Wednesday, July 27, 2011
like so many little girls, there are particular dreams and desires deep in my heart that i've held onto so securely, complete with a fairy tale ending and of course, a prince charming. my perception of these ideals have been shattered and bruised, remolded and transformed along the way, nevertheless, ever present and increasing in my pursuit. as shallow as it sounds, my greatest passion and source of satisfaction and identity was to be the most amazing wife and mother. it's almost as if i had a consuming obsession for these goals but never considered it a hindrance or stumbling block because they are essentially good and harmless. i didn't realize that my relentless grip on them were actually taking the place of God on the throne in my life (really scary!). i was unable to give them up in fear that i would be stuck with second best if i didn't take control of my own fate, like God would make a huge mistake or forget about me (yes, ridiculous, i know). i had my future all planned out, already claiming it was mine, unwilling to budge or divert and imprudently asked God for His blessings and provision. subconsciously, i was ready to give God everything, so as long as he provided a husband and kids. my hypothetical sacrifice was conditional and half-hearted. whenever i'm faced with the challenge to give up my future and self-seeking desires for the sake of Jesus and the gospel, i'm always hesitant to lay this specific part of my life down. but today was different. i just couldn't stand to live with these limitations on God anymore because it was slowly suffocating me. as i let the truth and gravity of what Jesus meant in His word when he calls us to take up the cross and lose our lives resonate in my heart, it awakened a desperate yearning in my soul to finally give them up completely. as i raised my hand in response to this costly call and eventually stood up in surrender to God, i could hear my voice shaking as i said the words for the first time audibly, "i give up my right to a husband. i give up my right to having children." i could barely make it through the sentences without freaking out quite a bit inside. but the hard part was over now. it felt like whatever was inside of me that was aching to be released for so long finally experienced freedom. then the panic was replaced with an overwhelming peace and i could breathe normally again. who am i to plan out my life based on my limited view of God? i'm dying to these desires, rights and everything i call mine in order to gain what's eternal. Jesus, i'm Yours.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Matthew 16: 24-26
Sunday, July 24, 2011
truth be told, being sick absolutely sucks. i'm losing motivation to leave my room, getting nauseous at the sight of food and falling asleep every half hour. and what's even more frustrating is that i'll sporadically have good days where i feel almost completely better, only to crash again the following day. what a tease! (ok, maybe i shouldn't have gone cliff jumping yesterday. NG). as i was laying in my bed last week, wishing i had the strength to just make it to the prayer room, i realized how swiftly the enemy was to attack me while i was physically so weak. i began to doubt all the convictions from the first 2 weeks of DTS, started worrying about my future again, and felt foolish for thinking that God would actually call me to something greater than the limited ambitions i have for myself. just as i was convincing myself that i will probably end up going back to my comfortable and stable lifestyle at home in december with no real transformation, i caught onto what the enemy was doing & immediately restrained myself from believing the lies. i stopped feeling sorry for myself and reclaimed the truth and the real work He is doing in me during this season. as difficult as it is to proclaim when i don't tangibly feel it, i know Jesus is my healer and He's renewing this weak spirit in me everyday. my desire now is that there will be be less of me and more of Him & He'll literally be my strength in my weakness. thank God He's stronger than our viruses, stronger than the doubts that creep in uninvited, and stronger than the enemy who'll do anything to steal our joy. even in the silence that accompanies being sick at home alone and although i tend to focus on what i'm missing out on, Jesus, could it be that you are wanting to speak to me? far away from all the distractions and voices that cloud up my head, in the clarity of this moment, God, i just want You. yeah, i want Your restoration, Your strength and Your voice, but most of all i just want You.
Take these hands and lift them up
For I have not the strength to praise You near enough
For I have nothing,I have nothing without You
Take my voice and pour it out
Let it sing the songs of mercy I have found
For I have nothing,I have nothing without You
All my soul needs
Is all Your love to cover me
So all the world will see
That I have nothing without You
Take my body and build it up
May it be broken as an offering of love
For I have nothing,I have nothing without You
All my soul needs
Is all Your love to cover me
So all the world will see
That I have nothing
But I love You
With all my heart
With all my soul
With all my might
With all the strength that I can find
Take my time here on this earth
And let it glorify all that You are worth
For I am nothing,
I am nothing without You
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
cease from striving.
so i had this amazing date with Jesus last night. we walked downtown to the pier right around sunset, sat on the ledge by the rocks and listened to the crashing waves together. there was no music. no wrestling with God. no struggle to find an answer. i just felt like God saying i needed to be quiet and listen- even though He didn't say anything. the longer i pondered on the vastness of God and soaked in the endless ocean before me, i couldn't help but feel incredibly small. like, who am i that the God of the universe, the creator of heaven and earth, would know me? but even in the midst of acknowledging the magnitude and enormity of God, i knew i was so thoroughly and entirely known by Him- that we can share inside jokes just between the two of us and even a tiny glance toward His direction moves His heart. to be honest, yeah, i still struggle with entrusting my future plans and ambitions completely to God and i worry about finding a spouse and having children. this next part is pretty scary to admit, but in that place of being still with Jesus, none of it really mattered anymore. my calling, direction in life, career path- God's loosening my grip and control of it all and teaching me to surrender, not due to legalism or conviction in itself, but because faith is rising up in me and i believe with my whole entire being that God is faithful and good and has amazing plans for my life. what do i have to be afraid of?? so in the quietness and stillness, when it seems like nothing is happening or i should be striving harder, i'll wait with eager expectation to hear You. oh, JESUS.
i want to sit at Your feet, drink from the cup in Your hand. lay back against You and breath, feel Your heartbeat. this love is so deep, it's more than i can stand. i melt in Your peace, it's overwhelming.
Monday, July 18, 2011
i had this intense yearning in my heart last night that i didn't know what to do with. at one point while i was watching Jesus Freaks (documentary film on the DTS in boulder, co), this desperate hunger in me just got to be so overwhelming that i couldn't stop crying and i had no idea why. then i realized that for 28 years, i've allowed my soul to settle and be satisfied with so much less than what i was created for. so i went to the prayer room and asked God if it was possible to have an intimate love relationship with Him that lasted forever- that instead of fading through the years after the honeymoon phase, our love would only grow stronger and deeper. then this gentle peace came over me. i stopped crying and the rest of the questions disappeared. i felt Jesus reassuring me as He said, "jini, you have no idea." there were times in the past where i thought i knew all there was to know about Jesus's love. i was sure it was as good as He gets, as if i reached the maximum capacity to receive His love or something. oy vey. ever since i stepped off the plane, God has been blowing me away with His furious love for me. can it really be possible that we're invited to live in this perpetual discovery of the goodness of God? this has to be real. i thought about all that i gave up to be in this place- my lukewarm affections & offerings, financial security & stability, worldly luxuries & pleasures- and concluded that He is worthy of it all and so much more. not to sound extremely cheesy or anything, but i went on the sweetest date ever today. we didn't have an agenda. i just wanted to go on a walk with Jesus and ask Him to reveal how He felt about me. for the next 3 hours, i could tangibly sense God's delight and joy over me. i seriously felt like a giddy, totally smitten little girl, falling crazy in love yet so safe and secure. with cars and people passing me by, i couldn't help but constantly close my eyes, lift my head to the sky and raise my arms to my side and say out loud "Jesus, Jesus," with the biggest smile on my face. yeah, crazy, i know. & so worth it. just a little while longer til i see You.
i'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the one who gave it all. i'll stand, my soul, Lord, to You surrendered. all i am is Yours.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20
is it possible to have breakthrough and revelation every day? because it hasn't even been a week since i've arrived in hawaii and i already feel like God has done more in these past few days than in the past 28 years. during lecture this morning, in the most gentle and ravishing way, i felt Jesus telling me to just let Him love me and hear and believe what He says about me. i've been exhausted and i didn't even know it- trying so hard to make things happen on my own strength, even my pursuit of God. but Jesus is making the first move, like He always does, and waiting for me to respond and say that i choose Him, above all else. He's revealing that i was meant to be pursued so passionately and embraced so purely. i was reminded that despite what lies i've convinced myself of in the past, He calls me worthy of this extravagant love because of what He did on the cross for me. how true is it that all roads lead back to the cross. and as we remember the cross and His sacrifice and ultimate display of love, we're able to live through His resurrection. i came to hawaii so rejected, defeated and broken, desperate to see the face of God and have a calling and purpose for my life. and today, i know Jesus's purpose for me is that i would be loved. so while i'm still a long, long way off, i'm letting Jesus run to me and just embrace me. Jesus, i'm falling so hard for You all over again and it's seriously ruining me for everything else. to a God who paints sunsets just for me and speaks so tenderly to me, i'm choosing You and saying yes- to all that you have for me, whatever that may look like. this is just too good.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
there are various seasons in our lives, specific people, dire needs, or certain issues that God will burden our hearts with in order for us to enter into intercession, to stand before God and cry out for until we have breakthrough. i'm experiencing that through coming to Jesus, repeatedly with the same request, my heart is being molded and conformed to fit His desires and purposes. i'm seeing with my own eyes how God's been unveiling glimpses of the glorious things he has in store for us but it's up to us to take those small steps forward and choose to keep believing in His promises and faithfulness, especially when it's so difficult and we're tempted in every way to just give into doubt. it's easy to throw our hands up in defeat and lose hope when there's delay or rejection. i think the whole point is trusting and proclaiming that God is more committed to the things on our hearts than we are. from the moment we lifted up the first prayer, God already answered. so even when i don't see a solution or get an immediate answer, i know He's still faithful and teaching me to be patient as i learn more of who He is. on this journey of persistent and continued petitioning, i'm knowing God and believing i'm so loved and being pursued by a really, really good and perfectly loving God. He's revealing what's on His heart and in the process, stripping me of my self-sufficiency and self-righteousness, even as i'm interceding for others. the transformation comes from simply spending time with Jesus. the one person i love the most in this world, besides my parents, is my sis. i would give everything i have for her and suffer on her behalf. lately when i pray for her and present her requests before God, my heart literally aches because as much as i love her with my flawed and lacking love, i know Jesus's love for her is infinitely greater and stronger. His affection for her just blows me away. it's deeper than the ocean and wider than the sky, i believe this. God knows how desperately i want for her to be satisfied of every desire and deepest longing, even the things she doesn't say out loud. but now i'm seeing that God's dedication and faithfulness to her compared to mine is worlds apart and He'll make everything beautiful. until then, i'll keep contending for the fulfillment of Your promises, Jesus.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8: 27-28
we were made for God. we were created to love God and our hearts belong to Him. so it's no wonder that when we're so quick to give our hearts away to another, it leaves us more broken and emptier than before. because He is jealous for our love and is a relentless lover, He'll put barriers and obstacles in our way. He'll come after us, passionately, wholeheartedly, patiently, until we're fully His. i've been reflecting back at all my failed attempts at love and realized i was always so eager and willing to hand my heart over to anyone who asked & even those who didn't. each time it didn't work out and i needed healing, God was just as quick to repair, restore and make my heart fully whole once again. even still, i just gave it away to someone else. again. and again. i missed the point. i didn't see that God was restoring my heart for Him alone. God, i didn't know. how did i miss this for so long? now i see. all the times i fell and got hurt, God, You were right there, redeeming me and wanting so badly for me to give my heart fully to You. but You were so patient with me because You just love me. You were luring me back when i didn't recognize You. now i'm ready. now all i want is for you to take my heart. take everything. i found where i belong and it's right here, in Your presence. there's no place i'd rather be.
first let's fall in love. then we'll change the world. first let's fall in love. first things first.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
one of the hardest things you can ever do on your own strength is attempt to love someone who has no idea how to receive it, certainly doesn't deserve it, and does nothing to reciprocate. instead, they treat you horribly and say awful things to push you away, daring you to hate them. it seems like the logical thing to do in such cases would be to just cut the losses and run as fast as you can in the other direction. so why do i still feel compelled to extend love and show grace? why is my heart heavy and burdened to pray for those who hurt me repeatedly? sometimes i hate that i care as much as i do and i wish i could just turn it off like a switch. i regret giving the benefit of the doubt or seeing the good in people despite what they believe about themselves. in moments of deep hurt and anger, i wish i could take back all the hope, prayers and love i put into someone who treats me like garbage. to be quite honest, i know i have an unhealthy tolerance of permitting myself to be treated so disparagingly, putting others' desires and even faults above my own principles. sporadically, i have to genuinely question if i'm a masochist because it's not right that i'm the martyr in every relationship, always the punching bag. i admit, i have a savior complex that i need to shake off, fast. (God, help!) but when i examine why or how i can quickly forgive every offense and truly see others the way Jesus sees them, i know it's only because i'm aware of how profoundly i've been forgiven. i love Jesus but i break His heart more than i'd like to admit, more than i'm even aware of, and i know i can't hide all the shameful and disgusting junk that's inside of me. nevertheless, i know he shares my every pain and heartache each time i fall so hard. and every morning when i wake up and God still allows me to feel His mercy and grace over me, despite how miserably i failed the day before, i'm humbled and utterly grateful to have a God who is that devoted and patient with me. in these instances where i really let His truth seep in, i recognize that i would be completely hopeless if i didn't have someone like our God who is constantly fighting for me and believing in me. isn't it ironic that when we crush God's heart, He's still so quick to restore ours and make us whole again? it's not fair at all if you really think about it. it's extravagant and ridiculous. but that's grace. and that's Jesus. God, i'm so undeserving.