Monday, September 22, 2008

Call And Answer by the Barenaked Ladies

My friend Beth sent me this song. The lyrics remind me so much of how God takes care of me that I had to share them:

And if you call, I will answer
and if you fall, I'll pick you up
and if you court this disaster
I'll point you home

You think I only think about you
when we're both in the same room
I'm only here to witness
the remains of love exhumed
You think we're here to play
a game of who loves more than whom

And if you call, I will answer
and if you fall, I'll pick you up
and if you court this disaster
I'll point you home.

You think it's only fair to do what's
best for you and you alone
It's only fair to do the same
to me when you're not home
I think it's time to make this something that is
more than only fair

So if you call, I will answer
and if you fall, I'll pick you up
and if you court this disaster
I'll point you home.

But I'm warning you, don't ever do
those crazy, messed up things that you do
If you ever do I promise you I'll be the first to crucify you
Now it's time to prove that you've come back here
To Rebuild

When I come to Jesus to be rebuilt, I am thankful that my self destructive behaviors will not go without rebuke... not go with out being "crucified". I have to die to myself and my destructive ways of thinking and living in order to be fully His.

Isn't it amazing that the friends that are the most dear to us are the ones that hold us accountable (lovingly) for the things that we are doing to hurt ourselves and others? Doesn't it also make sense that a God who loves me would pull habits and behaviors that are destructive to make me whole?

From Teresa's Blog ala C.S. Lewis:

"In one of my favorite books of the Chroni(what)cles of Narnia, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," there is a scene where snotty cousin Eustace selfishly takes a golden bracelet from a dead dragon, transforming him into (what else)a dragon. His scaly arm swells, so he can't take off the bracelet, and he can't talk, and no one knows that he isn't a little British boy anymore. No one really cares anyway, he's so snotty. And then Aslan comes to him, and leads him to a beautiful garden (an Eden, you might say) where there is a beautiful pool. He dips himself in this steaming water, and his dragon skin starts to peel off. Layer after layer, he keeps ripping off these old shells of his old self, the dead scales and the meanness and self-absorption and the fears. But there's so much to it, he can't get it all. So Aslan jumps him, and digs his claws into his back, and just slashes the rest off. And then he's a boy again."

Sometimes God (and the people He has lovingly place in my life) dig their claws into my back to rip off my ugly scales. Ouch. But it's the only way to bring me to the glory of what I was originally created to be. A woman created in His image. If I'm created in His image, who better to choose the parts of me to take away?

And the parts to

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Time and A Place Such as This

Last night I said goodbye to another one of my dearest friends. She's another one biting the dust and moving to L.A. I feel like people just keep walking out of my life. I've lost three dear friends in the last six weeks to distance and unforseen circumstances. My friend said the other day, "I cannot wait til Heaven where everyone I love is in one place." Amen.

My dad just left after essentially "babysitting" me for several days. He dropped everything at home, flew up and basically loved on me. He did our dishes (which were the worst they have ever been.... no seriously.... EVER), cleaned our bathroom, restocked the wine rack (although that just benefits Susan), took two boxes to the post office and shipped them, took me to the beach, put his arm around my shoulder when I cried, made sure I ate enough, encouraged me to go to bed early and take naps, went to two church functions with me (he's not a church fan), took my friends to dinner multiple times to feed them and most importantly, just listened to all of the things that I needed to say.

I will never forget this trip he took and how much it meant to me. I will never forget the important things he dropped (including the funeral of one of his friends) to come be by my side. And it was such an amazing expression and reminder to me of how much my Heavenly Father loves me. He never has to "drop" things and come running, because He is always right here. I just have to seek him out.

"Behold I am with you and will keep you WHEREVER YOU GO, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you." –Genesis 28:15

When my dad left, I felt about twice as sad as I had before he got there. But, I'm an adult and I chose to live in New York City because I felt God calling me here. I can't just go running home because my community here is changing. For this time, God wants me here.

I remember the verses in Esther where the Jews were in trouble and Esther was living in the palace. She didn't really want to confront the king about not hurting her people because she was afraid she would get killed. And her cousin said to her:

"Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" -Esther 4:14

I have been put in New York City for a time such as this.

And, luckily, He has given me glimpses of the reasons why I am here. Not everyone is so lucky. But I have grown here exponentially more than I did when I was at home. As a Christian and therefore as a person. And I have had more opportunities to serve others here sometimes with gifts I knew I had and sometimes in ways I was not sure I was capable of. But God showed me that through Him, I am always capable.

So tonight I'm in a show.
One that tells a story I am passionate about.
One that demonstrates that when we are impatient with God and take things into our own hands it doesn't work out for the best.

Maybe I've been put in this show for a time and a place such as this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Step 1, Step 2

I just finished reading "A New Kind of Normal" by Carol Kent. In it, she says that when we are in the midsts of sadness or depression we must do two things.

1.) We must acknowledge to God, out loud, the things that we have to be thankful for.
2.) We must do something for someone else.

What does this do? It takes the focus off of me and puts it back where it needs to be. First and foremost, with God. And then, secondly, I can use that Godly focus to bless the others around me and keep myself from self-pity.

And there are a few things that I can always be thankful for, no matter what the circumstances:
1.) God is Sovereign
2.) God is Consistent
3.) God Loves me

1.) God is Sovereign-
Over everything. If he is in control of it all, that also means that my life is in His hands.

When God speaks to Job, he says:
"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? … "Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place,when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place,that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken.Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this.What is the way to the abode of light?Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?" (Excerpts from Job 38)

2.) God is Consistent-

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.- Hebrews 13:8

God is no less good to me on the happiest day of my life than He is on the day of my life that is the most painful.

Paige Benton states this perfectly in an article she wrote where she was frustrated by her singleness:

"Can God be any less good to me on the average Tuesday morning than he was on that monumental Friday afternoon when he hung on a cross in my place? The answer is a resounding no. God will not be less good to me tomorrow either, because God cannot be less good to me. His goodness is not the effect of his disposition but the essence of his person--not an attitude but an attribute.

I long to be married. My younger sister got married two months ago. She now has an adoring husband, a beautiful home, a whirlpool bathtub, and all-new Corningware. Is God being any less good to me than he is to her? The answer is a resounding no. God will not be less good to me because God cannot be less good to me. It is a cosmic impossibility for God to shortchange any of his children...........

I am not single because I am too spiritually unstable to possibly deserve a husband, nor because I am too spiritually mature to possibly need one. I am single because God is so abundantly good to me, because this is his best for me. It is a cosmic impossibility that anything could be better for me right now than being single. The psalmists confirm that I should not want, I shall not want, because no good thing will God withhold from me

3.) God Loves me-
God has said, "I will never, never fail you nor forsake you." - Hebrews 13:5

God's love for me is evidence by the fact that He would spare nothing, not even His own Son, His own Being, for me to truly have what is best.

We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; His perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what He might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what He might do to us, and shows us that we are not fully convinced that He really loves us. -1st John 4:18

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Provertbs 3:5-6

I am so thankful that in the midst of whatever I am going through, when my emotions are telling me to do something different each and every day (or moment) that I have the Lord to be obedient to. If I relied on my feelings or emotions to get me somewhere I would be constantly making decisions and then regretting them ten minutes later. But when God has made clear the things that are to be done to be on His path, the only choice left is whether or not I will obey.

And I can choose not to.
And a lot of times I do.
And things will probably work out okay.
But they will never be as glorious as they could have been if I had just been obedient from the start.

There are always choices. We have been given free will. There are teachings that promise a more abundant life, but the choice is always mine if I will obey. And sometimes I don't. But, if I do, I can live in the assurance that my life is the best that it could possibly be. That if I am living in His will, that it is a physical impossibility for my life to be anything other than the best that it can possibly be. Even when hurt and disappointment come my way.

Knowing God leads to self-control. Self control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness.
-2nd Peter 1:6

The more I know about God the more I desire to be obedient. And through my self-control and my patient endurance the closer I grow to the Lord. And then, just like with a human being, the closer I grow to someone the more I want to know about them. And the cycle just continues until the end of my life when I reach the goal that is Christ Jesus.

This does not mean I am perfect.
This does not mean I won't fail.
I do. Lots.

But I can rest. I can rest knowing that a path has been laid before me and the abundant life that He wants me to have is before me. The only choice left is: Do I walk along that road?

And I will try.
And when I don't want to, I will ask for the strength to do it anyway.