A Glimpse of Mi Vida...

It started with a missions trip to Camden, where my life and perspective were changed and where this blog began. Life has been a roller coaster filled with its ups and downs and I'm excited for the adventure and discovering what God has in store, even though I really dislike roller coasters... I am a Lady in Waiting...

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Holy Suffering: Transition

As I was reading through my devotionals tonight, it didn't quite hit the spot. So I decided to read the evening before's: 
"Choosing to suffer means that there must be something wrong with you, but choosing God’s will— even if it means you will suffer— is something very different. No normal, healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he simply chooses God’s will, just as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not." 
What does it mean to suffer or to suffer from what? My mind immediately went to thoughts of Haiti . As some friends of mine have just returned from their first time in Haiti, it can't help but bring up the very fond memories of Haiti, of the children, staff and such joy and laughter. While the memories are fond, my love for Haiti causes an ache in my heart as I desire to be there verses here. I long for the simplicity and feeling so in line with God's call, feeling like you are in the center within His' will as you serve the orphan and the widow... literally. In coming back home, there is the transition period which is sometimes a few days and sometimes it is a few months. For me, I was annoyed with the selfishness of Americans and annoyed with the fact that people just didn't get it and didn't take the time to listen to me as I was processing and as was trying to understand what God just did in my heart.

As I have have now been to Haiti on three separate occasions, among at least 3-4 other mission trips I continue to learn more about myself and about the process. Oswald Chambers states it in last nights devotional: "Look at God’s incredible waste of His saints, according to the world’s judgment. God seems to plant His saints in the most useless places. And then we say, “God intends for me to be here because I am so useful to Him.” Yet Jesus never measured His life by how or where He was of the greatest use. God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be." People may view my time in Haiti as a waste because I went with other peoples' money or because I stopped pursuing a career or education or vacation for a moment. But God calls us to love to the ends of the earth. God places us where we can bring Him the most glory. So for two weeks that was in Haiti, then again and then again. But right now I am home and God has me here until He leads me back to Haiti or calls me elsewhere. I think it is important to remember to serve and invest where I am. I don't think that jumping into service should be taken lighthearted because processing the journey of serving in another country is so important, but I think it vital to make a connection point based on the things that God taught you or me in that place of growth, learning, or brokenness. 

For me, I invest in the relationships I have in Haiti by sending notes and care packages, I support the missionaries in whatever way I can whether that be financial or supply-wise. I pray and encourage those I can who are serving or who are in the process of understanding it all. I know when people were praying and weren't, when you're in the mission field you can feel it. You can feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving when you are being lifted up in thought and prayer. Also, I serve in outreach because for me it is where I feel most alive and feel where God is working through me. While I still long for Haiti and the days of tap tap and moto rides, lots of laughter with the kids, and pizza on Fridays... I don't just sit here awaiting until I can go again. I stay active in serving and loving on those in my current end of the earth and I share my stories in hopes that it will inspire, impact or cause the Spirit to move in someone else's life through service or missions.
Good luck to you as you serve or search for where God would lead you next. Pray for me as I do the same!
We all go through Holy Suffering as God teaches us, grows us, stretches us, and heals us. But we suffer through it all for the GREATER good and cause and for our GREATER GOD!!!

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." -Acts 1:8

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Letting Go of Hope and Titles

Letting Go of Hope and Titles...

Now before you start to freak out, I am not hopeless or depressed or putting my final manifesto here on my blog/Facebook...

As I've mentioned in the past few posts, I see a Christian therapist to help me with life stuff. It's a really amazing and beautiful outlet and I highly recommend it. It helps me process stress, tough life decisions and helps me call upon my relationship with Jesus to overcome deep fears and abuse from my childhood and upbringing.

These posts usually come as a means to help me to continue to grow and reflect and maybe even in hopes that it helps you reading this.

This week, I sat in the chair balling my eyes out yet again. I've been questioning the term hope over a few of the sessions. Hope to me has always been a word of expectancy, of joy, or the future. Something to put weight in. All those things, the word hope greatly resembles our relationship with Christ but also our "hope" and desires for the future.

One of my biggest "hopes"  is my relationship to improve with my parents/family. I hope they will discover a deep relationship with the Heavenly Father that I desire to know intimately. I hope that they will change. I hope that we will have a better relationship, and I hope that they will learn to love me in the ways that my heart and soul cries for. A few weeks ago, in one of my sessions I began to realize that the hope I had for my father to change was not realistic. That the track record proved to show, the same cycles keep happening. The only change is me and how I react. How do I chose to let things effect me and how to I want to improve?
I sat in the chair describing yet another interaction with my father. Sometimes banter can be fun and witty, but banter with my father and family is unhealthy because it leaves me angry, frustrated, or broken. The banter and what we consider conversation is all I have in relationship with them. In reality as I sat there crying and praying and thinking through things with my therapist and came to realize I don't honestly have much in common with my family. I continue to banter and to accept the "titles" I've been given because it's the only hope that I have. It's the last string of connection to them. That the silence and lack of communication is so deafening to me that I would rather just sit there and argue or go back and forth. In reality the back in forth is so unhealthy and hurtful to me, but I was willing to hold onto the pain in order to feel any sense of relationship and love from them. They've given me titles that I don't deserve or shouldn't fall into: Adult/Parent, Expert, Confidant, Christian, and Judge.

I have had to be the adult and/or parent in relationship with them. Offering the advise that I would give my children sometime. Their behavior is so childish at times, that I have to be the adult voice in a lot of conversation. My parents look to me as an expert in different things and expect me to teach them, show them, and consult them for their own gain. I resent this title because it's my knowledge is often tied together with judgment for right verses wrong and I refuse to offer knowledge on something that I don't see having a good ending or that I don't believe in. Also I am breaking the title of secret keeper. As I work through therapy and open up, I am breaking the lies, secrets, and things that I have held onto for years. It is not  for my mom or dad to share aspects of their relationship with me. Lastly my Christianity has caused me to be have this voice of higher moral authority, and to feel self-righteous. My views of on God, life and the Bible, often cause me to become condemning and judgmental because their actions and words don't match up what I see and know to be true. This is just a summary of these titles for me. But my desire is that I would break the chains of these titles and take on new titles of: Follower, Daughter of the King, Servant, Loved, Cherished, and Faithful.

There is no such thing as forgiveness with no cost. The cost of healing and forgiveness is releasing that hope from my parents and shifting it to my Creator and trusting. All forgiveness requires someone to pay and I have to pay by the sacrifice of relationship with them and pay in the giving up of hope in them. That doesn't mean I love them any less, it just means I am desiring to rid the bitterness, frustrations, and anger and not expecting too much but trusting in God's mighty power to break every chain.

My prayer is that I would break every chain and title because I know that there is power in the name of Jesus...

I pray to just continue to grow in my relationship with God and find closure with those titles and with my family. That I would be okay with the silence, that I would learn to step away from unnecessary conversations. I pray to release the hope and expectancy I desire for and from my family, and just hope in Christ. That I would hope in the work that He is doing in me.

"For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. " -Psalm 71:5

He has a purpose and fulfillment for me. He can HOPE in me. And I pray I fulfill that hope.

My last request is that the Lord help me to protect my heart amidst this process.