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

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

the little things, the unfinished things...

So these past few days have been a tad difficult. There's a busyness, in that I haven't seen my Mom since Monday, and I live with her. We are all constantly going... Dad had a wreck two days ago and no one was hurt, but if you know my past, you know he is fragile. God has brought him out of it, but it's still a daily thing. It just reminded me of how fleeting life is. How it is so easy to get lost in the routine and then come home to hearing the news that something more, like that happened. Instantly, my mind reverts back to two years ago. It just shows me that I need to delight in every moment, every opportunity, that my God gives me.

"If we believe our affairs are in God's hands, every event, whether joyous or tragic, will be taken as part of His plan." -Phillip Keller

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1

Yesterday, was one of those days when you seem to wake up with the sense that it's going to be a hard day, for whatever reason, you just don't feel like moving. That was my yesterday. So I went to work and I tried to shake off the feelings, and God placed little things in my remind me that He was with me. I saw Him in Jean Marie who paid for the woman's items behind her. I saw another customer do the very same thing for some one else. I heard him in the laughter of Granny, Steve and Dallas going about their joker-like selves.

And I saw him in the guy at Starbucks who made me laugh over my paying in gold coins, the other barista replied, "don't you always just feel like a pirate, when you pay with gold coins?! Retrieving my drink that was only supposed to be a grande, to be graced with a venti.

"Life is the total sum of what you do with the moments given you." -Erwin McManus

It's the little things, I tell you. The unfinished things. God placing me back in the Goodwill, because my time there was unfinished. The little things. Waking up to an email, and knowing that I am not alone in my thinking. It's the little and unfinished things, that God is using to open my eyes to Him.

Lyrics to "Keep Looking Up," by Landon Pigg

Like a little locket hangs
Round your little neck so closely to your heart
So shall I be forever
I know you're going somewhere new
And I know it's never gonna to feel like home to you
But this time the only way around is through

So keep looking up, on past the birds
And keep looking up past the clouds
And when you reach up and clear away the stars
I will be there where you are

Like a little locket hangs
Round your little neck so closely to your heart
So shall I be forever
And even if you run away
Put on all your dark clothes, hide in shadows
Just remember one thing

Keep looking up, on past the birds
And keep looking up past the clouds
And when you reach up and clear away the stars
I will be there where you are

I will be there where you are
I will be there

Keep looking up, on past the birds
And keep looking up past the clouds
And when you reach up and clear away the stars
I will be there where you are

Keep looking up, on past the birds
And keep looking up past the clouds
And when you reach up and clear away the stars
I will be there where you are

So closely to your heart

So I will keep looking up.

Because I have my commutes, my every minute, to talk to my Father, who is always here for me. Who uses coffee outings, skype sessions, emails, texts...the little things and unfinished things, to remind that it is all going to be okay. That He will see me through, the days when I can't seem to keep my feet moving. He quietly whispers, "just look up, I am seeing you through, My strength prevails, when there is no strength left in you."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

take heart

"I wish the world was flat like the old days, And I could travel just by folding a map. No more airplanes or speed trains or freeways, There'd be no distance that could hold us back."
- Death Cab for Cutie

Alas, there is so little I can do…
In such a moment, but just know that I think of you.
The miles standing in between,
Do nothing to keep the beauty from being seen.

I like to think that you know I am here,
That in spite of the distance, that I am trying to revel in for your sake, that I am near.
I like to think that when the words don’t seem to come easily,
That you know it is taking all of me, to not just be able to be there, and be your quiet company.

So this is a night, where I want you to just close your eyes,
And take comfort, in knowing that God knows your every sigh.
So this is a night, where I want you to just close your eyes,
And picture us, side by side.

We’re sitting in a bustling city, on a quiet beach,
And, there is no need for mindless speech…
Because you and I both, can welcome silence,
We’ll meet it willingly, in the place of the all-familiar distance…

So tonight, I pray you, take heart…
Rest in knowing that He and I, we aren’t going to depart.
Alas, there is so little I can do…
In such a moment, but just know that I think of you.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

still I will hope in YOU.

My eyes fell upon Psalm 107, the other night, and the significance of them didn't fully ring true until this very moment...when I gravitated back to the Starbuck's straw paper marking these dear words. And there I found:

"Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to an inhabited town;
hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress;
he led them by a straight way,
until they reached an inhabited town.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to humankind.
For he satisfies the thirsty,
and the hungry he fills with good things...

Their hearts were bowed down with hard labor,
they fell down, with no one to help.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress."

One word is repeated throughout this entire passage, and it brings me hope: DELIVERANCE.

And what song happens to begin to play on my Pandora just now: "CAME TO THE RESCUE."

It's a beautiful time in my life. There's been some pain intertwined, there have been days when I have wondered what I am doing, there have been moments of utter discouragement, there have been moments of weariness, there have been moments when something has been missing, there have been moments just needing to know that the field is not that far off, that this too, will all work out.

YET. There has been deliverance in the past, so everything within me knows there is deliverance in the future. My God's love hasn't changed. He has and always will come to the rescue. He is working, even when I cannot begin to see it. He has me here for a purpose, even though it is unknown to me. He has me waiting on the field for a reason. My God is a God of DELIVERANCE, AND HE CAME AND COMES TO MY RESCUE.

Still I will hope in Him, and I will wait for Him.

And if you are out there reading this, I pray that you know God, He, fights for you too.
That in our dire moments of need, we have a Father who comes, runs to our rescue.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fearful and Flawed...

Tonight she met with her Maker,
her beloved Saviour.
Humbled to tears,
that You her God, would love her enough, to take away her fears.

She found You, within the crisp pages of a book,
and realized how often of You, she overlooks.
She met with You in her broken scattered prayer,
and You, You were right there.

And now...the weariness, the weight is losing its' hold on her...
and her heart it is being reawakened, it is beginning to stir.
You are in this,
and so she can look to You, and Your faithfulness.

The weariness that had its' hold on me these past weeks is beginning to leave me. And God, He is opening my eyes to see--the people that He has placed in my life so perfectly. Those that are but a phone call away, those that welcome His words that He needs to say. Those that speak life over me, when I am but a lost soul fighting misery. Those whose light in their eyes bring hope, for when it seems to be a shadowed demise. Those who understand that there is beauty in silence, and will just sit with me no matter the distance.

Those whose love is so beyond me, I don't even have the eyes to see. Those that just go out of their way to remind me that He is in this, with me. That there is a life-giving God in my midst; He is in, even this.

My God seeks me. He delights in me. He pursues me. And what do I do in return? I run. I let the fear take hold. I choose comfort and complacency at times, over being bold. I look to others more often than Him. I stumble. I fall. I give it all up, to leave it all. I become consumed. I latch onto lies. But, my God is a God of love, and He calls me His own, His beloved, His prize.

"Fear can and often does, control our actions, our thoughts, our faith. Fear can dictate where we live and where we worship. From my perspective, fear too frequently is the barrier that keeps us from stepping beyond the familiar and into the realm of the uncertain."

What does it all come down to? "Our life is not our own, and God will be with us wherever we go."

And to think that God chooses flawed, fearful people, that He chooses me to rise, to live for love's cause. It's okay for the fearful and flawed to become vulnerable, to admit their fears, their greatest shortcomings.

It's okay for me, fearful and flawed, to become vulnerable, to admit my fears. But it's not okay to let fear keep me from moving into the unfamiliar and loving to the tips of my fingers.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One of those days...

I feel like there are so many things I wish to recount here, but maybe it is just one of those days when I need to feel the company of something or someone...and during a workday this is all I can turn to to fulfill such a need. I am weary in every sense of the word. I'm scared to death of losing people. So scared that I have seemed to become paralyzed, rather than becoming proactive to reach out to those I am so afraid of losing. I am scared to death of love. I am scared to death that I will live forever alone. Today is a day of contradictions, and to any who might stumble upon this to read...I am sure that it will be meaningless to you.

These past few days have been difficult, with some bouts of undeniable goodness. There have been beautiful reminders of God being in this, through the lives of my friends-with phone calls, countdowns and just a constancy of love. And then there have been bittersweet dreams, that do nothing for me. Though you are in them, it brings a sweet sadness and this morning was one of those mornings...I couldn't convince myself to wake up, I wanted to hold onto the dream before me.

There has been a weariness these days physically, mentally and emotionally. There have been days that I just couldn't seem to accomplish anything at all, because my thoughts have been wracking any energy, that is left in me.

I guess I am just making that transition that I have always dreamed of, and with it comes, the need to say what needs to be said, the need to retrace the steps back to those days when keeping in touch held utmost importance, the need to be still, while keep moving. The need to wait, even though I want to run out of here... and into my dream.

God can't you see can't you see your children at your feet.
God can't you hear can't you hear, our cries for you to come.
Silent you seem while we wait
in the darkness of our past.
But silent your not find our hearts
Find us comfort find us fast.
We will wait. We will wait God
We will wait. We will wait, God. We Wait.
And with this wait on our chest,
we gather up the breathe to sing this song.
But as one we confess,
we do not have the strength to carry on.
So wait, though we wait we rejoice
in the suffering we all share.
For the stones they've thrown apon us
cause their stones are farther promise we would bear
oh, we will wait
We will wait God.
Come Abba Father, Come let Your light shine down.

-Wait, Caleb Chapman