Trust Him With The Pen

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It was a Friday morning.  I had already been to the grocery store and back, and the last of the items was tucked away in the refrigerator.  As I zipped my coat, ready to take on the final day of the workweek, my phone buzzed against the countertop.  Sliding my finger across the screen, I opened a text from my mom.  My eyes burned as I read the news.  I had felt so nonchalant just moments before, but now I walked out to my car with blurred vision and a heavy heart.

My smart, talented brother didn’t get into his dream school.  I had rooted so hard for him, believing it was possible.  Would they really pass up such a great student in favor of less-qualified candidates on the basis of residency alone?  I hoped not, but apparently they would.

He wanted it so bad.  And I, along with the rest of my family, wanted it so bad for him.  With that many people pulling for one thing, how can it not come to fruition?

Therein lies the problem.  Sometimes I think that if I just want something bad enough, wish it hard enough, that I can will it into existence.  And if I really, really want something, surely God wants me to have it, too.  Right?  Problem #2.

All too often I forget that my life (and the lives of those I love most) is a line off a page out of the grand narrative God is writing – from eternity and for eternity.  I don’t know every detail of the story, but I know it’s a good story.  I can’t read His mind, but I know He’s a good Author.

He can be trusted with the pen, even when the letters and words He chooses spell heartache.

This story will come to an end.  The curtain will close on the world as we know it – a world of tears, sorrow, pain, and death.  And when that great ending comes, I, too, will testify, “He has done everything well.”

I’ve Got Eye Problems

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I recently found myself discouraged by a compilation of difficult situations at work and church.  While texting David, I started typing something about how disappointed I was as I watched the behavior of older Christians.  Before hitting “send,” I stopped dead in my tracks, and with the Holy Spirit’s prompting, I deleted the text and started thinking.

Watch.  I was watching other people.  My eyes were set on the wrong thing.  The Christian is called to live life with his or her eyes fixed on Jesus.  We live here with our gaze there.  And what we see changes how we think about, feel, and respond to what goes on here.

If I live my life focusing on other people, I’m bound to be disappointed, discouraged, and frustrated.  And not to be too hard on others, the same things would result if I constantly gazed at myself.  Fixing my eyes on anyone but Jesus is a recipe for disaster.

In the midst of difficulty, I lift my eyes from my circumstances to my Savior.  And I fix them there.  Gazing at Him, I am liberated to love others (and myself) as the works-in-progress we all are, by God’s grace.

And shifting my eyes to Jesus there, I also pray.  I pray for thick skin and a tender heart – two essential qualities for a life of ministry here.

I Have Something to Say

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Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. -Colossians 1:28

Everyone has something to say.  And thanks to the internet, everyone has a place to say it…even if the rest of the online community wishes otherwise.  In an age of extreme oversharing, why start another blog?  Aren’t there enough people giving the digital world a piece of their mind?

Perhaps.  As I mentioned, we all have something to say.  But not everything we want to say needs to be said.  (Why does that seem like a novel concept?)  There’s one thing, though, that I am convinced needs to be said.  And it needs to be said repeatedly in many voices and heard repeatedly by many audiences.

The good news of what Jesus accomplished for sinners like you and me through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension needs to be shared.

So why this blog?

First, I am blogging for myself.  I need to proclaim Jesus to myself, and the written word helps me do so most effectively.  Writing helps me process my thoughts, feelings, and circumstances in a way nothing else does.  I can think things through more fully in written words better than I can in mere thoughts.  So this is a venue for me to process my real life while telling myself what really needs to be heard.

Second, I am blogging for others.  After personally embracing the good news of what Jesus has accomplished on a daily basis, I need to proclaim Him to others.  My goal isn’t to be widely read or well-known.  My goal is that whoever accidentally stumbles across this little corner of the internet might be encouraged, and perhaps transformed, as he or she encounters genuinely good news.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus, first to my own needy heart, and then to anyone else who might find themselves thirsting for living water.

Him we proclaim.  Jesus.  A message – a Name – that even on the internet can’t be overshared.

Seven Things I Want More Than I Want to Be a Mom

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It’s no secret.  I’m longing to begin a new season of life.  I crave the day when I can minister, nurture, and serve as a mother.  I dream about seeing David minister, provide, and lead as a father.

As I anticipate this future season, however, it is easy to miss out on what God has called me to today.  I have been called to minister, nurture, and serve as a wife, an employee, a volunteer, and so on.  I want to invest in this day, this season, and this calling.  I don’t want to miss out on today because I’m dreaming about tomorrow.

But I’d be lying if I said it was easy.  There are nights when I wake up from dreams about babies.  There are days when I can’t seem to think of anything but baby names.

It’s no secret: I want to be a mom.  The whole truth, though, is that there are also things I want more than I want to be a mom.  On the particularly tough days, I run through the list as a personal reminder.

  • I want to delight myself in the Lord more than I want to be a mom.
  • I want to follow Jesus more than I want to be a mom.
  • I want to be led by the Spirit more than I want to be a mom.
  • I want to closely follow His steps – not running ahead or lagging behind – more than I want to be a mom.
  • I want to respect David’s feelings, opinions, and convictions more than I want to be a mom.
  • I want to invest in what/where/who God has called me to today more than I want to be a mom.
  • Ultimately, I want Jesus more than I want the God-given, life-long ministry of being a mom.

Elisabeth Elliot put it perfectly when she wrote, “My heart was saying, ‘Lord, take away this longing, or give me that for which I long.’  The Lord was answering, ‘I must teach you to long for something better.'”

Oh Lord, may I not only long for Your gifts, Your calling, and Your direction.  May I long for something better.  May I long for You.