Sunday, February 25, 2007

What should I be doing right now: studying

What should I NOT be doing right now: blogging

But I am anyway. Because life can wait. I think I've finally gotten tired of being in a hurry All the Time. But the way I feel doesn't mean that I'm going to suddenly slow down at life. I haven't figured out How to do That yet.

Marshall asked me to truly consider doing GUPY (Greensboro Urban Project, Y'all) this summer. But the truth is, I know there's no way we can afford that. David asked why I didn't just take a leap of faith and trust that God would provide... I want to trust very badly that, if this is where God wants me, that I would be able to make that sort of commitment without knowing where the money would come from, but it's still A LOT of money. It's a lot of money I don't have and a lot of money, in general. I've actually been thinking about GUPY a lot, and for Marshall to approach me tonight made me really wonder just what it is I'm supposed to do this summer...

I go back to that Urbana quote about taking risks:
"We think we're hearing God say 'no' but really, He's saying 'Just go ahead and take the leap of faith, you'll be amazed at the ways in which I come through.'"

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Do you ever think about the fact that we were created for eternity, reader? I do. Well, I've been thinking about it a lot since Friday night at Cornerstone. What if we didn't live to make it past the next test, or to make it through today, or to graduate from college? What if we lived with the constant belief that we were created for eternity? I wonder in what ways we would look differently in our day-to-day lives...

Cornerstone was really hard for me but completely awesome all at once. I danced and enjoyed it, but it was also hard, especially on Saturday night and Sunday morning, when we finished worship after we heard the talks. The talk, especially the one on Sunday, really got to me. Mark talked about how we are broken, how God wants to heal us, but we have to be receptive to that. He also said that when we come into a relationship with God, we don't bring assets to the relationship. We bring liabilities. So, when I got up to dance, I was nearly in tears and trying hard not to cry in front of everyone. That was a little weird. We talked about a lot of stuff at Cornerstone that I'm still trying to process, but the big thing for me was re-realizing that I was created for eternity, not for a moment. There is this song by Justin Christian that I really like, and here are a couple lines that really speak to me everytime I hear them:
"Raise your head above this muddy mire
And see a better day.
Please don't despair,
'Cause you were born for brighter lights
Than this whole world could ever bear."

Imagine if you lived as though you knew that you were born for bigger things than this world could ever contain! How cool is that!?

Friday, February 09, 2007

A Crayon as a Metaphor...

"For me, I suppose the greatest change came in understanding the power of being broken. It had taken a while for me to realize that the breaking was not God's discipline but His blessing. What a paradox: Our blessing lay in our breaking. Yes that's what it was. Oh, I still had my battles, believe me, but from that day of giving up and being broken, something had changed. I was freer, I was able to serve less fearfully, less self-conciously. And, broken, there was more of me to give and share with others. " -When the Last Leaf Falls

"More people get to use a crayon when it's broken." -Laura Jo pointed that out to me tonight at Coffee House and it got me thinking...and I wonder how many of us have experienced that...the realization that in our brokenness, we become more usable to others. We can share, empathize, whatever...but our brokenness helps us relate to them. Crayons are only so good when they're whole, because only one person can use them. But when they're broken, it's not as "nice" to be sure, but more people stand to gain something. And so too, our brokeness is painful, but we are able to give of ourselves to others. (maybe that doesn't make any sense...)

I think we all have these struggles that we go through-- that break us, strengthen us, tear us apart, bring us to tears, cause us pain and heartache, whatever. Whatever it is, it hurts. We've all been there and we'll all be there again, no doubt. Rick Warren, at Urbana 2006, said that God never wastes a hurt...that God will make your greatest weakness your greatest strength. Basically, the thing that tears you up inside, will be the thing that will help you relate to others. Praise the Lord that this is true. Something good can come out of something painful and hard. And the pain does subside. In some cases, the pain subsides and we move on. Other times, the pain is apparent daily and the process of being restored by God is a daily one. It's a process of forgiveness, accepting God's grace and forgiveness and forgiving yourself as well; it's a process of prayer, of frustration and anxiety as you await results; it's a process of support from friends and encouragement as you heal and learn what it means to live in spite of what happened. It's a process of realizing that, in your darkest moments, God never left; in your hurt, God does not abandon you; in your brokenness, God is ready to heal.

"Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen." -2 Corinthians 4:16-18

God never wastes a hurt.