Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Letting Go, To Be Lifted Up

What is it like to put everything into God's hands? A question I thought I knew the answer to this past summer, but with school now in full swing; I realize I still have so much to learn. The answer to this question can be different for everyone...different for each situation...but with this "letting go" comes very similar feelings: fear, hopelessness, lonliness, unsurity, and insecurity. Francesca Battistelli sings a song titled "I'm Letting Go,",which gave me alot of hope and guidance this past summer. Listening to the powerful words of this young woman, I realized we all are going/have gone/will go through this same struggle...she sings:

I'm letting go Of the life I planned for me

And my dreams Losing control Of my destiny

Feels like I'm falling and that's what it's like to believe

To feel so unconnected from control seems like such a wrong feeling, but thats what it is like to trust God. Which leads me to my next thought process....

Okay, so now that I am at school I have been faced with more power struggle situations. I am struggling to give it to the Lord and trust Him, but today, as I began to write in my journal I realized how silly I am and how burdensome the frustrations of the flesh are.

I began with asking myself...If God has something better planned for you...why do you continuously think to rely on yourself and your creations. As I wrote I began to be corrected, the Creator of the most beautiful sunset I have ever my God...and He loves me...and is planning my life. Why can I not be more than satisfied with that...then I realized how I think...what life is really like in my small mind...

I'm hanging on a rock wall which is sharp and cold... God has laid out this cloud, a cushion for me to fall into...its a clear obstacles in the way...just a clear path to the destination...but Im too scared. So I stay there and hands are bleeding and I know full well that one of these days my arms will give out or the skin on my hand will wear away...but not to worry God will be there to catch me... then I will fall to the place I should have been ...but instead I choose to take the time that I am given to be in pain...constant struggle...relying on my own strength, when I could just fall and be released of ache.

That is the choice we have...I think I have fallen but...sometimes I feel like I have just jumped to another cliff...I fell only to find something else to hold on to. As a human I try to find ways around just falling..I make it harder than it is...I try to reason.

To take it a step further...imagine the original setting..I was on the was gorgeous there...absolutely perfect...but I got curious and decided to venture (or eat a forbidden fruit). Before I knew it I am hanging on for dear life (a life I had for eternity), I am not strong enough to swing back on stable land, but God has another plan for me. He has prepared to catch me in case I had to fall...and I did...but now God is saying okay so you are hanging, let go and let me take you where you need to be. Its the fall we are dealing with..the fall from God...but now fall back on God.

My advice: think of the most beautiful thing imaginable...and then think God created that and me and my future. Wow, what wonderful things are in store.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dead Ends...Shortcuts...Main Street....

Last night, as I wrote my last journal entry of my Summer 2008 journal, I realized how my life is taking form. Roughly a year ago, a friend of mine wrote a song titled, "Path of Faith." An amazing song, I encourage all to listen to. But the song's lyrics tell of how Jesus clears a path for us, but we as humans are weak and we listen to the call of sin. It saddens the lyrics state

"He cries to watch me suffering

And bleeds to wipe away that sin
Wipe away my sin"

The song ends with this person hopping back on the path and continuing to follow Jesus; keeping in mind not to look back. Such a powerful song, that leaves me feeling convicted and sad. I hate that I have hurt Jesus so much in the past and still continue to do so. But ever since I first heard this song, my mind has continued to go back to the imagery of life as a path led by God. Last night, I branched off from the song's initial impact on me and personalized it.

We all go through moments/stages/times in our lives where we think...ok God it's in your hands, but why here? How can these dark places lead me to a brighter day. But while we focus on the dark scenery, we fail to think about all the sinful dead ends we traveled to..we thought we could journey on by ourselves. When we have it in "our hands" we dont travel too far. The road gets dark, bumpy, and lonely. But somehow God looks for us on these dead ends...He usually knows the popular routes people take, He finds us as we are sitting at the dead end. We are probably cold, crying, and ashamed that we took it on our own hands and ventured off. But God says something of this nature, "My child, dont be silly, I am here, we will leave this place, get you cleaned up and find that happiness again. You must be patient and trust me." Then, we turn around and find the road we are supposed to be on...I call this one main street. But even on our journey to main street, with God beside us, we begin to loose faith. God takes us on shortcuts that still look gray, they have brush on the road, and there aren't many travelers. I finally look to God and say, "Lord, where are we going? Dont all roads that lead to main street look somewhat like main street?" And God tells me," Relax Kristy, Be patient, remember how far away you were? Just trust me, I have you! I know the way, I created it.

Lately, I have been walking this path, and I see that it does resemble goodness. I can see how it will end up on main street, but some of these shortcuts are scary. Our time to do the Lord's work is limited, He must use shortcuts to get us back on the right track... we waste so much time. I know the Lord will not let me down...He will show me the way...and when I get to main street (the one that goes straight to Heaven), I will be so happy. I was reading some passages out of Psalms during my quiet time that gave me so much hope...."Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you." Psalm 81:15-16 God will satisfy me...a task so giant. Humans are rarly satisfied.

God is blessing me and will show me the purpose for traveling down undesirable shortcuts. And when I get to main street, I cannot wait to tell people of my journey.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Familiar Costume

I unleashed a common, human habit today: get angry too soon and realize your place too late. I have been on my sister's case lately about what she spends her time doing and not doing. But as I pondered/boiled over the amount of time she spends on her phone, with her friends, and on her computer...(which do not get me wrong, are popular among most American youth, including myself)...I realized I only saw right through her "lets spend the evening together" because I also wear the same costume of sin. I do not believe that any of her favorite pastimes are sinful (within reason), but when you neglect other responsibilities and priorities, sin is involved. As I vented to her about how much time she spent with others and not with me...I realized not so long ago, I too was using the..."I'll hang out with you while I think about everyone but you" card. Heck, like I said I still wear the costume. I think today I just learned another lesson... certain sin is easier to point out when you are familiar with it. You can spot Satan hiding in behavior and speech. I also uncovered a frightening but important fact...when you think you have mastered Satan and his ways...he has mastered you. Never think you have Satan figured out...he'll use that against you.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Summer Beneath the Redwoods

"I'm terrified."
These were the last words of my journal on May 31, 2008, the first day of my journey to California. This summer God blessed me with an amazing experience. I was privileged to work at Camp Harmon in Boulder Creek, California. Camp Harmon is a special needs camp for people ages 5-65 with a wide range of disabilities. God showed me how to humble myself, while having an unbelievable amount of fun. And though I could go on and on about what I did there..and share some pretty amazing stories; I really want to share what God taught me through it all. Looking back to the last words of my journal, I truly see how God has begun to mold me into the Woman of Christ He wants and intended for me to become.

July 25, 2008 6:50pm
So now as I close this road of my journey, I look forward to the next that follows. I can't explain my experience and its impact. I will never be able to thank God enough for this summer nor will I ever forget this summer or its impact. I have learned to live in the now. To appreciate creation and the importance of taking care of it. I know now that nothing is mine and your will and God's will can never pan out together. You can choose who's will you want, but choose wisely. I learned the importance of quiet time with God and how empowering and rejuvenating it is. I found me and know God has given me the strength to continue on my journey. I have learned how to be myself and intertwine my faith with fun(something I am still working on), I learned how to evangelize in other ways. I eat healthier, I learned don't sweat the small is life and you can't spend it all worrying...just live. I have learned how annoying "costumes" are to yourself...don't pretend. Just because you change your clothes doesn't mean you are a different person. Don't let petty things dictate your lifestyle or your purpose. Don't rush! Let life go and relax, don't get worked up, it's wasted energy, but do stand when you feel it's the best decision. Old friends mean a lot and you may have only a few, but they really mean a lot...they matter. "Friends" shouldn't be over has more meaning than it usually carries in the era of internet communication. Don't waste something. If you have the choice to sleep or meet one extra people, they all impact you in some way, whether it is just triggering a thought. There is a connection your mind may have never made or you could have influenced them in some way. Talk to everyone, be friendly, don't pressure anyone. Be patient. LISTEN God talks. There are many ways to communicate, other than talking. You can do it! Spend more time listening and less talking (something I also am still learning.) See places. Don't fear anything, except God and his overwhelming/amazing power, but don't be arrogant. Give back to your family, they also are important. Pray harder and don't judge anyone who does or doesn't have your beliefs. Don't doubt people. Let God know you're weak, no one else. Life is too short to be jealous. I'm still learning about selfishness. Some of life's best lessons begin with an afternoon of tears. Don't be too extreme with words. "One day at a will all be great." Don't live your life to regret it. Focus on the Lord and when you are doing something, focus. I'm still learning the idea of hard work. Answer only to the Lord. Chill is a good thing. Your home is a big part of you, but not too big. Be overzealous with your faith, be mindful of anything else you choose to be overzealous in. If God doesn't want you to feel a certain way (and you want His will) you won't feel it. God watches over you...even if you don't think He is... Don't dwell in unhappiness...even if it may be easier. DO NOT pity yourself...what a waste of time. Smile and get others to do it too. If you are feeling down think of the Lord, dance, and sing a goofy song. Spend time talking with friends. Build relationships. Never think you won't see someone ever again. Be mindful of the words Never and Always. If you feel uncomfortable with something, find comfort in it (within reason). Grow up...its okay a little bit. Love on people. Some of the best teachers never went to college. Drink water, it's good. Run to Nature. Be independent but not too independent that you shut the world out. Psalms are amazing. A little dirt really won't hurt you and germs...well we all have them. Smells...they are just funny. Cherish the familiar and find excitement in the unfamiliar. Compassion goes a long way. Don't try to change what you do..and if it's right, positive results will come from it. Look for the good...ignore the bad.

Thank you Lord. I love you as a Friend, a Father, a Creator, a Protector, a Provider. You have blessed me with something great and I am so looking forward to what my future holds. Praise be to God! Amen