Friday, February 21, 2014

It's Your Breath

Everything happens for a reason.
Everything happens for a reason...
Everything happens for a reason?

I started to believe and hold onto this Monday night in the emergency room while waiting for my IV antibiotics to finish. 
Earlier that evening, my dear friend finally talked sense into me and brought me to Abbotsford emergency as I was having severe lower back pain, weakness, and was running a fever. I was scared to admit something might be going on that was more than just food poisoning (I had sushi on Friday that I thought was off so obviously put all my symptoms on that).  Wednesday I was supposed to be flying to Guatemala on a short term missions trip with a group from my university and so I figured I should make sure things were under control before going - not thinking they would tell me not to go...

Note the Guatemalan pants!

My friend asked me what was the worst thing it could be and my mind didn't go to the absolute worsts (like cancer or back to Chronic Fatigue - at least that night).  My mind went to a bad kidney infection in which I would need IV antibiotics for. 
So when that is actually what they did for me, I realized it wasn't good. I probably wouldn't be going to the country that held a special piece of my heart. 
I was sick.
And God was making this happen for a reason? Purposefully stopping me from going to Guatemala?

Why would He make this happen to me?  Force sickness on me, again, when I felt like I was following His will?

And as the days have progressed, with more tests (including a CT to rule out kidney stones), more medications, and more doctors in the ER, I began to realize that this wasn't true. Sure in the long run, reason can and probably will come from this but the truth is, sickness, pain, and death are not of Him.  
So instead I chose (and continue to choose) to hold onto this truth instead:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)
I can believe that good will come of out this.  I can trust He is working in and through this - not that He caused this per say but is using this for good.  And not my own good necessarily but His good, the greater good, and my spiritual good. 
And to be honest, I already have learned from this.  That I was falling back to my own ways.  Saying yes to too much.  Feeling like the more I did, the better.  If I was gasping for air, all the better. Because that meant I was doing a lot for Him right?  Reaching beyond myself and to others...

But now that I am forced to stop and truly breathe... Inhale Him and His goodness and peace and exhale Grace... I recognize that in the gasping, I was breathing on my own.  Not relying on His breath. His air to fill my lungs. 

So now, in the forced rest, I am trying to let go and just rest in Him.  Let go of people-pleasing and instead focus on just pleasing Him.  Letting go and letting God. 
Letting Him do a work greater than I could ever imagine. 

Thankfully I am now off the IV and can be taking oral antibiotics and strong pain medication at home, as they were able to rule out kidney stones, or worse.  So I'm praying that in this time He would transform my mind and heal my body. 
That it would be His breath in my lungs, now and forever. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Make Space and Time in Order to Make a Life

God gives us everything we need for space - but we will have to make space.
God gives us all the ingredients for time - but we will have to make time.
God gives us everything we need to live - but we will have to make a life.
 Ann Voskamp @aholyexperience

Making space and time in order to make a life.
Ann's words hit me this morning as I stopped to read.  Read her blog so rightly named A Holy Experience.  For it led me to a holy experience.
A time of making space.  Setting aside time.

Making space and time for Him.
Making life worth more.
Worth more by fitting in less.  By doing less.
By decluttering.  By reorganizing.
By creating space.

I don't know about you, but the state of my life can often be reflected in the state of my workplace.

My desk was in absolute chaos.  And up until last week that was my life.
I couldn't seem to get a handle on what I had to do.  What I wanted to do.
Whether I was coming or going.
Whether I could just sit and stop the racing thoughts that preoccupied my mind.

And praise the Lord, I been slowly gaining peace and stillness.
Been able to put priority on simplifying.
Been able to go against the norm of this world that more is better.  Bigger is better.
That more and bigger and better = a fuller life...?

Christ says that He came so that we may have life and life to the full.
But He doesn't then follow that with a list of how to fill our life.
He continues by talking about laying down our life.
Laying it down.

Laying it down.  Not filling it.
Laying down our priorities.
Laying down the busyness.
Laying it down.

But am I willing?  Will I lay down my life?
If I truly desire to simplify my life so that it can be filled with Him, then I must lay down my life.

Christ says,
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. . . . I have called you friends . . . —John 15:13, 15

So today I started simplifying again.  Clearing space.
Clearing space on my desk.  Because with a clear desk somehow I feel I can sit and breathe.  Seek Him with a clearer mind and heart.

So I chose to make space.
Make space, so I could make time.
Make space and time, so I could make a life in Him.
A life full of Him.

Oh and an added bonus of choosing to make space and time?
I finally can choose to commit to something I have been wanting to do for a long time.
Memorizing Scripture.  I had printed out Ann's Jesus Project full of soul sustaining Words of Christ found in John but they sat amid the mess of my desk.
So in the clearing, I decided to choose to fill my mind with Him.  Lay down my chaos and fill it with His words.  I chose to rid my brain of me and the craziness and fill it with Life and Truth.
So I am starting Ann Voskamp's Jesus Project - check it out here!  Won't you join me?

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