Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I am.


These thoughts are like an ocean. I am treading water, but the waves keep crashing over me. Struggling not to sink. I am lost, but I am not alone. My thoughts are a never-ending ocean, no matter how hard I try, I am unable to reach the shore.

I see.

I think.

I feel.


I am completely humbled by God. His words penetrate my soul-my very being. It's impossible for me to understand the way He works. It is impossible for me to know Him completely. He is full of surprises. I feel as if I was only just born, and I must change everything I know. Instead of speaking in babbles, I must use full words. Instead of drinking formula, I am fed meat. I am no longer afraid. I am not scared to fall, because I know I will be picked up. I am not scared to be broken. The only thing that comes from brokenness is healing. I am not afraid to give up every aspect of my life to Him. I need to be broken in order to be healed. I must grow wings before I fly. I need truth before I am free.

Each day I grow.

I am no longer new born, but am taking my first steps. I stumble and fall, because my legs are weak. But my father continues to pick me up. I know He will never leave, even when my legs are strong. He's still holding my hand, helping me to get closer to my goal of home.

I am complete.

I am not expecting the world to give me anything. I do not need guys. I do not need alcohol. I do not need drugs. I do not need anything except for God, and His word. My life is complete because He made it that way. He finished me. He completed the empty hole in me, and He isn't leaving.

I am a photographer.

I do not rely on equipment to make me good. My eyes see things I never saw before. My life is lived through a lens. Even when my camera is not in front of my face, I see things in photos. God has given me clients, and more will come in His time, not mine.

I am a child of GOD.

My life is lived by His rules, His word. I see people through His eyes rather than my own. My heart belongs to Him. Every situation is thought through more carefully than before. I seek His wisdom, and rely on Him, because He's the only thing I've got. I am His.

I am alive.

I was living dead. I was broken, scared, and alone. I ignored Him every time He called on me. My breath was wasted on worthless words. My heart was beating for no purpose.

He sought me out, and He breathed life into me. I did not find Him. When I hid, when I ran away, He found me. I had nothing else so I took a leap of faith. I do not regret the decision because He has blessed me, broken me, and healed me. Not only am I now alive, I am new.

I am Melodie.

Photos. Art. Creativity. Mashed up words. Great brain farts. Hobo. Fashion all my own. Beautiful. Complete. Growing. Child of God. Worthy. Blessed.

I am everything I was meant to be from the beginning. God took my mistakes, and made them beautiful.

I will do nothing but praise and worship my God until the day that I die, and am able to go home to Him. I have been given a second chance, and I am not willing to give it up for anything.

Thank you, God.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Love


One of my biggest strengths...and weaknesses...is compassion.

I am one of those people that has to fix everything for everyone.

My problem-letting God have control.

Last night, as I was writing, I began to list names. People that just came into my mind. I then went back and wrote down everything I thought of when I thought of them. Questions for them, questions for me, questions for God. Things I should say to them, things I won't say to them. Everything. And the question came up-

How do I love others, without hurting myself?

I'm scared. To really love. I love everyone, and allow everyone to impact my life, whether it be good or bad. But there really is no in-between. I try to love each and every person. But that's what has gotten me hurt time and time again.

The Bible says love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:13), the greatest of faith, hope, and love, is love (1Corinathians 13:13), and everyone who loves has been born of God (1 John 10:10). I am supposed to love. God has commanded me to love. So how am I able to love, when I am so hurt from love?

I just began to write what was in my head. This is what came out:

"Why is it so scary for me to love? Is it because of the hundreds of times I have been broken by love? The Bible also says to not forgive seven times, but seventy-seven times. So, although I have been hurt, I should be able to continue to love. The questions I originally had comes back.

How am I able to love without hurting myself?

The answer is this: Just love. God tells us to love-many times over. If I love in a Godly way, in a Godly manner, things will work out. I am bound to get hurt. This world is FILLED with pain. But God says that each time we are persecuted for him, our reward in heaven is getting larger (Matthew 5:11-12). He wants us to hurt for him-because that is the least we can do.

So, if I love as God has commanded me to- in the limits of His limits, I will be okay. Wounds will be healed eventually, even if a scar remains."

God has a plan. I am beginning to make his plan, my plan.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Christmas Eve.


There is snow blowing EVERYWHERE, cookies are made, pies are being baked, Mom's cleaning, and the Christmas music is playing. Chris came over last night and gave us our gifts (I cried). My fingers are frozen, and my slippers are keeping my toes warm. I can't help but think about how incredible God is.
This year, things are not as I would have expected. I would have never thought our family would be CELEBRATING Christmas. I would have never thought that I would be in the place that I am at right now.
I am so happy I am able to worship God. Going places, and seeing things, I see how I used to be. Ignoring the fact that this is all about Christ's birth. This is all about remembering everything that He did for us, remembering the way that He became fully HUMAN for people as sinnful as us. I see the way that families celebrate, and make it all about the toys and things that you get. But guess what? This holiday is celebrated so that we can remember God and REJOICE. Yes, it's about giving. But that's not the core of it.
I see the way that teenage girls worship bands. Going to concerts, I see the way that a lot of teenage girls would take off their clothes for a "band boy". It disgusts me, that that is normal these days. I don't think I will be able to go to a concert that is not a Christian band anymore. It makes me uncomfortable, being in the place of a "fan girl". It makes me uncomfortable, raising my hands to these bands. I can't bring myself to do it, because I'm worshipping someone that is not God.
I just....I don't really know what I'm trying to say. This world has gotten so out of hand, and I would really like to do everything to fix it, but I know that God is the only one who can.
It's Christmas Eve. Don't forget to remember Christ this holiday, because that really is what it's all about.

Monday, December 21, 2009

This morning, I got mad at my sister. All I am to her, is "a mess [she] has to clean up", "...continually cleaning after me".

Basically, I cried tears of rage and brokenness.
I'm tired if being told I'm nothing.

I packed up all of her stuff from our room (clothes, shoes, books) and stuck it in the sunroom. I planned on telling everyone that if she has such a problem with me, she can find somewhere else to stay.




God broke me this morning.

I'm going to go put it back....

Friday, December 18, 2009

God is a Romantic?!

I feel like my eyes have been opened up. Like something new and something brilliant is going to happen, inside of me.
Last night Chris offered that I use his MarkII for shooting Alyssa and Chad's wedding. I literally started crying. Why? Because that was an ENORMOUS weight lifted off my chest. I didn't even realize how stressed I was about it, and yet, as soon as he said it, I freaked out. No one does that! What an incredible kid, right?

This just goes to show me that God always has plans for me. As soon as I start to get cold feet, God whispers to me (or, in this case, SHOUTS to me...), "I have it under control. Don't doubt me." And as soon as I give him the chance, he's right there with something new for me.
A year ago, I never would have thought I would be setting up my own website/blog, and shooting my sister's wedding. There is no way. But as soon as I allowed him to, God took over, and gave me chance after chance after chance to do great things.
How did I possibly ever get cold feet?

God is a romantic. Currently, he has me wooed onto my knees. He knows exaclty how to get me, and continues to do it, over and over again. I am on my knees with God right now. I am so beyond humbled because of the opportunities he has given me. Yesterday, I was in between a rock and a hard place. God used something as simple as letting me borrow a camera, to open all new possibilities for me and him. He simply tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Guess what? I make make things happen for those who trust me. Don't forget that."

Today we're going to the library. I can't wait to sit in my thoughts with God in a quiet place. Read words of amazing people, and just spend time with Him. Is it weird that I find a closeness to God in places like a library?

God, thanks for all you do. I love you.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him."
-Psalm 62:5

Thanks for the reminder, God.

Thoughts Out Loud

My mind is tossing and turning, and I don't even know where to start. Forgive me, for this blog will be all sorts of thoughts crammed together into a mush of THOUGHT. I hope you don't mind.

I keep asking myself-where am I going? What do you have in store for me, God? Where will you lead me? I'm living in comfort, and I hate it.
Obviously, you want me to go. Go where? I contacted some YWAM groups, to tons of different places, to see which one (if any) you have in store for me. Now I am waiting. Waiting for your pull.
Listened to "Only the Lonely" sermon this morning. It tore me up. I never knew that I was facing loneliness. I mean, I knew, but...not to this extent. The way Pastor Paul kept talking, it pulled around at my guts, and ripped them around a bit. Not a good feeling. But I know you wanted me to hear this. You wanted me to know that my own loneliness is my seperation from you. My loneliness is my sin.
That hurts, God. That scares me, God.
I haven't been sleeping enough, because my world has been so topsy-turvy. I feel as if I'm on a boat in the middle of a storm, and can't be held steady. I'm afraid of what this is, of what you're trying to tell me.
There it is. Fear. Why am I encompassed in fear? I'm so afraid of failure, I'd almost rather not do it. I'm so afraid of everything. Why am I encompassed in fear, God? You know everything. You know the ugliest parts of me, and the most beautiful. You know where my life is headed, and you know that I will do great things for You-So, God, why am I scared?
Why do I feel like throwing up, everytime I say something? Why do I feel like I'm going to be wrong in everything I do? Why does my heart stop in my chest when people ask me direct questions? Why, Why, Why?
I'm at a strange place. And I don't know where it is. I'm seeking you, God, and I feel like maybe, you're leaving me. Maybe you're abandoning me in my fear, so that I can learn something. What am I learning? Why can't I just accept that, and move on? Why can't I just see that maybe that's what you're doing, and just search for what you're teaching me?
Maybe it's because I don't even know where I am at. Maybe it's because I am in such a comfortable spot right now, I don't want to mess that up. Why am I suddenly wanting so much change? Why is my heart pounding outside of my chest, telling me to go, make a difference? Why am I stuck here, in my house, every single day, and I am not able to go out and do something? Why am I asking so much of you, God, when in reality, I should just be trusting you?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Letter To Myself

Dear Me,
I don't know how you've turned out, but I sure do know who you are right now, in this time.
I want to write you something because, well, I've gotten up the courage to do so, and I think someday, you might want to hear this. Or maybe even need to hear this.
You are exceptional. You may not see this every single day, but remember the good days you have. Be confident. Not only in who you are, but what you believe. God created you, God forgave you, God is forgiving you, and God loves you. Eternally.
Your heart has been hurt and broken, but by things of this world. Don't allow what anyone says to get you down, and make you feel as if you are nothing special. Because in God's eyes, He thinks you're beautiful. Nothing of this world matters. Not a single item or a single person. No matter what, God knows your heart. It doesn't matter how much you have, or how many people you know. It's about your heart. Are you living purely? Are you living for God, and only God? Are you becoming closer to Him with every breath you take? Are you sharing your salvation?
You have been through a lot. You know that. Other people know that. But guess what? Although the joy lasts for about a minute, when that minute is up, you are left beaten down, broken down, and alone. No amount of pleasure time is worth God's disappointment.
You're struggling. Even in the here and now. It hurts. It always will. But through God, it's okay. Because He is proud of you. Even if you are left with no one, you still have God.
God loves you. WOW. You, who has messed up time and time again. God loves that. God knows how sinful, and ugly, and evil your heart's desires are. And still He continues to take you back. He continues to love you.
When you start to feel down, when you start to fall, think about where you were. Think about your past, and how broken you were. Think about the people that you hurt, the disappointment, the heart break, the tears that you caused. And remember that as soon as you turned your life around, there was something different. Through God, there is love for absolutely everyone. Through God, there is trust, there is hope, there is everything that you will ever need.
Remember what He did for you. Remember Jesus, dying on the cross for someone like you. Remember that He will love you, no matter how many times you mess up.
But most of all, know this. Know that the more you live for Him, the more joy you will give to other people. You've always had a heart for making other people smile, for allowing people to tell you all, to just get it out. You've always wanted to make everyone happy.
God is the only way to make people happy. So don't foreget to share him.
I love you. Although you are me, I love you. I love the strength that you have, that other people may not realize. I love every time that you break, because that is what brings you closer and closer to Him. I love every smile that you smile, because I know that God is smiling too. I love every picture that you take, every word that you write.
Don't forget that you love who you are. Never ever forget this here, and this now. Don't forget the seeking you've been doing, the praying you've been doing, the answers you have been getting. Don't forget the heart break.
But more than that, don't forget the joy that God has allowed you to have. Don't forget how He healed you from your addictions. Don't forget the restoration He allowed in your family, in your relationships.
Don't forget Him.

With all the love in the world,
Me

Monday, December 14, 2009

Go.

WOWOWOW.
I want you to look at this website.
www.brideinspiredblog.com
I want you to stop what you're doing, and dive into this woman's journey in India. I want you to see the things she sees, and read the things she is experiencing.

This is what I'm going to do. This is what my heart is calling me to do. This is what God is saying, "Do. Go." I am browsing through her pictures, practically moved to tears. The one about the brave little girl. The one where she talks to God, and allows the picture to speak for itself. The one she titles "Twinkle". Every word she writes. Every word she says, with saying nothing at all. Stephanie says, "I think, instead of going to college right away, you should travel." And my heart did a somer-sault. Like one of those, "No way could this happen. No way I could do it. No way I'm good enough" somer-saults, but along with that, the somer-sault where God is saying, "Yes."
Have you ever felt that? I think it's been a while, for me. But God is telling me "Yes. Yes. Yes." And I am saying "I'm scared." But I can't even begin to explain to you how much I would love that.
To blog about my story, my adventure. To allow my pictures to speak into people's hearts. To allow them to see Christ through my photographs, to see Him, and not me.
I am excited, for my life. I may not be the best photographer in the world, but maybe that's why I started young, so I can get better until my time comes to Go.
Deep down, I always felt that I would go. My passion for travel, and for seeing new things, new places. My joy that comes from change. I think deep down, I would be called to go everywhere.
But sitting here, on my Mom's laptop, reading this girl's blog, I have felt the first real tugging from God. I no longer want to travel so that I can get away or run away. This is something different. This is God. That wrenching in my heart, that told me exactly where I needed to be.
Something as simple as this blog, these pictures, is going to change my entire life, my entire world, my entire way of seeing things.

Transformation

Do you ever get that feeling, when it feels like God is pushing his hands through your skin, into your stomach, and just mashing up your insides?
That's how I felt this morning.
I'm making a lot of changes, I have made a lot of changes. But I am still weak.
It's taken me so long to admit this.
My life before, it was all about being strong. No one saw the tears that I cried, no one noticed the bags under my eyes from the endless sleepless nights. No one saw the scars on my wrists, the pricks in my veins. No one noticed. And although I was fighting to be noticed, I was being noticed as strong, confident, and different. I wanted everyone to see that. I wanted everyone to think that I was happy, that I was okay. It was impossible for me to admit to myself or other people that I was weak.
God changed that.

Steph and I talked this morning. We talked about how there's a reason for authority, there's a reason for breaking off relationships, there's a reason for everything. We talked about how we should always trust God, even when it's impossible to see the future. As Elizabeth put it last night, "Foggy night. No stars. Black canvas. Completely and utterly humbled by my Maker. Do i believe? Even if I cannot see?"
I am obviously weak. I have yet to learn about God and his motives. I have yet to completely trust myself and my life to Him. Why? I don't know. I think that it would be hard for any person to give up everything they have. I think the transformation is never an easy one, that's why it's taken me this long to realize the things I'm beginning to realize.

I am relying on something else. Instead of reading my Bible on my own, someone else is calling me up, and reminding me of God's promises. I have yet to dive into my Bible on my own and seek answers. I do spend a lot of time in my Bible, but not much of it processes right, because I'm not seeking.
It's like being under water, and trying to make sense of the words someone is trying to speak to you. You hear it, but it's jumbled, it's muffled. My head is below water, and I want to come up. Not only to hear every word clearly, but to breath. And not just a short breath. I want to take a deep breath of fresh air, and hold onto that air for as long as I live.
I will not make false promises to God. There is absolutely no excuse for that, and I will not do it.

He gave his only son for me, and I still have yet to give myself up to Him. He gave me the greatest gift I could ever receive, and still it's hard to trust him. It's not only me, I see it in all kinds of people. It's hard. But He gave us everything he had. Why should we not rely solely on Him?

I'm just thinking out-loud.
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." -1 Cor. 10:13

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Family


fam-i-ly  /[fam-uh-lee, fam-lee] noun, plural -lies, adjective
1. parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not.
2. the children of one person or one couple collectively: We want a large family.
3. the spouse and children of one person: We're taking the family on vacation next week.
4. any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: to marry into a socially prominent family.
5. all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor.

Last night Audrey came over to get her haircut. Alyssa, Dad, and Zach were playing Rockband. Nikki was studying/doing homework. Mom and I were crocheting. She looked at us and said, "This is what a family looks like."
And I started thinking of everything we've been through, to get where we are now.
I had a hatred for my family that was completely unimaginable. I hated my Mom, because she was always worried about me. When she voiced her worries, they were so dead on, I would immediately try to defend myself. I hated my Dad because he didn't care about anything but his stupid video games. I hated Alyssa because she was always too good for me, and never made time for me. I hated Nikki because she was so goody-two-shoes, no one cared. I hated Zach because he was so little, and didn't know the things I was going through. I would come home to fighting, screaming, crying, anything but smiles and happiness. Everything with us was wrong. Completely wrong.
That's why when Audrey came in and said that, my heart stopped for about a minute.
We have been through SO much. My parents had issues, we had our own issues, and no one could do anything about it. We didn't know what to do, or how to do it. So we all went our separate ways, and pretended that we were comfortable being with each other. We would sit down for dinner, and pretend that we were a functional, happy family.
And then it all changed.
We started going back to church, and us kids fought it until we were blue in the face. My parents started fixing their marriage. Once that happened, they started fixing us. We fought and fought and fought.
But soon, Alyssa turned her life around, and found God. I turned my life around, found God.
Notice, everything starts changing with God. God. God. God.
We did not fix us. God did. We all found Him, and He allowed us to find love for each other. He allowed us to be with each other. He allowed us to smile and laugh and be a family.
So when Audrey came in, and saw that we were a real family, my heart exploded. She saw that we were together, she saw that we were happy.
I'm in love with my family.
Thanks, God.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rock The Boat

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (ESV)

This morning, I got an e-mail from a friend saying she was hurting. She has turned to binging instead of cutting, so as to "not let them down like that". I didn't know what to say. How am I to help her? I am so lost in my own life, how am I able to help her?
I have been in the same boat she is in, but at the time, I wouldn't have listened to anyone. Nothing anyone said could stop the reality that I was hurting, and no one could do anything about it. She knows God, She knows His love, but to what extent?
I settled for a simple answer, "I know nothing I say will change your mind, or help you out. But I do love you, and I mean it with all my heart."
I feel like I have failed. Why did I not jump on that opportunity to share God? Sure, she understands Him, and has made a lot of changes. But I don't think she sees the unfailing, unrelenting, forgiving love that He has for her. Why did I not whip out my Bible and seize the opportunity to show her His exact words, His exact love? I don't know.
I took some time, and found the Bible verses above. I'm still looking into it, still trying to find the exact meaning of it. But I know that there is hope.
I know that the more I read, the more I know about my God and Father, the more I will be able to comfort her. The better I will be at seizing opportunities to share of God, share of his comfort. I, myself, have never been a deep Bible reader. But I see that that is starting to change. At least 30 minutes a day, indulging into my Jesus. Making myself better, so that when people look at me, they do not see me, but they see the love of God.
I'm going to do everything in my power to know Him. To know the good sides of God, when He loves and forgives. I will know the bad sides of God, when He has had enough of the sin and torture people are putting themselves through. I want to know the sad side of Jesus, in the days before his crucifixion. I want to know the miracles he performed, showing people Him. I want to know the deepest parts of my God, because He is the only thing that is constant. He is the only one who will forgive me--endlessly.
My life has taken so many twists and turns. I am ready to rock the boat, and show everyone the love of my best friend, my Father, my love, my God.

Monday, December 7, 2009

12-5-09
















Mom and Steph in the front seat, snacking on Cap'n Crunch Berries straight from the box. Mom's feet are on the dash, shoes off. Music blaring Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl", everyone bobbing their heads. The air smells like salt from the sunflower seeds Nikki is chewing on. Zach is in the back, shaking his head at us goofy girls. The land passes by us as we drive; weeds, boring. Crunch, Crunch, Crunch; you hear the cereal bag crunching beneath the music we're all singing along to. It's almost like everything's going to be okay. Like our great grandma didn't just die, and we haven't been bickering the entire way. All we can think about is home. Home. Home. The sacred place we run to, that place we all have in common. We forget that Steph's leaving for Ireland soon, Nikki's headed out for college, and Zach's taking the leap into highschool.
What do you do?
What else is there to do than just...

Sing.

Enough?


As of late, I've been feeling feelings of...uselessness. Well, maybe not that word, to that extent. I just don't feel enough. Members of my family are very outgoing. They're loud, and crazy, and very friendly. But me, I'm quiet. I like to observe, and pounce on certain opportunities. But to me, talking has never been my forte. I don't like talking on the phone, I don't like talking out-loud, unless I have stories to share. I like to watch, to see, and to capture. I remember moments in pictures, not words. The words I have to say are better formed on paper than anywhere else. There, I can erase; There, I can change.

Since I don't talk on a regular basis, I seem to get pushed aside. Sitting back, being unnoticed. I like not being noticed, since my entire life before was about getting noticed. But still, I would like for someone to see me for once. To know me. I feel like my family often gets attention. They make friends easier, they get closer to people than I usually do. I, I sit back and watch, and hug, and observe. That is my purpose.

Lately, I'm feeling as if that is not enough.

And then I read Romans 9:20-21

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?


God has made me exactly how He wants me to be. He has his own purpose for me. He has his own plan for me. My sisters and I are completely different. They are loud, and outgoing. I am quiet, and observant. God has plans for me to change lives, but in my own time, in my own way.

Whether I write my words, or say my words, He will use my words for His glory, as long as I allow Him to do so.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Beyond Words


I began to blog, and no words came to me.

My mind is turning in so many different directions, I don't know where I would begin.

I'm sorry, for not keeping up. Maybe I can sort through it all once I get home.