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Posts Tagged ‘personal story’

Reflection is a powerful thing when you are willing to risk it.

Reflection carries with it a heavy weight and tension – it can sting with bittersweetness.

In one way, reflection is that hindsight that brings clarity into view. We can objectively see those decisions that could’ve been better made, or “aha” moments enabling understanding. Reflection can lead to new insights and dreams. It can also be a road map that determines new destinations in life seasons.

Reflection bears a tension. It is a two sided coin.

I feel the tension of reflection all the time. I am a feeling thinker. I feel my way through processing. I also think deeply about most things and situations. I like to understand every angle. Half of the time, reflection brings on that “ugh” feeling for me. I see more clearly the mess I am.

Reflection can illuminate the gaps in my life, as well as my imperfections. I often times see the ways I have failed in communication, friendship, responsibilities, and even possibilities. I hate that feeling. I hate realizing I dropped the ball on something. It is so hard looking back and seeing the ways I responded out of my fears and insecurities and caused hurt. AH!

Henri Nowen states that reflection can also “remind us of the gap between our willing and our doing, our desires and our performance, our calling and our achievements.

Reflection bears the weight of incompleteness.

When we risk looking back over chapters and seasons of our lives we can see dreams and desires. We’ve all made decisions to take certain paths in life. Looking back, for me, speaks of how far I still am from my dreams. Sometimes I leave reflection with more thoughts of regret and “if only…”

I struggle with the gap of what was and what is still yet to come. Incompleteness is hard for me – waiting is even harder. I battle with discouragement if we are being most honest.

Don’t get me wrong there is encouragement in reflecting on how far we have come. It’s life giving to see steps made. There is just a tension. It’s like that feeling of sitting in a boat that has cast off from one shore and still a long way from another.

At the end of reflection there is hope that bridges the gap between looking back and looking ahead. There is redemption for past failures and imperfections. There is hope for possibilities and new shores to land on.

Nowen also states that “reflection makes us realize that good comes out of imperfection, strength out of weakness, and blessing out of fragility.

As you reflect it’s okay to struggle with what you see. I still hope you risk to see. Reflecting is meant to be empowering, healing, and motivating.

What have you been reflecting about lately?

How do you struggle in the process?

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I would consider myself to be a big picture person. I can get lost all day in big vision. I love me some day dreaming. I think about what is next all the time. I think about life as it could be and not much about what life is presently.

I have been wondering if the great cloud of witnesses I read about in the Bible struggled with restlessness as much as I seem to be.

I think about Abraham and the big things God had for him. Moses led the captive Israelites free. David entered the scene the exact time he was supposed too. Peter was wired to start the church. John the Baptist had dream to prepare the way for the Messiah. Paul brought the message of salvation to those considered to be outside “God’s people.”

God had specific things in mind for specific people.

Sometimes I can focus on the big things of God. He made the earth and everything in it. He holds the world in the palm of his hand. God is the beginning and the end! That is big!

God is also specific. He paints every stroke in every sunset. No sunset is the same. God knows all the hairs on my head. He promises not to let a sparrow fall the ground without knowing. God has specifically knit each person together in the womb. He is specific.

I can forget that he is specific for me. I can so easily get caught up in looking around and comparing myself to what God has specific things for others. I miss what he has specific for me.

There is a reason why I am not a song leader for a church. I cannot sing. I can’t play a note of anything, let alone combining both. Leading other people in song is not my specific.

It is when I see other people exceeding at the dream I am so eager to know. What is hard is when I see glimpses of my dream being played out in other people. It is then that I lose sight of a big God who is also very specific. He has something just for me. If he had a number of hairs in mind for my head, he has something specific for my life.

I can’t tell you the exhale that comes from remembering that God has not forgotten about me. He has something just for me. With that exhale comes freedom. I am still working on the hope part, but there is a release of pressure.

Remembering God enables God to be God in me. I want his specific. I want to be who God knit me in the womb to be.

My hope is that you can remember, and believe, that he has specifics just for you.

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