Wednesday, August 21, 2013

in the company of mockers

every morning i pass by a technical school on my way to work. most days i opt for the sidewalk across the street, or straight up share the middle of the road with oncoming traffic, as to avoid the crowd of sexually charged and very inappropriate men spewing out whatever rendition of vulgarity they can come up with. their lewdness makes me shudder, especially so early in the morning, but i try my best to hide the blatant and instinctive rolling of my eyes as i pretend not to hear them. given that i have no problem standing up to confrontation or speaking my mind, i always give myself props for resisting the strong urges to either throw up in sheer disgust or knee them as hard as i can in the you-know-what.
however, on this particular morning i had too much on my mind to give a second thought to passing through the lion's den. all was well with the exception of one guy who wouldn't stop yelling out "ni hao. NI HAO!" are you freaking serious, guy? does it give you some kind of sick satisfaction by saying hi to me in chinese until i give you a reaction? i wanted so badly to turn around and scream "mother effer!" accompanied by other colorful profanities but spared myself the trouble.
as annoying as this incident was, it led me to reflect on Jesus and the cross. He was mocked, beaten and spit on and not once did He rightfully tell them off saying, "do you know who I am?? do you know who my Father is??"  i can't imagine the unbelievable rage and injustice i would feel if i were in the same position, given that Jesus is the Son of God, the Creator of the universe. heck, i was ready to attack this guy for saying hi to me in another language. and still, Jesus literally and actually died for those scoffers. i can't fathom that kind of love. i don't even know if i could ever begin to understand and be as gracious. what kind of love does it take to be able to stand firmly and boldly in the face of vicious mockers and be fully confident that your Father will always have the last word? that's Christ's love. i will never cease to be amazed.

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

Friday, August 16, 2013

the waves will break every chain

i'm the type that needs instant gratification and immediate results & my biggest pet peeve is waiting around for anything. i'm positive i'm not alone here. especially when it comes to intangible and uncontrollable things such as a broken heart, the lurking stench of apathy or hopelessness, or unfulfilled promises, i'm particularly impatient. it's as if i literally can't wait for whatever is next & i'd do anything to get there. i'm not only this way with my own outlook but i've come to realize i share the same unrealistic expectation on behalf of those i love and care about. if there is even the slightest hint of hardship or discord in their lives, i always look for a way to rescue them from the pain as soon as possible. i would trade places with them in a second if it meant they didn't have to endure the discomfort themselves. talk about a savior complex. and although i'm no stranger to it, i never face adversity, for myself or others, with confidence or faith. it's like, hello? haven't i learned at all to trust the Lord in all circumstances? has He ever given me a reason to doubt Him? no.
the fleeting and petty desires in my heart have always come and gone very effortlessly for me- much to my misfortune. i became spoiled and ungrateful and my heart was quickly hardened. i never sought what was worth waiting for- the things that will last. looking back on the past few years, the Lord has taught me that there are no shortcuts and no quick fixes for His perfect plans and timing. no matter how much i cry my eyes out, i won't have the answers or figure it out on my own. which begs the question, whoever said i have to save myself anyways? did i ever stop to consider that Jesus may be using this time to prepare and mold me? maybe He has something to say. thank God for His faithfulness that He carried me through the valleys and dark seasons to realign my heart with His and whisper that He's still with me and He's scheming for my good.
although i still cringe when i think about the weight of despair that i sustained (and prolonged due to my slow learning), i'm utterly thankful that He made me wait. i kicked and screamed along the way but He allowed it because His ways are always better. i could have never dreamed of this given my limited perspective and lack of wisdom or imagination. everything is going to be alright. not just alright, glorious and epic if we'd only just let Him.

But a certain sign of grace is this
From a broken earth flowers come up
Pushing through the dirt

- David Crowder, Wholly Yours.
Listen to advice and accept discipline,
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
What a person desires is unfailing love;
    better to be poor than a liar. 
The fear of the Lord leads to life;
    then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 19: 20-23

That feeling that doesn't go away just did
And I walked a thousand miles to prove it
And I'm caught in the crossfire of my own thoughts
The color of my blood is all I see on the rocks
As you sail from me

Alarms will ring for eternity
The waves will break every chain on me
My bones will bleach
My flesh will flee
So help my lifeless frame to breathe

And God knows I'm not dying but I bleed now
And God knows it's the only way to heal now
With all the blood I lost with you
It drowns the love I thought I knew

The lost dreams are buried in my sleep for him
And this was the ecstasy of a love forgotten
And I'm thrown in the gunfire of empty bullets
And my blood is all I see
As you steal my soul from me

Alarms will ring for eternity
The waves will break every chain on me

Ellie Goulding- My Blood

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

not afraid anymore.

i remember when i first heard this song hand me down and i swore rob thomas was singing about me. the song got stuck on repeat as i sulked in my own self pity but i felt powerless and unmotivated to do anything about it. when i look back on where the heck my head was during that time, it breaks my heart that i allowed myself to wallow in that state for as long as i did as if i was in a trance or something. i can still recall all the mornings i woke up so unsettled and anxious, desperate to appease my restless appetite for wholeness in my soul. there was so much fear and worry in me and even though i always professed to believe in true love, i was so afraid i was beyond repair. (just read through my past blogs and you'll see what i'm talking about) i was such a poser. it was exhausting and entangling and i knew deep down inside that this wasn't the way it's supposed to be- not even close. it took years of wasted striving that amounted to nothing and a severely wounded spirit to finally break down and cry out to God b/c there was no other option. as pathetic and unfortunate as it was, it was so necessary and surprisingly pretty liberating. i must have wailed in that upstairs room in martha's vineyard for hours until i realized i don't know God at all. if i truly knew God- who is the Creator of the universe and the King of all Kings- as my Father, would i still live in fear? if i had faith that my Father is good and loving and would never forget about me, would i obsessively try to take control of every matter in my life? no, i don't think so.
i can't explain in words what happened to me after that meltdown- all i know is that i'm not afraid anymore. this past year can be simply summarized as intense detox and rehabilitation by God's love but i know there's so much more to the story. He's been pursuing me and after my whole heart my entire life, waiting so patiently throughout my countless mistakes and stubborn attitude. i guess i finally reached a dead end where i was forced to gazed at Him long enough to realize He was offering everything i was always longing for. i just had to let go of everything else. there is stillness and rest in my soul and my heart is overflowing- there is no more room for fear to dwell.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

Someday they'll find your small town world on a big town avenue
Gonna make you like the way they talk when they're talking to you
Gonna make you break out of the shell cause they tell you to
Gonna make you like the way they lie better than the truth
They'll tell you everything you wanted someone else to say
They're gonna break your heart, yeah

From what I've seen
You're just a one more hand me down
Cause no one's tried to give you what you need
So lay all your troubles down
I am with you now

Somebody ought to take you in 
Try to make you love again
Try to make you like the way they feel
When they're under your skin
Never once did think they'd lie when they're holding you
You wonder why they haven't called
When they said they'd call you
You start to wonder if you're ever gonna make it by
You'll start to think you were born blind

From what I've seen
You're just a one more hand me down
Cause no one's tried to give you what you need
So lay all your troubles down
I am with you now

I'm here for the hard times
The straight to your heart times
Whenever it ain't easy
You can stand up against me
And maybe rely on me
And cry on me, yeah
Oh no, no, no

Some day they'll open up your world
Shake it down on a drawing board
Do their best to change you
They still can't erase you