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Living in the Love I Have (Rather Than the Lack I Feel)

Living in the Love I Have (Rather Than the Lack I Feel)

Another post from Soma Spokane.

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A Prayer for the Future

A Prayer for the Future

I am now posting fairly regularly on the Soma Spokane blog. Here is a recent post.


I Didn’t Change Myself

When I first took hold of Jesus and promised myself I would never let go, I realized that everything would have to be different. I didn’t know how, but I had to run toward him forever. From my perspective at the time, I felt that I had to trust my grip on him. I had to pursue Jesus, and the only way I knew how was through service. It was a very intentional turn from satisfying my own needs to meeting the needs of others. As a result, when I couldn’t see a need, I was anxious. If I didn’t pick up a piece of trash I saw, I felt it meant I was running away from him. I had to do everything right because the slope is slippery.

 

Somehow, I moved beyond that into a season of wanting to see the salvation of my high school, revival. I preached the gospel everywhere, led a prayer group every morning, fasted every Thursday. God did nothing. It was his grace to me. I was enthusiastic, moved, passionate, even joyful, but I am not convinced that I loved him yet. The joy, the wisdom, the fervor, the way I was able to lead my peers to Christ in that time, those were gifts and I didn’t deserve them. I still believed that if I sacrificed enough for God, he would come. I would see the mighty works of his hand. I loved those works more than I loved God.

 

One day after youth group, I found myself sitting in my car in the church parking lot, praying. I was listening to a worship CD. I had never gotten to the end of the last track. There was a lot of blank space and some piano background music, then, finally, a mini sermon. I will never forget it said: “Jesus didn’t say ‘Blessed are those who do really cool things in my name,’ or ‘Blessed are those who seek the works of God,’ he said, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.’” Having been so directly called out, I saw that this was the revival I desperately longed for. Revival wasn’t and isn’t the Holy Spirit bringing about spiritual craziness. Revival is one heart after learning that God himself is more captivating than all other things.

 

I have changed so much since Jesus found me. I found freedom from my religious fumbling. I found freedom from my need for worthy young men to validate me. I have found freedom from my pride. I didn’t do a thing. Not one single fucking thing.

 

My prayers feel more and more to me like poking a hole in my heart and letting the blood spill out along with everything else I hold dear, asking him to please pick out the evil things, asking for the pain that brings life. My prayers look like standing naked, saying, “what now?” with confidence that he will continue to lead me.

 

I didn’t change myself. I have been on a journey since God first took hold of my life and promised that it would be for good. And the times I grew the most were the times when I rested.


Things I’ve Learned This Week

I can’t turn my passions into money makers; they have to become that on their own or I will grow to hate them.

Stress about the future isn’t worth it.

A week ago, I thought I was going to be an editor/designer/typographer/painter, but then God gave me a studio, a bunch of people with great advice, a ton of encouragement, and a new goal: build a portfolio and get a graduate degree in painting.

When I am on the verge of moving on or falling deeper in love with someone, teetering on the edge–although it is potentially more painful than moving on–might be just what I need to find my balance.

When blogging might make me late for church, sometimes I just might need to blog anyway.


Love Your Body

It seems like most women (men, too) fight a battle with their bodies. Sometimes it is a physical battle, but even when you’re thin, you’ve got to learn to love what you’re left with.

I was just reading this blog because a friend of mine posted it on Facebook.

I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. Even I find myself feeling inadequate at times, and I really do love my body. I like being in it and (apart from never having to shave or wax again) there is nothing I’d change. What I couldn’t believe is what Victoria’s Secret models actually put themselves through to look the way they do.

When I was in the dorms the last few years I found myself wishing that women could be more comfortable with their bodies. When I passed my friends in the bathroom, I made a point to say that they were beautiful. Some of them started to believe it.

I wrote an article for the Whitworthian called “Nudity Builds Community” in which I argued that all of the dorms on campus should have community showers. I would link you to it, but since their webpage changed, the archive isn’t really complete or available anymore from what I can tell.

In the process of affirming women and encouraging them to be comfortable with themselves, I may have inspired a few questionable escapades. Adventures like running through the woods in the snow in the nude, singing songs. No, we weren’t caught. It’s the kind of streaking that doesn’t require an audience. In those moments, the world feels like Eden.

Its really hard to love yourself when no one else does. If no one is appreciating what you’ve got can you fully enjoy it? It might be possible, but I know my ability to love myself comes from God’s delight in his creation, of which I am a part. Can you really tell God his work is not good enough?


A Meditation on Fragility and Need

Today I feel needy. I feel wronged when I haven’t been. I feel a desire for things that I know I don’t want.

 

My soul asked me, To whom should I look to satisfy this need? Should I look to Travis?

No, I said. He’s busy.

Wallowing? That might help.

No it won’t, I replied.

Well, what do you want?

Jesus.

 

The answer is always the same. Resting in Christ never fails to provide satisfaction and an outpouring of love, despite my fragile state.

 

Is this PMS? This is how it usually feels for me. Besides the aching, it feels like emotional fragility and need. I am so thankful for the way that once every month, the blood of Christ feels even richer than usual, even more necessary for my salvation, and I feel held close—safe, wrapped in a love deeper than I can understand.