Lord

Imperfect Love

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

I have reflected on this verse often over the course of the past six months. I hear its refrain as I ponder on those whom I love and those who love me. I know imperfect love. It looms. I know it’s imperfect. It is fear-inducing and creates unnecessary risk. Fear-inducing love is not loving at all. Imperfect love is an oxymoron as it does not exist; love can only exist in complete perfection.

I got a glimpse of perfect love today. I saw it over breakfast and a coffee two hours afternoon. It was not a fear-inducing love, but one that feels freeing. One that assists in letting go. I pray for more of that love.

I pray I find it in the Lord.

I pray I find it in friends.

I pray it is found in me.

Resolutions

God makes the pathways. He makes the wayward line go straight, but He is not swayed by their curves. He has walked them before. He treads behind. Bringing light to the darkest mind. Alpha. Omega. Moon and Star Maker. Brother and Savior.

I march to 2016, knowing the Lord has already been there. He dwells in it and past it. Eternity is his entity. Breathing life into all of it. It is His story, not mine. Why live for purposes that are not divine? My ending is futile. In 100 years, no one will remember my name. Yet, the world will still sing of God. Let your name be proclaimed! Forget my name! It does not compare. It does not matter, if it is not saturated with a meaning dictated by Creator.

I want Your will.

I want Your ways.

I want You.

Chosen

I am terrible at remembering quotes, but one of the most memorable lines comes from Grey’s Anatomy. It was probably on the first or second season of the show. Derrick and Meredith were in a relationship at Seattle Grace Hospital. When Derrick’s wife (Addison) returns, unbeknownst to Meredith; Derrick returns to her. Eventually, Meredith gives Derrick an ultimatum. In typical soapy histrionic Meredith style, she dictates a statement that is constantly salient and personal to me. In tears she states,

Pick me! Choose me! Love me!

Obviously, I bawled. I was 15 and melodramatic myself. Honestly, I still am. As I watch friends date and marry, I hear this line resonate in my head. I realize, I am not chosen. I am not picked. And the flood of embarrassment and shame rolls over me. It reminds me of the hurt, I felt as a child when, I was not determined a suitable candidate to be on anyone’s team for kickball. I began to explore all the reasons why I was not picked. It is the same in adulthood. It is not yet my time. I am loud. Men like girls who a dainty and sweet, not brash and crude. Men don’t really want ambitious women. Men want a woman who will go along with their adventures. Physicality is the most important thing to men. Most men don’t want to date a black woman. Men want a woman who is going to stay at home. Men don’t like women with strong personality types. Despite my best efforts to come up with reasonable data, all of justifications lead to the same statement, I am not chosen.

Or am I. Lately, during sermons I find myself distracted. I, actually, am able to listen to sermons better, when I am physically active or driving. Typically, I will sit and just read the passage that they pastor is covering. This week was a wrap up of Ephesians 1-3. All week-long, I have wrestled with what I know to be a lie, but what feels like a truth. Overwhelmed with this thought of not being chosen, I read Ephesians 1:3-14.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For HE CHOSE us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, HE PREDESTINED us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance to His pleasure and will–to the praise of His glorious grace, which HE HAS freely GIVEN us in the One he loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that HE LAVISHED on us with all wisdom and understanding. And HE MADE KNOWN to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which  HE PURPOSED in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment-to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

IN HIM, WE WERE ALSO CHOSEN, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory. AND YOU WERE ALSO INCLUDED IN CHRIST when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, YOU WERE MARKED WITH A SEAL, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are  GOD’S POSSESSION– to the praise of His glory.

Notice, all the bolded and capitalized parts of the scripture depict one of choiceness or possession. I cried. I cry about it still…for various reasons I supposed. None more obvious than the idea that God chose me. There are semi-valid reasons for men not to choose me. However, in light of a perfect God, it is sensibly justifiable that He would not choose me. My goodness and alleged altruism is blemished by my desires for people to continue in liking me. I am unkind to people. I am sinful, and this sinfulness is overwhelming and taints ever part of my existence. The worst thing about this factory imperfection is that compared to the holiness of God and the splendor of His majesty, I am disgusting. If it was possible to lower the value of something worthless, that is me against the backdrop of God. I, of myself, do nothing to the canvas of Christ, but taint the picture. However, he chose me. It is a big deal that He chose me. Because if He didn’t it would have made sense.

I am a liar to say this, currently, makes me feel better about men not liking me. However, this thought does make me feel some type of way. It humbles me. It reminds me that I am chosen, even when I don’t really feel like it.

God, please remind me that I am Your possession. Remind me of my depravity and that under no logical circumstance should You have chosen me. However, in your radical holiness, You redeemed me back to Your kingdom. Allow me to operate in humility instead of pity. Lord, whether, I am single, dating, or married I am chosen, by You. I love you Father.

Amen.

The Purge

I am currently researching a blog post that will probably end up being a page of its own. As i research, I am hitting blogger’s block a bit. I don’t really have anything creative to say. So, I will just purge all the trivial thoughts floating in my brain. I’m hoping it will clear up some space for other subjects.

WORK

In my second year at Casa de Esperanza work is less of work and more of my life. Being in Family Based Care (FBC) is NO joke. It is all the work, all the time. However, I feel like I am in a family. I care for my kids like their my own and I kind of live to just be with them. I get some time off every two weeks or so, however in that time I don’t know what to do with myself. I am a homebody through and through. I don’t feel the need to go out. I am actually content being in my room and writing or reading or dancing around with my blinds open. Seriously, though my blinds and windows stay open 72% of the time.

Also, it is an adjustment living in community with new people. Only three people are here from when I started, and all of them are in FBC. And one of the good/bad parts of FBC depending on who you ask is you are as engaged or disengaged with the people around you as you want to be. So at times, I feel like I am making the conscious decision to choose to engage with people. Lord, knows I hated going outside my first year here. So, now I’m outside as much as I can be. More than that, I think community is a beautiful thing. I love when it can be transparent and authentic. I believe community is worth the effort and worth fighting for. Threats to community will be dismantled. So, yeah basically I am learning to be the old person in a group of new people.

Also, I see my diligence slowing warping into being someone who is a bit anal and obsessive and feels the need to do everything. I think that is the hardest part of FBC for me. Because it is just me and one other person, we are responsible for EVERYTHING in this big seven bedroom three bathroom house. I don’t want to leave extra work for anyone. So, I just try to do everything so she can relax. When people are relaxed, I am relaxed. But honestly, I need to learn to let go a bit. I am one person. I can’t do everything. I can do most things, but I should learn to share most things.

I still love what I do.

SCHOOL

The reality still hasn’t set into me that I start seminary in about a month. I can’t even believe I am in seminary. I can’t believe I attend a religious institution for school. I love the Lord so much and it drives me to know Him intimately, but it does not mean I have this Christian thing down at all. So, it is going to be interesting walking into class with people who are further along in their walk with Christ than me. And further along in so many other ways than me. The median age for seminary students is 33. I am 23. I am unwed. I have 4 kids. My occupation is often times unfathomable. I walk into class wide-eyed and so willing to learn. I know absolutely nothing, but the one who knows everything. So, yeah. Seminary. I’m playing with the big boys now. Also 69% of the school is male. So, literally playing with the big boys now.

Aside from the emotional parts of school there is also the financial side I am concerned about. I have a payment plan for this first semester. Lord, knows I REFUSE to take out loans for anything. I would rather live humbly and pay this off then have loans burdening me for years to come. Still praying I find my scholarships and people who want to sponsor me as I go to school. Then, I need a car for school. I need a car. Still believing for a miracle on that one. In the meantime, I will become acquainted with the Houston metro system. Also, if you are reading this and feel the sudden urge to sponsor me through seminary or buy me a car, don’t second guess it just do it. LOL. Actually pray on it and ask the Lord what He would have you do. And most importantly please just pray for me. Seminary is as much as a spiritual journey as it is an academic one.

To end this section on a lighter note. I have decided after orientation on January 11th, I am taking myself back to school shopping to find some cute clothes for school.

EMOTIONS

I have them.

SPIRITUALLY/PERSONALLY

I have read a lot of books on post modern/post Christian America and I love it. The words I read have been my hearts cry for years. I don’t know how this blends with my life ministry, my relationship with Christ, and where I am now, but I love it. I have loved tackling issues I have warred with constantly such as: Christianity and social justice, religion and politics, gender and Christianity, and more social issues.

I love that the more I learn about the Jesus I love, the more the Holy Spirit shapes my biblical worldview into something that is engaging and interactive. With that, I know I need to spend more time with Jesus. In my desire to be cerebral sometimes, I lose the emotional and personal reliance I have with Jesus. Sometimes, I see God the way I see my relationship with men. I like them but I don’t need them. However God is not even comparable to man. I love Him and I need Him.

Personally, I am kind of in a nice lull. I am enjoying the time I have to stay in because I know change is coming soon dressed in full-time parent and full-time student. While this blah stage is daunting at time, I look forward to the challenges ahead of me. I look forward to the people I will meet and the connections I will make that will shape my life. I am getting to the place in the story God wrote for me where I can’t see what is on the next page so it is a surprise to me. And I like it…most days.

My Lord, this life You have for me is kind of nuts. I love it though. I would not change it for a second. I look at how You have shaped me and my life and I am grateful. I am thankful for the prayers that were made on my behalf. I am thankful that I work and live in community with the most amazing women on the planet. I am thankful for my kids and co-parent. I am thankful for these letters and these words and this very breath. 

I cannot even grasp Your sovereignty. You are so in control of everything. Even when I am spinning out of control. You have the galaxies to orchestrate on a second by second basis and still You have an abundance of time to hear my prayers and to be with me. I am so lowly. My heart is David’s cry to you, “What is man that You are mindful of Him and the daughter of man that You would visit me?” My heart is so humbled and heavy. 

In all my adoration of You, be with me still. Allow me to just rest in You and trust in You. Lord, SERIOUSLY, I have NO SLIGHT INDICATION of what is on the next page, but I trust You. In my question asking I trust You. I lean on You always. 

Lord, guide my heart and tune my ears. 

Love you endlessly. In Jesus name, 

Amen

Insomnia Posts are the Most Crazy of Them All

Some people like to work because they want to feel productive. Other people enjoy work because they like being busy. Me, I like working because it makes me exhausted. On my second day of not working I am already bored because I am not exhausted. For some people sleep is a natural and lovely process. For me it is a war with my brain to shut itself down and go to sleep.

So, what do I do in my insomnia. Think. I think way too much and never over anything productive of course. Because who in the WORLD is productive at one o’clock in the morning (except the several thousand procrastinating college students across the world). Current thoughts are about England. I may or may not be going to Europe next week and I am kind of stoked. I have a heart bent on adventure and exploration. So, this is naturally right up my ally. I’ve never traveled to another country by myself so, I am kind of scared. But who cares. What is a little fear? I laugh in the face of danger. Not really, I do more of an awkward chuckle at danger. Even if I am scared, what an opportunity. There is a world so much bigger than a town in Georgia and a big city in Texas. There is life completely beaming elsewhere. Doesn’t it fascinate anyone that across the world there are people living their lives? I may meet those people next week? I may walk into a pub for shepherd’s pie or fish and chips and walk out with a story or a friend.

I just think it is quite beautiful how God allows for lives to intersect. He could allow us all to be like ants traveling to and from the hill. Gathering food and functioning, but we are more like pollen. We can be blown so far away from our origin and grow. Ugh, I am not condemning it, but I don’t know how people never want to leave their hometowns. Easy is not interesting to me. Easy is boring.

Think about it. There are women who are my age, who are starting families. FAMILIES. Guys, I am 23. In society and especially Christian society, I think there is this prevailing notion that God wants the same routine for all His children. This routine goes as follows:

  1. Born
  2. Kindergarten
  3. Elementary School
  4. Middle School
  5. High School
  6. College/Workforce
  7. Graduate/Stabilize Job
  8. Marriage
  9. Kids (longest part I’m assuming)
  10. Retire
  11. Die

Again, I am not against this, but this is not for me. Actually, I don’t think it is for a lot of people. I think a lot of people buy into it and end up unhappy because they are not where they want to be. If it makes everyone feel better. I’m not where I want to be either. However, I would rather wander a bit and figure out what I am supposed to do than simply do something because it is what is easier or expected of me. For as much as I say, no guy would ever be able to handle being married to me, I could in fact be married right at this moment. I could be married tomorrow or a year from now or ten years from now or never. Why does everything always seem to come back to this boyfriend issue? I could have a boyfriend right now if I want, but having a “special someone” would not satiate the desire I have for something else. What that something else is? I dunno? Maybe adventure or purpose or achievement or some fourth item to put on the list.

All in all, I think I am open to letting life happen. I am open to meeting new people and experiencing new things. I am especially open to England and meeting Tom Hiddleston.

(start of Tom Hiddleston rant) Ya’ll, don’t even understand. I NEVER EVER EVER have celebrity crushes. Tom Hiddleston is my only exception. Literally my love for him began as a joke. I would just scream out Loki randomly when I was around my coworkers. Then the more I listened to his beautiful British voice and watched him be a velociraptor on YouTube it spawned a genuine appreciation for his life on this earth….also I think he is my soulmate…..(end rant immediately and run away awkwardly)

Lord, just let my life happen. I am not overly concerned about being single or having a boyfriend. I don’t care about being “on track” in my life. If I could ask for one thing Lord, please Jesus, just let me have an adventure. Take me anywhere and everywhere. Place me in the most interesting and awkward situations. Let all I do come back for Your glory. While, I have fears, You comfort me. You are always been there. You will always be.

Take Me Deeper than My Feet Could Ever Wander

Trusting in God is no simple feat. It often requires one to look at the circumstance around them, acknowledge that they exist, and still say that their hope, their faith, their entire being is leaning falling into the hands of God. Even as a Christian who loves Jesus so much, there are times where I do put borders around how much I trust God. And why? Jesus is able to relate to someone like me.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:15-16

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders/Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

My goal is to trust God anywhere He calls me. My life was planned in my head. I thought I had everything figured out, but honestly, I don’t know why I am going to seminary. All I know is that God told me to do it. Ugh, sometimes I fear judgement stating that God talks to me, but I talk to Him and I hear His voice. I want to be led by the Holy Spirit. I want to be led to places deeper than my feet could ever wander. As frightening as that sounds, it is incredible.

I am just in one of the moments where I am completely overwhelmed by the Trinity. It is one of the moments where I know that God has plans for me and I want those plans. It is one of those moments where God asked me to be single and serve Him it would be a confident, no second guessing yes! It is one of those moments where I know God is calling me to surrender my life.

Jesus, as I type with eyes filled with tears, I am so overcome with love for You and God and the Holy Spirit. I know there are times where I live like my life is mine, but it isn’t. My life is not my own. I have done nothing to earn this salvation. You have done nothing to earn my second guessing. Lord, take me places I could not even have imagined. If that is to suburbia than so be it. If it be to a village of people who have never heard your name, so be it. If it is a first world country where You name has been heard and rejected, so be it. Lord, You love them all. If it be to one person, so be it. God, I do not doubt Your abilities.

More than that God take me deeper in my relationship with You. God, you have seen my worst. Every addiction, every fault, every mistake, every flaw lie exposed before You. I am not trying to hide who I am from You. I just want You Lord. Let my faith be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. I love you.

Your daughter.

Bunnies, Racism, and All Things Cute and Cuddly

***This blog post while not vulgar may be offensive. Please know it was not written for offense, but for clarity and understanding. My intentions were not to harm, but to open up a discussion with a stating of my perspective*** (more…)