Friday, March 16, 2012

*Changing Perspectives*

I've been home alone sick now since Tuesday night with all the time to think in the world. What does one do with all that time? Contemplate the meaning of life and think about the entire story of human existence from creation through eternity. What else would there be to do?

I've had a complete perspective change. Whenever I get sick, it's usually because the Lord wants to grab me from my busy schedule and teach me something or have me slow down long enough to just notice Him. Being alone with only Him for a couple of days has been wonderful, because He's all I've been aware of. It's almost like I've taken a vacation from the world and just spent a few days with God. Days without the world humming in my ear are the times I feel closest to the Lord and I'm able to see things I'm not able to see on a regular basis. It's been nice…sometimes it's hard to think about going back into the world because that means the world will be what I think about most. My schedule, my duties, my social life…but for these days…I've thought about God. And they have been beautiful, fever-filled days.

I'm trying to find words to describe what I have learned these past three days, but it's such a big concept that it's hard trying to come up with the words to describe it. It's almost like there's no way I can do it justice. It has to do with the fact that I've been acting like a spoiled child in my spiritual life for a long time now. It has to do with us blaming God or being mad at God when bad things happen. It has to do with God's unending mercy and His love for us that reaches far beyond what we can ever understand.

We deserve to die. All of us have committed the same sin Adam and Eve did when they believed the lie that God doesn't want them to be happy. They believed that they could figure out what was best for themselves without God which is what all of us have done at one time or another. We are all poisoned by sin and even though we believe false things about God on a daily basis and often leave Him out…He waits for us. He wants to help us and be there for us regardless of our actions. Even after Adam and Eve sinned…God made them clothes before He kicked them out. He loved them so much that He took the time to make clothes for the ones who just broke His heart. He HAD to send them away….but He loved them so much He made them clothes. And when I say His heart was broken, I mean more broken than we have ever felt. Imagine the worst rejection or betrayal you've been through in your life that wasn't your fault. Can you imagine making that person clothes and wanting to give your only son to die for them? I can't. Humans are incapable of love that unconditional. In His hurt, He MADE them clothes.That to me says a lot about our God right there. If we ever feel like God is out to get us, we don't know the first thing about His nature.

I think what I've learned in these past few days is that I am so blessed with what God has given me. Instead of being so shocked when something bad happens, what we really should do is be in awe that we aren't all consumed. We deserve none of the blessings that God gives us, yet He chooses to put good in this life although it's very broken here. Those birthday cakes we love so much…the walks in the park on a beautiful day….He gives us those just because He loves us. We are stuck here on this earth because we put ourselves here…but just like Adam and Eve, He is making us clothes we don't deserve. Yes, they still had to go through VERY hard times, but the Lord didn't let them leave without clothes hand made just for them. And He sure didn't let them leave without a rescue plan to get them back.

The Lord loves us so much that He isn't making us go through what we deserve. Even with everything terrible in this world…the Lord in His love and grace has brought rays of hope. He loves to see us happy and He loves to hear us laugh. But bad things WILL happen…it's a fallen world and we are not home. God doesn't send bad things on us…we let them here. Humanity decided that they knew better and started to believe that God didn't want what's best for them and that's where we went wrong. That's where we still go wrong. When we doubt God's love in anyway, we are doing exactly what put this world upside down to begin with.

Instead of being upset with God when things don't go our way or getting upset about trivial matters….we should be thankful that the Lord has mercy on us and loves us enough to give us the blessings we do have. He gives us a set of clothes when we deserve nothing. I am so blessed and in awe of what the Lord has done for me. I can't believe all the times I act like God owes me something or I get upset when something doesn't go my way. I feel like a fool….I needed a perspective change.

Monday, March 5, 2012

*A Restless Puzzle*

When I think about the past month or so, adequate words really don't come to mind to describe it. It's been good in a lot of ways, it's been weird, it's been stressful, and it's been difficult. But as I write these words, I can't help but feel like I'm on the verge of something incredible. Like I'm about to get something that I haven't ever gotten before. Like all the stress and confusion will be worth it. I feel like it always is.

I had the closest encounter to God the other day that I've ever had in my life, but it wouldn't of come about if I hadn't had some difficult times recently. I think my entire life I have been trying to fill the void inside of me with things of this world. I know we all do it, I know we're all guilty, but for some reason the more I realized life doesn't satisfy, the more I would try harder to find things that would. If I could get this, I would be happIER and that would be better. I would follow God in hopes that He would give me what I wanted like it seemed was happening around me to everyone else. I know that is false thinking, but it sure felt like it. When your time is spent planning shower after shower for your twin and best friends….it definitely feels like it. I made that deal with God that if He let me get married before my sister had a baby, then all would be forgiven about the making me wait thing. I wasn't saying it was okay with me, I was just saying I'd find a way to get over it. She soon got pregnant…I soon got hurt by a boy AGAIN. and AGAIN. and you know…AGAIN.

I look at the world and take it in a lot. Something that I've begun to realize is that the people around me who get what I think are the keys to happiness…still have as many struggles as I do. It's not like you walk down the isle and everything is great. It's like you walk down the isle and still are a sinful and broken person…only you have someone that knows that about you now. It's kind of easy to cover up my sin nature when I'm single….no wonder people think I'm great!

Because I've noticed a lot about the world and God has done a lot in my heart…I've started thinking in a new way. I think my whole desire to be married to someone and a mom is fading in comparison to my desire to live and be with Christ that is becoming larger everyday. Sure, that is still HUGE and I want that really bad in my life. In fact…I wrote about it today while modeling "God's Plan For My Life" which is my most recent writing for the wall in my first grade class. I desire to take care of babies and my husband and I think that's a good thing. I'm not saying it's over…I'm just saying that I realize that none of that will every make me truly satisfied like I thought. I realize that my desire inside is not actually for THAT. None of it will fill me like I've always believed. I thought those things would make me happy and I am sad to report that sometimes I would purposefully try to be close to God so that He would grant me what I thought would make me whole….but I'm realizing that He is the only source that I am truly seeking in the deepest parts of my heart. I am changing my view of EVERYTHING.

For the first time in my life a few days ago it dawned on me that this longing so deep is for the life I was created for…the life I don't have yet. We were asked in church what our deepest longings are, and most people just said a husband or kids or whatever we dream for in this life. But my deepest desire will only be met when I'm standing beside my Savior in Heaven. My closest encounter to God came in a moment a few days ago when I just looked up and said as if a light had just gone off in my head: "My deepest desire is YOU. I just want to be with YOU."

I felt the spirit of God so heavy on me like I never have before. I tell my bible study girls that I'm charismatic not because I want to be, but because I can't deny it. I know odd things to say are so not vogue because we like to put God in a box and control what He can do, but they are true so I'm not going to cover it up. He held me there in that moment…just like He will hold me for all of eternity. I seriously felt His arms around me and if the arms of God could speak I know they would say: "YES! That's IT!!!"….He has been trying to tell me that for SO LONG and I just couldn't hear it. The secret can't be found in this life no matter how hard I try to find it. Our desires will never be met…we will be restless until we are made new.

I just want to stop making bad decisions because of my restlessness. My passionate desire for God has caused me to do things that I regret at times because I just know things should be different and I try to make it right on my own. I know that I should feel put together and not like a ton of puzzle pieces scattered around the floor. But that's what I am right now…I am just a broken puzzle that cannot be fully put together until the other side of this world. Hopefully being aware of that can help me make better decisions on what I do and pursue to try and fill the void. Maybe I won't be so quick to assume what will make me happy and I can focus on seeing what God thinks is right for me right now. Maybe I won't use others to give me my significance. Maybe I won't just follow God because I think He will give me what I want. Maybe I can really have a true relationship with Him that is based on truth…the truth that He is the only thing that can set me free. He is the only one that can give me what I need and His well will never run dry. He is the only One who can make me whole. He is the only One who can give me significance. He is what I long for…He is my deepest desire.

And He is yours, too. I bet some decisions you made today were based on that desperate longing inside for the perfect life with God you were created to live….whether you know it or not.