So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom~Psalm 90:12
The last journal started in struggle and ended in burn out. A lot was accomplished in between. But no amount of productivity is worth the forfeit of my soul’s health. I want this journal to be full of all the joy and health that comes from living Coram Deo [in the presence of God]. I hope it is peppered with instances in which I put down what I am doing at the slightest urging, and readily join God in whatever He is up to. I want to follow Him in all things, everyday submitting myself to His great self. Every day an expedition into grace and He is my Captain. Where will we go, Lord? What will happen? Only You know, and that is what is best. I hope to be renewed by deeper connection to the Fount of Living Water. You can make these dreams come true in my life, Lord, and I pray that You will, knowing that even as I pray You have already answered.
On the last page of the same journal I wrote:
My God overwhelms the giants. He slays dragons. He gives us what it takes to lift trembling sword in the fact of monsters unimaginable. He puts the war cry for justice deep in our throats. He sets fire in our belly so we can stand appalled and indignant in the way of abuse and terror. It’s His breath in our lungs anyway. Let’s praise Him with it.
Amazing that He answered my prayers even before the journal was spent.
Receiving God’s gifts is a gentle, simple movement of stooping lower.~Ann Voskamp
It is ironic that I like driving alone in my truck. Even a short jaunt from place to place on a sunny afternoon brings me immense happiness. The irony is in the fact that while I adore these physical transitions I struggle with the emotions of life’s most basic transitions. Changes weigh heavily on my heart. Season leaves behind season, years peel away to reveal new decades. I often feel stuck in remembrance, unwilling to let the precious past go.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.~Psalm 126:5&6
I’ll never sit at Grandma’s side, chatting about nothing and about life in pain while we watch the brass pendulum tick the hours by. It hurts that I can’t call her on Fridays anymore and that my phone is slowly erasing all the saved voicemails she left. I treasure these glimpses into a time before her final transition.
My composition instructor who so challenged, bored, inspired, and fascinated me (depending on the day) will not teach me anymore. My heart is tender as I walk amongst classmates down the gray hall. I hear him enthusiastically yelling even now, “Do something worth writing about!” and I am thankful.
I won’t see Tori again. A friend as constant as the sunrise won’t stand next to me in the pool again. She won’t cut the cake at my wedding. She is gone. We won’t talk about our lives or cry over movies together because that time has reached its end. Suddenly, her color in my rainbow is gone, and the childish era when our lives overlapped has passed. A painful wound is left.
Such great, somber hope fills the void.
Spending time on behalf of the outcasts, and using my voice to speak for those without voices, yields less of a paycheck than one might think. How to cling less tightly to earthly security, its a dear lesson to learn. With God’s help, I will rely on Him more fully in time.
Growing into my personal beliefs instead of foolishly adopting those of my culture, another lesson. I am holding more loosely to ideals with which I have been indoctrinated and suspending life long biases in pursuit of personal faith in the better Way, the real Truth, and the abundant Life. There is a Guide who knows the best way. Jesus is my Rabbi, also my Friend. To Him I owe a loyalty greater than I owe to family, country, or friends.
Learning to joyfully count the cost and give it all up for the sake of my King.
Aching as time continually changes the landscape of my life.
Rejoicing in new lives, new days, and memories that speak: I am not home yet.
I drive my truck and I love it, from place to place.
Be to me a rock of refuge to which I may continually come~Psalm 71:31
Hearing, I forget; seeing, I remember; writing, I understand.~Chinese Proverb
My thoughts follow each other in constant cycles; I would love to be in a place where there is good, close community. I would love to have friends who keep me accountable and spur me towards godliness. I would like to have time to spend with those friends.
What about right here?
Is there any part of you that would like to be here, Lydia?
This is where God has placed you. Do your continual wonderings* glorify Him?
Instead of thanking Him, you allow thoughts that question His methods to run circles around your mind.
In His will is the best place.
Be it dark, confusing, lonely…the place He has for you is the only place you will have peace.
Don’t ruin it.
Choose to love it
By choosing to love Him.
But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh~Galations 5:16
I rang in the new year below the border. My 2014 was greeted with pops of confetti, 12 grapes, and music all in Spanish.
January 2nd: I’m grateful to the point of tears for this moment. For Your peace. I look out of the window and I see rolling hills, arid ground clothed in dusty shrubs. Baja, Mexico. I look inside myself and I see darkness being rolled away, even as old habits fight to stay. I see You making Your home in me. My story is such a great one. Lord, I am unworthy to have you near me.
We will this year gather celestial fruits on earthly ground, where faith and hope have made the desert like the garden of the Lord~Charles Spurgeon
Thank You for challenging me
Hold my feet to the fire
Put the right heart in me
Search the depths of my soul and know me
As no man ever could
Reveal my sin-the immensity of my depraved nature-
And comfort me with knowledge of Yourself
When I search the Scriptures
Seeking to find You
Let my heart be open and raw
Give me sight to see and understand the whole message
Answer me out of Your loving kindness
Or my whole life will be in vain.
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you~Hosea 12:6
(Still January 3rd:) The weight of what God is calling me to do starts to sink in…My understanding of the cross-cultural life starts to be fleshed out. How immense the bridges to be crossed are. How alone I shall feel in a culture 100% different from my own. I ask God to strengthen me for the coming challenges and support me as my heart is heavy for the unreached, and for what I have to do. I ask Him not to let me turn tail and run, as is my first instinct.
The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down~Psalm 145:14
January 4th: The world is too big. People are too blind, corrupt, selfish. And I am one of them.
January 6th: I want to move into another culture. I want to make my (small, concrete, dirt) home there. I want to marry the culture and have its children. I want to surmount the difficulties of living in another culture by time and trial. I want to die there. None of this because that culture is better, or because I grew tired of the U.S. I will be there because that is where God wants me. I will sew seeds of the Gospel where none have sown before. It will be the most difficult initiative of my life but God will guide me through all the tears, discouragement, and frustration. I will love people as my own family, and they will become my own.
(written May 27,2013 by someone too lazy to post it….)
It all seems quite pointless
Everything seems complete and handled
And I’m just floating along, head barely above water,
Staying afloat because it’s the thing to do.
Then chaos happens
And as I respond with immediate action,
A picture forms in my mind.
A tale of obedience; A path that I am walking,
Start to finish.
All that I do is a process,
An uphill battle, a struggle towards Glory.
What’s going on now is a part of that.
A girl walks along,
It’s her life story:
Always doing wrong
Always coming back.
Walking in the dark, uncertain, bolstered by faith.
It is difficult as people get hurt due to her weaknesses.
By good grace she moves constantly forward,
Like a monkey swinging from jungle vine to vine,
She takes the ups and downs in stride.
She flies on,
Living in sunshine brokenness
Overflowing with joy
Terrified of what’s to come
Hopeful for a good ending