Sunday, January 24, 2010

Selfish girl.



I am so selfish sometimes. Sometimes is likely an understatement. I have heard so many heartbreaking prayer requests this week. Losing your mom to cancer, your dad a former minister involved in affair trying to divorce your mom, Haiti, not having source of income..and sometimes all I can think about is time management,what's for dinner, and ponder about a stupid boy..

I don't deserve anything I have. I take too much for granted. Something will come up, my health issues will flare up, I'll have a crazy homework assignment, whatever. Then I'll be begging God for His help once again. There is much truth to the line "I need Thee every hour". "Every" meaning times of joy and sorrow. All the time. I complain way too much. I whine, I think about myself more often than I should. I need to invite my neighbor over for tea, ask my students about THEIR lives, look for that lonely soul and listen, pray for an opportunity to give and serve. I know what I should do, why can't I release my sin nature and just be obedient?

You say let go, I say hold on, You say now, I say wait, you say try, I say give up, You say now, I say never, You say yes, I say no..

I am missing out on what I am called to do.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cloud 9. or maybe its a dream. Perhaps this could be real..

This week. Will be forever remembered. I have no words that can fully express my joy and gratitude to the Lord and his faithful servants. All in one week, all the details of my life worked out. I now have a second job which I applied for on monday,PCM**, a test taken, groceries bought, a third side-job, money from a family member, and a scholarship. Its seriously almost too much. I really can't express myself. All of the anxiety that came with last semester, every worry and fear taken away withing seven days. Unreal. Just unreal. God is providing everything. All my prayers, not wasted nor my tears and pain that was felt. Waiting on the Lord is never an easy assignment, but God is faithful. Beyond our imagination..

Suffering never seemed an easy road,
A path I wouldn't choose to follow,
but you called me down,
and there were no means of escape.
Frantically I searched for a way out,
getting lost along the way,
facing all fear, pain,rejection, and defeat,

I found myself asking the familiar question of why, and you answered,

No prayer in vain, not a single tear wasted, My mercies never cease, My faithfulness never ends, My love never fails, and all you need I still continue to provide

Being tested through the fire,
the feeling of being refined,
waiting is never an easy tasks,
emotions running high that can overtake you,
don't loose sight,
remember the joy that comes with the morning,
remember the words that were given to you..

No prayer in vain, not a single tear wasted, My mercies never cease, My faithfulness never ends, My love never fails, and all you need I still continue to provide

Finding hope among the situations most hopeless, Faith in the driest valley, Joy within the most bereaving sorrows..

No prayer in vain, not a single tear wasted, His mercies never ceased,His faithfulness never ended,His love never failed, and all I needed He still continues to provide..

Joy really does come with the morning..

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

An evening with Sara Groves.

I am about to say my prayers, and rest my head while hoping it clears up during the night. I am hoping that rest is in my body's agenda this evening.

I have had this weird cold all week, and last night it kept me up. I should be asleep, but I've been listening to Sara Groves for the past two hours and sucking on a another cough drop I wish I could meet her. Her lyrics make me think. They inspire me. I wish I could write like her. I appreciate the honesty she expresses in her songs. I know have potential to write honestly, but will I let myself? Am I restraining myself? In my head, I come up with any and every adjective to express my feelings, but to put my feelings onto paper is like making it official. I feel safe inside my head. Putting it down, even in my own private journal means I am admitting it to myself. As if I didn't already know. As is if keeping it inside my head protects me from myself, or anyone else. Honesty requires vulnerability which potentially leads to pain. Why should I fear myself? Am I afraid regrets and self-hatred that could result from me penning my thoughts? Ultimately, why should I fear God? Is that really what this could be? Perhaps a combination of both. Today my scripture reading (which I admit I have neglected the past few days as I continue in Genesis fell in Chapter 3 verses 8-13. It read about Adam and Eve's feelings right after their first sin. They knew God was in the garden, yet they still hid. They still tried to lie and blame one another, rather than admit their mistakes and be just honest with God. I find myself in this position many times. Why can't I just tell the simple truth? Is it really that simple? It should be. I complicate things, over analyze and make it worse than it really was.

Truth. Why do I wrestle with you? Can we not find middle ground on which to meet? Spare me the pain, and I'll let you out. Let me hold on to the parts which I know could devastate things, and you just give the bare minimal..we can make a compromise, it will all work out in the end right? Can't we both win that way? Yet pure truth, I know, I know, I can't keep part of you hidden. You say all or nothing. For you, there is no compromise. You require me to tell all. Why do you ask so much of me? Vulnerability takes so much effort, I am not sure I can do this. I know,I know, you desire me to tell all my secrets, all the hidden sin that lies within my heart. Do you not understand the pain which that will cause me? There is no easy road, no middle ground, no avoiding the scarring pain which lies ahead. You say It doesn't look pleasant, but in the end, dear truth, your telling me that there is redemption. I only did this to myself you say, but once I let go of you, once I set you free, it will sting and it will hurt for a while, but I will be healed in the end? I will be forgiven, and initial suffering will be all worth the joy and freedom to be experienced in the end? If there is truth to what you tell me, then maybe I can give this a try. I know, I know, its a call and a command,I must open up my heart and let the truth come out..

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Reflection day! or wait, Happy New Years Eve?

**This post was intended to be published on the 31, but got delayed in the middle of writing it..**

My title is deceptive. You thought I didn't know what day it was..

Ha. Gotcha.

Today closes off 2009. I love this day. It closes one year and starts another. One chapter finished, another begins. I love new beginnings and fresh starts. Well, that's how I look at it. This is one of my favorite days of the year. I enjoy sitting back and reflecting on the past year. The changes, good and bad, and most of all the lessons I have learned and looking at how far I've come. I also like to look into the future and attempt to see what the next year might hold for me. I mean, one can never be too sure and I can't predict the future, but I want to have hope in the new year. I sort of follow the "new years" resolutions, but not the typical make a list of "to-do". It's more looking at what happened in the present year and using that to help guide my future. I learn from experience therefore I resolve to help course my future off of those experiences. So here it is, the 2009 reflection post. Might as well make my time useful as I wait for my soup to finish cooking.

Let's start with January..
Uh, the big move. Moody and Chicago. What a way to kick off a new year. Moving states, schools, majors, and um, climate. No job, no friends. Never even been to Moody or Chicago. That naturally changed my life. I have never made a permanent move to another state, especially not the North Midwest amidst one of the biggest cities in the United States. I remember journaling a lot about loneliness. I also went in with a pre-conceived notion of how things would run for me at moody. I'd find a job withing a few weeks, ace all my classes.. um, yeah no. I hated the cold, classes were hard, and I felt completely out of place.

February-More cold. More snow. Learning founders week. Catering job and babysitting job both occurred this month, and both came from nowhere. God's provided unexpectedly. Joined my floor's ministry team. Met some wonderful people and relationship building began. Ran my 1st 5k! Got re-hired with student life for the summer. Also, the diagnosis of the food allergies began. I went in for my Asthma and was tested positive for lactose intolerance. Never in a million years did I imagine that..little did I know there was more.

March-Spring break, home!super busy break, catching up with old friends. Go back to school, and go on a wonderful retreat that helped build even stronger relationships

April-Really loving Chicago! Spring begins to creep in and I saw the city without snow for the first time. Began taking trips to Lake Michigan and running outside more often. Return to the doctor, no soy, gluten and begin meds for acid reflux.

May-Finding it hard to part from Chicago! I made it through my 1st semester! I went home for one week before heading to Birmingham. My sweet friend Bridget got married and I was able to attend the wedding! I got asked out 2 times in one week, and learned to handle both well, considering I am bad at that. One was a good experience, the other not. I learned what a gentlemen looks like. Headed out to Student Life.

June-learning my new job was difficult. I also decided the gluten was too hard on the road, so i went back making me sick, and with terrible mood swings. bad idea. Traveled to Missouri, North Carolina,South Padre Texas. Still trying to fit in with the team.

July-Texas to Ohio, to Virginia, to Missouri, to Colorado. Learned a very hard lesson in relationships. Once again, loved colorado. made some good friends on the team. Learned alot about Compassion International and Faith N. changed my life. She taught me how to love and I became more passionate about Compassion after seeing her life. Turned 21 in the beautiful mountains! Experienced true dislike and exclusion for the first time in my Christian life. Very hard.

August-still in Colorado, finally return home for a week and a half. Crack down on my Independent study class while trying ot visit family and friends. Take my sister to Houston and fly back to Chicago the next day. Depression sinks in. Classes start.

September-start nannying again, search for a second job. Student teaching for PCM begins. Fighting hard despression. Many a nights crying in my room. Classes pick up. Went off gluten again, and health improves significantly. Depression starts to fade, and with the help of wonderful friends and the Lord's guidance I make it through. Learned to forgive those who caused pain this summer. Joined Gospel choir.

October-finally start really being around people again. had to attend a funeral for a young girl of 3. Failed my first college exam. humbled. forced myself to "get help" from the Prof. Making new friends. Missions conference. Internship search process begins. First Moody missions conference. Feeling more pressed to reach the lost. Retreat on Halloween, some of the most fun I had in while, was introduced to filafel :)

November-Classes are heavy, PCM struggles. Friendships are strengthening. I begin making friends with my professors (nerd) and learning alot from them. My internship choice number one falls apart, because of health I must stay in the states. My choices are in Dearborn and Detroit MI. No gluten is getting easier. Ultrasound finds nothing, so next step is colonoscopy. Suprise ticket home for thanksgiving!

December-wrap up semester. 3 job interviews, nothing. Mom loses job. Trying to get internship paperwork started. move rooms, 5 finals, and a barely paid first school payment. Off-meal plan. However, God begins to work in my heart through all these things. Home for 3 weeks

To sum it up, my year has been good. Definitely had its set of challenges. I have learned alot about my health, and through it have been trusting the Lord, and ministering to others with it. I am learning grace and humility though this as well. Fighting a huge round of depression. Learned to share my testimony openly with others. Burdened for the lost, praying for opportunities. Relationships, I have learned so much. Had my heart broken as I broke someone else. maybe more than one..learning to be content in singleness and also how to let others come in. Can patience and humility ever be fully achieved? I don't think so. God continues to teach me those things in different ways. Learning to love those who hate you is really hard! Especially if they claim to be believers. The struggles this year have all been worth it. 2009 has been a great year. One more year closer to the Lord, for who is to say how many more we have left? Learning to live in love, and to live a life in God. Letting go of my fear of failure and learning from my mistakes.

I fully embrace 2010, its highs and challenges. I am learning to quietly sit at the feet of Jesus daily, preparing for each new day that comes. Memorizing the word and studying it. I don't know what each day holds, but I am excited. I am ready to learn. Each new lesson, Each new trial, Each new pain, Each new joy, each new celebration, I am ready. I have lots of hopes, dreams and expectations, but I know His ways are still higher, and many may the plans be in my heart but Its only the Lord's who prevails. I am a planner, but I can only plan so much. I am grateful to have lived another year, and Lord willing will see through another. 2010, welcome.