Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Trust Without Borders

At the beginning of this year, I heard Papa tell me that he was taking me to a place where my trust would be without borders. There have been many times in this season where I have sat back and said, "Yeesh! God, you weren't kidding!" I have lost count of the number of times that I have looked to my Father and said, "I trust you, that's all I can do here".

Here I sit again.

Abba, I trust you. 

I don't know what you are doing, but I trust you.


A belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.

An assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something

One in which confidence is placed

Dependence on something future or contingent: Hope

A charge or duty imposed in faith or confidence or as a condition of some relationship

Something committed or entrusted to one to be used r cared for in the interest of another

Care, custody

A hope is more than resolve, and it is based on trust in a divine faithfulness that operates not only within history, but also beyond history.-John Polkinghorne
I told Abba that I trusted wholly and completely. Tonight I sit here and that "Yes" to Him echoes. It rings loudly and clearly in my heart. I declare it loud and proud once again. YES.

I do not doubt the goodness of my Father.

Not too long ago I did. I knew He was good, but my heart was overwhelmed and I grew afraid and doubted, as Peter did when he saw the waves. I feared and panicked as the disciples did when their little boat was taking on water and the Master was sleeping peacefully.

But I have seen time and time again the faithfulness of God. I have looked upon the the faithfulness of a really good dad. So while I do not know what He is doing or how He is going to provide in this situation, I know that he will provide. I know that He can be trusted.

I do not regret a single step I have taken with my Father.
I do not regret a single time that I have trusted.
That I have relied.
That I have depended.
That I have said "yes".

He has never once let me down.
He has never once failed to come through.
He has never left me unsatisfied.

He always comes through.
He always amazes.
He always is faithful.

He never gets tired of providing.
He never gets bored with me.
He never refuses to come through.
He never breaks a promise.

I will say "yes" every day for the rest of my life.
No matter the circumstances.
No matter the sacrifice.
No matter what fear hangs over me.
No matter what popular opinion screams.
No matter what peers think.
No matter what family says.

I will say "yes" to my King because He cannot fail.
He is the only one who truly has my best interest in heart.
I have nothing to offer Him.
He does not benefit from anything that I do.
He has no selfish ambition.
He truly, completely wants my good.
My good brings Him glory.
Me thriving glorifies Him and points to His goodness and faithfulness.

My trust has no borders. There is nothing limiting it or enclosing it in. I trust Him in all areas.

I am a zero resistance zone to His work in my life.

How can I trust Him in this way?
How can you trust Him in this way?

The Holy Spirit lives inside of me.
The Holy Spirit never doubts the goodness and faithfulness of God.
The Spirit inside of me trusts wholly.
I trust wholly.

I have seen His goodness in the land of the living (time and time again).
He doesn't change. Yesterday, today, and forever- He is the same.

Since He came through last time, He will come through again.
Since He was faithful last month when I needed a roommate, He will be faithful this month.
Since He provided when I needed a job in April, He will provide again.
Since He answered when I has no where else to turn, He will answer again.

My God does not change.

My God does not fail.

My God does not disappoint.

My God rests in the middle of storms.

I will join Him on that pillow below deck. I can hear the wind and the waves pummeling my ship; so I think it's time for a nap. 

The only storms you have authority over are the ones that you can rest in. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Letter Series: A letter to the one who was hurt by the Church

Precious you,

Yes, I am writing to you. This is for you. 

I am so sorry. Your hurt is valid. You didn’t deserve to be treated that way. I  told you that you are dirty. I told you that you didn’t belong. I told you that you weren’t good enough, pretty enough, or spiritual enough. I shut down your questions because they assaulted my ego. I shattered your dreams because they made you look better than me. I expected more from you than I could muster from my own maturity. I called you names. I laughed at your hurts. I told you to get over real wounds without offering any assistance. You came to me seeking love and acceptance, and I pushed you away. I rejected you. Thus, I proved to you what you feared all along-that God rejects you. I taught you that you couldn’t do enough to please God. I repeatedly showed you that you weren’t welcome in God’s group. I manipulated you into doing things that you didn’t want to do. I withheld attention when you didn’t do as I wished. I compared you to others. I used fear as a motivator to cause you to do or stop doing things that didn’t please me. I rebuked you when it wasn’t my place to rebuke. I corrected you when you didn’t need correction. I demanded respect when I didn’t earn it. And I required trust, though I let you down time and time again. I controlled you and abused you. I didn’t have to say anything, you knew from the look in my eye that I was disappointed. I required you to prove yourself to me without me ever doing anything to show I cared for you in the least bit.

I am so intensely, deeply, incredibly sorry.
I was so wrong.
You deserve to be angry.
You should run away from all that I showed you.
Run far away from my teachings.
You shouldn’t serve a god who is like that.
I am so sorry.
Please forgive me.

I know that it’s hard.
I know you don’t want to forgive me. 
I surely don’t deserve your forgiveness.
But if you could find it within your heart to forgive me and hear me out one last time, it would mean so much to me. 

You are perfect just the way you are. God is not and never has been angry or disappointed in you. You are good enough. You are beautiful and feminine. You are strong, handsome, and masculine. You are not dirty. You belong. Your dreams are wonderful! Dream them! Live them. Follow your heart; it’s not going to lie to you. Your emotions are wonderful and were created by a really good, glad Father. Your hurts are valid. Your struggles are nothing to be ashamed of. You are so loved. You are worth extravagant love. You are good enough. The Father delights in you. He accepts you. You are not rejected. I know you have been assaulted with abuse and lies from the church, from me, but please don’t hold on to them. We were wrong. I was wrong. The god I preached to you doesn’t exist. The father that I created in your mind deserves death, not love. That is not Christianity. That is not your Father. Your Father is good. Your Father is loving. Your Father is so gentle and kind. What I taught you is none of that. Please, don’t run from a Father who loves you wildly because of me. The god I taught you is not God at all. Please, give the real, true, God of Love a chance.

I know Him now. 

He is better than your wildest imaginations.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Never an afterthought

Something that has been wrecking me lately is the reality of being on the front of the Father’s mind. I have never been an afterthought. I have never been on the back burner. I was never a “screw-it-I’ll-give-her-a-chance” to Father. He has never once forgotten about me. He has never once wanted to exchange me for something better.

From the dawn of creation, He has had absolutely everything that you could imagine. He created everything that you could imagine to bring pleasure to anyone anywhere. He created the sun, moon, and stars. He knows the depth of the seas and the height of the skies. He dances on the clouds, and frolics through fields of wildflowers. He looks out over valleys from the heights of mountain peaks. He lays beside trickling springs and rumbling oceans. He has it all.

He. Adopted. Me. 

I am His prized possession. I am the one whom he directs all His affection upon.

The way He purchased me gives proof to my value to Him. I wasn’t a flippant purchase.

He thought long and hard. Charts and graphs, pros and cons. He sorted through it all. He knew me fully. He examined my heart. He examined my nature. He knew my tendency to wander. He knew my weaknesses. And still he said, “I want her”. His choosing of me echoes. His delight over me ripples. He sings over me in my sleep; He dances over me in my wake.

He lavishes extravagant love on me. Forever. There’s nothing that I can do to convince Him to return me to my former state. There’s nothing that I can do to convince Him that I am not worthy. He has never once regretted purchasing me with the precious blood of Jesus. I have never depreciated in value. I have never been a burden to Him. He is wildly obsessed with me.





And so do you.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Values: Loyalty

Today I want to continue my values series with the third value that I have esteemed highly in my life- loyalty. If you haven't gotten a chance to read the first to values I wrote about you can do so here for Kingdom Family and here for Raw Authenticity.  Though these are not valued in order, I feel they go hand in hand in my life and reading them all will give a better picture of my heart. 

I did an internship several years back called 220i. During that season, my favorite class was loyalty. I was taught so much about what it meant to be loyal. While some of what I learned was inaccurate (as most teachings from imperfect people are), this class gave verbiage to much of what I had felt my entire life. I have always held loyalty at a high place, close to my heart. Sometimes, I have held it in such a high place that I have caused myself extra pain because of it. I have held on to friendships that were hurtful because I am loyal in friendship. I have held on to jobs well past burnout and wisdom because I didn't want to cause a company or ministry a burden, and did want to break a self-assumed-and-created contract. I don't let go of relationships until I know they are over with out any doubt. I don't break promises. If I tell one person that I will maybe show up at a hang out later I will not hang out with anyone else that day if I don't go to the first person's hang out.

I value loyalty.

I am devoted to friends. I am faithful to friends.

I am loyal to my country. I love being an American. Maybe it's because of being raised in a family that is patriotic. Maybe it is because many of my family members have served terms overseas. Maybe it's because I have traveled all around the world since I was very young. Whatever the reason, I have a loyalty to my country. Do I think this country's leadership is perfect? No. Do I feel devoted to this country? Yes.
On a total side note- I am still thinking about enlisting in the AirForce.

I am loyal to my Father. I am devoted to His word. I am faithfully in love with Him. I do not think about how I can shirk time with Him. I don't think of ways to partially obey. I am devoted to Him. I want nothing more than to serve Him and His will, knowing that I am His dream and His will. 

When I think of loyalty, two examples always come to mind. The first is David and Jonathan. The second is Ruth and Naomi. These two friendships challenge me more than I can describe. 
I ask myself frequently if I am able to say "Where you go, I will go, even if it means I never get married". Am I able to say "I am with you till the very end, glory or no glory, joy or no joy"?

My prayer is this- Lord, cause me to decrease, so that you can increase. It's not about me. It is about you. Form in me a heart that is devoted to you alone. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Letter Series: To the Middle Schooler

This is letter two in the Letter Series. To read letter one click here.

Dear middle school girl,

Middle school-aka- hell.

Middle school is quite possibly the most painful, confusing time in a girl's life. You aren't an adult and you are hardly a child anymore. You feel like you have to prove so much to so many, and other middle schoolers can be real jerks. No one really knows who they are, but they think they know who you should be. You forget that it is okay to still be a kid. You forget that you actually don't have all the answers. You do not have to have it all together. You are still figuring out so much. You don't know who you are yet. There are so many changes going on all around you- internal and external.

There is so much that I wish you knew. I wish I could run to you and hold you in the tightest, warmest, most loving hug you have ever experienced. I feel like even if I did I wouldn't be able to clearly communicate all that I want you to know.

Here I sit, over a decade later, thinking back on that time and the thought that keeps echoing in my heart is this: "You are breathtaking". You don't see it, and you won't for many more years, but it is true. You are beautiful. Your curls are lovely. Stop killing them with treatments to make them perfectly straight. You will love your curls one day. You will be sad you ever didn't want them. You have never been ugly. Everyone sees it but you.

Your smile lights up the room. Your laugh is contagious. Your face exudes life. Your heart is so kind. You are beautiful inside and out. You are stunning.  You likely have one of the most loving, compassionate, gentle hearts that was ever created. You love people. You love loving people. You are loyal. You are kind. You are a treasure. Be kind to yourself. You treat yourself worse than you would wish for your fictitious enemy to be treated. You don't deserve that. Please stop hating yourself.

My heart breaks as I see the little girl who felt so much pain she saw no other way to deal but to hurt herself. I get so angry at the enemy who lied to her and told her she deserved to be punished. You don't need to hurt yourself! Listen to me! Please, stop hurting yourself. Please. You were never meant to carry those secrets. You didn't deserve that. Secrets aren't supposed to hurt. It is done now, be free from the weight of the guilt and shame that you are feeling. You weren't responsible for it. You didn't deserve it, and you don't have to fix it on your own. So many people love you. You don't have to hold all the emotion in. You don't have to be strong for anyone. You don't have to have it all together. Be a child. You are so young. You don't have to prove your strength to anyone. No one will be angry or disappointed if you let the emotions flood out. You will find such love and acceptance when you do.

Precious, you are carrying many weights that aren't yours to carry. You feel responsible for things that were never ever supposed to be your responsibility. You don't have to do that. You are not responsible for your family. You aren't responsible for the many friends who come to you with broken hearts and deep wounds.  You don't have to carry their weights. The weight of the world was never meant to be on your shoulders. Be free from the burdens that you carry. Be a child.

Jewel, you are perfectly loved and accepted. You don't need anyone to give you worth. You are worth more than one thousand rubies. You are extravagantly loved. You are worth affection.

Don't try to be anyone that you are not. This season of your life will be over soon. Try to enjoy it; I know that's difficult. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. It is not a train.

You have such a beautiful, fulfilling, fun life ahead of you. You have so much hope. I am here, cheering you on. You will make it.You will come out as a beautiful diamond. You are surrounded by many cheer leaders. I am the one cheering the loudest. You can do this. I love you.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Letter Series: A letter to someone I used to know

Dear Friend,

I sit here on my couch. Spotify is playing my favorite play list, but somehow the annoying house fly is buzzing louder than my laptop speakers will play as it rams itself into the light bulb for the thousandth time. I'm not writing to you to tell you about the dumb fly though. I am writing for my heart. Maybe your heart too. Who knows.

I don't know where you are or what you are doing. I have lots of friends now. I love Missouri. I love my life. I am genuinely happy. I realized last night that I am a really good friend. That was a huge step of healing for me. I am a good friend. I have always been a good friend. I deserve good friends. I think you were a good friend. I know you tried. You were a good friend.

From time to time I think about you. I wonder how you are. I hope you are well. I think about you at random times- like when I am reading an article I think you would enjoy, or when I hear a quote that I know you would love. I think of you when I pull out my paints and begin to create beautiful things. I remember our art day. I remember the railroad tracks. I remember laughing till we cried. I remember crying until we laughed. I remember crying alone. I remember when you told me you heard from God covenant. I remember when you changed your mind. I remember when you heard it again. I remember the hard times. I remember the happy times.

Since that day earlier this year, I have fought to forgive. I have resisted forgiving. I have refused to forgive. I have tried to forgive. And I have fought it harder. But I forgive you. I forgive you. I don't forgive you for your benefit, because you will likely never read this or know. I forgive you for my benefit. Because it hurts more to fight than it does to let go. I think I will feel better if I keep holding on to the unforgiveness, but the truth is, I won't. You have moved on. You don't know where I am. My hurt and bitterness and anger don't affect you. They only affect me. Holding on to that hurt only hurts me more, and we both know that I have been hurt enough. I know who my Father is. I know who I am. I am a good friend. And I choose to forgive. I choose to let go. I forgive you.

If you ever read this, know that I still love you. I wish you well. I am not angry at you. You are free from any weight you may feel. Father is a really good Dad.

And I forgive you.