What to Say When You Have Nothing to Say

Throughout life we weave in and out of seasons. We go through seasons of creativity and wonder and in these times things just feel generally at peace. And then other times of hardship and questioning, and nothing feels at peace. It is inevitable that as a human living in a broken world, you will go through all the ups and downs of life. And it is inevitable that in these downs, when things hurt and your world is fragile, that you will feel like there is nothing to say.
Everyone experiences this and for a variety of reasons. Whether its because you’re fearful of saying the wrong things, or because you assume that what you do have to say isn’t of any value, or maybe you just don’t feel as if you have anything to say at all, neither profound or worthless. So what are you supposed to do? What do you say when you have nothing to say? How do you minister to yourself and others when you feel empty?
First of all, you can’t fix it. You cannot change your circumstances or anything really. And that is a huge blessing to you. Its not up to you. The things that are up to you are: your choice to love Him, your choice to love others, and your choice for joy. Striving to attain perfection will only bring you exhaustion. You have to let God protect your heart and hold your hand. He absolutely will. That what He’s been wanting to do since you were only a thought in the Godhead.
So here is what you say: Thank you. Thank you that you protect me and hold my hand. Thank you that you don’t let me go. Thank you that I can fall onto you. Thank you that your dreams are my dreams. Thank you for what you’ve given me. Thank you for thinking of me. Thank you for singing over me. Thank you for wiping my tears away. Thank you for laughing with me. Thank you for creating a space for you and me. Thank you for letting me run and never letting me get lost. Thank you for your complete steadfastness.
Thats it. Thank Him over and over again. Peace starts with gratitude. With gratitude you are totally satisfied, wanting nothing. Not to say you shouldn’t dream and aspire, please do. But unsatisfaction will leave gaping holes in your heart and life. Satisfaction = peace = joy = relationship with Him =  trust. Always, forever, unchanging.

Psalms 107

 

 

 

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Letting Go

As I’ve briefly explained in previous posts, right now my life is taking interesting turns and new directions in ways I wouldn’t ever expect. And a lot of the time it’s not comfortable. Sometimes it even hurts. I thought I was prepared for tough times and hard knocks with the recent transitions in my beliefs and world views. But now I’ve  learned that changed mindsets do not change the physical world. I would say it can change reality; my reality. Because my reality, my world, and the way I see it, are all based soon what I believe about it. It’s important to be able to grasp where this world came from, who our everything belongs to, and where our place in this epic story is. When you believe that you must appease God in order to gain His approval, and you go through all the motions, say all the right words, avoid all the wrong things, then and only then are you in line with God. But if you believe you are son or daughter of God, heir to His throne, loved extravagantly and unconditionally, in deep connection with King of the universe, then you know that you are forever in line with God.

So what happens when you’re stuck in the physical, and things aren’t necessarily well, and you know the truth but you can’t shake the reality of your emotions? For me personally, I knew all these things. I knew I was a daughter, and that I didn’t need to earn His approval ’cause it’s mine to take. But lately, I’ve had the very real emotions of resentment and disappointment. I was utterly confused because I didn’t want to feel this way, and I couldn’t even think of a reason why I felt this way. I took it out on my family a lot. I’ve said a lot of things I didn’t mean and I’m very sorry for that. I have no reason to resent or be angry at anyone in my family and I knew that, so the confusion grew.

Then I was listening to “Strength” by Jonathan and Melissa Helser and He spoke to me. He told me that I’m not resting yet. I thought I had finished with that conversation because I’d learned to trust Him. But no, it was only the beginning. I was still striving to be something. I was striving to understand Him, striving to look like what I knew, striving to rest. You will never get anything by striving. Never. So through all this trying to become and laboring to know, I got tired. I became exhausted when the results that I wanted were not coming through. So I had this revelation and didn’t know what to do with it until I saw a beautiful blog post about bitterness. And then I realized I had been harboring other’s bitterness and disappointment. It wasn’t mine, but I unwittingly took it on as my own and let it impact me. That is quite a slippery slope.

I’ve always let myself be someone who people can tell their secrets to, and I much prefer deep relationships rather than shallow acquaintances. But I didn’t know how important it was to protect myself from other’s reality. I had let other’s problems seep into my world and lodge themselves in my life; a place which they do not belong. I still absolutely believe we should be available to listen and help when we can with other’s problems. But when you let it become your own problem it affects your life in ways it shouldnt and prohibits you from walking in freedom you know is yours.

I had to let go. Actually I still do. The way I’ve been doing that is writing every single problem, concern, fear, worry, or confusion in my journal and saying “This isn’t mine anymore.” Some of these people need me to understand their issues and be there for them. So I can still empathize and comfort them. I will not let that drop, but I simply won’t take it as my own. I know who I am, where I belong in this story, and where this world came from so I won’t let other’s misunderstandings of it tamper with my reality. Letting go is a process and I’ll write more about that subject soon, but I need to wrap up this post for now, even though its relatively short. So in conclusion: when you know your reality and where and whom you belong to, don’t strive to be something else. You won’t get there if you’re striving. And don’t let other’s realities taint your own.

3 Second Peace Bombs = Life Forever Changed

Last night, a drizzly Saturday, I was walking from the sanctuary building towards the youth building, jumping from one crack in the pavement to the next, talking with a young friend. This young friend of mine has a knack for words and story telling. She was enthusiastically telling me tales of the things she’d seen happen in this church. As I walked slowly, she bounced around me, excitedly relaying the stories of how God has shown His glory in this church. As we walked down hallways, up stairways, and around corners, we began discussing how blessed we are as a congregation to have this new facility to rent, comparing it to our last building which had many issues. Suddenly she (slightly) slows down and stops bouncing, her face becoming serious, she says, “Sadie, how do you always have your life together?”

I was taken aback by this unexpected question. It really came out of the blue and I didn’t have an answer right away. When I didn’t reply quickly enough, she continued, “I’ve never seen you unhappy or angry at the world, like me, and you’re always dreaming and doing something big!” She looked at me expectantly.    “Honey, I don’t have anything together,” I reflected on my week which, in all honesty, sucked. My family is in a lot of financial pressure and it seemed as if everything that could go wrong did. From both of my parents working, a van that needs a new engine, seven kids who need to be fed, raised and educated, outside responsibilities and strained relationships inside the family…we are all exhausted.

Personally, I’ve been feeling emotionally exhausted. As my dad works during the day and my mom works through the night, she comes home and needs to sleep, leaving me to make sure the kids don’t set the house on fire. I was never angry or upset about this. My mom needs and deserves more rest than she is getting. But I had been feeling frustrated with the situation. On top of that was piled school, planning my life, relationships, outside commitments, and not being able to talk to my best friend through all of it. I was beginning to feel spiritually drained as well. I didn’t see that the stress I was in was causing me to revert to old feelings of sadness and disappointment. I unwittingly accepted the lie that the happiness God had given me a couple months ago did not last like He said it would. This lead to even more despair and confusion. I ultimately felt lost.

But, of course, we have a good, good Father who does not let us wallow in sadness, but gets on His knees and lifts us up out of it. He showed me how utterly human I am. I am completely helpless, completely dependent, and completely in need of a savior. All these emotions I was attempting to handle by myself are simply human and not necessarily bad or wrong. But trying to go through life without Him never leads to anywhere. All week long I had been praying, saying “help me, God, I’m hurting…etc.” But never once did I let Him respond. I didn’t let Him guide me, love on me, or raise me up like He so desperately desired to. I gave into the bad habit of thinking ‘I can do it just fine.’ I had forgotten that my God -the One who is offering peace, relief, and joy- is the One who created my emotions. He knows my circumstances. And He is ready, willing, even eager to hold my hand and lift my face.

This entire revelation was dropped like a bomb on me in about the span of 3 seconds, while I stood there, looking at my young friend’s curious face. Suddenly. Suddenly. God loves to work suddenly. He loves surprises. Thats a fun subject to talk about, however, I’ll save it for a later post and won’t get off track here. So, this peace bomb of a revelation fell on me and I finally had an answer, “I don’t have anything together. He holds me together. And sometimes it looks messy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect”

“Oh…so what do you do when its messy? How do you fix it? ‘Cause my life is really messy”
“You don’t fix it. God doesn’t fix you or your life, He makes all things new. And when things are messy, you can learn to see it as beautiful because you are human and you need Him to make all things new.”

We got to our destination and she left to talk to a friend. I turned to see another one of my friends and decided to think about this revelation later and be with my people. Later that night, after our worship band meeting, after dinner, after nighttime routine, I started thinking about this revelation again. I believe it. I absolutely, totally believe it. Then a thought came to me, “am I even qualified to share that? I didn’t even know that for myself a few minutes ago. Does that make me a hypocrite?” I got in bed and prayed and journaled. He told me, “You’re not a hypocrite. You can’t be because its not you teaching, its me. Its all me. I am working in and of you, just let me love” That gave me a lot of clarification and confidence in my leadership, which is a beautiful subject. Leadership is all about surrender. But I’ll make a post about that another time and end this one here.

My life is beautiful and messy and sometimes its really hard BUT my God is greater, stronger and more full of love than I could ever imagine. So I have every right and every ability to smile and truly be happy through tough circumstances. And I need to -and will- make the choice to trust Him and let Him take my hand. My life is His and He has my heart.

 

 

 

 

The Language Between You And God

Emotions are strange things. They influence our thinking and behavior, sometimes against our will. Though not physical themselves, they show themselves physically on our faces and through our body language. And the bigger the decision we must make, whether it is conscious our not, the bigger a grip emotions hold on to you.

Emotions are what make us uniquely human. It’s an intimate connection between us and God that can only be explained by the fact that we are created by a Creative Being. No animal can experience deep emotions. Yes, dogs are loyal. Yes, elephants always remember. Yes, apes can make decisions based on preference. But no animal has ever felt love, sacrifice, fear of rejection, suspicion, deep joy, cautiousness, excitement, nor has any animal ever asked a question. Emotions are unique to humans only and, between one person to the next, emotions are always different.

No one has the same emotions in the same circumstance and reacts in the same way as the person next to them. Of course, we act similarly. Our upbringing, society, the influential people in our lives and personalities all play a role in how our emotions shape us and even when and where we experience them. But your thought process, your past, your plans and your preferences all are specific to you. And emotions are a part of the love language between you and God. But before I get into that let me step back to how our emotions shape us.

To give an example of difference, when you see an elderly person fall on the sidewalk, is your first gut reaction to laugh, pause and think, run to help, ask someone else to help, panic? There are many possibilities. And the more complex the circumstance is, the more complex your emotions would be. Now imagine that elderly person is your grandma. Suddenly (hopefully), your emotional attachment to the situation is greater than before and it shapes your reaction and your life as well. Because this moment becomes a part of your past and then, soon, a memory.

Emotions are moldable and also so are we. And emotions are both beautifully and terribly deep. No amount of psychology or philosophy could get to the root of emotion. No poet or scientist has ever discovered the base line of happiness or sadness. No traveler, artist, or guru of any kind could find the reason we have emotions, though many have tried. There is only one who can answer the question and He’s the one who invented the language.

Without God, who wonderfully constructed this web of intimate connections, we are a confused and conflicted mess. Because emotions are all about connection. They are how we connect with the world, with each other, with stories and, ultimately, with God. We feel empathy all the time, in small and large forms every day. We have the ability to feel what another person is feeling through communication of emotions and it creates a connection. I could say, “I’ve never had a best friend” and you would most likely feel some sort of sympathy. Maybe you have had a best friend, but you know what it’s like to be lonely, so you’re able to understand the emotions I’m feeling. Or I could say “I really love my best friend” and you would feel empathy. Because you know what it’s like to love and appreciate someone in that way, so you express your connection.

God created emotions to have a connection with us. He always wanted a family and someone to love ravishingly and have them love him back just as enthusiastically. That is exactly what He had in mind when you were but a thought in the Godhead. Before you were in the womb, He intentionally planned your being, knitting together your emotional ability and said “I’m gonna teach you what love is. I’ll be in love with you until you fall in love with me and beyond.” Your emotions are a love language. And God speaks your language. The two of you have a dialect that no one else could fully grasp. He knows your heart and your mind and He understands. When your heart strings are pulled, so are His. When you’re too sad to cry, He is too. When you’re so happy that all you can do is sit down and smile at nothing, He’s right there with you, smiling at you. As long as you’re in relationship with Him, your hearts are connected just as He intended.

It has now been a week since I’ve written the above text. I quit writing because I felt like a hypocrite.” What do I know of emotions? What wisdom could I possibly have to offer on a subject that I obviously know so little about? I feel out of control, I shouldn’t be talking like this. But pver this past week, I slowly began to let God speak to me and confirm these words. So I continue this story of devivne language….

What about when our emotions feel out of control? When tragedy strikes, hormones rage or unexpected events occur, our emotions tend to run rampant and wild. Thats because of the fall of man. When sin entered a perfect world, all beauty was suddenly corrupted, therefore when hurt enters a person, all reality is distorted. We were born into sin and we cannot escape it. We cannot become the perfect person. But that in itself, is an extremely beautiful thing. Because we need a savior. We need to be rescued and restored from brokenness into wholeness. And when it comes to our emotions, it means we must rely on Him to help us through them. He doesn’t change circumstances, nor does He change your emotions for you. But He will show you the truth and He will remind you of who you are, who He is and where you belong. When you cry out in agony, He responds with empathy and says, “I’m here, baby…” and He will continue to speak over and to you for the rest of your life and then some.

There will be times when your emotions run rampant. There will be times when you cannot control the tears and the rambling and the sudden urges for ice cream, hugs, and words of affection. You will need people with listening ears and welcoming arms. Sometimes you will need encouragement, a hand to hold, and other’s to put the truth back into your head. And sometimes you will simply need to see someone else’s empathetic tears. You cannot do it by yourself.

You cannot do it by yourself.

You need a savior and you need fellowship. Its not up to you to control and wrangle these beautiful, terrible emotions. They are huge and they are deep and they are meant to be felt. Jesus doesn’t feel anything small. Nothing is ever “meh” to Him. Everything is real and significant and of utmost importance to Him. And you are created in His image, as I’ve talked about before. You are meant to feel things deeply. And He is there to feel it all with you. He’ll wrestle your fears and sadness for you. He’ll bask in your joy and excitement with you. He will relieve you and love on you. He will hold you.

Jesus feels anger (Matthew 21). Jesus feels sorrow (John 11). Jesus feels immense joy (Luke 10). Jesus feels big emotions. And He, is in fact, inviting you to feel with Him. Communicate with Him. Ask Him what these beautiful, terrible things are happening in your chest. Ask Him to reveal what they are, why you’re feeling them, why you need to feel them. Let Him respond and reciprocate. Let Him love you by feeling with you. Your emotions are an intricate on-going conversation with the Creator and they are meant to be examined and explored. They are intimate and intriguing, just like Him, just like you’re meant to be.

 

To Love With A Love That Is Perfect

It’s started to feel a little bit cooler. At least there’s no blaring, blistering heat. A few leaves are beginning to fall and the nights are slightly chilly. Fall is on its way and that means time to reminisce and time to plan. For me anyway. Autumn time always makes me feel like remembering. Maybe it’s because we start needing to feel cozy and warm, with our sweaters, socks, and hot beverages. It’s a time to rest and think. Even if you’re busy, in the sense that you have to do a lot of things and go a lot of places, Autumn kind of makes you slow down as you get used to the chill in the breeze and settling back into school, work or whatever obligations you have in your life.

Thinking back over this past summer, geez, it’s just been crazy. It’s been the most intense summer I’ve had yet. It started out as the worst, I was exhausted emotionally, I discovered how completely lost I was when I thought I knew who I was, and I was so full of guilt and shame. The summer ended, however, as possibly one of the best yet. I know who I am, I let God pursue me, I’m not tired, guilty or ashamed. Instead, I’m excited, wiser and in love with who God made me to be. Which is a miracle. A complete and utter miracle. Alright, let me get on to the story.

I have a lot to say so I’m not going to get into details right now. But to make a very long story short, I fell in love with a guy. Really in love. I’ve mentioned a tiny bit about this in one of my earlier posts. We were best friends. We talked, prayed, wrote songs together. Had we the ability (and the licence) to drive, we would have done everything together.

Then in early April…May? Honestly, I’ve lost track of specific dates. We went too far physically and sexually and got caught. It feels very blunt to say it like that in a blog post. So far I’ve only had one on one conversations about it. But I suppose it is a blunt sort of thing. Because sex should not have been a part of our relationship yet at all. So there was no beautiful complexity, no elegant simplicity, and no real intimacy. Even though we thought there was. It was just blunt and just harmful.

I’m not against sex now. I think it is a beautiful thing when used as God intended. I don’t think sex is a dirty word and I don’t mind talking about it. But, darling, if you’re not married, if you’re not in love, don’t put yourself in that position. It doesn’t bring joy or more intimacy. It brings into your life more deceit, pain, and confusion than you’ll know what to do with. Our God is a God of miracles and He can and will deliver you from the disruption and destruction it brings into you. But thinking, “I can handle it. We’re smart, we’ll be safe” etc.  is not enough. It’s kinda funny to look back and see the naivety of that way of decision making now.

I understand a lot of things now. Some of which I don’t necessarily need to understand yet, but I do and that’s where I am. I’m no longer ashamed, but I understand shame. I’m no longer guilty, but I understand guilt. I’m no longer sad, insecure or afraid, but I understand all of those things. But, like I’ve already said, our God is a God of miracles. And because of Him, now I understand love. Steffany Gretzinger’s song “Pieces” gives a vivid description of real love. In a recent blog post by the person whom I fell for, he mentioned love is hard to describe. I agree, it’s incredibly hard to explain. I think that’s why I love this song so much. It captures real love and real intimacy.

“Unreserved, unrestrained, your love is wild, your love is wild for me.
It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed, your love is proud to be seen with me.
You don’t give your heart in pieces, You don’t hide yourself to tease us.
Uncontrolled, uncontained, Your love is fire burning bright for me.
It’s not just a spark, not just a flame, Your love is a light that all the world can see.
Your love’s not fractured, it’s not a troubled mind, it isn’t anxious, it’s not a restlessness kind.
Your love’s not passive, it’s never disengaged, it’s always present, it hangs on every word we say. Love keeps its promises, it keeps its word. It honors what’s sacred, ’cause it’s vows are good.
Your love’s not broken, not insecure, your love’s not selfish, your love is pure”

Those last two lines are what really got me. A friend showed me this song and I immediately started crying. What we did wasn’t out of love, because sex is sacred and it’s vows are good. But love isn’t broken, insecure or selfish. In fact, its pure. And He loves me with that kind of love. And He loves my lover with that kind of love. So we’re not broken anymore. We are made whole by Him. We have no need to be insecure because we’re loved with a love that is wild for us. And even though we acted in selfishness, thinking it was love, we are actually pure. Because our purity is not defined by the things we do or think, its defined only by Jesus. Only. No exceptions. And now we can love each other, our parents and friends, and anyone else we come to meet, with a love that is perfect. I can genuinely say that I love deeper and better than I ever have before. And I know He’ll continue to teach me how to love for the rest of my life.

Someone asked me if I would go back and change any point in my life. They were expecting me to say “The moment we made the decision to have sex” but I honestly wouldn’t. We went through a lot of heartache, desperation, and hurt. But out of it, God brought peace, real love, and pure joy. I wouldn’t change anything in my lifetime because this is my story. And now that I’ve been through it, I understand shame and I can help lead others to victory because He did that for me. I’m not proud of it, but I now know the truth that we are pure and our actions do not exclude us from anything. I’m extremely grateful for the people I have in my life.

I’m extremely grateful for the people I have in my life. I’m appreciative of the fact that they didn’t let this go as no big deal and helped us to learn who we are who God is. I’m in love with Him all the more, and everyone else all the more but only because of a miracle.

I really should end this now. 1,178 words. I’ll probably talk more about this later, though. Its a big subject. And I would’ve called it a heavy subject a few months ago. But I don’t see it as that anymore. I see it as a piece of our story. And because of His love that is a light, He turned it around for redemption. We are saved, we are pure, and we are more in love with life than ever before. Its true that its hard to talk about sometimes, but it doesn’t need to be. Because now its our testimony. Redemption and grace are incredibly beautiful and His love knows no bounds.

 

 

 

 

Dreaming Comes From God

Dreams, aspirations, desires, passions. They make us human. They are the very core of humanity. No other creature ever created has had an aspiration to be someone or be somewhere in the future. It is exclusive to humans and it comes from our likeness of God. It’s the cultivation of His massive creativity, extreme love and insane beauty. To dream is to be human and to be fulfilling your purpose. You were always meant to think and have ideas, plan and move forward, aspire and have vision.

Our Creator loves when you are pursuing your desires. Those things that bring you life, those things that fill you up and satisfy you but also leave you wanting more in a healthy way. Doing what you love will make you hunger for more of what He has to offer. He designed you that way on purpose. He meant it that way so that you’d never stop discovering Him and His kingdom which He is constantly and consistently giving you.

Last night in Girl’s Group, we began our discussion of dreams. Of course, I am super excited and can’t wait to watch all these beautiful people discover and learn all about the compelling love story between them and their Creator. Dreaming is one of the best ways to do that, I think. Because to find your passion, you have to ask yourself deep questions and that sets you on a course for finding Him.

Our leader, Rene, gave us “dream journals”and had us go outside to find a quiet place. We sat alone for fifteen minutes, writing all of our dreams down. Nothing was too small or insignificant, nothing too big or outrageous. I wrote down everything I could think of and didn’t even have time to finish. I wrote down the ideas I have to make something, the relationships I want to have, the things I want to learn about, the places I want to go, everything.

Y’all, God gives you the desires of your heart. He makes a way for you. In fact, He doesn’t just carve a path for you, He decorates it and makes it exciting and lets you see Him in all His glory as you walk through it. Pursuing what God put in you to love is one of His favorite gifts from you. Whether it is computer engineering, music, film making, writing, accounting, public speaking, literally anything, it doesn’t matter. Its there for you to take hold of and run with. It does matter to Him though. It means everything to Him.

When you pursue your love, you are pursuing Him. He is in every nook and cranny. He is the big picture. He is the orchestrator and producer, the author and finisher of your faith. And He deserves that you do what brings you joy and lets you love life and love Him. This is your love story and you are His bride. Its an epic tale of discovery and fascination. Let Him love you by giving you what you truly desire in your heart of hearts. He’s on your side and He stays with you, never fading. Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you because the Kingdom is yours and His heart is yours.

 

Confident At Last

A few months ago I was sitting cross legged on a large red rug in the front room of my house. The giant windows let in the colorful sunset through tree branches, leaving intricate shapes of light on my skin and the skin of the girls sitting around me. These girls and I had a lot in common. Not just the fact that we go to church together, that we’re all in high school and that we all love Jesus unimaginably. But also for the fact that we were all seeking. We were looking to understand who we are, why we’re here and how on earth our Creator could love us as much as He does.
We came from different backgrounds. Some of us grew up in church, some did not. Some of us had abusive past circumstances, some of us didn’t. Some of us understood our identity in Christ, some of us couldn’t. But one thing we all had in common was the desire to be confident. A few of us were able to be so and to live accordingly. In my insecure eyes, the ones who were able to be confident were the ones who were able to have it all together. They just “get it.”They may have problems and issues come up in their lives but they always dealt with it in grace and humility because they knew they could. But confidence was something I couldn’t have. I didn’t have the capacity to be confident. I didn’t believe I was worth having confidence. And I’m pretty sure I most of us have thought that, at one point in their life, to some extent.
I sit in the circle, listening to the words the girls thought of when they see me and the words God uses to describe me. We all took our turns in the middle, listening and writing down these words, even if we didn’t agree. As they began to name attributes they saw in me, writing was easy. I knew I was creative, I knew I was passionate…but then they began to name things I did not agree with. “…ravishing, precious, confident…” I neatly printed these words down on my paper but I dismissed them as mistakes. After my turn was done, our leader asked me, “Is there anything on your list you do not believe?”
“Confident. I’m not confident. God has told me Himself that I am confident but how could I be? How could He say that when I know that I’m not?” I replied.
“He’s calling it out in you because you can be. You have every reason to be, Sadie.”
I didn’t say anything after that. I wanted to believe I could be confident. But I didn’t and I was tired of the ‘fake it till you make it’ idea. It doesn’t usually work. Little did I know that my simple confession would send me on a journey throughout the next four months. It was a journey that felt like a wild goose chase until I learned to -you guessed it- rest in Him.
These past few months have been difficult. I had a lot of growing up to do. I still do. But I was afraid to at first. I was afraid to let go of all the lies I was gripping so tightly. It started as the worst summer I’ve had. I was like a little kid throwing a tantrum; lots of grudges, against myself and others, lots of crying, lots of resentment and anger, lots of feeling lost and hopeless. I screwed up and I thought that was my life. Thats it, I made a mistake that can’t be undone, therefor I’m broken.
Ha! Broken. I really thought that. Not that its funny. Many people are going through the same hurt and the same confusion that I went through. But its just so far from the truth that, now that I understand my reality, I can laugh at what I used to think. My reality is that I’m whole and my reality is that I’m confident AND (my favorite part) I can share my confidence! I can lead people to know they can be confident and that they should and that is so much fun, y’all.
Learning that confidence is not something to work for was the first thing God led me to. I thought that ’cause I had messed up something in my life, then I as a person was messed up. I thought “if I’m ever going to get back to where I’m supposed to be then I have to do everything right.” Where the heck I thought I was supposed to be, I don’t even know. It was as if there was this level of maturity I was reaching for and it seemed like every time I made a mistake, the level would get further away. Now I know that where I’m supposed to be is in His arms. He’s not looking for hard-workers. He’s not looking for over-achievers. He’s not looking for the ones who are trying their best to do what’s right. He’s looking for His children. He wants His children to hold and to love and to talk to and sing over. We are His heirs, His companions and His lovers. So now I know that confidence is attainable because its simply mine. Its mine for the fact that I am royalty; I am a daughter of the King of Kings.
Then He taught me how to be confident. By this point, I knew that I could be but I didn’t know how to get out of my old self-depreciating habits. I was journaling pretty frequently and He used that to speak to me many-a-time. He began to just remind me that I’m confident and give me truths about myself that I had refused to believe before. I learned not to argue and to just accept His word. Because His word is magnificent and always true and never failing. One day, I was talking to Him, I realized, “you know what, God? You’re pretty fricken awesome and I’m your daughter. I’ve been made in your image and likeness. I love you, you love me. Thats all I need.” Trust me, when you realize that He is all you need, the world becomes a heck of a lot more beautiful and His extravagant love becomes a heck of a lot more apparent.
After I understood that I was capable of confidence and really knew I was confident, He taught me how to share it. You can only share what belongs to you. You can preach and teach all you want, but it won’t be real until its real to you. When its real to you then there is no doubt that it may not be true, there’s no expectation to get to another point or “level” and there’s no goal to keep it there, as if you have to work at staying confident. When its real you know it in your core and it becomes a part of you. I am confident. I always had the capacity to be but I had been blinded by my own guilt. I was there in that pit of spiritual warfare, I know what its like to feel shame. Now I can lead others out of that because I understand their position and I know their longing for the truth. I can lead and remind and encourage those who feel hopeless. And now I am confident to do that because He did it for me.
I could keep going but this is already a 1,268 word post so I’ll save some for later. Let God tell you who you are because He is your only mediator.

 

“I Am” by David Bowden

Video

Y’all. This is amazing.

 

“…I Am the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep.
For before you were a spotted lamb, I Am.For I Am the Way before you could ever run away from my call.
I Am the Truth before you could ever walk away from my law.
I Am the Life before you could ever turn away from my cross at Golgotha’s skull.
So I beg you now to withdraw.
Withdraw from your sin for I Am your only temptation.
Withdraw from yourself for I Am making you a new creation.
Withdraw from your pride for I Am ruining your reputation.
Withdraw from your self-righteousness for I Am your only mediation.
Withdraw from your hopes and dreams for I Am your only expectation.
Withdraw from your life for I Am your crucifixion.
For before all time, I am all sufficient…”

Resting To Know Your Story

I used to hate routine. I hated repetition. I always craved spontaneity and newness. I constantly wanted to be on the move and trying something else. And I do think that there is an important side to that. I still hate complacency. I still love new ideas and redemption and freedom. I still love adventure. There is a healthy way to be always discovering and always in wonder of life. But I had to learn how to rest.
Resting was hard. It took a process of learning how. Actually, I’m still learning. To rest is to know that He’s got it.
He can handle it.
He won’t fail.
He won’t give up.
He doesn’t need my help to accomplish anything.
That was a big one for me. I always knew in my head that God was God. Of course He can do it. But I didn’t know it in my heart. I still tried to do my part. I wanted to do my job and move on to do the next job. Someone told my that I have a servant’s heart and that’s what I lived off of. I wanted to be constantly and consistently serving. Work, work, work. I wanted to live for Jesus, thinking that meant attaining something for Him. I had to do it all. And thats a dangerous rut to get stuck in.
Honey, please realize you don’t have to do it all. The sooner the better, ’cause when you do then you can savor life. You can’t savor life when you’re busy. Its impossible. Seriously, take time to look at the sky. Depending on the time of day you may see brilliant hues, or giant clouds, or a blinding sun, or billions of water droplets. Isn’t that beautiful? When you think about it, thats pretty crazy. Its creative, its magnificent, its a testimony to His goodness and power. But had you been in too much of a hurry to get somewhere, or to even step outside, you wouldn’t have noticed. You would have completely missed this insanely beautiful gift He is presenting you.
And its not just nature that you could be missing. You could be missing your own story. Stories are so important. Stories are what have held generations together. From stories wisdom and knowledge can be gleaned and sealed in your heart. A person’s story is their history, their future, their heart, their love, desires, dreams and hopes all wrapped up in one. Knowing your own story is crucial to understanding who you are, what is important to you and who is important to you.
There are thousands of tales and snippets of my story that I could share (and will share in this blog) that prove the majesty of God. My story is all about redemption and dreams and loving pursuit. And I’m just getting started 😉 But I wouldn’t have been able to tell you my story had I not learned to rest. I didn’t even stop to think that I had a story.
I was brought up a Christian, by a fairly normal family in America. I went to church, bible study, lead worship in various places, liked to read and was an artist. What kind of a story is that? I thought that was it.  That synopsis doesn’t even scratch the surface. My story is deeper and more intimate and personal. As is yours. Our God was creative enough to make this universe that has endless possibilities and infinite choices. Every story is ravishing and complex and intriguing because thats just how humans are. Thats how we are created to be. Yet, we tend to move to fast to know that about ourselves.
So what is rest? I talked a bit about this already and I’ll probably talk about it more in the future. But in short, rest is trusting God. Which is in no way boring or complacent. God is consistent, He is kind, He is generous and gracious. I could go on and on about the attributes of God but He is NOT predictable. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He lets us in on His thoughts and heart. But we will never fully understand them. Which is really a beautiful thing.
Trusting God is unimaginably fun. He’s so playful and creative. Yet He always stays the same. And He doesn’t need you to do it all. Enjoy life, have adventures, try new things, serve with all your heart. Thats exactly why He gave you this life. Enjoy Him. But don’t pressure yourself to try to attain or achieve anything for God. Thats just the traditions of men. He did not call you to do something that would hurt you. He is a good, good father.
Your story is intricate and deserves to be known. I highly suggest thinking about it and maybe even getting it down, whether in your journal, on a blog, in a notebook, or saying it out loud to a friend. Knowing your own testimony and how He fits into it brings so much peace and understanding into your life. So rest, trust Him to move, let go of the things that are hindering you from noticing how amazing He and this world is, and discover your story.

For Laughter, Spotify And The Flap Of A Hummingbird’s Wing

I was listening to “Have It All” by Bethel. It is a beautiful, simple song of confession and surrender. Its easy to listen to and the lyrics are well written. However I had never really listened to the lyrics. I never thought about them or let them sink into my heart. Until today, I was cleaning and put it on for background music. The first line started,

“You can have it all, Lord
Every part of my world
Take this life and breathe on
this heart that is now yours”

Then I heard God say loud and clear, “Sadie, do I have your all?” Then I realized that I don’t give Him my everything. I’m good at looking at my problems and my circumstances and saying, “God, I can’t do this. Hold my hand. Take my burden…” etc. But I never think to give Him the ‘good stuff’. I know how to give Him my issues and take rest, knowing He takes care of me. But why don’t I give Him my good things?
I realized I hadn’t given Him my relationships. My parents, my closest friends, the person I love, acquaintances…it never once occurred to me that I should give them to Him. I hadn’t given Him my passions. My passions, which He is so involved in, I was still holding for myself, feeling I need to be accountable and responsible for all my goals and visions. (On a side note: I do think its important to be accountable and responsible in your life. Giving it to God is not an excuse for complacency. Its an action of receiving strength from Him and letting Him lead you and love you)
   I need to give Him my little good things. Things like coffee in the morning, making someone laugh, going for a run, capturing that perfect shot, sunsets, busy city streets. To give Him my all really means all. He graciously takes my issues and burdens and throws them in the sea. But He wants to take my everything so that He can be my everything.
So what does that look like? Gratitude. Thankfulness. Awareness of how incredible He is. To spin off of my last post, to have childlike wonder. I mean, this is the God who created galaxies full of flaming balls of gas, musical scales, the rainbow, lightning, mountains and caves, complex nervous systems, and knee caps. And He wants so badly to be my everything. Do you understand that? He is desperate for you. He wants for you to give Him your all, so He can give you all of Him.
So I thank God for my parents, for Bethel music, for Spotify, for my close friends who listen to me and whom I listen to. I thank God for sushi, for fog in the mornings in the country, for happy tears. I thank God for the passions He put in me, for people, for neurology, for art, for beauty, for newness. I thank God for dreams and visions and plans and ideas. I thank God for mountains in all their grandeur, for the oceans in their vastness. I thank God for complexity in rain, and in thoughts, and in emotions, and in the flap of a hummingbird’s wing and in my beating heart. I thank God for the simplicity of loving someone, of wheat fields, of frequencies and of laughter. I could go on and on.
I recommend taking time out of your day to write down, say out loud, type, or whatever you need to do to get out the things you’re thankful for. As I’ve written in posts past, declaring is powerful. And being truly grateful means letting Him know. Being in relationship with Him is beautiful and breathtakingly wonderful. He wants your all so He can give you His all.