Thursday, April 26, 2012

                Random thoughts have been going through my head all day.  God is so indescribably good, yet so often we run.  Run from His heart, run from what He has for us, run from surrender.  We look up at a clear night sky filled with the brightest of stars or a breathtaking sunset, and whisper, “Wow…only God.”  We see a God-only made canyon, admire a vast ocean, breathe in fresh air, and we sing the praises of God.  Yet, when it comes to trusting our full hearts to Him, our Daddy, we struggle against it.  We find any amount of excuses to get away from it, trying to find any number of things to fill the voids we feel.  For a while, it works, yet it does not truly work.  If it did, those aches would not come back.  We all know that, yet we keep running. 
                Is the running just another fix?  Maybe if we run fast enough, long enough, far enough, He’ll let us do what we think is best and sometimes He does.  But, that longing is always there; a longing to find more, to be more, to be loved, to be safe; and it can’t be filled by anything other than a relationship with the only true Daddy in the universe. 
                I often wonder how it can be that He still looks down upon me and wants me as His Daughter.  My only explanation, that God is good.  He takes the most broken-down things, the most scarred and ugly things, and remolds and rebuilds them into beautiful things for His glory.  Sometimes we get so angry at the fires we have to go through, yet He delights in the gold that comes through if we surrender to Him during the fire.  God doesn’t cause the fires to hurt us; He does it because of His love.  I’m finding that even in the brokenness, the pain, the fire, He starts to bring an understanding of His love.  He is good.

Monday, April 16, 2012

One of my greatest fears is tornadoes.  Isn't that just wonderful?  With all the news on the tornadoes that have been touching down lately it really makes you think.  Where truly is my trust?  Is it in money or something else tangible?  Is it a person or myself?  Or am I truly living in God?  Am I fully trusting Him no matter how crazy the world is around me?  Recently, my life felt rather, how shall we say..full of depending on myself and what I thought I needed to be for every one else instead of living out of who God is in me.  God gave me many opportunities for brokenness and so many times I was so close, but I kept on "holding" it together.  Then, for some reason instead of my normal crash and burn, God started to give me an understanding of who I am, in Him.  Having gotten so caught up in life, I had failed to see that who I was still shone, though dimly, even if I didn't always see it.  God used several random things to help me remember.  One of these things was a sermon on grief.  A part of this sermon spoke about God's love for us; how He isn't waiting for us to mess up so He can hit us with His staff.  But, like the perfect shepherd He is, He is standing there beside us, holding His staff out to us, telling us, "Just reach out and touch it, I will guide you."  So often though, we refuse.  Why?  I do believe I have the perfect story to maybe show why.  I've been reading this book called Fierce Beauty by Kim Meeder.  I'm putting the entire story on here, but do know, it is not something I wrote; Kim Meeder wrote this story from a dream that she had.

Through the lifting haze of early dawn, I glimpsed her.  Intrigue drew me nearer.  She was the most magnificent feathered creature I had ever seen.  She was a bald eagle.
          Her distinctive features were unmistakable...and unusual.  I marveled at how her white head shone with the glittering brilliance of sunlight moving across snow.  Though dusky in color, her body glimmered with the luminescence of stars on the darkest night.  Moving closer, I saw that a thread of pure gold encircled every flawless quill.  Her beak was formidable, strong, and impeccably outline in...crimson.
           Shimmering in the day's first glow, an elaborate object surrounded her.  The circular base of the structure was fashioned in the likeness of an ornate crown.  A blinding array of prismatic lights reflected off precious stones that covered its facade.  Seemingly forged from molten sunbeams, golden bars from from the base of the crown and converged in a point slightly above the eagle's head.  A brilliant diamond glittered at the peak.  Together the eagle and her crown radiated an iridized flame that seemed to waft outward in mesmerizing waves of translucent color.
           She was an all-consuming beauty--she was perfect.
           Her grandeur drew me toward her.  Spellbound, I took one hypnotic step after another.  As more details emerged.  I noticed something else.  Truth rose like morning mist in my heart.
           I'd been so captivated by her splendor that I hadn't fully realized she was indeed a captive. 
           The exquisite nature of her confinement veiled the fact that she was a prisoner.  Her entrapment denied the eagle her birthright, her God-given liberty, and her purpose.
           Adding to the eagle's woe, the golden cage was much to small.  To fit within the glorious enclosure, her powerful back and shoulders were compromised downward.  Her razor-sharp talons were painted in confusing patterns and were absurd in length, garish and glossy from lack of use.  The screaming voice of freedom that must have once filled her chest and split the sky now was silenced by the luxurious hell imprisoning her.
           Slowly she turned to look at me.
           The piercing eyes that surely used to reflect fiery passion for life and the brilliance of her Creator now mirrored only a withering image.  Her shallow vision had narrowed to a single harrowing convergence--herself.
            The eagle's glory, her calling, her very life were ebbing with every weakened breath.  I realized the crimson that stained her flawless beak had seeped from her corrupted heart.  It was her own blood.
             The eagle was dying.
              My heart cried out for justice, for her release.  This should not be her end.  She was free from the moment of her creation.  She has a destiny, a future, a purpose to fulfill.  She was designed for a calling only she can complete.  She must fly!
             The eagle's eyes dimmed as her breath faltered.  "No!"  reverberated through my chest like an ancient war cry.  I lunged toward the extravagant crown and attacked the perfection that was killing her.  The brilliant confinement was cold--and strong.  I strained against the jeweled bars, trying to spread a threshold by which she could escape.  With jaws clenched I threw my head back, then screamed the name above all names: "Jesus!"
             Instantly the combined light of a million stars flashed.  Scorching heat surged over me.  The bars began to yield, then exploded in a soul-shattering blast.  Knocked backward, I watched in astonished wonder as a gaudy shower of splintered gold and scattering gems rained down through a cloud of shimmering dust.
             The eagle?  Straining to see through the ethereal haze, I saw her gasping--but free.  She made no motion to rise.  She appeared to be locked in place, somehow held in the same position she's always known.  She was free.  She just didn't seem to believe it.
              "Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!" I shouted while crawling toward her.  The eagle blinked and stirred.  After closing the distance between us, I gathered her in my arms and, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, threw the magnificent bird skyward.  Instinctively, she snapped open her illustrious wings.  I watched the raptor catch the uprising current of pure encouragement that rose from my heart to hers.
              "Fly! Fly! Fly, girl, fly!" I called out toward the heavens.  With several strokes of her powerful wings, she soared upward.  "Fly!" I continued to yell as I rose to my feet.  She circles, perhaps looking for a greater updraft to fill her wingspan.  Her wings rose and fell in mighty strokes, yet each appeared more labored than the last. 
              Confused, I realized the eagle was no long rising.  She was falling!
              It was her adornments.  The weight of her embellishments was more than she could bear.
              The great raptor began to plummet.  A weak cry left her chest, not of triumph...but of defeat.  She was failing.  After plunging in a nauseating spiral, she collided hard with the earth, landing in precisely the same place she had just escaped from, among the twisted remains of her former prison. 
              I watched in stunned silence.  The eagle slowly roused, quietly disregarding me.  Her only focus was concern over her radiant plumage.  After careful inspection of every perfect feather, she appeared to be satisfied.  Then the eagle glanced back and forth between earth and sky...deciding.
             Appearing somewhat revived by her brief flight, a temporary luster rose in her eyes.  The beautiful bird cast one longing gaze back toward the permanent glory of heaven and chose her fate.
             With renewed resolution the eagle looked intently at the ground.  Sifting through the glittering debris of what was once her lovely prison, she retrieved a fractured length of gold.  Holding it close, she studied its brilliance.  Speechless I stood as a witness.
               The eagle continued on her purposeful search.  I watched, mouth agape, as the defeated raptor began to reconstruct--piece by alluring, glittering, captivating piece--the elaborate confinement that had once enslaved her.
               The eagle was rebuilding her crown. 
                                                      **written by Kim Meeder

This story hit me right between the eyes and right in the center of my heart.  I am just like that eagle.  How often is it that we are given that freedom, our chains are broken, we are given the chance to SOAR!  Yet, we sometimes seem to be so attached to our idols, our loves, that we come crashing down again....and we start to rebuild the broken idols and things we love, it's easier to rebuild then surrender sometimes.  He never promised that it would be easy walking with Him.  He didn't say that it wouldn't hurt.  But He did promise that He would never leave us or forsake us.  He's been showing me that even when I take a little bunny trail (or even a ginormous bunny trail), He is always there waiting for me.  With open arms.  Consequences, yes.  Condemnation, no.  A loving Father?  Absolutely.  And He will forever be.

I so can't apologize for this long just kinda kept coming :)


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Presenting: The Very Pushed Back Ramble

I was very pleased to get the news on March 22 that I officially had a donor for my knee, and that surgery was scheduled for the next Tuesday March 27.  Ok, so I was a total newbie at the surgery thing, but I thought it was really cool how they sent my prescriptions to me in the mail so they could be filled before the day of surgery.   Surgery day came, and I was awake by 4:45.  We were on the road heading to the surgery center by 5:30 and were there by 6.  Then, the fun began.  Not.  I hate IV’s and needles and anything that has the potential to leave me black and blue, but oh, the joys.  I was first given the medical world’s latest in surgery fashion to change into: a stunning gown of white with a breathtaking blue pattern of some sort, along with that, I had the privilege of a marvelous hat, a style that I had never worn before; the icing on the cake was the tan non-slip socks they gave. J  Once I was all decked out in my surgery finery, I glided over to my “bed”.  Once there, I endured such atrocities.  They began with trying to give me an IV, the most dreaded part (*insert horrified shiver).  The nurse, bless her heart, that tried to put in my IV, tried TWICE, which was three times too many.  And the worst thing is, you don’t just get stuck once each time they try, no, you get stuck twice, because as most of you know, they have to “numb” said area.  Ha. Numb my foot.  So, I’m officially stuck four times now, and my nurse, once again bless her heart, decides that it’s time for the anesthesiologist to come and try to get the IV in.  So, out traipses a wonderful lady who got the IV the first time she tried; I was as pleased someone can be getting stuck SIX times for ONE IV.  Of course, I knew that this was not the end of the joys to come; yet a pleasant surprise did show up in the course of my demise.  I soon began to feel very euphoric and light, fabulous feeling, I say; and then, the man doing my anesthesia came and proceeded to give my leg a shot to numb my thigh.  Not the most pleasant experience; but I will say this, whatever they had in my IV, made me not care so much, that once again, I was being poked with a very sharp needle.  In my state of euphoria, whoever was taking care of my at the time, wheeled me into the OR, where they gave me oxygen and told me that they were giving me meds to knock me out.  They said it would sting, but all I remember before groggily waking up in recovery is the oxygen mask.  In recovery, they asked me questions, which I have no idea anymore what were.  From there, I was moved to a chair and given apple juice and animal crackers and Percocet.  Lovely stuff that.  My parents came to fetch me, and I was wheeled out to our vehicle.  After hitting almost every bump on the way home (bless my dad’s heart, he did do a good job), I promptly collapsed into bed.  The last many days have simply run together into endless days of sitting around and working on my therapy.  I’ve struggled a bit on the therapy thing, but I’m starting to do more.  Tomorrow I have therapy with Jill at 3:30, which should be fun.
 My mom has been such a trooper through all this; no lie, she’s pretty much an angel.  There have been many times already that I’m sure that she’s wanted to bop me a good one or simple walk away crying, but no, she keeps on going, loving me anyway.  Her schedule’s crazy right now, but she’s doing a wonderful job!
So enough of the surgery bit, onto other things.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about lots of random things.  But the one thing that has most definitely stuck out the most is why God allows certain people to come into our lives when they only seem to use you like a punching bag.  Then, I got to thinking, well, He is trying to show me something there, right?  Could it be in how I react to that type of person, that they see God?  Could it be in simply being a friend, no matter how painful, that they will see God?  Could all this be to simply glorify God?  Yes.  It’s been rough going through things I never imagined that God would have me go through and have I fallen, yes.  But, there’s this unexplainable thing that I don’t understand but just KNOW.  God simply cares for me; He adores me; He wants to know ME; He knows everything that is going on in my life and cries with me; He loves me.  I don’t understand, why He does this, because I can be so rotten and get so distracted, but all I know is that He does, and that is so good enough for me.  So because of that, simply knowing that, I want my heart to be open to the punches other people throw.  We can’t see all their pain; we don’t know all their hurts, their cries for help, their longings.  It may hurt me, but I have to think how many times I’ve done that to God.  Thinking that, and knowing God’s love me and learning to live in that love, gives me hope that He will be right there with me taking the punches thrown.
Long post, I know, but it’s what I had.