Song of Victory

Tonight, I’m inspired.

Sadly it has been a little too long since the last time I was inspired. To be honest, it has been a little too long since I have done anything that really gave me life. It’s been too long since I last released and expressed the KINGDOM that lives inside of me. Since I last lived FULLY and FREELY in who I was made to be.

Yesterday, we ended a long workday with a two hour meeting. About halfway through, I was checked out and felt like I could have lost my mind. The meeting consisted of one thing after another that was being added to my job description. Details, logistics, processes, data…blah blah blah. Maybe now you can see why I checked out (and almost screamed).

I came home heavy and completely empty. I’m tired of operating out of my weaknesses. I’m sick of feeling like what I was made for is NOT the majority nor the priority of my job any longer. And the worst part was that I couldn’t feel God, I couldn’t hear clearly, I didn’t know where to go from here…I reached another end of my rope. (it seems there are several of those)

TODAY was different. Something rose up in me. Something supernatural happened in my spirit that couldn’t sit back and watch, but had to fight. I still don’t know what the Lord will speak to me about my job and my direction, but today my vision got a little clearer. Today I decided to dance on the chains of my circumstance, walk on the waves of the storm. Today I decided to sing out loud, and let my voice be heard with the song of victory.

It left me inspired to write, to believe, to hope…which is so much better than leaving me heavy, empty and lifeless. Where God will take me, I have no idea…but whatever is before me (details, logistics and all), HE is so worth it. I just want to be with HIM.

On the shores of my soul, I give you permission, to wash my tears away. Take all my disappointment, and fill me with joy once again.

I’m gonna sing out loud and let my voice be heard. It’s the song of victory. And it’s ringing in the earth.

On the top of my cage, I am sitting. Above the shame so lonely. Your kindness, it has lifted me to see the way that you see.

I’m gonna SING OUT LOUD and let my voice be heard. It’s the song of victory. And it’s ringing in the earth. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

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I’ve been offended

Tonight I received terrible news.

A pastor and his family experienced an overwhelming tragedy this weekend. To honor the family, I won’t go into detail. But I knew the family, somewhat. I babysat for them. I was a part of their church for a few years in middle school and high school. Their kids were in my youth group.

I am completely heart-broken and overcome with grief.

It’s not often that I think back to my church youth group experience. But tonight I did. And more sorrow filled my already heavy soul. I’m not bitter in any way, but the reality of my youth group was cliques, popularity, and judgment. We all did it. If you were slightly weird or awkward or different, you weren’t accepted. Unless of course you could make people laugh (with you or at you).

 

I’m tired of apologizing for and justifying that lifestyle. I’m tired of looking away and ignoring the hypocrisy of the Christian church, the hypocrisy that we raise our children and our youth in, and then wonder why this generation is so ‘unchurched’. Thank GOD they’re unchurched (to the common standard of ‘church’ these days), because they are more honest and real with themselves than ever before, walking in more integrity than most of the Christians.

 

It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever that this was a place teaching about JESUS: a man of sorrows, a friend of sinners, rejected and despised. A building full of mouths proclaiming the name of JESUS: the very definition of love and the creator of life; and yet more death was spoken than life, more division than unity, more bigotry than reconciliation, forgiveness and love.

By this, I’ve been offended. Offended by injustice and religion.

My soul cries out for justice. My heart longs for the REAL JESUS.

I learned more about loyalty and respect from my lesbian co-worker in high school. I learned more about acceptance from the hippies in college. I learned more about love and forgiveness from the orphans in Cambodia, who were devastated by hate and war. I learned more about redemption from the young girls in Thailand who are forced into prostitution by their family. I learned more about a father’s passionate heart from the street kids in Honduras who are addicted and unwanted. I learned more about Jesus, a man with no home, from the homeless in Little 5 Points, Atlanta.

 

Faces and names ran through my mind tonight. Faces of people who came to a church youth group to find love. Names of people who desperately needed approval and affection. Sons and daughters of God, searching for identity and purpose. Today I don’t know where most of them are. I don’t know if I was nice to them, or if I treated them with disgust or contempt. This shouldn’t be.

God, forgive me of my pride, my judgment, my arrogance, and my self-absorption. May the church rise up to be the loving bride who helps the poor and sympathizes with the broken. May all the fear be driven out by pure love. May we know and be confident in who we are as beloved children of a good father. Amen.

3 Years Later…

Three years ago today I left for The World Race.

October 5, 2009.

Crazy.

People around Adventures in Missions talk a lot about this three-year process. They talk about the discipleship that takes place and the empowerment gained. This idea comes from the amount of time that Jesus did ministry on the earth. He started at 30 years of age and three years later, he was executed. In those three years, he led his twelve disciples into a life of ministry that they never expected to live. And so our process of discipleship into empowerment and calling takes about three years.

Well, I’ve been thinking about this. And I haven’t come to a clear conclusion.

I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that I have grown in the last three years. I am not the same person. But I also think that I have been a little sheltered. I’ve been safe.

However, the word ‘safe’ can mean different things to different people…

I haven’t necessarily been comfortable. I did not expect to stay with The World Race this long but I’m confident that I have obeyed the Lord each step of the way. Clearly, I haven’t always known what it was going to look like and God definitely HAD to show up on many occasions! But many of my friends have taken the leap and stepped out into an unknown land by themselves, and God met them too…in the lonely, hard, frustrating places.

Overall my journey has been pretty safe.

Safe in the sense that I have been around people who really get me. This WR culture that I am so accustomed to hasn’t really been challenged. I don’t know many people who think VERY differently than me. I guess you could say, I lack a little diversity in my life.

I see both sides to this whole three year process. I see how it has grounded me and created a confidence in me. It has nurtured my process in identity. But I also see how it has secluded me somewhat. I am beginning to see my need for more.  I am beginning to believe and crave the bigger picture.

I’m thankful for The World Race. And I am thankful for Adventures in Missions. They have drastically changed my life in the last three years. But I am also thankful that it doesn’t end there. I am so glad that God is so much bigger and has even greater plans ahead. I don’t know when God will tell me to move on from my job, but I am recognizing my need to move on from The World Race and meet new people and have more to my life than what I have known for the last three years.

So what I have settled on is this: all you can do is obey the Lord and follow him fully. I’m not sure if three years is significant, but after three years with The World Race, I feel empowered to do something. 

What do you guys (all who read this…) think?

Out of Control

Can I be real?

My life feels completely out of control.

One look at the backseat of my car, my unkept room, and my often un-styled hair would probably give it away. And to be honest, I don’t know how to pull it all together. I don’t know how to make it balance. And it’s starting to wear on me.

Every night I fall asleep exhausted and yet feeling like I accomplished nothing. I get to work and of course, there is no organization unless I create it for myself. Too many things happening that I do not have a grasp on. Too many things to be done that I barely understand. All the while, I am training other people on what I am still figuring out how to do.

Sometimes I could just cry. Other times I could scream. Often times, I do both. But I’m not sure how much it helps.

Crying and screaming make me feel a little better, but then things are still a mess.  My car still needs to be cleaned, my room needs help, and my job isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

Is it wishful thinking to have all of this under control? Is it unrealistic to just want a break from it all? To stop everything and just breathe, and get things in my life back in order? Or do I need to learn how to balance it and push through? Maybe I am just getting a lesson in time management and priorities. Because I’m sure it doesn’t get any easier when you add a husband, a few kids, bills, etc.

Some days are better than others. I guess today is just not one of those days.