Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just some thoughts

I love hymns. Love them. No "praise and worship" song speaks to me like a hymn. I love that hymns are old and have been sung my millions of people long before me. I feel connected not just to Whom I'm singing, but to other believers across miles and generations. I don't know how to explain it. I sing hymns a lot in my head or just going through my day. Sometimes I sing them in the shower, like I did tonight. Lately, I have felt the Spirit teaching me to have a quiet soul, one that is at peace regardless of circumstances and is slow to anger. I don't want to get flustered every time something doesn't go my way. I was reflecting on this tonight while taking a shower and "It is Well with My Soul" naturally came to mind. I began singing the lyrics and comparing them to one of my favorite songs, "All Will Be Well" by Gabe Dixon Band. It IS well versus it WILL BE well. And I realized, I have been living in the "it will be well" instead of "it is well" frame of mind. I think, someday things will work out. Someday, I'll be better at this and not struggle with that. Someday everything will be the way God intended. Someday. But as a Christian, my joy and my peace can come now. Certainly, my Peace and my Joy are present now. I simply must choose to abide in Him, trust in Him, and choose only Him- even when people are jerks, even when money is tight, even when Micah and I argue, even when I'm having a low self-esteem day. I want to be the kind of person who can honestly say, "It is well with my soul!"

I can easily list off my struggles and my personality flaws. I can tell you all the ways I disappoint people and how I sin. Often it's easy to get caught up in all of that. It's easy to wallow in my own disappointment, shame, and self-pity. And when I wallow, I ignore God. I ignore all the affirmation he gives me, the encouraging words he speaks to me, and sometimes the rebukes he gives me. Ignoring God makes it harder to hear his voice the next time. But I digress...

To be a person who can say "It is well!" no matter the circumstance, who can have complete faith and peace in her heart, I have to accept who I am in Christ. I have to accept that I am loved, chosen, protected, valued, bought at a very high price, capable, wanted, called, beautiful, intelligent, and the list goes on. When I know this, believe it, accept it...and live it, then it will be well with my soul. Things are not well with my soul because I have chosen to not trust God. Things aren't well with my soul because I have a long way to go in my journey with Christ. Things aren't well because I'm too spiritually immature. 

So here I am. I'm standing on the precipice of the next level in my knowing Christ. Getting ready to take the plunge (in a lot of different ways) and see where I land. There are so many unknowns in my immediate future. Add that to all the normal daily stuff like dealing with people and tackling school, and I just have a craving to know God more so that I can do things well in a way that glorifies Him. I want to please him. I want to be more mature. I want to be strong and steadfast, calm and at peace. I want to love passionately and selflessly. I want to know the Bible- not just memorize it but live it. I want to sing of love, brokenness, hope, and redemption. I want to not be afraid to sing. I want to be bold, confident, and secure in Him. I want to be radical as Jesus was radical, in love, grace, and mercy.

Lord, hear my prayer. Send your Spirit. Fill me with your love, fill me with your presence. Lord, I pray people would come to know you through your work in me. I pray that any attention or glory that comes from anything I do gets turned to you. I pray that I would be so consumed by your love, grace, and mercy that I can't help but pour it into other people. I pray that when people look at me that they don't see me, that they don't see clothes, or hair, or whatever else. I pray that they see you. I pray that they see joy and love. I pray that they feel safe and accepted around me. Lord, open my heart! Open my mind! Help me be a person who doesn't judge! Help me to see people as individuals created in YOUR image. Lord help me see You when I see them. Give me your heart for people. Guide my steps and show me what I need to know when I need to know it. Help me to trust in you always, even when I may not hear you or when I can't see the way. Help me to be quick to listen and slow to anger. Lord, open my ears! Help me to really hear people. Give me discernment, Lord.

Lord, I love you! Thank you for blessing me every single day. Thank you for the opportunity to spend years of my life studying about you and letting you form me. Thank you for Micah and for my family. Thank you for your patience and guidance, mercy and grace. Thank you for not giving up on me!! Thank you for seeing me as something worthy to be loved and used. Thank you for sending your Son to die so that I and all other people could live. Lord, show me how to take your Word to them. Let me hear, let me see, let me do. I trust you, Lord. I trust you! Move in me, God. Change me. Break me. I know you will never leave me. You won't forsake me. You are truth. You are love. I can do all things in Your strength. Lord, thank you for all the details you created just so that we could enjoy them and know you more- thank you for the beautiful weather, for a wonderful blue sky, and the chance to go outside without a jacket. Thank you for wonderful friends who love me and look after me. Thank you for parents who want me to be happy. Thank you for a home. You are my provider and Lord, you are faithful. I have never done without. Thank you, Lord. May I bring glory to you all my days and may my marriage with Micah be one that glorifies you! Bless our marriage, Lord. We love you, Lord. You are holy. You are worthy. You are mighty. I love you! In Jesus name...

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