10 December 2012

Public Rantings

A friend of mine was recently asked out by a guy and she turned him down. All fine. All within her right etc etc. But then later, she laughed and commented that "he had the audacity to ask me out! As if we were compatible! What was he thinking?!". Ladies, why are we compelled to respond this way? I've heard responses like this way too often. Why couldn't a simple, "no thank you" have sufficed? Where are our manners? Why do we have a need to tear each other apart instead of build each other up? Where has the culture of honor and respect for one another gone? Audacity?! Who do we think we are? Whether or not you think he/she is the right person for you, we are still brothers and sisters in Christ. Is it necessary to say things like that? Instead of criticizing one another and pointing out each others failures, we need to work on becoming the right person and walk in love. Myself included.

Another friend of mine recently got engaged and the typical response aside from "Congratulations" is, "God is good". Wait. What? Now, they probably didn't mean it this way, but it implies that God is good because someone is engaged and that if you're not, God isn't good. But God is good. God is good regardless of whether or not we are dating, waiting, courting, marrying someone or not. A response like that says to me, a single person, that God will be good when I get engaged and married. Can I just say that it is not a curse to be single. My friend, Sauvegarde, stated the other night, "getting engaged can be another thing that is evidence of Gods goodness, but shouldn't be on a higher level than anything happening for single people". Amen. Friends, please don't think that God's goodness hinges on your marital status. God is good all the time because that's who He is. He IS good. It's the essence of His nature.

Singles: be encouraged. God's unfailing love is better than life itself and should be praised (modified Psalm 63:3).

"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him." Isaiah 30:18

Thanks for letting me rant.

22 August 2012

Paralyzed In My Wimpyness

For the last year, my bold prayer (or so I thought), has been for me to break generational bonds as I enter into healthy relationships. I know the statistics for someone who has had the upbringing I've had. I know that what I have now is nothing short of God and His work in my life. But I also am very cognoscente that breaking generational bonds is not something that will come overnight and that it requires constant work.

Lately, I've really felt as though that specific prayer isn't... necessary anymore. Almost as if God wants me to stand on His promise and claim it for myself. For the last month, I've really been feeling the Lord urging me to pray bigger and bolder prayers. It's like He's daring me to dream and reach for the impossible. (Can I get any more cliche?)

Annetta says it best, "You’ve got dreams. I’ve got dreams. Some of these dreams are God-breathed. Some of them are...well, ME-breathed. It’s sometimes painful to realize, but I know that if a dream is not a God-dream, then it’s not a good dream."

That inspires me and frightens me all at the same time. Currently, I'm paralyzed in my wimpyness... but I know that all I can do is keep weeding and surrendering through the ME-breathed dreams until I get to the God-breathed one.

As I feel challenged to pray bigger and bolder prayers, I find myself re-evaluting my life and who I am. I have found that I view myself in a completely different light lately- not one that is timid or putting myself down, but one that allows me to be filled with joy as I become more and more comfortable in my own skin.

He changed my idea of Him, then my idea of me...and now, only now is He changing my circumstances. I love and hate it all at the same time.

And so, as I prepare myself for the next season of my life, I need to remind myself that I am still in my current season for a reason. There is still more to learn, more to see, and more to do here. I can not become impatient while I'm dreaming. As a result, I continuously have to be reminded of who He is. And in the same breath, who I am IN Him.

02 May 2012

What A Week

Last week was... chaotic, a blessing, stressful, spiritually challenging, exciting and essentially- bipolar.

It started out with an email from a friend, saying that her pregnant sister was in the hospital and that they both might not make it. Cue up "intense prayer mode". Then at 3am, I get an email that says, "In Labor!" from Tortrix. Cue up "Wooooooooo!!! PTL mode".

See? Bipolar.

7 hours later, Tortrix's baby is born. oh man did I rejoice. I have been waiting anxiously to meet this little baby for a looooooong time (really, 9 months, but let me be dramatic). But, just a few hours before, I got an update from my friend who was begging God for her sister and niece's life. What does one do in this situation? It's not uncommon... life and death happen daily. But that particular day, I was ultra sensitive to it. I prayed and praised like never before for 2 babies who were about to enter the world in 2 very different ways. Days later, we learn that my friend's sister is going to be fine. The baby is small, but fighting for her life. P...T...L.

That same week, members of the worship team got hitched and another had baby number 3! Soooo much rejoicing!

In the midst of babies and weddings, a series of events happened last week that I can not bring myself to type out- makes it too real. In some ways, it was expected and in many, many other ways, it came out of left field and felt unnecessary, messy, and hurtful. With everything else happening, how do I respond? How do I process? Sometimes I wanted to respond with grace, love and understanding.... other times, I wanted to respond with hurt, outbursts of anger, and bitterness. And then there are the times when I am just upset for putting myself in the position to be hurt in the first place. What did I tell ya? BIPOLAR!

In these moments, I'm thankful for those who have stood by me to carry me when I'm too tired to pray through.

Nothing is figured out. Nothing is right. The only thing I'm certain of, is that I should get really use to the feeling of the ground falling out from underneath me. It seems to be where I constantly live. It's where God will prune me and where I will live in a daily dependance of Him. That and conversations with Gebet, ElastiGirl and Paris combined with Ben & Jerry's, make the fight worthwhile.

27 February 2012

The Other Shoe

It amazes me how quick I am to forget, how stubborn I actually am and how much I deflect the goodness of God. Sometimes, it happens so often that I wonder if I'm secretly a sadist internally.

I think what happens most of the time is this: I so desperately want to earn God's grace, love and mercy. Now, I should say that I work on a church staff. I know God's love, grace and mercy can't be earned. I know this. At least cognitively, I do. But when it comes down to my daily walk with Him, I've realized that I can't emotionally wrap my brain around that concept. Subconsciously, I think I am always waiting for the "other shoe to drop" in my relationships with others. The good times and honeymoon phases can only last so long right? Fun, sassy, laughs and adventures can only take you so far. At some point, the other shoe will drop. People will finally show their true colors. Friends will tell me that they're only friends with me because I'm good at organizing their life or because I'm the responsible one. Nothing in life is ever free. No one ever just befriends me for the sake of wanting to be my friend (at least in my head). These have all been tried and true for the first 24 years of my life.

This unfortunately carries over into my relationship with God. There's no possible way that He just wants me to be me. There's no way He would call me Daughter without an exchange of expectations, chores, babysitting duties and household responsibilities. There's no way He would tell me that I'm not a mistake, when others have made it so very clear that I am. But yet, He does. And so I walk cautiously with Him in this relationship... waiting for the fine print to be presented to me. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting for God to withdraw all His promises, dreams and desires He's given me.

What I need to learn, again and again, is that He will never drop the other shoe. He will never stop calling me Daughter, Beloved, Precious and a slew of other names I'm not comfortable with. More importantly, He will never expect me to have to work for that name. Never. And no matter what I do, say or... do, I can't earn His love. He gives it to me freely, with no strings attached. It's working it's way into my heart... slowly, but surely, the walls around my heart are being chipped away. Pastor Heather says. "LET God name you" and she's right. In order for me to receive His names for me, I have to posture myself in a way to where I can receive it fully.

Then maybe, just maybe, I can take words at face value- those of my friends and those of God.

22 February 2012

Add It To The List

Humans are creatures of habit. You drive to work using the same route, have a cup of coffee or tea, check your e-mails, update your schedule, etc. Not all habits are good habits though. We resolve to change our bad habits (generally around New Years). We sincerely mean it. Sometimes we succeed but often we fail. Why? I don't think that we fail because we're "bad people". We're probably not bad people, I honestly believe that. We're "failing" because, simply put, habits are extremely hard to change. They're hard to change because they're so ingrained, because they're so almost-automatic.

It's a bad habit of mine to do everything myself. From a very young age, I was taught that if I was to ever survive in this world- I could only depend on myself. My biological mom was clear from the beginning that I was an accident baby. My biological father was clear that he wanted nothing to do with me. At the age 9, I moved in with my aunt and uncle in NYC. It was made very clear from the beginning, that I was not to rely on them for anything other than the basics. That left me. Me and my 9 year old self.

So I have control issues. But what's worse is, I have a habit of mine to not trust others. I can't even bring myself to type out the reasonssss for why I have trust issues (I will work on that... ).

But now... now I'm in the process of shedding my old skin and... crying. Seriously. I know I say that a lot on this blog. But, I am amazed at the amount of tears one can produce. It's astonishing to even me. I digress. The important thing here is, I have to learn how to change my bad habits. I can't live life unwilling to trust others and needing others to prove themselves to me. Logically, it sickens me to know that I do this to others. It really does. Because I know better and I want to be the kind of person who can trust others! And to be honest, I don't know that I was always aware that I had trust issues until now.

Couldn't be more thrilled about the next 46 days... lol Rallying myself to pray through this! Just add it to the list of circles I'm praying through.

16 February 2012

The Process Is Ours

Tonight I was sharing with RunningGirl what my life was like over the last week or so. The struggles I had come across and the intensity of everything I am working through is not exactly a secret- I try to be honest and genuine on this blog. As I was telling her, she interrupted me and said, "You know, you'd never know that you were going through all this stuff by that smile on your face!"

While I know the peace I feel inside of me is temporary, I'm grateful for it. I'm grateful for each and every moment I can smile and simply be. More importantly, I'm grateful for everyone who has surrounded me, prayed for me and hugged me so that I could share my story with a smile on my face tonight. While I know that the light at the end of the tunnel is faaaaar, far away, I'm thankful for the community I have. I'm beyond blessed to have a community where I can feel safe enough to be a hot mess and know that you're right there with me- fighting for me and with me. Thank you to everyone who stepped it up and chose to walk alongside of me. I love, cherish and appreciate it more than I can say. You've made the last 10 days easier, lighter and funnier- even in the midst of the dark times.

While I don't really have anything profound to say tonight on my blog, I wanted to just share with you my moment of peace. I wanted to simply thank God for the amazing friends I have and am basking in the presence of His goodness. He is faithful...whether I see it or not.

Curls, Smash, and Gebet- Your phone calls, prayers, words of encouragement and simple gestures to let me know that you're walking this with me do not go unnoticed. Thank you so much for the gentle way you've supported me. It has made all the difference in the world.

Floss and CozyGirl- I know life hasn't been easy for you. I'm beyond honored to call you my friends. Though life has us separated at times, I know beyond a doubt you ladies have my back. Thanks for letting me blubber incoherently and then calling it a day by taking me out to a movie. I love laughing with you gals.

ElastiGirl- Life's been crazy. You always make time for me. I love love love living life with you. Thanks for talking things out with me... and for never thinking I'm crazy. It means a lot to have someone know that I'm sane. Believe me. :) Love you.

ChickenPotPie- oh man. You have stepped up in ways I didn't even know how to ask for. I'm so blessed to have you as my friend and honored to be a part of your life. Thanks for the endless ways you've carried me over the last 2 weeks... possibly over the last year ;). Though this feeling of peace is just but a moment, I know that you'll be there for me when the next tidal wave comes. Thanks for letting me be a snotty mess and still being stubborn enough the next day to want to be my friend :). Words can't even begin to describe the gratitude I have for you being you.

"We must move in faith. Don't speculate as to how things will turn out - only believe. The outcome is God's part, the process is ours."- Graham Cooke

14 February 2012

Making Mud Pies In My Mud Puddle

Sunday was the Daddy/Daughter dance that NCC held at Ebenezers. It was splendidly put on by my awesome friend, Floss. I couldn't be more proud of her vision, direction and attitude for tonight. It was a HUGE success!

As the girls entered in, the expression on their faces were so priceless. Each girl unique and lovely in her own way with their dresses, tiaras, and heels (or pink uggs). All the volunteers were immediately wishing each of their own fathers were with there to dance with them.

Hearing comments and listening to memories of my friends with their dads was bittersweet for me. 26 years of my life, I have never cared that my dad wasn't present in my life and all of a sudden, I feel a tug in my heart. Someone mentioned that I should call my dad so I could dance with him at the event. Honestly, I've gotten by with 26 years of my life without him being present at graduations, birthdays, and other major events in my life. So the fact that he wasn't around for a daddy/daughter dance (that is for OTHER little girls) completely threw me in for a loop. I'm not really sure why, now, God has decided that THIS is the time for me to focus on this issue, but let me just throw it out there in the blogosphere that I am NOT a fan of this! There. Now that you know I'm stomping my feet and in full denial of what's actually happening... it's time to get down to the nitty gritty. My heart hurts and I feel like I'm even deeper in my mud puddle then when I initially started this process 4 weeks ago. This is definitely not how I envisioned the other side of the 21 day prayer challenge/fast. I am most definitely not jumping, yelling, screaming of joy from the top of the mountain in case you didn't' notice. I'm quickly learning that I need to be comfortable in my mud puddle and just make some mud pies while I'm here, because there is no end anytime soon.

On a positive note, I'm so proud to be part of a church who works so hard to emphasize the importance of a solid relationship between a father and a daughter. In the cutest and pinkest way possible, dad's were asked to "step up, but yet be encouraged" in their relationships with their daughters. Little girls were encouraged to be a princess and were doted on endlessly. I love thinking about the memory they'll all have from tonight when they get married in the future.