Twenty Eleven.

I think of this year as a boat being tossed in a storm.
It came in a whirlwind of forced responsibility and stressful scheduling… but as a new year always does, I had a hopeful outlook. I experienced many things in the past year, the most important one is that of desperation. I have never felt so desperate in my life, only it wasn’t always a bad thing. It started my health journey and kept me fighting. However, the one sentence that comes to mind when I think about my spiritual walk is this: I’ve never truly been angry at God before this year. It hurts to know I was there, it hurts to know that I neglected my relationship because of my surroundings and situations.
There are times when we must stop trying to fix things… That is, we must stop trying to stop leaks from springing and the boards of the deck from peeling back. There’s a time when even the sail can’t be saved from being torn into shreds. There was a point in the storm when I had to put all of my effort into holding on for dear life. I had to forget about what was falling apart around me. I had to make sure I stayed alive.
But I knew within those dark moments that I wasn’t going to give up. I made a decision a long time ago that no matter what happened, I wasn’t ever going back to living my life without Christ guiding me. I had to give myself some time to step back and look at my life, look at what I was doing and where I was going to go if I continued to let my life run me. One of the only things that kept me going was a small hope for a better future. In fact, I found myself dwelling so much on the future, I ended up finding the one thing I needed most for the future… A renewed desire to seek God. I held on to the tattered rags of promises I had managed to keep with me and finally began to put my life back into action 9/12 (nine-twelveths) of the way through the year.

    As I said before, it hasn’t been all bad.

I created this blog in 2010, which has helped my writing and become a major outlet to emotions.
This year I graduated from college. What was a source of a lot of stress during the process turned into an amazing feeling of accomplishment and good memories.
I also went to Washington D.C. on a much-needed vacation after graduation. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the awesome time I spent with my Dad and brother. It sounds so small, but when you dreamed of running away from life so many times in one year, a small vacation becomes a lifeline of sanity.
Of course, you can’t ignore what I started in the beginning of October. My health improvement. That in itself has changed me more than I could ask for. I am so thankful for that jump-start.
Then there was December… I was in charge of conceptualizing, directing, and finalizing the Christmas Eve service at church. It was the first time I’d ever been given such a great responsibility or trusted that much by any leaders in my life. I learned so much about myself and feel it’s the beginning of things to come. I loved doing it, and I loved being done with it. Haha.

    So what’s going to happen in 2011, you ask?

I have no idea! To tell the truth, I’ve been quite apprehensive about it. I wouldn’t call it scared, but I would call it gun-shy. Even with the last few month’s success, I can’t help but look at the year ahead and think, “What trial is coming next? Why was this past year so hard? Could it be that it was only in preparation of the even bigger storm around the corner?”
My boat is still sailing, but the repairs from the last storm aren’t finished yet. I don’t think I’ll ever have this boat looking the way it did prior to the storm and I don’t really want it to be. I want it to leave evidence of my journey so I never forget the lessons I learned, but I know that my boat is going to come out looking better than it did before.
Even though I don’t have any of my questions answered, I do have this feeling in the pit of my stomach.
This year will change my life.
I’ve already committed myself to more work for His Kingdom than I’ve ever undertaken. I’ve already received a word from the Lord that my main focus this year needs to be on ministry and not on furthering my career or finding a job. I feel a deep conviction every time I send in a job application… it says: “A 9 to 5 job will never work for what I have for you.” …I have student loans to pay off and a bill from the State of TN for damaging the guard rail that saved my life two years ago. These things need money. For my future to get started off on the right foot, I can’t take these debts lightly. It makes tears well up in my eyes to think about it. But I know God will help me make these payments. I know because he has already shown me through different situations that he’s got my back.
Also, this year our new church will be finished and I will say goodbye to the only building I’ve ever described as being ‘my home church’. It’s bittersweet, and entirely exciting. I can’t wait to see what God is holding for us there and what he’ll do in our lives to get us there!
I can only tell you one thing: This year will take everything I have and push it to the brink of greatness and beyond.

    With all of that said, Here are my 2011 resolutions:

I will reach my weight loss goal. I can’t tell you exactly what that goal is, but I know that I’ll know when I get there. For me, it’s not about pounds, inches, or dress sizes. Those are all relative factors. I am already happy with myself, I don’t need a number to tell me when I’m finished.

I will give everything I have to God. Spiritual increase has always been on my list, but this year is going to be different. The goal this year in our church is about spreading the gospel, and I’ve come to realize that a passion for souls has been lying dormant in my spirit since about 15 and only now am I letting it rise up in me. I am going to give everything I have to this and push myself further in other ministries I am passionate about as well. I also plan to amp up my prayer, fasting, and studying life. I do these things, but a step up is never a bad thing.

• I will not ask God for anything in the category of relationships. This one is kind of hard to explain, but I feel it’s another time when I should stop focusing on fixing the boat and focus on keeping myself alive. This isn’t one of those typical ‘I’m focusing on me’ times. This is about is focusing on what God is doing through me instead of what God is doing for me. Oddly enough, I see this one as the most challenging one. You really don’t realize how often you ask God for something until you make it a point not to ask anymore. I do pray that God honors this covenant.

All in all, This year promises to be the most challenging, most fruitful, and most change-filled year I’ve had yet. May your 2011 be the same for you.

Thanks for reading!

The Beginning of Servanthood.

Last week, my Pastor asked for all those who’d been serving the Lord for twenty years or more to stand.

I couldn’t decide whether I should stand or not. It’s an extremely relative question that leaves me seriously pondering when exactly I started serving the Lord. From what point does one measure?

My first instinct was to say that when I received the holy ghost was when I should start counting. That’s what everyone else seems to go off of. But that measurement doesn’t seem right to me.
I was raised in church. I found my personality and first friends while rolling under pews and making houses for my barbies out of red song books. I did my homework at church, and I slept at church.
I received the holy ghost around the age of eight or nine. I’ve always struggled with remembering, but neither I, nor anyone in my family, can remember how old I was, what grade I was in, what year it was, or anything that would give away the answer. This was before the delightful idea of certificates was fathomed apparently. 😉 However, I can tell you just about everything that happened that night. All the way down to what my brother said to me when I was praying. (funny story, you should ask me about it sometime.) So, if using the date of receiving the holy ghost is what I should do… I’m out of luck. And plus, wouldn’t repenting and getting baptized count for just as much?

Then, I thought I should count from the time I decided that this was it and there was going to be no turning back from here. The point I decided that I was going to follow God for the rest of my life and then some. That happened at about fourteen.

Even though I started at a young age, I don’t know if it’s right to count the years of uncertainty and turmoil in my own spirit. I don’t know if I being raised in church qualifies me to count the years I played under the pews. I don’t know if I can count from receiving his presence and spirit into my life when I very much doubted for years after that I’d even received it, based on the fact that I couldn’t specifically remember saying anything that sounded like another language that night. I didn’t settle that issue of doubt all the way until almost sixteen.

Then… maybe serving God starts from the moment you accept that he’s real. From the point you acknowledge him, not even as your ‘personal Savior’ just yet, but just as being there. I never did doubt he was real, though the ninth grade brought mass confusion over creationism vs. evolution, I still believed God was up there somewhere.

It’s then, in my opinion, that one begins to serve, in actions if not always in words. Even as children we serve God by being an innocent witness of faith in it’s ironically beautiful simplicity. God casts our sin into his vast sea of forgetfulness, so why should we remember and discount the times we struggled, or only remember the times we took the next step forward? It’s all a part of our walk, a part of being a servant.

In that case, I’m not sure I can recall the exact moment I acknowledged he was real, being raised from birth into a belief-heavy environment and all. I know it’s not the same for everyone, some probably can remember that exact moment. I think that’s great. I really wish I could. I imagine it would be a delightful memory.

Do you remember the exact moment you knew he was real? The beginning of your servanthood?

Derivation, Perspiration, and Aspiration.

Blood. Sweat. Tears.

Future goals seem to be the running theme for my blog in the last year. I’m always talking about what I want out of life and how I’m getting there. And yet, every time I think about the future, I always end up thinking about the past.
I don’t let it hold me back anymore. I don’t look back with disdain and judgement like I used to. I no longer cry over my past.
Now I think about my past with a bittersweet smile plastered awkwardly onto tear-stained cheeks, eyes glazed over in wonder at how far I’ve come.
These tears are cried for what the past tells me about the future. I wouldn’t call these tears sad. They’re tears of victory and revelation. Tears of insanity and hilarity. Tears of remembrance and longing. Tears of understanding and gratefulness.

Woven within my tears of aspiration are the perspiring of many memories, some failures and some victories… Still, there is one final ingredient missing: Blood.
It’s not my blood, though I’m sure I’ve thought it was my own plenty of times down through my life, but it is the blood of Christ intertwined into every past memory and every future goal that I have.
It’s in Christ that everything I have done is ultimately based and it will most certainly be Christ that my future revolves around.

Down through my life I’ve always lived for one of these three things. Only now, I’m finally starting to see that they are all one. It’s all or nothing. If I live life without the balance of the three, there is just that, no balance.

There is unhappiness and slaughtered expectation.
There is doubt, fear, and rebellion.

There are obvious downfalls to basing your life in only the past or the future. Basing your life in Christ only doesn’t seem so bad though, right? Wrong. When I based my life in Christ alone, it was possible to live for a time without acknowledging my past or future. However, in dwelling in Christ, we are moved to move. It is impossible to be stagnant in the covering of his blood. You can’t continue to dwell under his covering without dealing with the past and future.

When I combine the three, they become a driving motion that pushes me forward into living the way God made me to live. A life of true freedom.

The old phrase rings true:
God covers us in his blood, the heritage of Christ is our derivation.
The sweat of our past comes to join in, the work we’ve done is our perspiration.
The future is within view, the product of our past and the covering of our past by the blood of Jesus Christ is our aspiration.

Our lives are made in Derivation, Perspiration, and Aspiration.

The Hallway, The Door, and The Room.

In my mind’s eye there are rooms, doors, and hallways. I go to each room, one by one, the hallway eventually leads to home. To eternal rest.
The doors are always there, but you have to go to them in the order you are told, because you learn something in each one that is needed for the room after, until you’ve obtained and strived all you can and are able open the last door. The door to heaven.
When I enter a room, I stay for a while, take on the triumphs and tragedies of this level, learn a lesson, and grow stronger. It’s never easy to conquer each room, but when I finally do overcome whatever happens to be in there, I feel an unction to leave that room. Only when I’ve completed my task can I leave back through that door, and when I do leave, I shut it behind me. I can choose to lock it and destroy the key or carry the key around with me. Once I have the key to enter that room I have the option to keep it. If I fail at the next room, I will always have the option of going backwards if I so chose to.
The hallway I come into is plain and uninteresting, yet there is a reason for it too. It is here I rest for a short amount of time. It is here I wait for the next unction. I could be in here for as long as would take to conquer a whole other room, but if I do not get the word on which door I should enter next and enter into the wrong door, I could mistakenly go back into a door I’ve already been in and have to fight the battle all over again, or I could go into a place where I’m not equipped to go and would’ve wasted my time only to get wounded and discouraged. Once I know which door I should enter, each one opens in a different way. Each has it’s own code, it’s own combination of gifts and talents, sacrifices and disciplines I have to combine into one to obtain the key that opens the door. Sometimes the codes are easy to decipher, and sometimes the door opens all by itself. Other times they are difficult to decipher and I could spend a countless amount of time just trying to go through.

Right now, I’m back in the hallway. I feel the end of this time growing near, creeping agonizingly to an end, soon I will know which door is next. I’ve fought the last battle and came out with horrendous battle scars. I didn’t keep the key. I haven’t kept any keys for quite some time now… Even if the unction leads me back to it and I must go through it again, it’s him that led me there, not of my own choosing. I haven’t been doing this alone, you see. God has led me to each door, helped me decipher the codes, celebrated with me, rewarded me, fought the battles alongside me, and talked with me about what I learned and showed me how to use what I was given.
My mind is overwhelmed with thoughts of when I get to the door of my next room, my next level. I feel God telling me he won’t open this next door for me. He won’t be unlocking it and turning the knob for me. He’ll lead me to the door and tell me that I already know the combination. But the previous room has left me exhausted and unmotivated to continue fighting. The code will be more difficult than before, it will require ultimate sacrifice, increased discipline, and unfailing faith. I don’t have all of those things yet. The combination will only be correct when I let go of what it is that’s holding me back.
Once I’ve figured out the right combination to the door, I must settle the issues in my life and turn the knob, regardless of what tells me it’s okay to stay where I am, to stay in a state of rest. I’m scared of that door, yet something inside of me yearns deeply for what’s inside the room. I’m scared of what I’ll have to give up, yet I know in my spirit that the room beyond the door is so much better than what’s in the hallway. It’s up to me now, It’s my choice to move forward into the door this time…

Wait.” God whispers softly to me, “You’re forgetting what the hallway is meant for. You’ve just fought a terrible battle and are severely wounded. Rest here for now, my child, let me tend to your wounds. Wait a while and see, the next door will be revealed in time. When that time comes, you will have the right combination and the door will be yours to open.

The Most Confusing Part of Life Is…

The future. I don't know what's going to happen… And even though I love spontaneity I don't do well with uncertainty. It's confusing because there are so many options yet only one destiny for me. I think I take it upon myself to find that perfect path when it's not my decision to make… or at least not basing that decision solely on my opinions.

The only thing that helps my confusion is to rest in knowing that my future is in good hands. That no matter how much I may screw things up, God will always be there to turn it around again, turn it into something beautiful.

And then someday I can look forward to not knowing, to learning as I go, to not having complete control over a life that's really not mine at all.

It's an amazing thing when the puzzle pieces fall into place. And even more amazing when you look at this pile of jumbled puzzle pieces, with no picture to guide you, and start in on finding the edge pieces. Slowly working your way to the middle, all the while knowing that this puzzle will come together and it will create an astounding picture in the end.

It’s like a Sondre Lerche song says: “Be prepared to be surprised."

“I Just Want to Be a Woods Guide.”

Richard Cypher.
The main character of a book series called “The Sword of Truth”.
He was just a simple woods guide until something extraordinary happened to him.
He was given a title and a sword that fueled his own anger into a monster that could slaughter the enemy. But only if he accepted the title. Only if he chose to give into the magic that ignited every time he grasped the hilt of his sword, ripping it from it’s sheath into a blur of metal and blood.

He gets thrown into a world that’s complicated, where “magic” is a way of life… and it’s nothing he has ever known.
Yes, he accepted the title. Yes, he gave into the sword’s will. But he wished he never had.

When he looks back at his mediocre, but happy life, he sees simplicity and familiarity, he’s without fear or discomfort. He’s in his own territory.
Only now he’s in a different land, fighting things he never knew existed and coming across this terrible “magic” that’s put him where he is now. In a place of suffering, pain, and heartbreak.

He decides that once his mission is over he will put his sword forever back in it’s sheath and hand it back to the person it came from. He decides he just wants to be a woods guide again. No magic. No mission. Only a simply ignorant life of mediocrity.

———

Sounds like a terrible book, eh?

Except somehow we’ve followed the same path.

In my own personal interpretation I see this “magic” as my creativity. I use this word in a general sense, of course. What I mean is my ability to think outside the box, to see from multiple perspectives, and to express my knowledge and understanding in artistic ways that not everyone is able to do.

This sword I’m holding is the bible, the gospel that was given to me by a great and powerful person: God himself.
I accepted the title as one of his disciples, was excited about it until it changed everything I was once comfortable with.

With this powerful gift I can conquer anything in my path, yet my own heart is wishing I could go back to being mediocre. I find myself trying to hold this creativity back from changing me into what it will, to shove it’s fuel to the gospel I know and formed into my own personal greatness back into it’s sheath and thrust it back into the hands of God.

Why would I give up such a thing?
Because it’s easy.
I told my brother today, “Sometimes I wish I weren’t a creative thinker… so I could be happy with sitting in an office my whole life with great benefits and loads of cash in my bank…”

I can’t help but think of what type of life I could lead if I’d never been given the type of mind that I have. If I weren’t an “artist” that will struggle to reach that sense of contentment that can be found right away if I’d been willing to lay my hopes and dreams down for a security blanket and a warm glass of milk.

Truth is… I can never be that person. Though I may wish I could deny this fate that has been dealt to me and go back to being a woods guide, I know I can never go back and I certainly never wish to live the life of an average human being.

I want more. But with that price comes the price of the sword and it’s magic. It will bring pain and suffering, fear and discord, and most of all anger and heartbreak.

Everything I know has changed. Yet in the end, like Richard, I will decide that I’d rather have the pain of wielding this extraordinary gift (as a Christian and as an artist) than to live a simply ignorant life of mediocrity.

Embrace the magic that fuels the weapon you hold… It separates you from the rest. Don’t despise it because it’ll make life harder. Don’t wish you could be a simpleton just so you can have it easy.

Don’t catch yourself saying: “I just want to be a woods guide.”

Well Done.

It’s good to know when you’ve done good by someone. I like to think I’m a positive influence to those around me, but I know I fail miserably sometimes.

Take my family, for instance. My sisters’ kids namely. I try my best to be a good role model for my preteen and teenaged nieces and nephews, and as the situation lies now, I try to be a good mother figure to those who currently don’t have a mother around. I have to say I kick myself ten times over for the times I don’t do things right.
I got a letter the other day in the mail from a friend of my sister who’s currently in Florida. She says that my sister has told her everything that I’ve done for her kids. How I help them with homework and take them to the dentist… and how blessed my sister is to have me in her life to do such a good deed. I couldn’t help but feel guilty when I read that letter.
Sure, I do those things for her kids. But instead of looking at myself in that manner, I choose to see how I let my temper get the best of me when they act up. I choose to see how I resent my sister for throwing this burden on me. I choose to see how hard I am on them. I choose to think that I’ve had no influence on them whatsoever, seeing as how they are bent on making my life harder and are still the little demon spawns they were when they first came under my involuntary care.
But it’s still me they come to when they need help on their homework, or when they make a good grade, I’m the first to see the paper. When they get in a fight, I get the first of the tattle-telling because they know I’ll have the unbiased solution. I try to be there like a real parent would be, but I can’t help but roll my eyes and get angry when they deliberately disobey me and annoy the literal mess out of me.

And then there’s the older ones, the ones who have a mother and father in their lives, who have a running home and a decent meal. The ones who I have no control over their growth as a person. Yet, somehow I feel I still do. I love all 15 of my nieces and nephews undeniably, but I have to say that I enjoy hanging out with “my girls” the most. Brooke, 16; Paige, 13: and Baylee, 12. They are the funniest, most intellectual, dork-i-fied, wholesome girls I know. I love them more than I can even express.
I haven’t been hanging out with them very much lately, with life running me the way it is. This time last year was quite different though. I was the sole spiritual role model for them and my nephew, Austin, too. I did everything within my power to get them to church, to keep them involved, to speak into their lives in a way that their parents couldn’t for one reason or another. I got exhausted really quickly once the previously discussed bunch came under my care. I kept hearing the verse in Galatians 6:9 that says: “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” — For a while, I know that was God’s verse for me not to give up on them, and it was working. I saw so much improvement in them.
And then situations beyond my control became to heavy on them. I felt something change, the stress of getting them to places and seeing them grow in Christ grew more… They didn’t seem to care anymore. It hurt. I felt like I had done something wrong.
God slowly made me realize that I needed to stop. I couldn’t believe my spirit at first. Stop helping them? Surely not. But yes. When I still refused to give up, God himself intervened and made it to where I couldn’t help them anymore. I was devastated, but willing to do what God asked.
It’s been that way since the beginning of the year. My relationship with “my girls” has seemed to fade to a mere flicker of a candle. I caught up with them this weekend for Mother’s Day. It seemed we couldn’t say enough. I knew I needed to take the chance to spend some time with them and we all got together to watch one of our favorites shows.
As I sat there with them, making them laugh with my ridiculous antics, them making me laugh in the same gut-wrenching manner… Refereeing the stupid little arguments they always have and shushing them when they got too loud. I looked at each one, so different from just a year ago, in every way. In good ways, and in bad ways. I see more confident individuals, blossoming into beautiful women… Yet so far from where I would have preferred them go… so close to losing their soul, slowly day by day. I smile at them anyway.
I say things they need to hear, wise things and advice from a mentor… And then say things I shouldn’t say, let my guard down and be immature for a while, indulge my own and their worldly personalities. Only to walk away feeling like this little time I could barely scrape together was profitless.

I’ve found that I expect too much out of myself when it comes to family. Yes, I want to do good by them, to teach them things that they will remember for a lifetime. Yes, I want to be a witness that you can have fun and be a Godly person without going with what the world says is okay. And yes, I fail.
I’ve realized that in failing I show that I’m human, even though that’s the very thing I’ve been afraid of showing all along. I thought that if I could just be a person to look up to, even if I couldn’t directly affect their lives as before… that maybe that’d be enough. Now I see I can’t even do that.
And even when I do have the ability to directly affect the lives of my family, as in the niece and nephews currently under my care… I still can’t seem to get ahold of just being their Aunt.
I want to do it all… only now am I realizing I can’t do it all. I can’t be a mother, an aunt, a mentor, a friend, and a spiritual leader. I can’t be all of those things.

I can only be me, and do my best at being me. Then someday I can know that I’ve done good by them.

Adaptation.

Have you ever noticed how quickly we can adapt to our issues instead of fixing them?
Take your car for instance. The brakes start to go out. Instead of fixing the brakes, you allow yourself more room to slow down and are harder on the pedal. You might even move your seat forward so you don’t notice the difference in pressing the pedal down farther.
Or how about your own body. You twist your ankle. Instead of going to the doctor and getting it looked at, you limp to take your weight off of it. You find a cane to use, take pain medication.
In any situation, not only have you put it off, you’ve made it worse.

Spiritually, we see a problem cropping up, but instead of fixing it right away, we put it off. Maybe God asked you to do something and you’ve made excuses. Maybe you feel complacency setting in, or a seed of lust or jealousy keeps coming up in your life… What do you do? Are you ignoring the real issue?
The problem isn’t that you’re thinking of sex or that you feel anger towards another person. The problem is at the root of yourself. Maybe it was something that happened to you as a child or you lashing out because you’re stressed.

Whatever it is, don’t sweep it under the rug, you’re only making it worse in the long run. Bring it out in the open, be honest about it with yourself AND others.

Fix the issue now.
Don’t adapt to it.

Exclusions.

I can’t sleep. All I could do was lay awake and think. So now I’m laying on my stomach, typing in the dark, hoping to make since of the last 30 minutes I’ve spent pondering over my current situation(s).

I’m just going to throw this out on the table: I feel excluded. Not from anyone’s doing or from my own doing.
But upon mulling the meaning of the word ‘excluded‘ over in my head, I’ve come to the realization that it’s God who’s excluding me. I wasn’t sure why at first. Or even if it really was God who was letting it happen. But since there are no coincidences and I know neither I or anyone I know would purposefully excluded me…it has to be a God thing.

Then I started thinking about Joseph. I’m about to finish his excerpt of a life in the bible and have been rehashing the subject of dreaming from the last time I read through his story. I spoke in my first post on here about legacies and after hearing a quote that said, “In the end, all you really own is your story.” I have to conclude that Joseph had one heck of a story. The funny thing is that soon after his “story” crossed my mind I realized… He was excluded for most of his life.

As with most seasons in my life, it never happens suddenly, it creeps up and then when I finally realize what’s going on.. BAM! New season. And this season shall be entitled: Exclusion.

I feel God has called me into exclusion right now. It’s not something I’m completely at peace with yet, but as I’m figuring it out, I’m realizing that it’s been happening for a while now…and I’m accepting it slowly.

Details: (Feel free to skip if you prefer the general side of blogs)
I just had a visit from a really good friend. She is the only person I’ve ever given the title of BFF and really meant it. We don’t have that title anymore, for various reasons, although we are still good friends. I was thinking just now about how since moving to TN I haven’t found anyone else that I can truly give the title of BFF in my life. I know it sounds stupid to say it like that, but the truth is, I’m not close to much of anyone lately, outside of my family I live with. I have plenty of friends, but none that I have a really deep relationship with. And I’m not okay with that.
I feel an exclusion from my youth group too. This is the most hurtful one. I was angry at first, I had a few people in my mind I was capable of blaming…however, once I checked my spirit, I realized that it was no one’s fault. I don’t know how to explain it, I just feel like I’m not needed anymore by the people around me.
My age group is odd because I’m no longer a teenager and not quite considered an adult…and somehow in the weird middle area… I’m living my life.
What it all boils down to is that in every aspect of myself in relationship to other people, I am excluded.

Here’s my conclusion: God is drawing me out of the comfort zone of having friends.
If I have people I can go to when I’m in a public area, or people I can rely on to be there in awkward situations, or even people I can confide in…I will get comfortable with just having those friends and never want to branch out.
Ergo, God wants me to branch out to other people. To people that aren’t in my comfort zone. And how should he do that? By removing that comfort zone.

It’s painful and it’s trying, but Joseph sure got through it. And look what happened to him! He became the ruler of the lands, directly under Pharaoh himself. And eventually, the comfort of his family came back. Eventually he was reunited to his deep relationships to other people.
I can rest in the hope that once this season of exclusion is over, I can return to the arms of a few kindred spirits…but right now it looks like I’m being pulled from a pit and sold into slavery.

Who knows though, all of this is just the conclusion of a restless brain. A flesh-ridden brain at that. I guess we’ll see how this dreaming turns out. 😉

Thanks for reading.

Too small a request for a Savior?

The story starts with my hair.

If you know me, you know that I pride myself in having great hair. I always have it up in some new hairdo and I get compliments on the artistry and length of it. It’s down past my butt which is a personal, as well as spiritual, choice.

So it may come as a surprise to you when I say that my dilemma is that I’m unsatisfied with it. It’s highly damaged and lately it’s been getting relentlessly greasy. Part of this is from the daily use of hair spray, and even though I’ve stopped putting my fingers through it, it gets greasy even the very day I wash it. And yes, I shampoo twice. I also just moved into a house where the water is extremely hard, and I know that much of my problems could be solved with remedying the water in my home.
The extent of the damage is a terrible array of dead and split ends that have caused my hair to look uneven and fried. The normal hereditary traits of my hair are it being flat and without volume. This is usually counteracted by myself with hair spray and the reuse of the way my hair was trained the day before.

I was thinking about all of this today, as I was sulking in the mirror at my lackluster hair. The simple answer to my problem of dead and split ends is to cut my hair. I don’t want to do this. I refuse to do this for spiritual reasons, and nothing can change my mind on that. I thought about just getting it trimmed which I have done before and maybe that would help…just this once, ya know? But that won’t work, because it would only get bad again and I would only have to trim it again.

Then it dawned on me. I have a God who heals cancer, raises the dead, causes the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the deaf to hear. He performs weather miracles and political miracles, he does the impossible everyday.
How come I have never thought about asking him to heal my damaged hair? I have to admit, I laughed at the thought as soon as it crossed my mind. I immediately thought that such a petty thing was stupid to ask for and with all the other grand things he’s busy doing, why would he stop to cure my split ends? Moreover, to fix the hard water that’s causing it so much detriment?
On the other hand, is it not insulting to God to not hand over such a small bullet point on a list of lifetime long requests? How can I trust and have faith in him for large miracles if I don’t have trust of faith for him to perform small miracles like making my hair healthy again?

I want to encourage you to trust God to perform small miracles, because in trusting him you build your faith for the situations to come, and in those situations you might need a large miracle to be performed. Start trusting now. 😉

The story ends with me trusting that my hair (and water) will be miraculously cured.

“Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” – John 16:24