July

In the recent days I’ve begun to realize a growing discontentment within me, of a sort I did not recognize. So I’ve decided to pick my camera up again, and reenlist her as my tool for seeking out and savoring the beauty of everyday life. These images are from a Sunday morning when my spirit was awakened early by the whisper of the King, beckoning me outside to the porch for some coffee and time alone with Him as the world awoke. 16-July-116-July-316-July-416-July-516-July-716-July-8

 

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Sick Day Ponderings

Am I enough? Am I doing enough? Am I doing enough the right way? Or am I simply a messy failure of a twenty something?

Lately I have been rediscovering myself, as a desert rose does after a long and cruel winter. I suppose moves away from familiarity always raise such introspective ponderings. In this period I find myself continually inspired by anything green. Green is life, pushing forward to the new. On the good days, this is. On the bad days, I lean towards charcoal.

Life is found on the road of these curious insecurities, of thwarted desire, as we press on towards truth. To deny myself to feel the pain of betrayal, of disdain, resentment, and the continual sense of being not enough is to deny myself the joy of honest kinship, of mutuality, of watching as He fills all the places I’m cracking like delicious frosting fills a cupcake. These triumphs can only be reached through taking the painstaking journey of walking through the hurt with open hands, as He takes apart each memory and emotion and illuminates them with truth.

I have been hurt, deeply, by one I thought would be there till the end. But that does not make the desire for sisterhood unnattainable beyond that which already exists. I have one friend who has, in these short years I have known her, utterly changed me for the better and continues to show me through insane acts of selfless love what friendship looks like. I am well aware that never in my life will I have another sister like this covenant friend. She is the Jonathan to my David. When Jonny and I moved across country, I felt God was playing a trick on me. “How dare You,” I would whisper at Him in the dark. “At last, you bring me the kind of friend Solomon would write about, only to move me thousands of miles away from her. What kind of sick joke is this one, Lord?” Cheap comfort was the reality that FaceTime and cell phones make these things easier. What’s that to the joy of her presence? Slowly I’m learning the tragic truth that it is the same thing which makes this distance so hard as what makes our friendship so beautiful.

Pain and beauty, on this Earth, seem to always intertwine. We will always be left desperate for more. A few days after a date with my husband and I’m aching for the next one. I look into his eyes and wish I could jump inside those forests of gold, experience the depths of his soul in it’s fullness as he explores my own.

I used to spend entire nights gazing out my bedroom window as a little girl, in the room painted to be a fairy hut, dreaming of fauns and centaurs and voyages to the land where stars go to rest, wondering why we could dream up and imagine such things if we could never reach them. One day the deepest tragedy struck: I grew up. Now He’s bringing me back to this world of desire, this time with the resounding truth, echoing into the soil where these bones take root, that the time is coming.

These desires, ravaging our souls and playing tug of war with our emotions are the signal that we were made for something, somewhere, Someone, so much more than what we have here in this life. The solace of a covenant friendship is but a shadow of the companionship He designed us to experience with Him. The intimacy I enjoy with my husband was created as a shadow of the intimacy we are meant to know with Him. Even the wonder of our childhood years was destined to awake in us the realization that there is more to come. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the only possible explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Sea Fort

It’s been a season of discovery. Of looking back and rediscovering little joys in areas I had either forgotten or forsaken, thinking I wasn’t “good enough” to savor the small habits such as photographing flowers and banging clumsy fingers on piano keys. In this moment of newness these simple acts of self-kindness have reemerged, but I find myself still struggling against whether or not I am “good enough” to claim them as the hobbies they are.

Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides You.”

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In the grand scheme of life, I recognize that such debates are pure minutia. Still, I think they are a part of figuring out who you are as a twenty something. These little frivolities we so quickly write off are part of what bring us joy in the day to day, so I don’t think Christ would write them off. In fact, experience proves to me that He cares deeply. Deeply enough to bring me to a home in the canyons when I was expecting a little duplex in the hub of the Inland Empire to be my abode, knowing full well that my spirit needed these springtime flowers dotting the mountains.

As for the holy people who are in the land, they are the noble ones. All my delight is in them. The sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply; I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood, and I will not speak their names with my lips.

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Photo: Annie Spratt of Unsplash

Amid these small buds, full blooms of newness have been emerging, with hints of more to come. Realizations of what the Lord truly created me for are coming into play. Like ocean spray caught in a breeze, I catch whiffs of these promises here and there. The ocean is there, on the other side of the wind- I must keep walking. The terrain may change again, but instead of being afraid of falling down the mountain because my foot slipped on a stream, I will simply learn to step differently as I walk towards the sea.

Lord, you are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

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Photo: Daniel Ribar of Unsplash

It’s amazing how insecurities rise up. Rarely are they new, it seems, but rather the same old lies flying around like crows in our heads since adolescence. Instead of getting frustrated at our insolence as we pause in fear every few moments along the path of obedience Yaweh has laid out for us; instead of growing as short as our faith when worry seizes our muscles, He patiently reminds us of that which He’s told us over and over and over before.

I will bless the Lord who counsels me- even at night when my thoughts trouble me. I will always let the Lord guide me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

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Photo: Baptist Standaert of Unsplash

It’s not about you, love. 
I am the One holding you together.
I will keep you on the path I have set before you. 
Though you may stumble, I will never allow you to fall irrecoverably. 
These scrapes and bruises are strengthening you, growing you into the woman you are called to be. 
I never said the road would be easy, but that I would be with you the entire way. 
To know the end from the beginning would be too much for you; trust in My hand guiding you instead.
This route, though at times dull, at times terrifying, at times miraculous and at others confusing, is for good.
None of this is pointless; I know what I am doing.
Your destiny is for a future and hope; a life filled with Me.
In the end, it will all be beautiful.
The more you look to Me, the more beautiful you will see that it is even now.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my body also rests securely. For You will not abandon me to Sheol; You will not allow Your faithful one to see decay.

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Photo: Ustav Shah of Unsplash

Like a child, we need the repetition. We need to be reminded time and again that obeying His edict, even when it seems as insignificant as photographing some flowers, is crucial. As His children, we do not always know where these small acts could lead in our lives. Even if they are only to maintain a level of joy and creativity in our private lives, that is of the utmost importance to our Father.

You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; at Your right hand are eternal pleasures.

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Photo: Joe Caione of Unsplash

So we step forward. We walk forward along the uneven mountain terrain, taking in the beauties of quiet streams trickling from a rock where we may fill our canteens and be refreshed once more in the purest of ways, and choosing to trust Him when the noises at night truly are what we dare not think, because though danger be present, so is our King.  Nothing can truly reach or harm us when we are His.

Psalm 16:1-11

Under the Same Sun.

The cold post of the bunk pressed against my cheek as one of the boys shows me the music he’s been enjoying lately, downloaded to the sim of his flip phone. There’s sadness in his usually dancing eyes and I don’t know why. Ask, and he shakes his head. So we continue to listen to the sounds of Bollywood mingled with the rush of the rails. The next day he was gone, having left without a word to return to his fears and emerge a conqueror. After four tries and running away three times, he finished his Discipleship Training School in India.

Feet dangle hundreds of feet above the Ganges, hands gripping the door. The train stretches out on either side. From each window there’s smiling faces of the boys we were serving on the right, strangers’ contemplations on the left. Everything was grey and green and misty and alive.

Staring out the window, I see his face walking up, like I had dreamed would one day happen so many nights as a little girl, staring out that same window. The plumeria danced in the wind above him, his hair swaying to the same music. What joy it was to finally be in the same place at the same time. As the morning light caught his eyelashes, we met at the door to go on the picnic which would change both our lives forever.

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Sitting in the green chair from the thrift store, the first piece of furniture either of us ever truly owned, His Words opened on my lap, sun smiles on the mint flowers given by a sister who had no idea the act she was doing for the Lord. In those flowers I saw His eyes illuminating everything that had passed and was that I could not understand. The struggles of marriage. The pain of seeing too much in all the wrong places- in yourself, even. The sugar of betrayal from one you thought would always be close. The furnace of making a home. The insecurity of young friendship, and the stars of acceptance. The galaxies of what it means to truly love and be loved, asking nothing in return. The sparks of discovering home may never be a place anymore, but will always be the gold in his chocolate eyes.

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Feet propped on a coffee-colored chair. White windows meet at a corner as the peach tea flows down my throat. It is miraculous the moments a single song can tie together, crossing years and emotions. Waiting for the one who makes my home to arrive, learning what it means to grow through dirt and allow the nutrients to replenish the soul without the weight crushing down in the process. It’s so easy to think we know it all from our little corners of perspective.

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Photo by Tim Wilgus on Unsplash

I wonder what he was thinking, as he knew the week was coming to a close and the group of people he had lived with for two weeks now would never be seen by him again; that he was returning to a journey he had never been able to complete; that this time he would. I wonder what the women a few cars down thought as they watched the pale legs clad in Colombia hiking boots now so coated in dirt the original shade is indistinguishable stick out the door, pink and blonde hair whipping her face. I wonder what the flowers thought as they saw two kids, young and in love, smile through glass without words. I wonder what stories that old chair has carried, tears besides my own soaked into its welcoming plush. I wonder what the woman across the street in the tribal shirt and tattered skirt is thinking as she walks her bike across the intersection. I wonder all the lives walking into their purpose at the moment I write these words- all the lives missing it in this instant by a seemingly small choice but which would define their destiny. I wonder why these words pour themselves out as the branches dance in the wind, like blood through my fingertips requiring release.

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We can never know fully what is on the horizon. I think if we did, it would steal half the joy and excitement. In this interim time, caught up in a cocoon of the Lord’s love, I can sense the dawn coming by the layer of misty fog in which I dwell. When the morning comes, shedding light on the next season, these wings will emerge in their fullness and beauty, ready to discover what it means to fly. After having tried my wings for a bit, tired from the weight of newfound beauty, I’ll settle on a flower for a bit, under the same sun where I learned what it meant to relish in the joy of being His creation.

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Retrospect.

In an evening filled with the Spirit and raw emotion, He whispered to me through the vessel of a sister the purpose for which I had been created. With what I have and will see, I am to speak and create, and in that discover my blessing. However, flash forward six months and I am huddled up in a heap on the front porch of my first big-girl house, sobbing at midnight because it was all simply too much. I had sensed the burden for years, but could never determine its origin or identity. When Hannah spoke to me, I began to understand, but now that I was back in the field I was raised in, I did not know what to do with the revelation. The pouring out – the speaking and creating with which I was designed to bless and serve – were  coming from my own shallow pond of strength. I would allow Him to give me His topic, then fill it in with my words and judge the reaction according to a self-perceived dosage of talent. It would originate from Him, but get polluted along the way, leaving me frustrated, burnt out, confused and crying.

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A year later, my husband and I lie exhausted after fleeing a hurricane in the one place we could find power and running water- on an air mattress in an upstairs office at the church where we served. After setting up camp there on Thursday, the Lord gave us our next assignment that Sunday. We were to move to California. While in the process of packing up and saying goodbye the excitement never waned, the familiar theme kept rising up in the form of what has proven to be my life’s most pervasive question: Am I enough? Each time I received the same answer: Of course not, because it’s not about me.

Do you realize how hard that is to learn? As the only daughter? As my daddy’s baby? As the pastor’s daughter raised the sweetheart of the congregation? I can tell myself as much as I want that it is not about me, but when it comes to the grit of things, there is a part of me that will always think that it is.

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But before I am anything else, I am a Christian. From the moment I was born I was on a sort of pedestal. I would breathe and to some it was miraculous. I would yawn and to others it was sin. And then I went to YWAM and the proverbial plastic tiara proved transparent in the Pacific breeze, and I was worn out and without identity. For all my years either directly rebelling against the PK stereotypes or picking one to decidedly play into, while trying to figure out life, I had found my identity in the diadem rather than the Maker of my soul. So what happened when no one could see the thin little outline framing my artificial crown? I shut down. I came home and tried to stand back up but found I was crippled and dirty and confused. But during that time of paralysis, the Lord was slowly cleansing my knees, straightening my bones and picking the broken shards of  plastic out of my hair. When I hit the ground, so did the chaplet, and in the confrontation it broke.

The next year and a half – my time in Miami, with all the sidewalk tears and air mattress edicts – was about learning to hold my neck without the weight. Often I’d reach for other things to place there instead – a sewing machine here, a bit of dirt formed in the shape of a trial there – but in His grace He’d take it down and readjust my neck held crooked for the old balancing act. He was never offended, never frustrated that I had just dumped a mudpie into the hair He had just washed. He just smiled (sometimes I think He chuckled), and kept the shampoo close.

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When we were reassigned to California, a new lesson began for the new season. Now I was to learn to say my name, and nothing else; to present myself as the same girl who sat alone with Jesus in a tree instead of the one poising a synthetic wreath with synthetic gems tilting slightly off my head, staring at you sideways, searching for eye contact through the shadow of the falling crown. I’m learning what it means to truly find my identity in Christ and nothing else. I’m learning how to thrive.

So what does it mean that I am a Christian first? It means that He has a waterfall gushing through these carbon bones. It means my entire being is made up of those moments sitting with Him, where His love flows into me just to rain on someone else as I do as He instructs, and perhaps those droplets of Living Water can help lead to their eternal life. Yet even as I make these notes, the girl who is used to the plastic crown cringes within me at the Christianese of it all and the amount of “I’s” written down. She is used to looking at her own talent and performance, and now Satan knows he can use that to stop my hands and mouth from doing as commanded.

That is what it all comes back to. It is not about me. It is not about my talent or performance but pouring out what He has put in me in the way He assigns, without worrying if my voice sounds like the old princess or if any of those old dregs of manufactured dignity come falling out of my hair. They will. The plastic polluted me. It is a part of my broken humanity. But it is not my identity. He is, and He alone.

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What’s the plastic polluting the garden of your identity? Would you bring it to Him?

“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

“For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10

Taking Ownership.

Recently, my incredibly loving, amazingly faithful, brutally honest husband looked at me with genuine curiosity and asked, in so many words, where my personality had gone. While that almost sounds like it would be offensive at first, I knew what he was saying and knew he was right. Since the day we first met, I had been growing steadily duller by the minute. Yet I had no answer to his question.

Laying up, gazing a midnight ceiling, the answer came to me like the hush of rest. I was happy. For years, anger and discontentment had fueled my passion, but suddenly joy had taken their place. However, while in the frustration I’d learned to scream, in comfort I hadn’t learn to sing. When fury was fueling every ounce of my emotion, at everything and nothing in the most Salinger of ways, I failed to submit it to the Lord. Thus, when mirth took over I didn’t know what to do with it. So I slipped into what I presumed to be peace, when in reality it was a spiritual slumber of sorts. I was worn out from all that screaming.

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We have to claim the fullness of our relationship with Christ. My husband can tell me as many times as he wants that he loves me, but I have to accept these words as truth for them to affect the way I live. I knew intellectually that the joy of the Lord invigorates, refreshes, and restores us. Yet when it came to living it out, I walked tiredly, just getting through the day as opposed to laying hold of the spontaneity and moxie evidenced by the disciples. I allowed my struggles and surmountings to define me instead of the verity overflowing from His eyes.

If our walk with the Lord is truly a relationship, at some point we have to take ownership of our side. He isn’t a genie or even an old lackluster boyfriend, satisfying ardor’s itch for a moment, but never wrapping us in agape. Because He is the only One who can satisfy our deepest longings and passions, searching for other modes of appeasement will always leave us dull and colorless. On the same note, thinking we are okay to live with Him as “just friends” when He’s asked to be our Groom will result in drab days of subdued existence, instead of the beautiful, intense romance He longs to draw us into. But first we have to accept His invitation. It’s only there that we will find the vivacity of life we’re made for, as it only ever comes from life with the One who created our hearts’ desires and begs to be allowed to fulfill them.

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He Restores.

It’s been such a wild and drawn out ride, I’m sure many of my friends and family are done hearing about it. But bear with me just one more time.

In March of 2016, the love of my life officially proposed to me with a ring I had picked out while still in Nepal. Handcrafted by an artist to resemble branches, it matched our wedding bands and was my pride and joy for the summer.

Just days before the wedding, however, the ring disappeared. I had taken it off during a time of sweet blessing and prayer with some of my dearest friends, and during that time it “mysteriously vanished.”

Being the amazing man that he is, my husband stole away with my brother in the middle of an utter bridezilla meltdown in Macy’s and figured out a way to surprise me with another ring, so I would still feel like a bride (despite my diva moments) on our wedding day. This is the ring I have worn and cherished since October 28th, 2016, when the most amazing man in the world took me as his wife.

Praying that the original ring would turn up, however, we had had the second ring sized a half size too large, so that should the first one surface, the second would fit on another finger as a reminder of the devotion of my husband, and my God. However, after endless searching it never materialized.

Today, on December 27, 2017, exactly a year from the date we celebrated our marriage in California, I received in the mail my husband’s Christmas surprise for me. Over a year later, as we continue in our new life in SoCal, my husband located the artist who originally crafted the ring for us, and had her make another. Today the ring sits proudly on my finger, with the wedding band it was designed to match, and the ring signifying the faithfulness of a husband sits on the other.

I’m aware how petty this may seem, but to Jon and I it symbolizes so much.

It symbolizes the faithfulness of the Lord in our marriage.
It symbolizes the strength of choosing love when everything seems to be going wrong.
It symbolizes redemption, in every area.
It symbolizes a fresh start, just in time for the new year.

When the ring first disappeared, the Lord told me He would restore it to me. I came across verses such as Joel 2:25 on a daily basis, often multiple times a day. At the time, I had no idea how it would come about. As I sit typing this proverbial journal entry, I am so grateful for the perfect beauty of His timing and methods. This is is so much more than a ring: it is a stone of remembrance of all that He has done and will do in our lives, of His unfailing love, and all of His fulfilled promises.

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And may I just say, I have the most devoted and romantic husband a woman could have.

Until next time,
XOXO

The Beauty of Mediocrity.

It’s been nearly two months since Jon and I moved to California, bringing nothing but what fit inside the 1971 beetle which served as our main mode of transport when in Miami. As with any substantial life change, reflection and insecurity have been frequent kinesthesis. Through it I’m learning, maybe feelings of mediocrity are not always a bad thing, contrary to what society’s drum continually beats. Maybe it keeps us aware of the truth that we are mediocre, we are broken, we are ash falling to the ground and drifting with any lift of the wind. And maybe that’s okay, because when we’re aware of our futility there is room for Christ to step in and give substance to these bones.

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When I fail to present these emotions to the Lord, however, they often give rise to others, such as inferiority. While remembrance of our human insufficiency apart from our Maker is healthy, the sense of forlornness and desolation deriving from dwelling there, as opposed to turning eyes heavenward, are in no way beneficial. The truth of it all is we are each of us works in progress, hopeless without Him but miracles once inside His hands.

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Often I’ll find myself, when in these navel-gazing states, comparing my walk with those around me, wondering why (like the millennial I am), I am not yet rich and famous, or even on the road there yet. While in word I recognize that His calling for me is unique, as His calling for each of His children is, when the negative emotions come knocking I fall directly into the mode of contrasting my current situation with what the world says it should be if I am to reach location x within y amount of years to be z amount successful. It’s the same mistake Sarah made when the Lord promised she and Abram a son. Instead of trusting in His holy (although yet unexplained) method for achieving the promise, she proceeded to follow the route which seemed right to her, although ultimately it only produced a detour they had to double back from. In the end, God still worked out the promise in His way, not hers, not her family’s, not society’s.

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As much as I know this story like the back of my hand, when questions regarding my future arise I begin thinking like Sarah, trying to conjure up my plan for producing the results I desire, instead of trusting the Lord enough to simply do what He has instructed me to do in this current season, and refuse to worry about the rest. Over the holidays I was asked what my goals for the new year were, and at the time, besides finishing my associates well, I could think of none. After writing this post, I realize my goal for the new year is this: to simply do what the Lord sets before me with trust and diligence, and rely on Him to fill in the blanks.

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Until next time,
XOXO

The Dawn is Coming, Open Your Eyes.

I want to sit here and write some wise-sounding words, but I have none. As the days pass I am growing increasingly, brutally aware of my own naivety. Today I type this in front of an open window in a white and grey bedroom on a comforter that looks like the trees from a book my mom read me when I was little. Mike Mains and the Branches plays in the background (second album).

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Lately I find myself missing India and Nepal more than ever. I think it’s the mountains my habitat is surrounded by for the first time since backpacking through Asia. While reading my Bible on our second day here and sipping some coffee on the back patio, it occurred to me how much peace the mountains have always brought me. When I look back on my life, the Lord always brought me to the mountains after a season in the desert, and it was there that new life began. In the past I always brought that fresh outlook back to Miami from the mountains, but now the rocky outline hemming me in furnishes the city I’m learning to call “home.”

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Whenever my mother-in-love Liz and I go out, I try to spot Big Bear. I’m learning to recognize the peak more each day.


My writing, at least that which is intended for public reading, is increasingly sporadic these days. I don’t even remember when I began this post, but now it has been three weeks since Jonny and I arrived in the sunny California foothills, and we are finally about to get our new licenses. Once I see my face plastered onto that piece of plastic which will forever look like a toy to me, I think it will all become more real. For now it still feels somewhat like a holiday vacation.

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The Lord seems intent that I not work during this season, but instead focus on my studies (which goodness knows needs some TLC after a monumental hurricane heralded a cross-country move, all in the same semester). While it was a blow to my pride, I’m so grateful that’s what He has for me right now. As much as my millennial self desires to be “self-sufficient” and all that, my spirit needs rest. These past few weeks doing life with the family here, getting to learn how to best love my husband from the one who raised him, have been the sweetest blessing.

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I think I tend to want to run more than is good for me, and honestly more than I am yet able to. Contrary to my pride as well have been the Sunday morning sermons teaching me to yield to the Lord in ways which before were close enough I thought I could manage them. I never needed to yield my job, because it was always there. My school was never an issue of control, because I always naturally excelled. Until September. With Hurricane Irma came a serious drop in academic performance. For once, not only were my classes a serious academic struggle, but after returning from the evacuation I was displaced due to a lack of running water at the apartment we were renting. For two weeks, we lived at the church we were engaged in ministry at, where I tried to get back on top of things while realizing slowly, somewhat subconsciously, that Jonny and I were never going to return to our little North Miami apartment the same way. A week into our stay at CMB, on the side of the bridge on a Sunday afternoon, walking to get a Subway sandwich, he asked me what I thought about moving to California. And there was peace, transcending any ounce of understanding I thought I had.

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Three weeks later, I sit in a Starbucks sweetly familiar to my husband, and utterly foreign to me. The semester is almost over, and if I pass all my classes, it is only by the grace of God and skin of my teeth (prayers appreciated there). At 6:30 AM he shared a croissant with me here before heading to work. And just like every other season before this, I am confused as to what God has for us here, but I am so grateful to be here.

It’s a season of learning what it means to truly rest. Of trusting that the Lord will work out every detail for those who are faithful to Him. Of accepting that no element of life will go as I planned. Of recognizing that I am such a small element of His grand scheme, but such an important one to Him. Of learning what it means to truly dwell in an attitude of joy.

Until next time,

XOXO

 

Oh, California…

Sunday, September 9th, 2017
Sitting in the office in Calvary. There’s a strange bittersweetness in the air as everyone tries to put a brave face on. We meet in the cracks, connecting on the level of being terrified as anything, but determined to thrive, even if we don’t know how. A few people know that Jonny and I are heavily considering moving to California early this November, that it’s growing increasingly certain. I hide in the office because I feel fragile. As much as I know church is the place the weak ones can come to, I shy away from showing my frailty. Once again, I want to be strong, to be the shoulder for everyone else trying to figure out what life will look like and what the Lord is doing here. I want to suck it up, get out of my own self-focused head. Once again, I can’t. Because I’m human, and so are you. 

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Photo by Daniel on Unsplash

Mingled with the bizarreness heralding the oncoming change is the intoxicating joy of what’s to come. However all the expectation hangs on a hook shaped like a question mark. What if we can’t find jobs? I’ve never worked in the “real world” before; what if I fail? What if we’re hearing the Lord’s voice wrong, despite all the confirmations? What were those confirmations again? While the Lord’s peace rings in my bones regarding each of these “ifs,” I’d be lying if I claimed I could feel it right now.

I want to tell you something I normally would in one of these posts: that I remind myself God is in control, pick myself up, and get back to work. It would be another lie. Instead I’m forced to tell you the truth that I am sleep deprived, hormonal, insecure and confused, and all I want is a cozy, grey knit blanket of practical answers. But show me someone who doesn’t feel this way. 

The Lord guards the inexperienced; I was helpless, and He saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For You, Lord, rescued me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
– Psalm 116:6-8 –

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
Power and water were restored to the house yesterday, so tonight we move back to the apartment. I struggle to call it “home,” since soon home will be changing. Overall, my circumstances haven’t altered. Homework is still looming (in a tab behind this one which I am determinedly pretending not to see), true slumber has yet to grace me with his presence, and answers to Sunday’s questions haven’t been given, but the pervasive peace of Christ floods my bloodstream. One step at a time. Today’s step involves writing this, completing my homework, and hurricane cleanup. Tomorrow’s will be different. But tomorrow is not today, and maybe the tension is not something we’re meant to run from, but rather grow through. It is time for a fresh season.

When asked why we are moving, I can only supply the answer “Because God told us to,” as that is the only complete reason He has given us.  Once confirmed, sometimes that’s all you need. I think often we get caught thinking about all the fallen trees that could block our path, unaware that the journey will teach the strength to climb over them. Perhaps that’s why He’s planned this specific journey we are on for this specific season. Everything is preparation for something else. 

We don’t know where this road will take us. All we know is that we felt the call, God confirmed it both to us and our leaders, and now it’s time to go. To stay would be to turn this beautiful castle into our prison. Instead, we lean into this unexpected turn, understanding that this season will be about a deeper dependence on God. It’s time to run further up and further into His magnificent plan for our lives. What’s your next step? 

I will plant cedars in the desert, acacias, myrtles, and olive trees. I will put juniper trees in the desert, elms and cypress trees together, so that all may see and know, consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.
– Isaiah 41:18 –

Until next time,
XOXO