Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Disruptive grace

This morning, I was reading an article in Steve McVey's December 2007 newsletter entitled The Gift.

In it, Steve said, "Someone has rightly said that grace which isn't disruptive isn't really grace." Then, he went on to discuss how Mary's life was changed after she learned that she was to become the mother of Jesus. "Mary had to die to a lot as the baby Jesus grew inside her. She died to the way she had anticipated her life would unfold. She had to die to her reputation. She died to the right to manage or even understand her life's circumstances."

My life today looks nothing like I once envisioned it would be. So much of it is better than I could have dreamed it would be but there are still those areas that I would change if I could and . . . I've tried but they still haven't changed. As Nicole said in her godblog, life is unpredictable. It bothers me when I don't have everything laid out in a neat little package. I like to be in control but life has a way of shaking up my plans and then I have to look to see where Father is in all of this and sometimes I can't see him but he's always there.

At one time, I struggled and fought to achieve what I thought I wanted and needed but now I'm learning to follow wherever he may lead. Sometimes it takes me a while to decide to follow but I've found that he's patient and will give me the time I need. Learning to give up my hopes and dreams has been a process - painful at times - but I'm slowly learning to be content with what I've been given and not stress over what I don't have.

Steve said, "Let us agree with His Spirit that we will gladly embrace every disruptive aspect of grace that shakes us out of our comfort zones, breaking away the things that interfere with living as our authentic selves, and causing us to come to more fully and intimately know Him."

In order to know Father better, I'm learning to allow him to free me from those things which I'm holding onto that hold me back and to instead embrace the life which has given me.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Isaiah 43:18-19

Well, I'm finally blogging. I've been thinking about doing it for quite some time now but being technologically challenged, I hesitated to jump in. Periodically, the idea would come floating back through my brain but again I'd think of all of the reasons why I shouldn't do it.

Recently, one of my friends started her own blog and I started thinking about it again. Then, two bloggers, Bino and Joel, encouraged me to jump in and give it a try. Joel's comments convinced me that maybe starting one is not as hard as it seems and it's not, so here I am. Thanks, Joel and Bino.

One of the things I struggled with was finding a meaningful name. I came up with a couple but neither felt right. Then I decided to talk to Father about it and see if He had any suggestions. Well, of course, He did and that's how "Forgetting the Former Things" came about.

A number of years ago, He turned my world upside down. It was a frustrating and scary time. Nothing I did seemed to work. My religion had failed me. Now, I understand that religion will never produce what it promises. However, during that time, I didn't know that so I did the only thing that I knew how to do and that was cry a lot. Now, understand, for me that was a major thing because I'm not a crier by nature but I was desperate.

Things around me were changing so fast and I felt as though the ground was moving under my feet and that I couldn't keep my balance. Apparently, that's what it took to loosen religion's hold over me. During that difficult time, Father led me to Isaiah 43:18-19.

"Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19)

I understood that He was doing a new thing in my life but I didn't know what it was and it was scary to let go of the former things. He would ask me if I could see the new thing and I would say, "No! All I see is sand." That confusion lasted about two and a half years and then, as I became freer and freer, I began to see something far away on the horizon.

Since then, it's been quite a journey as I've followed Jesus into unknown territory. At first, I kept looking back longing for the past but now, I'm looking ahead with excitement eagerly looking to experience what's new for today. Each day has new opportunities to come to know Jesus a little bit better and the former things no longer seem as captivating as the new things Jesus will reveal to me as we walk together.

Well, this is probably long enough for a first blog but I've enjoyed sharing a little about this wonderful journey that I've started and I'm sure I'll be sharing more in the coming days.