Monday, July 30, 2012


God showed me a rather strange dream last night, and it's been stuck in my brain, wandering about for the day, so I thought I'd write it down here. You can think whatever you like about it, but what it is remains what it is.

In my vision, I saw a figure. Misfigured, made up of layer upon layer of fat, covered in smoker's stains, abused, beaten, tainted, dirty, unwanted. It was so hideous and ugly that I could barely make out the gender of it. Yet I knew that the thing was me - it was me "in my sin".

I carried the burdens of a thousand years of guilt, yet as I looked upon this figure of myself, I was sorrowful. And I realized that I was sitting at the foot of the cross. And my soul longed to be rid of who I was, of this body that I felt did not belong to me.

Suddenly I began to shed. The layers of skin and fat and grime and dirt and bruises fell off of me. Everything fell off of me until there I was. I was me - only better. I was the most perfect version of myself I'd ever seen. And I was naked and beautiful and dancing while laughing and smiling in the glory of the cross. I felt as if this was perhaps what my soul looked like when I first fully accepted Christ and delighted in him completely.

And then Jesus looked on me and smiled. He held me in his arms and I felt as if he desired me. He wanted me to be united to him completely. I felt as if this was the kind of desire a husband would have for his wife on his wedding night, only it was God's desire for me.

But I was scared. I didn't think I was worthy enough and I resisted. I ran away to someone else. I fled his glory for fear that I was unworthy of it, and in the darkness that followed being away from him, a new layer of my old skin fell on me.

As I looked upon this new self, I became disheartened and sad. I realized that while I was scared of returning to Jesus, that I felt completely unworthy of his love, that I equally knew that I didn't want this extra burden upon me - and that a part of me longed for the joy I felt in his arms. So I returned. Only this time, it took a bit longer to get off that extra layer. Jesus had to scrub me, and I had to scrub too.

He still loved me, he still desired me, he still was madly in love with me, but he was hurt that I had run away. But I felt as if he knew that I might well do it again at the same time.

And that's where the dream ended.

I think it might be a big metaphor for our lives, or if not for yours, then definitely for mine. I have a tendency to want to do everything myself. I often feel as if I need to earn someone's respect or friendship, even their love. And if I don't meet the expected conditions of the relationship, then they won't take me.

But God doesn't work that way. I've never really thought of God as a lover, as a husband who desires me, but maybe that might be on way he wants to reveal himself to me, to you, and particularly to women who continue to be misused, abused, and manipulated by the men around them. God loves us, desires us, wants us to be united to him, but we must be willing to accept him. In our unworthiness, he makes us perfect. In our weakness, he makes us strong. In our grief, he brings overflowing joy. And in our meekness and lost self-worth, he redeems us to beyond what we ever have been.

Don't run away. You'll only be carrying a burden that was never meant to be carried. And you'll have to scrub a little harder when you come back to make things right again.

Monday, July 23, 2012

To love at all is to be vulnerable

There's no easy way to love someone. We must always risk getting hurt - whether it be in service to a stranger, loving a friend in a time of need, showing love to a family member who has walked away from you, and, most especially, in romantic relationships.

What is harder than the initial words - "I like you"? Or getting up the nerve to invite someone out with you. We must all put aside our pride and accept humility before we go into that situation, with the hopes that the other person returns our emotions. We risk unrequitted love, we risk rejection, we risk receiving a wound to who we are because someone may or may not affirm part of our deepest selves - our heart.

A group of friends read this beautiful quote to me today - I wanted to share it with all of you in the hopes that it affects you as much as it did for me.

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

I believe that the most lawless and inordinate loves are less contrary to God’s will than a self-invited and self-protective lovelessness… We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as a way in which they should break, so be it.What I know about love and believe about love and giving ones heart began in this.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

You were made for this

I read this excerpt from a book by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and was touched by how incredible a passage it is. How needed it is for every child, every young adult, every adult, every grandparent. We must all learn that we are here on purpose, for a purpose. The world is overwhelming, but it is within our grasp to change it. While this is a long passage, it's definitely worth reading. Hope you are changed by it.


My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Like a Child

Luke 18: 15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

What a blessing is a child whose faith is pure, innocent, and simple. Everything is exciting for them - whether it be the fact that God loves them enough to give them food, to give them grass and flowers, to simply love them. It's all amazing to them. Enough that they go, "Is it really true that God really loves me?"

Faith - I believe - gets harder with age. We begin to question things around us, question God, question what makes this or that right and wrong, question what makes life worthwhile and how we can live it to make it worthwhile. And I don't think this is a bad stage of our lives, but rather, an important reaffirmation of our faith through consistent breaking and strengthening of it. Kind of like how we build muscle - we have to make little tears in our muscles, and then let them heal in order to build them until they're stronger. Just like our faith. But it's never an easy process, and sometimes, a big tear makes us leave the race.

There's much we can learn from children. Perhaps something very noticeable is that they take on the habits, the words, the actions, of the people around them, whether this be parents or friends. Sometimes this is for the very best if they have amazing parents and amazing friends, sometimes this is bad if they don't have such great parents or friends.

God calls us His children, and I like the analogy of receiving the kingdom of heaven like a child. Fully dependent that what God has in store for us is good. Modelling our lives, our words, our actions, after Christ. Having the fullest of faith that He will provide for our needs, and that He is going to love us and protect us.

This is the lesson of childhood, and the lessons that I have been learning from the children as I get to talk with them, laugh with them, and see the simple things of life through their eyes. I always come home filled to the brim with joy and laughter from their simplistic yet insightful comments about life and God.

It's never to late to act a bit more like a child.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wedding Song

My friends got married the other day and played this beautiful song as their first dance. I wanted to share it with you <3

The Paper Kites - Bloom

In the morning when I wake/ And the sun is coming through,/ Oh, you fill my lungs with sweetness,/ And you fill my head with you.

Shall I write it in a letter?/ Shall I try to get it down?/ Oh, you fill my head with pieces/ Of a song I can't get out.

Can I be close to you?

Can I take it to a morning/ Where the fields are painted gold/ And the trees are filled with memories/ Of the feelings never told?

When the evening pulls the sun down,/ And the day is almost through,/ Oh, the whole world it is sleeping,/ But my world is here.

Can I be close to you?