Sunday, January 30, 2011

and we sat.

an ending to a crazy week. a picture of His love. a glimpse into what He desires His kingdom to look like.
let me start by saying this: this past week was insane. and difficult at times if i am honest. some days this life is hard. and i think He gets that. but i am grateful for the inconvenience of being a part of His grand, great, amazing, beautiful, perfect story.
i told myself all week that i would catch up on sleep friday and saturday. yeah, i forgot i had amazingness to happen both days.
friday morning coffee with my mentor. my mentor that gets my heart and will listen to my crazy dreams. my mentor who is so seasoned in Christ and is the most beautiful mommy. my mentor who loves our Jesus more than life and realizes that pouring into others is what this season in her life is all about. she loves God, she loves people, and i desperately hope that i am half the woman/mommy that she is. she is incredible. and i am so grateful.
fast forward to saturday morning. my alarm went off maybe 3 times before i finally got up. half asleep but so ready to be His hands and feet. meeting my best friends who were excited as i was. and then getting to see Hannah Grace (my mentee) and Compassion International Jr. serve was almost too much to handle. they were so excited to be there. so excited to love on kids. so excited to be His servants.
there probably aren't adequate words to describe saturday. so i just won't try. but i will say this- He was glorified. children hugged. children fed. smiles that you could feel. screams and yells full of laughter. it was just perfect.
i'm convinced of this: sometimes loving Him means sitting. and loving. and giving a kid a hamburger. and listening to their stories about school. you don't have to be in Mongolia for that. you just don't.
and it also looks like a little girl asking you to hold her hand. so we sat. and i held her hand. and i pray those kids realize just how much they are loved. because they are. deeply by their Heavenly Daddy and by a whole group of people who can't stop thinking about them.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"what's it to you?" -Jesus.

a 21 day fast ended Sunday. we ended it with communion. which i think is beautiful. it began with worship of my Daddy and it ended in remembering all He taught me in the first 3 weeks of 2011.
i can give one word for those 3 weeks: worship.
not the kind you automatically think of. not the kind in the church. or in a conference. surrounded by your best friends who are also worshiping. but the kind that wakes you up in the middle of the night. the kind that makes you do crazy stuff on the way home from school. the kind that makes you cry as you leave the lecture hall.

and Sunday i saw a picture of just what Jesus desires this raw worship to look like.

i'm standing singing the songs, worried about the no signal blue box on one of the walls when Jesus shows off like He has done so often these past days.

a little boy. a perfect, beautiful little boy in a wheelchair is about 4 rows in front of me. on the end of an aisle. not where he usually sits so i usually don't get to see him until after church. there he is strapped in his chair. his mom beside him worshiping. and he begins to worship. worship like i have never seen. the kind that catches you off guard and takes your breath away. clapping his hands, smiling up towards the sky all at the same time. and being who i am my mind went here...

imagine his days. depending on his mother. not being able to walk. wearing braces on his legs that probably rub his legs and leave bruises. knowing that yet another day of not being "normal."

imagine what goes through his mind some days. he probably thinks about how he is a burden. he probably wishes he could go to the movies like his brothers. he probably thinks that no one will ever love him enough to marry him and take care of him.

imagine the kids at his school. he probably gets made fun of. he probably cries some nights. he probably would never tell his mom this though because he already feels guilty for her being tired.

but he praises. and to Jesus its probably the most pure form. because he is sitting in a chair he may never get out of. he is clapping with hands that go through physical therapy. he is pursuing his creator even though he may feel inadequate but he knows to our Daddy he is perfect. he was made in His image. there is not one flaw in Him.

oh, to have worship like that. pure. raw. sitting at His feet. knowing that we are broken. knowing that we need Him more than life itself.

clapping when we can hardly move our hands.

but most of the time we look at other people who don't appear to be as broken as we are. who look like they have it all together. who have an "easy" calling on their lives. and we wonder why. why can't i have it like they do? why can't my sister run like theirs? why can't i just be a school teacher in Georgia? why do they get recognition when they don't deserve it? why don't they get pushed as hard as i do? and the list goes on.

and all the while Jesus is looking us straight in the face like He did to Peter saying, "what's it to you?" we can't judge our stories based on other peoples. He uses us differently. and yes, we are all made in His image but we all are different. He molds our hearts and shapes our stories.

He is using it all. and i don't like to hear that sometimes but its true. every single uh-oh...He's using it. every single accomplishment...He's using it. every single family member that gets sick...yep, He's using it. those mistakes that betcha, He's gonna use it. every tear stained night....oh, He is using it.
our stories are different. our worship is different. but our God is the same. and He always will be.

paint a canvas. project something onto some screen. color a picture. take a picture. make a movie. teach a class. move to China. just do whatever He wants you to.

and don't dare ask Him why your life can't be like....John Doe's. what's it to you? you don't know the end of your story and you don't know the end of theirs. just wait on Him. trust Him. He's way more creative and smart than we give Him credit for half the time.

worship Him fully. trust Him continuously. and do something good for His kingdom.

and read John 21.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daddy, I'm scared.

so i remember being in sixth grade. it was a normal day. the week had been just a normal week of middle school life. we had done our commercials in Mrs.Byrd's class. Jacob had spilled his experiment on the floor and left quite the stain. we all left school in a hurried rush because some of them might miss the bus. and everyone was always screaming "i love you, bye" as we left. we were all family. we grew up together.

my daddy got home. told me something about a wreck he heard about on the way home. i didn't think anything of it. a wreck to a sixth grader is something uncomprehendable. it happened to a stranger. a poor family. we prayed for them. daddy really prayed for them.

hours passed.

our house phone rang. it was for me. it was mandy.

"hey ivy. did you hear?"

that's all i remember. i couldn't comprehend it. i didn't want to hear it. i was scared to death.

my friend jacob. was in that wreck. my friend jacob and his sister were trapped in the backseat. my friend jacob. died. as a sixth grader he left this earth to go dance with our Jesus.

the next hours were full of questions. full of tears. full of screaming. screaming in my room. screaming at God.

i distinctly remember with my hair soaking wet from the shower and all in my face sitting on the couch with my daddy. he patted his lap. i got right on it. i cried. him and mama probably shed quite a few of their own those next few hours and days. with swollen eyes and a hurting heart i looked at my daddy and i said, "daddy, i'm scared."

that fear was validated. it was understandable. i had realized how fragile life was. not just my Granny's life who died four years earlier but the lives of people my age. the lives of merely children. and i was scared. and i was honest. and i was raw. i didn't care who saw that.

and that is exactly where i am right now.

every single prayer starts or ends with "Daddy, i'm scared." this is a big year. i finish college. i fill out applications for the next step. i will seek God daily for where He wants the next season of my life to be spent. i am going to say goodbye to the only life i have ever known. school since i was 5. how do i do life without school? how do i leave Jamie? how do i think about getting on a plane and praying my grandparents won't get sick while i am serving overseas?

these questions plague my mind. and i am not going to even attempt to act like i have it all together. i am a mess. a wreck. but the thought of not going where He sends me makes me even more of a wreck. the lives He is preparing in this very moment. the harvest He is preparing. it gets me so excited. so excited to see what He is going to do this year. in the next five years. in the next twenty years of my life. to see where He will take me and my future husband. to imagine the red, yellow, black, and white family that He has for me. everything is moving so fast. i can remember writing in my journal about 2010. and now. its long gone. His promises still remain though. He doesn't lie. ever. and He will come through.

2 more semesters to shine on my campus. 2 more semesters to reach my professors. 2 more semesters to be intentional with every single word. every single action. every single attitude. every single grade. i have Jesus. and i need to represent Him in the purest light i know how.

and that scares me. merely weeks to show them Christ. merely weeks.

i will not stand back and watch my peers run away from God. pretend He is dead. because He is alive. and He is stirring up a revolution bigger than anyone can ever imagine. He is here. even now. even when the problems of this world seem strong, He is stronger. He is good. He is in control

Daddy, i'm scared but i'm jumping anyways.