Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Glimpse: 2013

It's become a tradition for me to sit down near December's end and go through all of my prayer journals for that past year. It's an incredible time to remember, of seeing with a different vantage point the terrain that Jesus has led me through. It's memorable, painful, hopeful. It's a gift to be able to track some of the trails of the year, to see some of the ways they wind into each other, as I spot patterns, themes.

I have 11 pages of notes I made from the year. It was a wild one. 

I was reading through part of James 1 Sunday night, and it interprets me. It interprets this rickety 2013 of a year. 

I read it slow.

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (1:2-4)

From the get go, even before spring semester began, I got my first test. I didn't see it as a test of faith. {it was} I saw it as a test of whether or not He should have faith in me. {it most definitely wasn't}

The beginning of 2013 was full of a lot of brokenness, tears, attempts to regain my balance and breath. I was so afraid I had failed the Lord that I neglected my faith in Him. I was so afraid when I couldn't see Him working in my life, when I couldn't feel His love.

Praise the Lord for His patience, for the way He grows us in the midst of the pain, for the way that He tends to our faith, even when we're so incapable of growing it ourselves.

It took a long time for me to become a little stronger, to trust that He is the true Redeemer, that He has my little, weak life in His hands, that He is the One holding me up, definitely NOT the other way around. I pray, oh how hard I pray in this moment that the progress we made together will result in a steadfastness, a more sturdy resolve that will outlast the potentially more painful seasons ahead. I am beginning to trust Him more. I have seen His goodness. I have seen His redemption. I have seen His Light in the darkness. I will follow Jesus. :) It's so hard . . . but it's so worth it!!! :)

2013 was a year of answered prayer . . . 

The Lord brought Jessica into my life, a woman who has become one of my closest friends, who understands a conservative background, who encourages me to really follow Jesus. I prayed for a friend in January who could help me walk through some of my questions. Praise JESUS! He answered with one of the most wondrous gifts of a friend! :)

Jesus provided clarity and affirmation for decisions I didn't understand in the making. Holy, holy, holy. 

Sweet friend prayed for peace for me when I was desperate for it (her not knowing this), and my pastor preached a sermon on peace that very day in a way that kept me breathing. Grace.

Being able to get most of the paint I spilled at the Radiator Shop out of the carpet was also a big answer! Ha! Mercy, there were so many times this year when God was so gracious to go behind me and clean up my many messes. We really do love a very good King!

2013 was a year of blessing, even in the painful moments. Three of my friends came down to my house to visit me, home became a place of refuge and joy and rest, one of my profs treated me to dinner and truth and blessing (one of the best memories of this year), my 21st birthday was full of unexpected miracles . . . my first really good day of the year, my sister and I went on several adventures (weird drives, beach trip, hanging out in PDX . . . I love being with you, sissy!), swimming in the nearby lake with friends and sister, going to an interesting church meeting with a friend, hanging out with cousins during the summer (watching "Epic," laughing hard, picnic by a church, swimming in aunt's pool, . . .), MC'ing at my school's All-College Retreat, spending time with wise women, being a bridesmaid for a sweet friend, being a camp counselor at my church's camp, becoming VP at Multnomah (the hard and the blessing of it), laughing so hard with my family when I'm home and our many meals around the table, and so many more . . . 

Jesus has been teaching me about faith, about how I must believe that He rewards those who seek Him (Heb 11:6). He's teaching me about how He wants His people to be whole, healed, that His focus is on the healing when He wounds us to heal, not the wounding. He has taught me about the power of worship, of how life-giving it is to us when the Holy Lord God becomes our focus. He has been teaching me about this world and about Light and how Light and Love do make a difference, even when the darkness seems so severe. He has shown me that my love is inadequate to heal or even fix. I can trust the Lord to heal and fix though. I've learned that I cannot focus my energy on fixing needs but on following Jesus. I've come to realize that my ultimate goal should not be to be relevant but to present a gospel that is intrinsically relatable to everyone. I have seen the damage shame does, and I have seen the glory of His grace. Jesus has shown me that He knows what it's like to hunger and that He honors my hunger to be right with Him. 

I have seen the goodness of my God.

I have tasted it. 

This was the year of Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis, The Holy Wild by Mark Buchanan. This was the year of new songs, of "Shine" (Christa Wells), "Let Go" & "Trust" (Matt Hammit), "Carry Me Now" (Josh Wilson), "Oceans" (Hillsong United), "Symphony" (Tim Be Told), "The Beat" (Ben Rector), "Already There" (Casting Crowns), "Loved" (JJ Heller). 

Here are some of my heart cries from 2013:

"I want to hear Your words because I'm pretty sure they would be gentle or even if not, and You'd have to raise Your voice, at least I could trust Your voice, even if Your Words hurt. I'd rather be hurt by You than be hurt by satan's lies."

"Help me to believe that You desire to lead me into freedom and not bondage, that You know what I need and that there are some things I need that really can be enjoyed, that I'd love."

"It's high time I become a woman of integrity, that I stop playing games and kill the pride and fear that make me try to hold on [when I need to let go] . . . It's time - by Your grace and power, through Your work in me - to follow You fully, to make this about You." 

"Remind me - 
no one is as deep as You,
no one can show me more of the gospel and its realness than You.
no one can draw me out of myself more than You can.
no one will be more faithful,
will know how to make me laugh, 
will always be close to comfort and convict
no one - but You."

I'm glad 2013 is coming to a close. It was one wild year, but one I try to gather courage to thank Him for. :) It was a painful year, a faith-testing year. There were failures, victories, but all encompassed in a faithful love. My Savior is much more powerful than I dreamed and much more compassionate than I know how to understand. 

I'm so glad we don't know what the year will be like when it begins, and I praise Him for the way He can make good out of such painful seasons, that He wastes nothing. :) 

May our faith become more and more steadfast, sturdy, on a God who has proven Himself faithful and kind in the year ahead. 

On to more adventures! :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

"The World Waits For a Miracle: O Come, Emmanuel"

I wanted to share on here two of my recent posts on Facebook because I want to make sure I keep them, that I come back to them more often. I don't want to forget . . . 

December 18th
Please watch this. Watch it to the end. I cried. Oh Lord, keep the tears fresh. 

Please, Jesus, yank off the curtains concealing this slave-trade. Please heal our blindness. Touch our eyes so they cry and our hearts so they mourn. It's not enough to watch and see. What do You want me to do? Me? What can I do?

December 19th Crud, heartbreaking videos two days in a row. Part of me feels guilty for posting it, but I think a greater part of me should feel guilty for not. 

I cling to things that help me feel in order to understand, to things that change my perspective enough to break my heart. These last two videos have done that.

Christmas amazes me. It was an event marked in poverty. A poor couple gives birth to the Savior of the world in a barn stall. Jonalyn Fincher compares Mary having Jesus in a manger to Him being born in a Motel 6 janitor's closet ("Open the Stable Door"), and yet America has made it one of the biggest spending holidays around. God's given me abundant riches, even as a college student, compared to the rest of the world. Am I hoarding? Or am I making room for Jesus? Am I seeking out every manager and gifting Him when I see Him in the eyes of the Gospel for Asia kids or those who need fresh water in Africa? Am I reaching out to those in the small town I'm living in, looking for needs, grabbing a couple extras groceries to take to the Food Bank? Am I listening to His Spirit moving me? Because I am CONVINCED that He will move me to love the poor. I'm absolutely convinced. I am convinced He would have me mourn with the mother from India abandoning her child. I am convinced He would have me pray for the deliverance of the 17 year old girl being sex-trafficked. He has made us to be compassionate . . . to suffer with.

Move my heart, O God. Please, literally jolt it out of place, closer to Yours. Remove from me the ideal of a perfect, glitzy, American Christmas. Teach me TRUE Christmas, TRUE Compassion. You have modeled it in incomprehensible ways. I praise You for what You are doing in the world. I praise You that Your Light and Hope is shining, and that in the end, there is nothing that can overcome Your light. 

Watch Here:
imagine if - Video Series - Gospel for Asia

I am convinced of this: The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. I can't see that right now, but I KNOW it is true, I KNOW that we will see this. We will see LOVE win victoriously over every hatred. We will see His LIGHT pierce every darkness. The sex trafficking days are numbered. The days of poverty are numbered. Come, oh come, Emmanuel.

The Messiah has come, and He will come again. O come, o come, Emmanuel.

This is the Hope I pray in, a Hope that is REAL, based on that which is Promised, which WILL be given. Hallelujah. Merry Christmas, dear one!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Worship: Access into His Presence, into His Wholeness

There must be a different way to measure a life than these things called days and weeks and months, because I'm never able to wrap around the measuring tape before the thing squirms away from me.

I'm in my room, my home. It's Thanksgiving break, and I have a very nice to-do list, part of my family's sick, and it's almost time to go back to school and finish out a semester.

But as I'm here, enjoying the feeling of being still, I'm listening to a Kathy Troccoli CD, her 2005 worship album.

I can't tell you how much peace and hope you can find in a 2005 worship album.

I used to think that when I came to God in worship, I had to unload all my problems and struggles before Him first, or when my heart was full with my friends' pain and struggles, I thought I'd need to let go of the pressure in my heart before praising.

But I think I've been shown another way.

Awhile back, I went to the prayer chapel at my school. It's this sweet little building that looks like a miniature church where students can come and spend time praying, seeking, singing. I had so much to pray for; my heart was so overwhelmed.

I tried to pray but really couldn't get anywhere, so I started playing on the piano and singing. I sang, trying to sing my prayers.

"O precious is the flow,
That makes him white as snow,
No other fount I know.
Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

"Carry her every day,
Carry her all the way.
Carry her to the cross."

It was the week that so many I knew seemed to be falling apart. So many broken hearts.

And as I sang, I found myself in His presence.

And there is nothing more healing than His presence.

Jesus taught me that. Those wounded, sick, all they had to do was come into contact with the Savior, Him placing hands on broken flesh, broken eyes, ears. They were made well.

I realize that Jesus doesn't heal everything in His presence each time, and He definitely doesn't heal everything automatically, but there is wholeness in His presence that can't be found anywhere else. There is peace and joy there.

I realized that I could come praising and that relying on His character and praising Him for that would (in a way) allow each part of His character to touch each part of my brokenness.

This doesn't mean there's not a time for me to tell Him what is going on in my heart, and there is definitely always a very real place for confession. That has to be done, but maybe there really is something to the idea of "A.C.T.s", praying through Adoration, then Confession, then Thanksgiving. It's when I come in contact with His holiness that I realize my sinfulness. It's when I come in contact with His compassion that I realize I have a million reasons to say "Thank You." I worship Him for who He is and what He's done, and in so doing, I find that somehow, I leave, and my soul is a little more restored.

I love this Kathy Troccoli CD for the sound of the piano music, for the songs she picked, yes, but what I truly love about it is that it's access into His presence. Worship. It's the reminder that Jesus is worthy of praise and that His character meets me here, in a small town, in my yellow room, in my young and naive heart.

I can enjoy Him and be here and do homework and rest. I can let Him move my heart.

I'm edging into December, and December's been a difficult month for me these past three years. I think this month can be different. I think this month is marked in Hope, in a call to praise always, to praise anyway.

"Turn Your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace."

Come with me? Sing with me? May all praise be to our glorious King!

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Few Lessons: Rest

It is the last of the days of October [when I first started this post].

I won't lie. Maybe I breathe a longer sigh of relief than I should because it's over, letting out the steam of a rigorous month and just excited that this season won't last for ever. I sure know I'll mourn its loss, but for now, I am trying to live out the dying days. Kinda ironic. Kinda life.

Not that my life is horrible. Not that my life is always work and no break. Not that my life really is incessantly busy (sometimes it is . . . but not always).

But sometimes I feel so ill-fitted.

Sometimes the weight of the responsibilities get to me, and sometimes my emotions get to me, and sometimes not sleeping enough and eating too much sugar and not exercising like I should . . . it just gets to me.

Sometimes people meeting after people meeting dries me up a little, you know?

Sometimes trying to figure out the bizarre, unresolved corners of my life or even just the future, possible horizons . . . it wears me down. Gets to me.

This whole month, I'm not sure I've learned a lot about rest. I've wrestled though and have wanted to despise it, to call it out as fraud or impossible or that which belongs to the weak or the self-seeking.

But even if I've called it names . . . most of these are undeserved.

These are the lessons of rest (some of which I've learned from friends like Bonnie & Ethan):

1) To rest is to be vulnerable and to trust that the Lord is Sovereign and is the One in control . . . not me.

2) To rest is to realize I'm a person with limitations and that I am more than what I do or produce. I am a daughter of the I AM. His name is not "I DO."

3) To rest is to face myself without distraction. It is the courage to be still and face the Lord and face myself.

4) To rest is to help me safeguard against temptation. The more tired I am, the more prone I am to fall.

5) Rest is not just sleeping. Sleeping isn't even always restful. Rest is a holistic need . . . mental, physical, spiritual, emotional. Rest at its purest seems to be intentional.

6) Peace and Trust and Rest are very intrinsically linked. You have peace when relationships are right, and when relationships are right, there is trust, and only when there is some level of trust can there be true rest.

There are more lessons to be learned. I didn't dig as deep on this one as I should have. This is a rich topic that needs to be unearthed, and I'm so stubborn.

All I know is that sometimes, my life-line is just this . . .

He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.

Still waters.


Only in Him does holistic rest come. Jesus.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ode to Day 13, 14, 15, 15 . . . 21

It would be sweet to say that these past few days have been days devoted to rest, and that's why this blog has been so silent.

The silence is eerie. Don't trust it. Though the past two days were pretty restful, some of the other past days haven't been, but I asked for that, right? Didn't I sign up for this?

I really don't feel like I've been busier than most, but I get tired quickly and sometimes just the constant going and going (even if it's not particularly rushed or too stressed) and the consistent people interactions wears me down.

Plus, life isn't restful. It's not.

And that's okay. That has to be okay.

I'm kind of getting sick of "rest." Ha :) Maybe because the seeking of rest can be positive or it can be entirely filled with selfishness and entitlement. How do I seek Him and find rest in Him without coming to rest with my definition of how I think it has to look like?

I wonder if finding rest is finding what Jesus wants for me in each minute, if it may be possible that that late night for a friend or long talk when I should have done homework or however (though extremely tiring) was just what He wanted of me, and maybe I can rest in that.

Maybe there is  rest that comes from knowing I am right where I need to be, that if He is really is the One asking this of me, it is fully worth it.

Still not sure what rest means, but step by step, if I can find my way to Jesus, I know I will find the rest that I need, maybe not the rest I assume is perfect but the kind of rest I really need.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day 12: His Children Rest

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. {Ephesians}

I am the striving one. Building brick upon brick, every few minutes turning my head toward heaven, seeing if I've caught His eye, gained His approval. 

My working, my striving, my hoping that I can earn saving, . . . hopeless. 
Ceaseless working. Ceaseless restlessness.

Instead, the fortress I'm building collapses.
The ceaseless working leads to an incessant pride.
I collapse.

But God. 

Two words change everything.

But God.

"But God, being rich in mercy . . . " {Ephesians 2:4}

He reaches down and says that I don't have to work to earn anymore . . . because He did.

I am no longer slave but daughter.

I am no longer the far away one, but the one brought near.

I am given the gift of rest, a gift only given to a child. One speaker I heard once said that rest was a gift that proved one's acceptance into a family. Slaves don't rest. Only children do. 

Rest, His son. Rest, daughter of His.

We are given the gift and responsibility of walking in His good works for us, but we no longer have to work to gain His approval. This restlessness can cease.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 10: Burning Brilliance & Day 11: Resting Spirit

Light in the Forest --- Image by © Tony Hallas/Science Faction/Corbis
Day 10: Burning Brilliance

Half-way through the torrent. Much behind, so much up ahead.

It's sweet mid-semester break.

How do I live life to the hilt but yet live with the realization that I am not able to do all?

How do I live the paradox of dreaming big dreams but realizing I am incapable of doing anything big in my strength?

Do I burn out brilliant? Giving all at once, a vibrant burst of star streaming across sky? It sure seems like if I'm living for the Kingdom of God, I should be giving ALL for it. I should be expending every possible piece of energy to bring His kingdom here.

But then, what about days like today? When I'm tired? Is there a rhythm to this life, or do I give all some days and label the days in between "recovery"?

wilberforce on_deck_of_slaveship_madagascar

Day 11: Being Still Always

I deeply admire William Wilberforce, very eager to read more about him. He worked so hard to accomplish his goals, Kingdom goals. He is quoted as saying, "So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the [Slave] Trade's wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for abolition. Let the consequences be what they would, I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effects its abolition."

Can anyone fault him for swearing not to rest? Or is rest not that simple?

I come to this place wondering what it means that rest may be a multi-faceted mountain.

There is physical rest, spiritual rest, emotional rest, mental rest.

Are pieces of these rests meant to be prioritized over others during certain stages of our lives?


Resting our spirits seems to be priority always. Isn't resting rooted in trust? And isn't trust the very privilege and the non-negotiable requirement of the children of God?

Isn't rest, a stillness, that which goes along with knowing that He is God? The Be Still and Know?

While there seems to be very real times when my physical fervor must be expended beyond comfort, isn't it true that regardless, my spirit must always fight for rest in Jesus? Am I maintaining a relationship with Him that leads me to resting in Him, in wholeheartedly trusting Him?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 8 and Day 9: Holistic Rest & Restlessness

Day 8: Survived by a very real grace on three hours of sleep and a two hour nap. Wasn't rested. So exhausted. Weary. And the physical intersects with the emotional at the cross-section of the spiritual.

We were made to be whole.

And we holistically need rest.

Day 9: Still very tired. Of a different sort. The tired that makes me a little weak and susceptible, but at least I'm remembering to blog today! My goodness.

So I'll write.

But only this:

"Our hearts are restless until they rest in You." - St. Augustine

Monday, October 7, 2013

Day 7: Only 30 Seconds

Last Wednesday evening was so special to me.

One of the prof's here took me out to dinner. She made me feel so incredibly loved, and I left feeling like Jesus bought me dinner and encouraged my heart, opened some airways so I could better breathe.

It was such a sweet time.

I asked this wise woman about prayer, and I didn't know how to string my question into words, but the heart behind my question was, "I am failing at praying, and I hate it. Will you help me?"

She said that every morning, right when she wakes up, she begins by saying out loud the Lord's prayer and Psalms 23, and throughout the day, she takes several 30 second or so pauses throughout the day, to breathe or pray.

I've been trying. Every morning, I try to begin with those words, the Lord's prayer, Psalms 23. I'm tired and groggy, but somehow, in the short span of time that I've been able to keep it up, I'm a little more anchored when my feet hit the floor.

As for the pauses, I really want this to become part of the way I live. I have definitely been more intentional about resting, about remembering to rest when I consciously take a few seconds to simply breathe, to simply be, to pray, to consciously rest in His presence.

Maybe it's worth a try. What might be your trigger that would help you remember to just pause for 30 seconds? To remember rest?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 5 & Day 6: A Wedding and a Home . . . Rest

*Photo Credits to Brandon Baker*
Day 5 of this month was spent getting all pretty with a bunch of beautiful women, praying for a bride, walking down an isle, laughing, cleaning, going. It was such an honor to play a small role in one of my dear friends' weddings. What an incredible day.

I am still so amazed at how peaceful Ciara was throughout the whole process. It was beautiful and supernatural. She was a stunning bride, and even though the day was a whir, that girl was resting on something, or maybe better put, she was resting on Someone. She had put so many prayers into her decision to say "yes," Jesus was central, and there were so many people praying for her. And it seemed that she was really able to thoroughly enjoy such an incredibly beautiful, sweet day . . . not worried or rushed. Joy-filled.

She was resting in His peace.

We can only rest in what is true and sound.

She had heard the Lord's answer over her life, over her marriage. She was living into the "YES." God blessed her with the gift of resting in this truth.

While I don't think resting can ever be substituted with striving, I wonder if there really is a true place where resting and seeking go hand in hand.

If I want to rest in God, I must seek Him. I must know Him as I'm learning about in a book I'm reading right now (The Holy Wild by Mark Buchanan . . . hope to share more soon!).

In order to rest through big (or small) decisions, I need to be seeking Jesus' truth and resting in it. I need to be asking questions and quieting myself for answers. As I follow Him, as I say "YES" in these answers, I will find Him to be a resting place. A Home for the every piece of me.

Day 6 finds me sitting here at this computer on a Sunday at home. I love this place, these people. I'm at rest here . . . a hundred and some miles away from a student leadership title, from an ever busy schedule, from people whom I LOVE but who don't understand my backstories and my genes. But here? Here I'm fairly known, and I'm loved . . . regardless. Home is not perfect. It's filled with four imperfect people, and sometimes, we're not the best communicators. We can be a little dysfunctional, a little messy. We sometimes forget to listen or love or be selfless. But still . . . in the imperfect and the rough, I've found a place of rest. 

Because I've found a place where I'm Loved. Known. Safe. 

I think of Chris and Conrad's song, "I'm at Home."

A heart can break a thousand times before it finds
The love that makes it beat again
I've had my share of ups and downs in this whole life
Nothing compares
To this love
It's our love

I'm at home when I'm with you
When you're with me worries fade away

This world can take the very life right out of me
And leave me broken on my knees
Sometimes I feel like I just can't go on
But you restore me

It's your love
It's our love

Oh, I'm at home when I'm with you
When you're with me worries fade away
I'm at home when I'm with you
When you're with me and in your arms I'll stay
I'll stay, I'll stay, yeah

I'll never find another
Closer than any other
It's you I love
It's you I love, yeah

I'm confident that Home can be a Person. Having my sister near me feels like home. Even if we were both several countries away . . . if she was near, she would represent a shadow of Home. I could rest. I'd be fine.

I believe that JESUS is HOME. He's not a Shadow. He IS. It is only in His nearness that I can find REST. It is only in His comfort, in the way He knows me through and through, in the depth of His love. 

Honestly, besides needing to be much more developed, I suppose my day 5 and day 6 posts should be flipflopped, because really, today I can rest in Jesus as Home, and in this resting, this choosing to lay back into His knowing and loving, I can sit with Him and talk. I can seek His guiding about my next steps. As He guides, I trust. As I trust, I rest.

Trust & Rest.

So much to say. Someday soon. 

Much love! Enjoy your Sabbath, my friend.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 4: Return and Rest

Should I be blogging now? Definitely not. I should be sleeping. Ha! Irony! Instead, I am deeply in need of a rest that comes in surrender, in placing the words pent-up in my veins into fluent sentences that pump steady beats.

Maybe there's something to that really, that after the creating (the writing) is the resting. Isn't that how Creator God lived that first week? Maybe that's a jump, but I wonder if there's something to be learned in that.

Crud, it's only 28 minutes into a new day, and I already feel like I have failed. That's why I'm here. Needing to write order into my failing, flailing chaos. How do I dare come to YHWH when I've failed? Why should He allow me rest and peace when I should be whipped? I want to just RUN!

Until I read this.

Isaiah 30
15  For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling, 16 and you said,
“No! We will flee upon horses”;
therefore you shall flee away;
and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”;
therefore your pursuers shall be swift.

17  A thousand shall flee at the threat of one;
at the threat of five you shall flee,
till you are left
like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,
like a signal on a hill.
18  Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
          blessed are all those who wait for Him.

Israel knew what it looked like to run away. They were a restless people. A fleeing people.

I am so restless.

I understand . . . at least in part.

While I am running, my Savior is waiting. He rises up to reach down to me. To pull me up in mercy.

I can choose to run away when I sin, when I blow it (knowingly or unknowingly), or I can come back. I am
offered the chance to return and rest. To stop fighting. To trust that He is God. He is merciful.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 3: He Limits the Sea

There are invisible walls that my humanity will not let me climb over. I am not competent enough to burst out of my human skin and overcome my limitations. As superhuman as I try to be, I cannot survive without sleeping. That's bizarre to me. The Lord wired our bodies to rest. The cruelest villain and the kindest saint sleep. The prisoner and the king have to slow down and rest.

Rest is such a piercing declaration that I am fragile. Needy. Vulnerable.


I am human and can never overstep that boundary.

Oh  my. That doesn't keep me from fighting it. I'm proud, stubborn skin.

To accept rest is to accept that I am not in control. Rest is really trust. I'm excited to write more on that later. :) But for now, the question is offered me, and in return, I'm begged to answer:

danae? will you accept rest? will you accept the fact that i have made you human? i have set limits. i limit the sea and say how far it can come onto the land. i limit how much you can live without taking a moment to stop, to rest. there are limits you do not have to fight, My love. being human is beautiful. I was never above becoming one of you. allow yourself to rest, danae. allow yourself room to be human and to encourage others to be human too. this reminds you that you need Me. oh, you need Me. I love you, danae. come to me. come. only I can teach you true rest.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 2: Don't Let Me Face Myself

My schedule is packed. Every empty space is potential for another tea date, another meeting, another chance of movement. Some people call this productivity, and some people call productivity the greatest good and me? I'm not fooled.

Not entirely fooled. A little . . . but not entirely.

I used to think I was a superstar for keeping my world in motion, . . . until I realized I couldn't hardly stop, or when I did stop during Christmas break or summer, I became a rag doll without a spinal cord, unable to hold myself up and keep myself going. When I stop, I sleep excessive amounts and don't know how to put one foot in front of the other. So I try not to stop. I just run and run and run.

If I want to be honest, if I'm willing to slowly turn around and raise my eyelids enough to look into the mirror I dread . . . I think I maybe know what I'm doing.

That busy whirring, the constant movement, flash of light and wind always . . . this isn't productivity. It's distraction. Anything, anything at all to keep me from facing myself, from pausing enough to really assess how I'm doing before my Savior. Anything to keep me from hearing the sound of my own crying, my own inadequacies, my own weakness. I afraid of what I might hear if I stop. What if these are the only cries I hear: "You're not enough! Not enough! Not enough! NOT ENOUGH." So I don't stop.

And I don't live.

But I long for rest. Oh, I long. I live in the busy, always living city, but my soul knows something about green pastures, and I'm thirsty for the streams He speaks about.

Jesus, while I want to learn about rest, I'm afraid of its cost. I'm afraid of what I'll hear in the silence. I'm afraid of what You'll say if I dared to ask You how I'm really doing.

Your call to rest is a call to a trust I'm scared of. I want to though. I am, I really am tired of living distracted.  Please teach me about Rest in this season. I'm not sure I even know what it means. You offer Your grace. I breathe. Thank You. Thank You. Holy, Holy, Holy. Amen.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

31 Days of Rest

Photo Credits to Briana Cowan
(Reflections of Joy Photography)

Why am I doing this?

Why am I jumping on this bandwagon again of blogging 31 days on one topic?

Why would I choose to add one more thing to my busy schedule?

And on top of that, why would I choose to write about rest for several consecutive days? Ironic?


Crud, I don't know.

Maybe because I need it.

Because in all of this busyness, if I don't figure out how to spend time silent before the feet of Jesus, than this whole Martha thing ain't working out so well. Do you know what I mean?

Are you thirsty too?

Come, please come with me.

I don't promise to write each of the 31 days (though I'll try . . . I'm giving myself Resting Room *wink*).

I don't promise to walk this out well (though I'll try . . . I'm not good at this gig yet).

Come, come with me. While this is a journey of rest, it's also a journey of seeking the Savior.

I'm learning I cannot dare live without Him.

And I hear that only He can offer Rest.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Begger's Try at Poetry

It's been a million miles since I've blogged last. Millions of moment-miles.

I had my last first day of senior year at Multnomah University.

I'm back in the books, in an old job, in 4 classes.

I'm fumbling through a vice presidency and the bizarre idea that somehow soon, undergrad will all come to an end.

I've done a little public speaking and a little heart aching and not enough praying.

But I'm here.

Flesh, skin, bones, breath. Here.

And I beg and beg that this realness of being human is met by the realness of You being God. Because JESUS? Protect me. Please, oh please, protect me from cliche. Protect me from this superficial sealant that makes me feel like I'm doing fine and breathing well in Bible college when You see the deepest of the deep down. Protect this place from becoming a literature club for me.

 I want to KNOW YOU. I want to LOVE YOU. I want to RUN FAST and HARD to SEEK YOU with the deepest hope and passion, that I may FIND YOU.

Oh, I want to find You.

If my heart is restless, let me know it.

If my spirit is being soothed by anything but You, let me recoil.

Meet me, God. I beg You. Please meet me. Touch my side if You need to, but please don't leave me without Your blessing and Your presence.

Holy, Holy, Holy.

Monday, July 29, 2013

And As I Sit at a Softball Game . . .

I watch life lived in story and listen intently to every story spoken . . . hoping, desperately hoping that I'll find myself in your story, and you'll offer me the ending or a character I can slip into, zip myself up, and find my way around.

Can I find my identity in you?

In your passion or your convictions or your love story? Will you, a stranger or a friend or anyone really, will you authenticate who I am? Actually, if you could just show me who I am, I'd take that too.

The twenties leave me spinning, stuck always in coarse webs that pull tighter each time I yank. Who am I? A conservative, Mennonite country girl? Or a college student that finds her place in a liberal city?

And as I sit at a church softball game today, I wondered if God reminded me of something so simple . . .

Danae, your story is absolutely unique. I've designed you with colors never arranged in this way before. You are a new story . . . and no, dear one. There is nothing new under this burning sun. There is common truth that envelops you that you will hear of in others' stories, but My love, there is a uniqueness about the way you will follow me that will not be told in others' stories.

I have not made you to be an uber conservative Mennonite. You will never fit completely into that world, even though you sometimes so desperately want to belong there. You belong in Me.

I have not made you a Katie Davis or a Mother Teresa. Don't strive to be hero or savior, danae. Just strive to follow and love Me.

I have made you into danae, and I will show you what it means to follow Me here in the dusty roads of walking out My story in you. I love you, danae. I'm so glad I created you. Keep following me. I love you. Don't be so worried about your story. Come into Mine, and you will find that you have belonged here all along and that it is perfect for you to be simply Mine.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Help Me: Part 2

 . . . continued

I lay still, fallen, two minutes, six, nine.
Until I finally am flooded with enough adrenaline to move.

The arrow puncture isn't life-threatening . . . yet.
I am weak enough to crawl but not strong enough to cry.

So I whisper:

Healer, Healer, You have to come to me.
i can't make it to You this time.
i don't feel worth healing.
i have nothing to give You but a used-up, rebellious heart.
but i've heard You are good and kind and patient.
please, please hurry.

And suddenly, my senses snap, highly sensitive,
And I hear new words as I realize there are arrows whizzing
The opposite way . . . into enemy territory.

I hear them, hear them sing.

YHWH is worthy and compassionate and kind.
He binds up the brokenhearted and heals their wounds.
He washes the sinners until they're whiter than snow.
He is love and loves you, danae.
He will not forsake you. He is faithful to you always.

I tripped into a battlefield unaware.
But not alone.
This is war,
And He is ready.

You come, O YHWH, when I am least deserving,
To remind me that Grace is that which
Grabs me under my arms and lifts me up,
That reminds me when I feel like I should have been
Better and Smarter than "that,"
That it's not about that at all,
But instead, that You are better than I could ever imagine.

Please bring me through these battles, Jesus.
Give me the energy to reach for Your truth,
To sing it always.
To let every evil arrow ricochet off the shield of faith,
Of trust in You.

You heal me in ways I don't expect.

I'm not out of danger yet.
Please train me for this war.
It is real.
You are ready.
You will win.

And somehow, I will find the strength in You
To run to You
Instead of shamefully running away.

i am on Your side.
No turning back.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Help Me: Part 1

I must have tripped into a battle ground unsuspecting.
All I know is the child's play of toy soldiers, but this?
This is war.
And I'm not ready.

The arrows fly . . . whizzing a foot away from my ear drums,
Making them rattle, making my heart beat.
Faster. Faster. Faster.

And the whiz of the arrows makes words and sentences.

Another one flies by,
And as it cuts through wind, it cuts out words, speaking:

danae, danae, you're not a warrior.
you're a coward, a reject.
your life doesn't look like theirs.
it's a shards pile of rebellious brokenness.
who do you think you are?
you don't even know what it's like to follow Jesus.
you've forgotten Him, remember?
you're not even worth wounding in this battle.
black sheep.
you'll never find a home.
you definitely don't belong here.
you'll fail and disappoint everyone.
just get out of the way.
your life's a joke.
forget it.
oh, i see.
now you're playing victim.
stoop that low, huh?
it's all your fault anyways, remember?

another arrow, another arrow, another arrow.

closer. nearer. contiguous.



To be continued.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Reflecting on the Earlier Days: Leaving Home

I must have written this right before I headed off to my freshman year of Multnomah. It's sprawled across a piece of notebook paper:

the clock ticks
as if each tick tightens
my stomach
You say "Don't Worry"
i'm too invincible to cry for help
And too normal not to
be nervous.
to leave all.
who do i be away?
it's all new; or will the past
follow and destroy
what could have been.
how do i say no to falling stars
i may have ignited?
the burning brilliance
must die and me
And sometimes it seems
only in Fairy tales
do dead things
again live.
change my heart.

I had no idea the pain ahead of me nor the healing that would come for the pain behind me. "He makes all things beautiful in His time."

His time is not my time.

Heartache is one of if not the worst types of pain . . .
 . . . but He wounds to heal.
. . . and He allows to make us look like His very own.

And someday, those of us who are His will all stand healed. Maybe we'll wear the battle scars, but we'll be healed.

It's coming.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

And Even the Dream Ages

More than a decade ago, I was ten-year-old-baby and the world was my black canvas that I wanted to color in love. Sunshine yellow, hope in blues and greens.

I was a dreamer.

And Sara Beth Geoghegan's song was my song, . . .

"I'm a dreamer, and a thinker. I analyze everything today.
I'm a feeler and a crier, sometimes I cry 'til there is nothing left."

And Bethany Dillon's song was my song, . . .

"I am a dreamer, take me higher.
Open the sky, and start a fire.
'Cause I believe even if it's just a dream . . . "

And the world was sad, but a tear stained world can be changed and cheered with just a little bit of love.

And I was so confused of those who had grown older and jaded and had lost the dream. So confused by those who stopped loving, who stopped wanting to chase the world in deep, crimson LOVE. LOVE from Jesus.

I was scared. Scared of losing the dream. Scared of becoming the inverted one who forgot the feeling of His love burning in my soul, of becoming the one who got too comfortable and stopped reaching out . . . but only reached in. Scared of becoming just another jaded heart.

And years past. The dream grew, especially as I saw the smiles of those who just needed a little more love to keep going. And I really thought I could do it . . . save the world for Jesus. Change it . . . because if I didn't, who would?

And storms later I grew a little weathered.

And suddenly, the world isn't just looking sad. It's looking dark and evil.

Evil is quick to cloud out hope. Also, I've been learning just how incapable I am of changing anything and healing anything.

Real love is hard. Harder than I ever imagined because Love, the essence of God, is never to fail; it is to be more consistent and stronger than any pain.

And now, the twenty-one-year-old girl looks at the dream, embodied in a crumpled picture of a little, smiling girl in a summer dress, eyes shining wonder for a dying world. Great evil turns my twenty-one-year-old gaze to that trash can a few steps away to my left . . . and sometimes, evil seems much more real than hope.

But I look back and forth, from the crumpled picture of a girl with Hope in her eyes, to that trash can that promises a jaded life is a life that is more real, that can keep you safe from the aching of this world.

But then, something happens. Jesus comes, and He sits down right next to me on this wooden bench. He comes in softly and gently, and He holds out His hands. "Can I see it?" He says, looking at the picture.

I just nod and hand it to Him.

"I remember that girl. Oh my did I love her. I put joy in her eyes and let her carry a big, colorful dream. I used that little girl to bring about a little more sunshine and love in my dying, painful world."

"Oh Jesus, part of me wants to find that girl again. Part of me wants to live so untouched by the evil of this world, but You didn't even do that. You stepped right into the evil, and I just don't know. I don't know how to run into darkness without losing my Light. I don't know how to live in a way that validates the pain in the world and acknowledges the evil but still hopes and believes that Love is stronger and more real. I'm afraid I'm losing the dream, Jesus."

And He is so gentle.

"Baby girl, do you remember the end of this story?"

"Yes, Jesus. In my head, I know. I know You win and that Light is stronger than darkness and somehow Love will triumph."

"My love, when you were little, I gave you a wide dream. My dream . . . to love the world, but baby girl, I made the dream wide and vague enough by shielding you then from much of the evil of this world.

Now you are older and more grown, and I'm beginning to show you more of the dream by showing you more of My heart, and danae, My heart aches. I've let you feel it . . . just a little, because you're older and more ready now then you were then. I have let you see the places of evil because I'm trying to give you My eyes.

But My love, oh My dear love, along with My eyes, I have given you My Light. And My Light will burn victorious. And you're right, danae. Some evil will never break. Some pimps will die hell-bound, and those runaways who refuse to come Home will find the grave a horrific place, and You don't understand that now. You won't for a long time.

But trust Me with this. My LOVE and My LIGHT are stronger, and the Love I have put in you will change the places I send you. They won't necessarily change them the way you think or wish . . . but there are things you cannot see. Realms you are so unaware of . . . and darkness cannot stand the light.

Your dream is changing, My danae girl. It's becoming more focused and more real. Don't be afraid of it changing; don't trash it. I love you, dear one. I loved you then as that little girl. I love you now as the little girl you still are in My eyes. Follow me. We'll love this world together. It won't be comfortable. It won't be as pretty as you thought at age ten. It will give you scars like it gave me, but I promise I will never leave you in the process. You're not a ten year old anymore, danae, but I have given you an innocence and a child's heart that I have called you to use to love this world with Truth and Grace.

The dream is not the goal. Follow Me, my Love. And I will lead you into Loving, into filling this world with more of My Light."

And tears slide down my cheeks. I slowly nod.

Because He is gentle to handle me when I want to give up.

Because it hurts to love but to be loved makes the hurt bearable and worth it.

Because He takes the picture of me, of the girl I want to go back to . . . the girl who lived innocently, unaware of evil. But yet He takes that picture and holds it near His heart, and He gives me a new picture of a twenty-one year old, and she looks so different, but He still painted Hope in her eyes . . . and she's still smiling.

Because Light will always be greater than darkness.


I will remain a Lover.

My dreaming may not look like my ten year old dreaming.

But I will remain true to Loving this world because someday Love will be the only One standing.
Because Love really makes a difference because Jesus really makes a difference.

I refuse. Somehow, I refuse to be jaded.

Somehow I refuse to be discouraged by an evil that WILL LOSE in the end.

Somehow I refuse to let darkness cause me to forget the power and brilliance of YHWH's LIGHT.

But only by the power and blood and promise of Jesus Christ.

I write these words so unsure of what this looks like in my life, so afraid of becoming calloused.

So afraid.

So Jesus? Please. Help me to live into these words.

Help me to live into You, into Your promises and Love and Light.

You didn't give up on this world.

Help me not to give up on You. Please forgive me for each time I have when I've believed the lie that things are hopeless.

Please, please forgive me.

Thank You for sitting by me today, for speaking truth and life.

Thank You for giving me one of Your dreams.

I love You.

Yours always,

Monday, February 18, 2013


I'm on the brink of a new year, a new age.


And I think I'm a little more lost than I was a year ago stepping in to twenty.

I'm a little more uncertain of who I am or what YHWH's doing.

But I bless Jesus for this vantage point . . . because even though I'm in an uncomfortable place, my eyes have no where else to look besides up, and this is precious. :)

Thank You so much for walking with me through a year of adventure. There was pain and more pain and yet there was extreme joy stuffed in the open spaces. 

Thank You for what You're teaching me now about letting go of control and about repentance.

Thank You for putting me in places where I've recognized a little more clearly just how needy I am for You. A Radiator Shop. Broken Relationships. Too Much on My Plate. etc etc

Thank You for letting me feel the THRILL of being loved by You. For the gift of an incredible mentor. For feeling so excited about being alive in September and October especially.

Thank You for the people You've let me get to know in deeper ways, for all the laughter, the abundance of tears. Thank You that these are evidences that You really do work in my life too. I really need You.

I have no idea what You have for me as a twenty-one year old, but God? 

I'm Yours.

Please do whatever You want in me and with me. Would You please teach me what it means to follow You humbly? To realize that I am not healer? Will You teach me to give of myself  in relationships instead of simply taking? Will You teach me to continually confess and repent? 

Please teach me how to love You?

I praise You, God. I thank You for each of these twenty-one years. For the incredible milestones and memories. Oh man, Jesus, You have given me a lot. I will be held accountable for it, won't I? Please help me to live well? To live my life with open hands, open heart? 

I don't know much, Jesus. You know that. I have this fragile heart though. It's Yours. Thank You for twenty-one years of faithfulness to me. You have been my sweetest Treasure.

I love You, Father.
In Jesus' name,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Following Jesus, Not Following Needs

I was soooo tired. Soul, Body, Mind, Spirit. Just tired.

I was sitting by myself, eating dinner. There were few in the cafeteria with it being so late, and I was just finishing up when one of my brothers walked by and said, "Hello." He asked me how I was doing, and we started talking.

And I talked about how I was so tired, and I didn't know how to tell the difference between being tired because I'm doing good things {and the tiredness is normal, simply a sacrifice} versus being tired because I'm doing too many things that the LORD never meant me to do.

And my brother said something that I haven't been able to shake the past few days.

Some people follow the need, but we're not called to do that. We just need to be doing what Jesus has called us to do.

Heart Pierced.

And this deep question confronted my heart.

danae? are you following needs or are you following Jesus?


Y'all, I get so distracted by the best of things. Needs overwhelm me. They're everywhere, and it doesn't seem like they're being met. People need to be heard and loved and encouraged. People need to be fed and held and given a warm place to stay. People need to be rescued and healed and protected.

My city is weeping without realizing it.

My fellow-warriors here at college, many of them are crying as well . . . so discouraged and tired and hurting. Some are falling through the cracks.

Neon-signs everywhere: NEED! NEED! NEED!

And I get distracted.

And because sometimes I get haughty and in my pride, I see these needs not being met and think that means nobody's doing anything, but I can! I can do something!

So I hop in to be the "good guy," and . . .

i forget Jesus.

My mission becomes about fulfilling needs, about being savior.

instead of loving Jesus and seeking what He wants.

And I've thought through this because I've heard it said that doing God's Will is meeting the needs around us, and in a sense, I think there's huge truth to that.

1 John 3:16-18 says,

"Bu this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in Him? 
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."

Love produces ACTION. Love sees need and reaches out.

But the proof that we're really loving people isn't demonstrated in our need-meeting . . .

{If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love . . . 
1 Cor 13:3a }

. . . but in whether or not we love God and obey Him.

{By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. 1 John 5:2}

The focus is on GOD.

Not needs.

And I couldn't help thinking of Jesus' words in Matthew 9:37-38.

Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field." {NIV}

And I wonder. I can't harvest the whole field . . . and Jesus doesn't seem to be expecting His disciples to either. He doesn't tell them to meet all the needs of the harvest. He tells them to pray, that the LORD would send out more to meet the need of the plentiful harvest.

So as I reflect on this, I'm realizing that I can easily miss Jesus in doing good things. 

Meeting needs is not equated with following Jesus.

Oh Jesus, I want to seek YOU. I want to be available, to let You meet any need through me that You desire. 

I want to display my love for others by loving You and obeying You {not the other way around}.

And I will pray that You will send people to meet the needs that I see, always willing to be the one you send if that's a need You'd like to meet through me (I'd be so happy to do that) but realizing that You might have someone else in mind to meet that need or You may be working on that individual's life in such a way that the need shouldn't be met right away.

I'm here to follow You. To let You have control. Please forgive me for being distracted, for trying to take over Your role in busying myself with meeting needs. I'm glad You're God, and I'm not. I'll try to act more like Your daughter, like Your servant. I'm so glad to be Yours. I love You. Thank You for showing me these things, for reminding me of my priorities. You are my first Love, my King. I will follow You.

In Jesus' name,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Your Love Is River

Letters bounce in my fingers and tap through my fingertips, aching to come out somewhere, anywhere, and a blank computer canvas seems to be the perfect place.

Some people stay away from blogs because they don't want their personal diaries out in the world, there to be analyzed by an audience of strangers, friends, and those only held at arms length who clomp around the internet. 


Well, I guess I never intended this to be a place of raw emotion. It's more the chance to take a whirl at the brush and see if any beauty can come from the pain and joys and peace and brokenness of the everyday. 

So I type and type and type and try to bring redemption of some sort. 

But the Word whispers in my ear . . . I am the Redeemer, my Love. I am the Author of your story and as often as you try to write and rewrite and reorganize, . . . I am the only One who will make the ending sweet. Let go. 

I am no Redeemer. Not like my Jesus, but I am a witness to His redemption. 

And I beg to see it.

I beg to see it in the life of the family who's mother committed suicide on Friday.

I beg to see it in the life of a friend whose heart is broken, just when he was beginning to learn to be loved again.

I beg to see it in the life of the couple trying to figure out where their relationship goes from here . . . to move forward or to end? All for Jesus . . . through pain or joy. I pray for peace for them.

I beg to see it in the girl who has been running and running from Jesus. She sees Him trying to grab her attention again. Tragedy and tragedy comes, and He desires her HEART. But she's not quite ready to let go.

And Jesus? I beg to see it in me. The broken lover . . . the broken do-er and mover who can't seem to just be still in Your home. I beg to see it in my broken heart and my broken motives and motions and relationships. In my broken, cracked dreams. I beg to see it in my past decisions and actions and failures. I cannot redeem myself. 

We cannot redeem ourselves. Oh sweet friend, how often we try. We beat ourselves up, hoping we can bring redemption, work things out in the world so the balances are even. We try to over-correct our mistakes. We are not our redeemers.

But I know One who is very good at what He does.

Even when we can't see Him working.

He's beginning to show me His fingers again.

Moment by moment.

In different shadows and wells, I cup His love to my mouth and try to drink. I look at the sky when the birds soar across it and try to drink. I read the words that just fit and try to drink. I find His smile in the smile of a gentle heart and try to drink. 

And His love is our life, and His love, when we let it come and fill the dry corners, will bring a redemption of us. Because only love can change the dry, cracked, broken into something that can move and breathe and sing again. :)

Come, Redeemer. We will drink deeply of Your love and the hope found in hidden corners. Only You can redeem me. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Your Thoughts

I'm a thinker.

Self-proclaimed self-analyzer.

I have thought myself through and through, trying to figure out who I am and where I stand and why I do what I do and think what I think. I have recently tried to figure myself out through every angle, every perspective, . . . except for His.

So in my fallible, messy heart, I tried to imagine what His words would be to me {what He thinks of me} because I'm so desperately longing for His response. What would His words be to you, friend? I wonder if they might sound similar.

Maybe something like this?

danae . . . oh danae, my Love.

You think I'm so far away, that I'm at work in others' lives, that you are too far beyond my reach. You think of yourself as the hard-hearted pharisee yet you deeply desire freedom from this. Oh my Love, I know. This is not how I see you. I see you as daughter. And you, my dearly loved child, I've seen you. I've seen your tears and your unanswered questions, and I understand why you've responded to life the way you have lately. I understand. I see. I know. Come to me. Just come. I still want you.

I know. I knew this all before it would happen. I allowed you to press forward into a relationship that I knew would break your heart, and I knew. I knew you would reach a moment of intense weakness, but I have leashed satan. He can go so far and no further. He has lied to you, danae, over and over, and I knew he would. I knew he would come at you when you were weak and down, but I promise I have never left you, and I have defended you, and I need you to come back to me. I need you to remember that I am Love, danae. I am Holiness and Mercy, and you can only find your peace in me. Come. Come to me. I know where the green pastures are and the quiet streams. I know. I will take you there. I will not leave you when the shadows of death rise. I will not forsake you. I have called you by name; You are mine, and I will not lose you because the Father has given you to Me. You are in my hands. I will pluck your feet from the net. Fear not, my love. Fear not.

You were not wrong when you called me gentle and kind. I will call you higher, and I will push you farther than you've ever dreamed, but I promise, I know how to grow you. I have grown thousands before you, and I have loved thousands, and we will get where we are going . . . together. Come, my love. Follow Me.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sometimes I Need to be Reminded . . .

. . . that He does miraculous things with our lives, that He absolutely changes us. That HE is the Changer and Redeemer and Healer.

So encouraged, almost to tears, as I watched these videos. The LORD is remarkable, and it gives me HOPE that He will continue to work in me.

Be blessed, my friend.

Let it be known that we as God's kids are far from perfect. We have hurt each other and many others, and Jesus is still working on us. We are the products and the becomings of His grace. What we are becoming is something we could never dream of . . . praise Jesus.


Hello twenty-thirteen.

I walked into you as a child just awakened from a deep sleep, and you were the light I wiped from my eyes. I wasn't sure I wanted to face you. I was too fragile. You were too brilliant and everything about you so uncertain, your light too unfocused.

But I took a couple small steps, fragile, cautious, hugging on to all I knew as comfort and familiar.

I walked into you, and now I'm nineteen steps in.

Nineteen miraculous steps in.

I am much safer than I've felt. I've been comforted, and while sometimes {often}, healing is a long, deep process, it has been coming.

I prayed for Brokenness in October.

I even warned one of my friends, told him he might want to keep his distance from me because it would be possible that everything would cave in my life in a while. I'm not even sure I knew what I was saying, but there was a little truth in that. :)

Not everything caved.

But some things did.

... so i entered twenty-thirteen a little broken ...

And I had to remember how to breathe again.

Questioning everything.

Feeling everything.

Feeling nothing . . . from Jesus.

And there is mystery in brokenness, in the way that it sends us spinning and is never quite as neat as we may hope it is.

But what precious piece of its "magic", that it is the perfect heart-condition for YHWH to work more mystery . . . of planting and uprooting, of confronting me and my false ideas of who He is and who i am.

Well . . . this can happen in brokenness.

This is what I want to happen.

This new year marks a new season.

But I won't forget what's been behind. I sure don't want to do that . . . I have left one of the most beautiful seasons in my life thus far. I have let go of precious things, and I grieve that. My desire is gratitude, to be thankful and to carry the gratitude and the many good memories forward into this brand new season. This season of brokenness and emptiness.

Jesus still feels far away more often than not these past few days, but tonight I want to praise Him for that because it's easy to praise YHWH when my feelings align with what I know, but when my feelings are sprawling and spinning and everything chaos, this is when I can prove to YHWH and myself that I KNOW beyond a doubt that He is GOD, regardless of my heart. I can prove that I do  trust Him and will live that trust.

I'm a mess, y'all! What a mess.


So twenty-thirteen? I know I wasn't too sure about you, but I'm starting to get a little more excited for all the possibilities and unknowns you're hiding because YHWH is up to something I cannot see. And He is TRUSTWORTHY and FAITHFUL and CREATIVE and SLOW TO ANGER. He is GOOD.

I'm with You, Jesus. :) Please make me real and genuine and submissive. I am not who I should be, not who I want to be, and not who I will be, but {okay, okay ;)} it's time for me to stop trying to direct our relationship and my growth. You're perfectly capable. :) Thank You for being a Leader and a Lover. :) I will follow You.