Tag Archives: faith

Suspended in Trust

10 Sep

So I journal a lot.  It’s how I process.  Often prayers get woven in as I work through stuff and either come across sin or more clearly see my insufficiency and need for Jesus.  Sometimes I re-read these and am taken aback by how much I get out of reading them a second or third time.  Its also pretty sweet to see how far God has brought me from past entries.

Not too long ago the thought of blogging some of my journals swung through the jungle of my mind.  I was on the fence about it, heck I’m STILL on the fence – it’s pretty personal stuff… but could it help someone?  Can I share without over-sharing?  SO here I am, on the front porch working through my latest almost-meltdown, blown away by how God meets me with his scriptural truth and I’m like, “yep, this needs to be shared.”  So … hopefully it encourages someone.  Other than me 🙂

Mondays are my one day off.  I treasure Mondays.  I commit to NOTHING on Mondays.  I spend at least the entire morning in the Word and journaling.  They are precious.  This Monday morning, however, before I could get settled into my Jesus-time, I encountered a note taped to our front door stating that our landlord was selling our house and we (all 5 of us plus dog) have to be out in a month and a half.  That was a sucker punch.  There are literally a grillion thoughts swarming, all under the umbrella of “do” – I should get on craigslist right away, who do I need to email, I have to tell the other girls, what does this mean for our dog, what are our chances of finding a house this cheap, etc.  But amid all of that mess, I felt a deeper pull to sit down and process this through prayer with my Father and Big Brother.

I just spent the weekend reflecting on the power and sovereignty of God, probably because He is so kind to prepare my heart for this news that would otherwise knee-cap me.  So I KNOW that He is always, only good.  I also KNOW that He is in control of everything – even bad stuff.  And I KNOW that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28) – so this is His plan for all of us.  God is doing the hard stuff, preparing a place for all of us to go.  He has blessed this house in crazy-ridiculous ways, so why would we not trust that He would continue to do this even when the future gets cloudy?  I guess ‘trusting’ could be considered a “do” but what it requires is deliberate waiting.  Looking to someone other than myself.  Waiting on directions.  So that’s really more of an “un-do” or what we like to refer to as “be”.

My planned scripture reading for today was 2 Corinthians 4.  This was actually because I’ve gotten a couple of days behind, but after reading it, I know that it was more than happenstance because I got so much more out of it than I would have if I read it 4 days ago.  Paul wrote this book.  I’m a big fan of Paul. He uses lots of running references, which, as a runner, I geek out about 🙂  But he was also in a steady state of unknown future and plans falling through, in addition to being constantly tormented by an evil spirit so that he didn’t get too cocky.  And NONE of that stopped him!  (See why I dig this guy?)  If anything it propelled him deeper into relationship with Christ!  So, who better to advise on a situation where it seems the floor just dropped out from under us?

I tweeted probably half the chapter because, verse-by-verse, my gaze was directed from the shakiness of my circumstances to the ROCK of my God who is in control of everything down to where I live and who I live with.  In verse 6, where Paul says, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” he’s saying that God uses us, even when we freak out, as a light to others.  But not because we turned our own light on, but because HE gave us the light (read: we don’t “do”, we “be”)!  And just two verses later, the encouragement escalates, We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”!  That’s freaking exciting!  I know that I am taken care of as a daughter of the Most High King!  He does not leave me stranded or without support because He literally never – NEVER – leaves me!  Even when things look bleak, the promise of His love, grace and provision remains.  Revitalization moves into super-charge mode as the chapter ends this way: “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  YES!!  I literally cannot see my new residence.  I have NO clue how this will work out.  That seems like a pretty big deal, but is it?  When I look back on this in a few months it will seem like a ‘momentary light affliction’.  And things like this prepare us for the ‘eternal weight of glory’?  Yes please!

Trust is hard.  Faith is  hard.  It’s counter-intuitive.  Logic and things ‘seen’ take no faith.  But what we see is impermanent, it dies, crumbles, fades.  Our hope as believers in the Gospel is in the history of promises kept and the glory of eternity promised!  This world is broken and dying, but we trust in the One who made it, who allows everything that exists to exist and everything that happens or doesn’t happen to do so.  We are children.  Really, we are.  Sometimes this is more obvious than others, but seriously, our best doctors and scientists don’t have all the answers – after how many years of study?  We can’t even figure out how our own bodies and ecosystems work!  So in the “grass is greaner” sense, it is blissful freedom to know that, just like when we were children in our parents house and we trusted them for EVERYTHING, we can still trust our Heavenly Father.

So while my proclivity is still to worry over this, my spirit knows that it’s already taken care of.  This took all of 2.5 hours of my morning and I am back on solid ground.  Better than that, I just told you!  And that’s all that is asked of me as a loved daughter of God.

I heart Mondays.


Just Dance

25 Jun
I love to dance.  I’m 30 years old, and STILL dance around my room with my headphones on to drown everything out.  I have visions of myself dancing skillfully in a modern/ballet style, bringing emotions to the surface of those watching as I communicate to them stories and emotions that stir up their souls.  While this may never actually happen, I don’t have to forgo the sweet freedom that is dance.  When I dance – letting go of thoughts, feeling and moving with the music – there is no feeling that comes close to that.  I feel like my spirit inside is moving right along with my body outside.  I can’t describe it better, I just feel completely united with my soul.  Granted, this is probably not the case for everyone, but do you know if it is for you?  Our bodies are gifts given to us for the time while we’re on this earth and they are strong and capable; they were created to move!
I was recently reading about Miriam, older sister of Moses, in a devotional and was really struck by the authors’ words on dancing.  With regard to the Bible, most of us probably don’t think of dancing.  It seems uncharacteristic.  Maybe a little risque.  The passage below, however, tells us that dancing is not a bad thing, it’s a way to celebrate and express emotions, to give glory to our Creator.
“In biblical times, people danced to celebrate happy events and to praise God. Dancing in Scripture is always linked to joy and happiness.  The presence of mourning means the absence of dancing (Lamentations 5:15), and there is a time for both (Ecclesiastes 3:4).
The very first mention of dancing in Scripture is when Miriam led the Isrealite women in a dance that celebrated God’s miraculous defeat of the Egyptians at the Red Sea.  Imagine, if you can, the emotions of these women as they walked (perhaps ran?) between the walls of water of the Red Sea, Egyptian chariots right behind them.  Fearful for their lives, they breathlessly reached the eastern shore, turning around to see the waters come crashing in to drown the Egyptians and their horses – a narrow, frightening escape.
Then, quickly, fear gave way to a thrill of excitement.  They were FREE!  When Miriam went by with a tambourine, singing a song of praise to God, the women’s feet moved to her rhythm, their voices joined her song, and they danced!
The Hebrews danced in worship, often in praise of God for his deliverance from enemies (1 Samuel 18:6, Psalm 149:3).  They danced to celebrate happy events, like weddings and the return of loved ones (Luke 15:25).  Hebrew men and women didn’t dance together.  The men usually danced alone, as David did before the Ark [of the Covenant] (2 Samuel 6:14), while women danced together.
There is some evidence that dancing was a part of the worship of the early Christian church.  But according to several early Christian writers, it soon degenerated and no longer expressed a pure praise of the Lord.  Before long it was banned.
Just as Miriam and the women couldn’t help but dance with joy, so when God does a wonderful work in our lives we sometimes respond in much the same manner: our faces break into smiles, our hands are lifted up, and our feet can’t remain still!  Certainly the God who created the human body delights in the pure use of that beautiful instrument to offer praise to him.”
Dancing has taken a lot of heat in past decades, even centuries, as something that compels us towards lusty behavior.  For this reason, lots of us don’t participate.  Or maybe we are nervous that we’ll look silly or fall over or step on someone.  I would challenge you to find a deeper reason to dance.  Dance to celebrate, to express gratitude, to praise your Maker.  If it’s not dance, find the mode of expression that ignites your spirit in a way that you can’t help but do something about!
If you are local in the Seattle area, you should check out my good friend Whitney’s women-only, community dance class Surrender Dance.  It’s donation-based, all levels and LOTS of fun 🙂