Saturday, May 18, 2013

from protest to praise

I am trying my hand at blogging again.
It seems a bit fruitless, this blogging-business. But why is it so darn therapeutic?

3 months newlywed to my dearest friend, my husband. Full of ambitions and vision! Ready to take on a new direction of life. Everyone runs into their own expectations when they are beginning a new season in life.
But, I cannot run. No, I cannot run from who I am.
I am fairly certain that this what I need to re-learn.
This is what I need to know, the way that one knows simple mathematics and rules of grammar. It's when the facts pass beyond our memory and become seared into the foundations of our being. We don't need to "jog" our memory to bring it back into view. It is the view - the one we see when we lift ourselves from bed every new dawn. Unshakeable. When our identity is questioned by outside forces, we can laugh, because it is so well-sealed, such a full reality, that we would stake everything on it.
Right now, could you say that you would bet your life on the undeniable reality of your identity?
I feel like I can on some days. Other days, not so much.
I cannot control the things that shake it up. Trials of life have shaken it up quite violently. Even joys re-situate it for a time, sometimes giving you a feigned sense of control and stability over it.
Being married shakes it up. Relationships, period, shake it up. Life, in itself, the grand and the grief, is one big earthquake to the core of ourselves. Sometimes, we let the collective mass of all these things shake us up so badly, that we live in a perpetual state of confusion and numb ourselves with every little distraction.
So, I am re-learning my roots. Going back to my place of birth.

My faith. It is not my faith.
It's His.
You know that verse we have read and heard time and time again?
The one from Galatians 2:20.
Say it again...

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

There is something about that verse that really needs to be pointed out. Many versions read, "...I live by faith in the Son of God..." 
No. That's just not a good translation. It's not "I live by faith." Don't you see what that does to you, to me? It becomes our faith, something that originated from us, something we can sustain.
Well, I have to deliver this dour announcement to myself a lot. You are done. You've reached your limit. You don't have anymore faith. 
Then, something happens. Something takes up residence in those empty places. Or, I should say, someone.
Oh, yes. The One whom my soul loves. 

I forget that I love Him until that moment when He comes in to love me. 

And I want to beat myself up. Of course, I love Him. I love my Lord! 
But my heart. My utterly deceitful and wicked heart told me there was something better. And I believed it that Joy could be obtained and created in the way I sought, because I am a creator, too. I am a dreamer. I am visionary. I can sustain something, too. 
Naturally, this sort of pep-talk is laughable. Based in a partial truth, but straying so far from its origin. It's like a replay from the scene of the Garden, when the Enemy of our souls took a truth and stripped its root and redressed it in finery.
I could beat myself up for buying into that ancient lie. 
Yet, my Lord never appears disappointed. It's as if He expected I would reach my end and remember the Garden scene and feel a great a whirlpool of frustration and grief. And, before I use that whirlpool to drown myself away in, He takes my hand and says,

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain...

There it is. My identity. I misplace it a lot. He chose me. Ordained me. He will make fruit in me abide. Whether it be the fruit of love, endurance, or any of those sweet virtues of the soul that His love letters speak to us.
And when I cannot believe that He will, He will believe for me.
He will believe in me. 
His faith in me.

Nearly every one who has passed through my life with me has told me, at some point along the way, that I write well. It makes a nice compliment. I like to soak it up for the moment. But, I don't really believe it. 
People have said the same about my music, the way I sing and play, the songs I write. But, I don't really believe it. Or, perhaps, I struggle with wanting to believe it because I remember how quickly my passions and pursuits can center all on me and my expectations for them. It is easier to not pursue them so that I don't have to deal with my silly expectations and dreams for them, which I can never compete with in reality. I like to think that the way things look in my mind are so much lovelier. Therefore, I will keep them in my mind and admire them there. 
And so, I need to face them. Those expectations. Those "lovelier" realities in my mind.
I think that there is something divine happening when someone in our life, whether one close to us or merely a passing acquaintance, points out to us, "Oh, you ____ wonderfully." Fill in the blank with what others have intentionally and genuinely spoken to you. 
They are noticing something inherently and uniquely attributed to you by your Creator.
 Something that originates in the DNA your Maker wove just for you. 
But you cannot ever truly know it unless you know Him. 

I need to stop protesting against the One who ordained me to be His dreamer who writes, who sings, and plays guitar. I need to praise Him with these unique buds of life He put in me because it's what He has lovingly given me to praise Him. To not use them would be to deny who I am, to deny my Maker. That would be misery. That would be the un-lived life. 

I am just going to start walking this.
I guess that is why I am blogging again. It's my own way of writing out those steps of my journey.
One of my favorite "time-wasters" is to read through the blogs of others, searching high and low through people of all walks of life - or, the ones who choose to place an internet-window for others to view their life through. I think that is why I like blogs. I like reading their thoughts, their experiences, and viewing their photography. I love getting a peak into the very special unique lives of people I don't even know. To me, it's fascinating because people are fascinating. Call me nosey, I don't care. It's not weird at all.

We are all travelers on earth. Our earthly origins may all be varied, but not our soul-origin. All of us have been stitched and formed by the same Hand. Not all of us like to think so, I know. Many are still searching for home, many believe they have found home, and then there are those of us who know that Home has come, is come, and will come.  
Emmanuel. God with us.

So, like many others, I am a traveler documenting my own journey. I am learning my origins and destination afresh every day. It begins on a forsaken tree.....

Broken wing, forgotten dream, shattered thing
That a man's hands can't ever mend
Shadowland, the desert sand, a man searches
For a love that'll never die
Truth be known, you're not alone
Your aching bones will find a home
In a place where God He sets us free
Wake me up before you go
I will listen for the sound of Your voice
Hear the wind in the trees
It goes where it please
Like the breath in me
And all who have breath can sing,

When we laid Your body down
In earth and in the ground
Oh child, rest Your soul.
Will a hope be made good
If a Word is understood
In the day, will we see it again?

Gather round, hear the sound
Of a story that's so old that it's been told
Before time
He was born in the flesh and the blood
In a world that was dark as hell, and dead in sin
Born of the spirit, and the virgin child
He's the Son of God, Son of Man
I didn't recognize that look in His eyes
When they cried
With a sorrow that no man has ever known
Hang Him high, watch Him die, hear the cry
Crucified up on that God forsaken tree
And all who have breath can sing

When we laid your body down
In the earth and in the ground
Oh Lord, rest your bones
Will a hope be made good
If Your words are understood
In the day, will we see You again?

Oh Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?
Oh my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Oh Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?
Oh my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? 

Forever my family forms the ring.

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