Friday, February 22, 2013

I Choose

If I told you that my experience with an educational online writing community was spiritually impactful and life-changing, would you believe me? Would you ever have guessed that I would walk away from such an experience strengthened in my walk with the Lord?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Yet when I chose to participate in this writing community last month,** I often found myself faced with daily writing prompts that must have been dropped right out of heaven, straight from the throne of God.

Take prompt #4, for example.

Share one of your favorite quotes. Tell the reader why it is significant, important, or meaningful.

And here is what I wrote. No, not a dutiful writing assignment. Not an educational experience. But a cry, straight from my heart.

I'll admit it. I've gotten tired lately.

I've gotten tired of being different. Tired of trying to answer impossible questions. Tired of standing out, of being stared at, questioned and misunderstood.

This is hard, this being different. I hated it as a child and as a teenager, and that is what led to my rebellion. Deep, dark, mostly hidden - yet still very real. I'm a pleaser. I'll do anything - anything - to make someone else approve of me. But very few did, because we were (are) weird and radical and counter-cultural. So I lived in defiance against my lifestyle for four long years. If things had continued, I would have left home. I am sure of it.

But things did not continue, because there is a God, and He answers prayer, and He has mercy on those who do not deserve it. I surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, and chose Him as my Master. I turned my back on the world, and opened my arms wide to Him.

I gave Him my all.

But this is a daily decision, not a one time act. And I forgot. I have wavered. I am ashamed to say that my heart has gone back to wanting to please the world. Ditch this being different! Who says I can't fit in??

And then comes today's prompt - - my favorite quote??

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." ~Jim Elliot

And my heart is touched as I see so clearly what my eyes, as of late, have been blinded to.

I have tried to keep - to save - my life. He who saves his life shall lose it. I knew that! How could I have forgotten?? I can choose to give what I cannot keep: my life. Or I can attempt to save it, only to find that one day, I will have lost it.

The choice is obvious. There really isn't a choice at all. It has been clearly laid before me - I have chosen once, and I will choose again.

I lay down my life. I die. I pick up my cross. And I follow Him.

Yes, I chose that day. And I choose this day. Each day. I will serve the Lord.

"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." ~Luke 9:23-24


**Want more info about the writing community I participated in? Awesome! Go to:  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Reason #29 - His Faithfulness is GREAT

It occurred to me recently that I have a blog.

It also occurred to me that it has been nearly a year since I have touched my blog.

I then had a brilliant idea.What if I took a few moments to update this neglected blog?

So here I am again. And while I have probably lost every reader that ever happened to be interested in what I had to say.....and while I have no guarantee that I will be more faithful in writing posts this year......I'm glad to be back. I truly have missed writing my "reasons" - although I have never stopped thinking about them or finding them in day-to-day life.

Today's reason is #29. I love my Lord because His faithfulness is GREAT.

It seems like a simple thing. Maybe an obvious fact.

Yet there have been many mornings that I wake up and literally dread my quiet time with the Lord. Because once again - yet again - I have fallen. I have been unfaithful to my Savior. And I am afraid that I have fallen one too many times. That I have somehow reached the limit of His patience and mercy.

It was on one of these mornings that I happened to stumble across Lamentations 3:22-23. How many times had I read this verse before? Yet the words were new - all new - written just for me, and their reality brought instant tears to my eyes.

" It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: 

GREAT is thy faithfulness."

Every morning. I wake up, and His compassion is completely renewed. The supply is full once again. And it will never, never run dry.

How could I ever fully understand the reality of this statement? In a world filled with limits and limitations and limited supply and limited time......

Here is one thing that will never know any limit whatsoever. 

I am overwhelmed once again by the fact that my God is deeper than my thoughts could ever grasp. My God is greater than my words could ever describe. And my God is bigger than my words could ever contain.

Yet I am glad to be in this place, once again, struggling to describe an indescribable God. Grappling with a way to thank Him for His goodness and beauty and love. 

I love my Lord because His faithfulness is GREAT.