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.