Monday, July 26, 2010

The Creator Still Creates

Mary has been on my mind for the last few weeks. Actually, that's not quite true. She's been on my mind for the last few years. But she suddenly reappeared in the last few months, and I have slowly disappeared over the last few days. Long story short: my heart has ached for her. Partly for what I did not know, but mostly for what I did. I knew she was lost and lonely. I knew her marriage was falling apart. I knew that it was falling apart because she now needed to protect her children and herself from the man she had married in order to try and save her children and herself. And I knew that when I thought of her and how she had disappeared, my heart sank to my feet and my throat tightened.

After a four year absence, in which I constantly thought of and prayed for her, ever wondering where she had gone to and how I could find her again, suddenly her name popped up on my Facebook friend requests and it felt incredibly surreal to see her face again, even on a screen.
I was surprised that she found me. I was even more surprised that she actually remembered me. See, I have this complex where I seem to think that no one ever remembers who I am. But this isn't about me, so let's not start going down that road.

Anyway, shortly after we "reconnected", I felt myself being led into this time of silence and letting go of basically everything and everyone- where I find myself right now. Not in a dramatic or depressing way, but rather in a way that would allow me to understand the true nature of need. And freedom. And love. And trust in God. And all of the sudden, I found myself in the same position I was in 4 years ago- worried about Mary, and wondering if giving her up was even an option. She had said very little, but told me so much- mainly that she was going through an incredibly difficult time and really needed me. 

But I think as much as she thought she needed me, I may have, unfortunately, needed her more- to affirm my own insecurities by being a shoulder to cry on, to receive answers the questions that had plagued me for 4 years, to (and this is the really mind boggling part about it) really and truly be there for her, but in the most selfish of ways, where my genuine care and concern begin to fade in light of how much I just want to be seen as useful and strong by someone- ANYONE.

But I was told so clearly to walk away from EVERYONE- even the people that asked me not to or told me they needed me. So there was only silence between Mary and me for the last two weeks- until today.

Through no effort or planning of either one of us, we found ourselves in the same coffee shop earlier this afternoon- a coffee shop that I hadn't been to on my own volition in months. I had been sitting there for a few hours when I saw her walk in and yelled her name without hesitation. She yelled mine back and ran towards me. I jumped up to hug her, and she immediately started crying. Little did I know, and how could I have even known, that today was the day she signed her divorce papers.

The last time Mary and I had seen each other in person was her wedding day. Four years ago.

There is no other word to use than "purposed", and I must say that I like that word a lot better than "planned". And maybe one of the many things that this time was intended for was to remind me that I am not a Divine Creator. And that the One Who is can still be trusted to create- even to create beautiful moments like the one I had with Mary.

I had to let go of Mary to realize that I could not be what she needed. I placed her at the foot of the throne of a God who loves her and knows what she needs. And today, He knew that she needed to see me, though the does not need me. Which is why it is all the more powerful that we did not arrange this meeting- lest I begin to believe myself to actually be what she needs, and she begin to believe she actually needs me. But even still, I cannot be what she needs- HE is what she needs. He brought that moment about. He knows her heart. He can be trusted with her heart. I must believe that He can be trusted with her heart, and then be humbled when He decides to use me for His purposes in the midst of her healing process. But I have to let go FIRST in order for this to happen.

And the extra beautiful thing is that Mary also let go of me. I was not even allowed to give her the option to cling to me in the midst of her pain, but rather, I was taken from her so that she would be able to clearly see the true Healer- and not the poor shadow that I might have tried to be or she might have tried to make me. And so, I realize that as I am learning how to love people by letting them go, the people in my life are learning to do the same with me. They love me by letting me go. And this is evidenced by the fact that they respond by not responding; they give me silence when I have to ask it of them. They don't fret over me. They don't protest my decision. They pray for me as they humbly and submissively respond in love by letting me go. And so we become a powerful circle; a sincere and vulnerable community, full of grace and sacrificial love for each other; never clinging to each other, but always trusting the Creator with each other.

And so I see, once again, that this is why all things must die, in order to be resurrected as intended. When we sacrifice things, and relinquish control, we acknowledge and reaffirm Who is the actual Creator. We are no longer attempting to create or plan out our own days or destinies. The moment that Mary and I shared in the coffee shop was so readily realized as a gift- because we did nothing to make it occur. The Creator was immediately glorified in our coming together because we were so clearly brought together. Now, I won't go so far as to say that I think that this means that from now on I need to never plan anything again, and forever remain intentionally aloof from everyone I care for and love. But what I will do is go on from here and learn from this. And continue to dig down deeply into it, so as to discover more and more truths about this God that just is Love, Himself.

But as for right now, I have come to see, very very clearly, that THIS is why I cannot need anything or anyone more than I trust Him. Because I have not been made to. My heart was built to continually recognize the beauty of the way He has created and still continues to create. If only I will let go enough to allow Him to do so...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Look on me with Love

So, I have this really kickass blog post stuck in the draft stage right now.
Because I have no idea how to say what I want to say in it.
It's all deep and spiritual and full of big words and large concepts about love and freedom. It is EXACTLY what is going on in my heart these days, but again, like I've said before. for some reason the Lord has not let those things reach my head yet. Because once they're there, they're out through my mouth or my fingertips. And they still need to be refined in the furnace of my soul before they can be released to the world.
...Most likely because everything I think is so very right, right at this very moment, is going to be shown to me as foolish over time. Because that's how these things usually work. I'm so ready to talk about everything I think I know, when really, I know very little.
So I should probably just start in a place where I am writing about what I know that I know.

Here's what I know:

I know that in my DWI class last night, I struck up a conversation with a woman about human trafficking. She told me her 16 year old daughter is passionate about it and wants to learn more. I gave her my number so I could have coffee with her daughter soon.

I know that there is redemption in mistakes.

I know that the other night, I sat in my ex-boyfriend's car and explained to him as best as I could about the calling that I feel has been placed on my life, and how I have been consecrated for the Lord.

I know that there is deeper love promised to me than I have ever thought I deserved.

I know that about a week ago at work, I felt drawn to a group of girls who were practicing songs on the front patio. I went outside and asked them if I could worship with them. They're at youth camp this week. I told them I would pray for them while they were there. Leah came into work the day before they left to give me a present Sammy had made me. I had only sat with these girls for 10 minutes. Leah told me they're going to come back every Thursday to have their Bible Study in my store.

I know that the Lord doesn't even need 10 minutes to make His presence known.

There's so much more, but I don't feel like I can continue right now.
Because if there is one thing I have learned over these past few weeks it is that my Beloved is pleased with me at all times- I don't have to be doing anything to please Him for Him to look on me with great pleasure and deep love. As He always does.

And right now, I need to do nothing but let Him look on me with love.

Beloved, I invite You to look on me with love.
And I will sit still.
Because I cannot please You more than I do right now.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My economics are changing
My politics are changing
My arguments are changing
My opinions are changing
My habits are changing
My words are changing
My views are changing
My theology is changing
My desires are changing
And even my very needs are changing

... It's only been 10 days.

Bring on the next 20.

Come August 9th, there is not going to be very much of me left.
At least... I hope not. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tonight is one of those nights where I have to dig for the wells of joy.

But I know that they are there.
I am fully confident of that.

I will be whole again, I will be whole again, I am whole again.
I was never any less.

"My sin is of no consequence
For Jesus is my confidence
Let all dark accusations flee
His blood speaks louder over me

And He's declared
That this Great Love is mine"

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I never knew obedience could feel like this.
I never knew awakening could feel like this.
I never knew victory could feel like this.
I never knew freedom could feel like this.
I never knew joy could feel like this.

I have been born again.
In the truest sense.

I abandon myself to You.

I say to you, captives, that victory is so much more than possible.
Liberty is so much more than possible.
I can now proclaim it to you in the fullest measure.

So, Spirit, awaken my soul, and loosen my tongue
To sing the goodness of my God.

Your River rushes to the lowest place, indeed.
And I am filled to overflowing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nine straight hours spent with no one but You
and You still led me into my car at 6am just to drive around my neighbourhood
just to be able to sing at the top of my lungs of Your Love.

Oh, Great Maker, Great Sustainer, Great Lover!
There is none like You!
I desire nothing but You.
I want and need nothing but You.
I long for and wait for nothing but You.

Your Word, when it goes out into the world, does not return back to You void. It does not return to You empty. It accomplishes what You have purposed it for. It succeeds in what You save sent it to do. My life, our lives, are a prophetic Word from Your mouth, God. There is a Word spoken over each of us, and that Word, when it goes out into the world, does not return back to You void. It does not return empty. It accomplishes what You have purposed it for. It succeeds in what You have sent it to do... should we decide to finally take notice of Your beauty, and recognize and dwell upon the Truth of the nearness of You, and the power of Your Spirit, and the authority of Your Son. The nearness of You, the power of Your Spirit, and the authority of Your Son.

For Your ways are so much greater, Your thoughts so much higher.
Your ways are so much greater, Your thoughts so much higher.
Your ways are so much greater, Your thoughts so much higher.

Refresh me by Your Word, release that Word in me.
I long to still dwell in Your presence, even as I sleep.
Give me dreams and visions of Your Kingdom.
Give us dreams and visions of Your Kingdom come.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Your River it rushes to the lowest place

At the foot of the cliffs they found themselves standing in cool shadows with a light spray sometimes splashing their faces, and there the Shepherd bade them stand and look up. There stood Much-Afraid, a tiny figure at the foot of the mighty cliffs, looking up at the great, never-ending rush of waters as they cast themselves down from the High Places. She thought that never before had she seen anything so majestic or so terrifyingly lovely. The height of the rocky lip, over which the waters cast themselves to be dashed in pieces on the rocks below, almost terrified her. At the foot of the fall, the thunderous voice of the waters seemed almost deafening, but it seemed also to be filled with meaning, grand and awesome, beautiful beyond expression.

As she listened, Much-Afraid realized that she was hearing the full majestic harmonies, the whole orchestra as it were, playing the original of the theme song which all the little streamlets had sung far below in the Valley of Humiliation. Now it was uttered by thousands upon thousands of voices, but with grander harmonies than anything heard down in the valleys, yet still the same song.

From the heights we leap and go
To the valleys down below,
Always answering the call,
To the lowest place of all.

"Much-Afraid," said the Shepherd's voice in her ear, "what do you think of this fall of great waters in their abandonment of self-giving?"

She trembled a little as she answered. "I think they are beautiful and terrible beyond anything which I ever saw before."

"Why terrible?" he asked.

"It is the leap which they have to make, the awful height from which they must cast themselves down to the depths beneath, there to be broken on the rocks. I can hardly bear to watch it."

"Look closer," he said again. "Let your eye follow just one part of the water from the moment when it leaps over the edge until it reaches the bottom."

Much-Afraid did so, and then almost gasped with wonder. Once over the edge, the waters were like winged things, alive with joy, so utterly abandoned to the ecstasy of giving themselves that she could almost have supposed that she was looking at a host of angels floating down on rainbow wings, singing with rapture as they went.

She gazed and gazed, then said, "It looks as though they think it is the loveliest movement in all the world, as though to cast oneself down is to abandon oneself to ecstasy and joy indescribable."

"Yes," answered the Shepherd in a voice vibrant with joy and thanksgiving, "I am glad that you have noticed that, Much-Afraid. These are the Falls of Love, flowing from the High Places in the Kingdom above. You will meet with them again. Tell me, does the joy of the waters seem to end when they break on the rock below?"

Again Much-Afraid looked where he pointed, and noticed that the lower the water fell, the lighter it seemed to grow, as though it really were lighting down on wings. On reaching the rocks below, all the waters flowed together in a glorious host, forming an exuberant, rushing torrent which swirled triumphantly around and over the rocks.

Laughing and shouting at the top of their voices, they hurried still lower and lower, down through the meadows to the next precipice and the next glorious crisis of their self-giving. From there they would again cast themselves down to the valleys far below. Far from suffering from the rocks, it seemed as though every obstacle in the bed of the torrent was looked upon as another object to be overcome and another lovely opportunity to find a way over or around it. Everywhere was the sound of water, laughing, exulting, shouting in jubilation.

"At first sight perhaps the leap does look terrible," said the Shepherd, "but as you can see, the water itself finds no terror in it, no moment of hesitation or shrinking, only joy unspeakable, and full of glory, because it is the movement natural to it. Self-giving is its life. It has only one desire, to go down and down and give itself with no reserve or holding back of any kind. You can see that as it obeys that glorious urge the obstacles which look so terrifying are perfectly harmless, and indeed only add to the joy and glory of the movement."

-Taken from Chapter 14, "The Place of Anointing", from Hinds' Feet on High Places

Come and rush over me!

I was born to dance with (this kind of) abandon!


It is this Great Love that makes all things new!


You make all things new!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

As I feel myself being released, I find my relevance disappearing...

Your presence calls to me and I cannot do anything but bask in it.

Cause Your people to cry out.
You have anointed, so let us respond.
What does it mean to dwell with You?
What does it mean to dwell?
What does Your nearness mean?

"Whom have I in Heaven but You?
I desire You more than anything on earth
My heart may fail, and my spirit grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
He is mine forever."
(Psalm 73)

"My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promise.
Hear my voice according to your steadfast love;
O Lord, according to your justice give me life"
(Psalm 119)

As I feel myself being released, I find my relevance disappearing...

Monday, July 12, 2010

How beautiful that You are never in a hurry.
I feel it growing.

Dead and Desert

Do not mistake my waving

For a drowning I hope to escape

I have come to occupy this sea

Completely willingly

I ran into its wild waters

Hoping to be swept away

Hoping it would pull me under

To that secret resting place

One that I admit I've never known

But through this quiet love has grown

And caused me to forget my own ability to swim

I will not float above, for life begins when I am plunged below

As I abandon everything I thought myself so wise to know

This flood, this flood, this raptured flow

Take me, toss me, to and fro

This flood, this flood, this vision swells

Oh Heaven, move us, make us tell!

The dead and desert thirst for what

The blossom holds tucked safe inside

The glory of this coming Kingdom

Longs to bloom, instead of hide

I will not float above, for life begins when I am plunged below

As I abandon everything I thought myself so wise to know

This flood, this flood, this raptured flow

Take me, toss me, to and fro

This flood, this flood, this vision swells

Oh heaven, move us, make us tell!

Return again, oh ransomed one

Shout with joy and come away

To Zion, as it welcomes you

Salvation's found you here, to stay

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I think I'm in over my head.


I am feeling so much more than I know what to do with or how to deal with or even how to define.
I am desperate for distraction to the point of starvation.
But You won't let me.
You refuse to release me.
You will not let me go- even when my heart is weak, dark, and unwilling.
And all that seems to come out of it is frustration over what I don't know how to explain and anger from a place I don't recognize.

Why have you brought me to this place of such great feeling?
Shall I call it suffering?
Shall I call it need?
Shall I even dare to name it at all?

Take everything from me.
I want nothing to call mine.

I am terrified of what You are showing me.
But I do not want to be afraid.
Only to be filled with abandon.

You have asked it of me, and now I receive it.

I belong to none but You.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Teach me, truly, how to love.

Everything feels very strange right now.

I am being asked to be quiet.

And anyone who knows me well, knows just how difficult that is for me.

As a person who writes, I have this tendency to define myself by whether or not I am currently or consistently doing the thing by which I have named myself- a "writer".
I guess I somehow believe myself to be failing myself if I am not getting out whatever is going on inside of me. And I'm not sure if that is because I honestly believe that to aid in my ability to process things, or if it is because I want people to know what is going on inside of me. Which, don't get me wrong, is not a bad thing in and of itself, but it has become more detrimental than beneficial. Why? Because I have begun to think of myself as more than I am, according to my ability alone. And when you are living in and constantly buying into such a lie, you are constantly desiring to hear those lies repeated back to you.
In short, I want to share my thoughts because I want people to tell me how great they are.
And that is more often than not, my entire motivation for writing them down in the first place. I wonder what people are going to think, what they are going to say, how they will view me because of them.

And right now, I am being asked to stop. Stop all of those things, and step away so that I can do nothing but listen for a very long time. Listen, so that I can be told by my Beloved who I really am. And truly, it is so much more than I would ever dare to think myself to be.

This scares the living shit out of me, though I can't say why. Not because I am being asked to be quiet about it alone, but literally because I don't have the ability to. That's the story of my life these days, to be honest. I do not even have the ability to put into utterance the thoughts in my mind, leadings in my spirit, and feelings in my heart. Something is happening within me and it is so much larger than I am able to express. It speaks from a different place and in a different way altogether. It is something Other entirely. And the fragility of that is what scares me the most. I carry within me precious cargo that I haven't the slightest clue how to begin to deliver. And what if I deliver it wrong? Or at the wrong time? Or simply in the wrong way?

But see, there, even those thoughts expose my simple and silly misunderstanding of the thing itself. Because not only does it not matter HOW or WHEN it is brought forth, but it also doesn't require ME to bring it forth at all. I did not plant it in the first place, I cannot cause it to grow. My only role is to lay it down. To surrender it. To allow it to die.
I must allow ALL things to die. Within and without.

Because only after things are burned on the altar can they be resurrected as intended.

And this is what I must learn of love.
Because if the above is true, then I know nothing of love at all.
What I believe to be love is nothing more than a seeking to satisfy a desire or longing; to fulfill an insecurity within myself; to avoid feeling left or abandoned; to begin or continue feeling wanted or appreciated; to be the object of emotional affection and physical attraction. And notice, that all of those things listed, should they be fulfilled, would benefit only ME.
This is not the way the Great Lover loves me. Or anyone.

So while I know what love is NOT, I do not yet know what love is.
Save one thing:
Love is letting go.

And no, I do not mean this in the poetic or lyrical sense, or even the cliche of, "If you love something, let it go; and if it comes back, it is yours." Partly because that's cheesy, but mostly because that is a lie.
Nothing is ever yours.
Nothing is ever mine.
And we cannot let go with the hope that anything will ever "come back", because if we do, then we have found ourselves in the place of needing created things more than we trust the Creator.
We must have a... detachment, of sorts, to all created things. Do not hear what I am not saying, though, and think I mean for us all to exist without emotions, or feelings, or desires, or longings. Of course that is not possible. BUT those things and people that we desire and care for the most, we must be the most willing to let go of. Because in letting go, we do not lose them. We place them where they belong.
In what looks like love, we are told that we should cling to things in order to keep them close because we "love" them. How is this love? This is nothing more than desire. We label is "love" so that it appears selfless, when really, what we are actually saying is, "I will forget who I am without you, so you cannot leave me." What deep and dangerous fear is wrapped up in that posture of spirit! And also, what abuse of another! If I feel that I need you more than I trust Him with you and myself, then I have made so much more of you than you are, and so much less of Him than he is. Why would we ever want to live like that? I believe that we really don't want to, and don't ever intend to, but we have a hard time seeing things as they really are and calling them by their true names.

Now, if we don't know any better and have not been lead into Truth, we would think that this kind of thinking and "feeling" would, in a way, call us to be disconnected with people and things- to hold everything so loosely. Actually, it is the definition of connection and engagement- to find ourselves, individually and collectively, so deeply rooted in the love of Christ that He may do what He wills in and through our relationships and connections.
And if this becomes true for us, then not only will we not fret when things appear to dissolve, but we will be in such a place where we find ourselves even unable to fret. Because Truth speaks louder than lies and tells us that the things that we have let go of are not lost, and never will be. They are where they have always been meant to be- at the foot of the throne of God.

There is a lot to learn from "loss"- namely, that there is no such thing as loss. Also, that what we have been taught to think of as such is not as painful as we have always feared, but rather an incredible opportunity for abundant joy. In reality, it is simply saying, whether by initiation or response, "I place you where you belong, so that I can learn to love you. I could not hold you, even if I wanted to, for I am already clinging to Christ."

I understand very little of my own thoughts, feelings, and words these days. I don't know what my Beloved is doing within me, but I know that I trust Him as I have never trusted Him before. Even though I have spoken those words in the past, they were spoken in an attempt to convince myself that everything would be okay. They were conditional. A means to an end. A bandage on a wound. Something I sought in order to make me "stop worrying" or "stop crying" or "stop fearing". But the place I have found myself in now is that I am completely and utterly unable to worry, or cry, or fear. And all this while finding myself in the Valley of Loss.
I literally cannot feel anything but joy.

There is certainly some great secret that is being planted in me now. One that I don't even have the ability to recognize or name. And that is exactly as it should be. For Heaven truly forbid I ever believe that I have the ability to water it, prune it, tend to it, or grow it myself.

Oh, Great Gardener, Great Lover, Great Host-
Keep me quiet.
Allow me only to speak in a language created and understood by You.
Teach my, truly, how to love.

I have come to understand that I know next to nothing about love.
But Hallelujah, for You make all things new.

Shatter all of my former ideas
And lead me into all Truth.

Friday, July 9, 2010

My message to all created things:
I cannot need you more than I trust Him.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Genesis 3:16-
"...Your desire shall be for your husband..."

Isaiah 54:5-
"...For your Maker is your husband..."


*To be a model of contentment by living a life of quiet moderation within a world of boasted excess.

*To be an example of grace by choosing to serve even the selfish, love even the shallow, and have patience even with the proud.

*To be a picture of humility by rejoicing in the accomplishments and accolades of others just as much, if not more, than those bestowed upon me.

*To be a banner of integrity, by taking every thought captive and making it obedient to the will of Christ and by making every decision in alignment with that will and with the purposed intent of the furtherment of His Kingdom.

*To be a person of resurrection and beautification in every sense; including seeing myself in light of who I was purchased to be, seeing all others as precious treasures of the One who loves us both wholly and equally, and encouraging excellence and beauty in every single detail of my life and in the lives of those I have been privileged and purposed to affect.

It's about time.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Shepherd, I am Much-Afraid.
And I fear my own weak and trembling heart.
You may ask anything of me, only do not let me leave You.
Bind me to this altar so that I am not found struggling as the will of my Lord is done in me.
It is sorrow to love, and suffering to love, but it is lovely to love You in spite of this.
And if I should cease to do so, I would cease to exist.
All that matters is to love You and do what You ask of me.
If You can, You may deceive.
You may take me down the roads that look so wrong.
And all I ask for is not answers, but only for You to walk with me.
Steady my feet, grasp my hand, keep me from stumbling.
And when I do, do not let me lay down in the place where I have fallen.
For my only desire is movement.
To keep on the path You have set me.
For all promises pale in comparison to You.
You are the Promise and You are the Prize.
My will, my body, my heart, my mind are not my own.
Release me from them.
Set me free.

Sleep. Come. Now. Please.