Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Be still and know...

Hundreds of words are swirling in my head, and I know that I will be unable to capture even a fraction of them here with any sort of clarity.

I could write about the millions of hurting children in the world. I could write about three that I know and love particularly. I could write about the intricate ways that God orchestrates the details of our lives so that we have ample opportunity to get out of our own ways and into his. I could write about a recent resurgence of feelings of inadequacy that all but cripple my ability to work or be the type of friend I am called to be. I could write a book of apologies for my failures to love my friends and family the way that Christ loves me. I could write of my greatest hopes and my greatest fears (the greatest fear being - of course - the inability to attain my greatest hope).

But instead, I will write this: God is incomprehensibly in control of his creation. When all the words, stress, thoughts, fears, and failures threaten to consume your mind, know that you can rest in the mighty arms of the one who made you, the one who knows you, the one who loves you beyond any sort of measure, and simply be there, at peace, resting in his ability to cover any inadequacy, any mistake. Know that in him, there is peace, love, joy, and comfort when all the swirling makes no sense.

"Be still, and know that I am God." ~ Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Response to a Friend.

I wrote the following note as a response to a friend asking for some advice about a relationship that she is considering. As I read back over it, it served as a tremendous reminder to me. I thought I would include it (without her personal details, of course) in case any of you might be interested in reading a bit of my take on this kind of stuff. You’re probably not interested, but those are the kind of self involved, grandios notions that blogging encourages, right? So, here goes.

"...As far as [this guy] goes, I would be really careful. It is so easy to fall in love with potential and then end up being hurt by reality when someone chooses not to reach their potential. Believe me. I have been through this time and time again. If you have questions about [his] spiritual strength, I would take that VERY seriously. That is the cornerstone of a relationship (I know you know that), and if he cannot be a spiritual leader and encourager in your life, you will be fighting a very steep battle in order to try and grow spiritually yourself.

He does not necessarily have to be able to pick you up when you fall. But he needs to be strong enough to point you to the only One who really can pick you up! If he tries to help you on his own, without pointing you to the never-ending, compassionate strength of our Heavenly Father, you will both fail.

Anyway, you know my take on this kind of stuff. This is always my question - Do you glorify God more together than you do apart? Do you have a closer relationship with Christ because he is constantly challenging you to grow spiritually? If not, I have to ask if this is truly the guy for you.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I always do the right thing, even when I know what I should do. Enter every relationship I’ve ever had. But that is the standard. Not holding myself to the standard that we have been given as Christian women is the reason that I have been heartbroken time and time again. And if a guy ever meets that standard, I will know that the relationship has God’s blessing - that he has designed us to be together.

Anyway, that’s all just a bit of rambling from my opinionated little brain. Hopefully it’s not too off the wall for you. I’d love to talk more about this with you, though. I know sometimes it can help just to talk things through."

I know that it is so hard to be lonely. It’s so easy to long for someone with whom to share your life, to talk to about your day, to wipe away your tears. Disney taught us to look for Prince Charming in order to live happily ever after. And it can be devastating when he doesn’t show or doesn’t turn out to be so charming. But know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for our lives, whether or not that involves a guy. In his plan, we find value, fulfillment, and purpose for our lives. With those things, you don’t miss having a hand to hold quite so much. And if you are following the path that God has laid out for you, that is the only place where you will meet the person that he intends to be a part of your path. Follow Christ, and everything else will fall into its perfect place and time.