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Chaos, Social Justice, and Facing Fear in order to Seek God's Face

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.  Isaiah 26:3 A warning in advance-in...

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

But…

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)


Of late I’ve been forced to take a different approach to my relationship with The One. I realized that it had a very human (read wrong) orientation. While humbling, it has been illuminating in a way I know is Divine. Honestly, the realization actually shattered me beyond my confessed brokenness and I’m back to finding True North...again.

One day recently, without much fanfare or warning, I hit the wall. THAT WALL that God brings down on the end of one leg of your journey when it’s time to go somewhere new. The moment I recognized that things would NEVER be the same. What did I discover? In a new way, I discovered the But.
breaking was only the beginning.
It'stime to get Radical.
 TWEET A CHALLENGE

“hard pressed on every side, but not crushed…”

Faith is not a deal you make. Faith is not a savings account where you accrue Grace based upon good works and clean living. We never earn Grace and we cannot work for it. Faith in God, according to TD Jakes, teaches that

There are some fires you can't get out of--you've got to go through the fire--you've got to go through the flood--you've got to go through the test--you've got to go through the struggle that you might decrease and He might increase.

That's when you discover the But. I've observed my friends experiencing it recently, and thank God for it that their journeys helped prepare me for my own.

This weekend could've gone very diferently. First, our son worked hard to prepare for a presentation outside his comfort zone, and was locked and loaded to deliver. God and the weather had a different plan. We could have lamented the circumstances; we enjoyed unplanned time together instead. 

"perplexed, but not in despair..."

We'd labored diligently on a compressed timeline to learn and perfect liturgical choreograpy for a Christmas Cantata. We nailed an entirely new work in one rehearsal and polished it in the next. 24 hours before the event, we practiced one last time; we were ready. God and the weather had a different plan. Thank God we'd worked out less than 12 hours earlier; when I fell and twisted my knee I knew that the injury was mitigated by warmed and stretched muscles, and with the Cantata rescheduled due to inclement weather, God granted time to rest and heal.  I could've lamented the circumstances. Instead, I am grateful to God that at 49 I can still dance.

“struck down, but not destroyed…”

For the very first time in my life, I made an impassioned appeal to a group of friends, in true desperation, for prayer. It was THE WALL. It was the moment I acknowledged that my way just wasn’t going to work any longer AND that any way out was going to need to be different. Recovering, I have discovered a name for what lived beyond my wall. It is called Radical Faith, and that is what appears on the other side of But.

According to Rosemary Bardsley, this call to Radical Faith is

… a relationship in which we trust Him absolutely and trust in ourselves not at all; it is a relationship in which He is our God – not us; it is a relationship in which we depend entirely upon Him, and do not seek to be independent from Him.


And so there it is. Beyond the wall. After the end of the road. A new beginning. Once upon a time I thought being broken was the worst thing that could happen.  But even in my brokenness, I had God guiding me, in the form of sister-warriors like my buddy who wrote me words to light my way...


Even when you are quieter than usual.
Even when you are more plagued that usual.
Even when you are weak.
Even when you are reflecting and rising
…Your ability to put one foot in
front of the other has inspired many…

I look back at the guideposts He planted for me knowing I'd come to this end and yet go on, and I cannot give up, even as I know I can never go back AND that the way forward is a path I've never trod before. 

So, as I end this year and embark upon the next I know now that breaking was only the beginning. It's time to get radical. And, finally, having falling onto my knees and then onto my face, breathing out the last breathe I'll ever draw believing I've done so on my own, I will remember the words He gave me to carry as a mantle on this journey even before I knew it was time to do...I will never entirely forget to trust in the One That Always Knows. Who Has Always Known. Who knew me before I knew to know; Who Was At the Beginning and Has Written the End.

Today I am feasting in fellowship with friends here...


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