Monday, September 19, 2011

Farther Along...

  1. I have had the song "Farther Along" in my head literally since I woke up this morning... I've been singing it on and off all day long... though of course I've been singing the same verse over and over and over again... so I decided to look up the song and read the words... because I knew that if God had the song in my head all day, there must have been a reason for it. Read these words... I wrote a few comments in, but just think about them... How often do we ask "Why me?" or "Why not them?"?? I know I have said it a lot in the last few years... but ultimately, it's like I mentioned in my last post about not losing hope... I believe there is a wisdom and maturity in waiting until life is farther along to understand why things happen. Now I'm not saying that I am have that wisdom and maturity, but for me in many situations peace has come with wisdom and understanding... and that helps process pain, confusion, and frustration... read them and see what you think.

  2. Farther Along
  3. Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
    Why it should be thus all the day long; {Why am I tempted all the time - it bothers me!}
    While there are others living about us,
    Never molested, though in the wrong. {Why doesn't it bother other people when they do wrong??}
    • Refrain:
      Farther along we’ll know more about it,
      Farther along we’ll understand why;
      Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
      We’ll understand it all by and by. {When it's time Kacey... you'll understand. In His time.}
  4. Sometimes I wonder why I must suffer,
    Go in the rain, the cold, and the snow, {Why me?}
    When there are many living in comfort,
    Giving no heed to all I can do.
  5. Tempted and tried, how often we question
    Why we must suffer year after year, {Why ME???}
    Being accused by those of our loved ones,
    E’en though we’ve walked in God’s holy fear. {Why do people think I do wrong when I fear the Lord which is the beginning of all knowledge (prov.1:7)??}
  6. Often when death has taken our loved ones,
    Leaving our home so lone and so drear,
    Then do we wonder why others prosper, {WHHHHYY MEEE?? Better yet, why not that person living so wickedly?? ... seeing a trend here??}
    Living so wicked year after year.
  7. “Faithful till death,” saith our loving Master;
    Short is our time to labor and wait;
    Then will our toiling seem to be nothing,
    When we shall pass the heavenly gate. {All this Why Me junk ain't gonna matter when you get to Heaven... our time on earth to wait is short, and when we get to Heaven, we will realize that.}
  8. Soon we will see our dear, loving Savior,
    Hear the last trumpet sound through the sky;
    Then we will meet those gone on before us,
    Then we shall know and understand why. {Ultimately, we will understand... it may come before Heaven, but you will get the answers to your questions one day, some day...}

It's definitely a "Why Me" song... but I think that is okay. I am in a time of learning right now and to be honest I think we as humans have to go through those "why me" moments in order to understand why He chose you for that task, that hardship, that loss... In some ways, we have to be selfish to become selfless... Now I have no biblical basis to that... but I think it is a realistic point. How can you know what it is to be selfless and give of yourself if you don't know what it is to take... and to only look out for yourself?

No matter where we are in life I think it is important to remember that aspect of growth, because to become the best you, you have to have been the worst you at some point in time. To become rich (in spirit, money, etc...) you have to have been poor. To become humble, you had to be haughty. To understand nice you have to understand mean... and I think this is a vital part of our development as humans and as Christians... you have to understand the importance of where you have been to comprehend the magnitude of where you are. Once again this can cover so many basis, from physical locations to attitude, to education, to relationships... 

{Life is a journey, not a destination.} 
                                                                             Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've always liked this quote... though frankly I didn't realize it was Emerson who said it. But I think it is exceedingly important to give credit to the journey. Because if not for the journey, the destination is not attainable. How do you go on vacation without getting on a plane? How to I get to the grocery without getting in my car? How can I reach the ultimate goal of serving my God and gaining His wisdom, without doing and learning... without developing and growing... They are mutually existent. One cannot be without the other. The entire song is about the journey of life... and the things within life that we don't understand... but as we learn that it is less about Why he chose ME to go through this horribly uncomfortable time and more about Why HE chose me (of all people) to go through experience during which I can learn and grow - that's when the perspective changes. God isn't putting us through these horrible and uncomfortable things as punishment (which in the song sounds like the intention at least in reference to the "wicked" people) but as ways to help us grow, to help us learn to trust Him more, to MAKE us depend on Him more... because ultimately we cannot get to our destination without Him. It simply isn't possible. 

I know that farther along in life I will understand the things I don't today... but I'm so thankful for those things I have learned. The things I have learned to accept and appreciate rather than hide from and push away. I anticipate those future understandings. 

Love Y'all, 

p.s. I was belting out the words to a great hymn at church last night when I realized what it was at the chorus, but I sang it. I sang the chorus to "It is Well with My Soul". Not every word came out, but I sang it, I truly sang it, which is kind of a big deal. Read more about the Songs I can't sing... here...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Okay God...

You know, as per His custom in my life, God answered my complaints... and I am humbled and ashamed at my lack of faith... both in Him and myself. Am I on Cloud 9 today... No, but I am more at peace with where I am. Here's why: 

{Hope deferred makes the heart sick. 
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.} 
Proverbs 13:12

This verse was one of those good kicks in the face. I didn't quite understand it in the beginning so I looked at a few online commentaries for further explanation. After reading them, this is my understanding of the verse: 

Waiting on the thing you hope for can cause one to become dispirited, when you dwell on the waiting part. Dispirited meaning that (as one commentary put it) your :mind becomes uneasy - your heart sinks and fails." I've been dwelling on the Waiting. Rather than thinking about the end result of following His will, which is the ultimate thing that I hope for. Because when that time comes... when His plan is made clear and the door is opened, this thing that I desire willl give me unspeakable treasure, as the tree of life in the Garden of Eden was... following His will will further my Life... and at this point... that's what I'm living for. 

{It is true that when Much - Afraid looked at the mountains on the other side of the valley she wondered how they would manage to ascend them, but she found herself content to wait restfully and to wander in the valley as long as the Shepherd chose... In the Valley of loss...he often walked with them down there... When she remembered this, Much - Afraid thought with a little shiver in her heart, "He will never be content until he makes me what he is determined that I ought to be."}
Hinds' feet on High Places - Hannah Hurnard

I mean dang... if that doesn't tell me to sit down, shut up, and get right... I don't know what will. 

This book has proven to be such a tool of the Lord for me (thanks again Joy) and its like I read the right chapters at the right times. This passage (which is cut from three different pages) shows me a few things... 
1) I need to be content where I am for as long as He chooses to have me here... 
2) I need to recognize more often that He has chosen to put me here... for some reason and for some purpose. 
3) When I am in my Valleys, He is with me and walks with me. 
  • The "them" this passage refers to is the main character Much Afraid and her guides Sorrow and Suffereing. Sound familiar to anyone else?? I relate to her a lot... I've experienced her guides a lot. But one of the blessings of this book is that she makes friends with these guides. She respects and listens to them... she follows them... and as she changes into a more confident woman, they change... they become friendly and more beautiful just like she does... their changes parallell each other based on her progress both on the path to the High Places, but more importantly in her outlook, attitude, and perception of her task at hand. 
The last thing I gain from this is the most humbling... and also the most perplexing. It's humbling becuse the Shepherd, which is the Lord... cares about me so much that He isn't content until I become who He thinks I need to be. That in and of itself opens up a world of potential and a world fear. Because He already has determined what I ought to be... but I have no clue what He wants to be. This is the perplexing part... How do I work to become that person which will make Him content... when I don't know what I need to be working on???

I guess I'll just start working on it all... and continue the prayer with a renewed request. Rather than asking God to show me where to go and what to do, I will now ask for Him to make me who I ought to be... to show me those things that will make me the person He has determined that I ought to be. 

That's my hope now... to become that person. And if I do my part... that hope should not be deferred because I should actively be pursuing a better me, and if I'm making myself better spiritually and physically then I'm not just waiting... I'm pursuing that tree of my life... 

Thanks Lord... I'm so thankful you have more faith in me than I do. 

Love y'all, 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My own worst enemy...

I am my own worst enemy... that's all there is to it. 

When I get down about something I beat myself up more than anyone else could... and today is one of those days. One thing goes wrong and then I pile everything else on top of it... 

I have disappointed people who I am invested in and I don't know how and why... but evidently I have. 

I am not performing at my best, and I don't know why... maybe I do, but it's not something I can switch off.

If I make changes that I want to make, I will disappoint others... and might make a situation better for myself.

The only person I truly care about not disappointing is the One that I want so bad to hear from... but I'm not doing something right... because I can't hear Him, or He isn't answering. Right now they are one in the same... 

I miss my Daddy and that just adds to it all... I want to be able to talk to him about these frustrations and I can't. Yes I am blessed to have people to talk to... but I want to talk to him.

I know He has a plan, and He has through all of this... but sometimes it's just harder to see that path than others. It's harder to make sense of the things I don't understand... It's hard to understand His reasons why things have happened when I don't see what will happen down the road. 

... and I want to... so so bad. 

I've been reading a lot in Proverbs lately about wisdom and gaining understanding. Oh how I long for the Wisdom of what I need to be doing right now... His Will and my lack of wisdom have me all confused... am I doing what I am supposed to be doing because this is where He has me... or am I somehow avoiding some inevitable change because I can't hear what He is saying to me. How can I be doing what I am supposed to be doing if I'm not doing it well... and I don't mean successfully... i mean well in general. 

I've noticed in a few places that the author talks about keeping wisdom at your head and your heart... at least I think that is what this means: 

 8My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
 9For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

... it makes sense any way that those instructions and laws would be on your head for your mind and around your neck for you heart.... and that's where they are... they truly are. In my mind and my heart they are... but the Lord knows me better than I do... so if nothing is working out... then maybe they aren't. 

Oh what joy I would feel to know what He wants me to do and be sure of that. I have not really really wanted anything in a long time... nothing tangible anyway... but this, I need this. So much... and soon. I know there are points in life when we must be broken before the Lord... and I'm there... I'm so there. 

I would appreciate prayers... whoever may be reading this. For wisdom and that He would show me His will and open the appropriate doors for me... this has been such a long journey, and I'm ready for some destination. Also... that until that point I can do better to not disappoint those I am surrounded by as often. Or that the ones I do will love and respect me anyway... including myself. 

love yall, 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Long time No blog...

Well, it's been over a month since I've blogged any special thoughts, any observations of faith, and any reflections... and the honest truth is that it's been about a month since my brain has been mentally capable of any of those things. 

My excuse.... 

August is a slightly busy time in the life of a University. We brought in student staff for training on August 1, and I continued until Freshmen move in on the 26th. In the week before move in (and I just mean Sunday - Friday), I worked 88 hours and slept about 30... until Friday night when I crashed for 13 hours straight. Friday night was a good night. :) 

The thing is... all that work... it wasn't for my job... 
{it was for my students}

I really appreciate that God used this crazy busy time of life to remind me of what I love. When I was stressed, my RAs were there. When I was working till after midnight... they were too. The 37 students I supervise this year are special... just like all those I have had the honor of working with before... but these 37 have just served as a great reminder for me... some of these freshmen I have met this week serve as a great reminder to me... 

i love college students. 
i desire to invest in college students. 
i want to be intentional in my relationships with college students. 
i want to make an impact on their college experience. i want to make it better. 

So... now as things are calming down, and as I am having time to use my brain for things other than thinking about residents and room measurements... i have to get back into the Word. I need to get back into the Word. My body is now rested, but my heart needs to find rest in Him and His Will. I need that... that's all there is to it... and I have to commit to do what it takes to get that. 

Sorry I've been an absent blogger lately... but as the reflections and observations come, so will the blogs... in fact, I'm already thinking of others now. :)

Love Y'all,