Let Me Clear My Throat


i found some joy today.
June 21, 2010, 8:03 pm
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the intensity of joy is increased while in the midst of being refined.

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paradoxes.
June 15, 2010, 3:33 pm
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Let’s get straight to it, no pretty intro today. Paradoxes are forever present in Christianity. For example, feeling uncomfortable makes us more like Jesus during his journey to the cross, “When you are weak, then you are strong,” suppressing yourself so Jesus can be more, dying to yourself so you can live… and countless more. Not to say I don’t agree with all those statements, but let’s be honest, none of them sound enjoyable. In the last few days, I’ve had a head on collision with a specific paradox, and I actually delighted in it. It sounds really elementary, but getting back to the basics has been helping me through the more sorrowful days.

When people I love are going through rough times, a switch flips and I instantly go into nurturing, encouraging mode. Dying to myself, and serving others while honestly not expecting anything in return has given me a new outlook on a lot of things. It puts a lot of things into perspective as well.

Bringing other people joy has been bringing more joy to me than I could have imagined possible.

Hey williby, I am okay today.



disciplined. silenced. shattered.
May 11, 2010, 11:26 pm
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discipline.
-training to improve strength or self-control
-punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience

One of the countless beautiful things about being a christian is the exhibition of free will. Control is not gained or enforced, it is surrendered. That’s why the second definition is rubbish to me. However, the first one seems to hit dead on for the discipline I am experiencing at the moment. No one tells me what to do at school, it is up to me to make wise decisions and suffer the consequences of not so wise decisions. Discipline is necessary in relationships, friendships, money, family and so much more. Right now, I am exhausted with school, and the discipline and rigor of my Maymester class that consumes 6+ hours of my day is flirting with pushing me over the edge.

silence.
-mum, failing to speak or communicate when expected to
-having a frequency below or above the range of human audibility

Jesus has asked for my silence during this time of suffering. I could explain my case for all the reasons why  I desire and deserve a megaphone during this chapter of my life, yet He will not relent in begging for me to just shut up. In honoring this request for silence, I have to cling to the hope that what is being asked of me is something that is “above the range of human audibility.” What’s asked of me is not of this world and doesn’t make sense to a non-believer. This reminds me of a line in one of Francis Chan’s books that states, “Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers. God wants us to trust Him with abandon. He wants to show us how He works and cares for us. He doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come true.”

shattered.
-To break at once into many pieces; to dash, burst, or part violently into fragments; to rend into splinters

The more violent the breaking, the more beautiful I regard my Savior. My state of brokenness is a result of requested discipline and silence, and it is not a joyful place I want to linger for much longer. (For the record, I cannot wait to write a giddy, happy go lucky post, but I’m just trying to be transparent right now.)

Coming to Jesus with a wounded, broken heart is exactly what He desires. The rending of our hearts simultaneously occurs with clinging desperation to our gracious King. I think Jesus makes it really clear in His word that He wants all or nothing. So, here I am.

Trying to find rest in this bitter sweet surrender,
Stephanie



Where’s my ‘get out of jail free’ card?
April 19, 2010, 11:07 am
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There’s a distinct vulnerability that comes with writing a blog. Intimate thoughts that I am timid to share with those close to me become public to the internet population, and rather than breathing these truths on to the faces of my closest confidantes, I resort to letting the words flow through my fingertips to this electronic gazette. Oh the irony. hah.

This past month has been quite the upward over the mountain journey. While getting out of bed and trying to find an appetite is easier, facing the day and the realities of situations and relationships still pierces deep parts of my soul that I was not aware could hurt. In light of perpetual desolation, I have found a great deal of truth amidst this suffering.

I’ve been studying the life of John the Baptist and the hardship he endured during Jesus’ time here on Earth. John was aware of the coming of the Messiah and spent his life preparing the way for Jesus. However, during the unveiling of Jesus as the Messiah, John was captive in Herod’s dungeon. During Jesus’ ministry, faithful John’s only connection to the outside world was by messenger. An expectant John sent a messenger to ask Jesus if he was ‘the One he had been waiting for.’ Rather than a straight answer, Jesus sent the messenger with this reply from Luke 7:22 “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” Whoopdy – doo! Jesus is performing miracles, leaving thousands awestruck in his path. But what the heck about John? No where in all of those wonderful miracles is John freed from bondage! The son of God is here, walking around, doing his thing, and John is in a freaking dungeon. Where is that miracle?

I can relate to John so much in this situation. While I am not behind infrangible bars, I often feel detained by my own thoughts and I find myself buying into the lies that come with the territory. While it would be rainbows and butterflies to live in miracles, in a 24/7 harvest I would find myself delighting in what I am blessed with rather than seeking and discovering the face of Jesus and His countless perfect father attributes. Often times there will be pain, a lot of it. Sometimes we are rescued and healed, other times we are abandoned to the prison cell. In victory and despair, we are given the opportunity to glorify God in both.

In this time of refinement, where I see no ‘get out of jail free card’ in the future, I will not rejoice in the hope of rescue but in the hope of Jesus.



measure
March 28, 2010, 10:16 pm
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I promised no loyalty to this blog thing, but I am ashamed to have so quickly abandoned publishing my thoughts. But who reads this anyway… hah no one. If you are that soul reading my words, bless you… maybe this will resonate with your heart.

I hate to blog unless I really have something to say. About a month ago I was feeling extremely convicted about how I measure a year, and that was about the same time I saw GCSU’s theater department put on RENT. 525,600 minutes… right? At that point I was measuring everything half full. My measuring cups were smiles, warm embraces, and words of encouragement and confirmation of being right where I was supposed to be. January and February have been months of harvest.

And then there was March. No preparation, warning, or slap across the face with reality could prepare my heart for the suffering I was about to endure. This unwanted intrusion of change to my desired plans could not have come at a more fragile time. Things I planned on keeping dear to me for years to come have been ripped from my grasp. Bad things happening to good people does not sit well with my childlike optimism and joyful character. So here I am… no quality of understanding can carry me to another day. I am here hourly. Can’t think about tomorrow… Once I get through the next couple hours, I can focus on the hours that follow those. My plastered with a smiling face measuring cups have transformed to broken, disheveled ‘how will I get through this’ gauges.

I want to endure hardship like Job, and possess patience like Ruth, and abandon my own desires so that I may have faith like Abraham.

How does one stuck in the small picture deal with huge matters of the heart?

Not leaning on my own understanding,
Stephanie



Protected: Population 6,799,028,253
November 24, 2009, 3:09 am
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