Our Stories Reflect The Power of The Gospel

 

In my Sophomore year of college I was introduced to Anne Lamott. Basically, she is a fabulous writer who writes raw words and loves Jesus. She’s also basically nothing like me.

But I couldn’t help be drawn to the way she unapologetically exposed herself. The way she wrote all the words about her life and never failed to tell her own sin and her own struggles, and all her hopes for the future. Continue reading Our Stories Reflect The Power of The Gospel

When My Soul is Weary

Yesterday was one of those once in a lifetime sort of days. Mostly, the type of day you hope you never have to live through.

And my soul is tired…

Yesterday, I read 3 pages of allegations and all I could do was stare at all that black ink and wonder, how did it get to this? how did it ever get this far? and how was I ever so blinded by hope? 

It is the hardest lesson I have learned: that you can’t change someone else.

Intervention can’t change them. The law can’t change them. God can absolutely change them, but he only walks into hearts that want him…he only changes souls that ask…

I once heard a counselor say that it was her job to listen to the story and then pour God’s truth over it. I have never forgotten that comment. It’s beautiful.

And so…this is me, attempting to pour all the truth.

Truth? God was in the car yesterday as we made the early morning drive and he was in the touch of my husbands fingers against mine. He was beside me as I clenched my anxious jaw on that wooden bench, and as I fought the migraine. He was in the moments of peace and sadness and he was in the weight of all the consequences presented. He was present in the community of friends and loved ones praying steadfast over us.

He was present in every moment leading up to this single instance and he will be present in every moment following.

Listen to me…God is not surprised by your life or your sin or by mine. And he is certainly not caught off guard when you are sinned against. He is not seeking counsel elsewhere because he has no clue how to intervene. He is not hesitating to act. He did not set the earth into motion and then step back – a silent observer to the chaos. Throughout scripture we see a vivid and powerfully consistent God in his response to evil. He calls us to mercy and to fight for justice for those who cannot fight for themselves.

He offers us free will. WE choose. WE sin. WE invite brokenness. WE fail to repent. WE break the nations.

The Gospel is modeled to us in sweeping gestures of love-fueled grace across the course of history. There is God, Father, Son, Spirit, living in perfect community, relentlessly pursuing. He was present in creation; in the mercy of sacrifice for a thousand years. He pressed himself into humanity and walked among us and ate at our tables and smiled at the outcasts and wept over death. God used the two most powerful elements in existence to RESCUE: Love and Story. THIS is the Gospel – a love story of the purest and most eternal kind.

He offers us free will, just as his will is free, and HE choose us. HE paid for our sin. HE bore our broken. HE redeemed us. HE longs to reconcile the nations.

And so…here I sit, my soul overwhelmed, and yearning for all the highest ground there ever was.

Today, I remind myself of the certainty of Christ’s promise to never leave or forsake me, to choose me, to call me his.

No matter the brokenness of this planet we walk on, God is still good and faithful and present.

It is impossible for him to fail us.

It is impossible for me to be forgotten.

All That Matters Most

After awhile

you start to see

that beauty

isn’t always obvious

and that fast-paced

is no real way to make do.

.

And after awhile

you begin to notice

the ripple of a rain drop

over the sound

of admiration.

.

And you start to see,

Oh, you start to see,

how glass-frail breath is

and how air in your lungs

is really the most

valuable thing

in existence.

.

After awhile,

you start to treasure

the way your lover

holds your hand

when life deals death,

because pain is frequent

and too weighty

to be carried alone.

.

And you start to

finally understand

that real love

is more than two words

and a cake:

it is more like

two lifetimes

given selflessly

over and over

and over and over

until you leave

a legacy.

.

And you stop

caring so much,

about the noise

of opinions –

because actually, an opinion

without kindness

is just hate.

.

And after awhile,

you start to value,

the way your children

laugh with their eyes,

love with their heart,

find God with their souls,

over any other

dreams for them

you might have had.

.

But mostly, you learn,

that life is always shorter

than you hope, and

that the only things

you’ll ever really leave behind

are memories.

And This is How He Heals

 

Have you ever heard someone tell their story without a hint of shame?

In my senior year at Northwest University, we had a guest speaker; a man who had lived a wild life of parties and dark sexual pleasures. There he stood, with so much humility and joy and theatrical storytelling it was almost like he was telling someone else’s story. But he wasn’t. He lived every second of the heartache, the brokenness, the shame. And yet here he was: healed and thriving and generous and vulnerable. Continue reading And This is How He Heals