26 October 2011

Trading in strength for love.

Last week, my accident took my car with it (thank God, not my life) and this weekend, I spontaneously bought a new car. It's fun, shiny, and happens to be the same make I had before. Before you scoff, it's different yet familiar. Not "the same." OK, to the story...

Yesterday after work, I continued to fiddle with my audio player like I've done for several days now. This time I was in a sermon mood so I put on my podcasts and not knowing how to work my audio player yet...the car picked its own. It was Barry Camp speaking at Highland (my home church in Waco) about yes answers to prayer. The topic wasn't exactly thrilling but listening to him was a lesson in itself.

For 22 years, I've yelled and thrown angry slurs at God for allowing certain "sucky" things to happen. The situations would throw me into confusion, causing me to brood over what has happened and what I did to deserve it. Though I've accepted (more like, in the process of accepting) that God's favor does not equal smooth, sailing life, I didn't want to overcome it.

Why? Because it would make me stronger and I'm not interested in being stronger. In my mind, stronger means more distant from others, more guarded and more hesitant to trust. That's what its meant for years now and I'm done with it.

Barry showed me another side, perhaps unintentionally. He shared his own sucky things. His mother was an alcoholic and he had 7 stepdads by the time he was 20, including one who at one time was only 2 years older than him, just to name a few.

My problems don't compare but that's not the point. Barry is this big teddy bear. He blubbers just at the thought of the Gospel. His heart is bigger than anyone else I know or hear. His problems made him into this big ball of sweet compassion and empathy.
There's one word you can summarize him in and that's love. And to my knowledge, the moment you turn into a person who can only love, you exemplify the very image of God.

The very image of God! I want to be there. What's the point of life if people can't look at you and see love?
Hold me to it, friends. I'm giving up strength for love. It's a testament to our faith if we can allow our sucky life stories to transform us into Christ. It isn't an overnight miracle (Barry's old) but it is His will.

17 October 2011

Under His Wings AKA: All for some cake balls.

I was in my first car accident on Thursday. It was pretty bad-- the airbags deployed and my car door barely opened. I was shocked and shaking. I feel bad for the policemen who had to make out words through my tears. I definitely do not wish this experience on anyone. You know those moments that people call milestones...this isn't one of them. No sir. What's even worse is the accident wasn't worth the trip! I was out to go pick up cake balls. CAKE BALLS.

I will never look at that dessert the same again.

Physically, I managed to get away with just a couple of nicks and a fat lip (the airbag suckerpunched me).
But emotionally, I was (am) a wreck. I immediately jumped into guilty mode, little things have overwhelmed me and it's taken some time to get out of it. Until yesterday, I was completely down on myself, longing to hide from everything in some dark hole. Until yesterday, I realized that I didn't need a hole. I have His wings.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge;in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. (Psalm 57:1)

Hope you can find shelter in His wings, whether its because of cake balls or something else.

11 October 2011

Change really is good. Always.

A couple months ago, I attended Women of Faith and one of my favorite speakers at the conference was Patsy Clairmont. first off, she's a model woman for any one over 50. Let's just say, she had sass.
Patsy told a story about one her sons being ill. Her mantra was "change is good." Though his disease was getting worse, she told herself, "change is good." When the hospital he was staying at told her that they could no longer treat him and he had to be moved, she told herself,"change is good." As she was telling her story, I couldn't imagine having the same attitude that she had. I know I wouldn't be that way.

As things are now changing in my life (for the better), I'm definitely telling myself, "change is good." I just want to remember this moment...make a mental note for the future.
Sooner or later, something is going to change and I'm going to be as stubborn as an ox about it. But who am I to be happy one minute and angry the next? It's all change.

And as I've stated before, change is good.