Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Food for Scattered Thought

Here's the truth.
These past 6 months, maybe even more, have been some of the hardest months of my life. There were so many days of breaking into tears, getting angry for no apparent reason, tearing apart friendships because I wanted to tear something apart, yelling at God, crying out of frustration, banging my steering wheel while going on long drives and weeping and screaming. It wasn't pretty.
 And I would like to tell you how I came out having learned so much about patience, and mercy, and love, and joy in the midst of pain.
 And yeah, maybe I did learn a bit. But I can't tell you that. I think I came out an uglier mess than I was when I went in.
But here's what I have learned.
The Lord gives you people. And not how you expected.
He gives you friends who listen to you cry and rant and seethe, and have to walk away for a bit before they can come back and love the crap out of you.
He gives you friends who speak the cold hard truth over you.
He gives you a boyfriend who is so willing to talk things through with you, but who also knows the perfect ways to distract you and make you a happy that you forgot you could be.
 They say the Lord works in mysterious ways.
They're right.
Because if someone came up to me and asked me what the Lord has been teaching me these past few months. I might just stare blankly at them for a hot second before making up some christian answer.
Don't judge me.
 You know you've done it once or twice.
But it's the truth.
 I've hit a wall.
 I faked it for a bit.
Said the Christian answer to some friends. Cried and vented to other friends.
 But here's the ugly truth.
I haven't learned much.
Sure, I've learned some.
I've learned that dance has become my identity. I've learned that every system is flawed. I've learned that what you grow up being taught, might end up flying out some window somewhere. I've learned that all people are flawed, no matter how perfect you may think they are. I've learned that love is ugly sometimes.
Now, you're looking at that list, thinking I've learned all the wrong things.
You're not wrong.
 In fact. Welcome to my last few months.
 So what's the point in all this?
 Here's my point.
 Life is ugly.
Life is hard.
But God is still God. He is still good. He is still sovereign in every situation. Whether we see it or not.
And to continue with my brutal honesty. There are alot of days where I have a very hard time believing that God is sovereign in everything.
I thought I was called to dance, but have been dancing injured and broken for quite some time, so where is God in that?
I honestly don't know.
But He's there. Being God. Not letting me fall completely.
How? Because He gives me people. He gives me little reminders.
Like when I'm told that my identity isn't just a dancer, to someone I deeply care about. When I'm told that no matter where life takes me, I always have the support and love of my deepest and truest friends. When I'm reminded that whether I believe it every day or not, the Lord works for the good of His people who love and follow Him.
So yeah.
I'm a mess.
But I'm a mess with a support system.
So maybe I haven't learned some profound Christian truth.
But I've learned a good deal of random life truths.
And I think that to me, and to God, that's okay for now.

With all the messes in the world,
        the girl who isn't really learning all too much.

Friday, May 26, 2017

To Change or to be Changed

Guys. It's been a while.
About two years, actually.
But here's some thoughts as I sit on an uncomfy pew, with a broken back, a troubled heart, and quite honestly, a non willing spirit to try and take this dance class in fear that I will fail again.
Here goes.

I cannot change people. I can only change myself. It's not up to me to upkeep both my relationship with the Lord, and other people's relationship with the Lord. I need to focus on my walk with the Lord, and my discipleship to the Lord. That's my goal. That's my aim. For ME to be more like Jesus. Yes, I am to make disciples. But not disciples of me. Disciples of Jesus. It's my goal to point others to Jesus. And if I'm trying to fix everyone, that's not what is going to be accomplished. The Lord corrects. I can be a mouthpiece for His correction. But it is not my job to correct. I can pray for people. But not out of a selfish and arrogant spirit. It has to be done out of love. And not worldly love. The love that Jesus has for us. That is the same love that I am to love others with. The same love I am to pray for them with. The same love I am to correct them with, if the Lord so chooses to use me as His mouthpiece. I cannot do anything of my own will. I cannot get a job solely because of me. If I get a job because of my personality-the Lord created me. If I get a job because of my past experiences- the Lord's favor. I cannot figure out housing on my own, and in my own strength. If I even figure it out, it is because the Lord is my provider, and my shelter. It is not my job to get through life. My life goal is to rely on Jesus,  to love Him with everything I am, to show Him to others through my life. And trying to change people is the opposite of that. That's not me loving them. That's not me relying on Jesus. He is refining me. And that is what I am to focus on. I cannot tell other people how to live. As soon as I do that, I am living life with a selfish and arrogant goal: to change people into the person I want them to be. But that's not what the Lord wants for them. The Lord wants them to be like Him. Afterall. He is perfect. I am not.

So now the question of if I am ready to take on this lesson. If I am ready to accept people for who they are, and to not get offended if they do not do what I think they should do. I read a Myers Briggs "what people wish your personality type would stop doing" As an ISFP, mine was "to stop taking everything so. Damn. Personally." I asked my roommate if that was true. She tried to beat around the bush, and say not always-the sweet thing. God Bless her soul. As I laid in bed and thought about it, ai realized it was true. And I think that part of that is because I want people to change. Which is so wrong. That is the most unloving, un-Christ like thing to do. So will I trust in the Lord, and trust that He is changing me, and that is all I should focus on? To this I cannot say anything but: challenge accepted.

Lord help me.

with a broken body,
    the girl who is learning every day (trying to)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Next Mr. God

It's a hard concept, love. A hard thing to accept.

Love has always been a part of my life of course, because my family is just the absolute best, and despite what life heaves in our direction, love has always remained. However in relationships, love has not been my number one fan.

For those of you who do not intimately know me, I have had a few run ins with troublesome boys and troublesome relationships with said boys. Now before you think anything, let me assure you that it was probably only about 15% on them, if even at all. "What?" well let's just say that my precious Jesus has saved me from myself and has redeemed me. My younger self was not very focused on anything but boys, therefore causing the want for love to consume my life.

My roommate told me of a quote that reads, "whatever you think about most, that's your god" (sorry-I don't know who said that so I can't give proper rights, but it wasn't me) So let's just say that my younger self…boys were my god.

And I wish the story ends here and I could say, "and then I grew up and everything was fine" and everyone says "HA". If only right? But no. I have come to realize that my view of love is quite very much so messed up. Yes. As messed up as that sentence. I held on to so many boys for my view of myself, and then they got too close and it scared me, and then somewhere in the mix, all the emotions got tangled up and confused, and then bye-bye boy. And bye-bye my view of love. Or so I thought, until the next mr god came along. And so went the cycle.

And not even just for boys. The same with my friends. Things were always so messed up. I could never get friendships or relationships right.

But then something happened.

I got to the point that I had had enough, so I begged and pleaded with God for love.

And so now I'm at Paradosi.

It's the strangest thing. God constantly has to remind me that I can't shut myself off to what He's doing in my life. He reminds me through His word, through songs, through other people, through actions, through dancing, through worshipping.

And I am so grateful. Because let me tell you something that you probably already know if you know me. I am not the easiest person to understand. I am one of the most dramatic people you will probably meet (unless you know a lot of theatrical people). And so therefore life with me is just a confusing mess of trying to understand my moods swings. And God bless my sweet, sweet roommates and fellow dancers.

Remember when I said that thing about how God reminds me of the whole love thing? Let me tell you something about my wonderful sisters (speaking of all the dancers of Paradosi). Those girls are the most loving, forgiving people anyone will ever meet. Sometimes I just sit and stare at them all and thank God for their freaking beautiful hearts, and faces, and dancing.

 **side note: they are so absolutely beyond gorgeous dancers, every single one of them. Like really. I sit in amazement a lot because they're all so captivating**

"wait so why are you going on this whole rant/tangent thing?"

Simply because I am amazed. Amazed at how much love they all have. I can't tell you how much of a jerk I can be to them sometimes, and yet they look at me, give me my space because they know I need it, and come to me later with a huge hug and a heart full of love. It's ridiculous really. Ridiculous that someone can have that much love for a person. I thought that was only reserved for parents because they just love you no matter what. But this ministry that is my home has shown me that there are people that care. That are capable of this kind of love.

I have no doubt that I was placed here in Washington state to be a part of this wonderful ministry so that God could teach me about His love in a way that I never thought was possible. I always thought that love came from boys, and that was the end all. But life is so much more than that, and it has taken God bringing me away from everything I thought I always wanted, into a place that He knew I truly, truly wanted and needed.

So I guess that's my update on life. Yes, love is a hard concept. But because I actually listened to what God wanted for my life, He is showing me that it's a reality to have love, and to experience it daily in ways that you never thought possible.

With a simply amazed heart,

    the girl who is learning how to love