the messy beautiful

Father, my mind cannot grasp your greatness. I read your Word, your many feats–how you advocate for us, and my mind, my self-absorption, my pride, makes me focus on myself–my small problems, my small worries and cares. Your ways are good. You see beyond what I can see. You pursue justice. You ask us what we will do–if we will stand with you or against you, if we will both appreciate the lives you’ve given us, the opportunities to love and do what is good, in your name, or if we will, instead, fight our own fight, for our own glory.

Lord, forgive me for how I forget you. It is horrible, and it is true. I am your daughter, the one you love. Yet, my ways are not your ways. And I surrender my ways now. I give you my heart again, with all of its stubbornness, feelings of entitlement, self-hatred, judgemental attitudes.

Here I am, confident that, if you want me to, I can hear your voice, and yet how often do I ignore it? How often do you speak and I close my ears? How often do you open your arms and I run to comfort in other things? Productivity, achievement, food, things? How often do you weep at the injustice of this world and I close my eyes and heart to what is right in front of me? How often do you feel frustration and anger and yet love and love and love?

You love me despite me. Your love has nothing to do with what I do, what I think. But it is your love that breaks open my heart. And my old self, the one who rails against you, dies at the foot of the cross. She cannot stand–this old self–at your feet, Jesus. In your presence, the false parts of her wither; all of the sin in her completely destroyed. Take her again, will you? Take this old self of mine. Take her and destroy her. Throw her into the fire and make her new. It is in death that new life comes. She needs your new life now.

Jesus, you are tireless in your love. You are kind and good. I pick up your cross, my new self–strong and confident in you, and the cross does its work. Again and again, I am made brand new. In all good things, Jesus, you are present.

Lord, be present in me now. I stand here, your beauty, your delight. I stand here, filled with love, capable of anything you have for me to do. You defeat all of my enemies. You crush my every foe. You pursue my heart, pointing out what gets in the way of me completely following you. You ask me–do you want all of me now? For this, right now, needs to go.

And I say yes. Right here, right now. I say yes. I want all of you. Whatever it takes. Remove from me what is not of you and destroy it now. Right here. I am filled with your love. I am filled with your truth. You, Jesus, are the Word come down. You, Jesus, are the Beginning before the beginning. Begin again, in me. I begin again, with you.

Have you listened yet, to Rush, our new podcast? Here is the latest episode, “How to Make the Walls Come Down.” 

lying is no way to impress anyone

I dreamt last night. And in the dreaming I was lying, manipulating. It was a group setting–people I know from different parts of my life–and we were each asked to share what it means to us to be vulnerable. People shared. And they were honest, authentic. Their very act of sharing was a beautiful example of vulnerability. Not hiding. Not pretending. Not faking. Peeling back layers of the heart to reveal the naked beautiful truth underneath.

Yes, it was beautiful.

Specifically, we were asked to share times in high school and in college when we demonstrated vulnerability. And in the dream, I am panicking. I not only want to be vulnerable; I want to do a rock-star job of being vulnerable. And what is so weird is that, in the dream–rather than confessing truth (and actually being vulnerable); I share lies.

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why I can’t trust myself, and why that has to stop

It is time for me to admit I have no answers. To admit that I am not yet free. Confession: I hurt people around me. And I do this by idolizing myself. And success. And being right.

When the self is an idol, the whole world, the way I perceive it, is warped. Even now I struggle to trust my own words, my feelings, my voice–a deep-seeded wound I thought was uprooted years ago. I don’t know if I can trust myself.

I know I can’t. Not yet.

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when self-contempt and Jesus collide

“I came back for you.”

I hear you say it, your hand at the small of my back, your arms holding me. For years it was my Father’s voice I recognized. Opening my imagination. Cracking open my heart. When I see me with him. When I hear his voice.

But I didn’t think I could hear yours. Or think I ever wanted to.

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when it’s time to be done

People say it’s in the quiet where we can most easily find Him. Not because He is quiet. Not necessarily. Not because He is calm. Not consistently. But because the distractions come fierce and loud. And our hearts—fragile, on their own—need Him to pull us back to the beginning, the pure place, with Him.

And yes, I think this is true.

Jesus, we need you.

Grab hold of our hearts and bring us to You.

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a new year, and God in the snow

It is cold the morning we climb. Strap snowshoes onto our boots. Head out while still dark. House quiet. Kids asleep.

The break has been needed. Away from home. The pace of running too fast, too long. I look up here. White aspens, bare fingers stretch to the most pale blue sky.

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