Wednesday, July 16, 2014

my thoughts nicely put

I just wrote something down that seemed so natural.

I answered a question in my Bible study book with this:

"More of seeing Jesus - not playing it safe in church and nice things."

The question that preceded this was, "Spend some time alone with the Lord, and pray about your schedule. What parts of your life and schedule are working and what things need to change?"

I was basically answering the whole "what things need to change part." Looking back at my answer, it may seem that I drifted off and didn't even answer the question. I actually answered it in a way that I answer most people's questions. And sometimes that is confusing.


"More of seeing Jesus."
This is what is most important to me right now. It used to be important, then it became less important, and now I'm here again. I'm realizing this is why I love Jesus. I love that he doesn't condemn me for being here. I just wanted to answer this question in a way that really depicts what I think. 

I often feel like I go to church and that's where we're all supposed to feel safe and see Jesus. I get that. I really do, for the most part. If I hadn't grown up in church, I'd probably hold tightly to that. But, I have grown up in church and that's not my story. And that's okay. 

In this moment I'm feeling passionate. It's like I'm feeling the way Jesus planned. Weird. He knows that I thrive off of seeing things in an alternative a way that I'm not used to. I'm also very skeptical of things. Especially when it comes to church. I thought I could brush that off in the past year, but that's not what has happened. I'm still skeptical. When I know that others are skeptical it's almost like they're speaking my language. It's like we're all challenging things and how they could be. I still like that.

Back to my answer...the other half, finding comfort in nice things. 
I understand that Jesus is holy. He is pure. He never sinned. He will always be this way. 
We are not all of those things on our own. He does that in us. I get that.


The nice things I'm speaking of that seem somehow close to Jesus... having nice things. Having clean things. 
Is that closer to Jesus? This may not even make sense after I type it, but I hope it does. It just seems that in our churches, if we make things look nice and make sure they are clean and new...will that bring someone closer to Jesus? I mean, maybe it will. I can't say it couldn't. Sometimes I wonder, though. Christianity seems like the way to go if you want the "clean life." If you want to get rid of all the crap. 

This is true in that Jesus comes in and is with you in all this crap. The crap is still there, but he makes it better. He does. I've experienced it. Yet, you don't have to be completely be cleaned up and be nice and  current for Jesus to enter in to your life.

I think a lot of us know that. I'd like to think so, anyway. I just think that's important to reiterate. I have to remind myself that it's not all about that. I could be in a pile of mud (you can take this figuratively or literally at this point) with the gross feeling of just being dirty. That doesn't mean that I'm not loved. Just because I'm unsure of how I'll get out of that deep mud pit doesn't mean there isn't a way. Hope that wasn't too cliche. 

I love that too. Jesus isn't just in the nice things. He is in the poop of life. Why would he leave us in that? Yeah, we can choose not to see him. But we can also be reminded that he is there. We get to make those decisions, to at least recognize that Jesus is there. He's got you from there. He will every time.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Oh, the way words change things for a person.
They can be words of beauty, encouragement, love.


words soaked with hate.

All these words strung together that we get to choose from. We get to tie these words together ourselves, fabricating something that brings life or death.

___________________________     _______       ______________     ___________    ____________

I've worked with teens on several occasions. I'm now a small group leader at my church. I've gotten the chance to meet these humans and see where they are in life, what they like to do, what they think about school. I've gotten a glimpse into their world…their world that seems so brutal to many because of the way that they are treated…not necessarily by their peers, but by their family as well.

I have always been surrounded by people who love me and who are encouraging.

This isn't true for some of the teens in youth group. Some of these kids struggle hardcore, and can only do so much because they are limited by their age. They can't just move out and live on their own. Some just have to wait.

Some of these kids stay strong because they know there are people who do love them,
When her grandma tells her that she's worthless and that she doesn't matter, she doesn't know what to do. She's ready to move out in a heartbeat. Her youth seems like a cage, even though she would willingly enjoy it if things were different, if someone was telling her that she is loved and cared for. Instead, she's reminded everyday of how incapable she is, how she doesn't matter, and how she is worthless.

Just what a person dreams of hearing.

I hate that. I hate that those words exist. Her grandmother can tear her down so easily. She gets the opportunity to make her feel like she's nothing. She chooses to pick out the words that kill and destroy.

Thankfully, this young woman knows that she is loved and accepted by others. She knows that her grandmother does not make her life better. She knows the unhealthiness of it all. She's standing strong. She's encouraged by other kids in the youth group and adult leaders. She is truly blessed. I want to pray for her and I will pray for her.

This isn't a new story, I know. But it's still happening. It will always happen. I'm just so thankful that the hate isn't all there is in this world. I'm so grateful that this girl is surrounded by others outside of her home that will be there, reassuring her that she is so much more than she will ever know. She is important always, not just sometimes. She matters.