Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Soli Deo Gloria

Dear you,

This is me.

I struggle, I strive, I have lived a lie. I am broken, wounded, scarred. I am only part. One day I’ll be made whole. One day I’ll see in full. But today I live to hope and thrive. I will be used.

I speak the thoughts that’ve challenged me since I was a little girl. The ones that have lied. The ones that have deceived. I rave and reek of the many falsities. My life has spoken of them for years. Chains and frames keep me contained—enslaved. The power of Satan’s lies. The constant fibs. The material connives. Little, almost truths.

We heard. We questioned. We thought. We spoke. We cried under trees on summer days, because those words said to us, we knew were the Truth and were coming so quickly, sometimes too quickly, to fully absorb. And we knew it was time to take a step forward, to live in God’s Spirit, kick Satan in the face. Refute His lies and distraction. And we knew that all too soon we would go, be sent into the world with new responsibility to 
share all we had persevered.

So you, dearest you,
This is me.

A mess. A disastrous, hungry girl, seeking to glorify her Father. So this me I’m talking about, is really the me that is trying to be less me and more Him. This is the Lord’s story, the journey He’s taken me on. The pathway to love, the delight I pine for and long for.

At 4:20 am, Dad and I were in the car on the way to the Dayton Airport. All I could think about were my suitcases. So petty, but I was scared they were going to be over the 50 pound limit. When I weighed them the previous evening, they were 48.9 and 49.6 lbs, and on top of that, I had a smaller one, and a backpack. It’s hard to pack for two months when you aren’t completely sure what to expect.

I prayed most of the car ride—for my suitcases. I don’t remember if anything was said between Dad and me on the drive. I’m sure we small talked about something, but I don’t know. I do remember getting to the airport and my anxiety as we stood in the check-in line, and as the girl set the suitcases on the scale, and one by one they “passed.” Huge sigh. Thank you, Lord.

The moment my suitcases were off and down the conveyor belt to the airplane, I felt ridiculous. Really? You couldn’t just enjoy your last hour with Dad because you were worrying about your baggage?

PAUSE: Realization #1 BAGGAGE keeps you from enjoying life and relationships.

Again, I’m in a car. But this time, Lindy is driving, my suitcases are safely tucked in the trunk, carelessly weighing their respective 48.9 and 49.6 lbs plus the two smaller ones. She’s asking me questions, and I am trying to answer her with responses that sound like I know something about life…or at the very least something about myself that is worth knowing.

PAUSE: Realization #2 There is no need to fake it.
This realization became even truer over the next week as I met my roommates, classmates, the professors and staff. We were all here to learn and to love and to live. We were all similarly motivated by God’s grace and truth and love, and we each wanted to experience that unequivocal acceptance.

“Hello,” I call as I step into the apartment that I’d only five minutes before, received a key to…my first apartment…a place that over the next 8 weeks would become home. 

No answer. Scared. Terrified in fact. Why? Because I’m not good at this…whatever this is.

I found out what THIS was over the weeks.

THIS was opening up. Being close, letting people know me, and in doing so, giving them the ability to hurt me if they wanted. THIS was facing the things of my past…the wounds…the lies…the things I believed, that were not true. The things I believed that were almost true. The conscious decisions I’d made to hold onto things.

From the first day of class with Del, to the last day of class (also with Del), there have been moments of high, and moments of low. There have been moments of uncontrollable laughter and giddiness at the faithfulness of God, and the realizations of the understanding I was gaining, as well as moments (usually more like hours) of complete desperation and overwhelming vulnerability.

On more than several occasions I joked to my roommates that “I wanted to go find a tree to cry under.” So much information; so little time; completely overwhelmed.

What have I learned? I can’t honestly verbalize it all, and maybe not even any of it. Maybe as I write this I will figure it out, because as much as I have tried to find processing time, I still feel like there is too much to let sink in. I have constantly felt vulnerable, and sore—like I’d been training and my muscles were being worked and worked and they were not getting ample recovery time.

This summer was the valley we had to cross before we got to the 14er. What comes next will be the climb.

“I don’t have needs.” LIE
“I am not valuable. Therefore what I think, say and feel does not matter.” LIE
“My worth is based on what I can give and how I perform.” LIE
“It’s time to spread your wings and soar” TRUTH
“God I can’t take in anything else, I’m too full! I’m so tired” HONESTY.


I’ve been too many things. God, you showed me what I am, who I am, what I’m not, who I’m not, that you and I are together. You are transforming me, my heart, my life. You told me I am part of the whole, not the whole, I don’t have to be everything to everyone, You are sufficient for me, you see my heart and my struggle, you will heal my pain and my anger. You have gradually been poking holes in the wall around my heart, and your light shines through more and more with each individual hole. My heart is beating, it’s living. I breathe. I move. I live. For You. You are my shield. You block the groping arms of deceit from me, you smile as if it’s your honor. You are my protector. You carry me, and keep me safe. You care for me, love me, give me rest, and cherish me. I fell down…so far down a dark tunnel, but You came and retrieved me. No matter where I go You’ll be with me and Your light will be shining. I will reflect it. Remember always: Soli Deo Gloria.

You have a plan. I have a choice. As You lead, and I walk by faith, the path You’ve laid before me develops. You show me a glimpse, you show me part, but You know the whole.

You don’t need me, but my life is Yours. Please use me.

You have walked with me. Taking steps toward healing, independence, and forgiveness. It is in love that I take this next step of faith. Love for the family of my past, present, and future; love for myself; and most importantly love for You. By Your love, I heal, and by healing, I can love.

The bondage stops now. It goes no further. In love, in truth, wholeness is found; redemption is granted; peace is instilled; and a world-changer and kingdom-builder is made.

For Your glory alone.

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