Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My Story for His Glory:: I Am the Only One Who Can Take This Journey #TellHisStory

The surrounding walls are chalky-white on cement. The kind that cover your hand in fine dust if you run your finger over them. It's a transport to the 1940's. There are screechy, squeaky wheels of the medicine cart or is it the taller cafeteria cart?

A meaty hand raps hard on the door. My roommate has been crying off and on, in and out, for the last three hours. She rises from her bed and lays back down for the tears and torment are the same.

I have little to offer but a hand to cheek and sweetly saying 'Jó lesz, Viktoria. Jó lesz.' I don't know that it will be okay, yet I hope and pray so. They inject her with a sedative so she can rest. 

And how am I here? That is a part of the story I hope to put to page...one day. For now, it is enough to say my mind couldn't be trusted for a while. This has brought me here. I have had my own injections, one and then another, and they were too strong for me. So there have been three days in the ICU as I am unable to breathe.

But, I am coming through to the other side. 

And I will One Day be safely on that shore, forevermore. The one with sparkling rivers, seas of glass and streets made of gold that glistens. Where all tears have dried but the emotion is heartfelt. Yes, One day, soon, I will be there.

But, now I live here. And the story can be told all full of making it through and the final victory of Heaven. It's an amazing reality that awaits and I cling to it with all I most deeply am.

But, I live here. And my story is not one served best with its neat stack, pat of butter and real maple syrup poured just so. No. This is not the story I must journey to know, live and speak.

For now, at times, the sea of glass cuts flesh all shards of what is broken. The river runs muddy with its debris crashing over and making dirty. And the streets? Rutted and potholed and the falls are many.

And this authentic journey of my story is one only I can take. I would most want Mama to hold my hand, but it's more than thirteen years since she went to Heaven. My twin sister, too, but we each have our own lives and far apart besides. Sometimes I soul-beg for my husband to make it all better or for my kids to fill in all the cracks.

Then it all starts to hemorrhage. And I know.

I am the only one who can live my story. I must face each wound or pain. I must receive each joy or gift. Many hold my hands along the way, but they have their stories. At times our paths intertwine so fiercely, but no, our stories are not the same.

It is so important to see this. Because sometimes the hardest, bravest thing to do is live my very own story. I can live the past, what-I-was-or-did story, whether good or bad. I can live the victory story where it is all better. I can live the fearful-anxious story, hemmed in and hiding. I can live the future story where glory is all I see.

But can I live the 'I am in a broken world yet being made new' story? Can I live redemption? Where I am present to acute pain and torment such as I never want to live again? And I don't deny it nor does it have power over me? Can I live with unwavering, resilience where each piece of my own unique story has a beautiful weight that far outweighs its ugly?

It is a huge task to live my story so. Yet, when I commit to such living I can never be satisfied with less. I grow so weary of the pretending and take my stand for what is real.

It is also a treasure to live my story so. Because only in Jesus can I. Only through His perfection wrapping me tight and secure, can I share any bit of my story. Only through Him can I lay down the acceptance of others or their understanding and simply...be His. Only through Him can I know a courage deep enough to walk this journey. 

As his beloved, this story--my story, is the only one given to me before time as it lays out before me, weaving its hand through the days of my one little life.

So how can I choose anything but to live it?

Sharing with SDG and #TellHisStory

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My Story For His Glory: It's a Journey that Takes Heart

It's been four months. 


Somehow I can't feel bad about not posting here for four months. You know why? Because in that time I have had some of the biggest victories of my life. My story is continuing and I am living it.

Which brings me to the part of my 'story talk' I am going to share today. 

To know our stories, is to commit to a journey.

And this journey is not for the faint of heart. It takes grit, guts and a kind of soul groaning to hang onto our stories.

Because there are times...

Times like this year, for me, when a story seems in shreds. When whole things become broken; shattered. When the lies weave like deep-rooted viscious weeds come to choke out all the good.

These have been the days when I have needed to remember most where I come from. Every bit of childhood faith and the earlier parts of my story as well as the stories of those who have gone before. I have needed to remember the journey of my story. I have needed to commit again to see it through for the glory of God.

As we remain in our stories, there are things of which we become more and less sure. There are things which make more sense and many which make less sense. There are things we once thought of as having great significance which now seem small. And other things we once saw as small which have become great.

It's a journey of vision and vantage.

Our stories are the treasures we sell everything to buy. They are unyielding and eternal. They are all that is precious and true of who we are becoming.

They are the journey of our lives.
And so we must commit to this journey.  

This truth is reaching deep inside of me. I am trusting God as He speaks a different word, His Word, over who I am. I am lifting that word high in praise as I run this race. And step by step I am finding boldness and confidence in my story. God owns this path. As I commit to who He is, He is giving me eyes to see. Eyes of hope, wonder, joy, beauty, strength, resilience and peace.

Are you committed to the journey of your story? What is tempting you off of the path?


Saturday, May 16, 2015

My Story for His Glory:: Love is writing our lives (Part 1)

In January, I helped to lead a time for our Area Staff Conference with hundreds of women serving with Cru across Eastern Europe and Russia. The theme was 'Our Story for His Glory'. I introduced the time with a short talk.

I talked about each of our stories as a 'thread'. And then the threads of our stories are woven together in one glorious tapestry of redemption which reflects God's glory. I shared how our threads at times appear brilliant, like gold, and are full of hope. Other times the thread may seem broken, tattered or a jumbled mess. Still other times our threads seem dark and dull.

I would have said then that my thread seemed brilliant. I was excited about my life and the possibilities before me. I felt great hope. I had compassion for those in other places, but I knew where I was.

A month after this I was in the hospital and my thread was shredding and kept shredding. I had no idea about my story and if, when it was all over, I'd have anything left.

Recently I read the whole talk to my husband and he said:

 'Did you write all of that for yourself?'

I said, 'well, I didn't think so, but I guess you're right.'

So, over the next few weeks I am going to spend time with each point of that talk.

This week I want to look at this quote related to knowing and telling our stories:

"We embark on this journey because we believe that Love wrote our lives despite what it might seem at times. We choose to believe that our lives consist of more than simply a series of events. Underneath and through each scene lies the hint of a larger story God is telling through our lives."
 ~ Dan Allender, To Be Told - Workbook, p.3

If love is writing my life, which perspective do I adopt? 

On one side, when the thread is full of hope the heart is full of thanks and outpouring love before God for His gracious writing. 

But what about when the thread is crumpled, broken, tattered, even shredded?

I am learning, learning, learning, even more so there is a thankfulness for the Love that is writing my life. When it all seems to fall apart, this is where weary, battered hearts can rest. 

Love is writing my story. 

The pen is out of my hand. The illusion of any control I think I have is being seen for what it is. I am being led where I do not want to go, yet,

Love is singing over my life.

Root issues I could spend a lifetime running from in marriage, motherhood and ministry are being revealed. I am a mess of a child crying before my Abba Father day and night, but even more,

Love is embracing me heart and soul.

I know my frail, made-of-dust frame in deeper ways. The yearnings to run after lesser things are coming to full light. The tininess of my trust in the God who died for me is humbling me to know, there is no other hope except that

Love holds me now and forever.

Take heart, my friend, in the broken and tattered. Be encouraged in the dark and dull. Love is real and He is writing something glorious to One Day be revealed. Cling to Love. See the darkness flee. Find hope in your story in the light of His. Surrender all fear and run to the arms whose hands write it all beautiful. I am your friend right there with you.

Tell me what Love is writing over your life, or how you are trying to believe it is true.


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