seasons

looking ahead to the ultimate prize.

2nd year is in full swing now. UCLA, Union Rescue Mission, classes, clients, homework, assignments. getting used to this way of being, and thinking, and organizing. adjusting to and soaking in new feelings and new thoughts, new worries, and just trying to take everything in. left my CII community at the end of July, amongst a midst of mixed emotions and a heavy heart, knowing this was best for me, but wanting to drag it out as long as i possibly could.

the restoration and renewal is here though, poking its tentative head out of the cover of leaves, peeking at the sun, winking at me. months of thinking, brainstorming, desiring, planning, praying, and worrying turned into a wonderful night of community on Saturday, as people of all ages and life stages gathered to talk and hear about fost-adoption and God’s heart for being missional in this way. i am blown away, still, by the presence of the Spirit moving through that room and in the hearts of those in attendance. And as i sat up there, moderating the panel discussion, my heart felt so at peace, like this is where i want to be and this is what i want to do – equipping and mobilizing others to serve the Kingdom and chase His Dream.

someday i’m going to go overseas and serve, i cannot deny that, but for now my heart and my passion is here. for the first time in a long time, the wrestling and frustration in my heart has settled, as i find myself in the midst of a company of believers who are intent on doing the same work that i am. for me, then, this doctoral degree is just fluff and icing layered over that which i am already a part of.

to be working and dreaming alongside partners who feel very much the same way i feel, and yearn for the same things that i yearn for… this is doing the ultimate work of what i was designed for.

in the struggle of learning to remain congruent inside and out, to be seen as i see myself, to realize the wonderful-ness of Someone who loves me regardless of who i am and where i come from, and how dark and dreary i am, but pours out His grace, and that there are things to dream of, to look ahead to… i’m overwhelmed with it all.

but i love the thought. i am Beloved.

FALL is here. waiting for the leaves to change, the night air to grow crisper, Starbucks red cups to emerge, and more dreams to dream.

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waves

Two years ago, at the beginning of 2013, when I fasted with my new community for the first time, God revealed his Presence in a glorious way to me [read here]. This time around, the corporate fast was shorter. Five days. But i’m still fasting. Praying for breakthrough. For encounter. Though these things, in some sense, have already come. There’s more, however, on the horizon. Last night, God revealed Himself to me again.

We had closed our eyes in prayer. And I saw a fleeting impression of a starfish. The impression focused into a picture of a starfish basking on the sand of a seashore, as waves rolled in and out. The water was crystal clear, and as the waves rolled in and out, sand went with it. But ultimately, the sand was always present.

What He told me was this: We are the starfish. The trials and storms in our lives are like the waves. The waves roll in and out, threatening to consume us, overtake us, drown us. They are endless, and they are a force. But God’s blessings are like the never-ending, countless, millions of grains of sand on a seashore. And that’s what we, the starfish, are resting on. No matter how the waves wash over us and may fill us with fear and anxiety, we are resting on God’s blessings, and His blessings will never run out. Like those tiny precious grains of sand that continue to be a vast expanse, so are God’s blessings and promises admidst the waves and storms of our lives.

I talked to someone today who had experienced a season of profound pain, hurt, and loss in her young life. She described it as pure “blackness.” Even wanting to die. It’s a scary place to be in. And yet, in her tears, she wanted so bravely to step out into the unknown and reconstruct those broken pieces of her life into something beautiful. I saw such beauty in that. My heart aches for her. But as I was listening to her story this afternoon, I was again reminded of why I am placed in the field that I am. It’s more than just “talk”, “therapy”, “analyzing”. It’s walking with people in their pain, coming alongside them and sharing their burdens with them. Often I wonder why He chose me for such a role as this. But it all makes sense when I listen to stories of pain. The grief is real. But I know in that grief there is healing. In the brokenness there is such beauty. God sees that. And He’s using me as an instrument, His instrument, to walk with these beautiful people and point them towards His grace.

2015 is here. Already, His blessings have been realized. I’m waiting expectantly. The waves are going to come. But His blessings have already won.