Brockway in June.

I came here to study. But this post is overdue, and my soul needs it.

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Friends, how do we live in light of eternity without raising a facade? Look me in the eye and say there is no one in your life who the thought of seeing causes your blood to chill a bit and nerves to suddenly grow tighter, and I will call you a liar. However, we are called to “live at peace with all people,” to remember that we “have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God.” But what does the reality of this look like?

Pursue peace with everyone, and holinesst — without it no one will see the Lord.Make surethat no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many.
Hebrews 12:14-15

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Recently a dear friend challenged me on my thought-priorities; on the level of mental space I was giving to someone. She called out its disproportion when compared with God’s room inside my mind. From there began my futile attempts to figure out how one maintains feeling and keeps fighting for truth, without slipping into a form of battle-idolatry. Having grown up in the trenches of ministry, this is my lifelong struggle. All too often I will seamlessly switch the spotlight from Jesus to the job at hand.

And make sure that there isn’t any immoral or irreverentwperson like Esau, who sold his birthright in exchange for one mealFor you know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected because he didn’t find any opportunity for repentance, though he sought it with tears.
Hebrews 12:16-17

Any war strategist will tell you the dangers of this. You become either blood-weary, overly nearsighted, and hopeless, or blood hungry, farsighted to a fault, and arrogant. You have to keep the great cause in mind, and our Cause, our driving Force, the Reason behind all we do, must be Christ alone.

For you have not come to what could be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, gloom, andstorm, to the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of words. (Those who heard it begged that notanother word be spoken to them, for they could not bear what was commanded: And if even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stonedThe appearance was so terrifying that Moses said, I am terrified and trembling) 
Hebrews 12:18-21

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In light of Christ and His goodness, strife with anything on this earth is just a bit of dust on my Birkenstocks. When I was praying for peace, I should have been asking the Lord to wreck them with His love- and renew my comfort in His love. While I was trying to “play nice,” I should have been asking Him to give me His heart for them. As worry fought to overtake me, and I begged for courage, the plea ought to have been that I might see the issue for how small it truly is. Eternity is going to be so much more beautiful than anything we can imagine. Any question I fear accompanying me to the grave will be answered completely on the other side. Why? Because He is good. That is the only foundation secure enough to carry all the drama of life, and somehow fashion it back into the glorious adventure it is intended to be. Remembering this is the only way I have found to be both authentic and responsive, without allowing the continual warfare to consume me.

Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (the heavenly Jerusalem), to myriads of angels in festive gatheringto the assembly of the firstborn whose names have been writtenae in heaven, to God who is the Judge of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfectto Jesus (mediatorag of a new covenant), and to the sprinkled blood, which says better things than the blood of Abel.
Hebrews 12:22-24

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Be Still

He tells me, “Be still,” but how? With dreams and duties eternally raging in my little mind, how do I possibly “be still?” 

It is laying my hopes and plans and worries at His feet, both in submission and expectancy, because “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9);” “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent (Matthew 10:29);” “His left hand is under my head, and his right arm embraces me (Song of Solomon 2:6).” Having forgotten we can access His inner courts and commune with Him, the Creator of everything, how often do we choose worry instead? Enter the temple, hear His thoughts towards you, and then release the rest, because could anything be better than His will?

When I got sick in India, naturally my earthly father got equally concerned. I am and always have been his little princess, the apple of his eye. The quiet assurance that I am even more adored by my heavenly Father, and was in the center of His will, was his and my mother’s only comfort, the only thing keeping him from flying out there to save me. It was also my only cure for anxiety.

However now here I sit, the healthiest of my family, and stronger for having been so terribly ill. Up until that point I had been dealing with (while in denial of) an eating disorder. Because I was in denial of it, I can’t tell you for how long it went on, but I can tell you it wasn’t the worst it could be. Lately I feel like society tells us it is only to be counted as an eating disorder if nary a breadcrumb passes through your lips, but I disagree. According to the National Eating Disorders website, “Eating disorders… include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues.” So while I was eating, even though it was varied between equal and less than the diet of the nine year olds I babysit, I still obsessed over each breadcrumb, mentally planning how I would make up for it or why I deserved it, et cetera. Dogmatically searching Pinterest for pictures of celebrities I admired where the slightest belly-bulge or thigh curve was apparent became my routine coping mechanism, the way I prevented it from being full blown anorexia. And just to get everything out there all at once, it was not so much an issue regarding weight as it was control- if everything else was chaotic, at least I could force my body into order. Also, eating disorders stem from a hereditary mental track, just like OCD or ADHD, and, as most of you know, my mother dealt with multiple at my age.

Now that that’s all out there, my former eating issues are not what this post is about. It’s about my King’s devotion. He knew this was what it would take for me not only to recognize my detrimental eating and thinking habits, but also to make the decision that it simply was not worth it. Through my sickness, I finally reached my goal weight, and realized first-hand the damage it took to achieve it.

It was His devotion that had me learning His voice, and once His audible laugh, by the time I was in elementary school. It was His devotion that reminded me through every storm I can remember that “this, too, shall pass.” It was His devotion that created the imaginary worlds I grew up in and still hold on to that shape the way I see both this earth and the next.

Just this week I have felt crippled under the weight of everything that needs to be done. Wedding planning, writing, shooting, taking care of the home, all the many shades of ministry… The list goes on. But He tells me “there is a time for everything under the sun.” Even now, as I’m feeling overwhelmed yet again, I’m reminded of the times I’ve been through tougher months, the turmoil of which I now no longer remember. This will be the same. And in His devotion, these thirty one days of stress are closed with a week long retreat with my grandparents. 

It is His devotion singing grace over me when anxiety comes like thunder in the night. It is His devotion reminding me that each moment has a meaning beyond the next thirty seconds. It is His devotion leading me into the subsequent season, which He has termed my year of Jubilee. It is His devotion that will lead me on through that, when the next storm comes, and carry me through to the other side stronger than before.

And I need only be still.

“After these things I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. I will rebuild its ruins and set it up again, so the rest of humanity may seek the Lord- even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, declares the Lord who does these things, known from long ago.” ~Acts 15:16-18

Psalm 81

When we were wanderingweek five (18 of 33)
Alone and afraid
You rescued us
Kept us from shame

In pillars of smoke
In clouds of fire
You whispered Your name
You gave us hope
Daily, we sang Your praisesweek five (19 of 33)
Adoration was hourly upon our lips
Upon our lips
To the Unknown God who saves
New moon rises
Sound the horn
We were lost and lonely souls
Now we’re found in You, Lord
Then as a storm, fear roseweek five (20 of 33)
Thunderclouds swallowing hope
Stealing breath from our lungs, so from Your arms
We run, run, run
And You say
Darling, come home
Darling, come home
Taste My love once more
Remember when you were lost and lonelyweek five (24 of 33)
In My arms, I carried you to safety
We lived in harmony
My bride and I
I long to drench you
In My love, fill your cup
I long to hold you
In My holy embrace
Remember how I led you
Through the desertweek five (32 of 33)
Pillars of smoke, clouds of fire
Singing joy to you all the while
Why have you gone?
Let Me hold you again
You’re tired and afraid
Let me keep you safe from harm
I’ll keep you safe from harm
Darling, come homeweek five (28 of 33)
Darling, come home
Darling, come hom
Taste My love once more.