Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …


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Messy Bits

“God, I just feel so self conscious – so awkward! Ick. I can’t stand it! Please free me, I want to walk in confidence of who I am – who You say I am. Not this awkwardness – take it away!”

My prayer smacked of whining and lament as I stuffed every uncomfortable emotion I was feeling into a neat box.

I moaned all the way down the hallways of my heart from the living room where I was experiencing the mess to the bedroom walk-in closet. Ah! There, the top corner shelf. As I stretched on tip toe to neatly place my mess out of sight, a voice stopped me mid-stretch.

“Why don’t you invite me into that instead of boxing it up?”

Jesus stepped out into the dim light of the closet window.

“You want to be invited into my mess?” My heart sputtered in complete surprise. 

My closet was clean, and the box was neat, but He wanted to experience the mess inside the box with me? Unbelievable! We made our way back to the living room as my heart began to hope.

Friends, our Lord didn’t come for those who are well. He came for the sick, for the blind, the poor, for those who NEEDED Him. He came for our mess. The good mess, the bad mess, the no-category-plain-old-mess. Sometimes it’s easy for me to recognize that the Lord came to free me from sin, but I forget that He walks with me through the effects and the aftermath of sin too. He doesn’t condemn us for living in a broken world where our hearts hurt. A broken world He is and will redeem.

My mess and wounds don’t scare Him. And yours don’t either. He only asks that we invite Him into the mess. Into the process. We love when Isaiah tells us that the Lord brings beauty from ashes. Do you have any idea how messy ashes are? Or have you watched a flower push it’s way up through cold, wet, muddy, spring dirt? – It’s MESSY. There is nothing clean, neat, and boxed about it.

When I pray for the Lord to heal parts of my life and heart, I often want the magic wand. POOF!

Even Glitter Dust is Messy

Even Glitter Dust is Messy

From Cinderella ashy rags to the beautiful Princess ball gown. But here’s the incredibly beautiful secret in the mess: Jesus’s blood and justification changed our filthy rags to garments of righteousness – we are clothed in ball attire! But unlike the fairy godmother, Jesus wants to jump into the swirling magic of the transformation with us. He is the one doing the transforming, but He isn’t the fairy godmother that stands to the side and watches. He jumps right into the mess and dances in the whirlwind with us. And when the waiter spills punch all over the prince’s shirt, or the princess looses her shoes – He’s there.

Please hear me on this one: Messy isn’t a bad thing. Messy is an opportunity to experience profound love, raw real life, and to know the Lord as He heals us. Messy is life.

I recently asked a friend to give me a word the encompassed both “good” and “hard”. She replied: “Life”.

Life is the messy bits – Letters to Juliet

Life isn’t just compiled of living in the Pintrest moments – it’s also about living in the Pintrest fail moments – the raw messy ones. Where we make mistakes and we hurt from the mistakes others make. Don’t just live for redemption – live to know your Redeemer. He is in every messy bit. 

In DeepIn Deep:

So the next time you are surrounded by a mountain of snotty tissues, or you’ve lost your glass slipper, remember it’s okay. It truly is. Invite Him into your messy bit. We are the only ones who condemn ourselves for our mess. He does not.

If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:20

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“Messy Bits” is Day #6 of “In Deep” a 31 Days Series

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Yielded or Tossed?

“Katie, surrender is like floating on the waves. Riding them up to the crests and then plummeting to the depths with them. Surrender is about flexibility and letting yourself be carried by the waves, rather than resisting them. Like beautiful sand glass, the waves can rub the rough edges off of you, making you into a thing of beauty. Or you can freeze and clench against the waves, fighting them and becoming rigid but the result will be the waves breaking and bruising you.”

I choked back the tears as the truth rolled over me.

Deep calls to deep

at the roar of your waterfalls;

all your breakers and your waves

have gone over me. (Psalm 42)

Oh, how I resist those waves! Preferring seasons of calm pools I can control, frustration was making me rigid as the waves crashed over me.

Reality is that life happens and waves come. I told a girlfriend the other day that I needed a word that encompassed or described both ‘good’ and ‘hard’. She replied simply, “life”. Life has high highs, and low lows. Waves crest and carve, equally carrying deep truths and beauty as joy and pain call to each other.

But in those waves, I’m learning there is a difference between being tossed and being yielded.

Being rigid and stubborn doesn’t just result in bruising, it’s end is also double mindedness and being tossed about.

For the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 2:6-8

My personal stubbornness and resistance to the flexibility of surrender comes from a lack of trusting the Lord (fear). For different folks it may be different strokes and circumstances; but fear, stubborn control, and a lack of trust will always result in doubt – which is to be tossed.

Yieldedness begins with acceptance, (at times repentance), and surrender. Spurgeon said

I’ve learned to kiss the waves that slam me into the Rock of Ages

It’s in trusting that He IS our rock, that there is an ocean floor and a foundation under the waves that gives the ability to be flexible and yielded to our Father. The amazing thing is though – waves don’t just smooth out our rough edges, they create beauty in our foundations.

O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. Isaiah 54:11

If you feel storm tossed and afflicted dear one, the Father hasn’t abandoned you in the waves. Deep calls out to deep to explore the unique depths of His love found only in the space craved out by the wave, or the exhilarant joy found in the foaming freedom of the crest.

Adventure is born,

life is lived,

AS we ride the distance between the depths and crests.

Waves will always come. It’s what we choose that will change the ride – tossed or yielded, stubborn or surrendered, the choice is ours.

In the crashing waves, hear the rest of Psalm 42:

By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,

and at night his song is with me,

a prayer to the God of my life.

waves


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What Longing Is (Longing Part 4)

Before you read what Longing is, make sure you read what it isn’t too. Click here.

Longing is a mirror that we look into and see our true motives. Purified longing takes something that is good and makes it great. I long to be appreciated for what I do; not a bad desire, but the Lord sees the motive.  When I am not appreciated and don’t get what I want, longing holds up the mirror to reveal a selfish heart. Longing teaches me to love and serve with agape love – expecting nothing in return, serving out of love for the Lord, not the desire to be appreciated.

Longing is a chance to feel what Christ feels. The Spirit longs for His bride. We think we might have been waiting long, but what have we done to Christ? His bride dallies in her marriage preparations daily. We hurt him, grieve Him, and ask Him to wait to come back for us until we can do or experience certain things – until our desires are fulfilled. As we long, it’s a reminder that the Lord feels longings too – for us. How great is His love for us!  We are His bride whom He is separated from. (Revelation 21).  Longing is about realizing that our story is really about the cross.  It’s about becoming the bride of Christ. Christ is coming back for a body that is in portion to its head.  Are you ready for Him?

Longing is a reminder we are made for more.

“Heaven is not here. It’s there. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.” – Elisabeth Elliot – Keep A Quiet Heart

We aren’t made for this earth, friends. Longing keep us from getting comfortable and settling for the shadows of reality.

Longing understands. There is such comfort in knowing that the Lord understands our longings too. Isaiah 40:27 tells us that our ways are not hidden from Him, nor is our cause disregarded. He sees you friend! And He understands your pain.

O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. Psalm 38:9

We can also understand each other’s pain – pain and longing are what make us human, and we have the privilege of comforting each other (2 Cor 1).

Longing is perspective and focus. Without darkness we would never know what light was. The same applies to what we long for – with longing comes a unique perspective. In the absence of what our heart desires, there is room to love and appreciate what was passed over before. Within longing we see a side of the Father’s face that is only shown to those in holy anguish. The choice is always ours – to focus on what we do have, or what we don’t have.

Longing is leaving regrets behind. David Crowder’s song “Oh He Loves us” says: don't have timejpg

“I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way you love us”

While Crowder might have been writing about the regrets of sin, when I sing this song it also means the regrets that come from unmet desires. There is a lot of truth in that line. When we are focused on the Lord’s love for us right now, we can’t regret what He has not yet given us. Our hearts can dwell on only one thing at time, we can foster discontent by focusing on our longings, or we can set them aside and focus on His love for us. A love that motivates and drives us to the point that we are so caught up in it, that there is no room for regrets.*

There is a lot of things that longing is, and that it isn’t, but what do we do with it?

Next: Longing – What Now.

*Please note that not focusing on the longing does not mean it goes away – it won’t always, but it becomes manageable and no longer paralyzes us when our focus is on Christ’s love.

Also in this series:

What to do with Longings

What Longing Isn’t

Seeing Our Salvation in our Longings


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Into Me You See {Intimacy}

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. A.W. Tozer – Knowledge of the Holy

Who God is to us is one of the most important things about us, because it reveals the transformation that the Lord has done in our lives and our understanding of who He is. There is one major important step however that needs to come before we can clearly see who God is and subsequently what we think of Him.

 I read in a periodical the other day that the most fundamental thing is how we think of God. By God Himself, it is not!  How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important. Indeed, how we think of Him is of no importance except in so far as it relates to how He thinks of us. C.S. Lewis – Weight of Glory

While Tozer is right and I still agree with him, Lewis presents another very important side. We must first see ourselves as God sees us, before we can truly see God.  Continue reading


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Christmas Magic?

I wanted a big miracle at Christmas, you know like the ones in movies. The magical, nostalgic all your dreams come true moments. It’s Christmas Eve and my dreams seem to be running away from me rather then coming closer to fruition. Were the magical moments of childhood just that – a child’s perspective? The older I get the harsher the realities of life and dreams seem.

No, I will not be depressed – it IS Christmas!

In two hours I would home and the last thing I wanted to do was paste on a fake smile for the kids. They still believed in the magic, and I didn’t want to spoil it for them. They will grow up all to soon. Desperate to not fall into the “black hole” I fiddled with my iPod trying to get some worship music playing. I need a different focus. Desperately.

As the miles rolled by I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the snow looked covering the dead brownness of the countryside.  It was beautiful. I couldn’t deny that, no matter how surly my mood.

Maybe there is still a little magic left?

Trees bowed low under ice and snow crystals that shown even brighter because of the grey sky. Dead and broken weeds and branches now created enticing tunnels into the unknown.

Even the Darkness Continue reading


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Even This – Again

How many times will I stare at these white walls and fight back the tears, trying to pull myself back together before the Dr comes in? I already know what they are going to tell me. MRSA. Again. I’m loosing track of how many times I’ve sat here. I guess if I wanted a count the medical bills stacking up could tell me. Or maybe the purple scars covering my legs.

Natural doctors, medical doctors, they are all at their wits end trying to help me. No one knows why I keep getting sick. You name it, I’ve probably tried it. Diets, essential oils, Antibiotics, the list goes on.

I want to give up, but I can’t. I guess I’m learning why the Lord made me so stubborn. I don’t question His goodness, but my heart questions His plan as my mind whispers “why?”. I know He can heal me. I’m more sure of that then I am of my own name. So why doesn’t He? It’s in anguish I ask, wanting to understand, not anger. He is to faithful to me to be angry with Him. His grace abounds even in this. Even here. Again.  Continue reading


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Lies All Lies !

My fingers froze over the keys as I stared at the screen. I’d just caught myself in a bold face lie.

 I don’t feel strong enough to go through this again Lord. At all. I can see Oh so clearly how you were preparing me for this and that is where the thankfulness comes in. But I don’t feel ready or prepared. I feel tired… my heart is weary.

I wanted to journal and say that I couldn’t walk this out; I was tired and not strong enough. Lie. It’s so much harder to believe a lie when you are journaling it.

 I know I should not say or think that I am not ready, that is a lie. You are all I need. With you I am as ready as I need to be.

When we say that we can’t do something we are saying that God is not enough – that His grace and strength are not
sufficient. Since when did feelings dictate what was true or not?

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