Speechless

A world of words inside my soul; how can I explain it? All the words I know can’t come close, all the pretty prose and turns of phrase are useless.

Can you translate the whispers of the deep into spoken words? Can any amount of music or painting come close to revealing true beauty? Can the glory of the sun compare to the essence behind the sun, to the lifeblood which gives it its glory? Can a foggy mirror produce the same clarity as the thing it reflects? Does the moon shine as brightly as the sun, whose light she mirrors? Sing, my soul, and speak, my mouth, although all falls short of God, although all falls short of the depth of feeling. Though I fall short, still I give my all.

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Where You Lead, I Will Follow

I remember a while ago writing a blog post about “the in-between”, where a lot of us in our early to mid 20s often find ourselves. It’s a place of uncertainty and a million roads to choose from, which can be exciting, but is also terrifying. I can’t say that I’m moving away from “the in-between”, but I do see my road more clearly now, for the simple reason that my eyes are on my God. So actually, let me rephrase that. I can’t see my road, but I can see the heels of His feet as He walks in front of me, and that’s all I really need. I become afraid when I look away from Him and try to forge my own road.

That’s not to say that His road is easy. Often it’s much more difficult, much more fraught with storms to weather and jagged peaks to climb and chasms to cross than the path I might have chosen. But it’s a path where you’re Alive and where you have His footprints ahead of you to guide you along the way.

And now I can look back over the last five years and recognize why He took me through all the things that He did. He was making me brave. Because the person I was five years ago, and three years ago, and even a year ago, was not suited for this road. This road is hectic. It’s Sam-and-Frodo-walking-to-Mount-Doom kind of hectic. But now I can, because He’s made me brave.

He’s made me brave.

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Bam. Giant Awakened.

IMG_0049I have been in and out of the city for the past few weeks, but now I’m back again to stay and I’m ready. I’m ready for the year, I’m ready for challenges, I’m ready to climb a mountain and hack a path and destroy the ring and kill the bad guy and all that. Last week I went to my church again, and they were in the middle of a series about the life of Joseph, and the title for that Sunday was “Consecration: Defeating the enemies of your dream.”

The sermon was spectacular, but that title really stuck with me. Defeating the enemies of your dream. There is something very tangible about putting it that way. I have dreams, dreams that God has put there, and those dreams have enemies. And I have to defeat the enemies of my dreams.

What are the enemies of your dreams?

I can name a few of mine. Things that instantly rose to the surface when I read the title. It was like my mind was throwing them at me in desperation. “Look! Here they are! These are the enemies of your dreams. Are you going to do something about it or let them destroy your dreams? They’re here, with me, and there’s a war. What are you going to do about it?”

Fear. Insecurity. Fear again. The kind of fear that goes deep, deep down into the recesses of your soul, so deep that you can’t trace its origin anymore and you only know where it comes from because you know fear can only come from the Father of Lies himself. The irony is, I’m more afraid of myself than anything else. You know that popular quote by Marianne Williamson:

“Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate; our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

flower-51726_640Well, only this year have I discovered that it’s actually true. I am terrified that if I let myself out of the little cage of safety and peace and unfreedom, and let myself unfurl these wings I’ve got and spread them as far as they can go, I might do something stupid.

If I no longer believe that I am below average, not quite there, not quite as pretty, not quite as smart, not quite as creative…well…what might I do? Will I go berserk? Will I go wild and lose control? Will I betray myself? Will I betray my Savior?

I am forced to admit that I have built a prison of fear around myself. I have already betrayed myself, because I took the enemy’s lies and declared them true. I spoke them in agreement with him over my soul. But there is a greater truth: we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self control. 2 Timothy 1:7. That’s right. Self control. And I kind of can’t believe I didn’t see the answer right there in front of me before, but there it is.

Bam. Giant awakened.

And so I renounce what I spoke over myself. I renounce my agreement with the enemy. I renounce the fear I allowed him to use to bind me up in a “safe”, controlled cage. I refuse to fear. I refuse to not be free. And I refuse to keep on entertaining the enemies of my dreams. And I can do this because God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self control.

The Way Things Are

My heart is in pieces.Although I know that there is hope, and that there are good things in the world, and that the light overcomes the darkness, today I feel the world is in ruins, and today I have no optimism in me. We have the hope of Christ, but today I struggle to find that hope. And I have to speak up.

For how long will this suffering continue? For how long will men continue to rape, abuse, and molest children? For how long will basic human decency be a luxury when it should be just that – basic?

I don’t care about gender issues right now. I know rape is a growing threat to men as well. But right now I care that yet another little girl has been found dead and raped – not by strangers, but allegedly by a family member. A family member. She was four years old. Four years. A society where this kind of thing happens is a sick, dying, twisted, abysmal one.

For how long?

I am a woman. I have to be more on my guard. I have to be cautious even with friends. It is a reality. No, you can’t live in fear, and yet if you look at rape statistics, most rapes are committed not by strangers, but by acquaintances, friends, and family. We can beat around the bush all we want. We can go on and on about how most men are wonderful and won’t do this. We can say it is silly to be so cautious. But numbers don’t lie. Statistics don’t lie. I am asking, what are we supposed to do? Can you understand? Is this getting through? We can react with feminism and gender battles and what not, but not wearing a bra and shaving my head isn’t going to do anything. Talking about the power of women isn’t going to do anything. Arguing about the definition of man and woman and gender and whatever else isn’t going to do anything.

And I am asking, what are we supposed to do?

Apparently the reason why men rape is to feel powerful, and to make the woman feel powerless. Well, congratulations. Women feel powerless. Not only for themselves, but for their children.

What kind of a sick, twisted bastard rapes a little girl? Rapes a baby?

I’m a Christian and I believe in the love of Christ. I believe in His forgiveness. I believe that we should love others.

But right now, today, I am having a hard time with that. Right now, today, I feel like buying a machine gun…no, that would be too quick…I feel like buying every sing torture device known to mankind and hunting down the men who do this and make them suffer like hell. Because no human has the right to take away someone else’s rights, and when you do, you forfeit yours.

Dear governments of the world: you’re acting like a bunch of unfeeling jackasses. You think a few years in prison is punishment enough for rape? Good job. Clearly it’s working.

A Locked Garden

I quieten my heart. I listen. To the sound the silence makes when you are truly listening; to the thoughts in my own soul that so often get lost in the whirl of the days. To the Voice that speaks the loving truth. I guard the place where we meet. The deep place within me where only God and I walk together.

The secret place. The deep place. The place where quiet is a song and peace is the harmonizing tune. The living place. The place where the Gardener plants dreams like seeds and waters them with love and I water them with faith, and we watch them flourish, grow, and change. The fresh scent of spring and the promise that it brings wafts from the secret place; a change from the inside out, sustainable and true.

A garden enclosed, where my Maker and I alone may walk.

I quieten my heart. Out of the quiet comes songs, comes life, comes peace, comes refreshing. The Still Small Voice whispers peace into my soul. I worship Him. And together we walk.