Monday, September 26, 2011

Beyond Borders

Borders. I create them. A skill I have perfected. A skill I thought necessary to my survival. A skill born out of pain, illness, brokenness, and betrayal. My borders, built for protection, safety, comfort. My borders, but not God's borders. You see my borders were created in my own strength, not His.

After years of chronic illness, of feeling trapped within myself, years of learning about my God. His love and grace. His mercy and sovereignty. I am so thankful to know Him. His healing begins, tiny waves, perfectly timed as His timing is always perfect. Like waves crashing on the surf and pulling back into the ocean, these waves are cleansing, healing. In the midst I hear Him whisper, "It's time." Time to move. Move beyond borders. My borders.

Just as the priests carrying the ark stepped into the flooding waters of the Jordan, I am taking that first step into faith. Trusting in Him who whispers, "It's time." Though the fear lingers and panic rushes in, I press on, let go with abandon. Because His plan, His borders are especially chosen for me; and through Him I CAN do all things.

It's time.

By His grace alone,

"The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall." So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.
Joshua 3:13-16 (NLT)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Joshua 29:11 (NIV)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

In response to his whispers, I am moving my blog, these little snippets of my journal, to new places, new things. I am not sure of all the pieces yet, I patiently pray and wait for Him to reveal them. What I do know is my blog is moving to; it will have my story, my borders, and my journey beyond those borders.

I am also participating in the Nesters 31 days to change series. My theme, 31 day to moving beyond borders. Yes 31 days of writing. Big commitment. Huge.


The vibrant green slowly yellowing with shades of red. Remarkable beauty, shifting, changing, dying. The glorious display drying up, turning brown, eventually falling. The crisp air telling of the season to come.

The sky glows orange as it fades into night. I am looking back, thinking of Summer, the Spring before. Why do I find my self here? The same place, every year, every Autumn? Reflective. Melancholy. Longing for days of old. Witnessing the slow fade of life into Winter.

Is it a reminder of who I am? What I am? A sinner. Imperfect. Like leaves from trees, we all fall. Or is it a reminder of seasons? Seasons of life? The cold, dark bleak seasons when God felt so far away.

The Autumn wind blows against me, the warmth of Summer still lingering. I find my heart yearning to move on, not looking back. He is speaking to me about moving beyond. Beyond borders, my borders. To fully trust Him, abide, and press on. Leaving fear of the unknown and the dread of the dark lonely days behind. Embracing a new life without fear. Stretching. Growing. Moving beyond into rebirth.

As the leaves fade, so does my old self. Her voice is distant now, barely a whisper. My old ways falling as the leaf. As Winter draws near I find new perspective. His perspective. This season is not a reminder of who or what I am, a sinner. It is not a reminder of the cold, dark bleak seasons of life. It is a season of drawing close to Him. A season of rest, abiding, shedding of the old.

As the tree awaits with hope the Spring that approaches with grace that renews and refreshes; I will await and hope in Him who promises to complete His good work in me.

By His grace alone,

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ
Philippians 1:6

Sunday, September 18, 2011

She Writes

Her heart bursts for Jesus. She longs to find someone who does not know Him, and read them the bible, share His love. But fear enters her heart. Not a fear of the telling. A fear of unbelief. Not hers, but theirs. What if they don't believe how great God's love is? What if they don't believe He sent His only son to die for them? That He loves them that much? How do I make them believe?

She shares with me her heart, breaking for those who do not know. We are driving and I want to pull off the road and just wrap her up in my arms. For my heart is bursting at that moment for her, the love, the faith, the wisdom, of this little girl of nine years. With eyes blurred with tears and a catch in my throat, I tell her how wonderful this is, her heart for God. I explain she only needs to tell, that's all He asks. He does all the rest. I tell her to pray for them. And I pray.

Then she writes...

I woke up today with a story on my mind about the bible verses 1 Corinthians 13
(1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.)
stuck in my mind. I decided to make a story about a girl who has never seen or heard or felt love in her life. Then she came across a store that was selling bibles and she was curious; she bought one and started reading it on the way home. She read all about love, that it never fail, and Jesus died on the cross because of LOVE. The reason he did not get off the cross (which he could have easily done) was because of love! For us who have sinned! He stilled loved us after we broke his heart. How would you feel if your heart was broken, would you still love the person who broke your heart? Well Jesus did. He paid the price we would have to pay, and he said he would COME BACK! How exciting is that to meet him face to face. He died on the cross because of LOVE!

And she writes this story. A chapter at a time. The ultimate love story from the heart of a little girl of nine!

All glory to Him,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Do They Know Him?

Do they know him? I mean really know him? Do they hear His whisper in the loud? Do they feel the caress across their cheek as the tear falls? Do they feel Him right there walking along side? Can they feel His arms wrapped tight, when it seems all else is lost? Do their hearts burst with joy as if it might just leap from their chest when they sing in worship?

Do they know Him... The speakers, preachers, counselors, friends? Those who speak the words that just spill from their lips, just four words... give it to God... Do they really know Him?

Simple. Just do it. Give it. He will take it. Over and over the words spilled out, but never the how. Never. I listened and read and searched for their how. Never an answer. Never the how.

Years filled with illness, anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia. Years of giving it to God. Years of not knowing the how. Years of longing, wanting for it to go, God to take it. All of it. Years of just doing it. Giving it. Yet it remained.

Then it came, the connect. Heart with mind. Me to Him. Simple. Complicated. The how? Brokenness, gratitude, surrender, connection, the knowing. Knowing there is not one answer to the how. Each one comes in his own way, His way, for His purpose. The how... individual, unique to all, but still the same.

Do they know Him? Really know Him? I pray they do.

By His grace alone,

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me"
John 10:27

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
I Peter 5:7