Surrender

After a long and weary road of being Jonah, I have once again (finally) come to the conclusion that surrender is, after all, a beautiful thing. Whether we run away from God because of hurt or pain or apathy or anger or whatever other reason, we only end up hurting ourselves in the process. Surrendering to God always brings intense relief, peace, contentment, and a sense of grounding. The floor is no longer shaking beneath my feet-it’s solid and real.

I don’t know why I keep doing this, but either way, it’s good to be back in His arms. It’s not safe, and it’s not easy, but it’s the best and most peaceful place to be. The most secure.

A while ago, I wrote this poem, and I’ve shared it a few times on this blog. But I keep experiencing layers of it, and today is yet another day when Like a Dance is relevant, so here it is once again. Happy Monday, everyone. xxx

Like a Dance

I am not interested in the mediocre.
Destiny, breathless, alive, fire.
These are a few of my favorite words.
I am not interested in living on the edge;
I am interested in jumping off it.

Let me fade, let Him grow clearer.
Where I am, I am in the way.
Where I walk, I walk in the wrong direction.
He is a breathless symphony;
He is the beat in my heart
and the fire in my chest.

Where I am mediocre,
He is extravagant.
Where words fail me,
His song always prevails.

He is adventure; He is love.
He is raging fire; He is a silent wind.

Being with Him is like a dance;
a dance none of us know,
a dance we once knew
and now must learn.

He leads and we follow;
He goes and we go after,
into places strange, unseen.

God of mountains, God of seas
God of the tempest and the firestorm:
take me there.

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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The Phoenix and the Flame Lily

This is not the name of a cool new book I’m working on (although, now that I think about it, maybe I should use the title and run with it…NaNo 2015 anyone?). The Phoenix and the flame lily (pictured) are two significant symbols that God has used with me in my life. In a way I suppose this is very personal, but there are aspects that apply to all of us, so I’ll just leave those thoughts here.

A phoenix is, as you probably know, a mythical bird of fire which goes through cycles of death and resurrection. It dies rather violently, bursting into flames and disintegrating into a pile of ashes. But then the heat of the ashes actually makes it regenerate itself, and it is hatched in that heat, and grows up again to be a glorious, fiery bird. It not only comes back from the dead, it does so with grace and beauty. It is resilient and unendingly so. It rises from the ashes of its own death.

The flame lily is extraordinary in its own right. It looks dainty, but lilies are tough flowers that usually last a long time and can withstand quite a lot. They are fragrant and look delicate and fragile, but they are strong (it is a lie that we have to be one at the expense of the other). And the color is amazing. The petals look like actual flames blazing up from the dark green stem, and they look more like creatures than flowers.

With the help of Christ, we are all like the phoenix. Things may happen, horrible things, things that shake us to our cores and shake our faith in God and His love. But because of Christ we are resilient and we will continue to rise from the ashes, stronger and better than before.

Everything around us continually says that we have to be strong, that we can’t care or feel because then we’re open to hurt and disappointment, that we have to be like granite stones, not affected or changed by anything. But the key is to have a balance; to bend when the wind blows but bounce back up when it passes. To allow things to change us in the sense that we are rough rocks being made smooth. To keep what should be kept and let go of what must go. Growth, letting go, new life, new things. That is how our life with Christ began, and that is how it will continue.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
-2 Corinthians 5:17

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.