Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hope and Heartbreak

Anyone been wondering when in the world I would post again? Or, if maybe I had dropped off the face of the planet? Well let's be honest, to all... 5 people I have that actually "follow" my blog... I know you personally, and we talk outside of my blog. Maybe not as much as I'd like, but at least we talk. So you know in bits and pieces the things I have been facing. So why write what is already known? I find myself reflecting on things:

On hope - the hope I had for this year, the hope I had for friendships, for a relationship, for the future, the hope that has brought me to a stronger place, and the hope that has lead to heartbreak...

Let's get down and dirty shall we. I am a guarded person. I have been hurt, and have seen the damage of allowing someone in. Letting them see the deep dark side of you. Letting them see all your imperfections, only to watch them use those imperfections to crush your spirit. So to admit to someone that I am hoping for something, well that is a big risk. One better kept in the deep safe of my heart, told to no one, surrounded by walls. Walls so thick no man or beast could ever chip through them.... or so I thought. Then one not so special day... something happened. Something cracked, things began to leak, and I sat in fear of everything crashing down, desperately trying to stop the leak, to patch the hole, to keep it all in. Not even knowing how it happened. Somehow, someone had slipped in, undetected by the radar and patiently over time made progress. Slowly chipped away, slowly destroyed layer upon layer. Not with loud explosions or heavy machinery, no, that would have all too easily given away their position. But gently, with hand tools, slowly and painstakingly, pouring in love, time and effort chipped away until they were through. Who you ask? Who could manage such a feat? Someone who can love like no other. Someone who would be undetected on the outside of the walls, because much like my hopes and dreams, I thought they were tucked away inside the walls.

Now don't panic. I'm not saying I wasn't saved, or that I had been living a lie to please others. No, deep in my heart there was a genuine desire to know the Savior who suffered for me. Who said I was worth it. Who paid the highest price. But what I didn't understand, was that by locking my hopes and dreams so deep inside, I was holding on so tightly, and I was not allowing Him to shape and mold my dreams. When I said "no way! That dream is too big! I could never do something like that! I better come up with something a little more... achievable." When I looked at myself and hated who I was, or thought I was a mistake, or that I had messed up too many times for Him to possibly ever choose to use someone like me.... I put a wall between Him and my dreams. This... is what leads to heartbreak. When you build your hopes and dreams on the One who holds your heart, they are protected, and He will shape them. But when you lock Him out and start to form your own dreams and plans, claiming it all in the name of Jesus. Claiming He must be leading... because it's what you want... Can I tell you... that's a painfully wrong road to venture down. And yes, my God is faithful to redeem. He can work all things for the good of those He loves (Rom. 8:28). But how much less painful could it have been to just submit and allow Him into the plans in the first place.

Heartbreak - watching friendships I thought would or should last a lifetime... crumble; seeing a "potential relationship" stripped away... all because I let my heart go too deep to soon; having to come to a painful place of admitting my pride... and admitting I was wrong. Of being so defiant that only in total brokenness could I be brought to my knees and be ready to submit.

Was all of this fun? NO! Am I saying that Jesus caused me all this pain in order to bring me to this place?... That's a theological question that I don't see the point in arguing over. Because what I do know is this: Whether I choose to follow the Lord or not, He will love me, and He desires to be with me. Whether I choose to spit in His face every time I think I am not worth it or I see the beauty He has created and allow that to strengthen me... It's not about what HE has put me through or made me suffer... it's about the choices I made, whether right - allowing Him to work the way He desires. or wrong, causing Him to have to redeem - unless I begin to take responsibility, and realize I play an ACTIVE part in my life... hope will continue to lead to heartbreak. Because my hope must be built on the ONLY solid foundation of Jesus Christ, or it will fail. I must both hold tightly to my dream - pursuing it passionately, desiring to see it to completion, AND hold it with open hands, knowing that the Lord is the one to protect it, and I must be willing to allow Him to shape it and to change it. It may look different than I ever hoped/thought/dreamed it would. But I promise you, walking with Him is much sweeter than anything I could do on my own.

And when I am walking in His plan for my life, allowing Him to shape my dreams... it's ok to allow others in. Now I'm not saying share everything the Lord ever downloads into your life, and not everyone is supposed to be shared with. You know you have those people in your life who won't understand, or will tell you to do something more practical.... BUT! You also have those people who also love the Lord, and understand that He doesn't always work in the ways we think He should or in the ways that seem most logical to us. And when you are able to share with them both the excitement of what the Lord is doing in and through you, as well as what you think He is calling you to... they are there to help. They will be excited with you! They will encourage you to reach for the things you don't think are attainable. And when, if for a moment, you forget where the Lord is taking you, they are there to remind you, to help pick you back up off the ground if you fall, and give you a gentle nudge back in the right direction.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sometimes you just have to smile and wave

You  ever have one of those days? You know... the kind that make you want to curl back up in bed and pretend like the day never happened. But in the midst of that, you have great friends who know how to cheer you up... and then... that ONE thing... that, had that been the only thing... would have been manageable, but because of your day it just sent you over the top. But you can't show that it sent you over the top, I mean lets be honest, it was probably your boss that sent you over the top, and well, blowing up in front of him would get you fired. So, rather than loose it you bottle it all deep inside you and you politely respond to your boss and he's none the wiser. Does him being ignorant to the rage within you make it any less wrong to be that angry? Don't get me wrong, I am not about to justify anger - unless it's the righteous kind (but there's a different blog post for that discussion). However, how you handle yourself IS a sign of how well you are doing. See, I'm the type of person that, at one point, would have blown up and called it a day, started packing my stuff, and head home... but when you are that type of person, and learn to handle the anger, and deal with it like a human being... it is a sign of growth, and a sign of hope, that some day just as you progressed from exploding to containing you may reach a place where you are no longer angered at all.
These experiences that "make us angry" they were not put in our lives just to make us angry... but it's up to us to CHOOSE how we respond. Where is your heart?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

When the world seems to be crashing around you

When the world seems to be crashing around you..... it's good to be in the company of friends. Not just the friends you hang with to have a good time, not just the "fair weather friends" but the true friends, the ones that can see the walls falling down, and choose to be the pillars that continue to hold them up. Sometimes, holding up a pillar doesn't look quite like we think it should... then again, sometimes we don't realize everything is crashing down.
I guess I'm just finding that the best friendships aren't always the ones that sit and listen and just tell you everything is going to be ok, or allow you to keep doing what you were doing. Sometimes the best friendships are the ones that force you to talk, the ones that tell you to "stop it" when you're being selfish. They tell you when you are running from your past, or carrying guilt from it. And while all of those things seem harsh or unkind... it deepens trust. And trust... well... being able to trust someone is a very important thing. Biblical even.
Proverbs 18:24 states: "One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."
Family loves at all times, family will be there for you, but sometimes friends stick around longer, support longer, speak harsher loving truth into your life, and while I'm sure this sounds cliche... Family loves because they're family... friends love out of a choice...
I'm so thankful for the loving, faithful Christian friends the Lord has placed in my life.

For my friends who've seen the walls crashing and held them up for me, I may not have known it at the time, I may have even seemed mad at you, but seeing it now, I understand... and I could never fully express my gratitude to you. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Love.... when you read that word you may think of several different things... a significant other; a song "L is for the way you look at me.."; perhaps a family member - a mother, father, sister, or brother; or... perhaps you thought of the negative side of love... the heart break when someone you love lets you down, runs out on you, decides not to return the love. Whatever it may be, we all know the pain of love. Is this why we can't fathom the unconditional, unfailing love of the Father? To us, love is a human emotion, an interaction and feeling between two people. But to the Lord, it's so much more. If our understanding of love shifted from human love to the perfect love of God, would we still see a side of love that includes pain?
As a human, we feel an attachment, it grows, and we put ourselves out there, sacrificing, giving, and in return we see nothing... and we think that the person all of our efforts have been pointed toward must not love us... because we expect something in return. Let me say that again.... human love expects something in return for sacrifice.
Now let's take a look at the love of the Father... Romans 5:7-8 states "very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Did you catch the implication? With NO EXPECTATION of us loving Him in return; Christ suffered a brutal death for us.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 in the amplified bible reads "4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]."
When we choose to view love in a biblical way, and allow it to be God's love in us, and that is the motivation for sacrifice, there is no expectation of receiving love in return. The satisfaction of knowing that the Lord unconditionally loves you is enough when the "pain" of love starts to creep in, you can recognize it for what it is... a LIE; a lie that the devil wants you to believe, because if he can get you to believe the lie that you are unloved and all alone, it becomes harder to see how loved you truly are.

Lord, teach me to love like you love. Keep my heart held safely in your hands. Help me to recognize when I am believing the lie that I am unloved or alone. Give me a new revelation of Your love. 
In Jesus Name,

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Beauty in the Storm

How many times do we as Christians think... I'm in a "stormy season," and we use this phrase to describe when things are hard... when life just can't seem to go right no matter how hard we try.
I was outside a few nights ago, watching one of Texas' famous "everything is bigger in Texas" size thunderstorms. Have you ever stopped to just watch and listen? As I was watching the Lord decided to reveal some things about Himself through His creation.
First, when I was younger I was VERY afraid of thunderstorms, now I enjoy watching them. So many people fear the Lord, in an unhealthy way, but when we finally stop to recognize Him and what is really happening, we find joy and pleasure in a Father who loves us unconditionally. We enjoy spending time with Him.
Take for example the thunder and lightning, while to some they are frighting, they reveal awe, power and wonder. Why does thunder exist... where does the noise come from? How beautiful are the strikes of lightning as they light up the sky, each with a unique pattern. This is not by accident, it is the Lord.
Another example... rain. WE so often think that it means we can't go outside, or "oh no my hair." Well, in Texas we recognize a couple of different things about rain. It brings LIFE and refreshing to the dry and thirsty ground, and it clears the humidity and cools the air, making what could be an unbearable day a lot more bearable.

Like the Lord lights the sky with lightning in a storm... listen to this song by The Afters, and allow Him to light up your life.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Only Time Getting Lost is a good thing

Getting lost. Typically those words carry a negative connotation. You don't know where you are, or how to get where you're going. But in Dannah Gresh's book Get Lost, they are the words to describe the exact place you need to be. This book is an excellent guide to getting lost in God. Whether you are a young woman or an older woman looking for a resource to help mentor younger women... this is the book for you! The book is broken into sections, the first to help understand why we as women seek a relationship with a man the way we do, the second to take a break from men, and feast on God, and His love, and the third to evaluate, based on what you learned through the book, how to know if you are ready for a relationship. Dannah does a great job of encouraging throughout the book that you not go through the book just so you can say you are lost in God and assume that will bring about a man. If you are single and looking for any way to make getting a man faster.... this isn't going to be what you're looking for. But if you're looking to be content, get the most out of your time being single, and genuinely prepare yourself to be the best woman for the man God has designed for you, look no further than this book!
Here are some resources related to Dannah Gresh, her ministry, and the book itself. Enjoy!

Pure Freedom
Dannah Gresh Podcast
Chapter 1 sneak peek
want to buy the book?

Monday, June 17, 2013

New Song up

It's been a long time since I've mentioned anything about my bandcamp site. You know, that place where I put the music that I'm writing. Yeah, it's pretty cool I guess. You should check it out and if you know anything about music and would like to give me feedback on how to improve know that your feedback is more than welcome!

All that to say, I just put a new song up, so you should go check it out!