Thursday, December 30, 2010

always running away...

Where do I go, from here?
How do I move, from this place?

This place of utter brokenness and despair, undeniable shame. What have I done, but ran from You?

You are enough. Isn't that so?

So why do I choose to beckon words to be heard from another in Your place?
Why do I race to find comfort in Your people, instead of falling into your open, loving arms?

All is easier said than done, in this battle raged upon my soul and trembling heart.
Moments are claimed, when I have it all together, everything inside composed, all in one piece.
Seconds pass, when I find myself amidst shards of broken glass, my heart, everything in pieces.

Here I am, not put together, not in one piece.
Here I am, lost and found.
Here I am, broken and mended.
Here I am, alone and Your's.

Here I am, take all of me.
So that I might see past the smoke, and find the truest and purest of all loves, Your love, alone.

I cannot reckon that anyone will ever fill my emptiness. I cannot reckon that anyone will ever know me, as I am known by You. I cannot reckon that anyone will ever love me, as I am loved by You.

I want to love You more. I want to spend, and gladly be spent for You. I want to be right where You are.

I don't have everything together. Yet, I have a heart full of hopes and dreams to do something, be something more for You. Take all of me, so that everyone will know-will know Your name. Because You loved, You loved a people, undeserving.

I just can't bear to see You, left behind anymore. I just can't bear to know that You aren't thought of in my every waking moment. You took my place. It's time that I begin to live truly, live fully alive. It's time that my heart, my life, is a living sacrifice, a testament. It's time that I bear Your markings, more than upon my wrist. It's time that people know that nothing will deter me from giving You my everything, loving You, with everything.

"The Lord protects the simple;
when I was brought low, He saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest,
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.
I walk before the Lord in the land of living.
I kept my faith, even when I said,
"I am greatly afflicted." Psalm 116: 8-10

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

empty of words, stumbling through prayer. .

Stumbling onto the page, again. . .
She sits and stares at the white-washed screen,
begging for your long-lost words to be seen.


Nothing glares back at her.

Nothing at all.

But her thoughts cannot seem to stall,
with the time it takes in between,
the lengthening scenes.

Days seem like years,
and her heart is battling those very same fears.

Dreams have been dreamed,
and thoughts have been thought.

Her heart's cry this very night, "what can you make of this?
Is there something I could have missed?"

It is a wound that is deep, and a scar companied with years.
It is a battle that has been fought with many, many tears.
It is a girl's heart that has been spent,
with just thoughts, at what this all has meant.

And the days seem like years,
and her heart is battling those very same fears.

You have chosen her to love the children, the people,
everyone beneath Your steeple. . .

Does her heart matter in the grand scheme of things?
Should she be a girl graced with one of those dainty, beautifully picked rings?

A lot of thinking these past few days, without accomplishing much, or so it seems.

I almost gave up to sleep tonight, rather than stopping here to record these inner ramblings of a trembling heart.

I almost gave up to sleep, rather stopping to breathe, to just breathe- to be with my Maker.

Because sleep is just so much easier, than acknowledging the battle that I have fought to rid myself of so long ago, as being a part of who I am, today.

It is a night when I don't know how to pray, but I am begging the Holy Spirit to intercede for me.

I just want to be where You are, in Your presence.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The light of Heaven shines, where you are...

It's that time of year. The time of year, most greatly welcome with hearts brimming over in undeniable joy. That time of year, where memories are made beneath the lights of a tree, the candlelight beaming throughout a full sanctuary, the arms of a family's love, the distinct blessing that all is well, because God is graciously, abundantly, always enough.

This year, I experienced the altogether blessing of Christmas. The beautiful joy that comes with this season. If you know me, you know that this means a lot coming from me. The past few years, this time of year has held nothing special, if only instead it has been a time where pain seemed all the more glaringly prominent. The hospital became the home away from home, tears would fall without warning over losing or almost losing someone dear in our lives, tension robbed our hearts of normalcy. Brokenness was my family.

This year, God has given me holidays that bring me to joyful tears. It's as though He has been whispering, "I know you couldn't handle anymore holidays with lost hope. I know you needed to be able to look back on these last few moments with your family with utmost fondness. So here you are, darling girl of mine, here's for holding out hope, for clinging to me with clenched fingers. I have heard your cries. Here you are when the days on the field leave you missing home. Remember your father sitting in his chair, alive and well, laughing at Home Alone 2, your mother with tears in her eyes declaring that was the greatest present she has ever been given, your church being lit by candlelight- with your pastor singling you out in a crowd of thousands pledging prayer for your years to come, your family of four whole, mended, but no longer broken. Tears of joy in the eyes of all, not sorrow. These are your's to remember when the days seem to be more than you can bear. I have heard you. I hear you and I see you. I know you. I know that you needed a Christmas where the light of heaven shined upon you. I know that you needed your family together, with a bond strengthened by the years past. I know that you needed silence to be broken, so that is why I graced you with one last gift. Take heart, for I am always with you, here and on the field to come."

All I can say is this is a Christmas to remember. And if you are out there and a hospital has became a home, depression has taking its' toll on you or someone in your family, if all you can feel is loss and pain taking hold of you. I pray that tonight, You will be reminded that it is enough to cling to Him. He is enough. I pray that you would be comforted that You have a Maker who knows where you are, He knows who you are. Heaven's light shines upon you. There is still hope. There is always hope. You are not alone in this.

So dear Maker, take hold of this child whose eyes have fallen upon a rambling of words, take hold of the daughter struggling to see that in light of everything, all that has been lost, that You are enough, take hold of the son who has fallen out of your light and ran from your sight out of fear that he'll never be enough, take hold of your daughters and sons this very night. . .may Your presence become all the more evident upon their hurting hearts, may they see that their very wounds and hurts are not discounted in Your eyes, that everything the hurt, the joy, the pain, the beauty, everything matters to You. They matter to You. This very night hope is found, because Heaven's light shines upon even this, even these hearts.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Within Reach

You are stronger. It’s a truth that with each passing day seems to grow within me.

I’ve known my share of goodbyes and reckoned with the price of heartbreaking pain. I’ve lingered at the thought of letting go and laying down, when life seemed to get the best of me. I’ve ran from you and resisted Your voice within, with all that I am. I’ve fallen prey to the lies that somewhere along the way, You left me, without hope, without reason, without the strength to move on. I’ve given in to the doubts that I am not good enough, and will never be. I’ve clung to people in Your place and…scarcely have I wanted to let go easily.

In the midst of all that I have done and all that I am; Your steadfast love never ceases, Your mercies are new every morning. I’ve failed You. I’ve written you off and chosen to flee when everything seemed to be falling apart, time and again.

But I was never too far out of Your reach…I was always within it.

For all of this, tears of thanksgiving are beginning to fall down my cheeks, because my every cry has been heard. Despite my running and all of my misgivings, I am loved. Despite everything I have done, You love me. You love this daughter whose hope was once lost, whose voice was once unheard, whose reason was once overshadowed. You spoke life into me through Your word, Your time, and Your beautiful people. And every last one, whether in present or past, rest upon my heart to this day. Tonight, it’s a prayer for them. For each and every one. That they might know You and all of Your love. That they might reckon with the doubts, the pain, the past and find they were and always will be within Your loving reach, as You beckon them home.

And I’ll stand with heart abandoned, because all I am, is Your’s. It’s Your’s. Only Your’s.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

endure. . .

I've been seeing the following word quite a bit lately: Endure.

With each sight of this word, my heart draws strength from somewhere deep within. It's a battle. Yes, it's a battle. My Maker never said it would be otherwise. He knew the nights of my tears; He knew the cries of anguish that would burden my heart and try to keep me from moving. All in all, I find this to be greatly comforting. More than anything, really. . .my God knows me. He holds me. He is enough for me.

Sure, there are days when He doesn't seem to be enough. There are days when I doubt that He is even with me. There are days when I am weary of fighting anymore. There are days when all I can do is look about me and declare hopelessness and love as being completely lost upon me.

But in the midst of these days. All of my days: He is faithful. Yes, He is always faithful.

My Mom has a quote on the refrigerator that reads: If you believe your God is enough, then you'll always have enough, because you'll always have God.

At times, I forget this. I say He is enough in my mind, but fail to believe it in my heart. Loneliness creeps in and tempts to overtake my heart and rob me of my faith. Doubts settle and tell me that there is something wrong with who I am, and that is why to this day, at twenty-three I still have yet to experience a date, a boyfriend, a hand holding my own. With the doubts and loneliness come the tears and fears, the blurred vision of seeing my Father reach out His hand to me and beckon me home. It is in these moments, that I lose sight that He is enough. It is in these moments, that I feel completely and utterly alone... Where is my Maker? Why has He left me?

Where is my Maker?

He is right beside me. He has tears in His eyes and He is whispering, "Beloved daughter, I am here, why can't you see me? I am enough for you. Trust me. It is enough. You are enough. So won't you endure. I'll endure it with you."

Maybe you need to hear these words tonight. Maybe you don't, maybe everything is fine, you have hopeful eyes and a joy brimming within your heart. Maybe you need to stow them away to read again, when you are facing the desert. Wherever you are, I pray that you know that You are never too far out of His reach. That you are known and dearly loved.

Dearheart, endure. You are not alone. You will never walk alone. I am enough for you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

facing rejection

Sometimes there are just days when the battle seems that all is lost, when life seems too much to bear, when all you can do is just cling to the hope that you know is promised. Sometimes the comfort a friend offers, mentioning a common understanding, does nothing to heal the ache in your heart. Because there are times when they don't understand. There are times when they are in a different place than you are. There are times when they have hope, and your's is lacking.

All this to say. Thankfully, we have a Saviour who knows our rejection. A Saviour who hears our cries from Heaven. A Saviour who knows us, who gets us. A Saviour who hasn't left and isn't leaving.

I have been dealt many goodbyes in this life, the life of a vagabond, a traveler. With these goodbyes, some friendships have been lost; some have been left to collect dust with fond memories. Yet in everything, my God has been here, and here He remains.

Sunday morning was a battle just to get to church. It was a day when the Enemy tried everything he could to stop me from making the trek into my Father's house. And lo and behold, the message was practically taken from the book "Captivating." Highlighting the pain and the hurt that comes from being a woman who declares herself unloved and unworthy, left to live this life alone. A woman scarred with rejection.

A message that left me in tears, vulnerable to any onlooker, but the tears wouldn't stop. Throughout the entirety of the message, my heart knew it was written for me. Because I had all but forgotten or truly never seen that my Saviour knows me, knows my very rejection.

There is a price that comes with vision. A price that comes with dreams. Sometimes we aren't one to acknowledge the price. Sometimes we and everyone else will just claim that all is well, and all shall be well. We will overlook the wait, in hopes for a sudden answer, a balm for our hurt. Sometimes we will just disguise ourselves to be okay, "sure I'm fine, I am stronger than that now. I let that go long ago." When truthfully on the inside, we are crying out, because for some reason it's still a struggle to think that we might have to live this life alone, to think that we are still not where we thought we would be.

Our Saviour knows us. He knows our rejection. He knows how to reach us when we were are crying with invisible tears. Whether it is a Sunday message, or an article our hearts stumble upon online, or elsewhere. He knows how to reach our hearts and reminds us that we will never walk alone.

"I thought I was ready, but I wasn't prepared for what He was calling me to yet. I needed to struggle, I needed to doubt. I needed to let go of the controls. If God called me to do this, He would open the doors, not me. And at the same time, somewhat paradoxically, I needed to have unwavering resolve to pursue the vision He put in me. What happens when your dreams don't happen easily, quickly or how you thought they would? How do you deal with the delay? It's in those seasons our foundation is laid. Our response determines everything else.

A lot of people give up. They get distracted. They get packed social schedules. They choose an easier path and eventually the dream that once consumed them fades away. If something comes easily and without sacrifice, it's rarely significant.

God has put dreams in each of us, something we can contribute to the world that no one else can. What your's? And what are you doing today to pursue it?

If your dream is worth doing, it won't be easy. But rather than give up when obstacles arise, push through. Embrace the process. Embrace how you'll change." -Cameron Strang, RELEVANT

"He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion." Philippians 1:6

You are His, dear heart. "He is the keeper of your heart." He is at work in you. Your heart matters, so much so that when you are hurting. . . He bears the pain of your rejection with you. He knows you. He understands, when no one else will.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Maker's Love

I stumbled upon this beautiful post written by Jamie, TWLOHA, yesterday and I felt compelled to share it. It's so fitting for where I am and where I have been and I can't help but think that maybe, you need to read these words too. So here you are:

"I wonder if it's possible to get to a place of being thankful for your story, for the dreams that feel fractured, for things we loved but lost. I wonder if it's possible to get to a place of believing that we are shaped by all of it, that we are stronger and wiser for what we've walked through. What if the things that ended - the things that broke and break your heart - what if it was the end of a chapter but the story keeps going? What if life comes back? What if love comes back? What if you would not be who you are and you would not know what you know if not for all those sleepless nights?

I'm starting to believe those things, that the best is yet to be, that life comes back, that the dreams that live inside me are there for a reason, that life is not just a tragedy, not just a story about losing. It is also a story of surprises and grace and hope coming back, of conversations and moments that feel like miracles.

I share this quote every night on stage but it's taken on a new meaning lately. I've been reflecting on it off stage, sharing it with friends and believing it more than ever.

"I suppose that since most of our hurt happens in relationships, so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense to those looking in from the outside."

- The Shack by Paul Young

I should probably be falling asleep before the work morning comes all too soon, but I have words on my heart that are begging to be written and be acknowledged. This Thanksgiving was the first Holiday without tears in four long heart-wrenching years. The first Holiday where I could relish in the quaint simplicity my sweet family offers, spent in laughter and joy, rather than worry and pain. I struggle with Holidays and have since my Grandfather left us a week after Christmas when I was a junior in high school.

They have always had loss attached to them since then. . . A story that will be left unspoken, until another time. Yet, this Thanksgiving it was almost as though God was wanting me to see what the Holidays could be, the joy that most every one associates with just mere talk of the time of year. . . And since this will probably be my last Thanksgiving with my family before I am off to pursue this life He has set me apart for . . . He created memories that I could look back upon fondly, memories that would spur me to keep moving in the days of coming loneliness as I embark on my journey.

I have a thankful heart.

A heart that has been told of the secret of love. A heart that has been told that on the days of sorrow and pure joy my Maker is always enough. A heart that has been revived and reminded that there is hope, ever still. A heart that is akin to loss, love, pain and joy. A heart that can reckon that each and every moment of my life was orchestrated and apart of His good and perfect plan.

I have a thankful heart today. Sure, there were days when I felt that You surely had left me, but now I see You were just as present then, as You are now. Thank You, for tearing down the walls of my heart. Thank You, for Your beautiful people who have poured themselves into my life. Thank You, for my dear family. Thank You, that there is still four of us. Thank You, for pain. Thank You, for LOVE.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

These past few days have been an absolute whirlwind of emotions:

Awakened to a sudden sadness that stole my very breath.

Encouraged by the hope that You're all I ever needed.

Abandoned and left to memories of what once was.

Wounded with an oppressing ache of loneliness.

Sheltered in the arms of my Maker, who never leaves, and always loves.

Overjoyed at where You are taking me.

Tuesday, I fell asleep soundly. Wednesday, I awakened to an undeniable sense of grief, emptiness, loss. A pain so harsh that my knees felt weak and too feeble to step out from the covers, be awakened from sleep. My heart felt paralyzed, abandoned, empty. . . I couldn't put words to my sadness, the ache that closed in around me. I still can't. A part of me still, and will always be with you. It's a journey from here, and on into freedom. He is my Shelter, my refuge, my very strength. He is my reason on the days of all-encompassing sorrow, and brimming joy. He is enough for the heartache, the wounds, the emptiness. He is more than enough for all of me.

The enemy tells me that I'm not enough, that the fleeting feeling is all I will ever experience. That I'll never have a hand to hold. That I should just lay down on the coming Wednesdays of my life and just not move any further. Because I will always be left to fight alone. And what are these? LIES.

My Maker has tears in His eyes when the lies take hold. He whispers ever so gently, "Little Girl, I am not, I won't let go. When the shards of brokenness leave you empty, when the ache of your heart takes away your breath, when the thoughts of what could have been are all that you have left. . . take heart, and don't fall prey to his lies, that all that awaits you is demise. You are my beloved. You are beautiful. You are known. You are not your own. There is shelter, there is rest, there is refuge.. here in My arms of love."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces."
Gerard Manley Hopkins

I am sitting here quite in awe of my Maker. Captivated by all He is and what He has done.
He's taken a girl, once wary and uncertain of speaking out, consumed with doubt. . .
that He would use me. That He would love me. That I could move for Him. That I could give up love for Him. That my calling was too big for my heart to bear.

And what has He done? But lead me into His Word, His arms of love. Where peace was found. Where waiting became welcomed, instead of unwanted. Where faithfulness is evident. "I am restless, until I rest in You."

She was lost in Your words. . .
and then Your tears were heard-
falling from the clouded sky.
You were acknowledging her wound,
because it didn't pass You by.

The teardrops on her window,
was Your delicate way of saying You know-
of the moments,
her heart has been spent.
of the dire need,
for affirmation, mere acknowledgement.
of the fragile state...
the wait.

But You are God of the broken people,
wounded, once off Your easel.
You are a mender of hearts and their million pieces;
You are God, and Your love never ceases.

You know the ache of being unloved,
and You had the strength to look up.
You know loss,
and its' cost.

And to think that You know and love all of me, that You see. . .
that I am not alone, never will be,
is something altogether beautiful and beyond me.

I found out today, that I have been accepted into an internship with NOE International starting in March. I will be teaching English, loving His children. I will finally be home in my beloved country, Mexico. It's been a long time coming. He is faithful. His timing is perfect. And suddenly, I am little girl giddy with ideas of newsletters, support raising, brimming with tears of joy and hope.

My God is taking me home.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

In the shelter of each other we will live. . .

Life has taken at toll on me these past couple of weeks. . .

But in the midst of undeniable pain, my God has met me constantly right where I am. Even on the days when my eyes have just wanted to fall to the ground and do anything but look up to Him; He has lifted me up and held me close.

Tears fell as I listened to Aaron Shust sing a song I had heard so many times before, but what felt like for the very first time: "My Saviour lives, My Saviour loves, My Saviour's always there for me." Following that song he went on to tell a story of a man who traveled to India and asked Mother Theresa to pray that he would find clarity. She replied, "You need not pray for clarity. You need to trust. I will pray that you will trust."

So many days have lately been spent in the company of both silence and of dear friends with tears crying out for clarity. How applicable to me, it was and still is.

In these past few weeks I have had to look to Him; I have had to trust Him more than ever before. I have had to acknowledge with both my head and my heart that He is enough. He is more than enough for me. In the wake of pain, heartache, He is enough. Always, enough.

"And it’s out of my hands, it was from the start

In light of what you’ve done for me

In light of what you’ve done for me

You lifted my head, set me apart

In light of what you’ve done for me

This is what you’ve done for me

It’s out of my hands

It’s out of my hands"

I recently stumbled upon Jars of Clay's new album, Shelter, which was inspired by a series of essays written by various authors. The lyrics have been perfectly fitting for me. To know that it's all out of my hands and to be able to rest in that truth, is something altogether beautiful.

These past few days I have had to give things up and pursue others. I have had to trust and stop begging and fighting for clarity. I have found my Father in the words of a well-known song, and a mixture of altogether new ones. I have found my Father in the words of His own writing that have often gone overlooked and misunderstood. I have stumbled upon the goodness of His love, all the more these days, and my eyes have once again seen the beauty in the breaking, and the taking.

"In the shelter of each other the people live."

To all who are looking down

Holding onto hearts still wounding

For those who’ve yet to find it

The places near where love is moving

Cast off the robes you’re wearing

Set aside the names that you’ve been given

May this place of rest in the fold of your journey

Bind you to hope, you will never walk alone

In the shelter of each other, we will live, we will live

In the shelter of each other, we will live, we will live

Your arms are all around us

If our hearts have turned to stone

There is hope, we know the rocks will cry out

And the tears aren’t ours alone

Let them fall into the hands that hold us

Come away from where you’re hiding

Set aside the lies that you’ve been living

May this place of rest in the fold of your journey

Bind you to hope that we will never walk alone

If there is any peace, if there is any hope

We must all believe, our lives are not our own

We all belong

God has given us each other

And we will never walk alone

Isaiah 54:5-7, 10:

"For your Maker is your husband—

the LORD Almighty is his name—

the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;

he is called the God of all the earth.

The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—

a wife who married young, only to be rejected," says your God.

For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with deep compassion I will bring you back.

Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,"
says the LORD, who has compassion on you."

There are doors opening that I have been waiting for for years. The field is not as far off, as it once was.

And my heart is speechless, overwhelmed and absolutely joyful.

My eyes fell upon these few lines in last night's reading:

"You-you-were worth dying for.

And you are beautiful.

You are holy.

You are free."

"It's out of my hands. It was from the start. You've lifted my head. You've set me apart. . ."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Heavily Burdened

her feet want to pick up the pace, and follow her heart
there has been a wait here, but everything within just wants to set out, to start-
to unfold the beginnings of a journey unknown,
to bask in the glory of it all, that You long to be shown
to reunite with the part of her that has been lost,
no matter how great the cost.

it's a struggle and a daily fight,
the days seem to be getting closer and more in sight...
but there are still bits and pieces that need to be refined,
and it's all she can do to be in the moment, because Mexico may be out of sight, but it never has been out of mind.

there's a constant pull to run home,
there's a constant pull to cease to roam,
there's a constant reel of images, keeping her company,
there's a constant longing to just be-
to be apart of something bigger and grand...
to take part in everything, that You have perfectly planned.

the routine and the lists must have her attention,
but it is getting harder these days, to even give them an honorable mention.
when the brown-eyed beauties are holding her heart,
despite the distance, and them, being so far apart.
when she is lost in the comforts of her memories,
and they, become all she sees.

she is waiting, but there's a readiness within her, more than ever before,
there's a longing to move home and see everything that You have in store.
to reach for the hands of the beautiful deep chocolate-eyed children,
to pick up their pieces and carry them.
to hold the mothers, who feel lost and all alone,
to remind them that they are not their own.

for that day when her heart can rest in knowing that she is there to stay,
without having to prepare herself for the visit's final day...

For that day, when her feet and her heart are finally, in the same place.

Today is one, where I feel that nothing is accomplished, where I have been lost in the memories and the hopes of tomorrow. I just can't gather the courage and the fight to finish what has been set before me. The idea of having three essays and three tests in front of me no longer seems to be a feasible feat, but instead scares me. Yes, it scares me. Three essays and three tests scare this college graduate into an abyss of avoidance. So I willingly choose to come here, to this haven of mine, rather than sitting down and telling myself that it can and will be accomplished. Today. It can and will be accomplished today.

I'm a mess, I tell you. An absolute mess. And there are days, when I can put up quite the disguise, but today had you been around me...I think you would have been able to tell otherwise. I just take more on these days, rather than let things go. I fear complacency in one place, so I choose to take on something else simultaneously. I have moments when I feel courageous, and then I feel weakened and empty to the very core. Two jobs and two classes are getting the best of me....

Because there is a dire readiness in my heart and soul that just wants to go home, to get the field that stole a piece of my heart, eight years ago. To get there, always looking up, without looking back...

A veces te fallé, mas tú fuiste fiel,
Tu gracia me levantó, me basta tu amor,

Dios eterno, tu luz por siempre brillará
Y tu gloria, incomparable sin final.

A Night Like This:

It’s a Tuesday night. A quiet, still Tuesday night. A night not without plans, until just a couple of minutes ago. When suddenly, the phone conversation was declared to have been one-sided if we kept the tradition…and the skype session was deemed impossible with the failing internet.

I am not going to tip-toe and flail into a drama frenzy, instead I am going to look up. Because this place that I am in, this very moment, is exactly where God wants me. This past week I spoke to my friends, many times in tears, that my heart, my feelings seemed to be getting the best of me. That I just couldn’t find the balance I knew was there all along. My voice trembled and shook with the riveting heartache of not knowing if this is from Him.

I have struggled and still remain to be struggling with where I am. This place is so unfamiliar. I don’t know where I am going; it’s fair to say that I don’t even know what I am doing. And yes, this night of broken plans doesn’t solve everything. It isn’t a quick fix. I don’t see the remedy glaring back at me. But what has been accomplished is that I once again, have gently been reminded that to Him, I should go. When I am faced with tears, hurt, struggles, joy, love…that I should run to Him. First and foremost. I look to other people rather than looking up, more often than not. And tonight, God took away those options and my eyes looked up.

And there’s shame. Shame because God had to take them away from me, for me to give Him my full, true attention. Why is this a constant fight for me? My God loves me. He loves me. He saw fit to bring me into this life and place me in His plan for a greater purpose, than my own. He takes me back. Time and again, my Father waits for me, He beckons me onward and into His arms. And I run. I run faraway from Him and into the arms of another.

So what am I left with tonight? A heart that is speechless, because my Father pursues me. A heart that is full, because my God is enough for me. A heart that is sure, because my God is my hope, the anchor to my soul. A heart that is broken, because my God delights in me. A heart that is alive, because my Father breathes life into me. A heart that though weary, broken, torn, misunderstood, and weak is a heart that still matters to Him.

I don’t have everything figured out. I won’t ever have everything figured out. Yet, I can look back on a night like this and know that my God is for me, that He will sustain me. I can look back on a night like this and know that come what may, my God will be here, that He isn’t leaving me. If I must give up everything for Him, everything even love, I will. Because I don’t want to miss nights like this one. I don’t want to give anyone His place. Only He is deserving. Only He is worthy. Only He is enough. No one. Not one will ever satisfy the hunger my heart knows, the emptiness my heart has felt. No one. Not one.

“Because God so deeply desires unbroken fellowship with us, He loves us right where we are, regardless of how entrenched in sin we’ve become. However, He loves us far too much to just leave us there.”

Friday, October 1, 2010

the way i see it...

It's a weird feeling...going from bustling busyness and constant company to this, a quiet Friday night by myself, lost in thought. Although I wouldn't change anything.

I think, well I know, that God is gracing my heart with peace, a peace that can leave what I once knew and called home, a peace that can remind my heart that I can be still amidst everything unknown. There is a gentle peace that wasn't here before and it might just be that before, I was looking to everything and everyone else.
I wasn't looking up.

Yet, if I have learned anything, it is that no matter how hard I try I cannot hold onto people. I can love them with all that is within me, I can fight for them on my knees...but in every instance, there comes a time when I just have to hold them out in my hands and give them over to Him, cause that is where that belong. We belong to Him.

"You cannot hold onto anything that wants to go. Do you understand what I'm saying? You just got to love it while you got it, and that's that." Maybe it should be written- that we cannot hold onto anything that God wants us to let go. It's something I fight daily and just when I think that maybe I have finally come to terms with it, I falter. I look backwards. I justify my reasoning, instead of looking up.

I am not saying that I am moving on and leaving everyone behind. Rather, I am giving God, the place that He has deserved all along. I am learning the art of going to Him with my pain, my fears, and my doubts. I am learning that He is always going to be here, and that is such a beautiful the midst of the seasons, because the seasons will change.

I don't want to keep running from my Maker. I don't want to lose myself in life, for my cause.

I want to run to Him on the lonely nights and the nights of unremitting tears. I want to become lost in Him. I want to lose myself all for love's cause. I want to become broken and poured, and not let this calling of mine become ignored.

There is nothing like Him. There is no one like Him. If I don't choose to look up, my heart will remain empty. If I don't choose to look up, my company will be misery. If I don't choose to look up, there will be an ease to give up, to lay down. If I don't choose to look up, I will lose sight of all of the pretty things, the beauty about me. If I don't choose to look up, the light will fade with the heartache and the pain. If I don't choose to look up, I won't be able to choose life. So I will look up, because I know that You are more than enough. I know that YOU are the ONLY exception. Nothing compares to Your love. No one. Not one.

So in this moment, this very place. I surrender.

"I'm giving you my heart, and all that is within
I lay it all down for the sake of you my King

I'm giving you my dreams,
I'm laying down my rights
I'm giving up my pride for the promise of new life

And I surrender all to you, all to you
And I surrender all to you, all to you

I'm singing You this song, I'm waiting at the cross
And all the world holds dear, I count it all as loss

For the sake of knowing You for the glory of Your name
To know the lasting joy, even sharing in Your pain."
You brought me out of silence. You brought me out of pain. You brought me out of darkness. YOU brought me out, when I was running...You met me and my brokenness and You took a hold of me and said, "it's gonna be alright." You have done this time and again. You are constant, steadfast. YOU ARE FAITHFUL.

The little girl in me that trembles at love is going to reckon with her past, and tonight she is just going to surrender. It's all Your's, God. Everything is Your's. I am Your's.

I hear you breathing in
Another day begins
The stars are falling out
My dreams are fading now, fading out

I've been keeping my eyes wide open
I've been keeping my eyes wide open

Ooh, your love is a symphony
All around me, running through me
Ooh, your love is a melody
Underneath me, running to me

Oh, your love is a song

With my eyes wide open
I've got my eyes wide open
I've been keeping my hopes unbroken

I surrender it all here. I don't know what will become of me, or where I am. I do know that I can trust that You have my best interests at heart. I can trust that I matter to you. I can trust that my heart matters. Because Your love is a symphony, it is more than enough for me.

..the whole world has an aching heart, it's up to me to use my voice, and do my part.

so i surrender all to You, all to You.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fighting for HOPE.

So my eyes beheld a weariness just a little over a week ago. My spirit had seemed to be weakening with the passing of each day. My footsteps became slower and more intentional, because moving just a step forward took everything from within me. And then...

Then I was able to pack my bags and look forward, rather than behind.

I was able to board a plane and leave what my life has become, behind me for a week, without looking back.

I was able to return to a home of mine, and there, I was able to love His people, that I love to love.

I was able to venture to see a dear, beautiful friend of mine that I hadn't seen in 501 days.

I was able to relish in coffee outings, taco stands, smoothies, shopping, church, photo shoots, sunsets, tattoos with some of my closest friends.

I was able to be still and sit for awhile in beloved company. I was able to dance in the parking lot and not be ashamed.

I was able to bask in my Father's presence with beautiful people. I was able to cry and be held. I was able to just be.

What a revival of the spirit that is, what a welcome renewal.

You may not have known how much this trip was needed. You may not have known that in the days before my arrival it was hard to keep moving, to keep breathing...that everything seemed to just be closing in around me. You may not have seen the weariness, until the tears began to fall. All this to say is that God used you. He used you to lift me out and remind me that I am not alone. He used you to show me that I am still His, that He is still here with me.

The dynamics of friendships have changed, I can see just cannot be denied. I guess I want you to know that you should just talk it all in, because you will miss it. Take everything in with the people about you, the people that have stood with you through it all. Don't let them go so easily. Fight for these remaining moments. Fight for those beside you, when they are too weary to fight.

Don't you give up hope. I say this for each of you and I am saying this for myself. There is so much left of this life. So choose life. Choose to wake up and behold His steadfast love and mercy that is your's for the taking. Choose life, over misery.

Say what needs to be said. And stop holding everyone at arm's length while they are right there in front of you, okay? Because I am sure someone among you needs to know that they are not alone. Someone needs to know that you will fight for them. Stop holding back and love until there is nothing left of you. God's love and strength will see you through.

"We all need to be carried, and we all get to carry. And it's grace that holds us up so we don't collapse under the weight of it all.

Yes, the world is beautifully broken, and it wraps us up in both extremes. But in the end, our story comes back to us. Humanity is wonderful and flawed because I am wonderful and flawed. Humanity is wonderful and flawed because you are wonderful and flawed. And when we confess the simple truth of both to each other, we embrace the grace and mercy our Father has given us. Then somehow all those broken pieces come together in an awkward mosaic and we find life. We find healing. We find hope. Yes, we have been broken. Sometimes we've been broken a lot. Some of us think we've done too much, or had so much done to us that we're not worth being rescued....The one, solid, faithful promise of truth in all of this is that we are being rescued. And it's time for you to tell someone about it. It's time for you to speak freely....Confess the beautiful and the broken. Because someone is waiting on you to speak."

-Permission to Speak Freely, by Anne Jackson

These are just the fragmented cries of a girl that has been blessed to feel it all. I haven't made it yet. I don't have it all together. I just know that you deserve to cherish each moment that God places within your palms. I know that you deserve to be rescued. I know that you deserve to speak freely. I know that you will look back on these days and that, they will give you strength when it's lacking.

So take hold of those closest to you and keep fighting for them....even when it is hard to keep up the fight. Hold onto the hope, the steadfast anchor of our souls. Hold onto love, because it binds everything together in perfect harmony. Hold onto each other. There is more to this life-more than pain, suffering, tears, loneliness and depression. The beauty of it all is that He knows you. He is right where you are. You haven't been left and He isn't leaving.

Take heart, dear friend. You are loved. And He is enough. All is not lost. Your friendships don't have to be left collecting dust or stowed away in your memories; open your eyes and you'll see that there is still hope. A near revival, so pray and seek, dear friend. Pray. Seek. Wait.

He is faithful. In these past few days, you have all done your part to show me that there is truth to those three words. My heart is brimming with gratitude that God brought me to you...and continues to do so in the times that I need it the most. Prayers are being said for you without ceasing. You are dearly loved. You will never be forgotten. I carry you with me. I carry you in my heart.

For the days when you need a sunset, a piece of hope, written with you in mind:

Hebrews 6:18
II Corinthians 7:4, 10-11
Philippians 1:3-11
Psalm 40
Lamentations 3