reflections on rest

Father, I come to You today broken. Broken and shattered in my identity of who I thought I was.

Most times, I do not see the ways Your grace has carried me through and the abundance of mercies that are too great for my mind to fathom.

I cannot to understand the goodness that you have provided. You have given me an a portion too large for me to take of; i will praise your name as long as i have breath in my lungs.

You have given me the breath in my lungs. You have given me peace in my heart. You have given me glimpses of your goodness.

Then, why? Why do I forget your promises? Why do i forget how good it is to gaze upon your beauty in silence? Why do I never understand that your rest is essential for me?

You tell me to stop. You tell me to slow down. Over and over again.

I am on treadmill, moving faster and faster, pushing myself so I will finish what I started on my own terms and my own time and my own strength. But I am not moving anywhere. I do not see the masses infront of me or behind me. I do not allow myself to rest in Your Word which will give me strength. I am not seeing Your glory transcend the world around me.

I look at others’ lives and see how blessed they are. How blessed You have made them and how much grace You have given. And I become jealous of how You were present in their lives and how smart they are and how spiritual and beautiful and fit and talented they are.

And then I stop. And I feel ashamed. Ashamed because You have blessed me beyond measure. You have surpassed my dreams and I am living the dream and the will you have for me. And I should do nothing but rejoice. REJOICE.

Jesus, wash over me with shalom. Someone will always be better than me. Your measuring stick of grace and goodness is not the same.

You are perfect and perfect in Your love and wisdom. Never has there been a time in which I have lacked a thing. Not once have I been hungry or thirsty or without love or without home. You have been releentless in love , overbounding in mercy and patient with my sin. You keep perusing me, over and over again more than I deserve. And although I mess up- one thousand times over, You give me the chance to be good over and over again.

Even when I am cold, You choose to melt my heart. So now, teach me. I am foolish for not trusting you. Only spending time with you will satisy this hunger and this thirst and this insatiability and unsatisfaction. Teach me Lord and grant me patience and hunger to extend my hand out toward you. For I know You will hold me.

 

 

re: brokenness

Jesus, how lucky Peter was to have only denied Your name 3 times. The earth should swallow me up because I have disappointed You again and again. I deny Your goodness in my life, and take all Your grace as mine own wisdom and insight. I claim my broken life as mine own, although there is really nothing to claim. My redemption is shallow, and I forget Your goodness. I sin again, again, and again.

Jesus, I cannot pray today. I haven’t been able to pray lately because life has just been so overwhelming. I have become an tangle of emotions and have become so distraught that I just can’t feel anymore.

Jesus, I failed today. My friend came to me, in faith, that I would help her. But I didn’t. I didn’t have time, or energy, or money to help her. And so I justified my own self service, and refused to feed the hungry when I am full.

How can I love my enemies when I cannot love my friends and family? How can I love anybody one else, though I long for it, when I cannot love myself? I fail to love well. I am fickle in my passions and relationships, especially with You.

What have I done to end up in this misery? I know that is only Your power alone that I can thrive on this earth, or even survive. You have taught me that it is impossible to do this on my own and that your power is made perfect in my weakness.

So why must I learn, over and over again, the same lesson? I cannot do this on my own. I cannot melt my calloused heart or open my clenched hands up to You. I cannot lay my head down or accept your easy burden. It would be so much easier I leaned on Your strength and Your rod.

Jesus, you tell me to go the extra mile to love others. Jesus, teach me what that extra mile is. When did I did helping others become a chore? When did I learn to love like you loved only when it is convenient? When did i become heartless and conceited, self serving and self centered?

I despise myself. I weep because i am more broken than I thought. My pride is higher than I thought and I am broken beyond imagination. I never think it can get worse, but it does. Lord, why do I fall? Why cannot I be good?

 

There is a way to be good again.

There is a way to be good again.

There is a way to be good again.

 

The words reverberate through my bones, but I do not believe their truth. They remain true because you remain my true, despite my shifting soul and heart. You Father are steadfast when I am not. I think You are human and forget that You are the Lord of all creation. You will not fail as everyone else does and I fail others.

It is You that gives me the chance to be good over and over again, and like a waterfall your goodness washes over me and drenches me so that I am saturated and brimming with goodness. You love me and You stitch me back together. And every time you pick up the needle, I flinch and I know that You use pain as part of Your plan to strengthen and deepen me.

And my cup runs over. One thousand times over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall live in the house of the Lord forever.

re: time

I am never content in this time and space quantum.

I want to be a child again. I want to be joyful for no reason at all, and curious for no reason other than curiosity itself and have time to be me and to be free. I want someone to take responsibility for me when I hurt myself.

I want to be an adult. I am impatient to start my own family. I crave the freedom of deciding where to live   and the opportunity to create a life that is so unique to me that it could be nobody’s but mine own.

I’m not sure if I want to grow up.

I am caught between two worlds. I long to be in a relationship, to be known in an intimate way, but I appreciate the freedom of singleness. I want to independent, but I need advice and support. I will always be dependent, but I want freedom to explore the world. I make decisions about my future, but I need validity that they are the right ones.

I want to change who I am. I have ideals and aspirations of the person I should be and the person who is me admist the lies of the world. Is my identity dependent on my conception of time? In heaven will I be the truest of myself? Am I a dot on a line graph, moving from point A to point B, morphing into someone I will barely recognize? Or am I a wave, a multifacted identity constast, but constnatly changing?

I finally figure things out, but it seems that I am always a bit too late. I find friends, but they drift and come. No one stays, with or for me. I understand my family, but then I move away. I discover that I love someone, but they move on. He likes me, but there’s someone else in my life. I figure out the truth, but it’s too late.

Who am I? Will I ever be me, in this earth, in this body? What is man without a body? Who did God create me to be, and is it my body, heart, soul or mind that matters in the end?

Can I be happy in the present? Can I stop striving for the future and lamenting the past? I continually attempt to overcome my weaknesses because of shame in the past. I live in the past, and the past drives my striving for the future. But I don’t live. I never live. I have lived and will live. I am confined by the instant of the moment, and live in the dreams of others and the dreams of the past, but I don’t live present.

I want to breathe dreams like air. I want to drink the salubrity of the sky. I want to hear the music of the spheres.

Lord, teach me how to live.

re: identity

I am ten different people. I am unsure of which is the right me, because, even when I’m alone, I’m not sure if the right me is the one analyzing me, or the right one is the one when I’m with friends, or when I’m with my family, or when I’m with my professors or when I’m among strangers, yet alone in a crowd.

Who is the right me? Who is the real me?

I am decidedly short. It is an univeral truth that I am short, dark skinned, wear black, thick-rimmed glasses and have thick curly hair.

But am I quiet? I am the loudest in my family and can be the loudest among some friends. In other groups, I do not say a word. I have so much to say to the ones I love, but nothing at all to say to some.

I am so broken in many ways, but in other ways I am strong and relentless. Sometimes I fall asleep in movies because I am so bored with the alternate reality. Sometimes I want to curl up in a ball under my covers, but most times I want to go on adventures around the world. I hate small talk with passion, and am extremely awkward and uncomfortable in social situations, but I ace interviews and daily have deep coversations about God and philosophy with my friends. I like to think and do things that matter.

I love to dream and think. I love coffee and chai and coffeeshops. I love hiking and going on adventures and driving in the car and having coversations about life. I love worshipping God. I love medicine and public health and the fact that I can use biochemistry to heal living, breathing people. I love reading books about the messiness of human relationships and the beauty of life. I love the sun and the mountains. I love music and the way I feel it reverberating it throughout me. I love to travel and be lost and be completely free, as if I am all alone and have no responsibilities.

But I am not good at loving these things. I am not good at anything, particularily. I am passionate, but that passion is developing. I do not have a defining characterstic or hobby that makes me, me. The person whom my family knows is not the girl my friends know; the girl that strangers meet is the not the girl who sings so passionately at Church on Sunday mornings.

I cannot help that I am a hypocrite, through and through. For I do not know who I am, for I am all of these things. I am bipolar and confused. I love and hate the same things at the same time. Sometimes I know exactly what I want and I am decidely impulsive and that is a good thing, but other times, I examine every factor and I do not know what is best for me. I am not sure if I feel or analyze and which is better.

I know that I am a Christian. I know that I am a stupid sheep in need of her Shepherd, but also a princess in the Kingdom of the Most High. I know that I am a target of demons and protected by angels. I know that I am a broken, beautiful masterpiece, formed and breathed into by God. I know that Satan tempts me, but God loves me, although sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.

Maybe I will never figure it out. At least on this earth, I will always be striving towards perfection­– the perfection of Christ and of His power made perfect in our weakness and that asymptope of the version of me who lives in wholeness and shalom.