Friday, March 2, 2012

being humbled, being loved.

Disclaimer #1: You know when God works some wonder in your life, and you want to tell EVERYONE, but sometimes it's really hard to explain?…well, here ya go-hope it makes at least a little sense... 
Disclaimer #2: Part of this is from my journal, so words are exactly as my thoughts went from my brain  & heart, to pen to paper…

Thursday March 1, 2012
1:15 PM

I feel… Content. I feel… Unafraid. Three days apparently makes a huge difference.
Monday I was freaking out, today I am at peace. God's truth has resonated so deeply in my spirit. 
He has promised and spoken His words, and I know Him to be completely trustworthy. 
I know I have struggled to trust. I have struggled to trust anyone. Including my Heavenly Father, even though I know [ in my head ] that He is beyond trustworthy. But my heart is another story. I've taken the scripture that says "guard your heart" much too far, and in doing so, I have built a barricade made of steal around it. 

Do you know how much of an oxymoron I am? Do you know that you are probably just as much of one? 

It's funny, right? We can say things that we know to be true about ourselves, but then there is always something completely contradictory to it, in us as well. That's what we are though…as humans. We are contradictions. We were created in God's image, yet sin dwells within our very nature. We were created for freedom, yet that sin keeps us bound. We were created for eternal communion with God, yet our flesh can keep us from it. We are spiritual beings, yet we live in a flesh body. So maybe, these contradictions are only in us because of us.  Yes, that's it, right? God isn't contradictory. He is true, pure, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. So the fall is what made us this mass of oxymorons. 

All that to say: I'm about to contradict what I just said about myself. I have this wall, right? Why? Because I feel very deeply. And instead of feeling, I'd rather think--I'd rather use my head. I'm not sure exactly [ but I have a good idea ] why I am like this, but I have found out [ fairly recently ] that that barricade isn't only keeping people out, but it's me trying to keep Jesus out. I think I've had this fear that if I let Him in, He'd make me address all the junk, all the feelings, all the stuff you never want anyone to know--all of the stuff you yourself don't even want to know. 

My journal from this past week is seriously like the unleashing of 23 years of fear, confusion, and calamity, and then turns into a completely peaceful, serene collection of contentment and joy. Oh…I feel crazy sometimes…but I think it's just because I'm human. It's gross how much I falter and flail about. I didn't even want to reread the first journal from Tuesday, but I needed to…mostly so I could pray.  So I did, and yesterday I prayed through every fear and feeling I'd written down on Tuesday. What a process. What a humbling experience. What a love and grace-filled experience. Oh man. I need to remember--remember the grace, remember the love, remember that God is completely and wholly trustworthy and good. 

Tuesday February 28, 2012
1:00 pm

I am afraid.
I am afraid of my emotions. I am afraid of feeling things again that were so painful the first time. I am afraid of even thinking about those painful things. I am afraid to ever be that girl again. I'm afraid to hurt like that again. I'm afraid to be disappointed like that again. 
I'm afraid of not being fulfilled. I'm afraid of letting someone steal my joy. I'm afraid of being that vulnerable and caring so much. I'm afraid of letting someone know me like that again. I'm afraid to trust someone like that again. I'm afraid of permanence. I'm afraid that next time will be THE time; I'm afraid that it won't be. I'm afraid that I won't get to do the things I dream of. I'm afraid I won't obey God. I'm afraid I'll settle. I'm afraid I won't be understood. I'm afraid I won't be cherished. I'm afraid I won't know God as deeply as I desire to. I'm afraid I'll let people and things get in the way. I'm afraid I'll choose someone over You, Lord. I'm afraid of mediocrity. I'm afraid to settle for this life of American standard-ness. I'm afraid it'll keep me from You. But I'm afraid if I choose You, You won't let me have something I desire so deeply. I think mostly I'm afraid that You won't be enough. 
I pretend to be fearless and faith filled, but look at how weak I scared--I'm terrified.
I can trust you with the physical, but I am scared to trust anyone [ including You ] with the inside stuff. I know in my head that You are more than trustworthy, but my heart is blocked…locked…
I'm afraid to make the wrong decision. I'm afraid to not be in Your will. I'm afraid I'm going to mess up.
...After crying & praying through ALL of this, listening to God's voice & reading Proverbs 3 like eight times…
No fear. Lord, I trust You. You have my heart. Thank You for laying the path before me. Open my eyes to it and help me step fearlessly in Your ways. You work for the good of those who love You. I know, I believe. You've called, and I choose to answer. Because I love You, even though I'm not good at loving You…I'm trying…I'm choosing. Help me. 

Wednesday February 29, 2012 [ LEAP DAY! ] 
4:30 PM

I am so thankful. Jesus, You are the answer to every question, every fear, every doubt. I know that in my head ALL of the time, but sometimes the fear and questions in my heart just won't be silenced and I must surrender all and go to the Word for Your Truth. 
I realized today while I was doing yoga that because I am so flexible and always have been, I never had to build certain muscles, and because of that, parts of my muscles are weaker than they would otherwise have been if I was less flexible. And other muscles have overcompensated [ thank you calf muscles for growing to a gi-freaking-normous size and needing surgery ].
Similarly, knowing things in my head has rarely been a struggle. It's always been my heart knowing that has been a problem. I think that [ for some reason ] I learned to distrust my heart early on [ and times when I did trust it, things turned out badly and just reinforced not trusting it ], and because of that, I've struggled to let myself feel things, and rather than feeling them, I turned them off…because I know that when I let myself feel, I feel so deeply, and if I'm not careful, they can control me. I think that's why when I love, it's so fully. And I  think that is also the reason why I'm so afraid of love. 
I'm not afraid anymore though. Jesus, You give me courage, boldness and fearlessness. We were not made with a spirit of fear. Jesus, Your name is above all names and that means it is above fear. In Jesus' name I rebuke the spirit of fear and I take hold of the promises of God's adoption, God's mercy, His love, and His faithfulness--He will not let go of me.  Thank you, Jesus. 

March 2, 2012
8:50 AM

My head and my heart…there you go…they just like to contradict. "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life"  [ Proverbs 4:23 NIV ]. God is the one who should be guarding our hearts. Isaiah 32 says that "a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land." God created us to need Him. He wanted us to love Him by our own choice, but He created us dependent. I am for absolute certain dependent on Him. I cannot even tell you the mess of ick I'd be in if I didn't have Him. I still create messes [ all of the time ], but He loves me, He extends His grace over and over, and He is my strength in cleaning up the disaster I create with my weakness and my flesh. So when I am the one to guard my heart, all I do is lock it up tight and let no one in…including Jesus. But when I release my hold because of His allowance and grace, He can guard it properly, letting in the good, and keeping out the bad…teaching me, and guiding me…sheltering me, and sustaining me. He doesn't need me, but I'm so thankful that He wants me. 


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