Monday, August 31, 2009
I had a talk with my brother a few weeks ago about the future. New changes are ahead for both of us, and he described this image that I cannot get out of my head. Here it is thought through, hope you enjoy it brother.
I stand on the precipice of all that is to come.
I feel the winds howling, and running right through my body, sending chills to my bones.
I see the clouds approaching, they are rolling in like the tide.
I smell the rain that lingers from afar.
I feel the rush of adrenaline at the edge of this cliff.
I can't move forward, but I am captivated and cannot go back.
I do not know what is coming, but I see the danger, the excitement, the joy, the hope, the tears, the heart ache, the fear, and the all consuming glory.
I long for the storm; for the rains to beat down against my body.
I long for the purpose and the direction in which it travels.
The danger enthralls me, and brings me closer to the end of the jagged limestone monument, built in pride, that stands against every storm.
I want to leave the ground and take flight into the eye of the madness, which is the calm of the storm.
I want to defy the expectations of this world, and go beyond what any ordinary man can dream.
You are drawing me closer......closer......closer.......closer..........and closer.
It cannot end, I will stand in this state of euphoria, and wait for what is coming next.
I will wait for the storm.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I said I needed tangible encouragement, and I got it today. It came in the most unexpected form. For special music, a group of blind people came in from a blind ministry. One guy sang, and a girl played the piano. The song made me cry, and the speech before the song made me cry more. He sang "Give Thanks," which, I normally find a cheesy kind of song, but it came to life for me today. Before the song, he said that sometimes he feels sad about his weaknesses (aka-blindness), lack of family, and money, but he remembers what Christ did on the cross. When he remembers this, he is thankful. It was like once again, the Lord was reminding me to be thankful in all situations. When he sang, "Let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich, because of what the Lord has done." you could see that he really meant it. Lots of people were crying, and I suddenly felt as if my situation is not so bad. It is something I will struggle through, but I will overcome it, because He makes the weak strong. Our God, is the strength of the feeble English teachers, such as myself. I have so much, and am so blessed. Today, I am thankful, and I hope this continues until I leave.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I am at the three week marker. Three more weeks, and all the drama, joy, and tears will be over. It's been a hard week to say the least. Too many things have happened, I have wanted to pick up and leave multiple times. It feels like someone wants to steal my joy and not let me leave well. Matter of fact, I am sure that someone wants to ruin it for me. The past four weeks have been so good, but I know that these last three will be a battle. My co-worker, Chloe, is gone now. Her last day was Wednesday, and that statement in itself is part of my controversial week. Work is not the same without her. I miss her bubbly smile and enthusiasm. We would sympathize with each other through these work dilemmas, but now I just have Andrew. I love Andrew, but he is passive and does not like to vent or have someone vent to him. He will only break when the pressure is on, and it is no longer bearable. I, on the other hand, feel that it is healthy to express yourself at all times, maybe more than I really should. At the end of the day, I am thankful that he is still here with me. All I know is that the Trinity will have to be taking lots of action in my life for the next three weeks. I am seeing old trials come up again, and it is like a big re-test. It's almost as if someone is giving me a second chance. Some of these tests were handled well the previous times, and some not so well. Pray for me and my upcoming trials, I know there will be plenty at hand this week alone. On Monday, I teach from 2pm-9pm with one 45minute break around 3:30pm., but no dinner break. I also will have completely new students. It is sad to me that I have to leave soon and I am now teaching different kids that I do not know. I cannot spend my last days with my kids that I have had for 11 months. It feels kind of stupid to walk in on Monday and say, "Hi, I'm Julia, I leave in three weeks, so enjoy our short time together!" These are only a few of the things that compiled to make the ugly monster that we will call "last week". I will end this post by saying that I am not excited about the next three weeks, God will have to give me visible encouragement soon. I will update more later, and let you all know how the rest of it is all panning out.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
In my pursuit to be a responsible adult, there are some days where I feel more like a teenager than an adult. It is like a violent wind is pushing me back from all the steps forward that I have taken this year. Will I ever get better at being a disciplined person? I am doing a salsa dance with responsibility. Two steps forward, and one step back, two steps forward, and one step back. Perhaps, eventually I will make some more head way, but for now, I see no great progress. I am just dancing in the same spot with a few spins around it. Will this dance with responsibility ever get easier, or will I just have to suck it up and keep dancing for the rest of my life? If that is the case, I think I should have picked different shoes, these heels are killing me.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
"For God is not a God of disorder but of peace."
-I Cor. 14:33
You know those moments in your life where everything feels like a swirling vortex of never-ending madness? The moments that leave you curled up in the fetal position on your bed or on the floor, praying for the darkness to pass, and all the while wondering how you ever got to this place. Nothing seems to be clear, everything is quite ambiguous and part of you is lost. It feels like your soul has a missing limb. You know it is there somewhere, but you just can't seem to find it. Maybe it is numb and waiting for the circulation of life to return to it, or maybe it is gone. I only dare to dive into this dark place with you all to address an issue that has been haunting me for the past three or four months. It came a bit before "Wrapping It Up," it was unexpected, and hard to etch its character with my words, but I will try my best. This visitor will earn the name of "Confusion." I have been fighting a daily battle with confusion in my heart since I started reading a certain book. I had to stop part of the way through, because parts of it were very real to me, and evil I should say. That is when this wretched visitor took up residence. It slowly, but surely oozed its way into my box that I call home. Around this time, some of my church friends began to approach me and speak to me about things like gifts of the Spirit aka-speaking in tongues. My mind began to launch into this cataclysmic spiral, I was questioning all that I knew about this topic. After research, and discussion with others, I came to a conclusion, but "Confusion" did not go away. It was so subtle and slimy that I did not even know it was there. My heart never realized something was wrong, until my eyes saw the reality that most of my emotions were dead. I am not saying that emotions are the ultimate in this life, we walk by faith and not sight, but I am normally such a highly emotional person, that it scared me. Now, let me introduce you to "Confusion's" friend, "Fear." "Fear" and "Confusion" are old school pals, they ran in the same gang and still have not grown out of the habit of making people's lives miserable. When "Fear" entered the picture, I was listening to many podcasts. These podcasts would scare the hell out of me. They were about things like false prophets, people who pretend to be believers and are not, and my personal favorite "A Call to Weep." I know that I have an authentic relationship with the Lord, and that I can approach His throne with confidence, but I also know what happens to some people over time. I know that we have all witnessed watching a person who was walking with the Lord, or whom we thought was a strong believer go drastically in the other direction. I began to fear that this would be me. James 1 speaks of a man who looks in a mirror and then forgets his reflection. It says that if we hear the Word and don't do what we hear, we are like that man. "Fear" had me paralyzed for a few weeks, because I knew that I do not always do what I hear. I know that there are times when I go straight in the other direction. During these podcasts, that I used to find as an encouragement, I would cry and lay on my bed in a little ball. Afterwards, I would go to work, not have any energy, and be disappointed with myself. For about a month, I thought this was normal and okay. After seeing affect it was having on me physically and at work, I stopped listening to them. In these times, where so many lies were being spoken to me, God was always whispering the truth. He started with, "you will never be enough." The next week it was, "it is okay, I don't expect you to be perfect." These words over and over again, until I finally decided to believe them.
In our Biblestudy that we are doing with our church right now, there has been one verse that has moved my heart. It has brought this whole fiasco to light. It is the one I started the post with, I Corinthians 14:33 "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace." When I saw this verse, I saw my visitors for the first time. I have promptly kicked them since then, and hope they never return. This is a truth that I want etched on my heart in these times. There is so much uncertainty about what I am going to do with my life or where the Lord even wants me to be. Holding this verse firmly in my heart, and my mind, I will venture into the next chapter. All I can hope for now is normal emotions for a person who is leaving a place they have to grown to love through many battles, and that there will be no further unexpected visitors apart from God's doing. On another note, I do believe that in some of these times I was under attack, it happens, I Peter 5:8-9 says so, "8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings." Please pray for me in this last month. The only thing I know is that he probably attacks those who can do great things or have great things in store for them, and honestly, that makes me excited. Let's see what the Lord does. I invite you to watch and wait with me. In light of all this, I have switched to something a little stronger to take off the edge, a nice cup of coffee. Until next time, stay grounded firmly in the truth and have a cup of coffee for me.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Do I hear You?
What are You saying?
Maybe I am not the best listener.
Maybe You are silent.
Maybe You are whispering.
In the still small moments of silence and serenity Your presence abounds.
That is enough for today, knowing that You are here with me.
Being enveloped in Your peace, even if I am not hearing anything.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
39 more days...I have a plane ticket, it is booked for September 21st, 1:10pm. Tomorrow, I go out and say bye to my friend Yanin. Two weeks after that, I get to say bye to one of my co-workers, Chloe. I feel like I am lacking the words I need in these last few days left. It's like a well coming up dry and empty. I feel so much, but the Lord is giving me perfect peace. These past two weeks have been relatively easy because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I guess this just another cup of tea I am having with Wrapping It Up. The flavor on this occasion is green tea. When you make it right, it tastes great and refreshing, but leave the tea bag in too long and it is bitter/nasty. For example, these are refreshing days. At work, when the kids act up, I am quite calm, and actually can relate to them better now. Maybe it's because I feel like there is nothing else that they can throw at me. They can say what they want, and do what they want, but in about 5 weeks, they will be someone else's responsibility. I am being blessed with a disposition to love most of my classes at deeper level than I normally would. There are still a few classes that I will NOT be sad to get away from, but I love the rest of them. I find myself wanting to just hang out and play games with them, and get to know them more before I go. I have resisted, and stuck to drilling the complex English language into their tiny heads. My greatest desire as this time with them winds down, is that they would feel loved in my class. That they would see a living example of the gospel. Looking back over the past 11 months, I know that there are times that I have not displayed the love of Jesus to those kids. My heart hopes that the times when I did will overshadow them. I hope they come to understand that they are precious in God's sight, even when the culture and their own family tells them they are not. These are my thoughts as of late. Just hoping that this tea bag does not sit too long and turn sour before I go.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Following the lines on my hands, looking at the delicately crafted appendage and pondering its Artist. Crafted with great care, no detail over looked. It was all quite deliberate and unique, not the same as His other many masterpieces, but equally loved. It's not just skin deep, there is more going on underneath than you can imagine. Though man explores every facet of the life pumping in my body, they miss so much. In all the bundled nerve endings, veins, micro organisms, and organs that create the most magnanimous maze-I am still a vast expanse that you cannot exhaust. Beyond the physical, He created a canvas that is intangible. A canvas that runs like a rampaging river, changing colors with the setting sun, and bursting with exuberance in it's purpose. The Artist has not stopped creating, molding, and making me into everything that He has ever dreamed for me to be. He fashioned me in His image, bestowed me with every curl on my brunette head, measured out my height, and blessed my vocal chords. The quirks and rough edges are not always valuable to the watchers; but it is not for the watchers in the gallery, I have one critic. I have an audience of One that I live and breath for, my Artist. Fixing my eyes on Him and awakening to a new life the surpasses the walls of this gallery. A moving, living, breathing, free work of art in process.