Friday, June 14, 2013

Who I Am

Last night was the first meeting of the summer book group in which I am participating. We're reading "Girls with Swords," by Lisa Bevere. We've only hit up the first chapter, but its about choosing who you will be. Will you be a hero in your story, in other people's stories? I'm pretty excited about it, and we had a great group of women there.

Today I finally remembered to look up a music video that a friend told me about weeks ago. I'm already on the 3rd 4th 5th listen through, and I wanted to share it.

This is a constant struggle for me, to discern if the things that have been said to me are truth or lies. It's especially hard when some of the most awful things people have said or done to me are by people I was supposed to be able to trust, people who were supposed to be looking out for me. I am trying to embrace the truth that I am a daughter of the most high King, that I am loved, wanted, cherished. In a world where people grow, change, and move in and out of seasons of life, it can be really hard for me to accept that God does not change. He does not love me more or less based on how I act. He doesn't get tired of me and move on, or get married and have no time for me anymore.

This is where it gets hard for me: I FEEL like God doesn't love me, or none of my friends care about me. It can be really hard for me to acknowledge that my feelings do not determine how others feel. That's why I still have birthday cards up on my VCR. They (and the kind words inside) are tangible reminders of the friends I have, things that I can't deny. And when I focus on those, my feelings start to change, to line up with the truth that I have amazing friends who love me.

That's why I started trying to memorize the book of Ephesians earlier this year. Sadly, I dropped the ball, but I intend to pick it back up and keep going. Meditating verse by verse, even sentence by sentence, helps the truth of God's love to sink in deep down. As a wise friend pointed out to me yesterday, sometimes what I really need is to take my problems and hurts to God first. It's ridiculous how easy it is for me to forget how healing being in His presence can be.

I am a beloved daughter of Christ. I have been purchased at a high price. I am God's masterpiece. I am a warrior. I left normal behind and am now covered in righteousness.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Desperate Prayers

Last night a good friend of mine preached at our church's midweek service. She talked about desperate prayers, and while I don't remember the five points of her message, I hope I always remember the prayer I prayed afterward. There were about 40 minutes after she finished where there was time for prayer and worship, and I thought about all the things going on right now where I am trusting because that's all I can do. This is what I ended up praying:

I can't.

Over and over again, I prayed that. I can't. I. Can't. You HAVE to, because I can't. YOU have to, because I can't. I can't heal sick family members. I can't replace my car or my computer or save enough for retirement. I can't save the people I love. I can't run my life by myself.

Last night I felt some of the desperation of realizing that I cannot live my life without God. I stopped trying for a moment, stopped clinging to the edge of the cliff, stopped trying to string my life together. I stopped picturing myself struggling to piece my life together when I'm 75 and alone. I let go of the cliff, free falled, and told God that He has to because I can't.

And today I feel like a weight has been lifted off me.

It's not that I won't ever struggle or worry. I'm human. But I think I have begun on the path of learning to truly put my life in the hands of God, of trusting that He will care for me for my entire life. Somehow I had this idea that when my parents were gone, when I get old, when the people I love start to die, that there would be no one to care for me, to care about me. I somehow managed to believe that God could only take care of me if certain people were in my life. How freeing to realize that God is bigger than that, that while God shows his love and care through people, he does not require the planets to align in exactly the right way in order for Him to be able to provide and care for His children.

I still have some really big things going on right now that have not yet been resolved. And when there is finally resolution, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be celebrating like crazy. In the meantime, I am holding on to the big picture of God's life-long provision and care. I am remembering how God provided manna and quail in the wilderness. I am remembering how God has cared for His people through all kinds of dire circumstances. I am choosing to claim victory over my life.