Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hope Among the Ashes

I am so thankful for community right now. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be unabashedly broken among them so they can minister to me. This is why we don't walk with Him alone.

Debbie Downer

This week with the mission team was quite wonderful but it's been tempered by personality conflict. How can you love a best friend so much yet sometimes feel like we're speaking two different languages? I know her weaknesses and propensities. But we clashed this week over scheduling and plans. There was a plan all ready made and very few reasons to change it, but changes happened despite my input. Then when I put my foot down about a few things (due to my local knowledge) that would potentially be really difficult to pull off, I felt the full force of anger. Last night she blew up at me for undermining her authority and I attempted to explain how I felt--no accusation, just feelings. And I got the wall that was there last year. Sometimes I feel like there's these unspoken expectations she has for me that I don't know about. When I don't meet them I get punished. I was trying to be so helpful this morning, but all I got was that same wall and no goodbye. I don't deal well with that at all.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Schizophrenia, Chaos, and the Sovereign Will of God

This post will become longer eventually, but I'm fighting exhaustion, a cold, a headache, and snow-soaked pants. Suffice it to say this week has rocked. It was 70 degrees 2 days ago and now there's 8 inches of snow on the ground with freezing rain beating down. Crazy people keep talking to these students and random strangers overhear our fervent God-talk and crane their necks to soak up more. Some even talk to us. God is bigger than any attack of the enemy. This week has shown me thus.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Everything Old is New Again, Again

am a ridiculous control freak. I thought I'd had that beaten out of me for the last time, but it became abundantly clear today that that's not the case. Having my beloved 625 square feet be the home base for 10 and sleeping quarters for 3 has been stressful. Being told that I could opt out of things with the team and then getting chastised for having to stick to the schedule as it was written (in order to go to work) was rough. It doesn't help that I haven't had adequate sleep or downtime. How is it that I used to spend next to zero time at home and wasn't bothered by it? The constantly changing schedule (around which that I've been attempting to plan my REAL life) is grating on me.

I'm glad I decided to park here tonight after getting home from work. The 50 minute drive that turned into a 100 minute traffic disaster on the way to work was what did me in. Right now I'm trying to ignore the explosion of blankets, clothes, and other stuff that is taking over my living room while having a glass of red wine and catching a new episode of my latest favorite tv design show. My lower back is slowly uncoiling. That's a really good thing but it doesn't solve any of the underlying problems.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Time Management 101

This week is going to be a bear for me. I'm scheduled to the hilt for the first time since I left working for the May. I'm really afraid I'm going to crash and burn, so we'll see. Between corralling the mission team, working, being stressed out about my newest client's pain-in-the-assness, sleeping, and not being able to pay the bills, I may just freak out. Can I please be a good steward and delegator of my time for once??

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Something Much Bigger Than Me

There's a friend I've been ministering to here, knowing that God is intersecting our lives intentionally. We've become much closer lately and I've spent a lot of time listening. She is utterly broken right now--unemployed, having health problems, and desperate to have a husband and family.

She came home late last night from another disappointing attempt to connect with a group of women her age. She began talking just about the problems of that evening, but it turned into much more--a revealing of her deepest fears and truth of her current place in life. Sitting on those hard chairs in my dining room as she sobbed out her life's disappointments, I was close to being a deer in headlights. I'm not a stranger to hearing others' pain, but I've been able to speak Christ's hope freely over them because they knew Him. She doesn't know Him and I knew this wasn't a conversion moment.

I didn't speak very much until she started talking about working so hard to build a good life that includes a husband and a family. WORKING. It resounded in my head. I know that one...that was me, that IS me when I forget that God works on my behalf and for my best. Then she mentioned praying and how she can't set foot in a church without losing it emotionally. I poked around a bit about root causes. Somehow I said something about letting down pride and that maybe her reaction is to a palpable sense of God's love for her while she's in a church building. I cringed for the rebuttal, but received nothing. I knew He was speaking now. I was praying all while she spoke for God to show Himself. I told her that she didn't need to work to gain God. I think her jaw almost fell to the floor. I didn't have another statement or a qualifier--I was still perched in my uncomfortable chair at 2am, clinging to Christ for what to say or do.

A few minutes after that, the intensity was over and we were on safer, more mundane ground again. She gave me a fierce hug before going upstairs and asked me to say that part again about God. At the moment, I didn't remember what I had said, but she prompted me through it. I was still racing with the Father on every response.

It was difficult to be in front of someone so broken who doesn't know Christ. All those platitudes ingrained in me fell woefully short. I feel her pain but fear that I'm not empathetic enough to her situation. I cannot make things better for her. I cannot save her. I must remain desperate enough in this friendship to hang on to the Spirit for discernment and guidance for my every word.

Father, guard this house so that nothing but your love and truth reign here.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Why We Fight

I've never been accused of being a bleeding-heart liberal or a conspiracy theory sympathizer. I proudly call alma mater one of the most politically conservative and patriotic colleges in the nation. My last locale was neighor to major Navy and Air Force bases. I have a lot of friends in the military and those who are military contractors. But as I get older and go deeper into the personhood of Christ, I become increasingly disillusioned about establishment anything. Military, government, industry, and their associated machinery can do positive things, but over and over again I am more saddened by the injustices of it all.

Tonight I watched a documentary called Why We Fight. It centers around Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address at the end of his presidency. He used that speech to warn the nation about the dangers of something called the military-industrial complex. This struck me because Eisenhower was a GENERAL. At any rate, the film took a more balanced and professional tack than Fahrenheit 9/11, but the final message was similar. It was very well done.

I struggle with this information frequently. Commercialism disgusts me more and more. War for any reason becomes increasingly disgusting. Isn't His Kingdom about peace? Shouldn't we support leaders who actually live out Christ's Kingdom rather than just pay Him lipservice?What does all this mean for me as a follower of Christ? How can I be a part of the solution?