Tuesday, April 6, 2010

i was wrong

I spent a lot of time this Easter weekend really thinking about the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross for us. Maybe it’s because the past few months have been rough and I’ve had to cling to Him more now than ever, maybe its because my own sinful heart has been revealed to me and I’ve been more aware of my NEED for a Savior, or maybe it’s simply because I’m still in complete amazement that someone would take MY place so that I could experience an eternity with God.

And you wanna know what? I was wrong. About so many things. I took time to really just re-evaluate my life. I think the first time I actually sat down to do this was two summers ago at Kanakuk and it was the hardest thing I ever did. The worst part? No one can help you. No one knows. It’s your battle. It’s between you and God. I won’t ever be able to glue together the pieces of a broken life, only God can do that, but I do hope that you’ll find truth and freedom from some of my mistakes.

Here’s where I was wrong

Indian Giver Prayers.
I’m convinced I’m notorious in heaven for my Indian giver prayers. You know how they go – they start out innocently sincere…”God please help me with ___________. Your will, not mine….” Sound familiar? Then a day goes by and nothing is different and my mind selfishly twists to, “Remember what I asked for yesterday? Just forget it, I’ll take care of it myself.” (not always in those words…but those are my thoughts) And just like that I take back my prayer. Let me just tell you, I was wrong. God’s ways are higher and better than anything we can imagine. He is ALWAYS looking out for us and will give us everything we need at exactly the right time.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Building Walls.
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that I started mixing mortar for my walls, but I do know that it started with an unhealthy fear of God. I was scared of getting close to people because I was afraid God would take them away. I thought it was a punishment for not relying on God enough. And so my motto quickly mirrored the quote, “Sometimes we build up walls – not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to knock them down.” And thank the Lord that He placed people in my life who were willing to bust though some cement to bless my life. I was so wrong. Truth is, people will always come in and out of our lives. Some stay for a season and sometimes we get to keep them for a lifetime, but either way, they are there for a reason. God wants us to fellowship with other Christians and grow and learn and laugh and cry together. However, He doesn’t want other people to take His rightful place in our lives, which was another balance I really struggled with.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: – Ecclesiastes 3:1

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

If I could just feel Your touch, would I be free?
If you’re a Christian you are probably familiar with the song lyrics from “You’re Everything” by David Crowder Band. How many times have you thought about the words when you sang them? Every time I hear that verse I get just a little teary eyed because that question runs through my mind so often. How much easier it would be to believe God if we could see Him, touch Him, feel Him? I think the same thing whenever I hear “Held” by Natalie Grant - there is something just so comforting about knowing a Savior holds us. Or that He is holding our hand. There have been many days when I’ve belted out with sincere passion…”Precious Lord, take my hand.” It’s easy to run to people because they are physically here. When I’m in Lynchburg sometimes I can’t even remember the last time I was given a hug. I always squeeze my family extra tight when I leave them because I know that I probably won’t get another hug until I go home. Why is it that people need to be held? Physical touch isn’t even my number one love language, but I often find myself craving God’s physical comfort in my life. God couldn’t possibly be holding my hand and the billions of other’s here on Earth, right? I was wrong.

“…I have carried you since you were born; I have taken care of you from your birth. Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you. I will carry you and save you.” – Isaiah 46:3-4

“…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

Take Your Own Advice.
I go to a Bible study on Tuesday nights that I love. We are studying Beth Moore’s Breaking Free and last week she referenced a passage in Job 4:3-5 where one of Job’s BFFs (Eliphaz) calls Job out by saying, “Think about the many people you have taught and the weak hands you have made strong. Your words have comforted those who fell, and you have strengthened those who could not stand. But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; trouble hits you and you are terrified.” I’m sure its been more than obvious that I’ve had a hard time adjusting to life here in Lynchburg, but throughout the past few months I’ve still been able minister to young girls across the country though Lily Girl’s Magazine and encourage my friends daily. In fact, I take joy in encouraging them. So why can’t I get it together? Why is that when I am going through something hard my whole world falls apart? Why can’t I just take my own advice?

About this time last week I was sitting in a local coffee shop with my friend Leslie, sharing my hurting heart and overall discouragement. Leslie is a great friend because she loves me enough to take the time to listen, but also doesn’t allow me to wallow in self pity. I told her how I attempted to wake up every morning with a new attitude and a mission to make things better, only to be homesick by dinner. Satan had been feeding me lies – hook, line, and sinker. I believed them. I was wrong.

Leslie said that what she had learned most recently was that when Jesus was tempted, He used Scripture – the very sword of the Spirit. She shared 2 Corinthians 10:5 with me and encouraged me to write it down whenever sad thoughts popped in my head. I’m too embarrassed to show the picture of the journal page with Scripture scribbles, but I will admit that it helped.

“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” - Hebrews 4:12

So what does this make me? Wrong? Yes. Broken? Most definitely. But I do know this - God uses broken things to accomplish His purpose. If broken bread could feed 5,000 then surely my broken life will be used for His glory. I know I am in the center of God’s will right where I am because Satan wouldn’t have a reason to twist my mind so much if I wasn’t. I’m also completely certain of Psalm 138:8 – “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.”

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