Sunday, March 15, 2009

Readying and a Run

Hi there. I know it has been a little bit since I've posted, but as always, God's story and teachings continue on.

First, I want to thank you for reading my blog. Its not that you have to, not that you read every post, but I have received a lot of encouragement in the recent weeks that have lifted my heart and encouraged me to continue to write; and so I will.

Since telling the "world" about Tyson it continues to be a Katie-humbling, God-honoring, story. As I visited his church for the first time I was welcome with love and support. As I live in Indy I continue to meet people who have known and loved Leslie and Tyson, wrap their arms around me and give me encouragement. I've met people who have known us all seperately but can see our stories being intertwined together. Thank you. Thank you for welcoming me, in a sense, into Tyson and TJ's life. It means a great deal to me.

Ok - onto what I've been learning. As you read in my last post on "clouded vision", I wouldn't say that I have a clearer picture of what tomorrow brings, but I have a clearer picture about how to handle it today. Life has certainly been shaking it up a bit. God continues to try and help my heart and mind grasp "ABIDE". Man am I stubborn!

Yesterday I was running, and I haven't been feeling well. I thought it was warmer than it actually was, so a t-shirt and running pants didn't quite cut it. I was running on a trail close to my house and when I reached the 2 mile marker I turned around. I was cold, feeling sick, and I thought "If I book it home, I'll get there sooner and this will all be over with". Generally I like running, but yesterday it took a lot of energy to do it. Soon after my brilliant idea to run faster my shoelace came undone. Having to pause, kneel down, think for a second, and tie my shoe, I slowed down my pace.

My earlier pace was pretty fast, causing me to gag (sorry for the detail), I had a really painful cramp in my right rib, all of which was taking away any pleasure I had during the run just to gain the victory of being home. Then, a spiritual shift happened and God began revealing some serious truth into my heart.

"Enjoy the journey." I'm sure you understand this feeling. I'm a sucker for the "end". There is always something more, something next, something better. But God is giving me joy right where I am. (If I take Him up on it) Beyond just gleaning joy where you are, He is actually preparing you for what is next.

When I went to Kenya, I couldn't have gone the day I decided to go; there was preparation that needed to happen. Prayers to be prayed. Money to raise. Clothes to pack. And just physically and spiritually God was building a temple that could withstand what it was going to face when I got there. He was "readying" me. And so too - when I was running, He was readying me for the Mini Marathon in May, and my night of rest last night.

When I finally slowed down, I enjoyed my run. I got there in a time that I was happy with.

I was relaying my annoyance with not knowing answers to life's "tomorrow" to Tyson, and he questioned me saying "Katie- aren't there always going to be questions?" "Yes" I humbly admitted, and then began to ask myself about enjoying God and all He has for me today; exactly where I am.

To continue the beautiful lessons God is teaching me with "Abide" and "Take joy", we were talking, at church, again in Revelation today. Its been a really good journey for our church to go through together, as we see and learn truth through that book. Well today, toward the end of the sermon (Revelation 19) there was a parallel truth revealed once again for my aching heart.

Another "readying" parable you could draw would be the bride and bridegroom; even the engagement period. Some are longer than others. Others need more time to prepare. Anyway- if you're familiar with word of God, the "church" the body of believers, are indeed Christ's bride. He is our bridegroom; and He is engaged to us. He (as pointed out in today's sermon) has sent His Spirit as a "wedding gift" of sorts, a way to help us prepare. A seal. A commitment to our wedding day. And in Revelation it talks of the war being over.. Babylon falling. And us, God's bride, finally being with our groom.

For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear."

So, not only is God wanting me to take joy in today, He is preparing me for something. And He isn't just preparing me for tomorrow, He is preparing me for Himself. I am His bride. So whatever happens, where ever God takes me, I am being prepared to reunite with Him; on our wedding day.

It, life, is about Jesus. As often as my heart and mind try to forget, the Spirit gently calls me back to the place my heart longs to rest. In Him.

I hope this made sense. I hope that your heart is encouraged to know that whatever you are facing, tomorrow might be better... but for sure, your groom, God, is coming back for you. He sent His Spirit to remind us of that, and to help us abide in Him in the mean time.

ps- some pictures below from last week's 4 day trip to Florida. (with the Witzigs)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Clouded Vision

How do you move, take a step forward, when you can't see in front of you? How to do you walk, or even sit, when you're not sure where to? When your vision is clouded, when you can't see, how do you know if you're in the right place? How do you just have peace with where you are, in every aspect of your life... when the future is a big question mark?

I know. These questions are big, and easily solvable. But when you're in that place of uncertainty, when anxiousness and sin wags its weary head, when you feel unstable on all sides, its easy to "say" but much harder to "do" or live into the truth that you have come to know.

I spent some Jesus time on Sunday night. I just needed it. I wrote in my journal a ton. I listened. God sings words over me, literally, and a sort of uneasy calm rests on my soul. As I was pouring out my heart to Him, here are the words He gave me...

"The LORD your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."

Just to dissect this a little bit (and make it fresh on my heart to remind myself of these truths today) let me take it line by line.

"The Lord your God is in your midst" - this might be an easy one for you, but for me I had to take a deep breath and breathe this truth in. The God who created the heavens and the earth is in my midst; is with ME. That is incredible. To remember in the times where I feel like I'm running, he is there. Almost as if I'm on a treadmill, and he is sitting beside me but I keep looking ahead and don't notice him beside me; with me where I am. Not sure that was a good analogy, but you get the picture.

"A victorious warrior" You may be wondering why I didn't include this on the above line. Well I believe this particular description of God needs its own line, and in my heart brings a different meaning, hope, and freedom to the verse. God is a victorious warrior & He is in my midst. That is OUR God! Amen? So as the flaming arrows of the evil one, or my sin and flesh drag me down, all I need to do is call on Jesus, and He will go to war for me. In fact - He already has. He is victorious, over all my sin. Hallelujah! So He is big enough, and able, and willing and ready to get me out of this cloud I'm in. To sit me down. Help me abide. See that there is a future, but I just need to grab His hand and walk.

"He will exult over you with joy"
Wow. This drops me to my knees. I don't have a reason for Him do that. The fact is though that He loves me. Of all people. He died on the Cross for my sins. He is with me, conquered death, and loves me. I give Him joy. I pray that as I learn to abide, trust, and have faith that this statement will be true of me.

"He will be quiet in His love" I pulled these verses from the NASB version because that is what I study in. Other versions might say "He will quiet you with His love". Which to me feels different. His love will quiet you. And in this one, it says He will be quiet in His love. Looking at it through the eyes of the NASB it isn't forced. He will be quiet in His love my friends; knowing that it is available, it offers peace, and that His love will transform your life. He is quiet with it. I read again this morning in Matthew 11, and it reminds me of taking his love "on".

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Take His quiet love on you, His yoke, and you will find rest for your souls. He is gentle and humble in heart. That is what I think can correlate to this passage.

"He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy" More of that undeserved goodness. There is rejoicing in heaven over sinners who come to know the truth. I think there is a whole lot of praise for the saved sinner, who continues their walk with Jesus, admitting their sin, and coming back in repentance. In essence "walking in humility and recognition of our need for God". In that recognition and being filled once again we are restored, renewed, refreshed, and made whole once again by His goodness and grace.

I pray that you are encouraged by my meditations on this scripture. I didn't expect it to take this turn, but as I began to write this is where the Spirit led me. If for nothing else, perhaps just to get me on track, with peace, to rest in Him.

God gave it to me last night, and is continuing to feed my soul by it today. If only I would walk in its truth. Submit to God's way. Hear His voice calling me... "Trust me Katie. Abide in Me. I love you. I am in your midst. YOUR victorious warrior."

love your not so faithful blog writer,