Saturday, May 25, 2013

*HIS*


The holy ache of grace and forgiveness.  I could not ask for more, but how I continue to fight His grace.  He asks me, “Don’t you know who you are?”  I sit and wonder at what that could mean. 

 Who am I? 

 Is it possible to still not completely know?  Yet, in my heart one voice shouts, “Cheater, liar, adulteress, sinner!  Selfish, ungrateful, forgotten, unworthy!”  All true; but a greater truth speaks gently through the din, Daughter, warrior, Mine.  Redeemed, loved, made worthy, treasured.” 

  Daughter.  Daughter.  I speak the word out loud.  “Daughter.”  The same word He speaks over me, “Daughter, don’t you know who you are?” 

 I am blown away.   

The Star-Breather, the One who made the universe so massive you can’t even see Earth from way out in space, sees ME, and calls me Daughter.  

 I sit and think about the many breakfasts and conversations my earthly daddy and I have.  He loves me, yet how much more does my Creator love me?  I can’t even begin to imagine.  Daughter. 

 And then, of all possible things, He named me Warrior.  Warrior!  Not only did He call me Warrior, but He carefully specified that I would know that I am of noble birth.  The name He gave me through my parents I used to hate, but He literally called me Warrior of noble birth.  He wanted me to KNOW that I am fighting royalty.  Now it is an honor to have this name.   

And Mine.  His.  Really?  Truly?  His.  Wow.  I am His warring daughter.  But even more than that. 

 I am HIS.  Satan can’t claim me anymore.  Those chains are broken.  Saved by grace.  Redeemed by love.

  His.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Not Guilty

NOT GUILTY- Mandisa
******************
I stand accused
There's a list a mile long
Of all my sins
Of everything that I've done wrong
I'm so ashamed

There's nowhere left for me to hide
This is the day
I must answer for my life
My fate is in the Judge's hands
But then He turns to me and says

I know you, I love you
I gave My life to save you
Love paid the price for mercy
My verdict not guilty

How can it be?
I can't begin to comprehend
What kind of grace
Would take the place for all my sin?

I stand in awe
Now that I have been set free
And the tears well up
As I look at that cross
'Cause it should have been me

My fate was in the nail scarred hands
He stretched them out for me
And said

I know you, I love you
I gave My life to save you
Love paid the price for mercy
My verdict not guilty

I'm falling on my knees to thank You
With everything I am I'll praise you
So grateful for the words I heard
You say

I know you, I love you
I gave My life
I know you, I love you
I gave My life just to save you
Love paid the price for mercy
My verdict not guilty

Love paid the price for mercy
My verdict not guilty, not guilty
 
*************
 
This song.  Wow.  The past 72 hours have been nothing short of God singing this song over me.  The battle isn't done, but the way God has been in the midst of it fighting ferociously for me, I don't doubt that He is going to win.   I even told Him yesterday that I simply don't get it right now.  I don't understand His love right now.  It's hard to feel an incredible amount right now.  I don't know why life is the way it is.  In moments yesterday, I even doubted His love.  But, He simply kept on loving me.  He walked acres with me and just listened to me talk.  I was angry, confused and I told Him so.  He kept listening.  I told Him of my selfish prayers and that some days I didn't want Him to change my will for His.  I told Him that I couldn't feel His love, that at times I felt like He wasn't there.  I told Him that there were moments when I simply wanted to give up.  And still He listened.  I sang to His songs to Him, tears streaming, begging Him to see me, forgetting that He was standing right beside me.  I admitted that my spirit was willing, but my flesh was extremely weak.  I told Him of the spirit of fear, self-preservation, and manipulation that wanted to rise up.  I told of my rights and dreams that I wanted to hold onto.  Yet, I couldn't help but also tell Him of the longing to be obedient.  I acknowledged His gifts that keep pouring into my life: how He gave me angels in human form, how He gave me song after song, how He gave me rain for two days, how He had warriors praying all over the country for me, even a small robin that I got to hold yesterday, the dirt beneath my bare feet, driving an amazing car, connecting with a dear friend, amazingly green grass, breakfast with my dad, lunch and God-filled talk with my mom, and grace, such amazing grace.  I told Him all these things, and I felt Him walking with me.  And, I was amazed how later in the evening, He poured more into my life.  A courage to continue.  A grace-filled strength.  Oh, and then as icing, He sent a sister to give me a beautiful picture.  I am going to write her words here.  He knew just how to gift me today.

Her words for me:
"A picture I keep on getting is you dancing in front of Jesus in a pure, white wedding dress.  Your eyes are sparkling.  Jesus is so in awe of your beauty and in such delight He can't keep His eyes off you!  He is looking at you so adoringly and is so pleased with the daughter He has created.  It's a sweet picture I see.
I also see troublesome waters.  Chopping, rough, ugly waves.  And an undercurrent that wants to take you out to sea.  In the midst of it all, I see a finger; and it's larger than life.  It's powerful.  And you have your hand wrapped around it so tightly.  It is the finger of God.  It is guiding you out of these waters!"  I would wish such sisters and brothers in Christ for everyone.  May it be so someday.

I. AM. REDEEMED.
I don't know the outcome of the battle, but I sing grace already because He is good.  And this is the song I sing.

Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, and I have been set free
“Amazing Grace” is the song I sing.
 
 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Amazing Grace

I run because I ache. 
The tears form, but they refuse to fall.
 I am broken inside, yet so held together by grace.
 I am stubborn; my heart hard yet shattered.
 Jesus gives and takes away. 
Some days every moment sears more than the one before it. 
Some days, it is everything to believe that His grace is truly sufficient.
 To trust in God's Father heart. 
To accept His grace and forgiveness.
 I forget that loved reigned (intentional spelling :)) down in 39 lashes and nails pounded into flesh. 
That He isn't in a tomb. 
That He is already in the future moments of my life. 
How He showers this ungrateful heart with lavish gits that boldly say,

"I love you, you are Mine." 

We are so UNWORTHY.
"We can fully embrace God's love only when
we recognize how completely unworthy of it we are."
                                                    (Ann Tatlock)

Amazing grace.  Amazing love.  For me.  The broken.  The redeemed.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Longing for Grace



I sit here tonight, and I can almost not take it anymore.  I see broken everywhere.  I see innocence that, because of the horrible evil and darkness in the world, will most assuredly be broken someday.  My heart aches for this to change.  I smile, but I feel the pain.  Pain that will and has come.  I think of my week to come, that in ten days I will have to do one of the hardest things in my life.  That it will only be through the grace of Jesus pouring out that I might be able to share His glory in even a small way, should I come back to this place.  And even if His grace isn’t given through people, His grace straight from the throne, will be enough.  All my selfish prayers will fade away that day; broken, cracked and bleeding, I’ll bend to His will.  Whatever Abba wants; I give it up.  Should He wish to give me the worst thing I could imagine, by His grace I will accept it.  Should He wish to instead bless me by shocking me through love poured out, I will accept it.  Either way, from the rooftops I will proclaim His name.  His glory.  His grace.  His love.  I am redeemed.  I get that now.  I am R.E.D.E.E.M.E.D.  No matter what I’ve done, God is for me.  I am His daughter, sung over and treasured.  There were and still are, at times, moments when the anger seeps in and I cry out that life is unfair.  But, maybe in all of life’s unfairness, He’ll be able to reach more people through a story unjust in so many ways.  Yet, I can’t help but think that that same story is so abounding in grace, in ways that I don’t even know yet.  And how it breaks me apart that even in the small amount that I do know about my Savior, I still don’t trust His heart fully.  And at this moment, I feel His love flow.  As I write, the song Sweetly Broken comes on.  And the chorus hits me:
At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.
Wow.  To be like that.  So lost in Love that surrender is sweet.  
Why is that the pain we hate so much becomes our security?
Why are we scared to let it go?
It might be breaking, it might mean bleeding.
But His grace is sufficient.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

Change

Change.  What a word.  It describes my life.  My house.  My job.  My friends.  A blessing, yet how it makes ache come.  I remember this past week with a mixture of emotion.  There were many lasts, a few firsts, but many lasts.  Those lasts, I treasure.  There only a few to be mentioned here.  There was the last time I slept in the room that I've had since I moved here last January.  There was the last time being in that room with a room mate, something that I had gotten used to.  There was the last time doing laundry in our good old laundry room.  The last time having someone go through both doors in my room, just passing through.  The last time.  Some days the lasts can be so overwhelming, too filled with heavy.  Grace blessed by giving me a weekend to, in some ways, forget the lasts.  A weekend filled with laughter, sunshine, good food.  Yet, coming back to the house, I was overcome by the reality that once again my life is about to be changed drastically.  My heart rebelled at the very thought that once again I had to give up more and let more change in.  Tears came angry.  Yet, it's as if they almost refused to fall, for fear that no one, not even me would understand them.  Fear that condemnation would fall.  Fear that grace would no longer be.  Fear that nothing could ever be normal again.  Then again, crazy grace flowed in the next few days at work.  And a quote made my mind reel.  "All fear is the notion that the love of God ends." (Ann Voskamp).  Fear of change.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of man.  Fear of the future.  Fear of being forgotten.  Fear of being unworthy.  All fear.  When we fear, we let Satan make us believe that God's love isn't sufficient, that it ends instead of being never-ending.  And, if God is love, but we believe that God's love ends, then we're believing that God ends.  That He isn't capable to love, that He, in essence, isn't.  We would never actually stop to think that way, but if you pick fear apart, it, does in a way become just what I've written. 

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.  By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.  So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.  God is love and whoever abides in love, abides in God and God abides in him.  By this is love perfected in us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because as He is so also are we in this world.  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.  We love because He first loved us. "
1 John 4:7-19

Isn't that crazy?  Perfect love casts out fear.  If Love, who created the mountains so massive, can cause them to crumble in seconds, Love can break the chains of fear.