Saturday, July 9, 2011
Too long, O Lord, have I judged. Too long, O Lord, have I been unwelcoming. Too long have I lacked trust. Too long have I lacked faith. Too long, O Lord, have I left my call unanswered.
My light has grown dim; my life, slowly fading. My love has been selfish and shallow.
"But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness."
- Psalm 86:15 (ESV)
peace, love, and one million second chances.
Monday, May 16, 2011
I have been battling with depression for years now, but I've never really wanted to call it that in the past because once you hear the word "depression," things automatically become serious. Some of you might not have even suspected it, but I think that's because I have fine-tuned my ability to hide certain things about myself. I have finally gotten to a point in my life where I can call it like it is, but unfortunately it doesn't change the fact that that's what I'm dealing with.
"Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. The have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!"
- Ephesians 4:17-20 (ESV)
In trying to cope with my depression, I have used misguided techniques that I have picked up along the way of destruction, one of them being self-abuse. Those with no hope, in the end, resort to hopeless means. But as a believer in Christ, I have hope, right? Well, I would hope so. But in the past, why have I opted to harm my body, or isolate myself, or not seek help? It is a great misfortune in my life that this inflicting pain on myself did not end a year ago like it should have. And here begins my newest moment of transparency.
I didn't do it again for attention. I didn't do it in a visible place. I did it in secret, with a demon hovering nearby and growing more and more exhilarated with every second I spent in that treacherous act against the temple. And I am so ashamed of that.
You see, I know that it didn't solve anything and I know that it certainly made things worse, but I did it anyway. I have taken it before my Father, and He has already forgiven me, glory to God. I will strive to live my life worthy of the calling Christ has given me, and I pray in the name of Jesus that this pattern of self-abuse and self-loathing stops.
"to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."
- Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV)
I say all of this as my way of asking for help. I am an exceedingly stubborn person, so for me to even try to ask for help is a big step for me. Some of you may judge me for this, and that's okay, I love you anyway. But I ask that you look on me with love, as someone who needs encouragement, who needs you to be Jesus with skin on in my life, as someone who needs prayer. I know I can defeat this with the strength of my Savior and the love of my friends, and I know God will somehow use my error to glorify Himself in some mighty way. Praise God.
peace, love, and newness.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
This whole thing is showing me how weak I really am, how dependent I am on certain things, how much I need God to make it through.
My body has finally finished detoxing from all the harmful additives in food we digest on a daily basis, which means my headaches are gone and I've stopped shaking. But I'm still having cravings. I really want to devour an entire chocolate cake by myself; I just want a taste of something other than raw fruits and vegetables.
I am having such a hard time with this, but I can't even imagine what it's like for the other four people doing this with me. See, I was a vegetarian already so I'm used to not eating meat. But the others have had to give up way more than me and I can see how hard this is on them.
And not only is it a huge temptation to quit because of the different food I am craving, but it is also starting to become a burden for me financially. I've had to go to the grocery store every day so far, and I've spent over $50 in groceries. Fruits and vegetables don't last long on the freshness side, and I've had to eat more than usual to keep from going hungry.
God has already been teaching me so much through this, and part of me really wants to continue with this adventure and glean everything I can from it. And then there's the part of me that wants to give up so so badly.
I wear a bracelet on my left wrist that has the reference 2 Corinthians 12:9 on one side, and "LIVEWEAK" on the other. This experience is putting a whole new, fresh emphasis on my heart.
peace, love, and attempting perseverance.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
I have started a new blog which will be nothing but poems I have written. It is a fantastical journey I am ready for, and I hope you will join me.
But fear not! This blog will still exist and I will still be updating it. However, it will be more of an actual blog than a poetry slam.
So to see my poems, you must now go here. And I hope you will, because I am excited about this.
peace, love, and rockets.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
said the little seed,
"Why do I compare me
to the olive tree?
Nothing comes easy,
not even melodies.
I don't need your sympathy.
Farmers sow and reap -
they like what they see -
but I'm painted in ivory.
My envy screams like a cacophony
but You resist the urge to leave.
You stop and look at me,
the lonely little seed;
You rest me on Your knee
and tell me how I'm lovely.
Then You plant me by the sea
and I have life, suddenly,
like You've handed me an eternal key.
I begin to grow and spring
from the dirt and soiling;
I shower down my many leaves
and they drift off in evening breeze.
I am not an olive tree,
for I have been made differently,
but I am slowly blossoming
into who I was made to be."
peace, love, and uniqueness.
Monday, March 21, 2011
- Galatians 2:14
At this point, I would like you to picture what I now see in my mind:
Paul called the Galatians out because their lives didn't look any different from the Gentiles. Jesus died for us so we could live for Him. Are you living in such a way that will lead others to Christ, or does your life look like the rest of the world's?
"and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."
- 2 Corinthians 5:15
peace, love, and a snarky Paul.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Since Jason and Kristin are in Russia for a missions trip, Journey Group was held at Panera tonight. It ended up just being Billy, Chris, and me but we had a great discussion. Afterward, I had this unexplainable feeling that I just needed to go to Family Christian. It was weird: there weren't any books or CDs I wanted to buy, but I just needed to go.
So I walked in and just started looking around at the different stuff the bookstore has on display. I, of course, first took a look at the discount items - nothing good; then I wandered over to the wall of books. I was just walking along looking at the different books that caught my eye when these two women walked in and were chatting loudly about something. I unintentionally blocked their conversation out because I was reading the intro to one of the books in my hand.
The voices, however, kept getting nearer and nearer until finally, "What do you think about that?" said one of the women. But I realized she wasn't talking to her friend, she was talking to me.
"Sorry, what?" I asked, looking puzzled, I'm sure.
"What do you think about the movie about the Illuminati?" The woman asked again.
"Oh, I haven't seen the movie."
"Have you read the book?"
"No, I didn't even know there was one. But I do believe that the Illuminati exists."
"Oh, really? Doesn't that scare you? I don't want to believe any of that stuff; it's terrifying. What do you think about it?"
"Well, unfortunately, the things you've heard are true. I've done research on it and that stuff does exist and it is scary. I was pretty freaked out at first by the subject, but then I came to the conclusion that God is my Protector. He's taking care of me and watching out for me. Plus, if something does happen to me, it had to have been part of God's plan for my life. I've realized that through all of this, I have no reason to worry about any of that because God's got it under control."
The two women nodded in agreement and expressed aloud how that made sense. I then went on to further sum up my conclusions from my research, and how there's no need to be afraid. The three of us stood there talking for a minute until one of the women said, "Praise Jesus we met you tonight. You have been a very big help to us both." I assured them that it was I who was blessed and shook their hands.
I did end up buying two books (praise God for coupons), but after having that conversation with those women, I knew my purpose in going to Family Christian had been fulfilled.
It's amazing how God can use us when we're willing and obedient. If He's telling you to say something to someone or to go somewhere, then do it. It's a rewarding experience to be able to help someone or encourage them.
peace, love, and God-instilled gut feelings.
Friday, March 4, 2011
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth not rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
- Matthew 6:19-21
I have found myself lately pulling more and more away from material things. Sure, I like my macbook, my nice clothes, my guitars - but they are starting to lose their original value. Their purposes for me have changed. I have been blessed with these things, so shouldn't I be giving them back to the One who blessed me?
I believe it's okay to have nice things, but I also believe we shouldn't be so wrapped around them that we forget Who gave them to us in the first place. And we should be using what we're given to glorify God.
It just kind of upsets me how many people are focused on this life and not the next. Further the kingdom by using what He's given you. If He asks you to give it all away, could you do that?
peace, love, and a different kind of wealth.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
However, being fully alive in Christ is not simple. It requires transformation (2 Corinthians 5:17). If our natural selves desire sin but we are saved through faith, we are pitted in a constant battle against sin. We are called to die to ourselves (Luke 9:23) - to put down everything our flesh desires, everything that is natural to us - so that we may put on Christ and be justified through Him.
We battle not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). But even when things are so difficult and temptation is so strong, we must not conform (Romans 12:2). In everything we do, we must lower our pride and surrender it all to the One who saves us (Psalm 55:22). Do not be discouraged in this crusade. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
Do not lost hope, brothers and sisters. This battle we face every day is tough and wearing, but we have God on our side. He will pull us through our mud, he will mold us into something beautiful.
peace, love, and life.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
It's amazing what can happen once you surrender everything to Him. And I mean everything. I've been learning how to really surrender lately, how to lay it all down.
And now because of that, amazing things have happened: friendships are being restored, new friendships are being made, doors are being opened, hearts are being softened, walls are being broken down.
I am still healing and still relying on God to get me through this heartbreak, but I know that greater things have yet to come. I am excited for everything else God is going to teach me through this.
"Finally, I surrender
All to You, I give it all to You
Finally, I surrender
All I am, I owe it all to You."
("White Flag" by For Today)
peace, love, and restoration.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I write you because you might be able to relate to what I need prayer about. I have felt the last couple of days that God wants me to ask Him to break me. To break me so that I can experience His incomparable love for me. I know that you asked for that in Sweden, and then Sennit went to heaven... So I know that you know the pain that follows that question, "Can you break me?" I am scared because I feel that if I ask God to do it, then it will have something to do with [my boyfriend]. I know that God's love for me is much greater than [his], so why am I scared? I don't feel like I am ready to let go of [him]. I guess I never can be. My problem is that I dont WANT to let go!
Please pray for me... I dont know if I made any sense at all but I have to go now.... I love you. Thank you for being you.
Love, [a dear friend]
In Sweden, I did ask for God to break me. But I, unlike you, was unaware of the pain that would accompany the question. I cannot deny that it was unbearable at times. I was not ready to let go of Jonathan, and I was definitely not prepared for it. However, God has a way of working things out. After the main portion of my grieving, I was given a joy so indescribable, it could only come from the One True God. Through my time of brokenness, He was restoring me, putting me back together, molding me, all because I was clinging to Him. I asked Him to break me because I knew that my relationship with Him was suffering. God took Sennit home, and the only thing I could do was put all my weight on Him. I didn't want to let go of Jonathan, but I didn't have him to hold onto anymore, I only had Jesus, which ended up being way better than I expected.
My question for you is if you don't want to let go, are you putting your relationship with [your boyfriend] above your relationship with God? It may be that you didn't even realize you were doing that. The thing is, when we ask God to do something like break us down completely, we are asking Him to rearrange our lives to better suit His purposes and His glory. It's going to hurt, but I can assure you that the end result is totally worth it.
Your relationship with [your boyfriend] is something you're going to have to trust God with. Allow Him to do with it as He wills, not as you will.
As always, I will be praying for you, sister. I love you.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Today I had one of those days where I prayed a lot - way more than usual. I was pouring my heart out because it was heavy with sadness and breaking for people I love. There were things I so badly wanted to fix, but it wasn't in my power to do so. Later in the afternoon, I met up with a brother in Christ and we talked about the situation, and prayed together. We could tell as we were praying that God was already at work and was already answering our cries out to Him before we had even finished. There was a huge moment of relief when we relinquished what control we thought we had in what's going on and handed it over to Him. He is the God of our impossible, because what is impossible for us is most definitely possible for Him.
If there's anything going on in your life, don't be afraid to talk to God. He wants you to. He wants you to be open and honest with Him - He wants to know your fears, your frustrations, your joys, and your happiness - He wants it all. God truly taught me a thing or two about prayer today, and I hope He does the same for you.
"pray without ceasing" - 1 Thessalonians 5:17
peace, love, and panera.
Mini rant: Normally, I absolutely despise the 14th of February. Not because I'm almost always single (although that's a tiny factor), but because I don't see the point in setting aside one day out of the year for romance; it should happen spontaneously. Romance should be organic, authentic, real. Not some Hallmark addition to the other holidays. Plus, it's almost always cheesy on Valentine's Day, and I don't do cheesy in relationship-type situations. (Mini rant over.)
However, this Valentine's Day was unlike any other. I was awoken this morning by my cell phone ringing off the hook by a private number. I'm a tad cranky in the morning, so naturally, I didn't answer. I then received a message on Skype from a skype name I didn't recognize. It was really generic, but it just said to go outside. A little freaked out, I decided to check out my window. There wasn't anyone standing down below, so I went down to open my front door. I was completely taken aback by the dozens of rose petals spread out in place of my welcome mat. There was a note resting on top of the velvety petals and I bent down to pick it up. It read:
This is a scavenger hunt. Follow my clues and answer my riddles. Each one will bring you a step closer to finding your secret admirer. Good luck. (By the way, you look great.)
I turned the note over to find my first clue. The answer was easy - it led me to my car where I found another clue and more rose petals on my windshield. The next clue took me to the gazebo in the nearby park. And again I found another clue surrounded by rose petals. There were a total of seventeen clues, all taking me to different places around town - a restaurant, a coffee shop, a movie theater, the beach, and finally back to my home. I opened my front door and there lay a trail of rose petals, so I followed. They led upstairs to my room. Everything was just as I had left it, with the exception of all the petals and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates sitting on my bed. This was obviously someone I knew, otherwise my mom wouldn't have let them in the house while I was gone. I smiled. Amongst the candy, there was one final note. It had my name written sweetly on the outside of the envelope, and I gently opened it, my heart racing in anticipation of what it might read.
The inscription was a beautiful message to me, something I will never forget. I still don't know who my secret admirer is, but I thank you for somewhat thawing my anti-valentine heart of ice. I hope I can meet you one day soon. Until then.
peace, love, and well, more love.
Ps. None of this actually happened. Today was just like any other ordinary day. I watched a few episodes of House, ate some cous cous, hung out with friends, and watched a movie with them. Jesus was and will forever be my Valentine - He's the best one I could ever have. I hope you all had a great holiday. Know that you are so valuable and so loved and you don't need to be limited to one day out of the year to hear that. Enjoy the 50% off chocolate tomorrow!
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I am a wolf in sheep's clothing
Passing by the watchmen, on to the herd
Disguised in determination
Waiting for one to be lured
Out by curiosity, or a mere distraction
So I can soon follow that lonely lamb
And satisfy my unending hunger
But suddenly, I hear a crying Man
He's calling out a name
One I do not recognize
And that measly morsel turns around
Leaving me to wallow in my demise
Where the Man now lays His head
I would not think to enter
For I am a god in my own mind
'Pride' some call it (I'm my own center)
peace, love, and perspective.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
peace, love, and hope.
Ps. Does anyone have the photo of me and Sennit riding bikes through Target after his graduation?
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Up til now I wasn't shaken
All this anticipation
Has led to broken endings
Sometimes it's harder to believe
"Oh doubters, come and see"
You are a mystery to me
But I'm not bending (here)
Because Your eyes
See the truth that set me free
But in the mourning I'll wake up
And take a breath of Your love
Because of You I want to dance
Together in this romance
Without You I am nothing but temporary
You give more life than I could hold on my own
And now I've come to the conclusion - it's time to heal
I know You're never letting go
You know my soul and set my feet
You are a hiding place for me
You take my brokenness
And make me whole again
And in the mourning I'll wake up
And take a breath of Your love
Because of You I want to dance
Together in this romance
Meet Jonathan Sennit. (Photo credit to the lovely Loren Fay.)
I was first introduced to him back in 2005. He started attending FSCC for youth group to help us out as we were beginning a new chapter with the church. He and I quickly became friends. We both loved music and life and most importantly, God. He was the person that was there whenever you needed him, even if you didn’t want him. He was wise in the Word and sought God daily; Jesus Christ is what kept him going each and every day. Yes, he had his downfalls like any other human being, but he was never afraid to admit that and move on, move forward. He was an encourager, a servant. In September 2008 he was diagnosed with brain cancer; February 2009, God called him Home. Through everything he endured, he praised God for it -everything. He is the greatest example of a Christ-follower I have had the honor of knowing; he was one of my best friends.
Today is his birthday; he would’ve been 21 today. I miss him every day, but some days are harder than others. This tiny blog post does not do him justice. All of this to say, I know he is having the best birthday ever - I mean, he is spending it with the Creator of the universe and that’s pretty amazing. Happy birthday, Jonathan. I love you and miss you. Moshpitwarriors forever.
peace, love, and memories.
“For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.”
- Psalm 26:3
You love me and You are faithful.
“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”
- Psalm 27:14
I will wait for You; Your timing is perfect and You alone know what is best for me.
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. The LORD is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed.”
- Psalm 28:7-8
You are my Protector, my Savior, my Strength, and my Love. You will never abandon me.
peace, love, and learning.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
“I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” - Psalm 18:1-3 (ESV)
“In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.” - Psalm 18:6 (ESV)
“For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God - his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” - Psalm 18:28-30 (ESV)