Tell me what you want.

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So, in case you haven’t noticed, I quote C.S. Lewis like it’s my job. I’m not sorry because that guy was a freaking genius. Had I been alive during his time I would’ve married him. His intellect would have been intimidating and his faith would have put mine to shame but wow, just imagine listening to him talk every day in real life.

I love that man. I think that if anyone knew what love was in this world it was him. The way he spoke of his wife was inspiring. His love for her was so evidently passionate but also practical. When Joy passed away, the way he described his grief was so depressing and heavy. It literally breaks my heart to read it:

“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”

“…But her voice is still vivid. The remembered voice- that can turn me at any moment into a whimpering child.”

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”

You get the point. He loved her so deeply. I want that! I want to be loved that deeply and passionately by someone. I want to love someone like that. I thought I did once. But that love wasn’t perfect. So now I’m searching/waiting for someone that I can strive for the kind of perfect love that the Bible mentions in 1 John 4:18 (“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”)

But wow, when I think about being in love, I know how awesome that is. And it makes me want it so much again. It’s exciting, it makes you glow, walk on air, laugh at nothing and everything at the same time, gives you heart palpitations, makes you feel like singing, makes you smile for no reason, makes you want to get pretty on a Saturday morning just because you feel like it… That’s cool stuff.

Then I read a quote by C.S. Lewis and I realize how satisfying it might be to have the kind of love he had with Joy. According to this quote, their love was practical. It was real. It was a true unity that was reliable and quietly sustainable. I would love to find a wonderful Christian man to marry who could lead me in modeling Christ’s love to the world. Someone who would cherish me. Cherish me when I’m there, when I’m gone, always. Someone who could guide me and encourage me.

I just sometimes wonder where that guy is and how long I’m going to have to wait for him. Unfortunately, single Christians have this struggle because we have high standards for our mates. We have expectations that need to be met. Sometimes I worry that I want too much. Or that I want to wrong thing.

I have this fear that having a healthy Christian relationship with someone could be well…boring. I’m a hopelessly romantic idealist when it comes to love and all of the restraint required…all of the work involved. Not so romantic. Not so exciting. Not really what floats my boat…

But what I want now and what I used to want are becoming very different things. What C.S. Lewis describes sounds pretty good to me. He was an admirable Christian man who had about as much passion as I like to think that I have. I’ll take it.

Now…here’s hoping he’s out there.

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Not much to say.

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Ironically titled isn’t it? Considering my last post was about how I have infinitely many things to say and not the courage to say them.

I’ve reconsidered.

Maybe there is a time and place to just say it and by it, I mean everything. But I do think the conditions often promote a “just say what needs said and get out of here” kind of situation.

When I was considering what to blog about today, I had this thought, “I don’t know, I really don’t have much to say.” But that’s perfect because that’s been my revelation this week.

Sometimes your heart cries out with a novel’s worth variety of sentiments, complaints, questions and apologies. Sometimes that’s too much. Sometimes that’s not what needs to be said.

It was brought to my attention that sometimes all it really takes to free a person is one sentence. “I’m sorry for hurting you.” or “I forgive you for hurting me.”

For me, condensing my thoughts is quite a process. I end up feeling like this:

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It all boils down to these questions: Is this really important? WHO is this important for?

For me the answer to the first question is a resounding ‘YES!!!!’ and the answer to the second is ‘I’m not sure, Lord.’ Because it really is ultimately God that knows the answer to that question. I know it’s important to me because He’s laid it on my heart, He’ll take care of the rest.

So, moral of the story… Sometimes you don’t have to say much to say it all.

Just say it.

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I’ve been debating so furiously within myself lately about saying the things that are viciously swirling about in my mind, clawing their way out.

Today the opportunity presented itself and like the wimp that I am, I didn’t take it. Why do we hesitate when we know so clearly what needs to be said?

I say ‘we’ because I know I’m not alone in this. Here is a small sample of songs that support my point:

Let It All Out- Relient K (a personal fav. right now)

Speak Now- Taylor Swift

Say Something- A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera

Say- John Mayer

Embarrassingly enough, this is not the only instance in my life in which I have done this kind of stupid thing. If it bothers me so much, eats me up inside, sets my heart into a state of turmoil… Why do I shut my mouth like a steel trap?

Because I’m scared.

Scared of being hurt. Of having animosity with someone. Of causing them discomfort. I want to protect everyone. I want to keep my heart safe.

Well guess what, like my post before emphasized (It’s Gonna Hurt Because it Matters), often the things that scare us most are the most important things to do. Doesn’t that just make you feel warm and fuzzy?

It doesn’t do much for me besides scare the absolute heck out of me.. You see, lately I’ve been doing a lot better. Healing from some collateral due to a broken heart and bad decisions. I’m emerging from my past, victorious because of Jesus. My day was dawning. But one thing was nagging- has been nagging for months and that is this: “Say it.” And I kept saying, “Not now, now is not the time.”

Well, today God said that it was now or never. He said that my joy could be greater. He said that it was time to forgive and be forgiven. And I still shied away. I still ignored the still small-but insistent-voice. And I knew as soon as I walked away that I was going to regret this one.

It happens so often in life, that we hurt the ones that we have come to love the very most. There are various reasons for this so I can’t say that the answer is the same for everyone. I think that for me, the main reason is that I get too comfortable. I take their love for granted. Unfortunately, hurting someone you love hurts you too, I daresay, possibly even more.

I’d like to start a new trend in my life where I make it a point to be thankful every day for the people that I am blessed to be surrounded by. Not to take them for granted, but to remind them that their love, friendship, and companionship are important to me. In saying this, I decided that even though it’s going to be unpleasant, I have to heed the voice. I have to say what needs to be said. I’m holding myself to this by setting the day and time when the conversation is going to take place. Until then, I’m going to pray my heart out and perfect my words so that they come out lovingly and honestly.

God does not always give us a sure-fire sign for what He wants us to do. In fact, most of the time He doesn’t. But when He does, He’s not messing around and we shouldn’t be either.

If it scares and confuses the heck out of you, I say DO IT!

What’s intimidating you? Is there a tiny voice in your head, encouraging you to do something that doesn’t quite make sense to you? What is something that you’ve gone out on a limb and done?

What makes you lonely?

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Our guest speaker Dannah Gresh asked us this question yesterday. It’s one I ask myself all the time.

I feel lonely. Why? I am surrounded by people.

I long for companionship and the close intimacy with someone that I had before I once again became a single almost-20-something. I find myself missing what used to be and longing for it to return. But then I am reminded of the fact that that is impossible. History often repeats itself because we are foolish enough not to study it and learn from it.

Sometimes we like to bury our histories in the graveyards of our hearts. There lie the bones of lost friendships, embarrassing encounters, regrettable actions, scraps of insults. Sometimes we need to let bygones be bygones and continue on, not as if it didn’t happen but as best as we can considering the fact that it did. Other times, we need to properly put them to rest so that they can’t haunt us later.

In the moments of loneliness I am challenged to face my demons. My history is rising from the ground like a zombie- if you will. It tempts me to want to run to it, only to discover too late that I’m being buried with it all over again.

Because I’m a Christian, when I became aware of my wrongdoing, I repented of it to my Savior, who saved me from myself and my sin- once again. So why is it still making me feel isolated? Why does it still insist on making me feel lonely? I have been forgiven by my God. But maybe not by myself. God has said “it’s okay.” But I’m not sure that I can affirm that to myself and actually believe it.

I know that the only way to put this to rest properly is to work through it and really heal, instead of burying it away. In the process, there are setbacks, there are moments of hopelessness, rejoicing, despair, encouragement…loneliness.

So what makes me lonely? I do.

If you’re struggling with a skeleton in your closet, or you haven’t fully released yourself from the sin that Jesus already freely pardoned, I would encourage you to meditate on the promises of His word. Dig down deep into the hurt, and surrender it to Him as fully as you can. That’s what is really comforting me right now. Eventually, reading His promises and affirming them to yourself (even out loud if you have to) I believe that you will be able to fully accept and believe them. You will be freed from your loneliness at last.

P.S. It wouldn’t hurt to ask forgiveness from the person you hurt along the way (especially if that person is yourself).

Healing.

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Whoa. If God works and speaks throughout the rest of the semester the way He has been the last two weeks, we’re all in for the ride of our lives.

My heart is so overwhelmed today because of the sheer goodness of my God. His voice is not so still and small as it is roaring from within me lately. Let me try to explain…

In chapel this morning, we had a special guest speaker, Dannah Gresh. Her platform is pretty much all about sex. Sexual sin, temptation, healing, freedom. This woman is so full of passion about her ministry that one can’t help but be convicted. But for some reason, I had a nagging in my mind. Why was this bothering me so much? I thought I was over this whole brokenness thing. I was under the foolish impression that I had somehow surpassed my weakness. Since coming back to campus, I’ve been doing a ton of rejoicing. I thought over break, some miracle had been worked on me. I was cured of my hurt. I was beyond it.

But sin has a way of leaving scars and coming back to haunt us. I decided that I needed to hear more of what she had to say, so I went to her alternative chapel service. Holy heck, did I learn.

God spoke right into my soul through her. He showed me that I am not healed. I am forgiven. I am healing. I know that I am healing because:

1. I can see my own brokenness and I can admit it.

2. I can hear His voice.

3. I am becoming more fruitful.

All of these things are true of my current journey. I am so thankful to God for it! Everything is becoming so clear, so meaningful. His purposes and His ways astound me.

God has also made it very clear that the ministry that He has called me to at this point in my life is going to require growth in the areas where I am currently the most weak. And I am intimidated by that challenge. Honestly, it scares me to death. But I know that God has not forsaken me so far, and I have a promise that He never will (Joshua 1:9)

I have so much farther to go and there is so much more that I could say. But, what I want to leave you with today is the affirmation that God is working through your situation. Whether it is one of rejoicing and fruitfulness or one that feels a lot like despairity. God knows our weaknesses and that is where His grace comes in. It is sufficient and it is overwhelming.

I would recommend that you be bold, be honest (first and foremost, with yourself), and seek God’s will.

Please comment and give me your feedback! 🙂

The joy of the dawn.

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Wow, what a whirlwind. I am forever awestruck by how fast time goes.

I’m back to school now so my time for blogging has been dramatically lessened. I do however, have something that is weighing on my mind today that I would like to share…

I can’t say that last semester was all smiles and laughter for me. If it appeared that way on the outside, it was certainly not the case on the inside. I was going through the motions and trying to feel better because that’s what I had to do.

But over break, God really did a number on my heart. He has done so much to help me heal, it’s incredible. Coming back to campus has only solidified and strengthened me in this process. My friends, and even strangers, have been nothing but loving3d48336b38bca7a4b9d0dada777df195. So many new opportunities have arisen and I am genuinely excited about so many things. Genuine excitement is something that I hadn’t felt in a little while.

All of a sudden, it’s like the weight is suddenly shifted and my heart doesn’t feel so heavy anymore. I still have moments where I feel down but I am better equipped to pull  myself out of those times.

I’m a strong believer in letting people know when God does something cool. And my life is a living testament to that right now. He tipped my plans on their head, helped me through the heartbreak, and opened my mind to the possibilities that I would have otherwise been blind to. I am still continuing to grow and learn. I’m sure that I’m not anywhere near where I need to be, but I am so thankful to have come from where I was.

Life is good because God is great. But even when life doesn’t feel so good, God is still great. Isn’t that a convicting revelation? I think so.

They say it’s always darkest before the dawn and I believe that to be true. When your days begin to be brighter, recognize the one who made the sun and praise Him! The joy of the Lord is our strength!

What is God doing in your life? What can you praise Him for today?

My heart: 6 ways to win it

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I found a pin on Pinterest the other day that had 30 intriguing writing prompt ideas. Since I don’t really have any immense wisdom to share today, I thought I might try one out… 😉

6 Ways to win my heart:

1. Anything cheesy and cliche- The brushing back of my hair just before you kiss me, randomly singing/texting song lyrics to me just because they remind you of me, watching a chick flick with me and brushing my tears away as I cry over some made up couple’s love story, opening the door for me (which a gentleman ought to do anyway!), forehead kisses, surprise flowers/ chocolate… You get the idea.

2. Talk to me about God. Tell me your testimony. Offer to pray with/for me.

3. Play an instrument/sing really well and be confident about it.

4. Roll your sleeves up to just below the elbow. Brownie points if the shirt is plaid.

5. Induce in me genuine laughter.

6. Be a thoughtful conversationalist. Really get involved in conversation with me. Listen to what I have to say and then have something intelligent to say back. I’m not interested in endless banter and flirtation attempts. I want to talk about the conundrums of life and have someone relate and actually care.

Okay, so of course there are so many other things that I admire in a man that are important to me. But if you can check these things off of the list, you’re well on your way.

What does it take for someone to win your heart?