Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thoughts of the day.

1. Hermeneutics is a joke. Seriously.

2. Philip Yancey's book "Disappointment with God" is a dang good read.

3. I am SO excited about the women's event coming up in a couple weeks! It's going to be fantastic.

4. I have discovered that I am high-maintenance. And now I am frantic to change that. Why can't you be chill, Bethany? Why? WHY?

5. I am WAY too addicted to texting. - This needs to change. Maybe.

6. I am a glutton for punishment.

7. I'm going to be trying out a homeless ministry for the first time tomorrow night with Spencer Jones, and I'm excited but nervous at the same time. I hope I don't mess it up...

8. I'm realizing that although I'm beyond happy for all my friends that are getting married, I feel a strange sense of loss because those friendships will never be the way I've enjoyed them for so long. I'm beginning to abhor change and marriage in general (not really, but I can try, right?).

9. I need to sleep. Long day tomorrow. Work-out (maybe), work, chapel, Walgreens, CWC, reading, running around campus putting up posters, philosophy, more reading, dinner, Breaking Bread, then back to campus for more reading and sleep. And maybe the working out will come during that time. We'll see. I can read and do the stationary bikes at the same time.

And.... goodnight.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Trusting Him.

Yesterday's sermon at my church (New Life Community) was exactly fit to what I needed to hear. This post goes along with the second post that I wrote yesterday, but I didn't get a chance to talk about the sermon that I heard that prompted everything.

Pastor Mark Jobe talked about Revelation 3:7-13, which was about the church in Philadelphia (No, not the city in Pennsylvania). The verses that are in this passage really hit me hard. Verse 7 says:

"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: 'The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and not one will shut, who shuts and no one opens."

My pastor then began to talk about how God is the one who opens and closes the doors in our lives. He is ultimately sovereign in the direction that our lives take. Which got me thinking. Am I looking for the doors that God has opened in my life, or am I just complaining and mourning the slamming shut of doors that I wanted to be open? He talked about how a lot of times we camp out in front of the doors that have been slammed shut just hoping that maybe they'll be opened again, instead of seeing that God has opened another door for us to walk through.

There are also many times where we're stuck in a waiting room because God either hasn't opened any doors for us, or we haven't seen the doors that He's opened yet. And many times we become impatient and instead of waiting for Him to show us the open door, we walk through the door of compromise and do the things which He doesn't want us to do.

I have done that way too many times in my life. I have started out in the waiting room, but told God that I don't want to wait any longer, so I've stormed through the door of compromise, only to have it be filled with pain and suffering and ending in a broken heart. Then I am thrown from the room back into the waiting room, only to become impatient again.

This is a vicious cycle that I need desperately to get out of. Why is it so hard though to just trust God? Why is it so difficult to give myself fully to Him, without expecting anything in return? Why can't I just follow Him without expecting someone to come along with me or for something magnificent to happen because of it?

I need to follow God because He is worth it. He is the ultimate. He deserves everything that I have. But I am always so unwilling to give that, and I end up just wanting to live life for myself. And because of that I end up wounded and crawling back to my Savior asking for forgiveness. Then I always make the promise that I'm going to try harder. That this time I"m really going to be different and I'm really going to follow Him. And then a week goes by, and I'm back in the exact same situation that I was in before.

I feel as though Romans 7 is really becoming a life passage for me. Paul is echoing what I'm feeling now by saying that the things that he wants to do he doesn't do, and the things that he doesn't want to do, he ends up doing. He talks of his frustration at not being able to live for Christ the way he wants. But in the end he asks who will rescue him from this body of death, and he simply states, "Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

If God is the one I'm wanting to follow, He is the only one that can rescue me from my impatience and from my compromise. I don't have nearly enough strength on my own. I need Him. I need His grace and I need His love in order to push through the temptations that I have to compromise in my faith and in my life. God is a good God, and He will always take me back, no matter how unfaithful I am. How grateful I am and should be to Him for that very reason! I don't deserve His love. Yet He gives it anyway, and I am eternally indebted to Him.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Second post of the day - I know.

Wow. Isn't it amazing how God works? He seems to work quickly in my life at certain points. I asked Him to speak to me, and He did. As I was just about to start this blog, I was going to start off with saying, "I am afraid."

And then I started listening to the song playing on my iTunes. At the exact moment that I was about to type my first sentence, these words played:

I don't wanna be afraid, I don't wanna run away

Wow. Even though the rest of the song doesn't really pertain to my situation, it still hit me. Hard. Because even though this situation that I'm in really sucks and I don't know which way to go and I don't know how I'm supposed to be feeling, I can't be afraid, and I can't run away. I need to face what's going on even though it could hurt. It could hurt A LOT.

I guess though this is a time where I just need to wait on God. I need to wait on His timing. I am always so impatient, but my Pastor today reminded all of us that we need to wait for God to open the door, and not become impatient and go through the door of compromise instead. I have done that way too many times in my life. I can't do that anymore. I need to wait on God. I need to be patient and wait for His timing. And that may very well include denying myself of some of the things that I want. If I actually want what God wants, I'll be faithful and wait for His timing. I'll wait for Him to work instead of trying to take things into my own hands.

God's growing me. He's molding and shaping me. He's making me into the woman that He wants me to be. I need to be teachable. I need to be willing to allow Him to work. He wants to work in me. He wants to change me to become more like Him. So why is it so hard to just let Him do that? I need to love Him more than I love my desires. I need to love Him more than I love myself. I need to love Him more than I love my hopes and my dreams.

He needs to be everything. He needs to be my all. I need to run wholeheartedly after Him and not look back.


I'm here again
A thousand miles away from you
A broken mess, just scattered pieces of who I am
I tried so hard
Thought I could do this on my own
I've lost so much along the way

Then I'll see your face
I know I'm finally yours
I find everything I thought I lost before
You call my name
I come to you in pieces
So you can make me whole

I've come undone
But you make sense of who I am
Like puzzle pieces in your eye

Then I'll see your face
I know I'm finally yours
I find everything I thought I lost before
You call my name
I come to you in pieces
So you can make me whole!

I tried so hard! So hard!
I tried so hard!

Then I'll see your face
I know I'm finally yours
I find everything I thought I lost before
You call my name
I come to you in pieces
So you can make me whole
So you can make me whole

Thoughts on a snowy day.

So here I am, sitting in my dorm room with a very snowy day outside my window. Everything would be peaceful and lovely if it weren't for one thing. It's ALMOST APRIL. *sigh* Well, I suppose I should be used to this by now since I'm from Colorado. However, it still annoys the heck out of me. But I digress.

Being back in Chicago for a week now after spring break has caused me to think about a lot of things. I had one of the best breaks I've ever had this year, and it was really difficult for me to come back to Chicago. The hope that I had was that I would be back home in just a month and a half. I was really able to reconnect with a lot of old friends as well as make new friends, and that was amazing. I MISSED my Bible Study girls! I grew up with these girls, but it had been almost 2 years since we had actually spent any long period of time together. I needed that time with my girls. They are wonderful women of the Lord, and it grieves my heart to know that I am away from them for such long periods of time. But I was really able to spend some quality time with them (by going to a Newsboys concert together! YEAH!) and I now miss them more than I did before, but I wouldn't trade my time with them for anything. Maybe the Lord will lead me back there someday to stay.

In being back home and doing so many activities, I began to realize just how much I miss my family. I don't know what it was, but even though I've been on breaks before, this time was different. I feel as though I connected with my family on a different level. Could it mean that I'm actually growing and maturing, and therefore my relationships with my family are becoming closer because of that? It very well could be. 

God is so good. He has blessed me with a family that I don't deserve in the least. I have 2 wonderful parents who have been together for 32 years and still love each other just as much or even more as when they were first married. They love the Lord, and strive to do what He wants in every aspect of their lives. I have three older sisters who I love dearly, and I love their husbands almost as much. :) Even though they are all so much older than me, I am so blessed to have their friendships. 

We had a wedding during break, and I think that was one thing that brought us all closer as a family. Shelley and Mike's wedding was absolutely gorgeous and touching. We were just all so incredibly happy for them that when the slideshow came on with the song, "When God made you," we all fell apart. There wasn't a dry eye in our family. We are close and we all love each other so much more than anyone can know. There's nothing that I wouldn't do for my family. I am always there for them, and I know that they are always there for me. What a relief that is! 

My sisters are my best friends. I can tell them anything and everything. It's such a blessing to live in a close family like the one I have. I hope to never take them for granted.