Anymore

Somewhere I heard a bird, in a meadow softly sing
distant, melancholy; a secret stolen dream.
It didn’t take me long, to arrive beneath her throne
the dream it kept her waiting so here she made her home.

“Why, little bird,” I asked, “do you soulfully sing?
If a dream is what you really want, go! Take wing!
Are you afraid of flying, or reaching a distant shore?
Why do you keep stagnant; when you’re capable of so much more?”

Somehow the little bird, it stopped and turned its eyes towards me
wrestled, worn and weary; without words I heard her speak.
“Is it so unfamiliar, to stay against all hope?
What is more enduring: to leave or remain home?”

I guess I hadn’t wisdom for the bird’s questioning.
Who was I to really say giving up was the better thing?
“But do you believe its right, hiding here alone?”
Ah, but she seemed to say, if you stay then I won’t be
anymore.

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O, But For Hope

To Lauren,


Some nights you end up in my dreams
and we embrace as if no time had passed
as if the words that’ve been said, hadn’t
and the hardship between us didn’t last
I awake from the sweet
trumped by the reality.

I wonder if I’ll see you in passing,
and if you’ll recognize my face
or if you’ll pretend you didn’t
and break my heart to pieces
and I wonder if I’d even speak to you
or if I could.

I said I’d be done begging.
I’m done searching you out.
But hearing the silence you’ve surrounded yourself in
makes me wonder if you’re drowning in loneliness
like me.

But maybe you’re fine. Maybe your new life without
is much better now that I’m not there to make a sound
maybe its really much better
trusted wounds, my friend
but I’d take a kiss
just to know you’re alright
or understand
why you left
or won’t come back
or why you hide
why this dread?

just one sound
and I think I could finally sleep.
Just one ounce.
Oh, how I miss you my friend.

Some nights you end up in my dreams
and we embrace as if no time had passed
as if the words that’ve been said, hadn’t
and the hardship between us didn’t last
I awoke from the sweet
trumped by the reality.

O, but for Hope that you’ll come home.


Diary of the Abused

Between the ages of 10-12, I experienced a variety of sexual abuse. While I used to think this was a huge statement of who I am, a big secret to unveil, it’s no longer defining me and instead I’m finding peace. Washed clean by the purity of another child, I didn’t realize what bondage I was under until this last summer.


You might not take compassion on me if you saw me on the street. I walk up rightly and I can run with speed. There are no scars from what I’ve seen or what’s been done to me.

But if you might have examined what is in me – these are the things I’m convinced only Jesus can love me in spite of.

I used to think my innocence was stolen from me, but as I consider who I was becoming at that time, I can see that I was offering an invitation. While that’s not everyone’s story, its part of mine. And while that doesn’t make me responsible I know I cannot blame just one person. I would have liked to, however. I’m haunted often by guilty memories of my letters of vengeance and words of unforgiving hatred; once heavily burdened by the weight of responsibility for the discouraging direction their life went after. Those are things Jesus has helped me let go for many years now.

But, there were a lot of other consequences, a lot of other scars I wore and carried. A lot of distortions of who I saw myself as, my sexuality, my relationships with other people, and the intertwining of all of those things. I think as I started following Jesus in college, I tried covering up those distortions with my convictions I was building only as an effort to silence a few demon hounds. They sounded a lot like temptations I indulged in the past, but as soon as my convictions began to be challenged, those temptations met me right in the face by the small hands of purity and innocence.


After crossing the finish line of high school, possibly on my hands and knees, I was convinced of a few things: I decided I’d probably never get married, never have kids, and that I was asexual. It was very complicated. At the same time I also desired those things a lot, but convinced I was too dangerous to ever take part in them.

I’m not entirely sure how to communicate this next part except to just be blunt.

It was like every time I experienced pleasure from touch, I was convinced it was sexual. It had to be. That’s all I ever knew it as. Every pleasure was lust. Slowly I convinced myself I was a monster. A twisted sickness that I couldn’t escape. I was stuck with myself. Too afraid of what I might become, I put up walls; marinading in solitude. Stuck in a push and pull of curiosity and fear.

Coming to college, I was hit upside the head with a 2×4 to follow Jesus, to find healing and forgiveness. Not only that, but I found this place where brothers and sisters just hugged each other. People held hands and cried on each others’ lap.

But of course, those old temptations followed so I built convictions about not touching that protected me; probably hurting my brothers and sisters a long the way.

About a year ago, it became time to face it when I was babysitting. We were reading a book when the child began to pet my arm. It was so sweet and nice, but my blood pressure raised as I considered that I’d been enjoying this moment in all the wrong ways. I remember thinking, “Is this who I am?”.

A prison of shame.

I’d read verses that Paul wrote to Timothy like “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst” and nod in empathy. I’d pray things like “create in me a pure heart and renew a right spirit within me,” utterly convinced nothing could ever make me pure in the inmost places of my heart and mind-too ashamed of these temptations.

At some point during the beginning of 2014 I had a revelation about temptation and sin. Romans 6 says specifically “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, because anyone who was died has been freed from sin”.

Temptation became just that. Temptation. A mere, weasily word that can be resisted and is rewarded when done so (James 1:12). I suddenly squelched every opportunity for the tempter to have any power over me, and so put to death the power sin held in my life. The mortification of sin, as John Owen calls it. As I think of that time, I can see this was a good foundation God was laying for what lie ahead.


Fast forward to this past summer: same home, same child, same lap; a lonely heart and a courage to change. He laid there with his back up to me and I asked if could draw a picture with my finger for him to guess. This was exactly how it happened the first time for me, when I was abused all those years ago. But, I felt compelled to re-live this memory. He said yes, and so I began to draw letters; he giggled and guessed. As he laid there, this little boy of 4 years, in all enjoyment and peace, gave to me an example of pleasure in perfect purity.

The next morning as I was waking in my bed, he came in to lay down with me. I sat up and started humming and drumming on his back gently. As he lay there, eyes closed, it was the purity in his face came up and washed over me as I witnessed such pleasure of a touch. It was possible. It was pure, and it was good. Not all touch had to be sexualized. It was like opening a door from a world of brokenness to a world of hope.

After that I remember thinking… I’ve been missing this part of human connection my whole life???????? No wonder I was swallowed by doubt and loneliness; I’d been missing one of the main forms of human connection! And so, somehow, my heart is healed by Jesus working through a child. And so we are the hands and feet, eh?


As I reflect on 2014 and think about the things I’ve learned this year, that was by far the most impacting. And why share all these considerably intimate details in a public domain? Well, first to glorify God and to show his healing work, secondly to confess my own sin and prove God’s great grace in forgiveness, and thirdly that maybe someone out there might feel burdened by the same thing looking for compassion or empathy. Or maybe that you might have a friend or a sibling, a wife or a daughter or son who was or will be here. That maybe you are burdened by your guilt of sin and need a reminder that our Lord Jesus is mighty to save.

Zephaniah 3:14-20
Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.

On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

The sorrows for the appointed feasts I will remove from you; they are a burden and a reproach to you. At that time I will deal with all who opressed you; I will rescue the lame and gather those who have been scattered. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they were put to shame.

At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,”  says the Lord.

A great Hope.

I hit a rocky place a few months ago. Despair enclosed in on just about every side and I started to forget why all this life was happening in the first place. So discouraged I remember praying “God, I don’t even know what hope is anymore.”

Out of hope and out in the mountains I spent some time in Colossians and came across the verse that says our hope has been secured, stored, sealed in heaven. (1:5) I started to do more in depth searches which basically meant I did a lot of dictionary searching and translational stuff. Hope is the expectation of good. And that goodness comes from having redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. (1:13)

Getting my right perspective back on track, I began reading through Isaiah again. (Most of the time I read Isaiah and I’m frustratingly like “Lord, I don’t understand any of this.” Amen?)
I wanted to share this though:

Joy of the Redeemed (Isaiah 35:1-10 NIV):
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will greatly rejoice and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of The Lord, the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come save you.”
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf un stopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongues shout for joy. Water will gush forth in wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not he found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of The Lord will return.
They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

What a great hope of joy for those of us who are redeemed by the blood of Jesus!

Carry on in faith, love, & hope!

Pizza and learning to play without the queen.

(This is a long one, but a long time coming! God has done some great work!)

First I think I need to describe my grandfather. Yes. This is a good idea.

He was average height and dark skinned. Polish. I remember him best seeing him growing his giant, tall tomato plants in the garden; always shirtless, his skin was tight but also wrinkly. When he spoke his polish accent shaped every word, it was a low grumbly voice. Inside the house, he would always offer us (the grandkids) gum. My favorite was finding really old Big Red in a drawer because it would snap when you bent it. My grandpa was a hard worker and spent time in a concentration camp as a POW during WWII, but he never talked about it because somethings in life “were best left in the past”. He coined the catchphrase in our family “you can do it like a lion or you can do it like a lamb, but you still gotta do it” and that was the mentality my mom passed on to us kids. My grandpa didn’t have a mother figure in his life, apparently she had died when he was five so his dad raised him and taught him to play chess. When my great grandfather taught my grandpa and his siblings to play, they learned to play without the queen: to teach them that the other players had very important roles and could win the game without her and then also to show them that as they depended on each other (the knights and rookies, pawns and bishops) they would work wonderfully together and if the queen came back into the game, the rest of the pieces knew how to function to their ability and could compliment the queen. This my grandpa passed down to my mother as well, as her mother was diagnosed with delusional schizophrenia and was placed into an institution so my mom too had to learn to play without the queen.

chess-shutterstock

My mom was telling me this story tonight as we sat at a local pizza place (its much too classy to be called a ‘joint’) in my hometown.  I want to share with you an amazing story that unfolds to show God redeeming love and power! Last Thanksgiving break I remember my mom telling me that I couldn’t understand disappointment because I had such an easy life; I remember responding with tears and shouting as I confessed to her that I had been suicidal and stuck in depression for most of my childhood. Before coming back she had blamed me for the riff in her relationship with my dad, words that stabbed far deeper than any knife could and I cried myself to sleep listening to Hold My Heart by Tenth Avenue North praying and waiting for the pain to stop. Coming back to school, surrounded by believers I sought to allow God to change my circumstances and to change my heart. Exodus 20:12 says “Honor your father and mother so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” and Ephesians 6:2-3 quotes Deuteronomy by saying “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” I went to a conference over Christmas break that year on the same topic. I knew regardless of how I felt about it or how much I thought she earned or deserved honor, I was going to honor because of the promise God made if I obeyed. It’s been a roller coaster of humbleness since.

Now that I’ve caught you up on the mess (and you can read plenty of previous posts on the matter) I’d like to tell you where we are now.

My mom and I sat at the restaurant for an hour talking about the magnificent work Jesus has done in our lives and the brokenness it has come through. Both of us. Mainly her. Oh Frabjous Day! Cahloo! Callay! How I chortled in my joy!Better yet, we wept beside one another in a church in my hometown yesterday when singing From The Inside Out by Hillsong. What is the cause for this change?

God is at the end of your rope. A couple times a week I pass a sign outside of a church on the west side of Ames and that’s what its said for the last week. God is at the end of your rope.

I mentioned in my post Lord the Healer and Redeemer that my mom’s boyfriend Jeff was diagnosed with cancer and only had a limited time (3-9 months) left to live. 3-9 months turned out to be three weeks. I received a call one night from my mom that Jeff wouldn’t make it through the night. God put it on my heart to share the gospel with him so I left everything and a beloved sister (my kindred spirit) drove 6 hours with me. In the span of 22 hours, we drove there, met his wife and kids, and paced and prayed for 7 hours (well, my friend slept somewhere). I had no idea what I was doing- but I knew that as the hour grew later (or earlier I should say) my time was coming as his time was ending. 6 am I asked to speak to him alone. His body was frail and almost non existent on the hospital bed. His eyes yellow. He reached out often to grab things that weren’t there, but when I called his attention he would look at me. As I shared I asked if he wanted to accept Jesus as his payment for his sins, but no answer. I left it in God’s hands. 5 hours later I gave him a hug and said goodbye, I whispered into his ear to watch for Jesus and lifted up the rest to God. I left and couldn’t hold in the tears. The sadness was too real. I hugged my mom tightly and we talked of Gods love. My friend and I drove back to Ames. 22 hours. The next morning was a friday and my mom had called to tell me he had passed. It’s been God’s healing work ever since.

I had been praying recently in the last month for my mom, that she would find a church to get plugged into and another believer to come a long side of her. Last week (or so) my mom called me on a Sunday to tell me about her time at church for the 3rd week in a row and how she wanted to make it her highest commitment. No excuses. She just ordered glasses and as soon as they came in she was going to start reading two pages of the Bible everyday. I’ve been sending her messages on CDs about topics I think will help bring healing to her heart and songs about God’s love to bring comfort. She’s been going to church with a woman named Judy, who I was able to lift my hands of praise next to at church. I couldn’t wipe away the tears fast enough.

Its like- in the depths of ALL of this brokenness that just thrives all around me, knitting my family together, God is working powerfully. Theres still more work to do. But if you are encouraged by anything out of this, let it be that God can and will change your life and your family’s life if you seek to obey His words. It may take a long time, but let it be worth it. It makes take hours of tears and heart wrenching pain, but get through it. Keep fighting the good fight of faith. Keep thanking God for the hard stuff even when nothing in you wants to. Look your self in the mirror and say “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfied your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5) And don’t let your self forget it.

This thanksgiving I’m thankful for everything above written. Even the messy stuff. It was worth it just to experience the glory of God within my family.

What are you thankful for?

Lord the Healer and Redeemer

Today has been quite a day. I called my mom today expecting to have a hard conversation; her boyfriend had been diagnosed with lung cancer and they were waiting for some results. I didn’t intend to hear such a short end to his future. It’s not for certain but somewhere between 3 months to 9 months left for him. That was really hard to hear, and it surprised my heart so much to find out just how much I cared.

Harder yet, he doesn’t believe in God which means because of his hard heart and rejection of truth… heaven is not his destiny. This saddens me far greater because I care a lot about him and I know God does too.

I’m writing this for prayers and encouragement. I’m not entirely sure what role in showing God’s love to him that I or my mom can play, but I’m praying God would guide me. I don’t know what its like to find a way to trust God through all this hardship from his perspective… its nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

I do trust God though, I trust that He has a perfect plan for Jeff and our family and that He will use this cancer to draw Jeff to himself,  but I’m afraid Jeff’s heart is too hard. I pray God would soften it and speak love into his life and he would have ears to hear and eyes to see. I also believe God is a great healer and a lot can happen in 3 or 9 months.

Please join me in prayer if you read this or pass on any encouragement I could share if anyone has similar experiences! Jesus talked about the effort a shepherd will go to save one sheep… I pray Jeff is that sheep.

Thanks,

from a loving sister in and servant of Christ.

Defying Logic: Day 1

Yesterday I took the day off. I told the ladies I meet with that I couldn’t and I emailed my boss and asked that it’d be ok if I skipped work. With approval all around, I went out to a park and sat for 4 hours. 

The wind was cold, but luckily I brought a blanket so I wrapped myself in it and sat. 

My apprehension was that I was going to go and God wouldn’t meet me there. My heart was too proud. For the first minute I wept actually, just to be away from everything. How my heart longed to just escape, but only this teeny tiny part that was still alive. So being there, putting myself in God’s presence was whelming. 

As I prayed through the different things, searching my heart, giving things to God, coming back to prayer, reading, singing some, readjusting my seat… God guided me to the Knowledge of the Holy by Tozer. In it, I found that it spoke a great depth of truth to the doubt in my heart. 

Then Tozer mentioned something that I hadn’t really considered which was that science, in a way, takes our awe away from God and what he’s done. It becomes so normal and makes so much sense to us that we never get back to worshipping God. I began to realize this is what I’ve been doing. 

Logic. I want God to fit inside my box of logic, and if it can’t… it must not be. But… if God is infinite, and as our creator, we have no ability to comprehend all things that are God. Even if we are given the truth we cannot know fully. There are many truths in the Bible that I have not been able to comprehend, one is the trinity and another is Christ’s payment covering all of our sins.

Tozer used a quote “The fact that Christ has died for my sins is incredible; and the fact that He was raised from the dead for my salvation is impossible.”  

As I reflect on my time with God in the past months I am reminded of the frustration of not understanding and how that leads me to doubt. Who is God that we can understand? These things should cause us to worship him in wonder and majesty. As I idol knowledge and wisdom in my heart… I am looking forward to coming back to the heart of worship. 

So I’m hoping to post a different blog on something about God that doesn’t entirely make sense to me, but is incredible. 

This morning I read Matthew 20:20-28. The part I’m picking out is verses 26-27

“…Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as the ransom of many”

This is amazing to me because the God of the universe came down and did not come in glory. We spend all our lives trying to glorify God and He gave up glory to become a servant to us. He could have come down in power and majesty and won us over, but he had a greater example in mind, and instead he serves. 

What a great God. 

Praises!

A little over a year ago was November… the height of my intolerable relationship with my mom. It climaxed with a horrendous argument in the car, not the kind where two people just argued because they were too afraid to say what they had really wanted to say… no, this was the kind where we both started to say all the things we had never said. 

I remember being confused as to whether I had told my mom too much, hurt because of all the things that had been said, and tired of the relationship we had. It was just the beginning. I survived being at home that time, went back to school, and started to pray more about how to fix our relationship… and most of it came down to me and my heart. Winter break came, tussles happened, but this time it was different because I started apologizing for the things I had been doing that hurt her. I started practicing submission to her authority and patience to her impatience. I started talking about the things God  was teaching me and sharing my life more with her. I started telling her different testimonies of different people’s lives. I started asking her about her life. As life went on, God became more involved. As life went on I needed God more to help the relationship grow. As life went on, our relationship began to change. God gave me love in my heart and a promise that if I honor my parents… I will have joy! As God began to knit us back together, God began to be what we were knitted out of. My mom started asking me to pray for things, my mom started to pray with me. She began to open up about the things God was doing in her life and she began to depend more on him. 

For Christmas this year I bought my mom a bible that I had gone through and highlighted all of the verses that really impacted me. Some of them were verses that I thought needed to be emphasized for her understanding, but most of them were snipbits of my heart and what God used to take me through some of the valley’s I went through. It took two hours. When I gave it to her for Christmas, she was thankful. I was glad and prayed she would read it. 

Earlier this week in the car, we were coming home from spending some time together out and about. I began to ask her about her relationship with God and if she understood that Christ forgave our sins by his blood… nothing but. The conversation curved many ways and I was left feeling as though she doesn’t completely understand… but I’m hopeful. 

The conversation did go one way though. My mom started talking about her boss who recently had been my mom’s project to convince that God is real and answers prayers. She smiled and told me that he was reading the bible I gave her the other day. She’s seeing a change in him. 

That was really encouraging for me and very much praise worthy. It’s a blessing to be interwoven in their lives and to have it come by small and big steps of faith. God provides and is faithful to his promises. Praise you Father that you care so much about your children! 

In the Moments Before Death

My father’s father was often told to be a bitter man. I’d heard that he was often aggressive even abusive and if the chores weren’t done right, fear encompassed the home farm. My young age kept me from ever knowing him, I was two years old when he passed. People often ask me if I remembered him, I don’t I’m afraid, yet I find myself thinking of him often. When I was in 7th grade we watched a video from 1992, the year I was born, about the tornado that hit town that year. In the video a man started talking. His face was so familiar, but I didn’t and couldn’t place it until a name popped up below the clip. “Dale Blader” it said. I paused. That’s my grandpa. I stared at the screen and a tear welled in my eye. I’d never heard him speak or move and here he was, almost alive. 

His death was a tragic one; he had a heart attack out on the combine one afternoon and no one found him until later in the day. My uncle found him I believe. The struggle of his pain was evident though. I’d only heard of the incident a few times and no one really said much else about it. 

As I’ve been learning more and more about my family’s history with faith I began to wonder how my grandma who professed her faith even before getting married ended up with a man who seemed to be so far from God. This Thanksgiving a beautiful story was revealed to me. Grandpa Dale went to church regularly, but my grandmother always questioned whether he’d actually believed in Christ. He had gone his whole life, but never lived a life that seemed impacted by the gospel. My grandma’s heart was good with the Lord and was convinced that he was not. Religion to him was just something he did under the belief that works like going to church is what saves you and takes you home. After his death, her heart was disturbed to think he’d died without ever turning to Christ. This probably saddened her a lot. She said only once had she ever seen him read the word, and when he did there were tears streaming down his face. Her turmoil must have impacted her even to the point of sharing her distress with her family. 

After time had passed, my great uncle Fred, a very godly man, had a dream to share with  my grandma. It was of the day my Grandpa Dale had the heart attack out on the combine, struggling for life. It was in the moments before death that he called out Jesus name and died. Home to heaven, home to Christ he went. 

God knows what it takes to win us over to himself. I often wonder how many people come to know Christ in those very moments. I’d reckon it’s a lot more than people think. Even in death, there is hope. 

Cutting Out the Idol: Filling in the Hole with Jesus Paste

Dehydration: fatigue

Fatigue: a common symptom of depression.

Despression: a common symptom of dissatisfaction with life.

Dissatisfaction with life: a common symptom of feeling like your missing something.

Feeling like your missing something: a common symptom of having an idol.

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

2 weeks of fatigue, 2 weeks of depression, 2 weeks of dissatisfaction with life, 2 weeks of feeling like I was missing something, 2 weeks of idolatry= 2 weeks of confusion, lamentations, and weeping.

It took me TWO weeks to get to the source of the idol in my heart.

The idol: my parents understanding me.

From a basic glance this is not a terrible thing, asking that people could understand me. It speaks a lot about God’s nature, this desire that I’ve had in my heart. God wants us to seek him, and wants us to know him. I believe when he made us in his image, that desire came with it. Some have told me it’s a common desire with women… but I’m hesitant to believe that’s the case: correct me if I’m wrong. Our cry for intimate relationships with our families, friends, God, each other is a desire that has been placed in our hearts as an image of God’s desire for us to know him intimately.

My last post is closely related to this because the reason why I found myself unable to study was intimately linked with this idol. I have a desire for my parents to know me in a certain way, for them to know and understand, to comfort me, and defend me in a certain memory I have from when I was younger. I confronted them then with some terrible news, but they did not comfort me, they did not defend me, they didn’t want to deal with and neither did I so I gave up. I decided it was too much to deal with. If only I had stood up for myself I wouldn’t have this desire for my family to know me. I tried. And I failed.

If you try, you’re just going to fail.

I saw my studying as a reminder of this: so I avoided it at all costs. I knew I had to do something about it when on Friday I found myself in Lamentations, and being comforted.

But if God uses our failures to bring glory, wouldn’t I rejoice?!

Not if the relationship with my parents is more important than God, not if my parents knowing me is more important than God.

Psalm 139:

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

I read this psalm and thought Wow, look how deeply and intimately God knows and understands me. He has woven me together like a quilt, knowing and considering each stitch. I cannot escape him. He will not let me escape him. He is everywhere, holding me, the wind beneath my wings. Everything has been ordained by you. 

I began to pray. Prayers to be satisfied in him and to trust him with this desire: knowing the beauty of it being fulfilled, but knowing that God is greater and better than any other desire that I could ever have. So out went this idol: Give it up. 

After that my weeping and lamentations of this unfulfilled desire turned into weeping of sadness now that I had this idol taken from me… left over was sort of this hole. Wide open and empty, crying out for something to fill it. I stood in someone’s driveway last night and sobbed not for any particular reason, just for mourning. We had just song the song Father:

Father
I want to be close to You
You alone can understand me
Look inside my heart and find me

Father
I want to be close to You
You alone can satisfy me
fill the hole that is inside me

I cry with a passionate voice
I long to feel Your intimate touch
It’s You I need so much
I’m empty without You
I am empty without You

That was my prayer that He would fill the hole inside of me. Fill it with a nicy gooey paste mixture of love and joy and peace and thanksgiving, gladness, purity, and hope. Hope in that He works all things together for my good. Hope in that I have a trustworthy comforter who shows up for me time and time again in my pain. Hope in a God who wants the best for me and wants my heart to be in all for him. Hope in that one day I will join God and be will him and my soul will be completely whole. I will be in perfect union with my father and all of this because of Him, because of Christ. Praise the Lord!