Monday, December 24, 2012

He makes me...

There's something really special about my car rides. The short ones usually just consist of major jam time (usually including rolled-down windows and the music turned up LOUDLY) and/or a car worship session (worshiping Jesus, not the car... just to clarify). The long ones, like my trips to and from home, are about half-jam/worship, half praying and listening to my Jesus. Sometimes with a little audiobook mixed in.
Well this most recent long car trip I took was my drive back home from school, for Christmas break. and it was going all fantastic and I was semi-avoiding the praying & listening to Jesus bit, because I was being all selfish and enjoying the sunny day and the freedom that my heart was experiencing with every mile closer to home I inched.
And... Do you ever have those moments where God is speaking so loudly into your heart, you just KNOW the next step would be for Him to audibly speak, and that scares you, so you just listen to Him and obey? I feel like that happens to me a lot. A lot of times, I obey Him because I'm scared of what He could do if I didn't pick up on his whispers the first time (awful, but true). But that is not my point.
The point is, I had that moment. So I turned off the music and turned off my whirling thoughts and just waited. Then He told me to pour out my heart, and I did. I ranted about boys and school and friends and work and family and worries and hopes and everything else that was reigning in my thought life lately.
Then, I just shut up.
And He said:

"The Lord is my shepherd.

I shall not be in want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul."

Of course, at this point, I had already cried a good bit, and then I just started crying even more because... okay, is it just me, or does it really throw you for a loop when you're being all bratty/selfish/vain/stupid and complaining to God and he just heaps love on you anyway? His grace absolutely destroys me sometimes.
Here I am, pouring my heart out, yes, but most of it was very whiney and complain-ey, when He just says... Hey. I am your shepherd.
I am good at that and I am good to you.
Stop worrying about where you're going and when you're going and how you're getting there.
I'm guiding you.
You don't need to want for anything you don't have because if it's something you need, I'll give it to you when you need it. And if it's something you don't need at all, I'm protecting you from it for good reason. And, sometimes, if it's something you want but don't necessarily need, but it's just frivolous... I give it to you anyway, just to show my love to you in a more tangible way.
Beyond that, Sometimes you just gotta lay down in a meadow.
 Just lay down with me and be beside me.
It's time for you to let me make you do things because I know they're best for you. This is best for you. Lay down beside me and breathe. Look at the sky, listen to the wind, feel the cool ground on your back. Eat and drink My eternal sustenance. Appreciate being with me.
Then, let's walk together by the quiet waters. I want the peacefulness of this place (be it physical or spiritual) to allow you, too, to be still and quiet and just know that I'm God. I'm good. I'm FOR YOU. I WANT TO RESTORE YOU.  And, sadly, I just can't do that when you spend every day holding on to your hurt, pain, regret, and sin. In order to be restored, you must first surrender.
You must first let me be your shepherd, so I can provide for you and lead you to rest, peace, and plenty. 

And it all just blew me away.
How have I never gotten all of that out of Psalm 23 before?
All the "make me"s, reminded me of one of my favorite songs, by Commonground Band, called Make Me. The chorus says, "Make me to know I love You, make me to know I need You, make me to dream of only You, only You, only YOU."
And as much as I try to take control of my life and avoid God's conviction and whatnot... when it comes down to it, that's a lot of what I want in life. Mainly, I want to live my life as an offering to God that glorifies Him alone... Secondly, I just want to learn how to love Him. I know for a FACT that I stink at unconditional love, which is the only love God knows I do believe... So me loving Him in even a SEMI-EQUAL way to how He loves me is clearly impossible. However, I want to try. I want to learn and just attempt to know for a fact that I LOVE him wholeheartedly, that I NEED him unashamedly, and that I dream of Him only.
So much to attempt (the beautiful thing is, I really don't have to 'attempt' anything except the self-sacrifice. everything else comes from Him and straight back to Him.) but He makes it well worth it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

patience and opened eyes

I consider myself a patient person. Oddly enough, I'm pretty good at waiting contentedly on others and giving them time to do what needs to be done. Especially when it comes to kids... By God's grace, I am able to maintain a very even temperament and patient approach when teaching, so that comes in very handy, and often reassures me that I am, in fact, meant to be a teacher.
When it comes to waiting on God, I'm one of the least patient people I know. Granted, I'm not physically hopping schools or dropping out and flying to London or sleeping around trying to find love, or even dating around... but emotionally, I kind of am all of that. In my heart, I'm always longing for London. Not necessarily a 'bad' thing to be longing for, but not the BEST thing to be longing for... which makes it a waste of time and energy. Same thing with looking for love, my future, etc. If in my heart I'm constantly turning away the consistency, patience, and goodness of Christ, and seeking satisfaction from other things, I'm letting them become idols and strongholds in my life. It's really much more serious than just wishing for something, in my perspective.
But I'm gonna be honest:
I want a boyfriend. I want to fall in love and get married and have adventures together.
I want to leave America. My first choice is London, but really anywhere except here is okay with me, as long as I'm GOING and DOING.
I want to be a mom. Whether it's having a biological child or adopting or being a maternal figure to orphans I hang out with or just being a loving teacher... I want it.

at least that's what I keep telling him.
but again with the honesty, y'all: He obviously knows what is best for me and what will lead to his ultimate glorification and the completion of His will. and since at this time I don't have a boyfriend, live in London, or work with orphans on a regular basis, it's obviously His will that I am exactly where I am at this time.
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven... He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." {Eccl. 3}

He is not currently rushing to make my life beautiful at this time.
He is not off working on someone else's life with my stale-ly 'beautiful' one sitting idlely by.
He is not attempting to find a way to tie all the knots together in the end and make this a beautiful work at some point.
The work is done.
I don't have to do anything. No adding or subtracting of the beautiful or ugly is necessary. I don't have to try to do everything myself and 'fix' the 'wrong' things that have happened in my life.
I just repent from the wrong. Turn to the right. and open my eyes.

I just have to let myself see it.

Be patient, redeemed daughter. Calm down enough to take in your surroundings and see the beauty God has made, that has already been planned and is slowly blossoming around you. Trust the timing of the omnipotent and omniscient One.  

welcome to midnight.

Do you ever feel like your path with God is a big ol' question mark, instead of a straight line like it seems it should be? 2018 has bee...