Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I love being "in love"!!!!

As the rain steadily falls on the ground outside, I can't help but allow my gaze to wonder out the window and daydream about Him... The One whose love is as steady as this rain...

I've not always been in love with Him... Didn't even know it was really possible and even if it was possible, I was too busy trying to "hide" from Him... Sometimes I think that if I don't make eye contact with people, then they can't see me. Dumb, I know, but if I'm having a bad hair day or something, I find my eyes resting most comfortably on the ground. Just like a baby playing hide or seek, I feel like by covering my own eyes and vision - I'm covering up everyone else's too. Such has been the case with my relationship with God.

I've always known that I'm undeserving of His love, and sometimes "church" or other people would be quick to remind me of how many faults did riddle through me. Flaky and a failure, I never thought that He could love me and I was horrified at the thought of Him seeing me... Maybe like Eve in the garden, when she hid behind the cover of leaves...

But how delighted and awed I am that no matter how undeserving I may be, I am HIS and He loves me! I have been dirty and untouchable like Mary Magdalene; disobedient like Jonah; irrational and short on patience like Moses; blinded by doubt like Peter; maker of some pretty bad choices like Saul (aka Paul); simple and poor like Joseph; a strange misfit like Ezekiel; lonesome like Noah, BUT thankfully that doesn't make His love for me any less! In fact, knowing that I am undeserving and unworthy just reminds me of how incredibly wonderful He is!!!

Sometimes I've welcomed in a pity-party and sadly pointed out all my faults... I've blown up all my shortcomings so big that I've lost sight... I AM a failure! I AM sin-riddled, but I don't have to be guilt-ridden because He is above any fault and shortcoming that may be in me! His requirements aren't that I earn His love... They aren't that I be good enough to lie at His feet... He's better than that! He's so amazing that He is STILL God no matter who or what I am! AND HE LOVES ME! Certainly He wants the best for me, but His greatness and mercy isn't contingent on me at all!

So I gaze out the window and there is a slight smile on my lips as I think about Him... As I think about His unfailing love... As I rejoice in the fact that He will NEVER leave me and He will NEVER forsake me! I am His, and He loves me! Maybe He shouldn't. I mean, lots of people haven't or don't, but God isn't like anyone we know... He is GOD! His standards aren't even close to those of men!!! It's so hard to comprehend sometimes... Sometimes it would make more sense if I could neatly file Him into categories that I've learned from people, but He's just too grand to fit in any of them. (-; And man am I glad...
My Knight in Shining Armor... My Prince of Peace... My Savior... My Counselor... My Comfort... My HEALER... My Restoration... My Lord and My God... Oh!!! How I love You!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I dreamt "it" came back...

It never ceases to amaze me how "real" dreams can seem. The emotions that they can muster up feel more real than so many feelings we feel while we are awake. And yet, dreams are so fleeting and usually completely forgotten within hours or days of filling our minds.

Last night, I dreamt that the brain tumor was back. I was older, but not at all old, and I remember so vividly lying in the hospital bed... I remember the feel of the stiff sheets against my skin and the sterile smells floating through the room... And most of all I can remember the grim faces of my mom and my husband.

I was dying, and I was completely aware of that fact, yet I felt no fear. Maybe because I've already faced that monster. Maybe I was just too drugged up to feel anything. I find the latter hard to believe though because I did feel. I felt sad that my mom would have to bury her only daughter and I felt sad to be leaving my husband and my two beautiful children. Yet the feeling that was the strongest was joy!

There I was, dying in a hospital room, and joy was racing through my veins. Joy because I had come to know and fall in love with my Savior. Me! Unworthy pitiful little me... Joy because while my life has been like any other with its' ups and downs, it has been full of wonder and amazement! Joy because my crazy split up family is MY family and somehow God has restored all the many cracks and thinking of them causes love to surge through my heart. Joy because I have been lucky enough to find and marry my very best friend. Joy because of every laugh that I've laughed and every smile that I've smiled. Joy because I was chosen to care for the two most beautiful most perfect children in all of creation.

And when I awoke from my dream, it left me feeling so grateful for every reason that I have to rejoice out of sheer joy. Is life perfect? Oh of course not. But there are so many reasons to dance! And that is exactly what I'll do. I will dance for all the joys in my life!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lesson from my 3 year-old...

Many of you have heard the story of little Ward Wright. Apparently, even my son is familiar with Ward's fight because this afternoon he stopped me dead in my tracks. Caleb brought me his prized posession, a little hand held Cars game that is his favorite toy. He asked me if he could give it to his friend, Ward. Keep in mind that my 3 year-old son has never met little Ward and no one ever asked for him to give anything... And yet he came to me with his favorite toy and insisted that we give it to Ward...

The lesson my son taught me brought tears to my eyes. First off, he even wanted to give something to a stranger... But more importantly, he chose to give his prized posession. He didn't pick out a toy that he never plays with, or maybe something half working. He insisted on giving a little boy that he has never met his absolute favorite toy.

What is my prized posession? And would I give my most treasured posession away? Would I give it away willingly without being asked? Would I give it away to someone that I have never even met? Sometimes it's easy to give when it's not a sacrifice for me, but what if it is???

Thank you Lord for speaking through the mouths of babes...

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I've shared my thoughts, but that doesn't mean that my mind isn't churning... Writing helps me to get a handle on what it is that is running through my mind, but sharing leaves me feeling open and vulnerable. It used to be that the thought of being vulnerable was extremely frightening, but now I find a liberty in being transparent. When I muster up the courage to be open and honest with the world, I find that I can't hide from myself or God... Perhaps that doesn't make sense to anyone but me! It's totally against my nature to expose my thoughts, faults, and fears, and yet when I do, things start to make sense, seem forgivable, and aren't scary anymore...

Perhaps I find accountability in sharing my thoughts... perhaps it is some level of understanding that I gain... or perhaps there is someone out there thinking or feeling the same things as me... Whatever the case may be, I find answers and I find solace in seeing my feelings typed out across the screen in front of me.

So right now I’ve been drawn to the Book of Ezekiel… I’m only about halfway through really reading and searching through it, but there is one thing that has really stuck out to me big time… God is disgusted by the actions of Israel, and yet, more than once He says that He is acting on who He is rather than how He feels… (Chapter 20 has 4 different mentions of this!) To me that is massive!! There are multiple times in my life that my actions must have totally disgusted God, and yet instead of acting out in disgust or anger or disappointment, He treated me with who He is… He treated me with love because He is love… He treated me with patience because He is patience… He treated me with kindness because He is kind…

And then I am convicted knowing that I allow my hot-temper to get the best of me at times and I totally act out in how I feel and not who He has allowed me to become… Just recently I verbalized my disappointment because I was expressing how I felt instead of holding my tongue and expressing who it is that He has made me… And for whatever reason, He has chosen to make me into someone drastically different than the girl I was before, yet I have been guilty of not allowing that change to shine through me by acting out with my emotions rather than the person that God is molding me into.

And so, I am eternally grateful that He speaks to me… That His word is ALIVE! It lives and breathes and if we are still, we can hear it speak directly to us…

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

*sung horribly loud and off key* HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!

So today is a reason for me to celebrate and praise God for another year of life!! There was a time, not so long ago, that I was like Job (in the 3rd chapter). I didn't curse the day I was born, but I did curse surviving the surgery only to go through 17 long months of seriously hard recovery. In the latter months of the painful recovery, I would cry out to God and ask Him why He spared me to allow me to endure so much heartache. I felt like death on the operating table would have been better than barely living...

Ah, but God's vision isn't limited like mine! He knew that my pain was only temporary and that the hike up the mountain might be hard, and lonely, and exhausting, but once I reached the top the view would take my breath away. How right He was (isn't He always)!

Today is the 2nd birthday that I've been given since my brain surgery and it's amazing to look down at the long hike we've (God and I) climbed. Not only have I learned so much, changed so much, but I have seen blessing after blessing.

30 days have passed since God miraculously and graciously granted restoration to me. In those 30 days, I have been radically healed and pain-free; relationships that I thought were long gone have come back to life; and promises from long ago have come to my rememberance and are beginning to come true... My faith has also been restored because everything that I always believed that God is, He proved to me that He is.

And so today, on the most glorious day there is (j/k), I am lifting my hands and praising God for the hardest longest trial that I have ever endured. The climb was really hard... really painful... really discouraging... Sometimes, I felt all alone... Like Job, I looked everywhere and couldn't "find" God. But that was okay. He knew right where I was. Like the Casting Crowns song says, "You are who You are no matter where I am..."

And now the view is absolutely amazing and I am humbled that He said, "Have you considered my servant, Jessica?" He thought a lot more of me that I do/did. I would have NEVER thought that I'd make it through such a battle, but He had such a faith and confidence that we'd (Him and I) get through and I would be all the better for it!

God, I thank You more than words can say. I thank You for holding my hand when times were tough and for holding my hand and dancing with me now on this mountain top. I know trials will come my way again, because such is life, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that Your word is true! You will never leave me and never forsake me. Over and over Your Word tells me to fear not, because You are with me!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Day 26 of being pain FREE!!!!

Oh my gosh! Talking to my Pastor just now and it dawned on me that I am a NEW creature!! ALL things have become new!!! I know that is often used for the new birth experience, but that is EXACTLY how I feel!! Each and every day of my life now, there is something that I find that I can do that I couldn't before!! 26 days pain free and STILL dancing!

Today I bought some heels. ME!!! I bought high heels!!! I was told that I would never regain "full" balance and thought that I would forever be in flats and tennis shoes, but today I bought some gorgeously fierce shoes with heels on them!!!

Okay, so maybe that doesn't excite you. How 'bout this: I am also peeling! I am peeling because I swam on Tuesday. I SWAM!!! I was able to put my head under water and everything!!!! I haven't been able to do that in almost 18 months because of the pressure difference and all, but there I was too busy doing cannon balls and yelling to put sun block on!!! Two summers have come and gone with me just longing to be able to join my kids in the pool and now I can!!!

Oh how TRUE my God is!! How awesome and mighty is His Word!!! Everything in those leather pages are real! They are true! And they still apply to you and to me!! We are all undeserving, but that just makes Him even greater!! That He loves us still. *happy sigh* I love Him.

The End - for now!