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Posts Tagged ‘truth’

There is a wrestling that comes when responding to tension in life. Living out of a comfort zone requires no wrestling at all. There is a want for both. There is a need for both.

What do we do in the stretching?

I struggle with both tension and being comfortable. I say out loud that I don’t like being comfortable. If I am being most honest, I like my own routines. I appreciate things that are known for me. There is a certain exhale that resides in comfortable. However, the downside of being comfortable can also lead to the shackles of complacency.

Tension keeps me restless and wrestling.

There is a huge tension in my life that I wrestle through every day. Andy Stanley defined this kind of tension as a “need for wanting more.” I do. I am feeling the tension of wanting more.

I live in the tension of the “not yet.” That is my season of life at the moment. On paper, I am considerably comfortable in place of living and job. Honestly, both make me restless. I could choose to settle for life as I know it now, but I would sorly miss out on life all together.

Tension is healthy.

Tension reminds me that God is working on what is in the “beyond me” kind of things. God is great at providing hunger and tension to enable dependence on him. Comfort requires no dependence or movement.

Tension creates a place where faith and ability merge.

Tension can feel maddening, and requires a conscious fight. I am more aware then ever that my response in the tension matters. There is some serious character building in the tension that not everyone is willing to enter into.

There are certain fears that rear their ugly heads in my tension. I know I have a tendency to let them respond for me. I am bittersweetly thankful for when my fears and insecurities surface. Tension builds character. It’s hard.

Choosing to sit in a tension that is unresolvable is so hard. There is nothing quick about tension, and there is no time line for the question of “how long.” I am learning that the process that the tension brings is priceless and worth the hard.

How do you deal with your tension?

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Love is a word that seems to be so easily dismissed in my brain. Love is one of those convoluted words that seem to carry so many different levels of meaning. I hear love being tossed out all the time. We use it to describe things we like. We use love at the end of conversations and family gatherings. We also use love as a description word that translates into deep meaning.

Love runs deep in me

I would describe myself as someone who loves deeply. I value the word love very much. I do not toss that word out flippantly. I want to be a person who loves deeply. I want to show love to others in a way that they never knew was possible. Honestly, I love loving.

However, there resides a dark place in me that can’t seem to grasp reciprocated love. I dismiss love so quickly that it just ricochets off my guarded heart. As I find great joy in loving others, I see myself as unlovable. Some reasons because that has been the message told to me, and some my own self perception from life. When someone tells me that they love me the words seem to echo without a place to land inside of me.

Dismissing love serves two purposes in my life.

The first comes from the core of knowing pain and wounds that run deep in me. I have experienced grief from loss of relationships I valued greatly. In my efforts to guard against pain, feeling loved has little room to take root. To allow love to take root in me would mean risking pain. Some where along this road of grief I traded in my heart, desperate to know love, for safety.

The second purpose is an extension of the first. Experiencing deep loss, and relational wounds, has rocked my self-perception. In the midst of that pain, I believe in the lie that says, “I am not enough” and “I am not worth loving.” My skewed self-perception and relational wounds have told me that I only worth conditional love at best. Those lies have dictated many courses in my journey.

In the past couple of years, I have learned that the only way to dispel a lie is with truth. Truth has a louder voice than the lie. Truth is sustaining where as lies require me to anchor them. There is only one who has claimed to be “the way, the truth, and the life.

Truth tells me that I am loved. Truth states that we know love “because he first loved us.” Love laid down his whole life so that the vail of my own self-perception would be torn in two.

I am still in a place of wrestling through doubt that the word love applies to me. I still experience pain where that message seems true.

I have known glimpses of love. I say glimpses because I hold loosely to those moments. Fear still has its grip on me. Everyday I pray for perfect love to drive out all my fear. One day I will know in my heart, and not just my head, that I am worth love. Until then, “he is working on me.

How do you respond to love?

What risks come with love for you?

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There are many roads in life.

There is:

The road less traveled

The High and low road

Road to nowhere

Road to success

Road of possibilities

Road of healing

You might be at a crossroads or fork in the road.

Maybe you’re walking the road to redemption or truth.

Maybe you’re on a road trip or singing “Life Is A Highway.” (or not)

You could also just be at the end of your road.

Whatever road you are finding yourself o, it matters. Everyone has a road marked out for them. Every road is personally designed and tailor made.

This weekend, I watched a great movie called The Way. I loved it. It was about a group of four mismatched people walking an amazing journey along the Camino De Santiago.

This journey is made by thousands – all in search of something for their own hearts and lives. The most popular route of the Camino De Santiago starts in southern France and stretches 500 miles into Santiago, Spain.

The common hello and good bye was “buen Camino,” which translates to have a good trip, or good road to be exact.

Each character had a different purpose for walking the Camino. They all walked this stretch of life together. It was shared heart’s, shared stories, shared pain, shared questions, shared scenery, shared sorrow, and shared joy.

The road was challenging. It had set backs as well as abundance. They all had different paces. Each one made it to the end in Santiago.

The apostle James is said to be in Santiago. The original purpose for the pilgrimages across this Camino was to seek forgiveness from St. James. Thousands have walked the redemption road. People from all over the world, come to different life revelations.

It was so beautiful to watch and imagine all the stories along the Camino.

Everyone is on their own road marked out for them. Everyone is on some road of redemption. We meet many along the way – all stories are different and purposes not fully known. All Camino’s have challenges and questions. I want to encourage you to walk well with those journeying with you. Listen and love deeply.

Buen Camino!

What does YOUR Camino look like?

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Love is something too big to understand and grasp. Even when we think we have love figured out, she blows our mind.

Love is the one thing sought after and fought for. Love defies logic. Love makes a person crazy.

Love is all consuming. Love feels deeply. Love is seen, heard and valued. Love is cherished and treasured.

Love fights for the heart. Love goes after the heart. Love is honey to the soul.

Love is affection. Love is faithful and committed. Love forgives and covers over a mountain of wrong with grace.

Love is the exhale in fear. Love is peace in anxiousness. Love validates worth. Love says you matter.

Love is a choice. Love holds boundaries of security. Love protects. Love has no question, but the action of love speaks volumes over words.

Love chooses to keep believing and trying. Love works towards trust and healing.

Love risks, even though….

Love lays down life for another. Love is not an option. Love is obedience – a choice – a command. Love is surrender.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

What is LOVE to you?

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I have been marinating on this verse from Proverbs 29, “fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

There are so many things that surface for me regarding the word “fear.” I wouldn’t consider myself a fearful person. I am not afraid of heights, spiders (maybe a little), snakes, bugs, public speaking, and I don’t think I was born with the embarrassment gene. When it came to the game Truth or Dare, I always chose dare. I love engaging in things in which adrenaline turns my voice into a silent expression of awe.

Sky diving, didn’t free fall long enough.

Bungee jumping, the taller the drop the better.

Great White shark diving, first in the water.

But what about those little fears that are harder to identify? What about those things you catch glimpses of that leave you conflicted?

As I read this proverb, I started to think through and ask myself the question of what are my fears? I discovered that my fears are wrapped up in the things around me. I can safely say that the root of all my pride filled moments, anger, and conflict, resides a hidden fear in me.

I am broken and those broken parts in me are messy.

The masks of fear in me look like not knowing or feeling like I am enough. I struggle with feeling like I am not good enough or the fear of not having anything good to offer. I greatly crave wanting to offer something worthwhile and great. I fear accpetance in certain groups of people. I fear feeling foolish or stupid.

On this road of mine, I have experienced pain and wounds. Anyone who has experienced pain would love to guard against ever feeling that level of pain again – or any pain for that matter. I am learning to recognize how that fear manifests itself in me.

I would love to trust more easily without the small voice of doubt. Yet that is the fear that grips tightest in me. It is a good thing that the rest of the verse talks about the solution to fear, trusting in Him. Sometimes I wish everything wasn’t in the catagorey of “life-long process.”

How are you fears doing?

Do you know what your fears are?

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North Point Church is an amazing church. Andy Stanley is my favorite communicator to listen to. His wisdom and knowledge have been the best counseling for my life.

North Point just ended one of their programs called “Be rich.” This is a time they raise money to give away to the organizations they partner with in the community and over seas. IN-cred-ible!

Andy broke down our giving motivation into two parts. He said that we give to things that are serving the purposes of intervention. This is giving to something to help and immediate need. Intervention is the way most people give. Intervention giving is measurable and emotional.

Prevention giving is the second way of giving. This is giving in a way that is steady. Prevention giving is giving to something that is going to yield fruit over time. Prevention giving is not measurable, but it is the more valuable of the two.

I know this talk was about financial giving, but this awakened my heart in a new way. Andy unpacked the way we can take on the bible as well, or even our relationship with Christ.

I have been marinating on the question of, “In what way do I pursue God?

I am so grateful that we have the bible. It provides God’s truth for times when we need intervention in our lives. There is truth for every struggle and fear. But do I only use scripture for that? Do I only fill up on what I need for that particular thing, and then come back only when I need another intervention?

As a counselor, I have many sessions with people that look just like this. People will come to counseling when they are at their stuck point, or need for intervention into their issue. Sometimes, I have sessions with clients that revolve around the same issue. We have the same conversations. The truth is that nothing about our situations change until we are willing to shift into a prevention mindset.

I see the same pattern with how we apply truth to our lives. We can always use the bible for the purpose of intervening into our issues and sin. The hope is that we apply those same truths to our lives in ways that become prevention tools.

When we first enter into this place of learning about who God is, his truth intervenes with our sin. The more our relationship with God grows we begin to see how life can be different. Reading the bible provides alternative ways of living life. Applying the his truth begins to prevent what we used to need intervention for.

Prevention giving happens over time. This is the same for our lives. It takes time to see the fruit of our risks to apply God’s principles to our lives. Just like any relationship, the fruit takes time to see.

My hope is that we move from using God’s truth as ways of intervention in our lives to the application of prevention. 

The more be believe God to be the way, and the truth, we will start to apply his ways as our life. 

Do you use God more intervention or prevention in your life?

 

 

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I am a sucker for good wisdom and spoken truth. I love listening to podcasts of great speakers. I usually listen while I run. Let’s be honest, I need something to take my mind off of the running part.

There are times when a talk can just stick with me. I listened to one other day by Andy Stanley that was so challenging, and so good for my heart.

The essence of his message highlighted faith that does not waver when God seems to be “absent, inattentive or late.” This was such a powerful talk.

Andy stated something that I have been marinating on. He said, “When you go through something, I pray. When I go through something, I doubt.”

This statement is such a great faith challenge. We all experience times where God seems to feel inattentive and late to our situations. What do we do in the “in-between” times? We are great at praying for others, and believing God for their situations. However, in reality most other people’s circumstances do not challenge our faith. It is only when we experience something hard personally that our faith really gets challenged.

My faith is challenged by this statement; even now I sit waiting and wondering if why God feels delayed. If I am being most honest, my heart is also confronted by just how selfish I really am.

When my faith wavers because I think God is being inattentive, or late, my expectation is that God should be doing something for me. When I go through hard times, I expect God to show up and save me from it. Rarely is my first thought, “This circumstance has more to teach me than God just saving me from it.

What do we do when God seems absent, inattentive, and late?

We doubt

Usually when doubt starts to take root, we talk over. Self-sufficiency kicks in and we say, “Thanks, but no thanks God, I’ve got this.

I am becoming more and more aware of my doubt and selfishness. In my selfishness, I take over too often. I am realizing that I have not been waiting well. I have called my season “waiting”, but in some ways, I can see that I have just been hiding behind the term while selfishly trying to make life work.

I wish my first thought was to believe. I wish I more readily remembered what God has already done for me instead of demand more. I wish I waited well.

The truth, my faith needs some work. Faith is not what kicks in first. Faith is not the lenses through which I see my circumstances. I am working on my responses.

In what ways do you feel like God might be absent, inattentive, or late?

 

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