Oct 22, 2008

the runaway falls at Your feet

The beginning of nursing school 10 months ago marked the beginning of a deep, dark spiritual oppression in my life. For much of the spring semester I withdrew from my life, allowing myself to sink into a place that I found very hard to exist in but impossible to pull myself out. I got a job in a church (ironic) and moved myself out of the state, halfway across the country. I lived by myself in a garage apartment with a family I had never met and had spoken about 10 words to them before moving into their house.

I worked with 7 people I had never met. I offered cupcakes in exchange for friendship. I hated my first month there. I was still pitying myself in the darkness into which I had slipped. I was sent to camp with 10 high school girls I barely knew or didn't even know at all.

And the Lord wrapped His arms around me like I had never experienced. To make a long story shorter so I can get this off my chest and get back to my midterm prep, the Lord used loneliness to break me open. Then, he surrounded me with incredible friends, prayer partners, two grandmothers, a church staff, a generous, compassionate host family, and genuine relationships with my girls. It was the beginning of relief from the dark I had been overwhelmed with.

I've been doing better this semester. The lessons learned this summer opened my eyes to my pitfalls. I have been fighting the oppression everyday, but I have been surrendering myself to the Lord a little more. It isn't necessarily easier, but I feel more prepared.

I've slipped a little more in the last two weeks. Blame it on the drama. Blame it on midterms and tests. Blame it on the 75% test average. Or blame it on my desire for comfort. Or my brokeness. Whatever you choose to see as the root of the problem, I'm slipping. But the Lord prodded a wonderful friend to slip a card under my door:

"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." - Romans 12:11

I know you "know" this verse - but be reminded of it today. God wants to renew your JOY...cling onto the truth and promises He has given you."

Thanks for the words Liz.

Here's to the promises He has given me in (some of) the people He has surrounded me with...

The runaway falls at Your feet,
You are what he has searched for.
You sit at the table with the wounded and the poor;
You laugh and share stories with the thief and the whore.
When You could just be silent and leave us here to die,
Still, You sent Your son for us,
You are on our side.

Oct 1, 2008

"I'm amazed by life, and it's amazed by me"

In a roundabout way, I have just spent the last few minutes pondering death.

Perhaps it's being around sick people in the hospital, faced with illness that is slowly choking the life out of them.

Perhaps it's writing my mission statement for a class, knowing that the example shared in class was read at the student's funeral before she made it out of college.

Whatever it's stemming from, it isn't causing fear or anxiety, just quiet assurance.

"Can my God, your wrath forbear
Me the chief of sinners, spare?
It's my only hope, You're my only hope."
Caedmon's Call


It’s a long hard road
With a good, good end
And if I keep on walking on past the crooked bend
I will meet my Maker
I will meet my Friend
It’s a long hard road
With a good, good end

Don Chaffer

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth has passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:1-4

Want to know an odd connection I just made? Go to The Parsons Photography and look at this picture...no wonder we are so enamored with these people. What a pale reflection of what reunion with the Lord will look like.