Friday, April 30, 2010

Parce que chaque jour j'ai pensé à toi.

Ok, I admit, I don't think I've seen the movie Braveheart in its entirety. (But hey, my friend Jim Hale has never seen Princess Bride, so I think we balance out the universe.)  I know the basic premise (there's a wee bit too much blood and gore for my liking) and I'm sure if I weren't so squeamish, I'd love this movie and be able to draw as many parallels to the Christian faith as my friend, Tim Suggs, can (no I couldn't, Tim's WAY smarter than me).

Anyhow, yesterday one of my FAVORITE blogs, (In)Courage was written by an incredible writer, Sarah Mae. She wrote about the freedom she felt when she let go of something that directed and controlled her life.  She talked about the release and joy she experienced once she realized that that THING didn't have to control her and that instead honoring her husband and also her God was what brought true freedom and joy.

Earlier in the morning, I experienced the same freedom - to a point of near giddiness (ok, MINUS the honoring my husband part, obviously!) but it wasn't until I read Sarah Mae's blog that I had any idea what and why I felt the way I did.


The night before I simply didn't do something that I had been doing for many months (don't worry - it's nothing bad).  It wasn't that I didn't miss it, I did, but it was as if God gave me a release from doing it (ok, it's all just sounding so BAD but TRUST ME!  It's not!!  It's rather silly actually.  Just ask Amanda - she can vouch for me on this!!).

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a smile on my face.  I had accomplished something, had overcome something that had become so ingrained in my life that at one point thought I could never live without.  It's silly and small and to 99.99% of the world, incredibly insignificant.  But to me - it was sweet... well bittersweet, but sweet nonetheless.

And when I read Sarah Mae's post, I realized what all those feelings were.


I know that the discipline I used and the prayers uttered when temptation struck honored God.  It's my prayer that I have more nights like last night.  I know I will - because I am TRUSTING that God hears my prayers.

Peace out, y'all.  Have a GREAT weekend.

(I have no idea what language that is up in my title, but when I was searching for a William Wallace quote on freedom I found that.  And I fell in love with it.  It has the SWEETEST translation.  I encourage you to look it up for yourself.)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

"I am still confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."  (Ps. 27:13-14)

About two weeks ago I read something that I had written in my bible, "Everything can be affected by prayer."  I have no idea who said it or when, but those words are having more of an impact on me now than they probably did back when I wrote them.

Everything can be affected by prayer.

 My worries.

My thoughts.

 My feelings.


" God hears.... for sure.  Our trusting of Him is another story, even surer."  (Greg Stuckey)

There was this AMAZING double rainbow right outside my door early yesterday evening.  God put that rainbow there for me.  It was a reminder of His promises.  A reminder of Him.  It was a direct answer to prayer.  It was a promise to me that He does hear my prayers.  

But trusting is another story.

It's the trust I'm working on.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Backburner Faith

How do you recover from admitting that you don’t trust God to answer your prayers? That you don’t believe He’s even listening? That the last 5 months has found you making compromises, deals, and excuses for things that you know are wrong, but since you weren’t brave enough to trust God with one tiny thing it exploded into one GIANT thing?

How do you admit that you’ve put God on a back burner?

Just so you don’t think I’ve totally lost it all, I have been praying to God. A LOT. About a month ago I had to have a rather difficult conversation with someone. For weeks leading up to that conversation I prayed about it so much that I was certain God rolled His eyes whenever I started talking to Him about it. The day of found me in a non-stop dialogue with Him over it. I prayed for peace. I prayed for clarity of words. I prayed for the other person (whom I knew I was blindsiding with this conversation). And most of all, I prayed for redemption of the relationship afterward.

God honored those prayers and so much more.

Why was it so easy for me to trust Him with that but not this?

I don’t have the answers. I know that this morning found me on my knees begging for the ability to trust Him completely. I wish I could tell you that a switch went off in my heart and that trust was completely there.

It wasn’t.

Instead I was overcome with the strong realization that it was going to take a daily, no hourly, decision to trust.  As this process of finally dealing with the BIG things progressed I would have to make a conscious effort to surrender it all to God.  All the thinking, obsessing, worrying that had started to creep in since I started to deal needs to be replaced with trust in the ONLY One who can sort this out.

The ONLY One who deserves the glory when all is said and done.

Last year a dear friend shared with me these words from an old hymn.  They are a sweet reminder of a real truth.

God is too wise to be mistaken.
God is too good to be unkind.
So when you can't see His plan,
When you can't understand,
When you can't trace His hand,
Trust His heart.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Major Epic Fail

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been avoiding processing BIG thoughts.  BIG time avoiding BIG time thoughts.  So last night when I got home (THANK YOU, my BFJ, for your lovely words of encouragement!) I sat in my comfy chair and tried to think the thoughts that needed to be thunk about.  (I know thunk isn't a word.) In the whopping 10 minutes I managed to sit there, I thought about the massive dust bunny under my dining room table, what to wear to work the next day, would my stash of Coke Lights last until another team went to Belize (sad, but true), and, finally (oh the shame) was tonight’s episode of “Big Bang Theory” new or repeat (repeat, FYI).

MAJOR fail.

Then, I had the not too brilliant idea of taking a walk around my neighborhood.  I made it to the end of my driveway when the pain from my broken toe (yeah, broken toe) was too intense (can you say WIMP) and I limped back to my house.

Major MAJOR fail.

Finally, I thought if I sat on my bed, with the TV off, my computer closed and my foot propped up, THEN I could do major thinking.

EPIC fail.

This morning, EARLY, I took my oatmeal, bible and journal and sat in my driveway.  After a few moments of making sure Lucy wasn’t going to wander the neighborhood without me and that Sweet Kitty wasn’t going to go off into the woods, I got quiet.  Real quiet.  Just me.  Just my thoughts.

Just God.

The things I need to process aren’t all BIG, but they are intertwined with some that are HUGE.   As I started to unpack them all and talk to God about them, I stopped and I realized – I couldn't talk to God.  Then a feeling washed over me that left such a deep, dark hole I thought I wanted to die...  I don’t trust God with any of the things I needed to process.  I mean, I TRUST God, but when it comes to hearing and answering prayers SPECIFICALLY in this area, I don’t trust Him.


I first shared about the fact that I didn't think God hears my prayers here, and honestly I thought I was past it.  Really and truly thought it was a thing of the past.  Then I remembered a thought I had Monday , “I don’t know why I bother telling God about ________________ - it certainly isn't like He's listening to my prayers.”  

Yup – I thought that.  Me, the girl who has been a Christian since she was five, been on countless missions trips, had lived in the hood where gunfire, prostitutes and homeless people were regulars outside her door because she knew God would protect her and was convinced it was His will, doesn’t trust that God listens to her.

I have no major lesson learned, no impressive insight.  Just raw emotion and suffocating admission - I don't trust that God hears my prayers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Thoughts

I was reading one of my favorite blogs today (Sarah Markley – The Best Days Of My Life) and she asked the question, “How do you process thoughts that seem too big for you?”

This stopped me dead. I sat here staring at my computer for what seemed like an eternity because I realized that there are several “thoughts” that need processed and I’m avoiding them. Much like I avoided doing my chores as a teenager. I’ve preoccupied myself with other “happy” thoughts, and pushed BIG thoughts aside. I’ve been doing this for the better part of 5 months. And it’s time to stop.


Turns out one of the ways I process big thoughts is by blogging and I haven’t done that since the end of January and even in January I only posted twice. After reading Sarah’s post I realized I’ve been avoiding processing BIG thoughts like the plague. I know I have tip-toed toward them once or twice but I always went running home to momma when the process got too hard or the thoughts got too overwhelming.

Happy thoughts.

This past weekend God started to bring some of those thoughts to the forefront of my thinking. One, in particular, He SLAMMED into me like a wrecking ball late Sunday afternoon. Today I realized I can no longer hide from them and no longer avoid them. I need to process them. I need to sort them out. I need to go before Him humbly asking for forgiveness, guidance and help.

I need to stop running.

Strangely there’s this part of me that is looking forward to this. I realize that just contradicted everything I’ve said already, but I am. I’ve been in bondage to some of these thoughts and I’m ready for them to be GONE (just because I haven’t been processing them, doesn’t mean I haven’t known they are THERE!). I’m ready for it to be six months from now when these thoughts are lessons learned and tears cried and bittersweet memories.

I’m ready.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)