Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Notetaking

Some things that keep coming up in my mind and in things I hear swirling around me....
What does it mean to be a bride? There is so much in Scripture about this and I want to explore it more. I am not a bride in this life, so I don't know how that feels. I am most certainly a bride in another realm, so I need to understand that.
I know that the beloved bride of Christ is the Church. I have so much to learn about the Church. I don't understand the first thing about it! But I've been a part of it for as long as I can remember. Have I forgotten my first love? Does some intimacy need rekindling?

As my friend James so wisely pointed out for us, God promises to give us to the nations, as a light. It's not about what I can receive, or what I can give. It's what He is giving and He is giving me, so I'm kinda motivated to check myself and make sure I'm living like a gift! Pretty sure there is some room for expansion in this area.

*        *        *        *        *

Thank you to those of you who follow the trail of my hobbling brokenness all over this page and encourage me with your insight. We are all in this together. We are all the walking wounded ... we are under His healing care.

For my part, and that of others I'm close to, I see that God is supernaturally, fabulously kind and good to me. I am so abashed by the way He is blessing me, even as I collapse into frustration and fearfulness every 5 hours. I don't want to forget! I need to be faithful.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Divine Disappointment

Disappointment.

It's an interesting word... the positive word "appoint" appears in the middle of a generally negative statement.

Appoint: "to name or assign to a position, an office, or the like; designate."

It makes me smile knowingly to myself when I think about all the positions I've assigned the nouns of my life -- people, places, things, each one having their identity ascribed in my mind. They've all got a designated role and office. They are neatly organized. They are assigned a purpose and a power. I purpose them for myself, and I give them power ... over myself.

(But in actual fact, perhaps I've appointed myself in relationship to things? I've said, "I will serve you. I will respond to you with my emotions. I will believe what you tell me about myself, about life, about God." Or maybe it's a back-and-forth, reciprocal servanthood status.) 

People, places & things begin to determine my steps, or so I hope. I try to control, but I'm spinning out of it.  This person suddenly seems to have forgotten their sole purpose that I've assigned them. This thing is not living up to my standards of conduct. This place seems to have forgotten to read the tour guide I wrote, for it's missing all the satisfying touristy enjoyments. 

Maybe it's not that cute. Maybe it's a failed endeavor, in which I'd placed all hopes for fulfillment for secret lifelong dreams. "By such-and-such a day and age, I will be or do this or that..." Maybe it's a person that I just cannot manipulate or change, no matter how hard I try. They just won't be everything I've expected demanded dreamed for them to be! Well, that's a disappointment.

Dear God, I am so disappointed. 

Disappoint: "to defeat the fulfillment of (hopes, plans, etc.); thwart; frustrate.
Oh, hey, who needs the dictionary for that one? 

With this, as with many other internal struggles we fight, knowing is half the battle. I told my mom with thousands of tears pouring that whatever happens next in my life, I am so, so SO disappointed. I could not snap my fingers and line up the details of life in perfect order. As much as any one else has disappointed me, I have truly disappointed myself -- I am not who I wanted, expected, demanded of myself to be at this point. 

I am a failure -- but it's okay. I am appointed to arise from failure before my Heavenly Father, to walking in step with my Brother, my Friend, my Savior. 

Listen to what the One who makes all the Divine Appointments says about Himself, and our destiny:

Thus says God, the LORD, 
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
   who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
 who gives breath to the people on it
   and spirit to those who walk in it:
"I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness;
   I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
    a light for the nations,
  to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
   from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the LORD; that is my name;
   my glory I give to no other,
   nor my praise to carved idols.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
   and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth

   I tell you of them."
I'm sorry (no I'm not), but HALLELUJAH ("a shout of joy, praise, or gratitude")! Did you just read that? I cannot even wrap my mind around it, but there are a few facts that I know:
1) It is easy, even second nature, for me to attempt to make those divine appointments for earthly things. I become an idol worshiper whenever I believe that my life, my breath, my soul derives its power from a created thing. This, I have done.
2) God will take me by the hand, even so. He knew I would do this when He called me by name. He will keep me! I am "a keeper" to the Creator of the Heavens! I never have to worry that He is not going to pursue me hard enough to make our relationship last. There are no more words...
3) He has promised to give my life meaning and purpose as I walk in the footprints of His Perfect Servant. He will make me a useful part of His church, His bride, and I will be an instrument of God's own intention to end injustice and degradation.
4) As long as I attempt to appoint His glory to a created thing, I can be sure to find myself disappointed again. He has too many NEW THINGS to do to let that carry on.


Let me be disappointed then. And then, declare a new thing. Hallelujah.



Sunday, January 16, 2011

When the Wind is Knocked Out of You

There is that split-second that seems to last for eons. It feels like you might die in full awareness of the fact. And yet, there is an equally-weighted thought, fully conscious, that you are going to live, this is just the momentary result of a powerful and unexpected blow that hit you in just the right spot to stop your breath for just those few seconds.

And then you breathe again,
and then you feel again,
and if it's right, you'll feel happy that you lived and  slightly silly for ever thinking something so short-lived could kill you.

The tradeoffs of one moment folding into the next is the joy and the tragedy of this temporal life we're living.


For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up; 
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, ESV)
Bear with me as I catch my breath, friends. "It takes time to come clean, and I know it's time..."