Thursday, December 12, 2013

Soft Voice

I absolutely positively love the months of "ber" as I often refer to them. And my favorite is definitely the grand finale, December. I love Christmas. So much so that, as a child, I used to get unbelievably sad when it was over (I think maybe even cried on occasion...). It wasn't the presents per say, it was the excitement, wonder, joy, etc.

I still love Christmas but now, it's intertwined with rawness and hurt from unfulfilled expectations and dreams. Now, there's a rawness that exists from the magnification of something that is hard year-round, but more so in this most wonderful month.

There are so many dreams and desires surrounding Christmas. Events I long to share with a husband, ideas and fun that my heart aches to create and give to children. Those exist regardless, but then during this season there's a magnifying glass on it even more. Sometimes it's a comment by another, sometimes it's seeing fun of other families and longing to join-in, sometimes it's movies, books, music, etc. None of these things are bad, but collectively they hit that raw spot and place a tinge on my heart.

I was driving the other day, heading to the gym, and something (I don't remember what, but likely a song) hit this rawness and I found my heart and mind slipping into sadness. In that moment, I decided to change the song I was listening to, and turned on Waiting Here for You by Christy Nockels. As I've mentioned before, music has a way of helping me express emotions/thoughts that are sometimes difficult to get out.

I was singing along, feeling the weight of these unmet expectations, these unfulfilled dreams. As I did, deep inside, in the most complicated recess of my heart, I felt very clearly this voice say "it's about me."

I promise I'm not crazy.

I know it was the Holy Spirit.

I know it was Jesus reminding me that this season I love so much is not about the parties, the gifts, the "Christmas spirit", the food, the expectations, or the dreams. It is solely about him.

Regardless of what you may be feeling, if you're having the best Christmas ever, if you're grieving the loss of a loved one, if you're in financial straights, battling loneliness, hurt, longing. Whatever. The Truth of what this time is about does not change.

It's about Jesus.

It's about God loving us SO much that He sent His one and only perfect Son to this earth. To be born in a nasty cave and laid in a cold, gross, nasty manger. The most humblest of entrances for the King of Kings.

Only He can fill the space and be a balm for the rawness. For me and for you.

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
Galatians 4:4-7

Friday, December 6, 2013

Take Captive Every Thought

Lately I’ve been battling fear in an area I typically don’t in a big way. I walked through a very challenging situation recently that has unfortunately thrown me for a loop and led to this fear.

As I’ve been processing this, I keep coming back to the realization that this fear is NOT of the Lord. It is the devil scheming to plant a seed of doubt and distrust in who God says He is and my life purpose. The evil one trying to steal my joy and render me ineffective. I hate him.

I know these types of experiences and situations are opportunities to trust God and re-center my heart. If He is for me, which He is, than no one can defeat me. Nothing can pluck me from His hand, nothing can steal my salvation, diminish my value, or destroy the essence of who I am. For that assurance, I am thankful for these experiences as I know they ultimately make my faith stronger. But they are still hard.

Today, being alone as I work from home with the snowpocalypse day, my mind keeps drifting to this place of fear. I keep feeling a temptation to control it or fall under the weight of it. I also keep mentally swinging back to a notion that the last two Januarys have been quite painful, so maybe this year will also be bad and perhaps it’s tied to this current fear.

And then I felt a pressing on my heart saying “take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”

I so love God’s word and instances like this remind me of the value and importance of writing it on my heart. This is a verse I memorized in college (well, this part of the verse) and, even though I wasn’t even spending time with the Lord, He sweetly pressed this Truth into the depths of my being, reminding me that this fear is not of Him and, dwelling on it, is not being obedient.

I then decided to look this verse up in-context. I haven’t spent time in Corinthians in a while, so couldn’t really remember why Paul said it. So amazing:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

God does not promise an easy life, but He does promise He’ll never leave or forsake me. If something hard happens, it’s ultimately for my good and His glory. But how it impacts my faith and trust in His promises is up to me. It’s dependent upon how I choose to respond.

I am fighting a war with a most powerful weapon – the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Words have power, but this Word has the Ultimate power. What a gift.

I am thankful for this weapon and ask the Lord to help me battle this fear and this war against the evil one by taking every thought captive and focusing instead on the personhood and Truth of Christ, so I may better serve and glorify Him.