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This is the end…if you want it.

17 Mar

If the last 5 years have proved to me something about my life – it’s that when there is 1 major change, five million more changes proceed with it. Changes can be good – it’s a new flavor of life. You just don’t quite know what the Lord can do now.

20 months ago – i was in  my heyday of life so far. I was at peace with the Lord, I was moving out of my childhood home to live with 4 AMAZING women, i had a boyfriend, my job was going great – no longer was i being pulled between two different stores for I was an official partner at 3303, my nephew was growing and breaking my heart with his CUTENESS (still does…my gosh!), the Summer was ending – that Summer was THE best Summer of my life. But with all the goodness, I knew something had to give…and 6 weeks after moving in, I became a single girl…again. Did NOT expect it, but it happened. And my first heartbreak I experienced my junior year of high school (that i thought was the most horrible thing ever) was put to shame by how helpless and pathetic I felt. And for the next 18 months…I once again became my own worst enemy, torturing myself to no end.

And then my car broke down

And then I moved out

And then I got a dog

And then…well, there’s another “then”, but I won’t discuss it further.

But that was the tip of the iceberg.

That “And then” is the thing that can send me spiraling to the end of nowhere.

It’s the thing that will destroy me to no end.

It’s like when you get a really bad cut on your knee when playing “Wolf” in your friends driveway…and then having her paramedic step-dad dig out all the gravel only to reveal your tibia protruding. And THEN he pours hydrogen peroxide on the cut while you watch that evil liquid kill all the blood cells and foam up.

That story may be from personal experience…. 😛

But sometimes…you need to be in that position. Lord knows what came out of the last time i found myself in the same predicament. Brokenness turned to openness…which then turned into renewal and peace and maturity.

In the case of the wound – after it gets all cleaned up, a butterfly bandage is placed on the knee cap to assist the wound to close. And then some gauze…and after a week or less of having your knobby, skinny, skeleton legs bandaged, everything begins to heal. And what emerges later is an awesome scar that feels funny to touch…but makes for a good story.

In this case, I will be able to use this trial (which I find to be unneeded…) to be part of my testimony. The Lord has a reason He put me here again. Let’s just hope it doesn’t break  more hearts than needed.

Regardless of what happens, I will surround myself with awesome girls (Can I just say how much I love my roommates- new AND old? I had a much needed conversation with Nicole and Justine…and then came home to have another great conversation with Morgan and Chelsea!) Totally worth staying up until midnight (which was once early for me to go to sleep….odd.)

I will also take this time to personally thank Matt Theissen for using his  heartbreak to write the songs on Relient K’s Forget and Not Slow Down album. So thankful! 😉

The Lord can do a lot in this time of my life – His faithfulness in my past has proved that to be true over and over again. But it’s painful watching everything happen before your eyes…it’s painful to remember when you were. But unlike 20 months ago when everything was going amazingly well for me and I knew something had to give…I am facing the opposite circumstance. With everything seemingly falling apart and responsibility at an all time high – life can only get better. For 2o months, I have been waiting for everything to “get worse before it can get better.” And it’s happened. I don’t like it. Rather, i hate it. Despise it. Loathe it.

And then my brain clicks on…or maybe my conscience, and I realize that my pride is getting in the way. My pride is telling me I can’t be happy for this change. I can’t be bitter to a situation that has nothing to do with me today. But I want to. So I think I’ll just be crazy bitter for the next couple days to get it all out so I get sick of this bitterness and get over it. Because I don’t want to be a part of it. I want to forget it and move on. I want to have nothing get in my way of my relationship with my Lord. And this is. It’s distracting. And I will do what I have to if it comes to that.

And now for the lyrics, you knew those were comes, right?

Forget and Not Slow Down

How many times
Can I push it aside
Is it time I befriended all the ghosts of all the things that haunt me most
So they leave me alone
Move on with my life
Be certain the steps of left and right don’t fight the direction of upright

I’d rather forget and not slow down
Than gather regret for the things I can’t change now
If I become what I can’t accept
Resurrect the saint from within the wretch
Pour over me and wash my hands of it

It’s time to decide
Which is out of my mind
Cause it’ll be me unless I put some thoughts to rest and leave some faults behind
I’ll watch the glint in my eye
Shine off the spring in my step
And could be blinding depending on the amount of You that I reflect

Cause I could spend my life just trying to sift through
What I could’ve done better but what good do what ifs do
Oh oh
Oh oh
There’s something I should tell you now

 

 

 

Haste the day

28 Dec

It’s been at least a week since I posted last, woops 🙂 I lacked motivation and/or a topic to write about, but alas…a topic has come to mind. And wouldn’t you know it, it was portrayed throughout my week without even realizing it!

I used to be one of those people who let fear run my life, always scared to be daring for fear of getting in trouble or yelled at. Once I got out of high school (or more so the last couple years of high school), that fear subsided…and what emerged was a fearless adventurous young woman. I guess by my 16th year, I realized there’s more to live for. Once I gave my life to Christ, fear was the only thing holding me back from enjoying life and living it to the full. For the first few years of the “new” me, I put fear behind me by doing shenanigans.

I remember my first shenanigan. I was 16 and my new church friends and I threw water balloons at cars in Marysville. It was so innocent and foolish…and yet, it changed my life for the better. I will NEVER forget the moment when we threw a balloon at a car from the MP soccer fields, their brake lights went on and we all dashed off as the bright field lights came on. All I could see amongst the fog was the silhouettes of all my friends. It was glorious. And it was only the beginning…

and then I started going to Calvary Chapel Lake Stevens, where even the pastors (one in particular) were in on the pranks. I became friends with Kaelee and Nigel, former prank-enemies, but together – indestructible. Two years of my life were full of shenanigans, but since this is not what this blog is about, I will shorten this part up with pictures of our greatest escapades.

…and then there’s Creation Fest, where shenanigans are eminent…especially when involving the Porta-potties…and pillows.

I know it seems like foolishness to many folks, but being involved with such things helped me forget about the chains of fear I placed on myself for the first 16 years of my life! I love adventure, and I very much despise letting moments pass by without redeeming the time…but not just with shenanigans.

This thought has come up a lot in the last week, I first realized it while visiting with my good friend, Deborah – who now lives in Oregon. Every conversation we had always turned back to Jesus, what He has done and is doing in our lives…and I appreciate that quality in her oh, so much…she is an AMAZING friend!

The day after Christmas I got the wonderful opportunity to visit with my aunt Tammy, uncle Jeff, and their sons from Arizona. We had dinner at Ivar’s on the sound and my one prayer for the night was to redeem the time. By the end of dinner, conversation was still fruitful and I wished I could have had more time to spend with them. Living here in Washington makes it hard to see them  as much as I’d like, but thankfully there’s facebook to keep us updated these days 🙂 It’s just more fun to interact in person!

All this being said, here’s some scripture that stuck out to me this week.

“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Colossians 4:5-6

” ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.’ ” John 10:10-11

Each moment wasted is a moment you’ll never get back, so redeem it. I don’t know about you, but when I let a moment pass in which I could live to the full…I feel like crap. It’s not just with unbelievers…but believers as well. I don’t have many friends like Deborah who always turn the conversation back to the Lord. Admiring that in her is a motivation for me to do that, humbly, with my Christian friends, too. It’s easy to get caught up in work…at work, but are you redeeming the time? Are you working for the Lord…or for men? The days when I work for the Lord are days I feel worthy of the money I earn.

When I was 19, this was portrayed as being an innocent yet silly teenager. I feel sad when I see teenagers try to act like they’re 25…because when they are actually 25, they’ll look back and realize they missed part of their youth. I had friends in school who’d look down on me for finding shenanigans fun, because real fun to them was getting drunk and high. I had people tell me that “churchies” are lame and don’t know how to have fun, really, I did. But now looking back to my teenage years, my regrets are not the times I participated in shenanigans, but the times I participated in worldly “fun”. It’s no fun.

How will you redeem today?

You are all I need

8 Dec

Now, I am one of those people who don’t need to try very hard to be successful. Many things have come easy to me in my life, and while that may sound good to some, there is one HUGE downfall. Not having to try hard, means not giving my all. Most importantly in my relationship with the Lord, I don’t give my whole heart.

A couple weeks ago I had a dream, I can’t remember what it was about, but a name was given to me right before I woke up. Now, as any single girl would, I jumped to conclusions and thought that was the name of the guy I’d marry. But eventually I came to my senses and I began telling myself I was foolish – not that it isn’t possible, but I don’t want to be sound blinded by guys with that name. I had another idea…maybe I should look up the meaning of the name! So last night I did just that, and my heart slightly dropped. First, it’s a Hebrew name…it didn’t even occur to me that it was! And most importantly, the  meaning in Hebrew is “whole-hearted”.

It’s something I fail at…it’s easy for me to sliiiiiiide on by. I know the right words to say, times to raise my hands during worship, and how to act. But many times, it’s not whole-heartedly. I find myself struggling with my pride to realize that I am not a good person and I DO indeed need a Savior. I get so involved in the motions that I forget that I am in a relationship with the Lord.

I received unexpected grace (yet..when is it expected?) from a friend this past week. I didn’t quite know what to expect from the whole situation and I was scared I would ruin everything. He challenged me to really think and pray about where my time and thoughts are invested…in other people, myself, the internet? Check…check…and check. My thoughts need to be on Jesus, my time needs to be invested in Jesus, i need Jesus. Yet, my thoughts have been holding me captive.

It’s funny how certain words or themes come about each week as I have been doing my study with an awesome, awesome lady. This last week we focused on Colossians 2 for a Kay Arthur study. In verse 8 it tells us,

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

Kay Arthur mentions that “In Greek, the phrase ’empty deceit’ describes the philosophy which might take us captive.”

Verse 9 goes on to say…

“For in Him dwells ALL fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are COMPLETE in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” and 15, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

So pretty much all the fullness, everything is in Christ who makes ME complete. I don’t need facebook or people to fulfill me, I need Jesus. If I draw near to Him, He WILL draw near to me – that’s a promise. He is the only one who can fully fulfill us forever. So, I challenge you to do the same – focus more on Him, and less on the things of this world.

I’ve taken baby steps these last few days, but now that school is done and out of the way for this quarter…it’s time to really focus on my relationship with the Lord. It’s time for me to be whole-hearted about something. To go along with the theme of this week is my current favorite song by JJ Heller – All I Need (P.S. If you haven’t given her much of a listen, I suggest doing so! She’s awesome!)

I don’t need a thing
My good Shepherd brings me all
You are all I need
You let me catch my breath
Even in the valley of death
You are all I need

All I need to be complete is Your love
Your blood that covers me

You lift up my head
You provide the wine and bread
You are all I need
There’s no need to fear
Even with my enemies here
You are all I need

All I need to be complete is Your love
Your blood that covers me

Goodness and mercy are following me
You are all that I need
You make a home for me
With pastures of green as far as I see
You are all I need

All I need to be complete is your love
Your blood that covers me

Redemption.

27 Jun

I believe the day was July 2, 2006. A Sunday just like today. It was our week to go to Calvary Chapel Lake Stevens (at that point my family was alternating Sundays between CCLS and CCMarysville.) Kelley was teaching from 2 Corinthians. From  the 6th chapter…my  life changed that day. I made a promise with God.

If you have read any of my blogs or notes over the last four or five years, then you’ve probably heard some of my testimony. Today i was once again reminded of God’s redemption and deliverance. How amazing is He?

It is surprising to me how i truly cannot remember the day that my unsaved high school boyfriend and i finally broke up for the last and final time, for I usually am really really good at remembering those dates. What i do remember though is that the final time we went out was not even for a month in length…having been saved in between our relationships, my perspective changed and for the first time i experienced the Spirits conviction..and i eventually became physically sick. Even today, when I have a meatball sub from subway, I am reminded by the power the Holy Spirit had on me. I knew what needed to happen…but my flesh wanted the opposite. I am thankful for the drama and deceit that lead to the end of that relationship…even if my heart had to break again.

It has been almost exactly four years ago since all that had happened.

2 Corinthians 6:14 says that we are to “not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers”. It all finally made sense why i was so convicted. And in the moment after Kelley read that verse in 2006, I made a promise with the Lord to never ever ever date an unbeliever again. How thankful i am to say that I have kept that promise…and just barely. But i also manipulated the promise and became a “serial dater”  and went through Christian boys like candy. And though I unintentionally hurt some innocent souls, it is how I learned how to recognize the Holy Spirit. I wish it didn’t have to be so…but the Lord did some good works from it all. I wouldn’t know His peace if I hadn’t experience His conviction.

This morning when Kelley announced we were reading from 2 Corinthians 6, my heart broke. In a good way. I was looking around the room and realized there are sooo many people who I love in that room. People who I have shared wonderful memories with and hope to have in my life forever. No longer do i feel like an awkward lost stranger as i did 4 years ago..but i feel loved and accepted! The Lord delivered me from loneliness in the last 4 years in ways I never expected. I never expected after graduating to be living with four amazing girls in this house! I never expected to be serving in the Upperroom. I never expected to have weekends full of amazingness. I never expected any of this wonderful life i live. He knew what I needed…and gave me more. He is so amazing!

I may think my heart is broken. I may look in the eyes of the guy i want to marry…full of wonder, pain, and hope. I may manipulate situations like a pro. I may get lost in my thoughts during prayer or teachings. I may have THE hardest time repenting of some sins. I may fight with the Lord to surrender my hopes of the life I want…thinking that my life how it is now is not what i want. But the truth is…is that God’s faithfulness in those pitiful days 4 to 5 years ago has proved to me that He will be faithful forever. truly, FOREVER! God will exceed all my expectations. I can be hurt all i want by what i don’t have…but God is there with open arms showing me His life for me. I may have my life all figured out, but unless it aligns with His will…then it is useless. The guy, the job, the house, etc.

I can ponder day after day after day why He would bless me with His peace for a relationship…only for it to sadly end. Or why it is super hard for me to want to excel in school as well as i did in high school. Or why i had to get into not one but TWO accidents in the last seven months. Or why my dad has to live 1000 miles away. Or why i am not prettier, more charming, less annoying.

But it all is useless. This last week I have been attempting to live my life more on purpose because so much of my time is wasted on useless stuff. Facebook especially. Or just sleeping and being lazy. Or spending my money on useless stuff.

Jesus is so lovely…and I am soo thankful He captured my heart when He did. I am so thankful I have so much love in my life. I am so thankful for those sucky trials i went through…and still am going through. He is my GREAT Deliverer. And there is no turning back.

Oh, my dear….

13 May

Seeing it that we are ALL sinners, none worse or better than any other, we all have transgressions we KNOW need to come out to the light. Many if not all of us have failures that are scary as heck to let others know. Sins that are so disgusting and perverted the thought of speaking the truth of our failures to someone else breaks us into a cold sweat. When in the light, the thought of ourselves committing these sins seems like a different person in entirety.

“How could I have done such a thing?”

I am by far no exception…there are some scars from my past only my sisters know, some only one person on this Earth may know…and of course there are some only i know. It’s scary to bring to these things light cause you never really know how the person will act. A relationship can have a seemingly sturdy backbone, but when darkness comes to light, the foundation isn’t always strengthened. Sometimes it’s weakened…until broken. Sometimes you end up severing the relationship. Though you want to blame them for not being the person you thought they were, thinking them as weak and unstable, you must realize our sins HAVE consequences. Sometimes it takes YEARS upon YEARS for the repercussions to come to the surface…and even then (at least in my case) it take 7 months to realize it. And it is at the moment of your (well my…) epiphany you wish you could take those YEARS and YEARS and YEARS of darkness and erase them away, wondering what could have blossomed out of the severed relationship had you not been a stupid girl falling into the pit of the smiling enemy.

I must keep remembering I can trust the Lord. He punishes me with LOVE. And it is because of the consequences my sin brought forth that I can becomes stronger and use it as a testimony of the Lord Jesus. He knows the timeline of my life better than anyone else…He created me and knows MY heart! He knows when i will get my first gray hair and when I will get married. He knows when I will brush my teeth next and what grade I will get on my Italian test tomorrow. He knows me.

“O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.”

Psalm 139:1-6

I must add the song that got me into this mindset, it is a VERY good one 🙂

Tenth Avenue North – Oh My Dear

I called you up, you were in bed
Could barely make out the words that you said
But you wanted to see me instead
So I got dressed
And I stepped out into the snow
And walked for a mile or so
Felt the rush of blood come from the cold, in my chest

Well you finally came to the door
And we talked for an hour or more
Until I asked if you would stay up till four
You said “that’s fine”
But you said “there’s something I have to say
And I can’t because I’m just so afraid”
And so I held you as you started to shake, that night

Oh my dear
I will wait for you
Grace tonight, will pull us through
Until the tears have left your eyes
Until the fear can sleep at night
Until the demons that you’re scared of, disappear inside
Until this guilt begins to crack
And the weight falls from your back
Oh my dear
I’ll keep you in my arms tonight

You slowly lifted your head from your hands
You said “I just don’t think that you’ll understand
You’ll never look at me that way again, if you knew what I did”
And so your tears fell and melted the snow
You told me secrets nobody had known
Oh, but I never loved you more even though now I knew what you did

Oh my dear
I will wait for you
And grace tonight, will pull us through
Yeah, oh my dear, I will wait for you
And grace tonight will pull us through
Until the tears have left your eyes
Until the fears can sleep at night
Until the demons that you’re scared of, disappear inside
Until this guilt begins to crack
And the weight falls from your back
Oh my dear
I’ll keep you in my arms…

Till the tears have left your eyes
Until the fears can sleep at night
Until the demons that you’re scared of, have disappeared inside
Until this guilt begins to crack
And the weight falls from your back
Well, oh my dear
I’ll keep you in my arms tonight
I’ll keep you in my arms tonight