Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cry Hard

I was never a big cry-er. It took something catastrophic to unleash the waterworks.

That was until this year. The year of multiple jobs, more-than-full-time college, living away from home, relationships, friendships, graduation, moving home, starting work full-time.. The last full year has been the most challenging, gut-wrenching, sleepless, wonderful, beautiful, sad, joyful year.

There have been many tears. Tears of stress. Tears of fear. Tears of happiness. Tears of exhaustion. Tears of pain. Tears of thankfulness. They are the safety valve of the heart and they leak out when the pressure is just that high. Sometimes at night, when all is quiet. Or there are times that I find myself crying silently while driving to/from work, often remembering all that has happened. All that God has done and is still doing. Those times are precious, just He and I. He has heard my voice this past year more than I dare say He has in the other years of my life combined.

There are times when the tears hurt. When they come from that place that I don't even understand. Frustrated. Angry. 

There are times when they are sweet. When I am overwhelmed with His greatness and glory. Thankful. Awed by the way He is working.

There are times when they are sad. When I want to step in and fix everything for those I love. Aching. Pleading. Wanting so badly to see them safe. Strong.

Those tears often come with no words. Only a silent pleading can make it through the emotions. One night I flipped through the pages of my Bible in desperation, looking for anything that showed me He cared. That He heard me. 

He does hear, Loved one. He does care. 

Thou has taken account of my wanderings; 
Put my tears in Thy bottle; 
Are they not in Thy book?
Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; 
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord ,whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust,
I shall not be afraid. 

Psalms 56:8-11

He is as aware of our tears as He is the birds that fall from the sky. And He cares so much more for us, for we are created in His image. Created to glorify Him. He is attentive to every thing that goes through our hearts and heads. 

I have learned that when those tears come, to cry hard. Let it out. But. Pray harder. He holds those tears as tightly as He holds you in His hand... And all that comes to you that might possibly cause tears, it has to go through His scarred hands first. 

I cry hard. But I pray harder, because I know that God is for me. Because I have faith that the One I trust, is for me. And I shall not be afraid. He holds my tears in His bottle. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012


But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. 
On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 
For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things,
 Since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 
1 Timothy 4:7-8

This September marks the first September since Kindergarten that I have not started school in some capacity. Watching all of my friends go back to classes, sports, and live the college life has been more than odd. Thankfully, there are still plenty of opportunities to see them and I have wonderfully discovered that I  don't have homework to hold me back from spur-of-the-moment weekend adventures or all-evening activities! Marvelous =)!

More importantly than the freedom of no homework, I discovered 1 Timothy 4:7-8 this week. Quite often when hearing friends talk about their class assignments, I find myself going "what about me? What am I supposed to be doing?" This is what I am to be doing. Those of us who are out of school, with a job (without, too), and not married or in a serious relationship have been given a blessing from God. The blessing to be able to discipline ourselves for godliness, as it is the only thing that is profitable for both right here and right now, as well as eternity. Everything else is a bonus. Everything else is for here and now. But disciplining ourselves in Him, for His purpose and His glory, that is for ever. 

I'm not saying that those who are in school can't do this, nor am I saying that those who are married or in a relationship can't do this. I have seen though, that without those two things in my life right now (both of which are very time consuming), I can give Him my undivided, totally focused attention. It has been amazing. Sweet. Challenging. Humbling. And wonderful. Lord willing, someday I will learn to do this alongside my husband. Until that time though, I am thankful that He has given me this time with Him, learning more of Who He is and what it means to be a woman of integrity in this world.

When we stand before Him someday God isn't going to ask us if we graduated with honors, what our GPA was, or if we made Phi Theta Kappa. We are deceived in this world by the mentality that education matters. Yes, it does. But it does not matter the most.

The same with physical appearance and extracurricular activities. Do I spend more time working out, slimming down (ladies) or bulking up (guys) than I do in His word? Do I spend more time shopping and organizing my closet than I do in prayer? For me, those two are easy to say no to. But if you ask about education, that stops me. I did well in high school and even better in college, and now feel pressure to perform to that standard in everything academic. Even now, less than 5 months after I walked across the stage during graduation, it doesn't matter if I did it with honors, or if I barely passed. It is gone. What matters is the impact I had on the people that I went to school with. Was I a light to them? Did people know Him because of me? Was I an encouragement? That is what people remember. 

Bodily discipline - everything pertaining to this world - is profitable for a time. Someday, it simply won't matter. 

Godliness is the only thing that we can invest in now that will matter through eternity. 

Monday, September 3, 2012


During our worship service yesterday in church I was letting my mind wander, mulling over all the ways that this Labor Day weekend was different from last Labor Day weekend. That morning before church I was honestly starting to pull a 'tude...

"God, this isn't fair. So much is different from last year. My best friends have literally and figuratively moved and aren't here with me like they were last year.. Everyone is acting differently. I'm not in school anymore, and I don't like that. Every single thing I Loved in my life has changed and left me behind."

Needless to say, I was throwing a slight  major pity party.

As the worship songs transitioned I went to pull my tithe check from the pages of my Bible. As I slipped it into the passing basket, I realized how amazing it was that I was able to tithe. Not only did I actually have resources to tithe from, but this was the first tithe to come from my salary as a PTA. As I gave a monetary percentage back to God, the tears started to roll. 

"Father, You did it. I graduated. I completed the degree. You orchestrated everything to this point today, from my first knee surgery to knowing what classes I needed to transfer. You set this path before me, and I have taken the first step. I have my license. You brought me through the terrors of having no one I knew by giving me incredible friends. You gave me strength when I was physically and emotionally drained. You gave me the drive to study, and it brought me high honors. You stayed with me when I came home and all had changed. You comfort me with Your Word during late nights when I am lonely and broken. In all this last year, You are my Rock. You have been Steadfast. You are always there, and have always been there. You have shown me more of You than I have ever known before. Take this offering, as a way for me to show just some of my thanks to You. For all YOU have done, and all that I know You will still do."

The joy of being able to give back to Him after realizing that everything this past year has had nothing to do with what I did, but what He did, overwhelmed my lousy attitude. It really is amazing to see that in one year so much has happened. Some good, some heart breaking, some wonderful, some unsettling, some challenging. 

Transitioning from a student to the working world, with friends moving and changing is not necessarily a joyous time. It is true that nothing is as it was... Except for Him. It is also true that nothing will be as it was...  Except for my Lord. 

Only fear the Lord and serve him in truth with all your heart; 
for consider what great things He has done for you. 
1 Samuel 12:24.

On the challenging days I must not forget to remind myself of all He has done, rather than stewing over all I think He has not. He truly does great things for those who serve Him with all of their hearts, and He Loves it when we acknowledge and Love Him for what He has done.