inhabit. In Galatians 3:28 we're told "there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, man nor woman, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus." And if we are ONE in Christ, why do we still find fault in one another? Why do we run from facing the adversity that we will surely sense with our brother's and sister's in Christ? Why do we beat around the bush and put on the fake smiles and waves, knowing inside we are harboring resentment or anger towards the very person we're waving at??

And why do American Christians often live "of the world" when it comes to misunderstandings between each other? Why do we pick sides? Why do we draw battle lines? And why, oh why, is it so hard for us to forgive each other our trespasses??

Seventy times seven.

"Bearing with one another, and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also forgive." Colossians 3:13

Isn't it funny sometimes how we get so wrapped up in each other's drama and gossip that we ourselves take offense for someone else? As if the person who hurt our friend has somehow hurt us, we take up our weapons and chop the other down in conversation, in action. But, there's two sides to every story, yet we fail to see things from the other's point of view. So we attack, we berate, we destroy someone else's reputation and "require" or expect our friends to expel the other from everything as a punishment. We see this in the story of the woman at the well - where Jesus meets her, asks for water, and she hesitantly offers it to him. The background on this woman is that she's a prostitute, she's "dirty", she's an outcast in her own society. She has no friends, she has no companionship for everyone but the man she's living with out of wedlock has turned their back on her. She leads a lonely life... beaten, downtrodden, abused by those who should be loving her the most.

And the incredible thing that we see in this example of Jesus and this "dirty" woman at the well is that Christ approaches her not with a pointed finger proclaiming how awful she is. No, he's aware of the choices she's made as well as the way she's been treated by her community. Instead, Christ sees her for the beautiful daughter of the One and Only - and approaches her to give her hope and love and true life through Him.

What if we decided to do as Christ would in all of our relationships on earth? What if we chose to be the people that faced the outcast instead of walking away from them whispering? What if we chose to be the people that invited new people into our community? What if we chose to invite new people to our area/church/workplace/school in and learn from one another? What if we were the people that had the mentality that everyone on this planet is loved by God and thus we should also love them? And what if we truly saw everyone with the Golden Rule on our hearts and minds "do unto other's as you would have done unto you"?

I bet we'd break down the walls we've built against each other.

I bet we'd save lives.

I bet Christ would heal hearts and mend relationships.

And I bet we'd be challenged, stretched, and enlightened by those we've invited in.

So maybe what we should do instead judging about our racial differences, gender differences, age differences, or just plain differences in general - is to embrace and appreciate each other for the diversities Christ has made in each of us, and welcome one another in truth and love...

Fallen World.

Broken Relationships.

Restored through Christ.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Free will

I got a glimpse last night of how desperately Christ desires to be allowed into the inner most depths and darkness of our hearts. His desire to let what's in the dark be brought and redeemed in the brightness of his light.

There are many times in my life where I feel deep compassion for people who are struggling with pain or can't seem to face the hurts and the pains of the past. The depth of their pain deepens the longer they push it further into the dark. The chains of the enemy wrap themselves tighter and tighter around us, and we feel overcome by the fear of letting go. And I want to fix things in their lives. And I think, "if I desire this much to help someone, think of how desperately Christ desires to help and heal them.".

One great example in my own life is the pain I see in the eyes of someone who's very dear to me. This person is very good at putting on the face that everything's fine, that there's nothing hurting or hindering them. But if I look deep into their eyes, I see a pool of pain ranging from death to betrayal, and they're terrified of letting their "weaknesses" be known. Every time I see this person, my heart literally leaps inside me with love and compassion for them. I want to take the pain and the hurt away, I want to fix their heart and mend it. But I can't.

I can't fix the pains of other's because they have their own free will to choose what they bring to light. In the same sense, God cannot perform a healing transformation on the areas of our hearts that we hold under lock and key because of our free will. God respects our space and allows us the time to process our hurts and our hearts - he will never force us into anything. But the longer we sit against the door, although He's knocking, the deeper the spear of hurt goes... leaving blood streaming behind.

Until we face the deepest pains, the deepest fears, the deepest sins, we will be miserable or depressed or tired. In my own life I've had pain that ranges from abuse, abandonment, betrayal, and death. I've been to through the valley of the shadow of death, and for years since I've tried my hardest to hide behind this facade of perfectionism and bubbliness that masks the deep hurts I've experienced. But two dear friends of mine have made me realize that the longer I allow the pain of the past dictate my future, the longer I'll be imprisoned in dark.

And I'm terrified of facing the closed doors of my heart. I'm terrified to bring the darkness into light, because it often means walking right back through the valley of the shadow of death. But freedom does not come easy, but freedom is what I desire most. To be free from the footholds of the enemy, to be burden free, to not feel exhausted any longer from juggling and hiding everything in my life..... so I'm starting inner healing prayer. I know God gives me the free will and allows me to sit in my pit if I so choose, but I choose life, I choose freedom. And my prayer is that through inner healing I'll be able to overcome the sin that so easily entangles my life and that it will allow me to find out who I am, what I'm here for, and give me a sense of confidence and courage as I go throughout this life.

Inner Healing Prayer may just be the answer.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

More you, less me

Wow. What a selfish, ungrateful person I am. Seriously, HUGE wake up call to me this morning - I'm living too much for the creature comforts and "requirements" of society. It's easy, especially in Orange County, to walk around influenced by the wealth and "worldly things" rather than forcus in on the hearts and pain of others. We're in a constant competition of who's got more, who's prettier, who's more successful and we fail to see the devastation going on all around us. We live in a world of facade's where to the outside world we're 'fine" while inside we're dying inside for love, for compassion, for kindess, for faithfulness, for gentleness. Sounds like we need to go running back to the core principles of the Spirit looking not only to our own interests but also the interests of others.

And I'm frustrated with myself. How do I keep letting another day go by without seeking to serve other's in some facet? Why is it so much easier for me to sleep longer or go run and hide, instead of face the world around me? Why am I so afraid of stepping out and taking a risk of friendship or sharing Christ?


In our society we don't rock the boat. We don't ask questions. We simply are. We wake up, go to work, pay the bills, eat, sit in front of the TV, and call it a day. And at random pivotal points in our life we realize that what we're doing is worthless... but slowly, the world sneaks in again and we're right back where we started. I long for the passion and diligence to find a cause and fight for it until completion.


So I'm started formulating and actually brainstorming more about what it is that I'm called to do. What is it that God is calling me to, instead of my own human desires? I can certainly say that God is calling me to something more than the next best outfit, the biggest house, or even the never ending pressure to find a spouse. Yes, God is calling me to make my desires fit into His Will, in essence, making my desires His desires. But how do you even start a journey like that?

Lots of prayer.
Lots of time in the Word.
Lots of insight from other's.
And lots, and lots, or quiet abandon to the One and Only.

And I look back on my life and the fact that I've allowed 24 years to go by with unattained goals, unfinished dreams, unmet passions. I've heard the call of the Lord for a decade now, and yet I sit back with the mentality "there's always tomorrow". But friends, what if there is no tomorrow? We're not guaranteed another day... we're given right now. So what can I do, right now, to be more in step with His plans?

It's in the simple "good morning" and smile to someone at the coffee shop.

It's the phone call just to check in.

It's not avoiding the hurts and pains of the past, but facing them and allowing healing to fall in.

God's will is in the faces of those around us. God's will to seek and save the lost is staring us in the face each morning. God's will to love and care for those lost has been given to those who've been found.

So maybe it's just adding a little more time in prayer each day. Maybe it's us spending more time in the world. But maybe, just maybe, what God really wants us to do is to walk out the front door of our comfort zone and into the reality of the world around us. Maybe what He wants is for us to ask for His eyes to see the hurt and pain of the broken. More You, less me...

For we're called to go out into all nations proclaiming the grace and freedom only Christ gives.

So why not start in our own back yard?

Sunday, May 30, 2010


For the first time in my life I've come to the realization that I need to break the walls of pride, the walls of people pleasing, the walls of being a chameleon. I need to find out what I value, what I like... In essence I need to find who I am. Who christ sees me as. So often I'm plagued by trying to be better at this or that... But I wonder - does jesus love me for everything I try to be or does he love me for just being me?

And who is 'just me'. What does that girl look like?

For I can't go on until I get myself healed and broken free from the chains I've allowed myself to wear for so long. So I say no so that I may be able to be whole and ready in the future. For the 1st time I know the reason God has told me over and over 'not yet'. It's because I can't find me in the midst of relationship with men. I can only find that girl buried by a life of perfection and walls by devoting my whole self to the Lord - asking him to open and cleanse the wounds of the past and allowing him to heal the pains. I need to let the light of the One and Only shine into the darkest places of my soul and refine who I am, why I'm here, and give me the courage and confidence to walk through life knowing what I value and what makes me, me.

So I walk away... By far one of the most difficult things I've ever done. I say 'no' so that I can one day full heartedly say 'yes'. I walk away to get well - to get my feet firmly rooted on the rock. I walk away with the hope that 'someday' and 'not yet' will come sooner than later so I no longer have to wait wounded.

Heal the innermost parts of my soul jesus so that I may be whole and able to go after your desires for my life. Show me who I am - show me what to do and where to go.

Show me.

Heal me.

Refine me.

And make me whole.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

sex god

Awesome ending/quote from an amazing book by rob bell... Good reminder for us:

" is messy. Gut wrenching. Risky. Things don't always turn out well. Sometimes they don't turn out at all. Sometimes everything falls apart and we wonder if there's any point to any of it. We're tempted to shut ourselves off, fortify the walls around our hearts, and forge ahead, promising ourselves that we will never again open ourselves up.

But I have to believe that we can recover from anything. I have to believe that god can put anything - anyone - back together. I have to believe that the god jesus invites us to trust is as good as he says he is.

Full of grace."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Love, Agape

Agape - the love of God. The love we see in Christ's death for our sins, our wrongdoings. Agape. Laying down our needs or wants, laying down our pride for the good of others. How often are we called to lay down our lives for our brother's and sister's, as Christ did for us? And how often do we actually do it? The thing is... laying down our lives for others may mean actually dying, but it also means stepping down and being a servant. It means being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. It means submitting to one another out of reverance for Christ. And it's looking out for the best interests of someone else.

Agape. Love unconditional. Some of the best examples of love agape can be found in the relationship between a husband and wife as one faces cancer or some form of debilitating illness. One has an unshakeable faith in Christ and strength beyond imagination as they face the reality of their situation. While the other, healthy spouse looks on with an unconditional love toward the other and responds with "if I could take the pain from them I would in a heart beat because I'd rather them live and be okay than to see them like this." Another example of love agape is seen daily on the battle ground for freedom, when men and women lay down their lives so that we may continue living with the safety that we have. Our armed forces and loval first responders daily lay down their lives for "the call of duty".

How do we even get to that point of sacrifice and selflessness?

There's this amazing book by Rob Bell called "Sex God" that takes glimpses of human love and relationship and relates them to how God feels, what He goes through daily on account of us. Some amazing excerpts from his writing follow, and show us how we can better Love - Agape:

"Why do we hear stories of people risking their lives to save others and we often tear up, even if we don't know any of the people involved? Because people are worth dying for. We know it to be true deep in our bones. And when we see someone actually do it, it's overwhelming."

Question: Who would you die for? And who/what would you die to self for?

"Agape is a particular kind of love. Love is often seen as a need, something we get from others. Agape is the opposite - Agape gives."

Question: What is agape to you? What would you give?

"Agape doesn't love somebody because they're worthy. Agape makes them workthy by the strength and power of it's love. Agape doesn't love csomebody because they're beautiful. Agape loves in such a way that it makes them beautiful. There is love because, love in order to, love for the purpose of, and then there's love, Period. Agape doesn't need a reason. It just does."

God loves us with an unconditional, Agape love. He loves us because he can - NOT because of what we've done. He loves us despite our circumstances and mistakes. He loves us beyond our wildest dreams. His love is pure love, genuine and true. His love is greater than we can ever imagine and His love is SO good that it's true. The best quote is always saved for last:

"Agape shakes us. It's too good to be true. Or maybe you could say it's good enough to actually be true. It affects how we live, how we act, how we think about ourselves. For God so agaped the world...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Broken Woman

There's a woman domineering and sinister. She lies in wait for her next prey. There's a woman who's strong and devisive, not taking resting until she's cut down someone else. A shark of a woman, scouring the seas for her next victim. She's rude, abrasive, and cuts to the core of a person without knowing a thing about them - but that's just it, she doesn't want to know about anyone else - she doesn't want to care.

This woman who's lost her son, her husband, her sister, and her parents. Her biggest fears have come to reality and she can't face them for the trauma's they were. No, instead she goes on building herself up into this big deal, buying things to cover her pain. But she knows, just like everyone else around her, that no matter how many cars or houses she has, they will never fill the gaping void of her heart.

But the truth is, this woman is damaged, broken, and downtrodden. Living for years behind the pillars and walls she's built, she no longer feels, no longer has the capacity to love. She's walked so far down the road of hurt that who she's become is a shell of a woman. She no longer finds joy or peace, only negativity and anger. This woman is no longer a woman, but a body indwelt by a jezebel spirity. And she doesn't even know that her pain is written all over her face. She's dying inside but refuses to listen to the love of others.

This woman needs Jesus.


For with Christ the hurts are faced and redeemed. Through Christ the pain is replaced with peace, and the sorrow is turned to joy. With Christ this woman can find hope beyond the money, toys, fame, and popularity. With Christ her gaping wound, the gaping void is filled with love, compassion, mercy, and healing.

Christ is the answer.

And until this woman knows that he's the answer, those surrounding her should be on their knees interceding for her in every way. Asking Christ to show up in her life and for the Spirit of God to shower her with the knowledge that she is loved, she is cared for, she is protected by His grace.

I finally understand what interceding for another is really like - when I met Charlene one fateful night in May. A woman broken by a past full of sadness... may He replace her scorn towards Him with an unquenchable desire for Him. Lord Jesus, have your way... surround her and speak to her your love.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fragile Fear

Why is it that we so often forget how fragile life is? Why do we always expect another day, another chance? Why do we think we're so invincible? Recently, I've been reminded to take each day for the blessing it is. We're not guaranteed tomorrow, in fact, we're told over and over again in God's word that we're here for a moment, then gone. Forgotten. Sure there will be the few that remember us for a generation or two, but the dust settles, and life on earth continues with the children of tomorrow.

So why do we worry so much about our work, our house, our job (or lack thereof), our drama? Why are we so afraid of the opportunities that lie before us? Why is it that in some circumstances we freeze, unable to go into action? Because fear is a very, very powerful emotion. It can prevent us from experiencing life to the fullest. It has the ability to make the most powerful man in the world turn into a pile of mush at the site of unpararelled heights.

But what we need to remember is that our God is bigger than our fears. He's bigger than the mountains we ve to climb. He's more able to provide ways out of every situation we may ever face. And He'able to bless us exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever imagine. Our only problem is that we don't let him take the fear. We hold onto it for dear life, like it's some sort of security blanket. We need to hold onto our job, our friends, our house, our spouse, our church, our everything - because we know better than God what's right. We want what we want and if we don't get it we're angry. In essence, we're selfish because we think we can do better for ourselves than the Creator of the universe.
So how do we start by trusting God with every fear, every worry, every heartache and pain in our lives? And how do stop living our lives for the unknown tomorrow and start living for the gift of today? Surrender. Complete and utter surrender to the one and only. It means getting on our knees daily, hourly, and sometimes everyinute just to refocus our hearts on His plan, guidance, and care. Let God into the fears... He will meet you and restore confidence in you. Let God take care of tomorrow. And don't let another day go by without telling those you love that you love them. Don't let another day go by without fighting for what you know is right. Don't let another moment go by without surrender and the peace of freedom.

He meets you anywhere, everywhere - all you have to do is ask.

Who will you love?
What will you fight for?
Where will you go?
When will you go after the dreams?
How about today?

Friday, May 14, 2010


Prayer, an amazing practice with the power to change and impact greatly those that participate. A key element to the Christian faith, prayer is our way of communing with the Lord, our direct communication with Him. But how often do we abuse prayer, using it as some for of negotiation with God? How often do we expect to get anything we ask for, because we "prayed about it"? Ask and receive... right?

The whole ask and receive thing is much bigger than we really think. For Christ says if we have faith the size of a mustard seed (that's a TINY seed), we can tell mountains to move. But when was the last time we saw mountains moving? So often our prayeres are tainted by our wants - "God, give me a ferrari"- instead of positioning our hearts on things above and asking for the desires of God to be manifest in our lives. We need to get back to the basis of the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:

This, then, is how you should pray:
'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'

How often do we simply throw prayers out without intentionally asking for God's will to be done? How many of us can honestly say that when we pray we trust that God will answer our prayers? And how often do we get ahead of ourselves on the whole "daily bread" thing, worrying about tomorrow? James 1 reminds us that if we ask for something, we should "..believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

Double Minded.

Wow. We just got called out BIG time. Double minded - in essence we're two faced, hypocritical, saying one thing while practicing another. Our actions certainly don't match our words. I definitely fall prey to all of this, outwardly confident that the Lord will show up, while inwardly questioning, "will he really do it?".

So I started writing down the prayer requests I've presented before the Lord, and I've found a few things. For one, I have some miserably "failed" prayers, such as:

*prayers for some ridiculously unnecessary car
*prayers to be married by the time I was done with college
*prayers to be invited to certain "it" parties with the "in" crowd
*prayers for stuff that inevitably would cause more harm than good.

I say "failed" in parentheseis because these prayers were not failures, God just said "no". For He hears each and every one of our prayers - and He answers each one. But sometimes, the answer in no. However, of all the "failed" prayers, He's shown up time and time again in prayers, such as:

*the move to California (friendships, housing, ministry, growth, challenges - all of it)
*for friends and family to get jobs
*prayers of healing for brokenhearted friends
*financial blessings on those who need it most
*for successful relationships of my dear friends
*for reconciliation of family relationships
*for health, strength, direction, and vision for this life on earth
*quite simply for everything of the everyday (shelter, food, clothing, etc)

I could go on and on and on in the ways God has shown up in the requests I've laid before Him, yet for all the times he's shown up, I still doubt that He'll do it again. Our instantly gratified human minds can't grasp & often quickly forget the answered prayers.

So I challenge you with this friends - start writing your prayer requests down. Start making note of the prayers you've prayed, and take time to look back on them weeks or even months later. How has God responded? What has happened in each circumstance? Are there any requests that have yet to be answered clearly? Continue praying.

Pray without ceasing.

joyful in hope
patient in affliction

Faithful in Prayer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

In the Desert

Remember that blog I posted 2 posts ago, about being in the desert and not really understanding why? The feeling of numbness and no longer sensing and feeling the emotions in my life? Well.. it's funny how the Lord shows up sometimes. As I was driving home from an evening with some girlfriends last night, of course, I went for a drive down to the beach and sat in prayer with the Lord for awhile, processing the numbness and sense of "ugh" that sometimes overwhelms my life.

As I sat watching the waves come and go, I asked the Lord, "Why does it seem that even in the midst of the disappointments, the trials, the pains, the confusion of this life, even when you feel so distant, I still know you're there, wishing you'd just reveal yourself?" I prayed more, sat silently a little longer, and started on my journey home. I popped a random worship CD in, started listening... and broke down. The words and the emotion of this song so resonate with my life right now that I could barely drive. I pulled over again and just sat in the presence of God, knowing that He's still there, He's still in charge, He still has a plan for me. He still loves me, cares for me, and intimately wants good for me. In the midst of the pain and sorrow - He's there and He's worthy of my praise for his protection, care, provision, strength, encouragement and so much more.

If you have the opportunity, take a listen to "The Desert Song" by Hillsong. It will rock your world... much like it did mine...

This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is a God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

And this is my prayer in the battle
And triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be empited again
The seed I've recieved I will sow

Friday, May 7, 2010

One day, 24 hours, 1440 minutes...

I'm on a Matthew kick these days... reading the passages in The Message version of the Bible and gaining a whole new perspective on the scripture I've known for so long, yet never really grasped until now. Matthew 6 states:

"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met."

My favorite portion of this passage in found in the last verse... "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.". Oh my dear lanta... I'm SO that person. I get wrapped up in the "what if's" or the "someday's" of life, that I literally waste my life worrying about the hopes and dreams that may never come, instead of living today for the gift that it is.

I've learned much about myself over the last month - and one of the greatest things is that I've been way too uptight for way too long. Taking on too much stuff to prove myself, while watching my life literally waste away before my eyes And yet I still push to the next goal, the next milestone - an exhausting, never ending process of frustration and inevitable disappointment.

The amazing part is that God does care, He does love, and He does know all the ins and the outs of our lives. He knows the worries I have about my calling for my life on earth. He knows the burden of my heart for certain people in my life. He knows the joy and the frustation of my work. And He knows the deep desires of my heart to have a home to invite others into, to love on anyone He puts in my path, and to leave a legacy with my husband that will carry on generation after generation. And the best part... he's working ALL of these situations out, right now, for my good. Even if it means I have to wait and be patient. Even if it means it doesn't quite work out the way I've imagined it to. He's in the driver's seat of my life and He knows better than I do what I need and when I need it.

So I'm learning to become more "chill". I'm realizing that each moment of each day is a gift, and within each of those gifts lies an opportunity to be thankful or bitter. It's time I started choosing thankfulness over bitterness, forgiveness over resentment, peace and quiet over busyness, and time well invested in the lives of others over time wasted doddling on what may never come.

And I've learned that the less expectation we place on each other, the less pressure we put on ourselves to measure up to the Jones' down the street - the more joy and peace we have in our lives. When we become satisfied and grateful for what we do have (a home, a bed, a job, friends, family, etc) we begin to see God's presence in a brand new light. We begin to see His handiwork in every facet of our lives - in the good, in the bad, and in the mediocre. And we begin to live a life expectantly desiring what God's will is and going after it one day, one hour, one minute at a time.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

If I'm honest...

Brutal Honesty. If I'm honest with you I feel numb. And I've been numb for what feels like years. Numb from feeling and emotion. No longer do I cry or hope or long for anything. Nothing brings me joy or excitement, there's just this bizarre pressure on my heart each and everyday... and I'm numb.

Gone are the days for the excitement of the unknown. Gone are the hopes and dreams of something bigger. Gone are the visions of revival. I cry inside but the tears don't manifest on the outside. I plead, but still my heart feels nothing.

Gone... numb...

How am I supposed to hope when all the hopes lead to disappointments? How am I to dream when they're all unreachable facade's? How do I hear the voice of God amongst the voices of the world and satan constantly attacking me at every turn?

Gone... numb... how...

The choices always catch up to us. I've realized something over the past months in this state of haze, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to face it yet. Or maybe it's the idea that life is supposed to be easy, enjoyable, fun, that's got me so overwhelmingly frustrated. Because the fact is, life sucks sometimes. I literally walk around each day, and have been walking around for nearly a year with this haze over me, this blur that I can't see beyond. My life is wasting away before me, and I feel like I'm in slow motion watching it fly by. Here for a moment and then it's gone...

I can't move... frozen, numb, gone. All the hope that once resided has diminished, all the joy, all the emotion of life - is gone. And I pray for anything, something to make me feel again and I get no response. So I pray again... for a glimpse, an encouragement, anything. And again... silence. It's days, it's months, it's years of numbness... a desert of a life... dry, barren, void.

And I've learned something over the past 3 weeks - I have no idea who I am anymore. My life has been a constant battle to please those people in my life. Terrified of disappointing others, I've let people walk all over me for years. I've never defended myself or admitted to someone that they've hurt me... I've just let things slide each and every time. Allowing others to get off the hook for wounds so deep I've barely begun to heal from. My people pleasing self has gone so far that that I don't even know what I value anymore. I don't know what I like, what I want, what I desire. I don't know who I am. Which is the first step of this journey... processing, asking, analyzing what makes me who I am. And living my life the way God intended me to live it...

I just wish I had the eyes of God sometimes... to be able to see the little things at work that I can't seem to see in the everyday mush of life. I know that if I make God's desires my desires that He will give me those desires. I know that if I follow Christ daily, those visions and dreams will re-surface as it says in Jeremiah. I know that He's there... at work... but I don't trust that He's at work "for the good of those who love Him." It seems that my life has been filled with more battles than victories, more pains than joys, and more disappointments than triumphs. And I plead again - "something, God, anything... show up in my life in a mighty way."

But the pressures continue, the pressures to be perfect, to gain fame, fortune, and success. To be the Alpha Female that can handle anything without anyone's help. The pressure/responsibility to care for those who aren't being wise now, but expect me to fix their problems in the future. Pressure to be thin enough, smart enough, pretty enough, financailly successful enough, have enough degrees, enough certificates, enough training... Well I say ENOUGH to all of that! Because I don't want the fame, the fortune, the power, the money... I don't want the stuff that this world has to offer. I want the eternal, the stuff that lasts. I want relationships with others, I want to do ministry, I want to write and lead and speak to generations to come. I want MORE Jesus and LESS world.

And all I can do now is wait. Not the easiest thing to do.. .that's for sure. But wait I must, even when God is silent, and when He continues to be silent.. I wait. For everything from Him comes at His perfect time...

Gone... numb... how...


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Compassion Waits

Compassion... that little word that so many in this world never understand. How could someone still be kind and compassionate towards another who's hurt them in the deepest way? Why do certain people have a never ending capacity to show grace? What does it mean to have compassion for someone?

Well, compassion literally means to have mercy or a tenderheartedness towards someone who seems to have some misfortune. It also means that compassionate people often want to "fix" the problems in the pain stricken life of another. But alas, there's a problem with this... we can't fix other people's problems.

In reading a devotional by Chuck Swindoll this morning I was reminded that often we can't fix the problems of others just because we have compassion on them. No, often we need to show grace and love to the person as they take the time to process and figure out the issues they're facing. What God calls us to do in many situations is to "wait". Wait.... for what?

For God to show up in the lives of those around us. Wait until God tells us to stop. Be patient, kind, gentle to the person who's trying to sort things out. Listen attentively, but don't point the finger. Wait. Even if it means praying the same prayer for the same person for months or years. Wait. Even if it means giving up our desires for His plans. Wait. Even when it means pain and trials for us in the meantime. Wait on the Lord. He will tell you when it's time. He will pave the way for you at the appropriate moment.


We've lost the art of waiting. We've lost the practice of patience. We've lost sight of God's timing in situations. And we're frustrated. Frustrated when God doesn't give us what we so badly want. But what if the reason we don't have it right now is because He's got something to teach us in the meantime? Or what if he just wants to refine our Trust in Him from nothing to something substantial? Having our trust turn into knowing without a shadow of a doubt that God will show up in any and every situation - whether His answer is yes, no, or not yet.

What if we chose today to have compassion enough on others to wait on them and intercede for them as they face their struggles? Instead of forcing our thoughts and opinions down someone's throat, what if we chose to Trust God enough in the circumstance to show up in a powerful way in that persons life? That's why we're called to pray for those who cannot pray for themselves. And sometimes God places someone in our lives to refine our trust, our faith, and our character. So when the going gets rough, and that person is driving you crazy... wait.

Who or what are you waiting for?

And will you wait until God says go?

"I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned! In awe of the one who gave it all. I'll Stand my soul Lord, to you surrendered. All I am is yours!" - That's my prayer today Jesus - may I be completely surrendered and abandoned to your plans, your desires, your everything for my life. And let me trust your timing as I wait patiently for things to be revealed.