Whacha Got to Say?!

Writing is good for your health. It makes your heart feel better!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Trust...Who do you?

When I was a teenager I there was a woman in our church that was always there. It seemed as though she was a constant in the church-as dependable as one of the load-bearing walls that kept the high ceilings and steeple from caving in on us. To me, she seemed to have it all together. One Sunday afternoon, I gathered the nerve to ask her a question that had been nagging at me for a while. "How long does it take to trust God completely?" I asked, timidly. As she looked over at me, a little girl decades her junior, it was as though she had been waiting all her life to answer my simple question. As genuinely as she could she leaned over and said "I'll let you know when I find out," after which she smiled and went on her way. It was then that I realized that my question was bigger than I had first imagined.

Not many years after that I joined the military and had to make some major choices and figure things out for myself in a short amount of time. If it hadn't been for my mother raising me to have good character and teaching me how to pray, the immorality I was living in and surrounded by would have been my demise instead of my stepping stone. What I learned then was that I was always on the mind of God (Jeremiah 1:5). This meant that I could depend on Him to be there for me no matter where I was, or what I had gotten myself into.

Fast forward over a decade and I had only taken several small steps forward in my journey to the land of Trusting in God. I did figure out that God understands this is a process and has set up scenarios for me-as any good father would, to help me grow and learn to trust Him. I've learned that trust is something that is innate and learned, simultaneously. For example, even as a child I knew I could trust my mother intrinsically, but I had to learn how to trust her fully as I grew and matured in different areas and levels of my life.

"For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of rightousness: for he is a babe. But stong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" Hebrews 5:13-14

What does this have to do with trust, you ask? I'll tell you. Many adults trust God on the same level I trusted my mother when I was a toddler. I knew she would feed me, clothe me, make sure I was clean and address all of my basic needs. I knew she was taller than me, older than me, knew more and could do more than I could. There were times when she was gentle and would rock me in her arms. Then there were times she was firm and had to command my obedience or at minimum my obeisance, as the Queen of her Kingdom (a.k.a. our home).

It was not until many years later that I would learn how deeply I could trust her. How she was not simply my Queen/Mother, she was also my friend and confidant. I no longer questioned whether I would be fed, clothed, or bathed; I knew that was a given. However, through consistent relationship, I learned that there was no part of me that I had to hide from her, there was no place I had been, or thing I had done that would change her love for me.

"And if you who are evil know to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give The Spirit of Holiness to those who ask Him?" Luke 11:13

If God, through a human being, could show me love in its purest human form, how much more would He, the Creator/Giver of my first love, love me? And if I could for a moment take my mind off of the sounds, pains, disappointments, rejections, deadlines, chores, commitments and all other busyness surrounding my every waking moment and ponder that thought...if I could forget my intellect and experiences, my short-comings and frailties and think about the loveliest thing I've ever imagined, and that Christ is lovelier than that...then I would have a glimpse of what trust, Godly surrender and dependence means.

I invite you on this journey with me. Abandon yourself right now. That's right, put all your stuff and anyone else's stuff you're holding on to aside. Lay it down. Go ahead, I'll wait...

Now, think about what love is. If you've never experienced love or don't think you have, pull on your deep rooted desires. Not your wants-a new house, car, or job; those are things you can function properly without. The things you need and can't live without, those are desires. You know exactly what I'm talking about because you know that love is not a feeling. I repeat: Love is not feeling. Feelings of contentment and confidence are simply the result of true love; the comfort and security that have been birthed into and belong to those who are truly loved. And let me tell you what I've discovered: God alone can love this way, and God through His son Jesus the Christ can teach us how to accept this kind of love.

When we understand-even in our finite minds, how much we are loved, we won't be able to do anything but rest completely in it. That, my friend, is trust.




Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Choose

"...choose this day whom you will serve...”
Joshua 24:15

Today I had a choice to make. Actually I had several but one in particular sticks out. Because I'm a thinker I thought about which choice would be better. Should I say and do exactly what I would usually say and do? I asked myself. My natural inclination was to rely on habit. I could react first, and ask forgiveness later. Hmmmm, that sounds like a good idea. I hesitated. Then thought some more.

I literally saw myself making one choice, and the reaction I would get from it, then making the total opposite choice and seeing that reaction in my mind as well. I was amazed by the power human beings have to choose. For a moment I had forgotten about the choice I needed to make, and instead focused on the freedom I had to choose. It was liberating to say the least. I understood deeply that my life only belongs to feelings or emotions if I choose to give myself over to them. And if that is true, then my life only belongs to reason and compassion if I choose to give myself over to them.

Now, I know you're waiting to read that I made the perfect choice and everything worked out well. That's what Hollywood is for. This blog is real. Even though I use general happenings in my life and leave certain details out, it's real nonetheless. No, maybe I didn't make the best decision, but I did make a better one. I chose to be as mature as possible, given my personal shortcomings and human characteristics. In spite of my issues, I chose to satisfy my desire to be understood with my greater desire to understand. To take my confusion, hurt, disappointment and give it to God first, so He could help me internalize it, make sense of it and see exactly what He was doing in the midst of my situation. Did it make the job of choosing go away? No. But because I used my power to reason, and have compassion, I saw myself becoming who God made me instead of who I have always been.

I choose. Do you?



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dream A Little Dream

Hey! It's been a while since we've talked but that doesn't mean you weren't on my mind. As a matter of fact, I was thinking about you today so I decided to share what was on my mind with you.

Speaking of sharing my mind, it has been filled with so many things to blog about. The topic that's been waiting in line the longest is that of dreams. Several weeks ago (around about the last time I blogged) I had an amazing dream. I dreamt that I was in a church and it seemed as though I was singing in a choir with one of my friends from Tennessee named Karen. My husband was there, and Pastor Angela (another close friend of our family who lives in TN) was there as well. The one thing that wasn't there was order. There was so much chaos everywhere. People were walking, talking, children were playing and coming up to us trying to distract us from singing and disrupting the service. After a while I couldn't take any more.

I walked out of the choir stand and went to gather up all the children and sat them down. As I walked through the church I saw people sitting in their seats with food and empty wrappers in the pews and on the floor. I saw people turned away from the pulpit talking to each other. It was as though we weren't even in church. I remember feeling sad about that. Then I went to the front of the church and tried to get the choir to sing. The altos acted as though they didn't know their note. Karen was singing the soprano note all by herself and the Tenor section literally sat down and refused to sing at all.

I was perplexed. I looked at Karen, who, in the midst of all the distractions, quietly walked over and pointed to the tenor section and as I looked at them again I saw stones piled on top of one another. The people were stones on the inside. Once I saw that I walked over to them and tried to pull them up but they were too heavy. When I realized I couldn't pull them up with my strength, I felt a strong urge to take the microphone and speak to them.

Then I woke up.

What's amazing about that dream is that God was able to speak to me in many ways through it. My question to you today is, when was the last time you dreamed? I'm not talking about pepperoni pizza/acid indigestion dreams about gun-toting dinosaurs and chocolate rivers (you know the kind of stuff you dream about when you eat weird food right before bed). No. I'm talking about dreams of your future, or of someone else's; dreams of what God has for your life, of your expected end (Jeremiah 29:11)? If you can't remember the last dream you had, maybe it's time for you to talk to God about that so you can get busy seeing in your dreams. Good night...