Saturday, February 24, 2007

waiting on your love

I promise to get back to the previous two posts--FREEDOM IN CHRIST! But I don't want to rush through it and risk minimizing the most amazing moment of my life just to have more words to post. But it DID happen, I AM currently living FREE of those shackles, chains, and the death grip that Satan once had on my heart and mind. I am still AMAZED at how the Lord DELIVERED me as only He can. How AWESOME is the Lord Most High!! :)

...but as a side note, I just wanted to share the lyrics from an unbelievable song by Justin McRoberts. I was reminded of this song a few days ago while icing my toes after reading a fellow sister in Christ's blog post (see Melissa's post on the LPM blog if you're interested!) about how we as Americans tend to idolize celebs and those around us in the lime light--we are OBSESSED with every part of their lives--as if they were any different from the millions of us watching them. Why DO we expect them to never have a bad hair day, never resort to wearing sweatpants, or have a "tiff" with a loved one? When they do it right, we want to be their best friend...but when they screw up?? --we criticize them for being immoral, having poor judgment, and actually living up to the HUMAN standards we ignorantly thought they lived above. What a cry for help--what a desperate plea for the freedom we have refused them, that God so longs to give them. What a sad thing to know, that it is US who have thrown them in this pit in the first place.

Waiting on your Love
There's nothing so heavy
Weighing down the soul
As the weight of nothing
Worth my strength to hold

There's no pain so cutting
No battle as in vain
As the constant battle
To avoid the pain

You were poor when you were born
You could see your Father clearly
From the nothing that you owned

Free me from these binds, Lord
I am choking on the gifts this world gives, Jesus
I am waiting on your love

So as your word has promised
I must clearly choose
To lost my life and gain your love
Or love my life and lose

You were poor when you were born
You could see your Father clearly
From the nothing that you owned

Free me from these binds, Lord
I am choking on the gifts this world gives, Jesus
I am waiting on your love

Free me Lord to live this life
Believing all I really have is YOU
I'm waiting on your love

Lord, how we need to be freed from the chains we have allowed to be placed on ourselves and those that we have placed on others!! Please take every "self" praise out of our hearts and minds and may we praise NO other and lift NO other up above YOUR NAME!! Praise you Lord for you are the one true Deliverer and Savior of our souls! In the MIGHTY name of Jesus, SAVE US from ourselves!!

I leave you with a quote from one of my favorite books/authors. May you be blessed and encouraged by these words as I have...

"You and I as believers in Christ have also been chosen to know and believe and understand that HE IS GOD. Our lives have been sanctified by the one true God. Heaven is HIS throne. Earth is His footstool. Awesome creatures never cease day or night singing, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!" Lightning flashes from His throne. The winds do His bidding. The clouds are His chariot. The earth trembles at the sound of His voice. When He stands to His feet, His enemies are scattered. He is transcendent over all things. Absolute. Uncontested. Omniscient. Omnipresent. The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. HE IS GOD and there is NO OTHER."
-Beth Moore, Praying God's Word

Friday, February 16, 2007

breaking free, or tightening the chains?

As I continue to reveal bits and pieces of the whole puzzle of my story, I wanted to share another journal entry--this one from before I left for Passion. I had just started Beth Moore's book "Breaking Free"--honestly, I started it sort of in anticipation for what I knew was going to be a life-changing week in Atlanta. I mean, "camp" is always that way...surely this would be too. Right? (Oh I hate how I put God in a box and think He only "lives" in the masses!) Regardless, I felt something stirring in my heart (or at least pretended that it was there) and wanted to prepare for the possibility that my toes were about to be stepped on. Little did I know this was the beginning of the very process that GOD had been anticipating in my life for quite some time. Was I ready? Heck no. Was I knocked off my feet to fall flat on my face? You had better believe it.

" 'So much for breaking free'. That is my first thought as I sit down tonight. I had it all planned--this was going to be it. Once and for all. Here is it 3 weeks later and I am physically disgusted at the person I have become--the complete opposite of what I (what God) had intended I'm sure, upon my beginning this process. Sick to my stomach. My lack of accepting His heart leaves me feeling like a total stranger to the throne of grace, yet I have met it more times in this season than I care to remember. All these truths I know--I've known--my whole life...or at least learned at some point along the journey. But they are not yet a part of me. My outward, public-face, sure. I can speak any number of them to a friend in need.--But to plant them into my own belief system for so long has been my greatest impossibility. For example, in my testimony video last summer, I pleaded with the campers--Don't wait until you've got your life together-because it will NEVER happen--come just as you are to God's love and grace; be broken and weak in His presence, so that He can be whole and strong in yours.I sung it on that stage to thousands- 'There is no guilt here. There is no shame...there's only grace, there's only love, there's only mercy, and BELIEVE ME IT'S ENOUGH.' I now know what they guy meant when he said 'Christians don't say lies, they sing them.'

I am doing exactly what Beth even urged us in this study not to do. --DON'T act like you're the only person in the world that God can't help or the only one with a problem too big for Him to handle. But I have suppressed all of this for so long. We're talking years. I know that I've got to face these things head-on, straight through, and stop ignoring and suppressing them. Otherwise, the devil is going to get a stronger foothold that I can handle--and I'm afraid he already has. As I sit here in silence, I am thinking of all the things I want to say to God--and then wonder why I don't just say them. He knows I'm thinking them, but I just ignore it and pretend that if I don't think about it, don't talk to Him, that it will all just go away.

My Bible stares me in the face. I carry it around everywhere as if to make myself feel better about the fact that I haven't opened it in days--maybe if they see me with it they'll think that everything is alright in my world that I keep so hidden. I'm a minister's daughter for Pete's sake...I'm supposed to have it all together. Where did I come up with that? Why did I always feel so outcast as a child? Why do I feel so lonely all of the time now? I don't fit in. Anywhere. Never have. I'm always like the friend after-thought. Like 'oh you should have called, we would have loved you to come'--well then you would have thought to call me. Right? I'm not blaming them. Or am I? It this just another way of putting it off? How did I get here?

The enemy has got me questioning whether Jesus or God even exists. I KNOW HE DOES. I've seen Him in my friend's and families faces. I've felt Him in my heart. I've experienced His hand in my life. So why do I doubt? To bring me closer to Him, right. But why am I needing to doubt? Which area(s) of my life am I needing to let go of or work on that's got me so out of wack that I'm questioning my own knowledge of the truth that I've WITNESSED?

In order to beat the devil, sometimes you have to fight. I don't know if I'm ready for what he's got, or why I'm even in the mood to fight. Maybe it's because I just watched a girl-power, kick-butt movie and the ugly-duckling came out on top. I see myself as her. I want that confidence--I want that success, but at what price? Am I willing to 'sell my soul' to be that girl? I just want to learn to love myself the way that God does. I want to see myself through His eyes--the good and the ugly--so that when I see the ugly, I can learn to recognize it and ask Him to replace it with only Him.

Am I ready to break free? I don't know. I want to be, but the reality of that answer I'm afraid is a scary one. It's going to mean giving up control of everything I only thought was mine to begin with."

If that wasn't a cry for freedom I don't know what is!

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy put, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." ~Psalm 40:1-3

Thank you Father, for rescuing me from my own self destruction and pit of foolish lies! I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

an internal battle: the war begins

I'm not sure why I feel compelled to share this next post. (Haha...I just spelled "poast" accidently and it made me think of toast...and then I got hungry..) Maybe it's because I'm stalling to write my lesson on healthy teeth for my first graders tomorrow. :) Maybe it's because I'm jittery after the coffee I just drank and need to exercise my fingers. But maybe it's because I'm finding that every time I share a little bit more of my story, it hurts a little less--and gets me one step closer to reclaiming much surrendered ground from the enemy--ground that never should have been his in the first place. Maybe you've been there, maybe you haven't...or maybe you've experienced this same kind of attach from Satan in a different area of your life. The words that are about to follow are not easy to share. At one point the truth of my circumstances hurt my heart more than ever. But they are also healing words--words of a PAST that as of January 1, 2007, I have been DELIVERED from; completely FREED from--and words that brought me into the greatest LOVE relationship of my life with Jesus Christ, my one and only.

So here it first journal after returning from Passion '07 in Atlanta.. (forgive me, sometimes I talk to my journal like it can answer me back. *grin*)

"I can't tell you what joy I have in my heart as I write this. I just returned from the Passion '07 Conference where my life was forever changed. I mean FOREVER CHANGED. I am NOT the most articulate gal God ever created (don't worry...we've talked it through and He's ok with that), so you will have to bear with me as I stumble through this. As I sit here writing, I am clutching a kleenex in my hand to catch the ocean of tears that are streaming down my face. They are the happiest, most wonderful tears I have ever cried in my life.

I have struggled with issues of insecurity and self-esteem for as long as I can remember. By the grace of God I never had the desire to experiment with my wild side in high school and so never had to deal with any major struggles of drugs or alcohol--I just had no interest what-so-ever. The devil KNEW where to get me though. I honestly can not remember a single day where I walked out of the house feeling 'pretty' and was constantly eaten away by the (what I now know are)-->lies in my head that told me I was worthless, had no value, and meant nothing to anybody--except my family, who had to love me cause they were my family. I never really 'fit' in anywhere with a particular friend group. I was just sort of a wall flower that got lost in the shadows of everyone else.

I know that most girls struggle with image issues or self-esteem battles, but for me, this was the largest stronghold of my life. I can remember going all day without food. I never ate breakfast and would skip lunch to 'do homework', and then go bust my tail at either soccer, volleyball, or basketball practice...followed by some more running at the walking park near my know, just in case I happened to breathe in some calories from a piece of gum when someone walked by.

I can just remember those thoughts of 'you will never be good enough', 'you are too fat', and 'you're so ugly' as I tried on clothes and refused to by them if they were past a certain number. Whenever I felt too full, I would go upstairs to the bathroom and stand over the toilet in an absolute war with myself--hoping that I had the courage to go through with it, and praying that I didn't. The Lord is the only explanation for why I never was able to give myself the eating disorder my flesh so desired. Praise the Lord for He is faithful even when we are not!

This past fall, I attended the Women of Faith 'Contagious Joy' Conference in Charlotte...and contagious joy I caught. Well, for like a week. I quickly fell right back down into my pit of lies--worrying that I would never fully know God's plan for my life because I couldn't (well-wouldn't) trust the things that He said about me long enough to stand on my own two feet. As ludicrous as it sounds, I REALLY thought that I was the one person God could not use or love, and that my mistakes were unforgivable.

The problem for me was never not-knowing the truths that God said about me--it was that I didn't believe them. I was so far into the enemies lies, he had me making up new lies myself that I SO believed had to be true--even though they could not have been farther from the truth. The enemy was prepared to kill, steal, and destroy me...and so far, I hadn't put up much of a fight."

Sunday, February 4, 2007

my wallet may thank me

I used to hate blogs. I always swore I'd never have one. I have always kept a journal (obsessively in fact) but just preferred to actually use a pen and paper to do it. It's funny--I can't stand to write for school, but give me a new journal and a good cup of coffee and I can get lost for hours trying to capture my own thoughts. But online journaling? Never. Maybe I just always assumed I didn't have anything to say...or what I had to say wasn't worth anybody else waisting their time to read it. In recent weeks, however, I have been so blessed by one particular blog that it inspired me to take the plunge. No one may ever read a word I write on this blog. But the small chance that someone could be so blessed by a word or two, as I have been by the words of my sisters in Christ on other sites, I think is worth more than my insecurity about the worth of my thoughts. Who knows...maybe it'll save me a few bucks on a new journal. :)