Monday, July 23, 2012

Precious Life

Senior Photo
I haven't blogged in a long while. First out of fear of being followed by unwanted people. Then out of being busy finishing high school, graduating and such, getting baptized and finding jobs.  

Graduated :)

Being caught up only leads to dropping off several passions and activities I once did. Graduating high school doesn't mean I shouldn't continue to blog, or dance, or paint, or anything that I did before. Graduating high school shouldn't be where I dump my passions, becoming a person only working just to get by and over works for one second of fun, maybe, in the future. As a graduate, a fire should ignite in my soul craving new ways to explore each passion. I was planning on going to Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon; super stoked about the idea of being engulfed in a community filled with artist's and quirky people. Needless to say; they are my tribe. However, miraculously coming up with 25 grand for the first year within months of being accepted is a bit... ambitious. And I was. Ambitious, hopeful, prayerful, the whole deal. But in this reality God controls where I go when, if I'm following that is. God closes doors and opens windows, so I deferred from Portland for a year and I'm still going to be in my mountainous home for another year, working, and trying not to lose myself in the work scene. 

Luckily God isn't a God who doesn't plan or is caught off guard. He knows where I'm going when and where I'll be when. Honestly this is the most reassuring piece of knowledge I have. As long as He knows what's up, I'm good to go along for the ride, I'll keep paddling along with faith He knows the journey and I know my final destination. Just after I graduated I was baptized, literally the day after. Of course that resulted in me being more excited for the baptism than my graduation but that's okay.
Being prayed over (I'm sobbing)
Preparing to be Clean
Dying to Myself
Resurrected in Christ


My boyfriend, holding me.

One was a physical transition, the other, a spiritual transformation. I was dunked in the river flowing by my church. My whole family was there, I cried like no other. God's grace was washing over me, His love is crazy. Just before I was dunked my mom pulled me aside and said "remember this, this is a transformation, everything is washing away with that river, you're new." And she was dead on. The water, even though I knew with my head that it was freezing, it actually felt warm, and slow motion almost. The water rushed over me and I could feel the old me, the mess up, the depressed, the desperate, the broken me, being peeled off of me and washed away, like after rolling around in mud for hours and then letting it crust over for a bit, then finally taking that shower, it just crackles and melts away. My broken self melted away. I am new, I am clean, and I am a woman of God. I'm empowered by God and I am ready to take on the world, because it's no longer just me against the world, I will be dancing in God's wonderland alongside with the Creator. 

The other day I was at church and there was another man talking other than our normal pastor. He styled out the sermon in a more interactive format, and being a smaller church it seemed to work pretty well. I sit in the third row back smack dab in the middle. Basically in the front, no one sits in the front two rows, I would sit in the front but then it's like sitting in the front row at a movie theater, you can't get the full picture. I've always been verbally responsive in everything, yes I'm that annoying person in the back of the theater who talks back to the screen like a football fanatic. This interactive format was made for me, because he actually expects me to respond. It became like english class, when no one would answer the question and my teacher would look at me because she knew I knew the answer. He, the Pastor, would look at me whenever no one would respond. Near the end he asked "How do we forgive people?" there was a point when everyone got silent, and he just looked at me, with so much love, not the creepy way, but with the love of God, the love of a fellow sibling under God, and he said "Yes precious?" He could see I understood. And I said "Jesus". The whole sermon was about forgiveness, and how if we don't forgive, when we are hurt, we fall into bitterness. We just continually reopen that scab just to make a deeper and deeper scar. After bitterness we will result to rebellion. We start to literally do the things that made you bitter in the first place, restarting the cycle for someone else. We end up justifying how we have the "right" to treat everyone badly because we were hurt. And then we fall under deception, we are convinced we are right in our wrongs. Now you see, I was convicted, not because anyone in the church was accusing me, or pointing fingers or anything that outsiders looking in might think we do, no that's not at all how it goes. It's God pointing out the little crook or dark alley in my heart that I need to clear out and allow His light and glory.

After the sermon I thought I should go and ask the speaker to pray with me, to help me not hold a grudge or not hold the people who have hurt me in my life accountable or hold their wrongs against them. Jesus doesn't hold our wrongs against us, He died for them! God has His heart broken every time we do something that isn't what He desires for us, every time we sin. The cross is a picture of God's broken heart, He displays to the world that forgiveness takes sacrifice, humility, and a heart of Christ. I spoke to the speaker and the first thing he said to me was "You get it, I knew that if there was anyone that this sermon was for it was for you as soon as I saw you." And he was right. God was speaking radically through Him to me, as I'm sure to a lot of other people too. We talked and talked and we shared testimonies. He told me "there are so many people who care about you, so many people who want to take care of you and so many people who love you here, I can see it". Tears were welling up in my eyes. I could fee   l my heart beating a little faster and I could hear God saying "Listen to him, he is telling you My heart for you." Then he gave me a book, a book he said "I read two books for the longest time when I was first saved and that is the Bible and this book." We said our goodbyes, I'm so amazed by how God can use other people to make such an effect in your life, such an influence. And I'm pretty sure if anyoneelse  had called me precious at any other time, it would have been a little creepy. ;)

God has me, and even though I can't afford to go to college this year, I can surely make the most of spending another year in my mountainous home. There's worst places to be :). I have a church that loves me, a family that loves me, and a boyfriend who loves me too, and now I just get to spend a year being saturated with this love and saving up money for this dream of mine. It's always sweeter when you work for it, it's like when you make your own feast on thanksgiving, the preparation is the sweetest part. So I pray God prepares my heart and my mind for my up coming adventures. 

Thanks for reading.