fresh air


It’s been a pretty raw time since graduation. ‘Raw” is a good word.

While “raw” can be bad, it can also be good. “Raw” grace is grace without any fuss or insincerity. It is simply beauty. A breath of fresh air.

Fresh air. That’s what my soul needs…needs a good drought of. air. You know that feeling when you are cooped up in a small space for while (like hiding in confined area during the game “sardines” with friends as a child)? The air is warm…almost comforting and slightly sleepy. Like, hiding under a bed during hide and seek, where you think to yourself, “why don’t I sleep down here more often?”

And yet, after a while, your bones start to ache from being cramped against the walls of the closet as your knees are in your face, or your head or hips gets tired of not being able to turn easily. You want to turn over, but can’t. You aren’t exactly stuck, but you aren’t free either to move around.

Sometimes situations feel stuck. Some of my situations right now feel stuck. Not moving forward, not moving backward. It’s not stagnant, but it isn’t moving and making ripples either. At least it feels that way.

But more than that, I’m finding, rather honestly, that insecurity caused by Satan’s lies causes more stagnation than anything. My pastor Pete Helland said two Sundays ago that unforgiveness can cause paralysis. Now, in context, He was speaking of the paralytic who (in the Gospel of Mark chapter 2) was lowered through the roof by his friends. This man’s body needed healing (was unable to move rightly), but Jesus knew that there was a different problem deeper. He healed his sin first.

verse 5 “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,”

They wondered if Jesus really could forgive sin. Pastor Pete said we must accept God’s forgiveness, and when we don’t believe we are forgiven, we become paralyzd. We focus on self, we are incapable of focusing on God and on others because we only see our sin.

Maybe insecurity lies deep and dormant among those places where we truely haven’t accepted God’s grace.

As Dan and I talked on skype tonight, I cried. (He, as those who know him will surely understand and attest to be true, is a great listener).  So many insecurities come forth in me when I realize my fears. Do I really believe that God is with me? Do I really believe that He loves me without condition? Will I really bank my life on His word? What I need is fresh air. Real oxygen. My lungs don’t need more carbon-dioxide inhaled while enclosed tightly in the space my fears have created for me.  The continually fear-driven life that is which is afraid of messing things up, having things or people hurt me by going astray because I didn’t control them, loosing people (and thereby, being alone), and basically…

trusting in myself to make everything ok.

Everything isn’t ok.

It isn’t ok without Jesus.

The world is stained up by sin, marred and wounded by the deep fall into doubt of God, doubt of others, doubting that there ever was a time where God’s glory reigned in beauty before human eyes.

He’s reigning now, but I don’t see it while living under the bed breathing shallowly the fear and guilt and shame lies that Satan slowly feeds me. Acknowleging that it isn’t supposed to be this way is hard. It’s much easier to accept ugly stained world as the norm instead of realizing that their is a yearning for the second garden. It’s much easier to worship pictures of glory that I think I can control than to surrender to living glory-bound, worshiping the giver of good things instead of the gift, Jesus.

It’s easier to believe in lies of my identity (Satan’s repeated, and often believeable thread of fiction that says I’m ugly, unwanted, unredeemable, uncared for, un-pusued, forgotten, lost, stuck, friendess, loveless, hated, messed-up, always messing up…woman

Intead of the harder, more solid, more-like-granite-instead-of-sandstone truth that though I once was lost, NOW, I AM FOUND. I once was blind, BUT NOW I SEE.

Dan reminded me today that if it’s God’s plan, I can’t mess it up. God’s plans can’t be thwarted. What pride in me says that somewhere, somehow, God’s grace wasn’t big enough to cover my sin?  That He really does know all of me, and loves deeper than the deepest ocean, wider than seas stretched wide, or deserts long and “endless”.

“If you don’t get this right, if you’re not perfect, you’re going to loose this.” Gets replaced by:

“Accept my love, stop striving to be blessed, realize your forgiveness, be free from condemnation, drink deep of the fresh air of unrequited love.”

God’s love will not be silent. The created earth serenades with the song he’s bee singing as the earth moves in orbit (without any of our help). 

I’m so glad. So grace-filled. I pray for the endurance to accept it when I don’t understand it, and for hope when it seems long and disappointing in its coming.

What happened to the heart all-confident. I stop breathing in fears long enough to meditate on this: where was there any hope in throwing a pity-party? Also, where is there any fun in treading dreadingly over decisions to be made regarding jobs instead of getting excited over their coming, excited how God will move, how God will change me, change us, redeem it all?

Am I confident in His redeeming?

There is fresh, truth-confidence, fresh air. Let’s breath it in.

(8 months is one of many pictures of redemption) ❤

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