Sunday, December 6, 2009

Prison

A while back, Randy talked about being enslaved to sin. In particular, a recurring stumble that it seemed like you'd never get over. How quickly I related to that! Yeesh, he might as well have said, "OK Laura, I'm talking straight to you. You are sitting in a prison cell." How often do I remain in the jail cell knowing full well that I can walk out into freedom leaving the chains behind? I choose to stay in the prison because of the false sense of safety. Its known. I've been here, I know what to expect. I choose captivity & its familiarity rather than running as fast I as can into the freedom on the other side.

The root of all enslavement comes from believing lies instead of truth and for me, overcoming lies is an epic battle. They spread like cancer through every area of my life. Some lies are just nonsense and easy to combat and then there are those others that I deep down believe are truth. You would think it'd be easy to distinguish between blatant lies and unshakable truths but unless I am always prepared for the spiritual battle (Eph 6:10-20), lies disguised as truth seem to stick around.

Give me eyes to see more of Him, less of me. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fearless

Be still and know that He is God. Don't just wonder. Don't assume. Know. Deep in your knower, know. Know that He is for you. Know that He is on your side. Know that He is fighting for you and is always victorious. Know that nothing is too big, nothing is too much. You can do all things through Christ. Not just easy things or pleasant things. Impossible things, terrifying things, painful things... ALL things. Where is your reliance? Do you let Him into all things? If He is in all things, you can stand firm in every battle because He is a winning God. We are set free from fear! Live fully, live fearlessly!

Prov 3:25 - Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin of the wicked when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. 

Sunday, August 9, 2009

But What If?

So I left off with me broken hearted and a big mess. I had not cried in at least a year and now I was sobbing at every song and sappy TV commercial. The flood gates were opened. My facade was cracked and everything pent up came gushing out. After about 2 weeks of breakdowns, I was emotionally exhausted and could do no more.

Around the same time as the boy, I had been falling more and more in love with my church. Not the place I went on Sundays, but the body I was a part of. I was surrounded by real people with real struggles - no pretense, nothing to prove, just doing life and faith together. I had joined a Bible study with amazing women and was getting poured into from all different directions. We were studying the book of Esther and Beth Moore's take on providence was really hitting home for me. Complete with chiastic structures and more "hallelujahs" than I can count.

Esther is the only book of the Bible where God is not actually mentioned, but if you read it and can't see the Lord's hand ALL over it, you are crazy. His orchestration is undeniably evident. At the time, I was like the book of Esther. I couldn't explicitly see God but the writing was on the wall. He was pushing me closer to the edge, preparing me to jump. I just had no idea how much of a leap He'd want me to take.

Beth Moore talked about her struggle with the "what ifs" of life. Issues like "What if I lose a child?", "What if my husband realizes I'm old and leaves me for a younger woman?" I could totally relate. I lived in such fear of the what ifs. "What if the boy breaks my heart?", "What if I never get married?", "What if I lose my job?" The bottom line behind the what ifs is that we like to have predictable lives. We like to know the answers. We like to be comfortable and for things to go our way. And we are terrified that things may slip out of our control. So we live out of fear and trying to minimize risk at every turn.

But really the answer is the same for every what if question. Jesus says, "I AM." Two words. We need to know nothing more than that. All we need. He Is. So when I freak out and say "But what if my life falls apart?" He Is. And has always been and always will be. When the lightbulb went off, I felt like apologizing to God for being so slow. Why did it take me so long to get that? He is enough. If I lose everything, if I never get married, if your husband cheats on you and leaves, will it be painful? Of course. It will hurt like crazy. But He is faithful. He will never forsake. He will always be enough. It got me back to where I was putting my hope.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Looking Back

What an incredible journey of the Lord's crazy provision and grace over the last eight + months. I feel like now that I'm getting settled into Nashville with more of a routine, its becoming comfortable. And I'm starting to lose sight of what brought me here in the first place. I really don't want the apathy I felt in SC to set in. I need to feel the out-of-my-control-ness so I'm backtracking a bit to remind myself.

Starting off January 2009, I would've told you that life was great. Everything was pretty much going according to my plan, which should've been a clear sign that things were about to fall apart. Oh, hindsight. I had a great job, great community, great friends, great church, great house, great guy... you get the idea. Life was grand because it was easy.

Little did I know, the Lord had plans for me that were not in my dayplanner. The problem was I was mostly talk. I would tell you all day that the Lord was in control. I knew He was. But its one thing to know it and another thing to live it. I had never known the freedom of true faith in the face of the unknown. I've been through some serious bumps in the road in the last few years but I always kept my hand in the situation. I'd never really just let go. I was terrified of the unknown, living with clenched fists, refusing to surrender.

I think the Lord finally said "Enough already!" I'm sure those weren't his exact words but I imagine his frustration as I allowed fear to win over and over, all while talking a pretty good game. So the things that I was putting hope and value in crumbled. Starting with the relationship that crumbled. A heartbreak that I haven't felt before. And yet I have no regrets because I look back and see how the Lord used that situation to get my attention and say, YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL! When it ended, I was broken, truly on my knees. I had zero energy left to try and figure things out or fix things like I usually did. All my great plans were dust.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Home

I am homesick. I don't really know for what though. I think more than anything, its familiarity that I miss. Comfort, having things be so easy. Knowing where things are, knowing who is who, knowing what to expect. I don't miss my physical house so much or the city of Columbia itself. Its the idea of being a kid wrapped in my parents' arms - comfort, security, peace.

For now, I don't have those things here in Nashville. Its lonely and unfamiliar. I'm still using a map to get around town and feel completely out of the loop. I miss my friends, my family, my community. But life is not about being comfortable or safe. The Lord asks me, commands me, to leave my security and know that in Him, I have peace that passes understanding and find comfort that cannot compare.

I will not second guess why I'm here. It is for His glory. I'm not sure what that looks like yet but I am certain He has called me to this city and I will wait to see how this journey plays out.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Moving On

The things of this world will crumble. But my God is a firm foundation. A rock who will never be shaken. I feel as though all of the good things have been ripped from my hands... first the boy, now my job. My heart is scared but strangely excited at the possibilities. I trust my God will open and shut doors and orchestrate for His glory. I want to lean in, to trust His calling, where ever that may take me. He is loving and faithful. He is a glorious ruler and King of all Kings - victorious in all that He does. That is the God I serve. No fear, I am His.