24 December 2011

Thorns Instead of Petals

Thorns - I've got them.

This week has been one of exposure. Every Christian who truly loves Jesus knows it or has known it or probably will soon. It's been a week where my sins have so strongly shown themselves. I've said words that showed my sin to myself, I've been called out on sins, and I've simply seen actions that aren't wholesome.

It takes a lot for a flower to bloom. I'm definitely no horticulturist but I know some basics. Gotta be planted and watered. Over time a bush will grown and over time the flowers come. Before the flowers arrive there are seasons of sunshine and seasons of rain. Seasons of waiting and longing and seasons of anticipation. The flowers arrive and stay for a while and then that season also ends. Suddenly it all repeats itself again. Slowly but surely.

Unfortunately for all of us, many flowers also arrive with thorns. Roses, one of the world's most beautiful flowers (if you ask me, and apparently everybody else around V-tines day), are covered in thorns. Covered is the wrong word, but dang - have you ever grabbed a rose and not been poked by the thorn?

As I lie in bed just now, awake early because of going to sleep early, I felt and feel a few things:

Sorrow - That I still struggle so vastly in my sin - the sins exposed this week seem to elementary to me. They are ones that I wish I'd been able to deal with (and feel I should have been able to deal with) years ago; the ones that I thought I had worked through. I guess I had simply covered them with a nice mat and hoped for dear life that a breeze wouldn't expose them. Breezes always come.

Aware of grace - This part has been lacking for me most of the week, but as I lay in bed, and a lot more so now as I contemplate and type, I can feel Jesus with me. I know the Spirit of the Lord is always with me, exposing sin while still providing wisdom and teaching. His grace (Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. - (1 Peter 4:8 ESV)) covers a multitude of sins and His ability to help me is above and beyond all of my understanding.

Desire for purity - Sin is yucky. It's awful. It creeps around in my life, always read to jump out at the most inconvenient (aka any) time. Sins are awful because they are a choice; a choice I make to have these attitudes, to feel these emotions, and to do these things. This week I find myself often whispering, "my spirit is willing but my flesh is so weak". I love the Lord, I love Jesus, I love the Spirit, and that love covers a multitude of sins (as I already wrote)- not because of anything I do, but because of Jesus. The cross allows me to repent and be saved.

Tiredness - My most common prayer to the Lord over the past four months has been, "I'm tired". I've been so exhausted by the different things that have happened and the things that have occurred for others in my life. It's felt like a lot of people struggled. I've spent much of my time not as joyful as normal. Yet the joy of the Lord IS MY STRENGTH! I was watching a show yesterday, and the main character, who was struggling with feeling burdened, commented to another character on her feeling tired. I understood her emotions because she looked, sounded, and felt like I've felt for months. I can feel Jesus beckoning me to the well where He will provide living water for my soul. Only He refreshes my soul. I am thankful that I don't have to stay tired - the Lord will provide. (A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” (John 4:7-15 ESV))

Physically in this moment, emotionally in this moment, and spiritually in this moment, I am tired. I'm exhausted. I'm done. Jesus isn't done. He's pruning me and taking away those thorns and pretty soon He's going to make me a flower. I won't be perfect until Jesus comes back to Earth and brings His believers home, but until then I'll rest in the fact that He's always working on me. (Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5 ESV))

Yet now I am filled with joy because I called upon the Lord and He answered me. He did not turn away His ear. He turned to me and forgave me of all my sin.

I went to the ESV website and typed in flower. These verses either shower up immediately, or through cross-references of different verses. The Lord is faithful.

    The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
        when he delights in his way;
    though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
        for the LORD upholds his hand.
     . . . Turn away from evil and do good;
        so shall you dwell forever.
    For the LORD loves justice;
        he will not forsake his saints.
    They are preserved forever,
        but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
     . . . The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
        he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
    The LORD helps them and delivers them;
        he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
        because they take refuge in him.
(Psalm 37:23-24, 27-28, 39-40 ESV)

    Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.  . . .     Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
(Colossians 3:5-10, 16-17 ESV)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. . . . Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
    Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:2-4, 12-17 ESV)

    As a father shows compassion to his children,
        so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
    For he knows our frame;
        he remembers that we are dust.
    As for man, his days are like grass;
        he flourishes like a flower of the field;
    for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
        and its place knows it no more.
    But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
        and his righteousness to children's children,
    to those who keep his covenant
        and remember to do his commandments.
(Psalm 103:13-18 ESV)

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. . . . As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
(1 Peter 1:3-9, 14-19 ESV)

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
(Colossians 1:11-14 ESV)

    There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. . . .     No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:1-8, 37-39 ESV)

Good and upright is the LORD;
        therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
    He leads the humble in what is right,
        and teaches the humble his way.
    All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
        for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
(Psalm 25:8-10 ESV)

15 December 2011

2 for the price of free

About once a day, or every other, or every few days, depending on the week, I head over to Resurgence. This website is INCREDIBLE.

Everyday they write a blog post or two. It's quick, short, and filled with truth.

Some days I don't feel strong conviction, but most days I learn something. Every once in a while I find them boring or non-applicable to my current situation yet I also have days where it's like God punches me in the stomach - and then gives me a HUGE hug.

If you're looking for something to do with your time, spend a while reading their blog posts.They don't delete them, so you can just stay on the home page and click the links. I discovered this website a few weeks ago and I can't imagine life without it now. Everyday I'm learning and being challenged.

They also have music and books and resources on their site. I love it. I find I don't do well with long things (aka books) because I don't like doing one thing for a long time. Blogs and articles work for me. Here's my two most recent favourites:
Bet You Can’t Resist the Temptation to Watch This...
3 Things You Need to Know about Sin

Another site I've been enjoying is a blog by Jamie. She's a missionary with her husband in Costa Rica and writes great posts every few days. My favourite as of late are:
Guard your heart, bro.
Turf Wars.
Air Freshener Jesus.

Enjoy these things. Any sites you like?

13 December 2011

Questioning Faith

Every once in a while, I get inspiration to write something. I'm not always near a pen, but typically always near my phone. Sometimes I record song ideas, and every once in a while I speak out what I'm thinking. It's usually when I'm confused about something and need to hear myself speak in order to make sense.

Last week I was going through my phone, listening to all my voice notes. Most were songs or lyric ideas, but one in particular stood out. I'll share part of it. Some of it is different than my perspective now, in the sense that God has taught me new things daily this year as I know He will continue on each day forward. This week I've thought a lot about these words I said a year ago. The questioning of my faith is still the same.

"I feel like I'm in this weird weird phase in my life where I constantly question my faith.
Like all the time.
And I feel like if I say that to people, they're gonna go, "um, you shouldn't say that."
And I get that.
But I'm not saying it the way you think.

I'm not questioning my God.
Or the source of my faith
. . . or what my faith is in or whatever
- I'm questioning MY faith
I was thinking today about how
if you believe that there's air but you are always passing out from not breathing - then you probably wouldn't be a pretty good advocate for air.

At the end of the day, air wouldn't be on your list.

And I was thinking about God and Jesus and the faith and Christianity... and all that is encompassed in what I believe.

It's one thing to say

There is a God, there is a Jesus, there is a Holy Spirit.
I believe in the IDEA that the faith encompasses.
It's a whole other thing to live it out.

. . . It's all I wanna do

I have a list of the things I wanna do . . .
One is to love Jesus - which means to love everyone, which is ridiculous, because God loves me, and that's ridiculous enough, and I feel like this year, I learnt how to love myself, through God, but some of my goals would be to love God and for all people to do the same.

When I consider some of the people that I care about
and where they will be spending eternity - it breaks my heart

. . . A friend recently told me that she considers me a woman of prayer, and like the girl in Proverbs 31.
She is who I want to be.

All that I believe and all I base my life on is Jesus. Proverbs 31 is where I go when I'm trying to sort out what that means for me.

. . . When I consider all that God has done - my whole life, and especially recently, I feel like I can say that I'm a woman of God now.
And I can mean it which is so incredible and honouring and all that I want.

I want to know Christ and the power of the resurrection of the cross.

. . .

So when I say that I'm questioning my faith.
I don't question my God.

I question my due diligence to His purpose.

. . .

Today I looked at the city, and the sun was making it shine.
And I thanked God that he lets me live here.
I'm so thankful for this time on earth.

And when I think of how beautiful Vancouver is, and all the places I've seen in the world - I can only imagine how seriously good and overwhelmingly beautiful heaven will be.

So I'm going to keep questioning my faith - hopefully everyday.
And I'm going to give each day back to God, everyday."

And that's my thoughts from one year ago.
Coming soon - recent thoughts and things God's been teaching.

08 November 2011

Who are we?

...as a side note before I even begin, I started listening to Christmas music today. Just a couple songs. There are random moments in life when I remember that the rules from childhood (eg. no Christmas music until December 1st which is also the same day heat was allowed to be turned on in our house) don't matter and no longer apply. Sometimes it is a bit too exciting to realize these things.

Last night, I was at an event with church. It was for ministry leaders, community group leaders, and apprentices. I fall under the apprentice category so I was blessed to attend. I felt like a fish out of water. I so often get reminded that yet I know a lot, I still have so much to learn. It's discouraging, and yet inspiring to continually pursue the Lord and his word, which gives life. The talk, and discussion, was about creation. It looked at who God is, who he created us to be, and why he created us. It was quite interesting. I'm always amazed by people who can look at several chapters of the Bible and highlight so much truth in amidst it. I feel like when I read the Bible, I learn little bits, but never as much as I do when I'm taught the Bible. It's such a gift, to be a teacher of the word. A burdensome gift; a gift nonetheless.

Then today I had a beautiful conversation with a friend about honouring God amidst singleness, and figuring out how to battle loneliness. At church on Sunday, James said something along the lines of, "more so than wanting to make us sin, the devil wants us to feel condemned and ashamed of our sin, because even he knows that sin was atoned for and forgiven on the cross". This idea that our guilt holds us back. We were chatting about this, how so often it is ourselves that holds our self back. We give off the "everything is great" attitude day after day and then wonder why everyday is so hard. I think that God is so much more about love than we even can imagine.

The fact that he created humans the way he did, after he had already made the rest of creation suitable for them, shows love. The fact that he gave them everything that they needed to survive and allowed them to walk and talk with him showed his love. The fact that he gave Adam the duty of naming the animals, an authority over each animal, shows that love he had for Adam. The fact that he brought together Adam and Eve from two ribs to one is significant. Norm chatted about this last night - the first marriage wasn't the union of two people. It was the union of one man into a woman who then became his wife. This is God's love. God creates. It's mind blowing this love God has for his creation, and most specifically man and woman. The fact that he sent his son speaks volumes. The fact that .... need I go on?

Tonight marks a first for me. I'm apprenticing to be a community group leader with westside and tonight I am leading the group. I'm excited. I'm nervous. Gosh I'm nervous. It's funny how I've felt this call to leadership for my entire life, and yet since moving to Vancouver have done had very few leadership opportunities and roles. What were all those courses that I aced for then? What Lord? If you read this before this evening you can even pray for this evening! And if you read it after well ... a prayer spoken after is probably just as effective as one before.

Yesterday I witnessed a car accident. I was turning left, and the person across from my side of the intersection turned left when they should not have and were hit by someone coming from my side. Eek. I turned left as soon as I could, and pulled over as soon as I could, called 911, ran back to check on everybody. Everyone was so calm and no one has hurt. Praise Jesus. It was also surreal. I was telling my Mom that we all have a quota of accidents for us and since I have now been in an accident and seen an accident, I'm all done!- why did I share this? - I don't have a reason.

Today after class I was walking back to the sky train to go home. As I walked amidst strangers, casually chatting to themselves, I wondered how to be more mission focused in my living. How do I live our the gospel when I walk down the street? How do I tell my apartment co-existers that I love Jesus and that he loves them? This is where I wrestle now.

My song of the day is by Kari Jobe called "We are". It's beautiful.

we are the light of the world

29 October 2011

Pipe Dreams

Just wanted to share a song I wrote today.

It's called Pipe Dreams.

‘cause fairytales, princesses, midnight kisses, it’s all bliss yes
horse, ships, castles too, 
with them I’d be happy 
to go anywhere with my charming
right there by my side
until then I’ll keep sleeping
to keep my dreams alive


25 October 2011


Last night, out of the blue, in amidst not doing homework, a song came to mind. I don't know where it came from, but when you're a few months into a dry spell as a writer of songs, you take what you can get.

I grabbed my guitar, and just started plucking out my idea.

I played the first verse for a long time, singing different lines, over and over. I can't remember exactly which line it was, but all of a sudden, I yelled out! I can't remember what I yelled, I think it was, "YES!" or something. I grabbed my computer and just started typing. I needed to get these words out.

Oftentimes when I write, I find I love my verse, or love my chorus, and sometimes I like both or more. In no way do I feel that this is the best piece I've written. Yet something about this song is a bit more honest that I've been able to pen other thoughts out. There is something in each word, in each phrase, in each note - that speaks my heart.

As I mentioned in the last post (I think it was that one), songwriting is how I process. I pen down in a more or less symbolic way my heart. By writing this song down, I think I can start to move forward more so than I have been doing. As I move forward, I trust that more songs will come to represent different aspects of that same heart.

As a premise before I write the words down here and share the link, I feel a need to add more description to it. This song is yes, about my heart right now. It is most specifically about a certain person, and yet it is about a lot more than that. As I sing it, I visualize more than just a picture of a boy I dated this summer. I see more than that, because life is about a lot more than just that. This song, the blog, and most definitely this girl - I write here to share my heart. And if I have to hide the situations I face, then I can't be honest. I make distinct choices about what I blog about, and who I write about, but all in all, it is not about hurting anyone.

Ten weeks and two days ago a boy asked me out.
Six weeks and one day ago a boy told me that I wasn't the one for him. He told me that I'm perfect for him, but not for him. It's been one of the most complex sentences and paragraphs of my life to disect.

God is so gracious. Mostly I've been distracted by all the things He is teaching me. I don't have time to think about how I can be right for someone yet not right for them. He keeps me busy so I don't look back on a beautiful relationship and see holes. My job is to praise God in every season, regardless of whether they are seasons of joy or sorrow.

This song doesn't talk about Jesus. It's almost hard to find Jesus in this song. But He is here.

And who I was then is far different than now. That is a lot more about Jesus than a heartbreak. I'm only different because God allows situations to come into my life. God allows me to be broken so that I need Him all the more. He allows me to have my heart hurt so that I realize that the only thing I need is His love. That's not a, "all I need is Jesus" statement. I need Jesus, I need community, I need teaching, I need learning, I need discipline, and the list continues for a long time. I feel like I am on the tail-end of this heartache. I still feel hurt often, but more often than not, I can direct my emotion to Jesus. Yesterday, as I considered the location I had stood six weeks prior as I came home from work same as I did that day, I asked Jesus to distract my heart. I asked Him to remind me that He is God, and He is sovereign. I think part of that distraction came a few hours later, late in the evening, when the words and sounds of this song came into place.

This is turning into a long premise.

This song is called wither.

if I could go back in time
would I still use the same rhyme
would i use it differently
or would I diffuse beautifully
would I weather a different storm
or would I wither from the scorn

I don’t know if I can sing the same songs
Cause the girl of yesterday wouldn’t have known how to hum along
And who I was then is far different than now
Cause all I do now is ask why and how

if I could erase the day
the day he asked for me to delay
would I change my response
or would i change my direction
would I directly ignore the signs
or would I be able to tear myself away from the vine


I don’t know if I can sing the same song
Cause the girl of yesterday wouldn’t have known how to sing along
And who I was then is far different than now
Cause all I do now is ask why and how

if I could go back ten weeks
would I have known that I could get so weak
if I could go back ten weeks
would I have known that I'd still be this weak
if I could go back ten weeks
would I still go through it all


I don’t know if I can sing the same song
Cause the girl of yesterday wouldn’t have known how to hum or sing along
And who I was then is far different than now
Cause all I do now is ask why and how

I don’t know if I can sing the same song
Cause the girl of yesterday wouldn’t have known how to hum along
And who I was then is far different than now
Cause all I do now is ask why and how

if I could go back ten weeks
would I still be this weak
would I weather a different storm
or would I wither from the scorn
 I'd probably be weathering a different storm
but I'll never wither from the scorn

As I read through the lyrics now, a solid not yet twenty-four hours since they were written, something about them tells me that this is a lot more about Jesus than I thought.

if I could go back ten years, I would not have written the life I live currently as what I desired. I wanted to be a teacher (I think - though my indecisive heart is consistent in that I never really knew what I wanted)

if I could go back four or five years ago, I would not have written the life I live now as what I desired. I wanted to be married by twenty, at least, and wanted to have four children before I was thirty. My entire life I have always desired to be a young mom.

if I could go back twelve weeks, I would not have expected the following experiences. I didn't expect to meet him. I didn't expect to date. I didn't expect for it not to work. I think mostly though, I really didn't expect to have someone want to date me. (this isn't a depressive "nobody loves me" messages - simply an honest depiction of where I was at) I chatted with a friend about the fact that when we pray for God to bring someone (a romantic someone) into our life, we expect that it probably will not happen for about five years or so.

if I could go back ten weeks and four days, I certainly did not expect what was going to happen four days from then. I sat on a picnic bench that Wednesday up at camp and poured out my heart to the Lord. I repeated Psalm twenty-five over and over and over again. Four days later, I repeated it to the Lord again with a thankful heart. Four week later, I repeated it to the Lord with a questioning heart. It might be time to go read it again with a new heart.

if I could go forward ten weeks from now, I expect I'd still be able to sing the same song. It might have a different tune and a different message, but I wouldn't be able to sing it yet. I don't even know how to hum along.

I don't know where God is leading me. I do know that I love the Lord, and He is teaching me new things often, stretching my thoughts and beliefs every time I ask Him to.

if I could go back to my ten years back self, my four or five years back self, my twelve weeks back self, my ten weeks back self, every part of my self I have experienced, I think I would point myself in the direction of the cross.

In the song, there is one line which I hope isn't misheard. It's a one word line. no. If I could go back in time, and had known what would happen, I probably wouldn't have gone through with it. Yet after going through this season, I would go back. I wouldn't change anything. It has given me more compassion, and much much more trust that God is the healer of every pain I experience.

My plans are great. Beautiful and comfortable. Never as stunning as the Lord's. He is sovereign, and because of that, I will never ever wither.

11 October 2011

Surrender and Repeat on Edit

I wrote this earlier today, and am close to deleting it. Instead I'll edit and see how I feel later.

Mostly because I'm sick of seeming to write the same thing. Largely due to the fact that I wish I could keep these emotions in, hidden. I can't seem to figure out how to represent myself right now. I wrote a verse for a song today. That's all I've written (songwriting wise) in the past month. In a month filled with a lot of emotion, you'd think that I'd be writing up a storm.  I'm scared to write out these emotions because writing them out makes them set in stone. I'm not sure if that makes sense. An hour ago I pulled out my guitar, and played songs I wrote in January. I remember where I was when I wrote them both physically and emotionally. I know who was sitting beside me, and the people who inspired the songs. I can vividly feel those emotions when I play the songs. So somehow now, by not writing my emotions into song I am avoiding future pain. Yet by keeping them in, I am prolonging this pain. I know this because after writing the songs in January I was able to move forward. It might be time to spend a day with my guitar.

Heartache is not like a headache which you can treat with a pill, but is a bit more like a twisted ankle that slowly gains strength over a length of time. Bad eyes get glasses, bad teeth get braces. Cold hands wear gloves, and when it rains, one grabs an umbrella.

There are various remedies; chocolate, ice cream, tears, chick flicks, girl times, etc, etc.... There is also Jesus. A lot of Jesus. A lot of surrender. Yet heartache doesn't get cured. It just has to be constantly dealt with. Or at least that's how mine is.

Surrender. surrender. surrender. surrender. surrender. Repeat. Rinse? Surrender.

I keep having to re-throne the Lord. Because every time I get hit with a wave, I realize how much more of Jesus I need. I realize how broken I am, not only because of all that has happened, but also because my sin is great. Yet my Maker is greater. His faithfulness is more endless than the horizon seems to stretch, and his love is unending.

The "pro" of this experience in my life is that it makes me need Jesus to fill the voids I mentioned a while ago. I'm learning that Jesus fills the voids. No person or thing can fill them. Jesus is the only thing that will bring joy to my heart. A gospel centered life is the only way to live.

In the middle of family dinner on Thanksgiving, I suddenly was hit with a wave. I looked around and realized that there was supposed to be an extra seat there. I was skyping with my brother, and thought of the shadow that was supposed to be leaning over my shoulder joining in the conversation. We were sharing the things we were thankful for, and it took me a really really long time to share what I was thankful for because I knew what I would have shared if life hadn't shifted this way.

My list of thanks is large. My family is beautiful. Each of them is uniquely different from one another, yet share so many things in common (like our taste in jokes - ugh). I'm incredibly thankful for Megan, my sweet roommate. Her constant support for me over the past month has been over and above the call of duty for her. I'm over the moon thankful for my church.  I am thankful for the friendships I have due to meeting people there, and for the teaching I hear each week. My Vancouver life would be a lot different if I didn't go there. I'm thankful for my home. My third Vancouver home is the first one which I have no desire to leave. I'm thankful for my job. I love getting to hang out with my kids twice a week, and watch them slowly grow up. School isn't exactly on my list of thankfulness, but I am thankful for the doors that potentially will be opened due to me being obedient in going back to school.

I only edited out a bit of this. Took out some anger, and filled in some love.

I'm really liking this song lately. Here's another version. I think I like the second version better.

I never meant to wither. I wanted to be tall.

Wipe the mark of sadness from my face.
Show me that your love will never change.
If my yesterday is a disgrace.
Tell me that you still recall my name.

And I wont fight for anyone until you move my hands.

My trust and hope is in the Lord. His love is endless, and He has a plan for my life that is beautiful. Beautiful not because it is what I desire. Beautiful because it will bring glory to His name. Beautiful because it helps me to more and more seek first the kingdom.

24 September 2011

Hold Me Together

Hello Mercy,
I have been searching for you lately
I've been wounded and from what I hear
You have the remedy

They told me You would be for me

So now I need to know
Is this a love that can save me
Or say You will then don't

Will You stay with me when nobody is around
If this is real, then tell now

Can you hold me together

Can your love reach down this far
Can you hold me together
Cause without You holding my heart
I'm falling apart

Falling apar

Saying so long, been lost, been gone

Not sure what to pray
It's not easy but I know You see me
When I lose my way

I keep on floating not knowing

If there is more for me

Don't want to sink beneath waves of negativity

I'm going under,
I'm afraid that I might drown
If this is real,
I need you now

Can you hold me together

Can your love reach down this far
Can you hold me together
'Cause without You holding my heart
I'm falling apart, yeah
Falling apart
Oh, Lord

I'm feeling stronger

With you by my side
And I realize You are my hope
I need to know

Can you hold me together

Can your love reach down this far
Can you hold me together
'Cause without You holding my heart
I'm falling apart,
Falling apart, yeah
Hold me together Lord

Without You,

I'm falling apart
Falling apar

I bought this song by Royal Tailor earlier this week. I just hit my 137th (and counting) play. Part of the reason is that is it catchy. Part of it is that it captures a bit of my heart. And part of it is that it is beautiful. The Lord is the only thing that holds me together. He is my strength. 

I changed my fb profile picture to a comic. You probably don't know this, but I dislike strongly when people put pictures not of themselves as their profile picture. I think it is odd. I don't get it. And yet I did it. Because as I was looking at my pictures, I couldn't find one of myself that describes who I am right now. So a comic about a tadpole wanting to be a doctor and being told that it will only ever be a frog - that's me now. Right now I'm a dreamy tadpole.

God's plan is perfect. It's not just a look back and see what God has done in the past to prove the future. It's a look around at everything and see how beautifully God has weaved together this world. The sky has had a lot of emotion today. It's been bright, clear, cloudy, grey, blue, white, light grey, dark grey. It's been everywhere. Yesterday I drove with a friend and we talked about how the sky so often points us to the magnificence of the Lord. It shows me His strength when I see the sun pushing through the clouds.

22 September 2011

The Escape

Last night I had this moment when everything went wrong.

My day was good. Beautiful actually. It started with the dentist fixing a tooth that chipped on Monday. For some reason I don't think I've ever minded going to the dentist. And my dentist is just so kind that it is almost a treat to get to got there!

The day went by ...

Later I went to my evening class. I really enjoyed it, but was aware that I have a long way to go to understand statistics and the science aspect that apparently are a large part of psychology. I stayed after and asked my prof for some help. She was so kind. She stayed for about half an hour with myself and a couple other students who heard me asking for help and explained it. I still feel like most of it is foggy, but it's far less foggy than before.

I often have to remind myself that it is okay that I don't know things. It's a hard balance because I do know a lot of things, and I am quite smart, but I've been out of education for a while. My high school math skills are basically non-existent anymore, and everything I might have tried to learn in Sciences I flushed out intentionally after my exams were done. Anyone who was in my biology 12 class would know that biology is not my strong suit. Yet I don't like the fact that I don't just know things. Learning is apparently a process.

Anyways, then I went home. I got a few more things done, listened to music, so on so forth, and eventually went to bed.

Up until now this week, since Monday, I've been doing pretty good. I know I didn't blog about the weekend. I'm not sure I can. The things I would have to write would probably come out wrong. Just know that it was hard. Yet amidst the fact that it was emotionally trying, God let me hear truth from various people. I also played fun games, danced as if I know how to (not), and made a crap load of buttons.

I've had a certain chat a few times over the past week and a half. I always seem to get back to this point. My struggle is a lot less to do with being broken-up with than it is with the fact that I was okay being single. And now I'm not. Daily I'm having to remind myself of my worth in Christ. I had to do that before, but it wasn't quite so often, and my prayers weren't quite so needy.

I wasn't a desperate single. I prayed that God would bring a man into my life who would love me, but I kind of figured it wouldn't happen for a while. I'm young, I'm busy, I'm apparently unique and so I figured my chances were low.

But then I met someone.

And it was great. It was the most fun month I have had in a very long time. And then it ended. Which is okay. God has given me a lot of peace that it is right that it ended. His timing is perfect. Sometimes I forget, and need reminder, but for the most part I've come to the conclusion that though the relationship was wonderful, it was not the right one.

But now what? Now I know how excellent it is to be cared for. One of my favourite aspects of dating was that I got to care for him. I got to pray for him, to listen to his thoughts, and to stand beside him. It's amazing how quickly someone fills voids in your life that you were not aware were there. Once that person is gone, you see voids. I won't list them, but I see them.

How do I sort this out? How do I remember how much I enjoyed being single? How do I put myself back to that place where I was confident in being by myself, and diligent in serving God with my time? How do I do these things?

So then last night. I went to bed. I closed my eyes. And so many things flashed before my eyes. The hardest part was that they were all good memories of the relationship. All my favourite moments flashed before my eyes, and the devil whispered to me that I'm not okay. He told me that I'm not worth it. He told me that I'm alone, that no one cares, and that no one will ever fall for me again.

I sat up. I knew that I was hearing words that were not truth. But I let myself listen. For a minute or two I sat there listening.

Then I caught myself. [No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.] (1 Corinthians 10:13)

I grabbed my phone and texted a few friends. I asked for prayer. I told them a bit of what was happening, and begged that they pray on my behalf.

I started to try to sleep again.

But I wanted to go back to those images. I wanted to hear those lies. Because I wanted to be sad. I couldn't. I tried to picture those same pictures, but my mind wouldn't go there. I physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, I was not allowed to go to those places. Because God had heard the prayers and was providing the escape.

God is so good. As you read what I wrote, I hope that is all that you see. He is faithful. He is with us. He is here.

14 September 2011

Carry Me

Pain is a forest we all get lost in
Between the branches hope can be so hard to see
And in the darkness we've all got questions
We're all just trying to make sense out of suffering but

You say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, You'll carry me
Help me believe i

Fear is a current we all get caught in
And in its motion faith can be so hard to find
And we all falter 'cause we're all broken
We're all just trying to turn the shadows into light but

You get glory in the midst of this
And You're walking with me
And you say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, You'll carry me

And I know Your promises are faithful
And God, I've seen Your goodness in my life
And oh, I've found Your mercy is a river
Your love is an ocean wide
You say I am blessed because of this
You get glory in the midst of this
And You're walking with me

And You say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, as I carry this cross
'Cause as I carry this cross, You'll carry me

You'll carry me, God
You'll carry me
And Your love is an ocean wide

-Audry Assad
I just need to point out that the Lord has blessed me with incredibly supportive friends and family.

I'm seeking to surround myself with His truth today.
I don't want to listen to sad songs and get angry.

I want to look back on this time and see that God worked because God is working.

This past year is not one I wish to repeat.
I hated losing my job, questioning timing of various lack of opportunities, working in jobs where I had little joy, slowly watching things change when I needed faster results, and the opposite of waiting a lot in amidst feeling like I was ready for things.

Nothing has been my timing. Nothing.

This week I keep reminding myself of how hard this year has been.
I need also to remember the goodness.
God has taught me more this year than I think any other year combined, and I trust that I'll say the same thing next year.

I've learnt the importance of naming my sin. Naming, claiming, refraining.
Then rethroning Christ.

Heartache is a new thing for me.
At least this kind of heartache.
I've been single before. I spent most of my life here.
This time it is harder though.
It's hard to no longer get to hang out with the someone who was becoming a part of my daily life and certainly a part of my forever dreams.

Yet I have to trust.
I don't want to.
If anything it actually angers me that I know that God is faithful.
It'd be a lot easier to choose to sin and be angry and bitter, but I can't.

God is too good for me to waste time.
He is too faithful for me to forget.


13 September 2011

I know this full well

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

     -Psalm 13

I don't feel a strong need to explain my heart. It is in a state it hasn't been before. I sat in my car this evening and sobbed this prayer in front of my God. I know He is faithful. I know He is good. I know He has His best interest for me which always has to do with giving Himself the glory that He deserves. For that I am thankful.

Circumstances are not always amazing. Seasons change four times a year times it seems a million in my life. 

Last night I cried as I considered how hard this year has been, and sorrowed in this new season.

My God is good. He is true. He is strong. He is faithful. My fears are stilled and silenced at His throne.

My desire in each day, in each circumstance, always, is to give Him glory and witness well for Him.

Today I sorrow. But come some tomorrow, I will sing songs of joy. I know this full well.

29 August 2011


I will bless ( I will speak good words of Him ) the Lord ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ) at all times; his praise shall continually ( I will actively ponder you always ) be in my mouth. 

My soul ( Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,  but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” ) makes its boast ( I will boast only of grace because of Christ Jesus )in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. 

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!

I sought ( Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. ) the Lord, and he answered ( Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. ) me and delivered ( The Lord knows even the fears I have not discovered yet, and already He has rescued me ) me from all my fears ( Psalm 46: 1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. ). 

Those who look to him are radiant ( I will never be silent of my love of God ), and their faces shall never be ashamed ( Philippians 1:20 [It is] my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. ). 

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved ( Romans 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” ) him out of all his troubles ( When I remember my past, even amidst trial and pain, I can see that the Lord was working for His good, for His glory, for His pleasure, and because He loves me. ). 

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good ( I have tasted. I have seen. God is good. )! 

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him ( Who in all of the earth shall I fear? My Lord is for me )! 

Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek ( Proverbs 28: 5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.  ) the Lord lack no good thing.

Come, O children, listen ( Everyday I shall realign my steps with that of the Lord. ) to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord ( Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. ). 

What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? 

Keep your tongue ( James 3:3-5 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! ) from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away ( 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. ) from evil and do good; seek peace and ( Hebrews 12:14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. ) pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry ( When I call on His name He answers. There has never been a time when He has not responded to my cry. ). 

The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 

The Lord is near ( Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds. ) to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 

( 2 Timothy 3:12-15 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. ) Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers ( Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, “I will repay evil” wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you. ) him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. 

The Lord redeems ( Galations 4:4-7 [When] the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. ) the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned ( grace upon grace upon grace ).

Psalm 34

(if it is in brackets and is not referenced to scripture, it is my thought and/or prayer)

22 August 2011


I've been spending a lot of time resting in God's arms lately. I've been in my car a bit more than usual lately, and my new job requires me to be in a file room a lot. Both of those places offer a place where the only other occupant is for the most part God. In my car I usually listen to worship music, and then turn it off to pray. I'm re-falling in love with prayer. I didn't fall out of love with it, but I'm using it more and more and more each day. In the filing room, I sometimes use the music on my phone, but I usually don't because I feel weird when someone walks in on me singing amidst all the files. So I pray. I ask a lot of questions. God's answering them quite quickly. A lot of my questions right now are yes or no questions. Is what I'm doing right now correct? Am I walking in step with your plan? Am I giving glory to you in amidst this season?

13 August 2011

Dancing Past Dark

It always amazes me how once I hit the point of breaking, God suddenly teaches me that I don't need to be broken. He always fixes.

Isaiah 40: 28-31

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

This past week I counselled up at Anvil. It will probably go down as one my most precious weeks of the summer. I was challenged by questions from campers, and daily taught new things from God. I had an honest prayer with God via the Psalms which were speaking exactly as my heart was feeling. God's comfort was my strength. I'm learning how to wait for the Lord. The longer I wait, the quicker He arrives.

Camp is a perfect place for me. I get to dance around all day long, wear wacky clothes, teach beautiful girls that God thinks they are great, and in amidst it all God teaches me more than I think He can. 

The passage from Isaiah was a portion of a song that we danced and sang all week. It was my favourite song for its actions, and also its strong push for me to rely on God rather than my self.

God is good. 

06 July 2011

One Thing

"One thing I of the Lord desire, for all my life hath miry been --
Be it by water or by fire, Oh, make me clean, Oh, make me clean!
So wash me now, without, within, or purge with fire, if that must be,
No matter how, if only sin die out in me, die out in me."
-A Clean Heart, W.G. Smith

30 June 2011

Issues in Trust

Trust is such a funny thing, isn't it? We trust someone, they fail us, and we lose trust. We don't trust anyone, the fail us, and we're reenforcing ourselves. We try to stay mildly unattached to anything to save our self from pain. We decide to trust everyone, forgive everything, and then don't understand why we are frustrated with people.

Worry and fear, painfully close friends are often nearby the absence of trust. We trust but what if? What if nothing works? What if everything works? What if ...?

Fear is such a crutch. Crutches are supposed to help right though? They help us relearn how to walk when we've fallen. Eventually though we have to let go of them and walk on our own.

But trust, that's a different issue. So is fear the absence of trust? For me, my fears and lack of trust are never in God. Well, never is a strong word. Let's say, rarely. Sometimes I remind God of some ideas I have for the future. He's usually quite nice in how He reacts. Sometimes a laugh so hard it sounds like a thunderstorm, and sometimes it's even like a giggle like a light rain. Quite kind really. I do a lot of that. Letting God know my ideas for my future. Timelines that I have for everything. It's especially good for things that I have no control over. He loves that.

The beauty of it, from the God that I know, is that He does love it. I've never felt as though God is diminishing my thoughts or feelings. Often God has to teach me, and reteach me His will, and remind me of where to place my next step. I had a conversation a while back where I told someone that I love when I get convicted for certain things, because it makes me know that God is evidently working. This person told me that I was crazy, and that I didn't mean it. But I think it is because they thought I meant I liked being condemned. I don't like that, largely because that isn't from the Lord. The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and rich in love. That's the Lord I know, because that is the Lord.

Anyways though, I get a verse a day from a man from my old church. I think it's this great ministry that he does. It's not that complicated, but it's a great way to literally get one tiny portion of scripture into every day - guaranteed.

Today's was one of those ones that came right on time.

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18)

Though you might read that, and feel that I should have been convicted against anger for others, to me, I saw it as a beautiful description of Jesus reminding me to trust in His plan. I don't need to worry, to fret, to fear, to blame others for things, or to place trust in things of human nature. I need to love. I need to trust the LORD for everything! Everything! It's a huge task, but graciously, God is able.

God is the Lord. Wow. You know that feeling when something really really good happens, and you get super excited, and get goosebumps, and everything seems to get brighter for a moment - that's the way it is. God is the Lord! God made us, loves us, and is constantly working.

Whom then shall I fear?

03 June 2011

Bigger Steps

 Praise the LORD, my soul;
   all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
 Praise the LORD, my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits—
  who forgives all your sins    and heals all your diseases,
  who redeems your life from the pit
   and crowns you with love and compassion,
  who satisfies your desires with good things
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
   The LORD works righteousness
   and justice for all the oppressed.
  He made known his ways to Moses,
   his deeds to the people of Israel:
  The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
   slow to anger, abounding in love.
 He will not always accuse,
   nor will he harbor his anger forever;
 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
   or repay us according to our iniquities.
 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
   so great is his love for those who fear him;
   as far as the east is from the west,

   so far has he removed our transgressions from us

  As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
 for he knows how we are formed,
   he remembers that we are dust.
 The life of mortals is like grass,
   they flourish like a flower of the field;
 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
   and its place remembers it no more.

Psalm 103: 1-16

19 May 2011

Lessons in the Rain

My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the processing to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you.
Deep cries out to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go on mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Last week, I was walking home, and it was raining. I hate rain. I hate being in rain. I was walking and I felt God tell me to stop and rest. I told Him that He was being a bit ridiculous because it was raining. I kept walking and He slowed me. He slowed me, stopped me under a tree, and reminded me that He is God.
I stood still in that moment, and had a moment of peace,
because He is God.

When I go from a long season of feeling that life is grand, to a season of turmoil, brokenness, and deep sorrow, to a season of seeing hope for about half a minute, to a season of realizing that my dreams needs to be realigned with God, to entering a new season of learning how to walk again.


God sometimes has to still me
God sometimes has to remind me that He is God
and that He Will Be Exalted
amongst the earth,
amongst the nations,
in me.