Monday, November 15, 2010

What 35 means to me!

Tomorrow I turn 35!  I am more excited about this birthday than any so far!  It is hard to explain but there is a sense of freedom in my 35th year.  Freedom from goals of the heart, that I really had no control over.

My 25th birthday was the worst birthday of my life.  I had just become a police officer, broken up with my boyfriend and decided to drink my self senseless.  Honestly I don’t even remember the night, just that I was miserable and I wanted it all to go away.  I was devastated that a quarter of my life was gone, I was divorced and hated myself.  That year I started seeing a counselor and realized that I was partly depressed because I had always dreamed I would be married at least by 25.  So she told me to set a more realistic goal. 

So I decided (once again there is that phrase), that in a perfect world I would be married at 30 and have children by 35.  So this summer as the days passed, I began to grow more and more despondent and I didn’t know why.  Then this dawned on me that once again I had not reached my goal.

Here is where the story changes and God shows me what a new creation I am in Him!  I turned to Him in my agony and cried out why am I still alone!?!?  With a smile on his face that stretched from ear to ear, He simply said “isn’t it great!”  I was heartbroken, and whispered, “Lord I thought you loved me?”  With more compassion than my statement deserved, He wrapped me in His arms and whispered, “from here on out, all this is left is My will, yours is no longer in the way”. 

I cried into His arms for a while.  As that comment sank into my heart, the most amazing feeling of freedom and love rushed into the agonies place.  I no longer have to worry about trying to achieve my goals!  The only thing left for me to focus on is His will for my life! 


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The beauty of Death

Today I was enjoying the beauty of the fall color here in the Northwest and was struck by how beautiful death is through the eyes of our creator.  The leaves in reality are dying therefore they are changing colors.  However, the display of their beauty as they die is somewhat surreal.  We see the same thing in the reality of a butterfly, a sunset or even a storm.  Something must die for life to continue.  For a tree to keep growing, each season it must die.  If it dies in the fall then goes dormant for winter, so that it grows in the spring, then flourishes in the summer.  But it must allow fall to enter its life if it ever wants to see spring again.  The same with a caterpillar, it must allow itself to become nothing to be reborn as a butterfly.  Or the sunset, must happen in order for the sun to rise the next day.  I could go on and on.  Then something else happened…

I listened to  a sermon today about the ‘meantime”, and what it is we are to do in the meantime. 

Stay with me here, the two stories tie together!  His point was that in the Christian life we have a tendency to focus on where we are going or where we have come from.  But what do we do in the meantime, that time in between while we wait for God to work.  The pastor referenced Matthew 8, using the story where Jesus calms the storm and how the disciples in the boat knew that they had been called by the Messiah.  They knew where they were coming from (the shore) and they knew where they were going(the other side).  However, they were in the ‘meantime’ stuck in a boat in the midst of a storm feeling as if death was imminent.  But they forgot who Christ was and that His will, WILL be done.  Not might be done.  God is God and His will, WILL be done.  Often we forget this, and in the midst of the storm, instead of clinging to what we KNOW to be true, we turn and want to head back to where we came from.  But as the pastor put it, Christ often wants us to learn to stay in the boat.  We must be willing to step out of the boat for sure and even walk on water when He calls.  But what happened to Peter when He forgot who Christ was, He began to sink. 

Now how does the ‘meantime’ tie in with fall colors and the sunset.  Often during our dying periods, or when we are walking through the darkness, we forget who we are.  Or at least I do.  I forget that I am a new creation in Christ, indwelled with the power of the Spirit.  That I speak with the power of the Spirit and can call on Him whenever!  Yet I so often return to who I was.  Not acting the way I did, but living in fear of that person.  That girl who was enslaved by things of the world instead of in voluntary servitude to Christ.  Also, while in this phase, we forget where God has called us to, the path He sends us on takes more of a pleasure tour of the lake, then a direct shot across.  That is what I see now.  A few months ago, I felt God light a passion in my heart that is smoldering still today.  Yet, when i tried to go without Him I fell flat on my face.  Yet He is shifting my path in a different direction than I thought it would go.  So now the doubts set in.  Am I hearing Him right, did I misunderstand that call on my heart, what was Him, what was me…I could go on for hours.  But the truth remains that I do not have the answers to these questions.  And all I can do, is crawl back to the foot of the cross, spend time in His presence and wait for Him to move.

Oh the beauty of dying to yourself, to be fully reborn as a child of the King of Kings (a Princess, dressed in heavenly robes). :)