Thursday, January 28, 2010

Oh to be 12 again...

Junior high was awful for me. It's a rare time in my life that I have no desire to revisit, just looking at pictures make me cringe. My arms and legs seemed out of proportion with the rest of my body, my hair never looked clean regardless if I had just washed it, my neck was too long, and I had no sense of fashion. But the fashion thing never bothered me. When I moved in with my mom the summer before seventh grade, I went through some serious life changes.

I had lived with my dad and step mom, Rebecca, where I was very unhappy for about five years. I was far from Rebecca's favorite child, and she was never shy to express it. My younger brother had moved out almost two years before when I finally decided it was time for me to move as well. I went from a very comfortable (financial wise) lifestyle, to a pretty poor family. But there was more love then I had ever recieved and I was happy, so to me not much else mattered. My back to school wardrobe was not huge and a lot of it came from Goodwill, but again, it was no sweat off my back. I did, however, get one outfit from Gap. They were these super cute capris with a matching tank top and man oh man did I feel cool in it!
When school started I had zero friends. I am a very outspoken and outgoing girl now, but 12 year old me was much more timid. I wasn't afraid to speak inside the class room, but outside of that I was painfully shy. So, I spent most mornings and lunches by myself. Slowly but surely I had a few friends, two other girls that were new as well. The new girls were far from accepting, and I was too shy to attempt it. My old school was small and everyone was really close. I don't ever remember making fun of anyone (in a mean spirited way) or being made fun of, so this enviroment was new and uncomfortable to me.
Now, back to my super cute Gap outfit. With my small wardrobe selection, most of my outfits were on a one to MAYBE two week rotation. My favorite seemed to make a weekly appearance though, it was a self esteem boost in a time I desperatly needed it. I figured as long as the clothes were clean, how bad could it be? Until one day.
I was standing in line for pizza, rockin my teal Gap capris, thinking it had been a fairly good day. A girl from the "cool group" came up to me and said...
"Do you wear that like everyday?"
Blank stare.
"Well that's really gross."
And just like that my world was brought down around me. My insecurities shot through the roof. I had anxiety attacks getting dressed in the morning. I would save up ALL of my allowance to buy clothes, I would ask my mom for items that I knew were way beyond our budget, but I didn't care.
I needed them. I wasn't worth anything if I didn't have them.
It's taken years to overcome those insecurities, and I still catch myself every now and again falling into those behaviors. If it wasn't for the love of Jesus, I don't know that I could have ever overcome those insecurities. It took one comment from a girl whose name I can't even remember now, for me to lose sight of what mattered and place my value in something as shallow as what I wore.
As Christians we are told to put our value in Christ! To store our treasures in heaven! Not on things of this word.
"Since, then, you have been raised in Christ, set your hearts on things above. Where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on things of the earth." Colossians 3:1-2
This was the memory verse of the month for the high school kids I work with, and it has been a heavy thought on my heart. Kids are so easily dragged into false hope and idols, and Christ is thrown out of their hearts. And sadly those habits don't die easy, we carry them into our adult lives. We need to place our value in Him. And we need to teach that to the children, who, at the moment can't see the bigger picture. Where do you place your value? What worldly things stand in your way of a closer relationship with Christ? Get honest and beg the Lord to remove those things from your heart.
God bless you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today I really relate to Eve. Wanting to believe that by covering myself I'm pleasing God. That people around me can't see the brokeness through my, at times, contrived smiles. I'm finding it harder to hide. Knowing God is pulling my heart. Knowing He has brought people alongside to love me and hold my hand. I know that I am not alone, and in that its harder. I know that Grace is poured over me like an unending waterfall. And in that its easier.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oh Praise the One Who Paid My Debt

The Lord has layed a heavy burden on my chest. One that I am called to raise up in arms with Him, so that He can be glorified.
I have a story to share. One that my heart breaks for and one that I have yet to be honest in. I am totally depraved and I know the only way for God to continue His mending in my life is to share my story. I want my life to glorify God. Yet I have done a terrible job truly seeking that purpose. But I am forever changed by His unending love. My mistakes and hurts are nothing to be ashamed of now that I walk in His light.
My prayer is for courage. That I seek His face in times that my worldly heart cries to run. That I fall on my knees humbled by His majesty. I am but a broken vessel. Yet He loves me.
Please pray for me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Some Monday Morning Hope

"The Lord will either calm your storm...or allow it to rage while He calms you."

Yep, that is exactly the thought I need to start my week. God bless you.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I'm Craving....

Just add a rainy day. And some beautiful music.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My Resolution

So I have been mostly absent from my blog for a little while for several reasons:
1. Lack of time (dedication to setting aside the time really).
2. Writing hurts sometimes.
I love to write, but I also hate it. It tends to be the easiest way for me to be honest with myself and others. I have a difficult time faking it when I write. I have to be vunerable when I write. Even now my heart is beating a little faster and the steadiness from my hands is gone knowing that I will have to be honest. When I speak I can hide. My words can mask what my heart cries. It's a skill I've mastered. It is a terrible and deceiful trick. One the Lord has called me to unlearn.
Colossians 3:9 - Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.
Leviticus 19:35 - Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity.
Not only has He called me to unlearn it, He provided the tools to do so. I have been blessed with amazing friends. Godly men and women that love and care about me, ones that I care about. And I have learned to hide from even them with my words. We are called to be honest"when measuring length, weight or quantity." For me I know this is in regards to my heart and my life. I am quick to respond that everything is fine, that I am doing great. When I am not. My friends should be my source of accountability. Especially the girls in my life. But how can they hold me accountable when I am not honest with them. How can they comfort if they don't know I am hurting. How can I expect them to rely on me, if I don't rely on them. By not sharing what is on my heart, I am cheating not only myself but my friends out of an honest friendship.
So I have made a new years resolution, well two really. To be more honest. And to be more intentional with my relationships. Especially my relationship with Jesus. I cannot improve imperfect relationships if I am not commited to the one perfect being in my life. He knows me well enough to know that without His guidance, I would continue to be lost. And I know that. Colossians 3:10 goes on to say "and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." I cannot continue to be dishonest and be in Christ. I know this will be painful at times. But I also know for Jesus to be present in my life, for Him to continue to grow me, I must let go of my selfish ambitions. Hiding will only stunt my growth. There is no hiding from God, "Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the Lord; Do I not fill heaven and earth says the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:24. I am the only one who suffers in my hiding. I am the one who seperates myself from Him with my actions.
Isaiah 1:16-17 tells us just what to do instead, "wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." I pray that this becomes the cry of my heart. That I allow God's love to overflow in my life. That I am aware of the never ending joy through my Saviour Jesus Christ. That in all of this, I find no place to hide.
I pray this for you as well.