the uncomfortable

original post date 5/15/14

Forever and a day ago, I went to a LifeTeen Leadership Retreat. Literally, a million years ago. One of the first things I remember about this monumental week was when Mark Hart, aka the coolest Catholic man ever, stood up and told all of us to “Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.” That seemed simple enough. I understood what he was saying. I have since heard a quote saying “You were made for greatness, not comfort.” Again, that made sense. Being a Christian may not always be easy and you might be put in some awkward situations. Got it. I sure thought I did…

As I continue to grow in my life and faith, I have seen this idea take on a whole different life. Beyond. “The uncomfortable” is far more than a few awkward situations. It is painful situations. It is lonely situations. It is confusing situations. It is annoying/frustrating/stupid/scary/challenging/new situations. The uncomfortable is ever changing.

“The uncomfotable” is also where there is greatness. It is where God’s love radiates. It is where we grow. It is where we learn and develop. It is in the uncomfortable that we make the most progress.

It isn’t easy. It never is. Life is hard. The Devil makes sure of that. I have found when I am particularly on fire and ready to take on anything, the hardest things come at me. The most uncomfortable situations have to be dealt with.

I feel that this idea of getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is something I need to revisit. I’m planning to spend the summer getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and being a part of greatness.

be kingdom.

I have never really understood when people talked about the Kingdom of God here on Earth. To me, I have always kept them separate. To me, the Kingdom of God was in Heaven, and we are here on Earth. Black and white. Matter of fact. I mean, I understand that we are called to live God’s will out on Earth, but I didn’t really understand that being the kingdom. For me, the Kingdom of God would come when He came.

I get it now. Or at least, I am starting to get it.

I am starting to understand that we are called to live in the kind of love, forgiveness, mercy, compassion and absolute adoration that is experienced in Heaven, here on Earth. We are called to be a representation of that Kingdom. We are called to go forth and spread that Kingdom to others.

I think it took me understanding true worship to understand this call to Be Kingdom. In experiences of worship, there is nothing else I want to do other than sit at the feet of Jesus and tell Him how wonderful He is. It is in those times, that I am overflowing with His love and peace. But I can’t leave that love and peace in that moment of worship. I have to bring it with me outside of the church. I have to spread that love. So that others might feel the overwhelming presence of Christ.

I am in so inspired to spread God’s kingdom. I am so inspired to activate the Kingdom of God on Earth. And in the same breath, I am so challenged. It has not been easy. It will not be easy. But God gives an uncomprehendable energy. He gives a peace that surpasses understanding. I am being called to live a life of kingdom. To be in sync with the Angels and Saints in Heaven that can do nothing else but sing of God’s great glory. And that’s what I want to do. I want to be such a representation of kingdom, that people want to join in with me. Because it was what our hearts were made to do. Last year, I found a new love and appreciation for worship. God totally broke the mold I had constructed. I want Him to keep breaking it.

I want to Be Kingdom.

part five.

so my theme is come after me.

and I feel like God keeps teaching me new things about what that means.

In the readings this week, people where seeking Jesus. They were seeking a teacher. They were seeking. And Jesus asked them what they were looking for. And when they told Him, He said Come and you will see.” 

He told them to follow Him. And He told them He would show them. But He told them to come.

I love the promise of “you will see.” He doesn’t make empty promises. He doesn’t say, “come and I might show you” or “come and if you prove worthy enough, I’ll let you see.” He simply says,

“Come and you will see.” 

That is so powerful. I feel like God is teaching me to still follow. To keep seeking. He is not leaving. He didn’t say, “wait here and I’ll be back to show you.” He invited them to come with Him.

As I start this new year, I want to remember these words that He spoke. He is promising to show me what He has in store in for me.

I love that Jesus asks “ What are you looking for?” He wants to know what our plans are. He wants to know what our desires are. Obviously, He already knows what they are. But He doesn’t miss that opportunity to have a conversation. To enter into a dialogue. He wants to hear from us. That is so powerful. That is a place of honesty and realness.

I am humbled by Jesus’ desire to know my heart more. I am humbled by His invitation to follow Him. I am humbled by His love for ministry. I am humbled by His love.

Now that the Christmas season has passed, I think it is so important to remember that He came for us. He never asks us to do something He hasn’t already done. He came. For us. First. And now He is asking us to come for Him. To come after Him. To follow. To learn. To grow. To be challenged. To see.

He goes before us. In this passage, Jesus walked by first. He was leading the way. He was walking before the disciples and then invited them on His walk. That is an invitation He is extending to us. To join His walk. His walk through our lives and into His kingdom.

In this new year, I am reminded to come after Him.

raw.

well it’s decemeber 1st. As I write this at least. So I broke out the Christmas CD. One of my all time favorite Christmas songs was on the CD.

Breath of Heaven.

I have obviously memorized the song, it is one of my favorites. But it only gets played at Christmas time, so I forget about it. But as I sang the words I knew by heart today, a whole new wave of emotion came flowing with it.

I have been on a journey with Mary lately. Trying to grow closer to her heart, that I might learn more about being a strong and graceful woman, But as I sang the words to this song today, I was shaken. The words to this song are so raw. So authentic. Her prayer is amazing.

Pour over me Your holiness, for You are holy. 

Like woah. Woah. Woah. I have never prayed that before, That is such a cry for help, but still from a heart of worship.

And she asks

Do you wonder, as you watch my face, if a wiser one, should have had my place?

Can we talk about how real that is? How many times I ask myself or God if “this” or “that” is really what I should be doing? If He is sure that he wants me to do that? If I am worthy enough to do that? And then she says,

But I offer all I am, for the mercy of your plan. Help me be strong. 

Such abandon to His will. Like it blows my mind. I am so amazed at the faith this young girl possessed. She also talks about being alone, and how scary this journey is. But she asks for the Breath of Heaven to hold her together. For His holiness. Like WHAT?!? I don’t know that I would be asking for that. I feel like I would be freaking out. Actually, I know I would be freaking out. And it sounds like she was a little bit, too. But her faith. Her faith. God used that faith. He gave her the strength to hold onto that faith. Even as he watched her face. She is so beautiful. I wonder if she knew some girl would be writing about her thousands of years later, and how stunning she is.

That is the kind of faith I want. Even in her fear, she was praising God for His holiness and asking for His strength. During this Advent season, I want to strengthen my faith like Mary did. In her silent prayer.

Mary, precious mother of our Savior, pray for me that I know the strength you had as you carried the Prince of Peace. Pray for me that I have the boldness you had as you said yes and abandoned yourself to God’s plan. Pray for me that I have the awareness to go to God and ask for His strength and for His companionship, just like you did. Pray for me that my heart is prepared, more and more each day, for the plan God has for my life. 

part four: what i want…sort of….

So I have been reading a lot of articles, and also in the process of reading a book, about relationships. Specifically, waiting to meet the right person, or what to look for, or what not to look for, or what to be, or who not to be. A lot of Do’s. But seemingly even more DON’T’S. Like ever. It seems like a lot of keep up with, really. But one common theme I saw in most of these articles, posts, and chapters, secular and spiritual, was to spend your time as a single person learning about, growing in, getting to know and loving yourself. Like actually, all of them suggest that.

I have thought about that before. Obviously. But somehow, every time I try to start “working on myself,” I always end up thinking about my future husband…again.

But then I got a new thought. I want to think of the person I want to be for Him. With a capital H. And from that I started thinking about what I would want my Heavenly Groom to say about me, and eventually what my future husband to say about me.  So I came up with a list of things I want my Heavenly Groom to say about me:

She’s so…

Faithful

Loving

Dedicated

Beautiful

Strong

Smart

Mine

And then I thought about a list of things I would want my future husband to say about me:

She’s so…

Christ centered

Loving

Sweet

Helpful

Generous

Beautiful

Passionate

Funny

Forgiving

Mine

When I made these lists, I could see how so many of them overlapped. It is so easy for me to focus on what I want in someone else, than preparing myself to be the best version of me for them. I could see from this list that if I work towards the things I want God to say about me, the things I want my future husband to say about me will flow out from those things. I feel like having a set list of things I want to work towards will help me stay focused on me. We’ll see…to be continued….

in-ten-tion-al-i-ty:

done with intention or on purpose; intended

designed

planned

deliberate

this word has become my prayer. I want everything I do to come from intentionality. I want to be able to say everything I did had an intention behind it. It was planned. It was deliberate. It was designed to bring glory to God. There was purpose behind it.

It is so easy to go along with whatever everyone else is saying, doing, being, seeing, [fillintheblank]-ing. There is so little intention behind falling in step with everyone else. Really, the only intention we can point to is wanting to fit in, be liked, accepted, even succeed.

It takes courage, boldness, and bravery to step up and step out in intentionality.

But God has promised so much good to those who take that step.

“For I know well the plansI have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me. I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me.”                                        Jeremiah 29:11-13

Plans, He has plans for you! If that’s not intentional, I don’t know what is. More than that, those plans are for a future of hope! And then, He promises to be there when we need Him. When we are having trouble stepping out and being intentional, He said He will listen. He will be there. We will find Him. He is intentionally making Himself available for us.

I pray that all my actions are intentional. I pray that the God of courage, boldness and bravery speaks to my heart and works through my hands. I pray that when I struggle with this, I run to the God of intentionality.