Kisses From Katie…where my journey meets hers…3

Chapter 2: In The Crucible of Contradiction

And even though I realize I cannot always mend or meet, I can enter in.  I can enter into someone’s pain and sit with them and know.  This is Jesus.  Not that He apologizes for the hard and the hurt, but that He enters in, He comes with us to the hard places.  And so I continue to enter…

I know of 6 people that have dealt with cancer recently or are dealing with it right now.  I know of friends who have dealt with miscarriages and depression and divorce and death and debt and eating disorders and shame and guilt and pain…so much pain!  I work with kids who have blended families, “dysfunctional” families, no families…those who have abilities and disabilities.  I pray for mommas with no jobs, sisters with a haunting past, dads dealing with darkness, uncles living in bitterness and/or denial, aunts living sick, and grandmothers living scared.

I cannot help them, though everything in me wants to!

I cannot help them, but I can be with them.  I can be interested.  I can care.  I can love.  I can walk through the journey next to them; holding them when I need to, sitting with them for a rest, singing over them when their hearts need lifting, picking them back up when they need another second chance.  I can be to them what Jesus is to me every day, and maybe they will come to find His ocean of Love through my small stream.

I realized that He was using the contradictions that surrounded me to change my point of view…I loved my new life…but I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the comforts and the people of my old one…I wanted to be…normal…sometimes.  But I wanted other things more.  All the time.  I wanted to be spiritually and emotionally filled every day of my life…and never go a day without laughing…

Paradox.  Contradiction. Irony.  Whatever, it’s life!  I left my home with the mindset that I would never struggle for money.  I would always have more than enough.  I get into ministry with the mindset that Jesus is my greatest treasure and that money would not be my pursuit…but sometimes it has been.  I left home thinking I had to get as far away from my past, the way I grew up, the skinny-poor-self-conscious-people pleaser-always needing recognition to feel worthy-girl.  I get into ministry and realize it’s the “me’s” in the world who still need someone to reach out to them; so, I pray that I can be such a person. I live two doors down from just such a girl…a girl who reminds me way too much of me and my past…and I run inside when I see her.  It’s the mirror I am still trying to face.  I left home thinking I would never want to go back.  Well, I’ve climbed the mountain with the Good Shepherd, I stand at the top, and I look back at all that was.  I bow down low, cry on the floor, and pray earnestly for a visit…back home.  We give up Direct TV, phone service, name brands, eating out, how much coffee I scoop out, $38 a month for Jeni in Indonesia – all because we want to seek His kingdom first and live differently.  The next week, everyone is watering their grass and buying iPhones and going on dates and planning vacations, and I try not to want it all…but I do.  I want what I see, but I do – without a doubt I do – want “other things more”!

I want Him so close to me that I can feel His very breath.  I too want His filling, so that I may share the sweet fruit of the Spirit!  I also long speak a foreign language to me…laughter.  Yes, laughter!  I want not a smile a day or even just a chuckle.  I want an all-out belly laugh – with my children, with my husband, with a friend, with my God!

I wanted to be challenged endlessly; I wanted to be learning and growing every minute.  I wanted to be taught by those I teach, and I wanted to share God’s love with people who otherwise might not know it…I wanted to feel needed, important, and used by the Lord.  I wanted to make some kind of difference, no matter how small, and I wanted to follow the calling God had placed on my heart.  I wanted to give my life away, to serve the Lord with each breath, each second…

“What do you want to do with your life?” “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  These are common questions that receive all kinds of answers.  They are good questions; understandable questions.  In light of the Believer, though, they are the minor questions.  When giving your life over to God – surrendering all – the Christian finds it’s really not about what “we” want to do or be.  God starts to reveal to us who “we” are – His!  God reveals what He wants to do with our lives – live through them to draw others to Him…all for His good pleasure and glory!  The only thing God tells us about what we will be when we grow up, is that we will go lower – we will be servant to all, just as His Son came to be.  And so, began my paradigm change.

Life, was no longer about me and my desires – not even my great plans for Him!  Life is no longer about getting from God for the sake of me; it’s about receiving with hands wide open whatever He entrusts and passing it on.  This life is not about my likes and dislikes, nor about my happy emotions.  This life is about the Author of Life!  Trying to live without Life Himself will suffocate!  All the “blessings” of the world will only cut off the oxygen of His breath – Life in me.

So, I ask for eyes to see Him. I watch as a maid with her mistress, as a soldier with his commander.  I catch the first glimpse of His movement, and that is “what I want to do with my life”.

Opportunities to make someone else’s life better were so much more attractive to me than the thought of the comforts I once knew.  The longer I stayed, the more I realized that deep fulfillment had begun to swallow my every frustration…

I have stated how God is beginning with my eyesight as I am praying to live eternally.  It’s really not that I am so blind or that my vision is “off”; rather, it is because my vision is “on”…me.  When I go to the Christian book store or a trinket store, I don’t go with thoughts of what I could get to bless ____________.  I go with me in mind.  What do I  like?  What do I want?  Do I have extra money to maybe also purchase the same item for a friend…but mine first!  It is shameful!  I am so thankful that Jesus never thought that way!  I pray to be like Jesus, Who’s eyes were always on God and others!  His first thoughts were not for His comfort, likes, provisions, or personal blessings; they were on the people who He loved so much…you…me!  I want to “see” just like that!  I want my first thoughts not to include me and my desires.  When I walk into a room I don’t want to announce with my presence, “Here I am!”  When I walk in, I want my eyes to be opened, and I want the person in front of me “hear” me say “There you are!”  I want that kind of “deep fulfillment” to swallow up all of me!

I put value in things.  These children, having no things, put their value in God.  I put my trust in relationships, these children having already seen relationships fail, put their trust in the Lord…All my senses are full of His greatness.  God’s glory has fallen down into this place and is soaking us even deeper that the rain.  I never ever want to be dry.

(Katie recorded this in the midst of a “praise and worship” time with a slew of orphans on a rainy evening.)

I have put value in things, though for a long time I had no things to speak of.  I was a child without a lot, but I saw people with a lot.  Instead of desiring God alone, I have desired God along with…  I have put my trust in relationships, though I have over and over and over again seen relationships fail.  Instead of desiring God alone, I have held onto the allusion that he or she might also fill the longings, this time.  I know the Truth, and when I live this knowledge it becomes Belief.  Belief becomes my view and my life.  This life of Truth then becomes my freedom!  Remember,

I am free to run…
I am free to dance…
I am free to live for You…
I am free…
Yes, I am free…

Christ is with me – within me – at all times!  He prayed that the glory He and the Father shared would be mine – He and His glory live in me!  I never have to be dry again!  “Lord Jesus, soak me in your glory, that the world may see and know and believe and be free!”