It hit me recently that being a Christian requires me daily to put my faith in God. Our faith doesn’t reach perfection the moment we believe. It requires renewal moment by moment.
Life seems so fragile lately. I wear exhaustion like skin. It seems to touch every fiber. So many times I’ve wanted to give up. My cries to God echo off the walls.
It’s times like these that it’s hard to trust, hard to have faith. To remember that He isn’t finished and that He delights to see the form He is molding me to be.
The more I talk to friends, the more it seems we’re all in a season of wait. Our circumstances are all different. Some are waiting in singleness when their hearts desire a spouse. Some are waiting in childlessness. Some waiting on job changes, while others are waiting on God to simply provide a job that was lost. But we’re all waiting. We’re all trying to remember and have faith that God will provide.
The Psalms have been a balm to me these last several weeks. The times that I’ve been at the bottom – that broken person on the cold floor – He’s poured salve on my weary frame. Just enough that I can hope, and trust at least one more day.
But may all who search for you
be filled with joy and gladness in you.
May those who love your salvation
repeatedly shout, “God is great!”
When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
Our kindred hearts are tied intimately together. We breath almost as if as one. These friendships – ties that bind us closer than a brother or sister.
Our hearts beat and we know the exhaustion, pain, and joy of another. We know deeper meanings and the words between the lines.
Whispers of love and hugs we only hope to one day redeem. These miles that separate seem little compared to the closeness in which God has knit us together.
Community evolved. I don’t fully understand it. Its fingers have held my heart when it’s been unable to even lift a broken gaze from a barren, cold floor. And I know from words spoken and those not, we all have felt those grips on our hearts and our hands hold us when we needed it the most.
Thank you for being part of my life. For your words of wisdom and the laughs that rumble in my chest. For the simple thoughts that when they arrive have a meaning far greater than infinity. For your encouragements.
My phone buzzes and I glance down to see her name and a lengthy text that fills the middle of the screen. A thank you and a hope to see you soon and a how can I pray for you?
My mind races over the multitude of things as I re-lock my phone without responding. There’s this and there’s that, I think as I slowly strap on my mask. I could give her pat answers and I kind of just want to. It’s easier to hide here in this little room I’ve created where admittance is allowed only by invitation and a secret handshake.
I add bricks and distance because I don’t want to have to explain my thoughts and actions. I don’t want to divulge the roads I’m walking that lead me to this need for prayer or that one – no matter how difficult and at times painful and confusing these roads are. Roads that aren’t walked because of sin but just the way life seems to play itself out.
So I wait, hold in my fragile hands prayers of all shapes and colors. Unsure how to respond to this person I call friend. It isn’t that I don’t trust her, but more fear because I’m not even sure myself how to pray.
These words have echoed in my mind over and over and over the last several days as I struggle to write anything.
Half written posts smolder like coals in my drafts folder. Neither catching aflame nor dying out; and I wrestle on if they are even meant for human consumption.
This is a hard thing, this not having words. I feel more as if my heart is mute – it has things to say but isn’t permitted.
[photo by Jenny Rain]
Some days I’m overwhelmed by Grace. Caught up in the avalanche of it. Some days grace is like a slow spring day sprinkling of rain. It’s beads trace my cheeks as I gaze into the sky.
Have you ever stopped to consider the grace that permits us to pray? A grace that torn asunder the separation that stood between man and a Holy God? No longer are we segregated by linens. We have direct relationship with God, Jesus our Holy High Priest.
Today, a friend (Russ) is on a flight to the Horn of Africa for the next week & a half, where he will minister in a highly Muslim populated area. While there he’ll be assisting a partner of the Austin Stone who currently serves through medical assistance, fitness, and women’s development. As you may know, this area of Africa holds a very special place in Russ & Elora’s heart as they are in the process of adopting from this region.
His wife, Elora, was also supposed to go on the trip, but due to a Gall Bladder infection had surgery to have it removed this past Tuesday afternoon.
I am asking that you would pray for Russ and the rest of the workers over the next couple weeks. Pray for safety, peace, encouragement, health, and open hearts both for the team serving as well as the people they are ministering to. Please also pray for Elora as she heals, that the healing would be quick and without any problems.
Thank you so much!
And now I have test results that prove it.
This past weekend I took a in-depth personality test. A 200+ questionnaire that measured my personality, my strengths, my brain hemisphere function. And with a great deal of accuracy my life was laid out in color pictures and graphs.
The results? My Meyers-Briggs says I’m an INFP (Introverted/iNtuition/Feeling/Perceiving). I’ve taken the Meyers-Briggs test before and have been categorized an INFJ. I think that at any given time [considering my mood, the situation, etc] I could be either. However, as I said there was a great deal of accuracy in the results. I’m right brain dominant, learn easiest by doing.
I’m in a personality group that makes up only 2% of the general population (Shawn who is an INTJ is in only 1%). According to their stats, I’m less extroverted than the general INFP population – 5% (me) compared to 25% (general INFP’s). I’m also heavier in feeling than the general INFP population (74% compared to 66%).
I share this with you not to bore you with numbers you don’t care about but because I find it interesting. Things in my personality that I’d see glimmer, I now see on “paper” and the link forms of “oh, that’s why I spend my drive home day dreaming” or “oh, that’s why I get nervous and want to get sick when I’m forced to meet new people”.
God wrote all of this into my DNA. From being comfortable in small, intimate groups to day dreaming.
I’ve noticed myself start to analyze my thoughts and actions now in light of these results. I wonder at other people’s personalities and wish I had this insight to them.
One of the interesting things is in the results it gives you names of people that fall into your personality group. I think I’m in some good company with people like J.R.R. Tolkien, Helen Keller, King David, the Apostles Luke & John, and Mary the mother of Jesus.
It also gives fictional characters. Some of these make me laugh and smile with characters like E.T., Calvin from the Calvin & Hobbs cartoon strip, Luke Skywalker, and Fox Mulder from X-Files.
I’d recommend this test. And if you’re married I recommend both you and your spouse taking it. For me understanding the nitty-gritty of how Shawn is wired helps me in day-to-day interactions with him. I think it’s worth the $30 in all honesty.
The one who always trusts, who’s solely surrendered to God with allegiance to no idols. Who never fears, who always hopes. Who fights the injustices of the world.
Not the person I am – a wanderer with a likelihood to fear. Who loses hope, placing my passions in things other than God. A whore to cheap things.
But I’m learning that by His grace He transforms my life to be like the Christian I want to be.
Because of His grace I see my sin. If not for His grace He’d allow me to sit in my sin. Instead He shows it to me. He convicts me, and in the same breath of my repentance His grace pours down upon me.
Because of His grace I can become more like Him.
Do you remember 20 years ago? No one had cell phones. Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace weren’t even figments of a person’s imagination. 20 years ago the internet was fairly new to the mainstream. I got my first cell phone in 1997. A heavy piece of Motorola technology. My minute charges varied by where I called in the city. All I could do was take & place phone calls.
Today in the not quite yet “George Jetson” era of 2011 my life, like yours, is wrapped up in technology. Nearly everything I do from the moment the morning alarm goes off on my cell to the last check of Twitter and/or Instamgram is inundated with some form of technology.
Technology isn’t a bad thing and is of course extremely useful, but there are times we just need to unplug ourselves lest we be led to destruction by it.
March 4 – 5th, is Nat’l Day of Unplugging. 24 hours to remove yourself from technology and invest yourself in your family, your friends, yourself. The Nat’l Day of Unplugging was started by a Jewish organization called Sabbath Manifesto. They took the commandment of God and applied it to technology.
This year Shawn and I will be participating. Our cells will be on silent (used only in the case of an emergency). Tweets will be untweeted. Our laptops & computer will remain off.
If you’re interested in participating and wondering what you could possibly do for 24 hours without Twitter or text messaging check out this article.
Also let me know if you’ll be unplugging also. Before Friday at sundown of course. 😉
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.