Update

Hey, everyone. I wanted to take a moment to break from my typical post format, and give you all a little update on what’s going on these days.

First, I am thrilled that Anna of Here Am I has invited me to be a guest blogger on her site this week. You can check out my post on her site here.

If you read the post, you’ll find that I’ve revealed an upcoming change: I’m going to Peaks Island, ME for the summer! That means less access to a computer, which in turn means posting less frequently. But be assured that I will be writing, and will be posting, so keep your eyes peeled this summer for sporadic posts. I’m hoping to take this time to do a little brainstorming, and have a more organized approach to how often, and what, I post. You may even see other bloggers like Anna as guests on here as well! I’m hoping to also incorporate an online store where I’ll be selling various craft items, from fabric flowers to cards to whatever else I may come up with, in order to raise funds for a missions trip to Sierra Leone this December (Yes, it still hasn’t happened yet–but here’s to hoping this year will be the year!).

Anyway, in light of my nearing departure, I’d like to share a poem I wrote on the ferry ride over to Peaks Island when I visited earlier this month:

Peaks Island

See the glamor
that isn’t so glamorous.
See the grit and the grime
that isn’t mine.
Feel the wind that they feel,
the wind that invigorates
me–
the wind that chills them
to the bone,
day in,
day out.

Do not romanticize,
but do not stop
seeing their ordinary
as extraordinary–
because my ordinary,
that they see as glamorous,
is extraordinary.

Human beings,
wherever they breathe breath,
are nothing short of miracles.

——————-
Looks like their ordinary is about to become my ordinary, at least for a little while. 😉 Perhaps in that time the sense of glamor may wear off, but I’m hopeful it doesn’t. I’m hopeful that the overwhelming sense of God’s love, that washes over me when I realize He gave me the opportunity to live and work on a beautiful island with an amazing friend (who also loves me enough to extend the invitation), never wears off.

I’m sure I’ll be learning lots there, and I’ll be sure to share as often as I can! This week will be filled with packing and tying up loose ends, so look for another post some time next week after I’ve arrived and have gotten settled in!

Check out Ann‘s blog today. The first example given reminded me: the best way to rid anxiety? Be thankful.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)

When there’s so much to be thankful for, what’s there to be anxious about? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

I needed that reminder today. Thank you, Ann. Thank You, Jesus.

Breathe in, breathe out,
lie down, relax.
Sometimes, but not all the time.
Oh, Lord, I need wisdom–
to know when to retreat,
and when to resume.
Inhale, exhale,
get up, and act.

And there is no rhythm,
no rinse and repeat,
no automated cycle
that requires no thinking–
no searching–
no seeking.

Wouldn’t it be nice?

Not really.

Safe,
comfortable,
familiar,
expected,
in control,

but not really.

The wisdom granted is not the blueprint,
but the fluid motion of waves,
of not knowing
when the next one comes,
and clinging to the Lifeline,
being prepared for
when the next one comes.

Cling to the Controller
and remember:
I’m safe not just in clinging,
but because He holds onto me.
He never loses His grip.

Cling close enough to hear Him whisper,
“Relax. Retreat.”
or,
“Resume. Take action.”
Always cling close to know
which one, or even,
if it’s both at the same time.

Glory just in breathing?
Service in letting go?
and in loving, pure loving,
people,
not position?

Absolutely.

The wisdom granted is trusting that.

Breathe in, exhale,
inhale, breathe out,
lie down, get up,
relax, and act,
retreat, resume.
Ride the waves and hold on tight–
not to control,
but to the One who’s in control.

Hear Him whisper.

—————————————-
written 6/11/12

Before bed bugs and breakups,
I knew difficulty in different ways.
But afterwards,
I knew grace–
and God’s goodness–
and God–
anew.

Under the umbrella of unemployment,
I underestimated the enemy’s power
and pleasure
in helping me dig my own grave
of self-pity,
self-hate,
self-doubt,
self.

I lay at the bottom of the grave,
look upward.
Long way up.
Lift my hand to take His,
be lifted out.

On the upward climb,
I see:
grace more sufficient
goodness more great
God more love–
God more God.
I know God anew again,
and know anew again
that He knows me–
and loves me still.

I would not choose again
to put myself at the bottom
of that grave,
but I’m thankful
for the upward climb out,
for the return to the surface,
where true life lives,
for knowing God anew.

And I’m thankful for the future
“bed bugs” and “breakups” and “unemployments,”
to know God anew all over again.
—————————————-
written 6/8/12

How do I trust You in this, God?
I feel myself still fighting.
I don’t want to be fighting.

Not You, God.

I want to want to rest in You,
not in the knowing.
It’s in the seeking I’ll find knowing.

But the flesh bleats
and demands an answer,
which is really just laziness.

And You want me to know You-
to seek You-
with all of my heart.

And when I find You,
the unknowns,
and where I end up,
won’t really matter.

Remembering the Rescuer, and Hurt and Hope of Healing.

It’s so scratched, and I don’t know if it will work.

I’m sad, because I think I need it to rescue me.

A CD.

A Beth Moore CD, the last session of the study, “A Woman’s Heart.”

But like Switchfoot sings on spotify while I wait for the CD to load, I’m always His. And He’s the One who rescues over and over, pulls me out of the pit and paid the price for the whore like Hosea redeemed Gomer.

I sway like I’m playing the piano, and remember that typing words is a making music of sorts.

Close my eyes, and drink in the truth: that I am His, always.

Even when I wake up so groggy, so weighed down, watch Boy Meets World with Brother before Bible reading. Go on facebook and check email and play tetris before listening to CD, CD that’s supposed to rescue me, which I only think because I’ve taken my eyes off of my true Rescue.

The melody in my ear reminds me otherwise. Set my mind back on Him.

Remember: infection festers under makeshift bandages, fashioned to hide, not to heal. Healing only comes in exposure, in applying the burning and stinging, and yet cleansing, salve.

The healing balm hurts, but it brings hope: hope that it won’t hurt forever, hope that won’t hurt forever (Revelation 21:4). And it hurts, but not worse than the burdening lie of hopelessness, that it’s better to hide than to heal. And that pain is there to prick and to prompt me to realize: I want to be healed.

Switchfoot finishes, and I turn off spotify, await the fate of the scratched CD. It sounds sure, until a minute and a half into track three. The scratches leave scars that render it useless.

I look at the wounds on my heart, beating blood, and wonder: when the scarlet becomes scars, will I be rendered useless?

But I remember again: Rahab, and red rope, and rescue (Joshua 2, 6). And that scarlet is a sign of second chances. My scarlet sins that stain like the blood that my heart beats, are washed white as purest fresh snow by the flesh broken to pour the blood that doesn’t stain (Isaiah 1:18). And it’s only God that takes this only pure blood, of His only Son, and applies it to the stains on my heart to rid the red and make it bright and white like the righteous robes of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Scars speak of survival. So when the wounds have been tended to and the pain is no more, I will sing of survival, of mysteriously and miraculously being washed white by the Savior’s blood. And what’s useless about a soul healed?

Nothing.

Healed souls proclaim the Healer. And the beautiful thing is, they can proclaim in the process of healing. They can proclaim with faith that the wounds will become scars, and the same blood that rids red—erases scarlet sin stains—faces no wound too wide to heal.

I may lie on the ground while my heart bleeds, but however faint the voice may be that escapes my lips, I will lift it with hope. Because I know it’s only in exposing the wounds, and accepting the salve, and enduring the cleansing pain of killing all that threatens to infect my exposed heart, that I will be able to stand again. And as the wounds heal and the scars form, I will proclaim louder and louder the song of a soul healed:

I am rescued. I am always His.