Saturday, October 23, 2010

Taking time to stop . . .

I could not ask for a better back drop to write. I am on a balcony that over looks the James River. The night is still, the lights of the city are beautiful and the sound of the river soothes me. Tonight is the first night in eleven days that I have been able to stop and be still. The last three days I have been running on nothing but fumes. I have booked my schedule to capacity. Tonight, I am making some time for reflection---something I have set out to do more of, but have failed miserably.

I could write on my 10+ day fast from Facebook, or why when I step out and try something new, I am crushed by comparisons that make me feel completely inadequate. I could write about how it disturbs me that Henry blacks out all the faces in his drawings or about talking donkeys.

But as I sit here and listen . . . I am captivated. Captivated by the stillness and the beauty. So tonight, I am writing about stopping.

I am reminded about God taking Abraham outside. This week I have been trapped by the eight foot ceilings--I haven’t been able to see beyond my limitations. But tonight, I was nudged to step outside. And it is here that I remember, His dream is much larger than mine. I am finding peace in the sound of the rolling river, hope in the light of the stars, and purpose from the Creator of this big beautiful world. It is out here that my mind is able to let go of all the senseless questions, all the mindless worries and I am calmed.

I need to stop worrying, because by worrying I am not trusting. I need to stop trying so hard, because I can’t do it on my strength alone. I need to stop running, because by running I can’t be healed. I need to stop doubting, and stand on what I believe.

Nothing ended today as it started . . .my agenda, my blog. But that’s okay.

I have learned it is important to follow those nudges. I am thankful for the nudge to stop, and for the nudge to step outside. Because it here that He met me, here that He reminded me that He is bigger, that He is able, and that He is with me.

So I am stopping--stopping life for a little bit and staying out here under the stars, by the river, and in the presence of His crazy love.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Voice

I am on this journey to find my voice, my identity. Today, I am taking a break from moving forward. I am stopping to take a look back and reflect on from where I have come. As I look back, I see who I have been, and I am saddened. I see that instead of taking the time to explore who I was created to be, I have wasted my time by creating myself in the image of people who I have admired and have looked up to. I have lived my life by mimicking their actions, speaking their words and by claiming their purposes and passions.

By dedicating my life to becoming more like them, I realize that I have never given ME a chance. I have failed to believe that I was created unique, different, and special. I focused on every flaw in disgust and refused to see those flaws as an opportunity for HIS beauty to be shown.

I have taken that place in my heart that was designed to be completely consumed by ONE thing and have distributed it over the years to idols that were not worthy. I thought that being more like them would create this world where I felt loved, and adored, cherished and looked up to. I thought there would be fulfillment and success, happiness and confidence, but instead I have created a place of disappointment, failure, rejection, emptiness, exhaustion and hurt.

Today, I am broken. I am here standing in the midst of smashed idols. I see the damage of my poor decisions, I see the disappointment of pedestals, and I see my pride and the true motives behind my choices. I have created a life of empty happiness and of hollow fulfillment. I have settled. A word I detested my life to become.

But it is in this brokenness that I feel a sense of thankfulness. This time of reflection has allowed me to shine light onto these dark truths, to break free from these chains and patterns that have held me captive. It is here I find forgiveness for who I have been, the hurt I have caused and the idols I have created. I am clinging to this new life of finding who I was created to be, to find my unique character, to find my voice.

To those who I have admired over the years . . . thank you. Thank you for your love, support, advice and prayers. I hope you do not stop sharing that with me, but I am taking you off the pedestal and putting Him back where He should have been all along. It is His turn to lead, His turn to be my voice, His turn to define me, to shape my character. And as I begin walking this journey again, I know that it is in Him where my identity will be found.

I trust that the little quirks and qualities He has given me are for a better purpose than I can see. It is by faith I am not hiding behind others anymore and trust that I am good enough to stand alone with Him. I think the most freeing part is that HE LIKES ME. I know this is a very elementary thought, but today is provides me comfort. He is reminding me to believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I cannot wait for the day further along in this journey, where I stop and look back again, but this time I see the ashes and the rubble of where He broke and where He refined. It is then that I will be able to catch a glimpse of the beauty He has been creating.