Thursday, July 21, 2011

Only the Beginning


The broken glass glistens as the light touches the pile of glass on the floor. What once was a beautiful thing is now a pile of jagged pieces of glass, neatly swept together, a little hill of glass. 
I don’t know how long the pile of glass has been there, but I know that there are pieces of glass missing. There have been many failed attempts at putting the glass back together. Many pieces are lost. There are many pieces that don’t belong. There is dirt from sweeping the pile together so as to not lose any more pieces. There is blood from trying to hold on too tightly and from trying to put it back together. 

Glass, dirt, and blood.

I hear a voice say,

 “Give the pile of glass to me, I can fix it.” 

I quickly jump in front of the glass pile and begin to reason with the voice. 

“No, I can fix it myself. 

It’s not a big deal. 

It’s just a dumb pile of glass. 

Broken, beyond repair.” 

Once again, the voice gently says, 

“I love your brokenness. 

Give the broken glass to me, let me make it new.” 

I whimper,  “No. I don’t want you to have it. 

I don’t want you to see it. 

I don’t know what you will find. 

I know all too well what you will find. 

No.

I have failed so bad. 

No. 

It’s not good enough for you. 

No. 

It’s too bad, too ugly. 

There are things missing. 

There are things that shouldn’t be there. 

No.” 


The voice gently replies, 

“Give it to me, I want to see it. Let me have it.”

“No.”




“Jesus, I want to be free. 

I am tired of being in this place. 

I am sick of this area of sin in my life. 

Jesus, Forgive me. 

Set me free.”

Jesus replies, “You do not get to pick your sin. 

You cannot choose what I set you free from. 

It is all or nothing.”

“But Jesus, I am so desperate for freedom in this ONE little area!”

“I don’t work that way. 

I want it all. 

Let me have the broken glass. 

I want to see and touch every piece of brokenness. 

I want you to show me it all.”

“Jesus, that terrifies me. 

It is not pretty.”

“...........”
“Jesus…  

I will show you it all if you help me.

I know what is in that brokenness… 

I know that I cannot do this without your help. 

I am so desperate for freedom though. 

I will do whatever it takes.”


His hand picks up a shard of glass… 

“Jesus, I am so sorry for that one, I know that it is something you gave me that had great value. 

Look what I did to it! 

It’s broken. 

I am so sorry.”

The hand grips the shard of glass and drags it across the other hand, 

“My blood is enough for this.”

I grimace as Jesus looks down and picks up another shameful, jagged piece of glass. 

He slides the sharp edge along the palm of his hand and says, 

“My blood is enough for this.”

I begin to weep as he continues to do this with each piece of glass that represents things in my life.

“My blood is enough for this.”

My blood is enough for this.”

“My blood is enough for this.”
I can’t believe what I am hearing.
He continues,
“My blood is enough for this.”

Blood drips from his hands. 

His blood covers the glass where my blood once was. All the years of clinging to the glass, of not wanting to let anyone see the mess, where I was wounded from holding on so tightly… 

His blood ran down.

“My blood is enough for this.”

“Daughter, don’t you see, my blood is enough for your brokenness. 

My blood is enough for your sin. 

My blood is enough for you.”



This is only the beginning. I don’t know where he is taking me. But I know this, His blood is enough for me. I will gladly follow him on this adventure.


Totally surrendered.

There is more to all this, but this is all that I will write for now. Jesus showed me what he did with the dirt and the pieces that didn't belong there as well. It was all equally powerful. I wept through all three visions. I cry every time I think about them. I am excited for what is to come. 
Jesus, help me to trust you more. Give me grace to love you rightly Lord. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Jesus...

Help me to break my agreement with the lies. 
Help me to choose life.
Help me to open my heart to your love. 
I'm tired Jesus.







Thursday, July 14, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

One Year Later

A year ago today I cried myself to sleep... it had been the first full day without my little brother. Yesterday made a year that he has been in treatment. I'd like to say that it gets easier everyday, but that would be a lie. I miss him more than words can describe. I have no idea when he is going to be home. It's all up to him... when he makes enough progress. I am so proud of him though. He has really matured a lot. He has changed a lot. He is working so hard! We got to talk to him tonight. When he calls and I am home, I don't ever say much. Last Friday I talked some, but I always feel dumb when I encourage him or talk to him around my parents. It's really weird. And when I was talking to him Friday, mom kept whispering things that she thought I should say... like I wasn't doing a good enough job encouraging him. I finally just gave up and let her do the rest of the talking like always. The best conversations me and Justus have had have been when he would call my cell phone because I hadn't been at home in a while. It's those calls that we really get to talk like brother and sister. I think he is more honest then too. My brother is like my best friend.  We have a really neat relationship... It's different than what I have seen in others... Maybe because we have shared things like missions... or because we are a lot alike... Or maybe it's because we both know that had I not wanted a sibling so badly, mom and dad wouldn't have looked into adoption. He really is an answer to prayer. I remember when I was really really young, after having prayed every night for as long as I can remember for a little brother or sister, I told my mom that I was just going to stop asking God for one because I didn't think that God wanted me to have one. Mom of course encouraged me to keep praying. It wasn't long after that when my mom got a phone call saying a 3 month old needed a foster home. She immediately left work to get Justus. He's been mine ever since. We adopted him when he was 2... it was official. No one could take him away from me.

I think about my brother's adoption and I remember that...

Adoption is permanent.
Adoption is a choice.
Adoption is love.
Nothing can change that.

I remember when we were waiting for Justus' parents to release custody. His mom quickly realized that we were the best option for him and could take better care of him than she did. His dad was not as quick. His dad didn't want to release custody... He wasn't taking care of Justus. He didn't want Justus. He just didn't want us to have him. I know that with the life he was living, that he wouldn't have been legally allowed to keep Justus anyways... but he did put up a fight.

I think about adoption and I remember that...

Adoption is permanent.
Adoption is a choice. 
Adoption is love.
Nothing can change that.

We are adopted into God's family. God CHOSE me. We are children by choice. Nothing can separate us from God's love. Nothing at all. I think about my brother and the enemy doesn't want to relinquish custody of Justus. He is fighting hard. He doesn't want Justus. He just doesn't want him to be free. But the enemy has no right to Justus.

Justus IS
 free. 
 walks in honor. 
walks in righteousness. 
victorious. 
I am praying Isaiah 62 over Justus. 
I can't wait to get to see him this August! I am so excited! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I believe, Help my unbelief!






God, You alone are in control. I know that I can do nothing apart from you. Even when my world seems to be spinning out of control, I know that you see. You know what is going on. You don't look me over. Even when I feel like I can't handle it, I trust you. I know that You know what is best. You don't let go. You don't sleep. You don't blink your eyes for a second. You know exactly what is going on and you can be trusted. I will not fear. I will not doubt. You are Creator. You are Yahweh. You are Good. I know that you are Good. You won't abandon your children. You see them. You know their pain. You see them. I know you see them. You move on our behalf. When your children cry out to you, you move. I know this. I have seen this. You have proven this. You can be trusted to do it again. I cling to you. You are the Faithful One. You are so faithful. You don't change. You love your children. You hear their voices. You hear their heart beat. I believe in you. I trust you. I depend on you. I will wait on you.
I believe God! Help my unbelief! 
I repent for not trusting you whole heartedly
I repent for thinking I can handle what comes my way
I repent 
Help me trust you
I believe you move at the sound of my voice






You see the lives of the girls that are in my lifegroup. You know what is going on. You can be trusted.
God, Forgive me for not trusting you with them. Forgive me for thinking that you weren't big enough to see their lives. You alone are wisdom. You have all the wisdom and insight necessary. Give me your divine wisdom. Help me to point them to you. You are the only one that can do anything. You are not my last resort. You are my first and only plan. You. You. You. God, You alone. I surrender. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Processing

Something I am thinking about right now is what it really means to be righteous. Righteousness has nothing to do with what I do. It has everything to do with my faith. (Romans 4:5) We can be righteous because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. (Romans 5:19)
According the Romans 4 and 5, Faith and Righteousness are directly connected. You can't have one without the other.
Read it here!
Abraham had many different reasons to doubt God's promises. But he didn't. Because of his faith He was made righteous. We have been made right in God's sight by faith. (Romans 5:1)

Righteousness is- Attained by Faith- A Free Gift- Brings Freedom from Sin

Righteousness causes you to have victory over sin and death. That is something that I have NEVER thought before. Romans 5:17 says that the grace and righteousness causes us to triumph over sin and death. 
Adam's sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness brings right relationship with God and new life for everyone. (vs 18)

This is why no one is righteous in their self as Romans 3:10-18 says. It's because it's based off faith. Romans 3:24 says that God declares us to be righteous. I can do nothing to please God. I can't boast in having done anything to be accepted by God. My acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. I am made right with God through faith, not by obeying the law. (Romans 3:27-28)

I have got so caught up in trying to be righteous when it is not something that I can work for. You have no idea how much of a weight is lifted off my shoulders when I realize that. I am still processing and trying to figure this all out... it's not worded pretty or anything... It's pretty much just down how I think it.   The Holy Spirit is really exposing just a works mentality in me lately. He is bringing me face to face with it. I have no choice but to confront it and deal with it. I don't have to work to please Jesus. He is already pleased with me. That's pretty awesome to think about. 

I have a ton to process still. 





Saturday, July 2, 2011

In the blink of an eye

Police lights flashing, heads turning, a child crying, debris fills the street
The shattered pieces of the windshield perfectly depict what life will be like for this family the next few years
In a matter of seconds, her heart beat it's last. 
Life left her body.
She didn't know that she was in her last hours when she left the house that day. 
She didn't think it would all happen so fast.
No one expected it to happen to her.
It all happened in the blink of an eye.
Today I caught a glimpse of how fragile life is. 
A friend of mine from high school was hit by an 18 wheeler this week. He is still alive, however there is bleeding on his brain. He is unconscious still. I believe that he will live by God's grace and mercy. Still, it really woke me up to life. I have no idea when I will stand before Jesus. I have no way of knowing when my loved ones will enter eternity. I don't know when Jesus will come back. I have no control over my life. I have no control over my body. I can't will my heart to beat. I can't make my brain function. I can barely walk in a straight line with out tripping... :) How could I even begin to think that I will live another day. I don't know when Jesus wants me to enter my eternal reward. I have no way of knowing.
Not only can I not control my life, I can't control anyone else's either. What have I done with the time that has been given to me? What am I doing to impact eternity? Am I making the most of every opportunity to win souls and make disciples? Will I have fruit that remains? I have to be honest, I have not done all I should. I have really slacked off when it comes to really presenting the gospel to people. Yeah, I do it at outreaches, in life groups, and things like that... but what about that girl I just walked by... She is an eternal being too. 
Everyone on this planet is an eternal being. They will spend eternity somewhere. Heaven, or hell. As a believer, it is my responsibility to see that they hear the gospel and are given a clear opportunity to make their choice. It is my responsibility to see them delivered and discipled. What am I doing with the souls that are entrusted to me? Am I being sensitive to the Holy Spirit? Or am I pleasing my flesh? Am I too concerned about my schedule and time line that I pass up souls that are ripe for the harvest? Am I letting the harvest rot in the field? I can't wait for someone else to lead the way and bring in the harvest. It is my joy. And I do it out of a love for my king. A passionate love that causes me to lay awake at night crying for souls. I do it out of a passionate love for Jesus and a compassionate love for people. Jesus did not die on the cross so I can comfortably follow my routine and schedule. He died on the cross so that all people can be free from the bondage of sin and sickness. He did it so that all may know Him. 
He is the author of life. He holds my life in his hands.

I'll add more later.

On another note... tonight we threw a surprise party for a friend. It was amazing! She was totally clueless and surprised! We had a lot of fun, but I was exhausted. I donated blood today in my friend's name. So I was just feeling really weak still. It was a super fun party though! In our party bags we got stick on mustaches. They were sooo funny! We took pictures with them... but I don't know that I want to post them anywhere!!!!! Kinda humiliating! Oh well. Bed time for me!

Friday, July 1, 2011

In progress...

There was a little girl named Leehi*. She loved her father very much. She loved to see him smile. His smile was warm and could be felt from miles away. She loved to hear his laugh. His laugh would fill the room with joy. She found great satisfaction in serving him. She would have given anything to make him happy and see him smile. Leehi and her father had an amazing relationship. She enjoyed talking with him. She told him everything. They would laugh and play. Leehi loved it when he picked her up and twirled her around. Nothing could separate them. The bond they had was strong.
As the years went on, Leehi began to grow older and made more friends. She still loved her father, but she loved her social life too. She wanted to explore the world. She was curious about what all life had to offer. She decided to pack her bag and set off on an adventure. She explored many countries of the world. She loved her new friends and all the fun things they introduced her to. She enjoyed staying out late and trying new things. Her friends led her to many new places. She began to try things she had never experienced before. Things that she knew her father wouldn't approve of. The kind of things she had been warned about by her father. She knew it was wrong, but she thought,
 "Oh, I'll just do it this once. It's not a big deal. What could it hurt anyway?" 
She soon learned how wrong she was to think that.  
She was quickly sucked in to these new, bad things. She found her self addicted and alone. Her friends left her. She had no one to turn to. 
So she hid. 
Alone.
Scared.
Addicted.
Lost.
She thought back to her childhood. When she felt safe. 
When she was loved.
She remembered dancing with her father. 
She missed him.
Yes. She missed him more than words could describe.
"How could I ever go back?"
"I have messed up so bad." 
"I don't even look the same."
"I am dirty."
"I left him...even after he warned me... I still did all these things."
"He is disappointed in me."
"How could he not be disappointed in me?"
"Look what I have done..."
"Maybe he will give me one more chance... maybe..."
"I don't know if I even remember the way back home though..."
These are the thoughts that flooded her mind. Day after day. Finally she got up the nerve to try to journey back home to her father. Fearing that he might never love her again, she anxiously made her way back home. She knew that all she had to do was knock and her father would let her in... but would he love her? She decided that she would do whatever it took to make him love her again. 
When she saw her father, tears streamed down her face. 
He embraced her. 
He spun her around. 
He held her.
He wiped the tears from her cheeks.
He cleaned her up.
Gave her new clothes.
He smiled at her.

Would it last?
After she told him all the things she did, would he still smile at her?
Days went by. Leehi and her dad spent time together. He told her how much he missed her. How glad he was for her to be back. He told her he loved her.
She didn't believe it.
After all she had done, how could he love her?
So she began to work.
She labored day in and day out. She did everything she knew how to do plus more. 
She strived to make him happy. She wanted to give him the best she could.
She worked.
And worked.
And worked.
She tired herself out.
But kept working.
All the while her father just wanted her. He just wanted to be with her. He loved HER. Yes, her working was helpful, but that's not what he was pleased with. He may have had his daughter back... but he still missed her. He missed the times they had once shared. He missed her being delighted in him. He missed being able to just lavish his love on her. She wouldn't let him. He saw that she felt she was unworthy of his love. He knew the weight of the guilt she carried and it broke his heart. Wanting her to realize who she is, he wrote her a letter. When he was finished, he folded the letter and put it in an envelope and placed it on her pillow.

That night, as she lay down to sleep, she found the letter. She opened it and through tears she read...


Daughter,
You have been mine from the beginning. I have always loved you. 
I have seen you grow. I have seen you learn. Yes, you have made mistakes. But you are not the sum of your mistakes. 
You are beautiful. You are mine. I love you. 
I don't want your efforts. I don't want your work.
 I want you.
Don't you know who you belong to?
 Me.
 Nothing can change that. 
You can do the most horrible things in the world and I will still love you. 
Nothing will change my love for you.
 Stop carrying the guilt. Stop trying to gain my approval.
Just rest. 
Take a break. 
Sit with me.
I miss you. 
Your name says it all. YOU ARE MINE. 
There is nothing you can do to change that. Stop trying to earn my love.
It is impossible for me to love you any more than I do right now.
I will never leave you. You don't have to strive to make me pleased with you... I am already absolutely in love with you. 
You please me more than life itself. 
You give me great joy.
I delight in you.
Stop working. Just be with me. 
I don't want your work.
I want you.
I love you. 
-Daddy


 That weight was lifted from her shoulders as she realized how much her father really did love her. She ran to him. She forgot about being tired. She knew that perfect rest was in her father's arms. She melted into his arms and wept. He held her close and whispered, "I love you just because you are mine."

*She is mine


How often do I try to prepare a gift for God when all he really wants is me? I am so guilty of trying to work for his approval. I don't understand why I think that his love can be earned. I know it can't, but I still find myself working for him rather than simply loving him.
Jesus, help me rest knowing that you love me because I am yours. Help me find a balance between serving and loving. You are not my soccer coach. You will not kick me off the team if I can't "get it right." You are not my employer. You are my husband. You just want me.