Saturday, June 22, 2013
I am terrifying and strange and beautiful, something not everyone knows how to love.
I am sensitive, opinionated, and sometimes quiet, something not everyone knows how to understand.
I am reckless, bold, and constantly moving, something not everyone knows how to grasp onto.
And lately I have found myself wildly and terrifyingly sensitive in the core of my being. I have found myself hauntingly aware of the fallen world I live in and how everyday is a constant struggle for me to breathe. That I have to constantly fight my way to surface just to catch a glimpse of hope, to get a glimpse of love. Lately it's been a rough lesson to learn. Learn to see Jesus in every person and every situation.
It's just plain difficult.
There is no sugar-coating that.
Today I saw a man get hit by a car. For a brief moment time froze and my heart stopped pumping the blood through my veins. For a brief moment all I could feel was tingling in my hands and all I could see was this mans leg peeking out from the tire belonging to the baby blue van in front of me. For a moment I didn't know what to do. Tears were spilling over my eyelids and I could feel a scream for help trapped in my throat. Then time started, the leg moved, the man stood and walked around to the passenger side of the car, his bike trapped underneath.
The baby blue van backed up and stopped as an old man in khaki shorts and a red shirt stepped out from the passenger side. He began wildly swinging his arms and pointing his finger at the bike belonging to the man he had hit. There was no compassion shown, no offer of love or help to this man who had just been mowed over my a vehicle thirty times his size. The man simply picked up his bike and walked it to the sidewalk. The old man got back in the car and drove away.
Prayers were escaping my lips as my eyes followed the mousy haired man to the sidewalk in front of the frozen yogurt place. My heart hurt for him. But I watched him as I sat at that stoplight. I watched him dust himself off, fix the chain on his bike, take a drink of his water bottle and then the craziest thing I saw this man do. He got back on the bike and road away.
I was stunned. blown away I leaned out my window and watched him ride across another street, as if a car just didn't almost take his life. I watched him peddle away, the wind blowing through his hair. I watched a man be covered by God's protection. I watched a man give grace to people who almost killed him. In that moment, clouded by the stresses of my own day I saw Jesus act, move, protect, and reflect from this man.
Our God is amazing!
You see yesterday I had a rough day at work.
I walked out.
I literally walked out of work.
I got so mad that I wanted to punch someone in the face. I don't think I have ever been that frustrated or upset by something. But I've never been treated so poorly then I have at this job. I'm not bashing the company or the people. But somedays it seems that I'm living in a soap opera or a reoccuring nightmare of high school days. And most days it's hard to handle, but I can easily shrug it off my shoulders. But lately it's been piling up and up. The way people talk about people, the way people speak to people and the way people treat other people. There is no grace, there is no compassion and there is no love.
And everyday it gets harder and harder for me to work. It gets harder and harder for me to pull myself from my sheets, get ready and go to work. Because everyday I have to worry about if someone is talking about me when I'm not around. Or someone calling me names or just being disrespectful. Somedays I just want to scream and yell and throw things around the store. But I don't. Even though yesterday I really wanted to.
Instead I did what I was asked and then I walked out.
Because in that moment that's the only thing I could think to do.
I knew I couldn't stay or I would have probably said something or did something that I would have regretted. So I turned the other cheek, I walked away and out the door. Granted, looking at today, it wasn't the smartest thing to do and it upset people. And yet I still feel like I did the right thing, no matter how wrong everyone else says it was.
But I think the hardest thing was accepting the apology today and being called a name in the process of the apology. It was like I'm sorry but you're a naive twenty-two year old who doesn't deserve my respect. And it took everything in me to say that it's okay and that I'm over it and that I accept the apology. Because I don't accept it. I still need maybe one more day to really let myself cool off, but I didn't have that day, and then heaping a name-calling on me in the midst of an apology, like it contradicts it just made me more upset.
So I had to suck breath in and out through my nose as I clenched my teeth and said it was okay, even though I wasn't. I think God's teaching me to not hold grudges or be bitter... let's just say I have some work to do in those areas.
He wants me to turn the other cheek. But the minute I do that one gets smacked as well. And I often wonder why I do it. Like God it'd be much easier to hit this person back... but I don't because that is not what He asks of me. But each and everyday I lose more and more faith in humanity and sometimes even in myself.
Yet today, through a almost tragedy God gave me faith through that man on the bicycle. I know it sounds crazy, but after it happen though I was freaking out a weird sense was about me and I was like okay God you can have it, I forgive my co-worker... though I am being honest I'm still a little bit mad (but hey, I'm human and I'm working on it!) Because if this man can ride away, can get back on his bicycle after being hit, then I can forgive my co-worker.
There have been a lot of rough lessons this week and I'm slowly realizing that God is just giving me what I ask and sometimes His answer are tougher than I would like them to be, but I'll never stop learning, never stop trusting, and never stop loving. He is in and over all. He'll take care of me.
HIS and yours,
Monday, June 17, 2013
I want to break the minute of silence with my voice, but I press my lips together and hear "Be still, my daughter. Be still." Just for a second, for a short moment in time I look up at the sky and I feel Him, He's surrounding me. He's here in the water against the canoe, in blinking of the stars, in the soft voice that echoes behind me, in music of the insects, and the ripples from our paddles in the water. He is here, in that moment, in that silence, in the stillness He is here.
And it's what I've been waiting for, for months it seems. to just stop, to soak everything in and finally listen. To hear Him, to feel Him, to know Him.
Stillness. Freedom from noise or motion; calmness; quiet ; silence.
At the beginning of the year I picked a word to challenge me, to push me down this path and to help me grow closer to God. Picking this word though, I didn't think I would really struggle with it. I thought it would be kind of simple to do, but being Still is definitely harder than I thought.
I realize I talk to much.
I realize I do not listen intently.
I realize I listen with the intent to answer instead of hear.
I realize I am an interrupter.
I realize that stillness is just not my thing.
I'm constantly in motion. this is a fact, I like to be busy. Even if it seems like I'm not doing something, I usually am. I fill my days with work, or people, or talking, or reading, or something. I've realized in the months that I've returned from living in Africa, that I was more at rest in Him there than I have ever been here. And I think that in that there is something missing, in that something is wrong. Because no matter where I am I should be at rest in Him. I should be Still in Him. But I'm not.
It's amazing the things a person can learn when they don't open their mouth. So after this peaceful weekend around the lake and fire and with amazing people, I decided that maybe coming home I would try to soak up that peacefulness and let it fill me. Let the stillness fill me.
Driving to work this morning I turned on my worship music and instead of pouring out all my request and prayers I simply said, "God, help me to be still. help me to listen to your voice. help me to take in the silence, may I be still so that You can move." And the entire drive I didn't sing a long to the songs, I didn't speak until I got to the door at work. And it was strange to not hear my voice echoing through the car. Strange in a peaceful kind of way.
You see for me, there are moments when all I know to do is to just talk to Him and sometimes I can go on and on and I'm surprise His ears haven't fallen off with the amount of words that pour into them. Yet He is still listening, He is even listening when I'm not saying anything, like this morning. He can hear my heart, He knows my thoughts, the silence is for me, not for Him. The silence is so that I may hear Him not that He may hear me. The stillness is so that for a moment, even for just the tiniest of seconds I can feel Him, hear Him, know Him, His glory, His love, His peace.
Because He is the answer. In all the chaos, in all the confusion, in all the silence. The answer to this life is still Jesus. It will always be Jesus. It will never stop being Jesus. Jesus is enough, He will always, always be enough. Nothing else can satisfy.
Yeah, I struggle everyday, to be patient and still and really wait for what God is asking of me. I know He is faithful to those who love Him. So I want to continue to be faithful to Him. To be still and Know that He is God, that He has me taken care of.
So for now, I'm learning to take the path less traveled. Learning to listen and to wait. Learning that it's okay to not have an answer to things. Learning that it's okay to dream big and to leap out in Faith. Learning to be still and open my eyes, my ears, and my spirit to what the Lord is trying to show me. It's a tough thing. But it's a beautiful thing.
Being still so that He can move,
HIS and yours,
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
God is amazing. Beyond any words I have. He's amazing in this instant, but He is also amazing in the very instant that He brought us into each other lives. Kels, I didn't know that by following God's calling to lead that trip to Texas three years ago that He would be leading me to the best friend I had been praying for, for years. To a friend who understands and knows my heart, who excepts me as I am through my mistakes and flaws. Who loves me the way He loves me. You are literally an answer to prayer. You are a blessing.
I'm sure in this moment you are scattered trying to pack for these next weeks in Haiti, for a time where tears will be shed and laughter will be shared and you will be stretched and put through trails, but know that God is always there and I will always be praying. He's put you with Andrea, and even from the short time I've known her, I know she is one amazing woman of God. Lean on each other when things are good and when things are bad, but more importantly always lean on God.
Kels, you truly are my best friend. And I can say that I don't have many of those. I don't have many people I can lay around with for a week and watch old movies with. Or lay up at night for hours talking about whatever pops into our minds. A person who listens intently answers honestly and is constantly loving. Who not only I can be myself around, but who can be there self around me. this is true friendship. yours is true friendship.
God's got amazing things planned for you in Haiti. Sometimes you will feel like your heart is being ripped from your chest and other times you'll feel like it's going to explode out of your chest. Through these moments and all others God is with you. I'm praying for you. I can't wait to hear your stories, to hear about how the love you have shown me, God's love. You have shown to the people of Haiti. Seriously I miss you like crazy and I wish we lived closer, but that's the amazing thing, distance doesn't change our friendship. We still talk, we still text, we still send each other awkward snapchats. You are always loving me, even from a distance. And I praise God for you everyday. Even the days we don't talk I know that if I called you, you would answer.
You're my best friend. You're my sister. You're my family. You're my answer to a long prayed prayer. I thank God for you everyday and I'll be praying for you as you leave for Haiti with Andrea and has you return home to your last year of college. He has amazing plans for your life and I'm so glad I get to be one of the people on the sidelines cheering you on!
Love you Kels,