consistent - maybe not, blogging's my way to complain - appears so. I definitely have not been able to or put much of an effort into keeping up with blogging, it's only in time like these that I have a desire to articulate what's going on because I don't know any other way how. So, maybe brokenness is what someone else needs to see right now, or maybe this will just be writing therapy for me - either way I consider blogs as a blessing.
So, I'm in the middle of another set of changes and shocking - I hate it. It never ceases to amaze me that even though I know change is to be expected, I am never prepared for it to come. I think this may be an accurate reflection of where I am in my relationship with the Lord, but never-the-less, grief has stricken me once again and the Lord is still faithful. In these times that demonstrate how small my faith truly is, I am overwhelmed at how the Holy Spirit picks me up and holds me. I pray for pain to be taken away, for strength, for things to just stay the same and expect God to grant me these. In reality, I think His promise to us more clearly indicates His willingness to walk alongside us and carry us when we are too broken to do so ourselves -even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and staff protect me and comfort me - Psalm 23:4. What a beautiful promise this is! I was upset in the fact that Jesus wouldn't just remove these feelings or replace them with the peace that transcends all understanding, and overflowing joy and other promises we may feel entitled to as Christians. But this peace and joy, love and all other characteristics of Christ's followers do not replace pain, grief, and sorrow. Instead there is something deeper, an eternal hope and promise that paradise is not far away. I am amazed over and over again at how comfortable I can get in my own life when things are going how I would have them be (perfect world scenario), but when brokenness comes again (as it always does) God has space to do the work He wants to do in all stages of life. In brokenness and pain I am receptive to His work and plan for me because I feel a loss of hope and comfort, which encourages for a pursuit to make Him my rock and salvation. A fickle heart in me is overcome by a passionate Spirit of Him, and I can say again "Abba, Father, here am I, send me".
I have been blessed with love from all directions and pray to not get comfortable with this love, but seek for the author of love to lavish me with His unconditional and unending love. I do not disregard the honesty and necessity of human love, but it can easily become a replacement for me in it's way of seeming for real and tangible. I, for the first time in a long time, would be comfortable with being away from paradise for a little while to experience the ways of the world, an odd and daunting experience. My pursuit for harmony continues again and I am so thankful that I am never left in my own mess all alone.
After feeling truly ashamed of writing this, after catastrophic events occurred to our neighbors in Boston and knowing that I am not alone in the change I am experiencing, I read through an old blog that another indicated was an encouragement to them. And what an encouragement it was! Reading through my struggles only 6 months ago and the struggles I had then remind me of Gods incredible faithfulness. No, I wasn't able to hold my academic career with a complete open hand, but my fingers are slowly loosening in their grip. This past semester I trusted God to show up through spreading my time to things other than my post-secondary career and what a blessing it was! I was able to spend time with family, friends, and my girls with a genuine heart to be where I was and not have my mind divided between where I was and where I felt I should be. I didn't work too often during the academic year and trusted that finances and marks would show up, if I was in the center of His will. They did! My little faith can be shattered again by His faithfulness! I still struggle to find identity beyond the letters behind my name and the "success" I achieve in my life, but I have found an unusual quote that has helped me recognize times when my priorities need to be worked out - or the fact that you're so obsessed with your future that you completely forget about everyone you're supposed to give a s**t about - Post Grad. A movie that isn't focussed on spirituality hits really hits the target for me in that they recognize it's the everybody, not the everything, that we're supposed to give a s**t about. It was revealed to me when I studied at YWAM that our ultimate purpose here on earth is to restore our relationship with Christ, each other, and help others restore their relationship with Christ. Never once does being popular, intelligent, or successful come as a prerequisite to following or being used by the Lord. I was reminded again last Sunday about the insignificance of the what's in our life's so much as our character. We worry about being at the right school/job, dating the right person, living in the right place and so many other things, but if we are living to serve Christ He is always using us and gently directing us. There may not always be one path that we need to take in order to be fulfilling Christ's plan, but continuing to walk in His will can give us peace that where we are is okay. Not always an easy reality, I understand that, but I think there is wisdom in not always needing the "right" in situations.
Love you all xo