girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Monday, March 26, 2007

riding out the storm

this was the fifth week in lent.
the verses we looked at were the story of jonah and his struggle to tell nineveh that in 40 days God would come and destroy them if they didn't repent,
and also romans 5:1-5
therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character;
and character, hope. a
and hope does not disappoint us,
because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,
whom he has given us.
you are blessed

as air travels through you
expanding your lungs to their full capacity
as you hold your breath
and as the tinge of pain
from waiting and holding it all in overwhelms you.

as life twists, turns, and flips you,
heartache after heartache
working through the strain of life's struggles
and trying to find the glimmers of hope
through the darkness of suffering.

you are blessed
even in those times when hope is not enough
when to persevere seems foolish
and when our character fails us
do not allow circumstance to deter you
there is something much deeper,
even when not seen,
that holds you there
singing to your subconscious
something that keeps you coming.

the hope that God is who he says he is.
that if we really truly try,
we too can rejoice.
we too can tell the story of suffering,
of perseverance,
and of character.
that we too can know,
deeply and intimately,
what it means to hope.


i have a story to tell,
and this weekend i got the chance to tell it.
like most, it's a painful one.
i've had a lot of heartache, and up until this weekend, i had never shared the full details with anyone.
i told my story (most of it, a whole story would take hours to tell) on ryan's church retreat.
it was hard enough just getting myself to the retreat...
i had a difficult time deciding to go.
i felt as though i was cheating on my own community,
and i didn't want to disappoint or hurt any of them by going on the trip.
i think that somewhere in my mind i believed that if you were a part of a church, and even more a community, then you owe some loyalty to them.
i still think that is true, but not to the extent that i did.
i think that each of us is a part of the 'body'of christ...each one of us serves a function.
i've had several conversations over the past couple of weeks about what that looks like.
i can be the hand or the foot and directly effect the other parts of the body...
much like an injured hand or foot would really do on your own body.
but i think communities can also serve as these places.
harbor can be the hand...wellspring the foot...that little church called lakewood can be the leg.
before, i thought that you had to belong to only one part of the body.
that i had to choose which part best fit me,
but now i'm wondering if that's really the case.
i think i feel most comfortable in some places rather than others...
some places feel more like home,
but i don't want the sense of guilt that i get when i try to move from body part to body part.
i don't think that anyone has ever made me feel this guilt...i think it's just my past beliefs.
and so...this weekend i told my story to the harbor community.
and now i really want the chance to tell my own community at wellspring.
well, let me rephrase that: i don't want to tell my story, but i'm finding it necessary.
last week my sister came home for spring break.
since i wasn't on the break, we had a hard time spending time together.
one night we stayed up until around 3 in the morning, just talking.
i have memories of being a small girl, lying in the back room at my grandparent's, and listening to my aunt, my mother, and my grandmother staying up talking.
i would fall asleep and wake up to see sunlight beginning to lighten the sky and i would still hear them talking.
the women in my family love to talk,
and i think my sister and i will be just like that.
as we chatted, old stories came up.
my sister vividly remember when she found out the easter bunny wasn't real...
she remembers what we were all wearing and where we were.
i can't remember things like all.
then stories of the ugliness that happened when we were younger came up.
i couldn't remember them either,
but it was as if my sister had taken a paint brush and painted it right there in front of me.
suddenly, i was 10 again.
we were right back in the moment,
and everything i had tried so hard to forget was right in front of my face.
it was a painful experience,
and i was so angry at her for bringing it all back to me because now i have to remember it and deal with it.
it was real, it really did happen.
before, i had never found any value in re-telling those stories.
i didn't think there was any worth in remembering the ugly parts, much less sharing them with others,
but i think i've changed my mind.
i think i need to remember them because they remind me of who i am and why i'm that way.
also, i think there is something so very delicately intimate about painting those pictures for someone else.
i want to be able to bring others alongside me, have them hold my hand as a 10 year old, and show them what i saw.
at some point, these things will become easier and they won't hurt so much.
i think our mind has ways of coping with things...we forget.
at some point it comes back up and i suppose that then we have the choice to deal with it.
because...i don't want to cry when i merely mention past events.
i don't to avoid or lie about why i am the way i am.
i don't want to feel as though i have this huge secret and not allow others to know me at my most intimate parts.
i think that if we're choosing community, then we also choose to live our present lives and our past lives with each other.
now, i think that there will be healing in all of this.
i think that one day i will be able to tell my story and it won't make me cry or be such a burden.
i think that once you discover these things, you choose to deal with them and not to just let them hang around.
i don't want to focus so much on the pain that i forget that things are better now.
i want my community to know me at my most happiest moments,
and also at the ones that were the hardest.
i'm finding that it's then we truly know each other,
and then we can truly love each other.

Monday, March 12, 2007

sea of humanity

this sunday wellspring ventured into the city for the 2007 AIDS walk...
our week was focused on the forty years the israelites spent in exile...
and as i've been sorting through it all, i found a blessing to be completely necessary.
we were blessed.
we rose early,
we rubbed our eyes,
we tied our shoes,
and we began the journey.

we supported our friend,
we remembered some we knew...
and some we didn't.
we met strangers,
we shared stories,
and together, we journeyed.

we acknowledged some ignored,
we embraced our community,
we spoke through our steps,
we did our part,
and we're hoping to have made a difference...
through our journey.

and we did it because, in the end,
we were just like them:
we have known rejection and misunderstanding...
we have felt the sting of close-mindedness...
we have been pushed to the perimeter...
we have been ignored and ridiculed...
yes, we face times of exile,
just like them.

our shoes did not wear out,
our clothes did not grow thin,
we did not wander for forty years,
and yet i'm convinced we tasted manna from heaven.
for those there...
in both stride and thought...
you are blessed.

Monday, March 05, 2007

back to blessing

so i'm not only back from my few days in silence,
but i'm also back to jotting some blessings for wellspring.
our passage this week was pretty profound
and i found it quite helpful in my meditations.
check out lamentations 3:17-30 for a full read.
so glad to be back everyone.

i encourage you
in times when you forget what it is to smile
when your heart is so heavy it hurts
and it feels as though no one understands

i encourage you in your 'lostness'
in your dark nights
as you descend the depths of silence
and as you brush the bottom of your soul

as your voice grows hoarse
as your confidence weakens
as you question-as you doubt
as you wonder who is friend
and who is foe

i encourage you
to passionately wait
to diligently seek
to quietly hope
to grit your teeth
to clench your fist
and to continue on.

for God has not forgotten you
you have not been abandoned
God will renew you each morning
and will deliver each promise.

feel yourself held.
and above all else,