So, there's this book called "Live Like You Were Dying" and I read it today. There were so many things that challenged me or spoke to me or convicted me. I just wanted to share one of the things that stuck out to me the most because if it touched me there's a good chance that it might touch someone else's heart too.
"I love you. It's not a weight you must carry around. It's not a box that holds you in. It's not a standard you have to bear. It's not a sacrifice I have to make. It's not a pedestal you are frozen upon. It's not an expectation of perfection. It's not to make you change. It's not even to make you love me. I love you. It's as pure and simple as that."
****It breaks my heart that love is sometimes viewed as a burden or an unecessary sacrifice or as something that we do to get love from others...that's not what love is about. Love is selfless...it's pure...it's beautiful. I am so sorry for the times when I have made love about me or made it into something that it's not because of my skewed perspective. How dare I corrupt such a wonderful thing? Father please help me to love like you love...make the love I extend selfless and pure. I want to love in the way that God intended us to love one another. I fail at that so much. But I am not a failure...I just mess up sometimes. I want to be transformed, changed, and molded into the woman that God thought of when He created me...and that includes the way in which I love the amazing people that God has placed in my life. I pray that I never miss an opportunity to show the love of my Abba to someone else. Loving is so hard sometimes, because there's a huge chance that I'll get hurt. But look at how Jesus loved. He knew he would be betrayed by those He loved so dearly, but He loved them anyway...He died for them anyway. Who am I to withhold my love from someone because they might hurt me. Any hurt that I experience will never compare to the hurt that Jesus must have felt as He was being tortured/killed by the very ones He held in His heart. He loved them. Plain and simple. It's better to love and get hurt than to never love...without love what is there? Without love for my Father and for people, all I do is in vain...nothing matters. Love, love, love...just because you can, not because you'll get love back. Because sometimes we don't get that love back, but that's ok. There's one Lover of my soul whose love is the purest love of all...it will never fade, it is truly unconditional. I am in awe of the love my Abba has for me...
Today I met with Ron (like I always do on Tuesdays) and once again it was amazing. He's such a wise man and his heart for us is incredible. We were talking about how I don't feel as if my life makes much of an impact on people. People tell me all the time how much they appreciate me, but the walls go up and I instantly refute it. I've been told that I'm wise, I've been told that God uses me in the lives of others, but I never feel as if that's true. Ron said something to me today that really made me think. He said that Jesus didn't see the impact He had on people until after His death and resurrection. That's when the impact was fully seen, after He was gone from this earth. He told me that it's not about making an impact as much as it is about being faithful without ever seeing the impact. Talk about convicting. Here I've been learning about how everything is about God and praising/loving/being obedient to Him...but I missed the fact that I don't have to make an impact in the way that I have always thought I had to. When the glory goes to God, it's not going to me and that's how it should be. It's nice to hear that you're making a difference sometimes, but it isn't neccessary. That should not be where my identity or security comes from.
So, in other Staci news...
I don't know where my heart is. I'm pretty disconnected/walled-up...mostly because I don't want to get hurt again. I've been doing my same old thing of distancing myself as soon as I have the slightest feeling that a situation might hurt me in the end. When Ron and I were talking today, he asked me how I feel about something and I honestly had to say I don't know. That kind of scared me a bit. I don't know how I feel about much right now. I know that I need to guard my heart, but I always take it too far and guard it from the good stuff too. I feel like my heart is mending, but I don't want it to get shattered again, so I'm hiding it. I can't handle having it shattered again. I heard this song today...it touched me as much as I let it...could have spoken to me more and maybe someday I'll let it really touch me. This kind of sums up where I'm at...
Porcelain Heart by Barlow Girl
Broken heart one more time
Pick yourself up, why even cry?
Broken pieces in your hands
Wonder how you'll make it whole
You know, you pray
This can't be the way
You cry, you say
Something's gotta change
And mend this porcelain heart of mine
Someone said "A broken heart
Would sting at first then make you stronger"
You wonder why this pain remains
Were hearts made whole just to break?
Creator only You take brokenness
And create it into beauty once again
Where to start, where to start...Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I've barely had to time to breathe let alone post on here. I'm pretty stressed. I'm very overwhelmed. I kind of just want to sit in a corner and cry...but I don't have time. I haven't been eating or sleeping well. I feel like I have 500 million things to do/worry about and 5 minutes to do them in. I'm doing ok I guess, despite my being stressed. God is still good and I know that. I feel a little disconnected because I feel like taking the time to connect is a waste of my most precious commodity right now: time. I hung out w/ a friend tonight and played pool, ping pong, and the like down in the Student Center. It was wonderful and it's the first time I've done something really fun and carefree in awhile, but now I feel guilty for "wasting time". I need peace and rest and permission to take a time out...not the kind of time out like a bad kid gets (lol), but just a breather. I might go into detail about what exactly has been stressing me out, but I might not...we'll see. Until my next post. Love and Blessings to you my dear friends :)
So, I know that some of you have read Erin's post about chapel yesterday. I just wanted to share with you all what God spoke to my heart. For those of you who don't know what chapel was about, I'll tell you :)
The speaker used the passage 2 Samuel 23. This is the passage about David and his mighty men. It talks about the mighty men risking their lives in order to bring David water from the well in Bethlehem. When they brought the water to David he said "thank you" and dumped the water out.
The speaker used this passage to talk about sacrifice. The speaker talked about how he had dedicated his teens and 20's to God (and the desires he had to get married). God pretty much dumped out his "water" (desires) and told him not to date, or look at a woman in that way. But then when the speaker offered his 30's up to God, God gave him the desires of his heart and allowed him to get married.
Why would a God, who wants to give us the desires of our hearts, dump our desires out repeatedly? Because he's the king and he can do whatever he wants! Isn't that incredible? Like Erin, the whole idea of sacrifice hit me differently than it normally does. It didn't hit me like something I'm obligated to do (even though I kind of am). It hit me more as something that I have the incredible privilage of doing. I always talk about how my life seems like an adventure because I never know where God's going to lead me and how much I love that feeling. But I don't know that I've ever thought about actually giving God a period of my life and completely just letting go of it.
As much as this whole idea struck me as amazing and as something I wanted to do, I was hesitant to actually say "God I give you my 20's and all of the desires I have for this time in my life. Take them. Let my desires become your desires. Take my degree, take my plans and dump them out if that's what you want to do."
I then realized that it takes so much trust to do something like that, and trusting someone (even God) that much, scares me. God then asked me: "why don't you trust me enough to give that to me?" The truth is I don't know. I don't know why I even hesitated. I don't know why the idea of trusting God scared me. So, I decided to push through that hesitant feeling I had, really trust my Abba, and dedicate my 20's to God. It's still a bit scary to trust that much, but I know there's no better place to put my trust than in God. But you know what outweighs the scariness? The freedom I've found in doing that. I don't have to worry about anything. It is truly in God's hands. If God decides to dump out my desires, then so be it...He is the king after all and He can do whatever He wants with my life :)
So...I'm back in Michigan and I definitely miss Colorado already. My time out there was so amazing! I made it back with only one major injury (a fractured rib)! I was quite impressed with myself...lol. This is going to sound really silly, I'm sure, but when I got home I felt like I had accomplished something great. I planned out and paid for my entire trip...then I travelled by myself, didn't get lost, didn't have to ask if I was in the right place, and came back to a dark empty house at 2am (and wasn't scared). I was sitting in my house the night I came back and felt like a grown up. I have never felt like a grown up...ever. But I have decided that I can do this grown up thing now. All that from a trip to Colorado...who would have known?
Ok...on to the good stuff :)
I talked a little about the class/worship time on Monday morning, but there was more than what I talked about. In addition to the whole guy/girl forgiveness thing, God did some other cool stuff. The speaker has the gift of knowledge and he was praying for people and giving them words from God. He came to me and he spoke some major confirmation that he had no idea I needed. I love how God works. What he said was that God showed him a field that had different kinds of vegetables in it, but it wasn't really productive. He said he saw the field being tilled up and the next thing he saw was a field of sunflowers that went beyond what the eye could see. He said that God has been cultivating many beautiful things in me and that I will see the fruits of it soon. He said that the sunflowers were perfect and beautiful and that he felt that God was changing how I see myself...that I am growing and can now see my beauty in Christ. It was so awsome because I've felt like God's doing some cool stuff in me, but I had been questioning it because I couldn't really see it...I only felt it. So, that was really cool.
Later the speaker said that he felt like some of the girls in the class needed prayer because they needed to be released from the pain of a verbally/physically abusive father. I wasn't going to go up because I was a visitor...but Rich looked at me and said "you need to be up there" and I said "I know" and went up. It was so cool. I was sobbing like crazy as the speaker was telling us to release all of that pain to God. Then I took a really deep breath and let it out...as soon as I did that, I felt like the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders. It was so cool.
So that's that. My trip was amazing. Plain and simple. God wanted me there and He did some cool stuff. I got to see Rich, which was really good for my heart. I met some great new people and got to experience a new place. How much better can you get? I'm signing out. Love you all. :)
So...my time here in Colorado has been amazing! I absolutely love it here and don't want to leave...but I have to leave tomorrow evening. Besides it being gorgeous, the people are great, and I know it was definitely a God thing that I came this week. The speaker here at the base is talking about the Holy Spirit this week...this morning's class/worship was so stinkin awsome! God did some really cool stuff. I don't even know if typing it out will fully describe it but I'll try. So the speaker had all of the girls go in the center of the room and all of the guys stood around us. Then they sang the song "Lord You Are (more precious than silver...)" but changed the words to "Ladies you are more precious than silver...". Then the speaker had the guys ask for forgiveness on behalf of all of the men who have hurt us women, whether it be fathers, friends, boyfriends, or brothers. It was so powerful. I cried like a baby and that's huge...I have been so disconnected again lately. There's more that I want to tell you all about, but I'm gonna go now. I'll definitely post again soon and talk about the rest. I love you all :)
I'm in Colorado and I don't want to leave! It is amazingly gorgeous...so breathtaking that even the words "amazing", "gorgeous", and "breathtaking" can't even begin to describe it! How can people come to a place like this and see all of this natural beauty, but never acknowledge that someone bigger than us made it? I don't understand. So besides it being amazing here...my flight was good :) I started getting sick yesterday and woke up today feeling worse :( But pretty much everyone here is sick, so I feel like part of the gang. lol. Everyone here is great...they have all been really nice to me and they are all really cool :) It's good to see Rich, although things aren't like I expected them to be. It seems as if I'm way more excited about seeing him than he is about seeing me. When I got here he acted as if he'd seen me 2 days ago rather than 2 months ago...small smile, small hug, not what I needed or expected. Maybe it's just because he's a guy, but I don't know. We picked up where we left off in the sense that things weren't weird between us and we were able to talk just like we always do. So, that's not an issue...I've thought about asking him if he's really happy I'm here, but I'm afraid that it might not go over too well. But we'll see what I decide to do...So that's all. Love you all :)
I stole this from a friend's facebook...I think it's amazing! Read on...
Everyone longs to give himself completely to someone: to have a deep soul relationship with another; to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But, God to a Christian says, no, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled, and content with being loved by Me, alone. With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me. To having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me, alone. Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found, will you be capable of the perfect human relationship that I plan for you.
You will never be united with another until you are united with Me, really united with another, exclusive of anyone, or anything else, exclusive of any other desires or longings. I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing...one that you cannot imagine.
I want you to have the best, please allow Me to bring it to you. Just keep watching Me...expecting the greatest things. Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I Am. And keep listening and learning the things I tell you.
You just wait, that's all...wait. Don't be anxious, don't worry, don't look around at the things that others have gotten or I have given them. Don't look at the things you think you want. Just keep on looking off and away to Me, or you will miss what I want to show you. And then, when you are ready , I'll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than anything you would dream of.
You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready, and I am working even at this moment to have both of you ready at the same time. Until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I prepare for you, you won't be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with Me. And this is perfect love. And, dear one, I want you to have the most wonderful love.
I want to see in you, in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me. And I want you to enjoy materially, the everlasting union and beauty and perfection and love that I offer you with Myself. I know that I love you utterly. I am El Shaddai-most loving Father, God Almighty. Believe it and be satisfied and I will satisfy you.