Friday, May 30, 2014

The whys.

Today was tough. Some days and some circumstances often have us asking "Why?"
That why can be about the smallest detail all the way up to the biggest injustice life can throw at us. 
And we can spend an entire lifetime asking that why about that thing if we aren't careful. 

Today I was reminded that there is an ultimate answer to every single why. And that it's much simpler than we make it out to be........

It takes the lowest points to see the highest points. A light doesn't shine during the day. Without the harder moments and seasons, we don't get to experience the high of something being resurrected or redeemed. Period.  Seeing things redeemed and resurrected? That's the language of the Kingdom. That's how our King operates and why Jesus came. That is a fact. Next time we ask "why", let's remember the answer he gently whispers over us: "So I can show you how much I love to make things beautiful for you." 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Puzzle Pieces

I don't know how it happens. But along the way, you get pieces of the puzzle revealed to you. At first it's so minute you hardly notice it was there. Like the tiniest sound you heard but was so small you wonder if you imagined it. You didn't. It was Jesus whispering.

And then. Then you begin to get to a place where you crave it-pieces of that puzzle. You begin longing to know God's plans for you. Somewhere along the way you learned to ask for it and then look.
(Thank you Jesus for stellar teachers.)  So you ask. And then keep your eyes peeled. And more pieces fall into place. It's beautiful.

And not because you want it by any means, you one day find yourself in a difficult, painful place or season. You love Jesus. You're even working in ministry. But something Not progressing. By this point, you've caught a glimpse of some of your future but know somehow something is just.....stuck. You question where you are.  What you're doing. What's missing. You were sure God had showed you great things. And it didn't look like this.......

You press on. You are wrestling with everything but you know you have to keep asking. Keep Believing God and what He's said. So you pray. And cry. And pray a thousand times more. And give it up.  Deciding He knows what He's doing and throw your hands in the air.

All of a sudden things turn around. You get a crazy opportunity to do something you've always wanted to do. And you practically skip in on your first day because you can't contain your excitement. At least....I did. I was so excited to begin working with Elijah Rising. All I could think about was learning how to combat the horror of trafficking and see what this led to for my future.

The first two days of this internship were a shock. I thought I knew exactly what I would walk into, how I'd handle it, what I'd do. In my head I had a plan mapped out. I had answers prepared for the questions I knew were coming at me. And that was just how it was going to be. I should've remembered that the second you do this planning/control thing God chuckles and stirs the pot.

On Tuesday the founder and fearless leader Cat spoke to us about all authority in Heaven and Earth being given to Jesus and gladly handed to us. We were reminded that He said we will do "even greater things than what  I am doing." And with that in mind, we can literally walk into any place or situation and take spiritual authority over it. Command it under Jesus. That was followed by some incredible stories and was all enough to chew on for about 2 weeks. But I should have tried less than 2 days.

Today was one of the craziest and most mind-blowing I've ever experienced.  It included but is not limited to learning how to intercede in prayer for specific trafficking situations, having a "John" come into our building because it used to be a brothel and leaving in tears because the staff reconciled him to Jesus, praying over/visiting a neighbor brothel and having the team face demonic attack, and then some intense care and prayer for me by everyone there. I never planned on all of this. Especially the way the staff cares for issues in each other. I hadn't had any intensions of discussing anything personal with them. My plan involved serving and working. But they saw right through it. I had a choice. I could choose to play all my cards close to my vest and not reveal my struggles. Or I could be blatantly honest-even though I knew exactly what their response would be and that it was the one thing I've kind of always feared. I chose to go with the fear. And guess what? That was the first thing to go. And now the place I thought was the most frightening and eccentric to hang out in is the safest I can think of. Today I was changed. Today I saw more of who I'm going to be than I have in a very long time. Perhaps ever. And today, some of the "blocks" were demolished.

Moral of the story? Open up those fists that have held so tightly to those last things you just don't want to give up. He is a gentleman, you know. He will wait for you to let go and invite Him to it. Once you grant Him access, it gets better than anything you could have planned for yourself. You have nothing to fear. The one who created this world has your name written on the palm of His hand.

As I left to drive home today, I asked Jesus if what I had just experienced was real. If I was just imagining I had literally become a new being in that building. I got in the car and turned a corner.
To this.....

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday quote.

I can't get this out of my head. It's been stewing. Oh, the depth of all this holds......
"I know that there are reasons. Reasons that, when we hear God's call, when we feel that gentle (or not so gentle) urging of God's Spirit for us to make a bold step, take a risk, serve others, save a life, commit - we so often hold back.
It's because we don't feel empowered.
We don't feel qualified.
We think we lack the courage, the strength, the wisdom, the money, the experience, the education, the organization, the backing.
We feel like Moses...
Not me, God. I'm afraid. Weak. Poor. Stupid.
It has never been my desire to be daunted, to be afraid, to be unable to respond to God's call.  And I don't think it's yours, either. Think about this....
Often the very things that you think have disqualified you are the ones that qualify you to do what God has called you to do.”  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I don't always live out the things I know to be incredibly important. I know very few people who do. But I want to eventually be one of those few. One of the things I've seen pop up consistently recently is the importance of dreaming-and dreaming BIG. God tells us again and again in His word that He wants us to dream. To ask for huge and impossible things from Him. He gets to choose how He'll respond. Sometimes for our own good He says "no" because He can see the big picture and we can't. But sometimes if we only have the audacity to ask and believe Him for it, He performs incredible things on our behalf. He delights to. Because whether we realize it or not, he delights in us. Brilliant!

Have you dreamed big? Have you thought about the things you'd most love to do in this lifetime? I've always had this strange awareness that life may be incredibly short. I've never assumed I'll live to be old. Don't know why. But for whatever reason, I keep a bucketlist. And I live in a way that is constantly pursuing it. Life is too short not to. There's a story or reason behind each item on the list. And I think that's important. May I challenge you today to start a list of your own? And if you're brave enough, to share it with me? I'd love to hear from you.  In the spirit of vulnerability, I'll share some of mine with you. Who knows. Maybe by being open about it, we can help each other accomplish some things!......

Bucket List:
-See Lion King on Broadway
-Go to New Orleans 
-Perform in a musical again
-Sing with Wy
-Spend time on a ranch in the country including taking care of/riding horses
-Personally work for anti-trafficking ministry
-Take ballet class
-Become skilled enough in painting to do commissions
-Learn to surf
-Have a job in theatre (Backstage manager, tech, director, hair/make-up, etc....)
-Live in rural Africa
-See Dubai
-See Egypt
-Spend a day exploring an open-air market in the middle east
-Work with Beth
-Work with Christine Caine
-Work for Disney
-Lose 30 more pounds
-Master archery
-Go to Disneyworld/Wizarding World

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Good mess.

It happened. We all experience it-times of "losing our footing" for a season. Falling back into one pit or another. Waking up one day to suddenly realize you're back in defeat in some area or another. Not completely sure how you ended up there again. Maybe you tripped and fell. Maybe someone shoved you. Or maybe you just happened to take too many baby steps the wrong direction.

I recently found myself on the deep, dark floor of a few pits that I had not anticipated falling back into. But I had. As the Lord lovingly lifted me out and got my feet set on firm ground again, I became agitated. At myself for allowing the occurrence. At Him- because I didn't understand why He didn't stop me from going back down. Whyever would He allow this? I didn't get it.

And today something occurred to me. In a quick moment a flash of insight:
If I don't have seasons of being in some form of darkness, I will not appreciate the rescuer and life in the light. I used to think once I "got healthy" I would stay in some state of continual, glowy healthy bliss. BUT- If everything stayed wonderful all the time, I wouldn't be sitting here tonight in speechless awe of Him. His grace and mercy. His tenderness. The ferociousness and audacity with which He runs hard after me, pursues me, and doesn't give up on me. If I hadn't spent years in pits of various forms, I wouldn't be able to say that I am a flat-out miracle, the impossible in the flesh before your very eyes. And I wouldn't be able to claim my King literally rode in on His chariot and rescued me. I wouldn't be head over heals in love with Him and healthy and undauntedly pursuing a future in rescuing others.
The years of being an utter crazy mess is what makes Him so beautiful to me. It's what proves His power, ability, and love. Nothing you ever go through is wasted. It is ALL meant for your future.

"You cannot amputate your history from your destiny, because THAT is redemption" -Beth Moore

Bring on the falls. The mess-ups.
I don't want them, but when they happen, they display Him ever more beautifully.