Monday, April 20, 2015

A Poem of Longing and Fulfillment

 

I long to be free to take deep breaths and know I am loved.

I plead with Heaven to live full, trusting the heart of it all into the Master's Hand.

I desire to walk upon the beaches of the soul, the song of roaring waves 
and rushing waters that spray with the salty refreshment of truth.
 
I want to run at the breakers and let the crashing over me be behind, before, all about.
 
I long to know the surpassing greatness like the winds that whip around 
and lift to the heights with the sure whir of Almighty God.
 
And so I wait for You in Your awesome Oneness, in Your majestic reality, 
in Your ever love 
and all as You rejoice over me, quiet me fully, delight deeply in me and Abba-embrace me.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Epic Failure...Again?

Can these days really be for my good? Is it all really working together for good? This re-post is a step of faith to say 'yes'. 

I have heard it said that those who would do great things will surely pass through some serious failure.

A visiting minister, Dave, spoke about failure from the life of David Brainerdpioneer Christian missionary to Native American peoples.  Brainerd’s biography written by Jonathan Edwards inspired the future missionary careers of William Carey and Jim Elliot just to name a couple.

However, it was not from the glowing success of Brainerd’s missionary career that Dave spoke.  It was from his greatest failure.

Brainerd’s greatest aspiration had been to become a pastor.  In the 1700’s this was a noble profession with high esteem in society and so he entered the top training school at that time, Yale.  Brainerd was nearly finished his degree, poised to gain top honors when one arrogant, impetuous comment about one of his tutor’s cynicism towards a revival happening on campus changed his life forever.

Brainerd made the comment in a hallway of the school to some friends, but someone from the school administration overheard it.  He was immediately expelled and never allowed to finish his degree.  At this time no pastorate could be obtained unless the candidate held a degree from Harvard, Yale or a European Institution. Thus, this expulsion effectively forever crushed Brainerd’s one great dream for his life.

File:Brainerd preaching.jpgBut, as is the case with all great stories, with our story, it did not end there.  God had something greater that could only come through this failure which He allowed in Brainerd’s life.  

It is fairly certain that Brainerd would never have become a missionary to Native Americans if his dream of a pastorate were obtained.  Yet this path was not his settling for something less, rather, it was the finding of the God-sized dream from His heart for him.

And through Brainerd’s life, not only did many come to know the hope of Jesus, but future generations of missionaries were inspired to go to countless people with the good news.

For all of you who have been following our story, you can imagine the chords of this story with which my heart is resonating.  As Jared {my hubby} and I sat beside each other, I thought of all that’s led us to this point in our missionary journey.

One great season of failure, in particular, stands out.  I had begun a seminary degree in which I was very successful.  I had been chosen as a finalist for a prestigious internship where I would have travelled around the country with a well-known Christian speaker.  I felt with surety that I knew where my life was going.

Budapest 055However, I failed to travel to the live interview due to a personal crisis resulting from a relationship I had foolishly invested myself in and it’s abrupt and full rupture which devastated me.  I really believe that if I had been able to go to that interview {they were choosing 7 of 11 finalists} I would have been offered the internship.

Instead, I wasn’t. And due to how much hurt and pain I was going through, for the first time in my life, I was willing to leave seminary and NOT finish something.  I was also, for the first time, willing to come home to live with my parents.

So I came home and taught Math at my old high school which was no where near any dream of mine.  I cared for my mom when one year later she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and nine months later died, which on the face of it, would have been one of my worst nightmares.  In the midst of that, I met my husband and married this guy from my hometown.  Definitely NOT what I was going to do.

Then, about eight years ago, in my husband’s home church, God introduced us to a ministry to high school students in the public schools of Hungary. Eastern Europe had NEVER crossed my mind as a place where I would one day live…even go to for a short-term missions project.Budapest 044

But God knew about all of this and about taking away every dream I had of what, where and with whom I would live my life.  He laid me low in a life-altering way and has been building this journey piece by piece ever since.

I have so far to go, but I can tell you, that the great theme that emerged from this life-altering failure is that God loves me enough to bring no plan or success into my life that does not bring me closer to Him.  He has burned within my heart as its greatest desire that I would be His and that my life would reflect His Glory.

That is worth everything to me. to Him.  and worth the bearing of every failure and the death of every goal, aspiration and dream.

Update 4/14/15: This remains true though yet again there is a bend that could look like failure, or it could be God making me, my hubby and our dear children all the more His very own beloved ones held in His arms...



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