Sunday, May 1, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I've always said I like change.
I've based that assessment of myself solely on my decision to attend college out-of-state at a university where I didn't know anyone and I felt like my world would be rocked with new things and well, change. That and the fact that I like having a hint of spontaneity in my life always made me believe that I am an anomaly to the majority of the world and that I like change. People always say they hate change. So it always seemed cooler to me to claim to like it. And honestly, I thought I did.
But the older I get, the more I think I hate change. A lot actually.
Granted going out-of-state was a huge decision and it ain’t no small thing that I jumped next door to the state of Georgia to pursue my higher ed and left pretty much everyone I knew behind. But let’s be real, that was the safest change I could have made. Everyone was a part of it; everyone was changing. College by sheer definition does that to you. It would have been change to not go to college, to not leave home and go off on my own. Sure I went a tad bit farther than most of my closest friends but not really. As unknown as UGA was for me, it was pretty known in a lot of ways. I knew that for at least 4 years I would be in college. And for someone who doesn’t really think past today, that was enough for me.
But now that I’m in grad school and I’m watching life change daily around me and in me, I don’t have a clue what’s happening and I can’t lie, I don’t think I love it. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. In a year and a half, I could be anywhere in the world. Literally, anywhere.
In the last 5 years, I’ve met the most beautiful people in the world. I’m convinced. Athens has won my heart because of the people I’ve met here. And the Lord knew that when he wrote my story and when I nonchalantly decided to commit to UGA.
And now, I don’t know what’s happening next. And I really don’t need to because I still have a year and a half of grad school left. But even if I didn’t have that time left, I still don’t really need to know what’s happening next. He knows. He always knows.
And despite the fact that life is always changing around me, people are coming and going (and staying) and I feel like I’m constantly changing, He’s not doing any of that. Besides the staying part. I love that. I think, actually I know that my most favorite promise God has made to His people and to me is this: that He will never leave you; He will never forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Another version says He’ll never fail or abandon me. I’m never alone. He doesn’t change. Ever.
As I watch my friends and the people I love date and marry and get real people jobs and have babies and move all over the world, it’s so neat. Life’s happening. Love’s happening. Jesus is alive and He’s happening. But that also means things are changing. And if I’m honest, I don’t always love it. Change sucks sometimes. Mostly all the time. It sucks because it's hard, not because it's not beautiful and worthwhile.
It’s also so exciting. And a reminder to me that I’m not in control. Ever. I thought I was and think I am. But it’s all an illusion. I don’t even control whether I take my next breath. How arrogant I am to think I can control my life, especially my God.
So yeah, I just realized this semester that I don’t love change. There’s a reason that’s popular opinion. I’m going to quit trying to buck the system just for the sake of being different. That doesn’t do a whole lot. But just because I don’t love it doesn’t mean it isn’t good and necessary. I think change is one of God’s tools in my life to remind me that He’s in control, not me. And that when everything around me is changing and when I hardly recognize what’s going on inside me, He’s still the same. He’s the Rock that life is meant to be built on. And He will always be.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Monday, December 20, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I don't get His love for me because I don't get Jesus. I just don't. I know I should but I don't. All I know is that somehow, Jesus is my Advocate, my Mediator-who is prefect and gets it not just mostly right but totally right. Not some days but all days. And because of that, I'm free to be me and be accepted and loved and safe in the knowledge that that love will not fade or waver. Even if I never get it right (it's not looking like I will, at least not anytime soon), Jesus has me covered. Literally. His death on the cross covered me and covers me now and will cover me forevermore. When God looks upon me, He looks with favor and adoration because He sees Jesus's record of perfection and getting it right. But somehow in that He still sees me and loves me, knowing all of me and my inherent suckiness. God loves me. And love trumps all. He not only loves me but His love is strong. Oh how I wish I believed that all the time and even now. And craved God's love more than the love, approval, and affirmation of any human being. But I know my heart. And I know it's deceitful. But I also know my God. And He's fought for my heart back over and over again and reminded me of this truth. So yeah, I suck. But I'm loved. I'm loved while I still suck. That's outstanding. God doesn't say He'll love me when I figure out how to get life right or when I live up to my potential or when I at least start getting it more right then I have been or quit being so freakin apathetic most of my days and do something. He says instead that I am precious and honored in His sight and that He loves me. That at the right moment, while I was still a sinner, He died for me. He chose me, predestined me to be His before I took my first breath. He isn't angry at me but has compassion on me because He remembers my frame and knows that I am but dust. He says He will love me freely, that He has called me by name, I am His. Most of my friends know that Paul is not my favorite Bible character. I just can't relate to him at all. He just seems so prideful to me rattling off all these great things He's done for the Lord and I just get irritated with his tone. But he's started to grow on me lately. I think we've got a lot more in common than I initially thought (pride included) but I love what he says in 1 Timothy 1:15-16: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life." I am a showcase not of sin, but of God's infinite patience. To harp on how badly I screw up day to day, how sinful and deceitful my heart is, how much I'm prone to think negatively of myself, yeah all those things would be true, but all those things pale in comparison to what really should be reflecting from my life. I have a great God, one who loves me and fights on my behalf despite all of that. THAT is worth mentioning and harping on and getting excited over. I get it all backwards sometimes (let's be honest, most of the time). It's His story, not mine. I'm just an extra who keeps messing up her lines and trying to steal the show, but it's not my story and it's not my show to steal. For some crazy reason, the main character has fallen in love with me. Yeah, He loves me. Weird. But it's still His story. I'm happy to be in it however He writes it.
As of right now, I have a pretty great memory. But I've noticed it's been fading as of late. Such a bummer. But such is life I guess. Anyway, I hope that one day, when my memory has faded completely, that I, like John Newton can say this, that...
My memory is nearly gone;
but I remember two things;
That I am a great sinner, and
that Christ is a great Saviour.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Wake up, oh sleeper, rise and awake.
Heaven is calling, no time to waste.
Eyes on the skyline, watch for the Son
Over the hilltop His glory will come.
Wake from your slumber, see the display.
Glory and passion are calling your days.
Move to the rhythm, join in the song.
We're singing of freedom, and unfailing love.
Your life awaits.
Leave your wasted days.
Feel the rush of life.
Open up your eyes, wake up.
I hear Your voice in the morning light.
You call my name, You're calling me to rise.
I stand in you, Here in your perfect love.
I lift my voice, Because the word is out to rise and wake up.
-Kristian Stanfill, Wake Up