Trust Without Borders

Trust Without Borders

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Last year, around this time, I was in my last semester of undergrad and thus still had to attend weekly chapels. I remember going to a worship chapel where we sang the song Oceans. As one of the top Christian songs in the past few years, this song was a favorite in chapel, on the radio and on everyone’s playlists. After a while though, the words lost their meaning. On that particular day, however, I realized afresh what the words meant.

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior”

I knew what I was singing, but thought for a second at the weight of my words. Did I really just sing that I wanted God to take me to deeper waters? What would that look like? And was that even something I really wanted to be asking God?

This past year, God has brought me to and through some of those deeper waters. My 22nd year has been one of the hardest yet. The trials of a broken relationship and a wounded friendship took me deeper than my feet could ever wander. At times I didn’t know if I could emotionally, spiritually, and mentally survive. However, because I ran to His presence, the deeper communion I have experienced with God and this sense of unity with His Spirit makes it more than worth it. Through it all, the joy that I have is unexplainable. Even though I may still sometimes hurt, that hurt reminds me of how deep God has taken me. How he has allowed me to walk on the water, making me stronger, and let me experience the fullness of his presence.

While my heart may have been unsure when I uttered the prayer of that song, God heard the words of my lips and knew what it would take to make my faith stronger.

This summer, when I thought I had experienced the deepest of the depths, I had no idea that more was in store. While I am writing this now, I don’t know if I have seen the last of the depths. In fact, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that there are still deeper waters ahead.

In John 16:33, Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble…”

I can be confident that there are deeper waters to come. BUT Jesus is not finished when he says that. He ends the statement with:

“…But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Our faith can be made stronger in those deeper waters. We know that we can endure because we already know Jesus has overcome!

The trust and experience of deepened faith developed through trials is both painful and beautiful.

May we continue to be led by the Spirit, and our faith be made stronger.

Seasons change and so do we 

So relevant!

It’s 1:00 in the morning and I find myself in an all too familiar state. I just put babygirl back to sleep and now I am wide awake on Facebook.
I love scrolling through my friends photos checking out new styles or opportunities they are taking part in. I draw inspiration from their good news and it also gives me an opportunity to “catch up.”
As I continue scrolling through, I come upon a recent celebration and noticed that someone appeared to be missing from the photos. Initially, I felt left out and sad.

Why wasn’t I invited to this gathering?

The more I pondered on this I realized.

I am in a different season.


My life has drastically changed in the last two years. I have gone from a season of singleness to marriage. From zero children to now two! As I continued to come out of my funk…

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Confessions

Confessions

I love the picture of humility and unity that was displayed at our staff meeting this past week: people coming together. Our leaders outwardly confessed, reconciled and forgave one another for bitterness in their hearts that may have been unbeknownst to the other party. It was amazing to see the love that was spread in these small confessions and brought healing to many! Really, forgiveness has more to do with the person doing the forgiving than the person forgiven.

I have realized that on social media, I have held bitterness in my heart and I have not been completely real or honest. The pictures I post are the life I want to portray to the world but not exactly the whole story. I post the good moments and am silent during the bad or pretend like it is all ok. Yes, I want to live by faith and not make it a habit to complain or gripe, but I also do not want others to think I do not struggle and am some inhuman perfect being. It is quite the opposite actually.

So this goes out to all of my readers, I am sorry for becoming bitter about the lives portrayed and the half stories I receive. But I also ask for forgiveness for perpetuating the very same thing that I do not like!

It’s hard to humble yourself and admit you’re wrong. Let me rephrase that. It is hard for me to humble myself and admit I am wrong. I want to be right! And if I am honest-I would like to think I am always right!

While I love the idea and picture of humility, and appreciate it in others, it is so much more difficult to actually make it happen in my own life. I want to be liked, or perceived in a certain way.

A while ago, in the midst of some difficult times, I was on the phone with a friend whom I had not spoken with in a while and she said, “it looks like your life is great right now!”

And I thought to myself, what is she seeing that makes my life so great, why would she say that?!

It wasn’t until I took a look at what I portrayed to the rest of the world when I realized just how bad it was. While sometimes I may want it to be good so I act like it is, sometimes it’s not and instead I am silent. I wonder who else out there, instead of faking like it’s ok, they are silent? The moment they find one ray of hope, they share it with the world and the world thinks life is perfect.

Forgive me for acting like I have it all together all the time.

Social media is a fragile and complicated thing. One can over share- complaints, TMI, or nonsense, but one can also portray themselves in the way they would like to be seen instead of who they are—flaws and all.

I’m working on it. I don’t have it all together or know exactly how to walk this thin tightrope of reality and truth mixed with respect and dignity. All I ask is that you join with me in not only speaking the truth, but in living it as well.

My fear killed a mouse

For Easter, we had thousands of Easter eggs filled with candy for the kids to hunt at our block party. In the midst of the chaos, some eggs were left behind. Thus, everyone in the office had more than enough candy to go around. Of course I wanted to have some for easy access and didn’t want to look like a pig eating all this candy, so I put some in my drawer. 
We have had nice before, it happens with older buildings. But I thought for some reason that with all of the traps laying around they would somehow disappear. Boy was I wrong. 

There was a mouse eating the candy in my drawer. I heard it and it jumped out of the drawer into another drawer. When I opened that drawer, it jumped out and ran behind my desk. I was so scared. I cleaned out all of my drawers and found mouse poop in about half of them. I threw all of the candy away and waited. It was behind my desk and I was just waiting for it to come out. 

Finally it ran out from behind my desk and dashed behind my co workers desk. I was not about to have that, I wanted this thing gone. I was going to find it and get it away from me. Since I knew it was behind the desk, and I couldn’t see it, I pulled the desk out. Still unable to see anything, I pulled it out some more. Now this desk was not one of those light flimsy little desks. This was an old heavy desk that weighed at least one and a half time my own weight. But I moved it and inched it out. I go to look in all the cracks and see these eyes staring up at me. Not knowing if it was dead or alive, I pushed the corner of that desk further against the floorboard. Somehow, I still don’t even understand how, I had squished it against the wall and killed it. 

My fear moved me to take action and the impossible happened. 

This was not a big mouse. This was the kind of mouse that could fit in a dime sized hole and squeeze underneath doors and such. But somehow I had managed to squish it up against the wall with the right force and timing that it was unable to escape. It was flattened like a pancake. 

I learned something today. Fear is often not a good thing. But, if you let your fear move you to take action, sometimes impossible things, things you never knew you were capable of doing, can happen. 

So if you find within yourself a fear that you cannot contain, a fear that tries to contain you, channel it into energy. Let it fuel you to get something done, to accomplish good. 
Maybe you will find out just how small it was, smaller than a mouse. Maybe you, too can squash your fears like a pancake. 

Coffee is like sin?

coffee-eh

Coffee is like sin…

for me at least

I am a tea drinker. I love tea and have so many different kinds as well as methods to drink it, loose leaf, tagless tea bags, silk tea bags, French press, different steepers, etc. The list goes on and on and my collection is somewhat extensive, as I like trying new kinds. However, in the midst of my deep sea of tea, every once in a while I have a craving for coffee. I usually can put it off and continue in my tea drinking ways, but sometimes, I just have to give in to those wonderful memories of how warm and cozy coffee tastes and the smell and energy it gives. By now, I should know that my memory so often fails me and I deceive myself into thinking I actually like coffee, when in reality, it causes me nothing but trouble. Today, for example, I decided that I had enough of this longing to drink a cup and so I made some this morning. I doctored it up with milk and honey and cinnamon to make it taste better (obviously), and took my first sip. Disappointment. It was not as good as I remembered it being and left my mouth feeling weird. Now maybe I just don’t know how to make a good cup of coffee or maybe this is real, I’m not sure, but I know what happened later on was real. I went about my usual day with my roommate but soon started to feel uneasy and queasy and had to go to the bathroom a couple times! What was wrong with me?! I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so nervous and jittery all of the sudden and then it hit me…. Well it already had hit me, but this time mentally. THE COFFEE. In just a short conversation with a friend about the negative effects of coffee, I realized how it seems to always promise energy and goodness but never delivers, leaving me with dehydrated jittery energy and an upset stomach. I guess it does deliver, just not in the way I wish it did.

This seems to be a lot like sin. We build something up in our mind, forgetting the negative impacts from previous times and only remember the bright and glittery promises. However, when we actually cave and experience it, the memories of the regret and negative effects come back, and we realize why we weren’t doing it in the first place. So often we get caught up in the empty promises of this world that just leave us feeling uneasy and ill. We forget the good that we already have and try to go back to the empty promises of yesterday.

This time, I found someone to keep me accountable. I told my roommate, do NOT let me drink coffee. It is horrible for me and I hate the way I feel. Now I need to do the same about my sinful habits. Do not let me do _______; I will regret it and it will only leave me feeling empty and wanting.