Sunday, November 21, 2010

what's given is given away.

"I thought it would be hard to believe in, but it's not hard at all
To believe I've sinned
And fallen short
Of the glory of God

He's not asking me to change in my joy for martyrdom
He's asking to take my place
To stand in the gap that I have formed
With His real amazing grace

And it's not just a sign or a sacrament
It's not just a metaphor for love
The blood is real and it's not just a symbol of our faith"

so often i have this very convicting thought that lays heavy on my heart:
Jesus just wants in
His blood was shed for a price.
He traded His life so that i might catch even a glimpse of the Glory he knows so well.

by denying him entry and attempting to navigate rough roads alone, i am left in a horrible spot that leaves me behaving as though i've never understood the voice of God - that i have never heard Him speak gently to me, guiding me into a peace that He created for us all to enjoy.

feeling as though i am "entitled" to things is wearing.
& it's such an ugly thing - such a human instinct.
what a lie it is. i am entitled to nothing. i am from the dirt.

all that i have, all that i have yet to acquire, every human that i am in relationship with, all the places i've been...all of it is not mine to take ownership of. they are all gifts and a healthy response is gratitude and humbleness. while i am not to take ownership of these things, i am also not to hold so closely to them as to not share.

what i have been given, i have been created to give away.

a continuous outpouring.
this how Christ lived.

He gave and gave and gave until He ended up being crucified by those who were too prideful to see any other way.

& maybe we shy away from the message of the cross at times not just because it's more culturally "relevant" to speak of other elements of the faith but because we too are filled with a pride to truly think and dwell about such a humbling sacrifice.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

we will never be the same

people use blogs for different reasons, so many reasons, good and bad. their thoughts, their ideas, their dislikes, their politics, their recipes, their pictures of their ridiculously cute animals...whatever it may be, they have the freedom to do. depending on who you are and how long you've known me and how long you've been following me in the blog world, you'll know that my blog history is one that is personal. i've share the world around me, i've share the world inside me.

my previous blog was primarily my writings from my time in uganda in 2008. my was exploding in so many different ways and i couldn't seem to do justice to all that was happening. i felt pain and struggle. i was joy and redemption. i felt conviction and for the first time, i knew romantic love with a man. my writings reflected my heart.

my life has changed since then. such a drastic change..i could never have dreamed of it. i returned from uganda, attempted to adjust, got engaged, got married, moved to canada and lived there for the first 14+ months of our marriage and now i [we] have come back stateside - - all in less than 21 months. if you've followed me/my blogs since my time in uganda, you'll know that the number of posts has dropped...significantly. theres a reason for that.

[here goes vulnerable for the sake of growth]

marriage has taken us by storm.
a storm can be a hard place to write from.

marriage has shaken me to the core and revealed more about myself than i could have fathomed.
God has purpose in it.

being married to josh has been one of the best gifts i have ever received but it hasn't come without some serious revelation and some serious stretching and some serious hard moments for us. God has always intended for josh to hold my heart on this earth, no doubt about it. but for us, the coming together of two separate lives and personalities into one hasn't happened as smoothly as we perhaps envisioned it. our humanness shows up every morning and it has a really nasty habit of showing its ugly self to the other.

i love this man with my entire heart. if he left my side, i fear my heart would break every new morning. [i'm learning dependence IS ok] i love him, i fight for him, i want to see him chase his heart dreams. i'd give anything for him.

all that said -- i guess you could say we had no 'honeymoon stage' of marriage. we got right down into it. God began a long and hard work in our marriage. tough questions. new realities. expectations. miscommunications. it seemed that all around me were happy couples. newlyweds without fault. i felt as though something was 'wrong'. in my own heart, i felt as though our hard times made us the outcasts - the ones who didn't 'fit' the newlywed stereotype. i started believing those lies you hear when you're down. guilt crept in. i kept my heart to myself, i kept quiet. my lips didn't speak much, my fingers didn't write much. i didn't necessarily act like everything was perfect, but i do admit to leaving out what i thought was the 'bad' and the 'ugly'. i carried a weight. i was often confused about what to write in a blog. i wanted to write from my heart but with the guilt i felt, came a fear. what if i was honest. what would they think? [if you were to ask me who 'they' were, i don't think i would have even had an answer. ]

these thoughts were wrong.

through it all, good and bad, God has been fighting for me. for us. fighting to break into my heart and bring light to this situation. i often felt/feel him wanting to speak truth about our reality, about guilt, about honesty, about how what we're experiencing is actually quite normal. my heart has been fighting to hear - fighting hard to hear more Truth. there are moments that are dark. but. there are also moments where freedom feels real and understand comes..and these moments are increasing.

and then this past weekend happened.

it was at that moment, standing in that place, in that beautiful church that it hit me.

i will never be the same.

at the start, He was there. and at the end, He'll be there.

and because of that - i'm different.

in those moments, a bit of clarity came to my heart.
God called josh and i into this marriage and i will never be the same because of that
what God intended to reveal - to shake up - to change is being done
and i am changing because of it.

he took this idea we had of marriage & turned it into a living breathing thing in our lives.
we will never be the same.

i often take for granted what's been given to me.
sometimes i take this precious gift of a husband and a marriage and i twist it in my own little world the way i see fit. i have damaged, i have hurt, i have gone too far, i have spoken words i do not mean, i have blatantly disrespected the very man God saw fit to lead me through life.

"and after all my hands have wrought, He forgives."
he forgives. forgives. forgives. forgives?

and after all falls apart,
He repairs

he loves me so much that even after all i have done, he cares to repair.
he doesn't leave me orphaned; to fend for myself.

he enters & he offers redemption for us all.
Jesus Christ offers sweet redemption to us all.
redemption. what a FULL word.

"there were scars before my scars
love written on the hands that hung the stars
hope living in the blood that was spilled for me"

so here i am - open wide.
trying to figure out to accept this grace and offer of hope.
Gods love is strong. God supplies us with His love.
God is love and love IS real.

i have so much to say now.
so many more words to help form the above jumbled thoughts into more complete thoughts and ideas.

we are loved, friends.