Thursday, December 15, 2011

on truth

It was the brightest star that I had ever seen and you tossed it into my hands. I caught it in my open palms... How it pricked me! I hadn't expected its many points to leave the myriad of miniature punctures and unsightly scratches that I saw as I dropped it hurriedly to the ground. It was so heavy! I was quite taken aback. How could something so beautiful be so... distressing? I decided to leave well enough alone. What need had I for this enchanting, perplexing object? I would go on as before.

But I was changed. I couldn’t get the many-pointed star out of my mind. It drew me by secret strings I could only feel and never name. I thought of it every night in my silent, deep blue bed. So perfect, so whole, so impossible. I longed to hold it again. In the mornings, I pushed all of those shards of hope and desire out of my mind. One cannot live a life based on pictures that can only be seen at the peak of night.

Again and again, the vision returned, for it had become such in my continual midnight wanderings. Night after night... until I found I needed it. I needed not just the vision, but the star itself. I needed it to be mine, needed to feel it, needed it's light. I began to grow sick for want of it. What was reality without it? Curiously enough, I was bound to something I had rejected. 

And so the turning point: I realized I was spending more time thinking about the star than anything else, day or night. I was going to find that star or find, once and for all, that it could not be found again. 

As I searched, my glimpses were becoming longer and my gaze was getting clearer. Oh, I was approaching. I met with discouragements, yes, but what of those? I was following the star. Perhaps it was moving which is why it always seemed so far away. It certainly seemed to be.

One day, I arrived. The star - my star - was within arms' reach. I was so close. But then everything about my past and the story of our relationship, the one of the star and myself, I mean, came rushing into my mind. Was I crazy? Yes, I was. After all, who dashes all over the earth after something that has only existed in the wee hours of the night for years? Apparently, I was that person. Flashbacks. I remembered the pain... Surely it wasn't that bad. I saw the blinding light in my eyes once more and could barely look at anything at all. I recollected how quickly I had let the star slip from me on account of its weight. I was afraid to come nearer. But I had to! And so I did. It was at once burning my fingers, piercing my hands, singing in my grasp, rejoicing at my touch. It had wanted me as much I wanted it too.

Oh! I could not handle it. It was too big, too bright, too wonderful for me. As I was valiantly holding the star, it outgrew me and I saw I could not keep it for myself. How I loved it though... I would gaze at it for hours, fascinated more every second and at peace each flitting moment.

And I was happy there. I didn't mind the days and the nights were sheer beauty. I had found what I was looking for and more. What had drawn me had not disappointed me, only left me in awe. In capturing all my affections, I was freed to love. This star was everything to me and will be until the end of time.

~

Pain is not proof that you are going the wrong way, only that you need to walk further.

"Why, you're hurting me now."
"I never said it wouldn't hurt you. I said it wouldn't kill you."
- The Great Divorce, C S Lewis.

"If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
- John 8: 31, 32

Sunday, December 11, 2011

affection

[inspired by "Sinking," by Blood and Water and Job 19]

I was gulping blue-green water
When I should have been reaching up for air.
I was sinking faster than before
Doubting my choice to care.

I was at peace about the future
Unflustered by thoughts of drowning.
I was contented in my odd estate
Knowing the fruitlessness of frowning.

I should have listened when you told me:
Fish are harmless, swim away
But hurt feelings linger longer
Barnacles that come and stay.

I guess the sea had drenched my clothes
For I was down deeper every second.
I couldn’t imagine redeeming power,
Fearing myself and rather hesitant.

I was swallowing what brought me death
How I needed sure protection.
You gave me gills, you freed my fins
And I’m assured of your affection.

~

Somehow all that matters now is: You are holy.


For I know that my Redeemer lives, 
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
- Psalm 19:25

Saturday, November 26, 2011

being thankful

It's midnight and I don't feel like sleeping, so I am just going to write. That okay? Cool : ) If I sound childish... well, yeah. It's probably because I am at times.

This Thanksgiving: I don't know quite how to describe it, but it was very different than any I've had before. I think I liked it in the end, although certainly not in the beginning or in the middle. But the amount I like something is not always good indicator of whether or not it should have happened. I think in this case, I am glad that everything happened the way it did.

Tuesday was an unhappy day. So was Wednesday. Not completely unhappy, but little things just bothered me a lot. Oh, and half of Thursday was really unhappy. I don't like being thankful when I am unhappy. You know, I often think that I really shouldn't have to be thankful during those times either. Probably I am wrong. God says to be thankful at all times, right? Yeah, He does.

This has been a good week for fighting with God and with family. Because I want what I want and only what I want. Being me, I usually want my family and friends and life to be perfect. If I don't get what I want and things are not perfect, I am unhappy. (... I have yet to come to terms with the idea that a perfect life isn't possible here on earth.) I say it has been "a good week for fighting" because everything is so much worse when you know you are supposed to be thankful, but are ever so far from that.

God uses the strangest things to remind of what really matters. A frustrating Thanksgiving service at my church. A frustrating conversation with my family. A few frustrating nights. My Father invented forgiveness and gave it to each of us. With Him, I can be thankful in every circumstance. He is bigger than my reasons and excuses for self-pity.

I can't say that frustration is my chosen method for learning to be thankful, but hey, I don't think I have much of a say on this. I serve a God who loves me and loves to change my perspective. He continues to teach me that actually, life is not about me. Life is about love, which is about putting others first and serving them. And, honestly, loving others is much more fun and much more rewarding than loving myself.

Just thinking about this semester now... I have so much to be thankful for. Classes, extra-curriculars, and life in general is amazing. I love my home. My college friends are incredible, encouraging, and a second family. I get to see both of my real sisters every day. Technology exists to keep in touch with far away friends.

Goodness, so much grace. I don't think I can handle this. I guess I should start by being thankful... : )


For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, 
and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Mark 10:45

Sunday, November 20, 2011

where victims become victors

This is the chair
That once resided in a dungeon
That met a mercy like sandpaper
That was redeemed beyond recognition.

This is the table
Which nobody had thought to wash
Which stood tireless and silent
Which has felt the weight of glory.

This is the window
But its smudgy pane was a source of distress
But its splintery frame prevented close vision
But it has seen a beauty deeper than all else.

This is the atrium
With a ceiling higher than every tree
With the dust of former days swept away
With purest light flooding every corner.

This is the palace
Where laughter is the air we breathe
Where all the beloved are wondrously weak
Where the victims become victors.

//wake up. you're alive. we're on your side.//

For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.
Romans 13:11

Saturday, November 12, 2011

smaller

I looked up and suddenly a host of angry daggers were all pointing my direction. I should have been worried, but I didn’t mind the attention. I walked out of the door onto the path you had set before me. My companions, the daggers, never left me for a moment. We moved as one into golden fields, through tree-lined streets, under carefree clouds. I deserved my bondage and never imagined that hope could have a feeling.
/~/
You snapped your fingers and all of the daggers fell to the ground. You buried them deep under my feet. I should have been content, but the change was so sudden, so new. There I was, crying out: “I don’t understand. Mustn’t I face the reality you gave me? Is this love and why do you love me?” Then you responded softly, “Dearheart, you don’t need those daggers. I want to free you.” I was inconsolable now. “You can’t set me free. I always fall back. Always, always, always.” You told me that didn't matter to you. You said that you knew what always means much better than I do. That made me feel small, which I both resented and loved.
/~/
The daggers are still there, hidden under the earth and covered by bits of soil and rock. But I don’t need to dig them up to know that they are vanquished and lifeless.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

endless hope.

Uncategorized feelings.
Knotted clarity.
Minute frustrations.

Damned humanity.
Silent screams.
Pulsating shadows.

Unbroken forgiveness.
Simplest resolution.
Brightest love.

~

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; 
He will never permit the righteous to be moved. 
Ps 55:22

Monday, November 7, 2011

majesty

Half awake //in a fake empire//
Awaiting the day
When our eyes will open fully.
Golden courts {of eternal peace}
Awaiting our arrival
With Your promises filling the sky.

~

...but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 
2 Peter 1:16

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

undivided

I’m walking amidst snowflakes 
Dancing ‘tween drifts of grace. 
Heaven’s gift is lightly falling 
Making smooth a jagged surface. 

Ditches and hillocks now are level 
Forming one consistent layer. 
Brown leaves and branches covered 
In hopeful, humble prayer. 

Because of lasting faithfulness 
This snow You have provided. 
Sky and earth today are unified 
And You’ve got me: undivided.

~

He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, 
to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Col 1: 9,10

Sunday, October 23, 2011

ice kitten

He was sitting on my chest, purring.
Purring over and over again:
You are mine.
And I knew from that moment on
That I was chained to my secrets

He wasn’t going to bite me
My paralysis was sufficient
To mollify him
Into a haphazard contentment
Where he warmed me with coldest ice.

He paws me like his plaything
And then seems to disappear into the air.
Creeping back again
His pounce and swat remind me that
Freedom isn’t guaranteed with second chances

~

Remember how you give
Remember how you pray
Remember how you live
And drive your demons away
[[I see your love is bold and underlined]]



Little children, you are from God and have overcome them,
for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
- 1 John 4:4

Saturday, October 22, 2011

leaning

You're the wedge between my heart and my mind
That keeps me from crushing myself
Under the weight of things I don't understand

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Colors in array

We danced blithely under laughing beams of light
A day of blue skies, soft breezes, and swaying grasses
We found our lives tangled seamlessly together
On account of the weather which we loved so desperately

Snow was a delight, rain a party and shadows brought on giggling
When we realized they were just quickly moving clouds.
The mist led to serious contemplation, soon overtaken by joy.
Even thunder befriended our meandering paths that day.

But like the sun, you slipped away (for no man halts the sunset)
I watched our colors fade and sink into a darkened line of trees.
No reason for tears, although they came all the same.
Nothing can be done about diminishing hours and growing distance.

Where chilly air once stilled my heart, I now feel only comfort
As my eyes adjust to darkness, no fear mars my vision.
For I am just as close to what we both saw in the sky
As when we gazed that direction together.

Although paths cease to cross when the world is dimmed,
I am content to remember the times I now miss.
A sunset cannot stop the light from existing
And melancholy night shall give way to triumphant morning.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

october morning

He rinsed the sky with brilliant color
And clothed the day in softest mist
He nudged the clouds to dance with the sun
Leaving me awestruck, delighted, kissed.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

correlation

Illusions of healing
Blocking out darkness
Shedding light abroad
What are emotions? 
Nothing more than 
Lying, convicting delusions 
And they applauded
My gentle beauty
Smiled kindly down
They didn’t know 
The hidden underworld 
Where I live 
Distance taught me
Resistance is futile
Perceptions never change
Why invite you 
Into nonsensical whirlpools 
You’d rather escape? 
Holding their hands
Guiding them forward
A mutual admiration
Bringing them closer 
To the hope 
Ghosts cannot claim 
Living above pain
A temporary fearlessness
What is discouragement?
Ignored encounters with 
The correlation between 
Salvation and love 

And through Him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth 
or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 
Col 1:20

Saturday, October 1, 2011

garden

I am the fruit of my own gardening
Watered with the music of lonesomeness 
Nurtured by the shifting solidity of selftalk
Planted in a bed of rainbow chaos
 
Tart and bitter when raw
No lovelier when steamed
Falling apart when boiled
Glossing over when baked
  
Bring me to the fire
Where there I will disingetrate
I shrivel and am humbled
I shall cease to exist
 
As ashes I return
Finalized, romanticized, simplified
Now starting from the ground
I will let myself be grown

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The chair in repair and the writing desk

You said you’d stand by me forever
But as my sandpapered edges
Rubbed at your newly varnished surfaces
I wondered how long forever would be

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

regardless

Gentle waves wash over my surface
Pulling away at my many layers of sand
Eroding my confidence in beauty
Taking what makes me whole
Shrinking my shores down to lonely rock.

What am I without my sands?
Can there be a scenic view without my defining feature?
Is there any value in one who promises to delight
But can offer nothing but a flat ground
Devoid of the freckled shells that once brought us joy.

Forlorn, I thought you had forsaken me.
I didn't know that my bareness was no shame
That your glassy waters have always seen through me
That the rock I had called my own was your stability
Faithful regardless of how little I had become.

You knew me when I didn't know myself
You saw my grasping at what I couldn't keep
You remained when all else was snatched away
You believed I was worth more than all the sands of the sea
You loved me at my unloveliest.

~

I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the LORD of hosts is his name. And I have put my words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of my hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundations of the earth, and saying to Zion, "You are my people."
Isaiah 51:15, 16

Sunday, September 4, 2011

how the waves affect me

You were my lighthouse
When I called out in the raging storm
That threatened to capsize me entirely
You were there
More present than the rain pouring down my masts
With sails that had long been bound from complete loss of direction
You were hope
That clouds could reveal a kinder sun
Which dries away all tears and fears of the past
You are love
Never minding how the waves affect me
Always bright regardless of your knowledge of my heartfelt thanks

Thursday, August 25, 2011

forgotten

[written June 18]

Memories hang in the air like a humidity I cannot escape.
Steps through dew-flecked grass trample lost stories.
The gnats forming vague clusters on the lawn
Are only thoughts hovering in the back of my mind.

The firefly that floats above my head reminds me of bright times
When sunset was the herald to peaceful rest.
Rocks like icebergs sunken into ground mark places
Where friendship kept my head above rushing waters of emotion.

Hidden fields of beauty appear as I venture father
Into what chills me, grabs me, and tangles my path.
Between scattered wildflowers and friendly trees, I stand
Knowing I would regret dreaming more than deciding to forget.

~

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.
Pr 29:25

Saturday, August 13, 2011

my heart of blood and breath

Regret is poison
Pumping through my veins
Unwanted, yet unchecked

Anxiety is a web
Tangling over my lungs
Spun tightly of my fears

Attachment was my antidote
Curing me into confidence
Internalized, expected

Affection was my defense
Stilling my attackers’ conquest
An unchanging protection

[Reliance is a mask
Leaving me exposed, lost, breakable
Pulled from my eyes like a cover]

Remove the antidote, enhance the poison
And my blood hardly contains the oxygen
That it mockingly promises the rest of me.

Weaken my defenses, let them fortify their stronghold
And my breath cannot exist without disillusionment
That dictates and retards my consciousness.

Rejection cut deep into my vital channels,
Deeper yet into what I had seen as my survival
Deepest still into my heart of blood and breath.

Helplessness brought me to your unfailing love
Would that I had your heart to replace my own
And could let your love be the contents of my heart.

~

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
- 1 Cor 13: 7, 8

Saturday, July 23, 2011

.voiceless.

The empty air taunts me, teases me, tests my resolve
To remain silent, quiet, content to be alone.
I would open my mouth and breath deeply
Were it not for the fear of you who breathes deeper.

How can I live when I can't come up for air?
I feel my breath grow short within me.
My voice is soft when it is at all
For all you know, I am voiceless.

I am the one who cannot breathe, cannot speak
Suffocating in my own wonder world
Where perfection is reality and reality is always
Instead of everabundant dreams bursting at the seams.

If fireflies were glimmers of hope
And dew was a reminder of grace
It would matter little if I had a voice
Because Your love would be all that I could hear.

~

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
John 10:27

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

[written June 8]

Like a warm front that envelops me,
Like a cold front that invades me,
You are the air that lifts my soul.

Your love is the sun that streaks the sky
The wind that tosses my hair into a golden brown cacophony
The faint backdrop of clouds that frame the light of day.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

a story

Today, I was really sleepy so I went out to the hammock for a nap. It was peaceful, just warm enough not to be hot, and breezy. I could hear the prep boys working in the background which made me feel lazy, but I put my ear buds in and went to sleep anyway.

Rocking back and forth, I soon found myself about to fall asleep, when a friend called. We talked for a few minutes until she had to run errands. Then I began to drift back into sleepyland. I dreamt about happy places, things, and people... I don't really remember which ones, but they were happy (now you know how my mind thinks :P).

Suddenly, I was awake. I guess the wind had rocked the hammock and I was jolted out of sleep. I was still rather tired, so I decided to sleep some more. A while later, I woke up again and decided I should probably go inside. I walked into my room and one of the girls got really frustrated with me for getting in the way. I felt bad about that.

Then, I woke up. I was still in the hammock, music was still playing in my ears. I had been dreaming the whole time! So, then, I got up, grabbing my phone as I went inside. I checked the time: 12:07pm. Wow, I had been napping for a really long time! I walked into the kitchen and everybody was mad at me for standing by the counter they were trying to use to lunch prep.

Just then, I jolted and found myself still in the hammock outside. Must have been dreaming again! I was completely done with these dreams and determined to fall out of the hammock onto the grass right below. That was sure to really wake me up!

I rolled out of the hammock onto the grass and felt the green blades between my fingers. :sigh: I made it out of dreamworld.

...Then I woke up, still in the hammock. I was completely confused and rather fed up. My eyes were really tired and didn't want to open. I tried to force them to open so I could know I was walking inside.

They wouldn't open. Great, I thought, so I am still asleep and I am having an internal conversation with myself about how to wake up. I made up a plan: the next time I felt jolted awake by the hammock swinging, I would jump out of the hammock onto the grass really fast and fall so hard I would know I was awake. I just needed to try a little be harder to jolt myself completely out of sleep.

I was awake again! I gathered all my resolve and dumped myself out of the hammock. Moments later, I found I was still lying in the hammock. Still dreaming? I tried again and again and again to get out of the hammock.

Finally, it came to me: I was paralyzed. My mind didn't realize I couldn't move and tried to get my out of the hammock. It imagined me walking all over the house and everything until the wind rocked the hammock and stopped my imagination. That made perfect sense why I couldn't talk when I had imagined I went inside. I was paralyzed. Of course everybody was mad at me - I wasn't talking to them!

Oh. Right. I am paralyzed. I can't move. I can't talk. I can't scream. I am stuck here until somebody finds me. This could take a while. Oh, well, it won't be my fault I didn't get help. So, I prayed. I prayed that this would be a temporary paralysis, that my family would take care of me, and that somehow I could still bless people. Communication... was about to get very hard.

I kept thinking and realized that my chin was probably not paralyzed. I have no idea how I knew this, but I did. I moved my chin up and down about half a centimeter. Well, this is interesting, I thought.

But I was still stuck, so I kept praying.

Suddenly, the hammock twitched again and I could feel both of my eyes open. I could feel them open! I poured myself onto the grass just like I had told myself I would. I took my phone, pulled my earbuds out of my ears, and walked inside. Every breath felt new, like I was creating a piece of the world by breathing.

Inside, I realized how heavy I was breathing. People asked me if I was okay and I told them I had been dreaming. I actually told them. Words came out of my mouth and they heard them. I walked down to Wendell's office. Walked!

I am now writing this story down and singing along with Billy's music. There you have it. I don't quite understand, but I have a new appreciation for life, the place God has put me in, and for cold water.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

resetting, resolving

Inverted suitcases, open drawers
Closet hangers on the floor
Messy sink, overturned sheets
Disarray describes her cupboard space

Searching and seeking, she circled her room
For hopes she'd misplaced and joys she'd confused
As lies when darkness had struck late last night
And bound all clear answers away from her sight.

Now trying to find what she once had held,
She began franticly looking until she fell
Into her bed, exhausted, muted
Questioning if apathy could be refuted.

Despairing of hope, yet hoping to live
She reset her room and decided to leave
What cannot be grasped and neither be seen
As lost, forgotten, needless dreams.

Fixed on reality, she resolved to go on
[But all she really wanted was to be found]

~

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

John 10: 28, 29

Friday, June 17, 2011

.fragments.

[written Oct. 19]

As the world fragments about me,
Breaking apart in my hands,
Cracking at my every footstep,
I stand fearlessly on my Rock
Secure in His power
Shining His light.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

thunderstorm

Your power is a thunderstorm
Covering the ground with blessings
Demanding the attention of Your people.

A forgiving destruction, a beautiful grey
The thunderstorm only magnifies the true light
After the clouds have passed in their time.

I can no more deny your wonder
Than I could fail to hear your storm
Which surrounds and haunts my being.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

knots and combs

Sometimes I feel like a little girl who has just woken up into a bright morning after a long fitful sleep. Her mom asks her to brush her hair before coming down to breakfast. Happily, she trots off to find her hair brush. She always was one of those eager-to-please types. Starting at the top of her head, she works her way down to the tips of her hair. Her gentle pulls through her long dark hair eventually become short tugs on bits of the knotted mess she finds at the bottom.

She tries again. Back up to the top and brushing down slowly, until she hits the tangled spot again. This time around, she begins in the middle and resolves to quickly brush through the knot.

No better success.

With a little sigh and determination written on her face, the little girl finds the tangle and works it carefully with her fingers. The world around her, the sunshine pouring through the window, the messy sheets on her bed... everything becomes a backdrop to the girl's trivial, all-encompassing task.

With a little more time and a little more patience, she knows it will come out.

A little more time and a little less patience... and the tangle is still there. Her trusty brush, her wide-tooth comb, her favorite green one with her name on it, and even her small fingers have all been found incapable of working out the knot she knows she must smooth.

"Oh, forget it!" She plops down onto her bed. "I can't do it. And I tried too. I mean, really tried." Her little minds goes around in miniature circles. "I can't do this! I shouldn't have to do this! I want breakfast! Why do I have to brush my hair to eat breakfast? Why isn't anybody here to help me? How can Mom expect me to be able to brush my hair when it's impossible? I hate my hair."

Soon, she feels tears running down her cheeks. Tears of frustration turn to tears of despair.

The door creaks open lightly. It's Mom. "Darling, why didn't you ask me for help?" Mom seats the little girl on her lap and hugs her tightly. With a complete view of the knot, the girl's mother has no trouble untangling the twisted mess. "Dear heart, some things are bigger than you can see, but you never have to try to solve them on your own. Don't ever be afraid to ask, okay? I will always be here for you."

~~~
God, will you comb through my knots and untangle my foolish heart?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

trust is all we have tonight (but trust will be forever)

[musings, rantings, etc running through my mind]

God, I am so tired of this. I am tired of seeing my friends crumpled under the pain of living on earth. I could stop myself from thinking about it, but that won’t change the reality of their difficulties. Can’t you have a world peace day when all of my friends get a breather from all of the expectations being put on them, from the memories that haunt them, from the weakness that plagues them, from the pride that lies to them, from the insincerity they cannot escape? Please?

Be still and know that I am God.

I will not be still. God! Please, a cure. Healing. Rest. You define all of those things. Why all this pain? I know you want to refine us. I know that you love us THROUGH these things. But oh, give us strength.

Not only do I give strength, I AM your strength.

God! These are your people. Why aren’t you taking care of them?

Since when do you know what it means to take care of somebody? Believe that I am who I say and am. Trust. You know I love them.

I can’t see it!

And I suppose its not love unless you can see it with your weak eyes? Child, when will you trust me?

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."

Daughter, I feel their pain. I feel it more than you do. I hate it as much as you do. But I know what I am doing. I died to give them life.

"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

[forgiven]

All I seem to think about these days is forgiveness. Its been the theme of this semester... a beautiful, beautiful theme. I am so humbled. It's been wonderful to experience God's forgiveness, to claim that grace as my own, and to learn to forgive others.

I think it wasn't until last semester showed me the blackness of my trespasses that I've been able to see the beauty of His forgiveness. Before then, I was already familiar with failure, incompetency, and weakness. That's part of being human; it can't be helped. God works through that because He's awesome like that.

But I don't think there is anything more painful that realizing that you have completely sinned against God, ignored the advice of family and friends, and paved your own path to destruction. God called me to be holy and I said that I could define what holy is.

~~~

I've struggled with "accepting myself" or whatever you want to call it for the longest time. You already know that. 85% of the time I walk around feeling guilty about something... usually, I have no idea what. Finding that I was 100% guilty for disobey God's rules was not very happy. None of this, "Well, I tried to follow you, God, but I failed." Oh no, I was like, "God, you want this direction? Okay! I'll go the other way, k?"

Weakness hurts one way. It's like letting down your best friend or mother. You know they'll still love you, but you wish things had turned out differently. Guilt hurts quite another way. It seems wrong to cry out to God for help because you know you don't deserve any. And besides the fact that you don't deserve help, there is no reason God should help you even if He was being nice. There is this little thing called consequences... and you will just have to bear them.

Why then does He forgive us? It's as if everything I did wrong had never happened. Why? This is not what I deserve! What kind of justice is this?

Child, I decide justice. The price has already been paid. The debt has been filled. The guilt is erased. My Son died to give you life. I love you. Live out your life as one ransomed from exile and resurrected from the dead.

~~~

I have tried to logically reason my way through forgiveness, but I can't do it. God's love is more powerful that my failure, guilt, neediness, and pride. Accepting and submitting to His forgiveness means letting go of the past and living as a completely new individual. I have to go make right what I made wrong, having faith in God's second chances. Not the easiest thing to do... but, goodness, life is hopeful.

But He was wounded for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities;
upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with His stripes we are healed.
~Is 53: 5

Sunday, April 3, 2011

But this is nothing new

When greys diffuse into dark and light,
You’re already lost without a fight.
As you’re falling down a deep abyss,
Your shady days seem like a past world’s bliss.
Senses frozen, you consider finality
When static cuts in and becomes your reality.
With each cycle downward, redemption grows stronger
And a forgiving light makes peacetime last longer.

But this is nothing new.

You’re beyond minding these tear-worn patterns,
The vortex renders you permanently battered.
Oh! Short-lived freedom is your existence
I know how you doubt next time’s persistence.
Now you quiver, missing reckless abandon
Of spiraling down, control out of the question.
Will the poetry lacing your feeble heart
Cause rejection of healing ‘fore it gets the chance to start?

~

To live without love is not what we're for
We'll make it the year we find the cure

Thursday, March 10, 2011

raindrops

Raindrops fall
Tracing patterns on my windowpane
Pouring onto the cement
Reluctant to sink into the ground

Raindrops unite
Finding their home with the fallen
Pooling on the cement
Searching for an even place to live

Raindrops freeze
Interlocking against the cold
Sparkling on the cement
Caving to winter’s desperate demands

Raindrops sparkle
Ignoring my fears of slipping
Layering over the cement
Ensuring my path is treacherous

Raindrops melt
Losing their identity and structure
Puddles on the cement
Reflecting sun beams dancing with clouds

~

God, can I be your puddle?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

umbrellas

[assorted thoughts and the beginnings of a post I'm trying to write for the ICC tumblr]

Its nearly been two months since the IGNITE and I still find this event completely unforgettable. A hundred and fifty people praying, speaking, learning, worshipping, talking, eating, growing together for five days. Community. Fire.

Between January 13 and 17, ICC hosted its very first winter retreat at a gorgeous campsite in Tennessee. While I have never been more mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted in my life, it was such a beautiful time. At IGNITE, we had a national qualifying tournament, loads of forums about every aspect of communication, a giant game of Ignopoly (otherwise know as Monopoloy, ICC-style), worship times every morning and evening, and a stunning view of a lake just down the hill. In the midst of all of that activity, God chose to teach me things that I’ve needed to learn for a long time and will still be learning for the rest of my life: God wants me to live in community with others.

Which brings me to umbrellas. Somewhat unrelated I know, but stick with me. When its raining outside, I can either find myself an umbrella or decide to get wet. I usually opt to get wet. I like the feel of the rain in my eyes and being unencumbered by holding the umbrella. Now, let’s suppose I have a friend who offers to share their umbrella with me. Usually, I’d thank them but prefer to stay in the rain. But what happens it if never stopped raining and I never took shelter under the umbrella? I’ll get soaked and probably sick too.

God doesn’t promise our lives will always be happy. Sometimes, life will look like an endless string of rainy days. Sure, I can survive the rain by myself for a while, but only for a while. There comes a point when standing out in rain becomes dangerous. Don’t wait that long. There are people all around you holding out umbrellas to you. Maybe you think they are judging you. Maybe you think they won’t understand. Maybe you think you’ll still get sick anyway. How do you know that until you’ve actually joined your friend under the umbrella? God wants to protect us. Find an umbrella and begin to live again.

God promises He will always be with us. When we forget that He is there and get worked up over our own little issues, He sends somebody to remind us that safety, warmth, and healing exist. Ducking under an umbrella doesn’t make you a wimp or a copycat. God wants for all of to us live together under the protection of His love, refusing to leave His umbrella and inviting others to join us.

~

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
~John 10:10

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How He Loves

My family doesn't just love me. They like me too. As in, they like who I am. They make me so happy. :blissful smile:

~

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.

For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
~Is 30: 18 - 21

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

stories

“Child,” said the Voice, “I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.”
~Aslan in The Horse and His Boy, CS Lewis

Monday, February 14, 2011

smiling

Holidays are an amazing invention. They remind you to be thankful.

Today, I am oh so thankful. :] I am thankful for friends and trust, for sisters and second chances, for parents and belief, for God and grace.

I think if I were super awesome like Solomon and God asked me what I wanted, I'd request humility. As I realize I cannot hold life together myself, I am humbled. And in that humility, I can see God more clearly.

For me, humility means asking God to live life for me every single day. It means accepting God's love. It means believing how valuable I am.

...That sounds all backwardsy. What I mean is: my pride gets in the way of admitting I am human. When failure strikes, I remember that I am dust. I wasn't designed to win at life. I was designed to love God.

YAY for failure reminding me of how awesome God is and awesome I'm not. I'm a fan. YAY for needing God and being lost without His love. Its beautiful to find myself incomplete and know there is completion in Him, to find myself empty and know that there is only warmth, security, and acceptance in His arms.

Today is such a wonderful day.

Thank you, everybody, for being alive. Knowing humans like you is incredibly encouraging.
{and hope does not put us to shame}