Saturday, September 15, 2012

Desires

Life lately has been hectic, and without much down time... but well worth the ride. It still continues to blow my mind (and I hope it never ceases to) that God proves so faithful in the little, day-to-day stresses as well as the big, soul-gutting/heart-wrenching messy stuff. Obviously, being such the selfish impish human that I am, I'm not so great at the continual forgiveness and grace that God seems to pour out on every day. It humbles me and amazes me and makes me fall a little more in love with Him. And every time He does those sweet little things, like send a baby deer across my path or have a four-year-old tell me how beautiful I am, I'm brought even lower and realize just how tiny I am in comparison to His greatness and majesty. I love that fact.
The thing that I've really been churning through my mind these past few days is His sovereign will. Honestly there are several things that I selfishly want that I know are not His will. I'm partially grateful that he doesn't give me these desires, because I know they aren't what's best in the long run... However, I'm partially wishing that He would change His mind and make it possible.
Isn't that awful? I kind of feel like a bratty elementary kid admitting that, but it's SO the truth right now. To be really genuine, I would have to come right out and say that I would love for His will for me to be being in London right now. I would love for His will to be me being really awesome at piano instead of struggling to keep up. I would love for His will to be me in a relationship with a fantastic, godly guy. I would love for His will to be me being able to dance without looking like a homeschooled white girl. I would love for His will to be me coming from a ridiculously wealthy family and not having to worry about paying off my credit card and saying no when people ask me to go do fun things with them that I currently can't afford. and much much more.
But really, how would any of that benefit me? It's just selfish desires. And sure, they aren't necessarily BAD things, in fact some of them are really great things. But achieving and receiving those things would most likely only make me want more. Not to mention how self-focused they are.
I often brush it off and blame it on my age and stage of life. I'm ready for my life to begin- the "big" and "important" stuff- I so often forget that life has begun and when I spend it wishing for what I don't have and longing for things I don't need, I'm wasting so much time and potential. I tell myself it's natural, that everyone at this age wants to be the best they can be and make an impact and be known and loved and start a family, blah blah blah. Really, those are just personal excuses for me knowing I'm wasting bits of each day.
Psalm 37:4 is a verse that is often misquoted and overused... but it's come to mean a lot to me over my few years. "Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart," it reminds us. One of my favorite Christian speakers, Priscilla Shirer, spoke about this once and it's stuck with me for a long time: 
This verse doesn't necessarily mean God will FULFILL your heart's desires. Although He does do that when your heart is in line with His, it's more of a promise that if you're truly DELIGHTING yourself in Him and reveling in His grace and love and seeking His face each day, He will GIVE YOU desires FOR your heart. He will place HIS desires in your heart in mind, and plant them there, so that they BECOME your heart's desires.
God, tune my heart. I'm flat and raspy and need your lovely music back, singing in my heart. Help me to seek your face, not just your hands. Thank you for giving me so many desires for my heart that are straight from Your heart. Please swell those up and shrink my selfish ones away. Fulfill Your righteous desires within me and squelch my own depraved wishes. Keep humbling me with your awesomeness and wooing me with Your subtle ways. May my heart beat to praise You and sing Your name alone!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFxVfAZj5Q0

Sunday, September 02, 2012

when things come full-circle

September is finally here and I am so far beyond excited! It's my third-favorite month (only because I love spring and Christmas a little bit more) of the whole year! Football season is finally upon us, the weather is slowly but surely cooling down, and this month brings back lots of fabulous memories...
The first of which is today. September 1. My former-best-friend-yet-still-semi-friend's birthday. I associate this day with prank calls, late night sleepover discussions, walking through her neighborhood, and watching Pride and Prejudice (honestly, it's a good thing I'm home and don't have a copy of Good Ol' Reliable near by or I would probably put it in and let myself bawl a little). It reminds me of how we bonded in the first place, and everything we experienced together, and all the crazy emotions we vented together. But it also reminds me of how much of a terrible friend I was, not only to her, but also (and possibly more importantly) to my faithful friends that tried to stick by me during my diva/selfish/awful years. It was not the prettiest or best season of my life, to put it nicely, so reminiscing on that bit always brings a dull ache. Mostly because I realize I could've been so much more, and such a better example, and so much more of a passionate follower of Christ- and I completely wasted that time.
September 24 is another date that reminds me of that time, because that was *our* day. Our "friend-iversary", if you'd like to call it that. As most of you know by now, Summer of 2008 brought a challenging period of my life. Peyton and I "broke up" (our friendship was ridiculously tight-knit and it was a devastating decision when we decided to continue on our different life paths and not be best friends anymore) and that brought on the worst time I have ever experienced. I was continually depressed and felt that I had no one there for me (most of which was my fault). Even though from then on, remembering September 24th was a very painful thing for me, Peyton and I always texted each other a "Happy Anniversary" message... even though it was oddly untrue.
Well, today is her birthday. So despite our roller coaster of a history, I texted her a simple birthday message. And she replied that we should get together over Christmas break for coffee and discuss life as 'adults'. The thing is, I know we're both serious about this and are going to make it happen. and I like that. As I was sitting here, watching Bama games and remembering the MANY Bama games we watched together and talked through, I was hit with the magnitude of this. Okay, maybe it's just me being my usual over-analytic, dramatic self but I really feel like this is a little physical taste of God's redemption. That He can take this friendship that I totally screwed up, turn my screw-up into what draws me close to Him for good, and a couple years down the road start to patch that friendship and heal those parts of my heart that exploded when I lost my closest and last friend in 10th grade. He blows my mind with His goodness.
Honestly, though, in the summer between 10th and 11th grade when I was undergoing this continual darkness, I was not having my mind blown by His goodness. I was asking him "Why?", at best, and often questioning His existence. I was angry and torn and broken. I definitely don't remember reaching out to Him... I just remember being comforted when I cried and being held together as I numbly tried to regain control of my life. I feel like it was one of those circumstances that's actually pretty common and no one realizes it: it's when God subtly steps in and picks you up and just starts carrying you, but you aren't even aware of it. Looking back, I see that He did that. I see that as this effects of this bomb ricocheted through my heart, He kept digging out the shrapnel. At the time it made me mad when he would resurface those old wounds... Now I realize it was the only thing He could do to heal me. Which he did very well, in the end.
Now I find myself in a similar place: torn over wanting to be in England and having to be here. broken over my sinfulness and lack of trust. But He's come full circle through the healing process with me and is ready to lift me back up and carry me through again. He's watched my emotional breakdowns over the life I know I was meant for that I can't have yet, and comforts me in the midst of them. He is replanting my heart, rooting it in His own even more deeply than before, so that I will not hurt when I physically move to a different location but only when my heart moves away from His. I love that.
God, I am so extremely grateful for your circular work and awesome ways that are beginning to become so familiar. I love that. In London, I fell in love with you in such a new and real way, but I planted my own heart there in the city. I'm beginning to realize now that I should've been planting my heart in yours so that wherever You lead me I can follow WHOLEheartedly. Please forgive me for my arrogant, self-assured, and selfish ways. Instead, order my steps with Your Word and direct my paths. Don't give up on me. I try to trust and believe- help my doubts and unbelief! 

"And if I have to crawl, well You'd crawl too. I stumble and I fall, carry me through. The wonder of it all is You see me through." -Superchick

welcome to midnight.

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