Monday, July 30, 2012

I press on.

I want to encourage you. I want to be a light to the Kingdom of God, to glorify God with my words and actions. But I cannot do that in my own strength. My heart is heavy and I am weary. But the Lord is strong. So I lean on him and I write. And I pray that he will guide these thoughts and use these words.

I sometimes hesitate to share these thoughts, my intent is not to sadden or burden. But this is raw, real life. No masking, no pretense. I am not inviting sympathies but am sharing for the sake of truthfulness, for the sake of the one who gives me life.

The weeks pass and hardship seems to be making a habit of showing its face. Around me and within me. When does the grieving of 'what isn't,' of 'what cannot be' end? Will it ever, in this life? It seems to be only increasing. It overwhelms at times.

When pain occurs, the repercussion are not isolated to the point of impact. If the circumstance was just in and of itself, just an individual entity, it could be pushed aside with greater ease. But, like a web of wound silk, the effects of my body's weakness have attached onto and impacted every thread of life.

The product of these circumstances are an every day reality.

But God is a redeemer. He REDEEMS. He creates beauty from tragedy.
To redeem is "to gain or regain possession of something in exchange for payment." Jesus is our payment. His death brings you and me to life. Because of his sacrifice, we can open our eyes. We can be alive and live with hope.


I am not fully aware of where God is leading this life he is allowing me to live, but I believe with everything within me that he has created purpose in it.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
- Philippians 3:12-14

This encourages me; this stirs me.
Onward and outward. I press on.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More than just photographs, more than just memories

So, my dear wheelchair died last Thursday.  My only mode of mobility, my "legs" if you will, is out of commission until the new part comes in.  It was supposed to come in today (Tuesday) however, it did not.  Cool.

Without my chair, I am pretty much stuck in my bed.  It's been 6 days.  I've been outside once.  Eeep.

It's been an adventure so far...
Lots of thinking.
Lots of music-listening.
Lots of reading.
Lots of thinking.

Knowing, when my chair croaked, that I would be spending a heavy dose of quality time with the four walls of my bedroom, I was not too stoked.

I am not a fan of solitary confinement.  I am also not a fan of being vulnerable and reaching out for support.

But the Lord is stretching me.

There's been much time for reflection.  And one thing I am sure of is that God is completely in this crazy rodeo.  It has been a bundle of emotions, positive and negative, but he has blessed this time and used it to grow my heart.

It's been a weird week and I cannot wait until Thursday, but I am truly thankful for this time.

Because I was stuck in bed and lonely, I had the courage and desperation to tell people that I needed them.  And the Lord showed me great love in the sweet friends he surrounded me with.  In this situation, I have had no choice but to be open, to be vulnerable and reject the fear of appearing weak.  It is what it is.  The love does not cease because my body is powerless.

This situation, at first seeming overwhelmingly limiting, opened doors for unique opportunities.  I have experienced the Lord in new and rejuvenating ways.  I was able to spend some good quality time with some dear and wonderful humans.  I was able to begin reading a book I've been meaning to pick up for quite some time.  I got lots of my spanish homework done, which is a great thing.

I even made some new friends.  From the comfort of my own bed.  That's a first.
The talented Adam Sams stopped by for a little late-night jam sesh.  This is one talented dude.  Check him out if you enjoy great tunes.

Spontaneity.  Quality music.  Worship.  This would have to be one of my favorite moments in the last few days.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The water keeps on falling

I am currently reading C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain.  It has catalyzed much thinking... about life, about suffering, about purpose.

Mr. Lewis writes, “We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character ... Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life—the work which he loves, though in a different fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child—he will take endless trouble—and would doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and re-commenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.”

When we face suffering, it is painful so we desire it to stop. But it is through our suffering that so much beauty takes place.  In life's difficulty, in the midst of the challenges and the frustration and the heartache, God is lavishing you with the deepest love.  He is molding you into the person He created you to be.

"But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;
he speaks to them in their affliction."
- Job 36:15

"My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life."
- Psalm 119:50

This is real life.
It is beautiful and it hurts.
I pray that the beauty would obscure the pain.