Monday, February 23, 2015

Made Clean

Rushing water
Pouring down on me
Washing away the dirt and grime
That life leaves behind

Rushing water
Pouring down on me
Making me clean
Making me whole again

Rushing water
Pouring down on me
Reaching every corner
Finding all the dark places

Rushing water
Pouring down on me
Washing me with God’s love

Restoring me with grace and mercy

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

God Shining Through Us

I was watching M*A*S*H a few days ago, when I struck by something the priest in the show said. Father Mulcahy is the priest and I've been struck a few times by his words. The show is defeinitely not a Christian show, but there is truth in the words this priest has to say.

The words that struck me recently are these ones:
"God didn't put us here for a pat on the back. He created us so He could be here Himself. So that He could exist in the lives of those He created, in His image."
Father Mulcahy was speaking to our desire for recognition in what we do, our desire for a pat on the back. A desire that can become something that consumes us and causes us to miss out on why we're really here.

Jesus taught about serving and loving others when H was walking this earth as a man. He backed up His teaching with His actions. There was no task too low for Him to perform in serving other. The most notable example being when He took on the job of the lowest of servants and washed His disciples' feet (John 13:1-17).

The love Jesus had for all people is evident in all His interactions with them. Even if He didn't agree with their lifestyle or their choices, He still loved them as a person.

It's when we love the people we come into contact with and serve others that we are "being Jesus" to them. That is when we are allowing God to exist in us in the created world in a way that others can see.

It's not about what we do or getting recognition for what we do. It's about presenting Jesus to the world through the way we live and the way we love and serve others.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Surrendering to God's Plan for Our Lives

Everywhere I've turned for the last couple weeks it seems I'm looking at another reminder of my singleness. That happens every year around Valentine's Day. With all the focus on love and romance, it's inevitable.

And when I'm reminded of it in every store I walk into, I start seeing other reminders of it in the rest of my life. Like last night . . . a great supper out with my sisters and their husbands. I usually don't even think about it when I'm with them. Except for last night - as I was the one climbing into my car alone as we left, I was reminded again that I'm single.

It's not that I don't like my life. I love lots of things about my life and most of the time these days I know I'll have nothing to complain about if things stay the way they are. The desire to be married is there, but it doesn't take over my life to the point I miss out on what God has for me now. Usually, I don't notice or care about the reminders that I'm single.

But, there does come a time when there are just enough reminders of my singleness in a short time that they can begin to take over. The weeks leading up to Valentine's Day can be one of those times.

I don't share this because I want sympathy or pity from others. In the midst of this, God has taught me a lot. As I've wrestled with this - how to be content with my life as it is now, while not giving up on a desire to be married one day - God has taught me much about surrendering to Him and trusting He has a plan.

Coming to that point hasn't been an easy process. At first, I thought that surrendering that would mean I would for sure never get my desire.

God hasn't promised that He will fulfill all our desires if we surrender them to Him, but He has promised to meet us in the midst of them and to give us what He in store for us if we'll trust Him. God's plan might not always be our plan; in fact, it can often be different. But, I've learned that God's plan is always best.

Surrendering to God doesn't mean it's suddenly all easy and we won't struggle anymore. The last couple of weeks and seemingly constant reminders of my singleness are proof of that. It hasn't been easy, but I've take those struggles to God and He's met me in them.

I don't know what my future holds in this area of my life. I don't know what God's plan is. But I do know that it is much easier to deal with unmet desires and the curves life throws my way when I'm choosing to surrender to God's plan for my life, rather than trying to force mine to happen.

What is that thing in your life that you are struggling with? What is that one thing you aren't sure you want to surrender to God?

Are you willing to surrender it and allow God to meet you in it?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Continuing to Learn what Freedom Really Means

It seems that freedom has been a recurring theme in some old poetry I've been coming across recently.

A few weeks ago, I was going through some boxes I had picked up from my parents' house. I had stored them there for a while, but they needed the space now, so I was bringing them to my house to keep them here.

In one of those boxes, I cam across a folder of poetry I had written when I was in high school and my first couple years of college. Who knew that at the time I dreaded every English class I had to take - and poetry the most of all - I was writing my own.

Some of that poetry will never be seen by anyone and a little bit of it may be shared with others. This poem is one I will share.

As I read this poem, I was struck by what I wrote about. Thinking back to the time in my life when I wrote this, I had only just begun to understand what freedom in Jesus Christ really is. I'm sure I still don't understand it completely, but it's something I'm learning more and more about each day.

Breaking down the walls
Busting out of the box
I’m tired of the walls
I’m tired of the box
I want to be free

Opening my eyes to the sunlight
Seeing Your amazing creation
Feeling the sweet cool breeze
Dancing and leaping in the field
I am freed from all that bound me

You broke for the walls
You tore up the box
You freed me to see Your creation
You released me to live

I am free through Jesus Christ

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Journey to Freedom

I stumbled across this poem I wrote a couple years ago. I was reminded of the truth of it. I've shared it here before, but felt that this was the time to share it again.

Satan's lies long believed
Child of God stuck in captivity
Lies that go so deep
They seem to be a part of me

Tired of the lies
My heart desires freedom
Seeking freedom to be found
In God`s Truth alone

Tearing down the lies
Felling walls with God's truth
Only in the Word of God
Can true freedom be found

Wishing this could just be done
But knowing it take times
Freedom is a work in progress
Seeking God and seeking truth

Sunday, February 1, 2015

My Least Favourite Day on the Calendar

February 14 . . .

I was reminded of how quickly that date on the calendar is approaching when I walked into a store and was overwhelmed with a display of pink and red, or hearts and kissy lips.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called "Yes, I'm Single." It was probably one of the most honest posts I had ever written. It might still be. It was also one of the scariest posts I've eve hit publish on, because I was putting it all out there.

I went back and reread that post recently, with all the reminders that Valentine's Day was approaching again.

Two years ago . . .

I'm a few months from my 32nd birthday - a birthday that doesn't seem to be the same milestone as turning 30 was. Some things have changed in my life since then, many other things haven't.

As I reread my statement at the beginning of that post - my declaration, if you will - I realized that those words could be applied to many mare situations in life. Replace the word singleness with something else going on in your life. It speaks to our need for belonging - our need to know we have people who care about us and we care about in return.

My _________________ is not a problem to be fixed.And it doesn't make me strange or weird.Just like you, I want to belong. I want to be included.I want to be missed when I'm not there. And I want to know you well enough to miss you when you're not there.

The cry of our hearts is for a place to belong. We spend our lives searching for that. We want a place where we feel like we fit in. The crazy things so many of us do to try to fit in with a certain group is evidence of our desire for a place to belong.

We were created with a need to belong. We were created for community with one another. That was God's plan from the beginning.

At Bible college we had another name for February 14 - at least those of us who were single did. We often referred to it - somewhat jokingly and somewhat seriously - as "Single's Awareness Day," instead of Valentine's Day. The day we were reminded regularly as we saw all the couples walking around campus together, that we were still single. The day the cafeteria would be strikingly empty at supper compared to most evenings.

As I reflect on it more, I think this desire for a place to belong is why Valentine's Day is a day I often wish wasn't on the calendar. Not because I don't have a place to belong. I've been blessed with incredible friends and an amazing family. But, because on that one day on the calendar it can still feel a bit lonely. A day where it seems more obvious who is a couple and who is not.

This post has no neat conclusion. I'm still figuring out what this all means for my life. As February 14 approaches, I do realize I have two choices for that day. I can focus on what I don't have and get depressed. Or I can focus on what I do have and be thankful for what God has given me.