Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I have so many thoughts in my head these days I don't know that I can coherently divulge them, but considering my audience to be much slimmer with my decision to remove Facebook from my life, I'm less worried about that and more worried about just getting them out.  So here goes.

Lately I have been feeling slightly neurotic from "morbid introspection" as our chapel speaker conveyed it. I've been going over and over in my head about how my failed relationship from two semesters ago was supposed to be understood by now.  It was supposed to have added significantly to my life and helped me live better, and in some ways it has.  But in a lot more ways it has confused me more, made me less inclined to listen, given me less patience with extremely rational people.  A lyric from The Civil Wars expresses my thoughts perfectly: "I don't love you anymore, but I always will."  And the always will part is haunting me.  Or at least I thought it was.  I thought it was keeping me from understanding why God put me through this.  I'm so utterly confused about my past & it's deeply affecting my present.  But as I began to come to grips with my true feelings, God intervened with a chapel message that seeped deep into my very core.


We have been justified through nothing else.
And I started reading in 2 Timothy 3: "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power."

DENYING ITS POWER. Not being able to accept it.  I mean think on this for a second.  How do compliments make you feel sometimes?  They make you feel good but sometimes awkward.  Sometimes the source doesn't seem trustworthy, and sometimes we just flatly deny their claim.  But what if the compliment is directed back at the compliment-giver?  For example, your mom says, "I'm so proud to be called your mom."  This is a step in the right direction in grasping grace.  But even more than that.  What if you fell in love and your lover's eyes said it all?  Your lover is overflowing with abundant love for you, never tiring of your weakness or your insecurities, always giving, fierce in passion over you.  Your lover looks at you and you want to cry for the intensity of their jealous love for you.  There is no question--you are safe.  You are theirs.  Forever.  But even MORE than that...your Lover is flawless.  Omnipotent.  The Beginning and the End.  Has the last say.  Has spoken for your heart.  Intricately made you EXACTLY who you are.  Made no mistake.  This lover is Jesus Christ.  Not only do we reject what He offers but we claim something better.  We claim our control is more trustworthy--at least we understand it.  We don't though, not really, not even our own control.  Because we don't know the repercussions of our actions at times, and we don't know how they affect certain people.  It's a facade of control, yet we settle for it.  The thing is we don't do this because we don't think God's grace is good enough.  We do it because we are TERRIFIED.

We run from that which threatens to change us.  We are afraid of being daily brought to tears by something so unfathomable.  So we say instead, "It can't be."  God's grace can't exist, we justify, maybe not openly to anything other than our heart of hearts, because I don't know how to accept it.


I have a form of godliness.  But up to this point in my life I have denied its power.  We keep working for our own salvation, trying to be better, trying to improve.  And God scoffs.  He thinks it's disgusting.  Our attempts are like the dirt on the bottom of a shoe.  What would it mean to live out of the grace of God?


He is fiercely devoted to seeing your sanctification complete.  And as our chapel speaker said today, our sanctification is learning how to accept our justification.

And as mini wanna-be gods, this takes us a lifetime.

We can claim no security except in that which sustains us.  He goes by many names, but He is one.  We can know no certainty in this world, but He is not of the world.

GRACE. Believe it.  Accept it.  And go forth, my child.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Inquiry of Quietness

Par request, and perhaps lack of responsibility on my part (that I don't have the book I'm supposed to be reading for class), I have decided to blog about my thoughts lately.  They are kinda crazy and not so well thought out and really personal, so that's your warning.  And, I'm not even sure if there's truth in them.  So there's that.

Now I'm rethinking if I should even post them...I mean why as a Christian would I throw something out there that might not even be truth?  Well, I guess because my point isn't really to come up with truth just yet, but to wrestle with what I have.  This conclusion I have come to because of my education reading for today...but enough of the boring stuff.

To be known or unknown, to be selfless or aware of self...these questions have been haunting me as of late.  I'm used to speaking my mind, to letting people know what I think and being bold in it...I thought I could do this respectfully, but a comment from one of my supposed best friends made me question whether I could: she said, "You don't share your opinion with any respect, ever."  At first I thought maybe she was right, and at times I know she is, but I had been overlooking something very, very obvious.  She was insecure.  She was competing with me.  Any chance she had to put me down, she took it, in the name of God of course.  I don't mean to bash her in any way because maybe in all of it she didn't mean to do it or she meant well.  Nevertheless, I began again to question who I was, whether I was good enough, why, after only a few years, this friend of mine didn't seem to like me anymore.  What was I doing wrong?  How could I make her feel good about herself so she could realize that I wasn't against her, that she signed me up for a competition I never meant to enter?

I thought, maybe I'm too full of myself and I need to learn to close my mouth, to be the humble one and to let others shine.  I thought maybe the way to find myself again in Christ was to be silent.  Really, to be someone else.  It took me a long time to realize, but you cannot intentionally be humble.  If you go into a situation and say, I'm going to be humble about this, ironically you're being the opposite.  Because you're thinking of yourself & how you're going to react.  This may be humility on the outside, it may even be interpreted as humility to the other person, but God who looks at the heart knows.  He knows & that scares me.

Where do we draw the line between changing our personality and being rid of sin?  I'm in this constant battle with myself, and as I write this, I'm convicted because I know the answer. I KNOW.  It's just that I want so hard to be holy that I try to get there myself.  I say, God, maybe if I try a little harder, if I'm more conscious of it, I'll change.  But that made me miserable.  I thought, looking back on today, who was that girl sitting in those classes, timid like she was afraid of herself, afraid of other people knowing about her?    That's not me at all.  I've never questioned this part of myself because I've never had to before.  No one has ever been so insecure with themselves that they start attacking me...and I had always been confident in who Christ made me...until I came to Wheaton.

Then there's the Bible, right?  It should hold the heaviest say in my life.  It says to be selfless, but does it say to be unknown?  I think this is where personality kicks in, although sin can definitely corrupt it.  It's where you stop obsessively caring what other people are going to think of what you have to say or judge you without a word.  It's throwing off the gross, disgusting baggage that people throw on you because you "ought" to be different, according to their screwed up standards.

Why do we ever answer to anyone besides God?

For if we seek God first, we gain the wisdom needed to answer to others for our actions as well.

I'm also really drawn to quiet, contemplative people, and I think that's what made me want to be that way.  I have to face the truth though...that God has a purpose for me WITH my personality type and that the time I spent trying to model someone else besides Jesus is time wasted.  I can't be indignant about the time that has slipped away because of how I've let some people in my life walk all over me, but I can reclaim my identity in Christ.

Last thoughts: The body of Christ is beautiful.  I'm not talking the screwed up agendas and politics, the misinterpretations of Scripture and the claims that God is on our side.  I mean the real, authentic body of Christ, the Holy Spirit that dwells within every true follower and brings about our flourishing.  We have to realize, however, that each is created uniquely in the image of God.  Some people are most comfortable being unknown, being quiet, until others take the time to know these people.  And then there are people like me, the ones who are comfortable with vulnerability, who would be lying to themselves if they tried to hide themselves away, and who deeply want to know those who are unknown.  I think the heart of God belongs to both.