healed.

photo (46) Tomorrow is MORE than just a day off.

and can You see me through the hole in Your hand?

“and I can be reason for you to believe in”, spoken with the heart of a King

and did it hurt when they threw the stones?  did You feel the ache right through Your bones?  was it worth it when You crossed the line?  would You do it again in time?

questions, a new honour

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i only notice Your face, no matter what You’re gonna break my shell

I’m Sorry | Flyleaf

So the day started off sucking.  I woke up to a nosebleed [which like, never happens but has happened twice this winter], both my debit cards and my bus pass were missing, and you know, it was early.  I was pretty much ready to write the day off before it even started.

Starbucks fixed me.  Not only because of the copious amounts of caffeine and sugar it caused me to consume, which did help, and not only because it was delicious, but because out of nowhere, Starbucks messed up both mine and Terina’s drinks which we looked at in confusion as they arrived on the counter:

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That is one heck of a Frappuccino.  Not only that, is that I discovered White Mocha Frappuccinos, which are delicious and I was okay to consume a large amount of white mocha Frapp due to that delicious.  But yes, huge.  Thank goodness for Tiffani sitting beside me helping me with it throughout the service this morning.

The Frappuccino sat under my chair as the service went on and as the service ended awaiting consumption, perhaps awaiting when I would need another cheer-up. 

Our latest series is on tough stuff in general–today was no exception, today delivered, because life can be hard.  They’re services that it’s hard to get through if you have any sort of personal connection to the topic.  Today’s service was especially hard for one of my friends sitting beside me, and it spoke to parts of my past, too, parts that I have overcome with Jesus . . . things that Jesus is working in my friend to overcome.  At times like that, He Loves Us is more impactful than it is on a non-heavy Sunday morning.  I definitely didn’t get through “I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about . . . how He loves us.” without some tears (which happens more often than not.  I mean, how GOOD is that lyric?]

I firmly believe though that tears are outward signs of God working on the inside, outward signs of beginning or continual healing, and that is a really cool thing.  A thing that lead to the end of service, sitting with my arms around the same friend from above and just praying for God to help her feel that He is walking with her through this . . . tears heal.  Love heals.  JESUS heals.

And Starbucks to pick you up again doesn’t hurt . . . prayer being draining is definitely a good thing too.  There is LIGHT in all of this.  But if darkness didn’t exist . . . light wouldn’t matter.  It is amazing how God created such things to complete one another.

The irony is, LIGHT ended up being our unintentional theme in our room today with the three year olds.  I was trying to think up a quote about children [since our Bible verse had already been there a month] for our board.  I got this:

photo (14) The lady at the desk behind me told me I was very creative when I was drawing stars all over it.  I think being creative is a prerequisite for working with three year olds.  So, I guess I’m in the right place.  [See also: I know how to deal with criers and new kids ;).  New kiddo today and it was her family’s first time at our church.  She clung to her mom, I showed them around, she got excited by the trains, and did not care about her mom leaving anymore (though, she did wait for me before going anywhere, but that works, whatever).

Here was our craft:photo (15)

photo (16)

How cute is that?

LIGHT, hugs and high-fives from three year olds and goofy praise songs were exactly what I needed after the service.

(Oh yeah, and my bus pass and one of two debit cards were found)

. . . Cause there’s a light in your eyes, and it tells me that God is on our side.

Light in Your Eyes | Flyleaf

my heart . . . is alive

My thoughts have all been really tangled lately, so much so that I haven’t been able to write a coherent post.

God is definitely moving in me and that’s really, really cool.  I am learning more about TRUSTING His faithfulness every day; even now.  I’m finding myself once again contemplating phrases, contemplating past and present and future.  Where I’ve come from, where I am, where I’m going.  Contemplating this crazy thing called life, where God has saved my life before I even knew Him, and then again when I met Him. 

My heart is beating because of my God; my God who knows I can’t do this on my own, my God who knows more about me than I know about me, my God who has turned me from nothing into something.  My God who has LOVED this broken heart to healing.

My God who has given me life and hope.

i am finding out / that maybe i was wrong / that i’ve fallen down / and i can’t do this alone . . . stay with me.  this is what i need, please

sing us a song and we’ll sing it back to You / we could sing our own, but what would it be without You?

i am nothing now / and it’s been so long / since i’ve heard a sound / the sound of my only hope . . . this time i will be listening.

this heart, it beats, beats for only You.  this heart, it beats, beats for only You.  my heart is Yours.  [my heart it beats for You, it beats, beats for only You, my heart is Yours, please don’t go now, please don’t fade away].

my heart, paramore

“In this world you will have trouble; take heart!  For I have overcome the world” // john 16:33

plaid, snow and healing hearts

We kicked tonight off with a change.  It started snowing before we started rocking.  Change–change set the theme.  Tonight was our monthly youth event—hundreds of junior and senior high students, four churches.  Lots of plaid—it and “country” was our theme, after all.  Lots of tears, hugs.  Lots and lots and LOTS of Jesus reaching in, healing.

I’m doing one-on-one with a super sweet girl this year for youth.  She’s awesome.  She’s quiet and just likes sitting back and soaking it all in.  She likes hugs and high-fives. 

I like watching how God works in people.  Sometimes, the girl I get to hang out with just totally comes alive from her usually quiet position.  One moment she’ll be standing, just listening, the next she’ll be clapping or dancing.  I’ll be acting like a goofball for Jesus, and she’ll look over and give me a smile when I least expect it.

I like seeing hearts change.  I like looking up to the front of the room and seeing arms wrapped around one another in hugs over what is being thrown at someone in life, and what God is doing to move in them.  I like looking around and seeing boxes of Kleenex at the ready, prepared for whatever God has in store.  I like seeing kids celebrating LIFE, celebrating JESUS, praying for each other in a way that is totally real.  I like seeing relationships build up.  I like surrender—I like seeing inner surrender to God outwardly—the tears, the hugs, the arms around each other’s shoulders . . . The group of students on the floor, in a circle around another student, praying during a song.  I like seeing hearts being healed in big ways that only God is responsible for.

I like leaders I don’t know grabbing me to participate in a high-five clapping-circle in the midst of a high energy song.  I like leaders who aren’t afraid to grab anybody to just go nuts with during a song, but completely transform when it’s time to do one-on-one prayer.  I like striving toward that.  I like groups of people clustering together during a song, unified, hands on each other’s shoulders and praying. 

I like love how real this place I’m finally at is.  This is not about pretending you are the person God wants you to be, it’s about growing and getting to be that person.

I say it time and time again, that thing about reason.  The why of the things happening around me, in me.  The reason Ramona asked “How do you feel about doing one-on-one with a tenth-grade girl who attends the junior high group?”  Inclusion is one of my favourite things, I just didn’t know if I’d be good at doing it.  I remember at the same time as I was saying yes, I was thinking “God, I hope You know what You’re doing”.  And of course He does, right?  Getting to hang out with this girl, though challenging at times, is totally a blessing.  It allows me to participate in worship on a different level.  It’s allowed me to adapt myself to trust that Yes, my God totally knows what He’s doing.  My God knows me, He knows what I am capable of before I know it myself. 

And it makes me hope that she sees Jesus in me in her own special way, as I do in her.  Makes me hope that I’m doing this thing right, in a way that’s tangible to her. 

My God, like her, is quiet but He comes to LIFE time and time again to surprise me . . .  And smile at me when I least expect it.

and i realize just how beautiful You are

Personally, I think everything is awesome when Flyleaf is performing it.  Lacey’s testimony is very similar to mine, and their lyrics just hit me time after time.  I heard John Mark McMillan, the songwriter, talking about this song yesterday and it just amazed me.  Whenever I think of how BIG God’s love is, I am amazed.  I cannot even comprehend love as big as His.

jmm

Every time I hear or sing “and i realize just how beautiful You are” I tear up.  God’s love is beautiful, more beautiful than I can explain, perhaps more beautiful than I can even know.  John Mark McMillan said he wrote this song in a place of desperation.  And if anything, in me, God has used my desperation to change me, to build me.  He has taken me from places where I’ve been broken, and just loved me, built me up . . . even when I wanted nothing to do with Him.

The summer of ‘05 I was a fourteen year old athiest.  I wasn’t even unsure there wasn’t a God, I “knew” there wasn’t a God.  I was sure of it.  I went to camp, and as best I could ignored the Bible stuff, ignored the worship stuff.  But when I left . . . there were people praying for me.  Something compelled me to stick a Bible in my backpack when I went camping.  Something then compelled me to take a look at it.  And then put it away.  One month after I left camp, desparate and depressed, the word “cancer” sent my world spinning out of control, and I couldn’t do it alone.

I was desperate for more than me.  There’s a Flyleaf quote that goes along with this, but I’m saving that.  And God’s love was able to pull me out of that emotionally self-destructive desperation.

jmm 2

I have felt this.  I have been so in love with God that it hurts, and I want to find out how to get that back.  Because God loves us so much.  And He deserves so much more than I am giving Him.  I don’t deserve Him, but I have Him, and He kept me alive.  I no longer have to regret my past because His love has cleared those experiences from what the world judges me with.  I can speak about those experiences because His love has healed me.

However, I have no idea if I’m making sense right now ‘cause it’s nearly 2 am . . .

to be happy now

happy now

Happiness.  Screw the idea from yesterday for now, we’re gonna talk happiness.  Or the opposite.  Whichever happens.  I don’t know if happiness can truly be discovered without exploring the opposite side.

The person I am now, you probably wouldn’t think I know too much about unhappiness.  I’ll say it, I’ve been there, and I was there for way too long.  Another story for another time.  But I do know from experience, that being happy is way, way more fun than being unhappy.  Because being depressed definitely messes you up.  Sometimes it’s not something you can control, but people who deal with legit depression I’ve found don’t use it to get attention.  It’s the last thing they want anybody to notice.

You know the phrase “emo” that rose up about five or six years ago?  Yeah, that stuff drives me crazy.  Because the majority of these emo people, people who think they’re so depressed, their lives suck so much, really have nothing to complain about.  I’m not saying they don’t have problems, because everybody has problems.  They just deal with it in a way that they think will get them attention.  Because they’re so vulnerable and broken emotionally.  And they play it like a game.

Depression is serious and depression is not a game.  Depression has to do with brain chemistry and it’s bigger than choosing to be sad when things aren’t going your way.  Depression is every day, every minute, and you can’t just choose to end it—it’s a medical condition that usually requires treatment.

Having problems sucks.  Having emotional problems sucks.  I get that.  I may even get that more than the average person.  Always, always, if it is sought out correctly, healing is an option.  Healing can be the absolute hardest part.

breña

But I’ve had enough of the emo bullshit.  Because there is never a reason to want to be sad, to choose to be unhappy.  That’s just stupid and moronic.  Because there is so much in this world to be happy about, so much we’re blessed with . . . every single day.

We’re all healing from whatever life’s thrown at us.  At least, I know I am . . . are you?