Lay it down

It’s Tuesday night, 10pm to be exact. I’m laying in my bed in Hawaii, and all my roommates are asleep. If it wasn’t for the soft pounding of “Clair de Lune” rushing through my headphones, I’d hear the slow in’s and out’s of their sleep cycles. Today has been a long day. Not because of the hours I’ve been awake, nor the amount of things I’ve had to check off my “to do” list. Today has been a long day because my heart is tired of one little word.

It’s a word I can’t get used to. A word that only has deep meaning when someone becomes important to you. It’s a word that doesn’t ever get easier to say, and actually has the potential to build up a bit of bitterness inside you. I know it has for me, not just in the past, but also today. I hate goodbye.

Goodbye sucks, and let me tell you something- God never intended for us to say goodbye. If only we had listened. If only Adam and Eve didn’t fall into the temptation of something lesser than Him. If only, if only.

Let’s face it- I could live in the land of “if only’s”, but that wouldn’t help me. It wouldn’t move me closer to my friends, it wouldn’t stop me from missing my family, and it wouldn’t let me receive His heart in this situation. So what do I do? How do I live knowing that goodbye sucks, that goodbye is inevitable, and necessary?

Sometimes I’ve been tempted to shut off, and mum can tell you that I’ve succeeded multiple times in doing so. It’s how I safeguard my heart. Here’s my logic: Goodbye only hurts when you say goodbye to someone you love. SO: If I stop loving people, then when they leave me/I leave them, it won’t hurt anymore.

I’ve lived this out, sadly, and let me tell you, it’s a rotten idea. We are meant to love. We’re meant to live together, through the joy, the pain, the excitement and sadness, we are not meant to do this all alone.

Our lectures last week were about fear of the Lord. No, not fear that He is going to smite you, not fear that He can and will wipe you off the face of this earth, but healthy fear. Part of fearing Him is laying down our rights, and I’ve talked about this before I’m sure, but He is always speaking newness, and so I’ve been listening. “What does hating goodbye have to do with me laying down my rights?” Do I have the right to have all my friends in my life forever? Do I have the right to walk with the same people always? How about to keep them to myself, even though they were meant to do great things in new places? Do I have the right to get to know them when I want, or to spend as much time with them as I want?

Nope.

Not even a little.

See, I’ve learned that God, He’s a good God. He knows my heart, even the nasty, disgusting parts that I try to hide from you. He sees all of that, and He sees that my hate for goodbyes comes from a place deep within. I’ve learned that He knows best, even though I fight with Him all the time, being so sure that I’ve got it under control. Does it make it easier when my friends get in vans and airplanes and leave? Not always. But I don’t have to pretend with Him. Today I sat in the middle of the sidewalk with a friend and we just sat and cried. We cried because people mean something to us, they sit in our hearts, and we are thankful for them. We cried because yes, saying goodbye is hard, but we also know that they are meant for greatness. I will let them go (as if I have a choice), and serve the best way they can: by listening to Him.

So: when goodbyes suck, tell Him. Tell Him how much you hate them, and I guarantee He will agree. But one day, one glorious day, there will be no more goodbyes. No more.

Take that, Satan.

change

With Strength that is not my own. Sam

Advertisements

Average

Sometimes I forget that Matthew was just an average guy. I forget that he didn’t stand out from the crowd in regards to his ministry pre-Jesus. He didn’t have eloquent words, he didn’t have a “calling from the Lord” that He ran with until Jesus literally said “Hey you- follow me”. He was just your average guy. I assume he worked, had a family, did things that were “good”, and a few that were “bad”. He wasn’t some icon that people around him looked up to, he was just an average guy.

In fact, I’m pretty sure anyone who has ever been used by God has been your average Joe (or Susan). A while ago, I heard something that made me think. Plain and simple, I was told that God doesn’t need me. First it made me feel really unimportant. I mean, why would He create me if He didn’t need me? I believe we all have a calling placed on us, from God, so if God doesn’t NEED me, why did He create and CALL me?

I struggled with it for a long time. And in my ignorance, I didn’t once bring it to God himself and ask for clarity. I didn’t ask Him to explain it, or to tell me they were wrong in saying it, or even just give me peace about it. It wasn’t until I was trying to figure out what my next step was that I decided He was trustworthy with this. And He told me.

I don’t need you.

No lovely little reassurance of my self worth. No beautiful picture of my importance in this world. Plain and simple. He doesn’t NEED me. But He wants me.

I’ve had a lot of people in my life who have needed me for various reasons. Some have helped me by needing me, and some have hurt me and pulled me down. For a long time I’ve spent my days wanting to be needed. I believed that I would be fulfilled when I was needed. What a joke. Don’t get me wrong- being needed is a beautiful thing. But wouldn’t I want to be wanted, rather then needed?

See- God wants me. He wants my heart, my devotion, my companionship, my joy. He wants my heartaches, sorrow, confusion, my burdens. He also wants my talents, giftings, and my short falls. He wants it. He doesn’t need it though, because He has other children.

In my life, I am bound to do some pretty incredible things. I’m not trying to sound conceited or be boastful, but really, let’s face it- when you walk with Jesus, along with the trials come a lot of good times. Beautiful times. Exciting, fantastic joyful times. I mean, He came to give life, and life to the fullest- and if that’s a gift He’s willing to give me, I will fully receive it! So these incredible things are bound to happen! I’m going to help people, show them truth, lead them to my Father, walk through tough times, joyful times, and everything in between. And knowing this, it’s easy to fall into thoughts that tell me “God needs me to do this”. But you know what? You could easily do it instead of me. He could use YOU to do all these things instead of me. He doesn’t need me. But He WANTS me- and now my heart rests in that.

I am wanted. He wants me enough to pursue me every day, to give me gifts, to trust me with tasks and the hearts of His beloved children. And not because I am fantastic, or eloquent or an icon. Not because I stand out above the crowd, lead crowds of people, impress them all with my life. He uses me, your average girl, whether I understand my calling or not.

Maybe you’ve been waiting. Waiting until you understood more about what you’re called to do, waiting until you’re a better leader, a wiser teacher, a more “experienced” Christian. Waiting to act, because you’re not sure you’re good enough yet. Let me tell you- you will never be good enough- but you don’t have to be. Learn from Paul in 2 Corinthians 13: 8-9

3 different times I begged the Lord to take it (the thorn) away. Each time he said “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

See, we’re not good enough, but Christ is. And when we are honest about our weaknesses, He gets the glory, and the room to provide strength for us. He wants to do this. He does not need to. He loves to do this.

I am weak. I am average. And I am not needed. And these are 3 things that I love to say.

 

 

With Strength that is not my own, Sam

Hey you~

Hey you in the corner with those sad, searching eyes. I see you. 

Hey you in the front row, looking so confident and yet feeling so alone. I see you. 

Hey you on the side, waiting for the perfect moment, and letting it pass you by. I see you. 

Hey you with the hands stretched out, searching for anything. I see you.

Hey you, the one leading when you feel you have no right. I see you.

Hey you, living your life trying so angrily to prove I’m not here. I see you.

I. SEE. YOU

And I love what I see in you. I see your heart. I see your worries and I’ve got them covered. I see your thoughts, even the ones you think I can’t. I see your desperate need to succeed, to please, to earn and be needed. I see it all, because I  made you. I made you whole, but you’re only whole when you walk by my side. So walk with me! I won’t run ahead, I won’t disappear. I may challenge you, maybe more than you think you can handle. But I’m here- all the time. I don’t leave you- it’s YOU who leave ME.

But you don’t like to admit that. Does it make you sad that you leave me? Embarrassed? Ashamed? Because it gets to me- deep to my core. I don’t demand perfection, the sacrifices I’ve made have already covered that. All I need is for you to come home. Ask me those questions that are desperately trying to slip out. Lift up your hands to me like a child, I will ALWAYS lift you up. I promise to see you when no one else does; to love you when no one else does; to believe in you when no one else does. Even when you don’t believe in yourself.

I see you. I chose to see you. And I will always chose to see you. Whether you are pretending I’m not there, lifting your arms in submission, crying tears that I’ve already counted, or sitting quietly beside me. I see you. You can always count on that.

Love, God

 

Sometimes God chooses to speak through us, and this post is a pretty clear representation of that. This came to me in the middle of the night, when I was enjoying perfect sleep. And I believe it was important enough for myself, and maybe you, for Him to wake me up and get me to write it out. I don’t have much else to say besides this, I think if you have some questions- you know who to go to.

Last thing, promise. Lately I’ve been blessed by a few friends who have just encouraged me in myself. Not in my talents, or what I’ve done for them, but just encouraged me. I want to encourage you to do the same for someone else. Everyone, weak or strong  less weak, needs encouragement. Take a minute today to do that. Say it, text it, write it in a card, it doesn’t matter how. Just say it, we’re all given a voice for a reason.

No picture today. Read His letter to you again, close your eyes, and let Him paint a picture for you. I promise it’ll be better then anything me and my camera could capture.

 

With Strength that is not my own, Sam