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.

Photo_20180130_135125.png

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.

Photo_20180130_135451.png

Advertisements

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).

16-November-8.jpg

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.”

16-November-22.jpg

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.

16-November-12.jpg

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.

16-November-10

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.

16-November-20.jpg

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

 

Limberlost’s Gate

The abusers
They know not what they do
So we shy away
And they push closer
Knives in hand
Tearing at the garden You made

What do You will?
Shall I stay, shall I flee?
To stay is to fight
To flee is to acquiesce
So tell me, oh Gardener,
What do You will?

We hold the keys
But You see the seeds
Scattered by hands uncaring
Forming brutal weeds

Now the mistakes have been made
Scars of thorns lay tattoo my flesh
You paint them into roses
Each tear having a purpose

Looking back now, I see
Where beauty once was trampled
Gently You have pruned it
To be more Heavenly.

This garden is ours,
Next time I’ll be more careful
Set the Watchman at the gate
Listen to Your whispered presage
And trust that when
Mistakes are made
You’ll restore this garden to beauty again.

“My sister, my bride, you are a locked garden- a locked garden and a sealed spring.” ~Song of Songs 4:12

 

Borrowed Words (Easter Service)

RevisedMarch-April 2015 062_062

RevisedMarch-April 2015 067_067

Not in the turmoil of the raging storm,
Not in the earthquake or devouring flame;
But in the hush that could all fear transform,
The still, small whisper came.

O Soul, keep silence on the mount of God,
Though cares and needs throb around you like a sea;
From prayers, petitions, and desires unshod,RevisedMarch-April 2015 078_078
Be still, and hear what God will say to thee.

All fellowship has interludes of rest,
New strength maturing in each level of power;
The sweetest Alleluias of the blest
Are silent, for the space of half an hour.

O rest, in utter quietude of soul,
Abandon words, leave praise and prayer awhile;RevisedMarch-April 2015 072_072
Let your whole being, hushed in His control,
Learn the full meaning of His voice and smile.

Not as an athlete wrestling for a crown,
Not taking Heaven by violence of will,
But with your Father as a child sit down,
And know the bliss that follows His “Be Still!”

Mary Rowles Jarvis

RevisedMarch-April 2015 065_065
RevisedMarch-April 2015 069_069RevisedMarch-April 2015 068_068

RevisedMarch-April 2015 075_075