Thursday, March 18, 2010

Laziness

I'm finding out so much about me, about God, about the people around me.
My sister is leaving for Arizona in less than a week, and my heart is sad.
I just started dating Chris, and I'm so excited for the things to come.
My life is tossing and turning. And all I'm doing is sitting back and watching it happen.

Spending time with God the other night, I wrote, "I feel like I'm doing so well at not getting overwhelmed, and just trusting God to work His magic. But the lull inside of me is frusturating. I long for a fire. I long to learn. Oh, how I long to learn. There is a desire in me to learn, and be able to teach. I want to know my Bible, know the words of God. I want to know historical facts behind it. I want to know how to answer the hard questions. The thing is-
I am lazy."

Ouch. That hits so close to home. My family consistently says this to me, and I simply accept it.
Like I said, ouch.
How completely unbiblical of me.
That is heart-breaking.

Today I went to the library by myself. I listened to a sermon, and wandered around with my iPod in my ears, searching for books.
That thought kept coming into my head-I long to learn. I long to learn. I long to learn.
I got books that are different than anything I usually get. I spent more time writing than I have in a while, and I only got a page and a little out of it.

"Each breath you breathe is an act of worship. Each inhale. Each exhale. It's so hard for people to know.
Yet I have been wooed.
God chose me. So many years ago, when He sent His son to die on the cross for my sins. That day, He chose me. And from the day I was born, to now, He was wooing me. He will continue to woo me until the day that I die. He chose the day to capture my broken heart, and heal it. He chose and is choosing the ways to romance me, lead me to His loving embrace."

I am abosolutely nothing without God.
I have seen the evil depths of human's hearts.
I know I am nothing without Him.

But I do have Him. And He has given me worth. This desire in me to learn, is being taken over by the simple things that Satan chooses to confuse me with-stop me, and pull me in.
What a fool I have been, for listening to Satan.
For accepting that I am lazy, for thinking it is okay that I am lazy.
Because the truth is, as a woman of God, I am absolutely not lazy.

Starting tomorrow, I'm taking a computer fast.
No picture uploads/edits. No blogs. No tumblr. No facebook. No twitter. No flickr. No browsing. No iTunes.
As you can see, it's been comsuming my mind and time. And I absolutely cannot have that.
Until I can learn to spend a more healthy amount of time on the computer, I will not be on it. Period.
I don't know when I will be back.
Until then, feel free to grab me tonight. Ask me for my address (I adore letters), my phone number, and we can get together, face to face.
I'm not simply fasting from facebook, or twitter, or something like that.
I'm not doing anything involving the computer.

It's time for me to prioritize my life. And this truly shouldn't be as important to me as it is right now.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A New Chapter




As many of you know-thanks to facebook (a very hard decision for us to decide whether to post it or not...haha)- Chris and I are in a relationship. Yes, I know, you're going to be collecting your money from your friends because you've been betting on it for a long time. Although you are now probably rich, there is so much more to this story than something that should be happening, or that regularly happens to two completely normal 15 and 17 year olds. Don't stop here because you think it's going to be some mushy love story about how two ordinary people came together to love each other extraordinarily, because that's definitely not the story.

Chris and I met through Stephanie, and the joys of facebook stalking. (Stephanie never even said my name, and he somehow found me, and added me as a friend. Yep. Stalker.) I flipped through his pictures, and was absolutely flabbergasted that he had just finished telling me, "I've wanted to capture the emotion you capture for a long time." SAY WHAT?!
We ended up finally meeting each other, and talking only with a "hi, hello, how are you?" "Great. It's nice to meet you." You know, the first meeting stuff.
I don't know how or when it happened, but we just started talking more and more and more. We started meeting twice a week, once to do a photography lesson, once to shoot. In between, we'd be doing different things with everyone else. I soon found myself learning more from him than photography-I started learning about God, because we were so much alike. It was beautiful.
And then people started talking. And I had to face the fact that I had feelings for him. We talked about it, and both said that we felt it was not the time to be in a relationship. We said we were going to meet, and talk about it, and change things, but we just never "had the time".
So, about three weeks ago, my Mom, Steph, Chris and I sat down around the dinner table, and had the conversation I was avoiding.
We have feelings for each other-and we either need to take a few dozen steps backward and be "just friends", or stay where we are with some boundaries and some other things, and be "dating". My brain felt like it was exploding.
We decided to "fast" from each other for two weeks, and really seek God, and what He was wanting with us through this.
My first reaction, "Heck yeah!"
My second reaction, "No, absolutely not."
One of the first things I wrote about it, "God, search my heart and know me. I want to do your will. I want to know you better, what is going to get me to a closer relationship with you?"
I met for coffee with Alyssa, and she helped me to see both sides of the situation. God used her to show me I have a lot of things in my past that I had buried deep inside of me, and was unwilling to face.
God was showing me my past is completely forgiven. He was showing me my skewed view of a relationship. He was showing me who I am, and how just because something is in my past, doesn't mean that it will always happen that way.
There was SO much going on, that I didn't take the time to think about it. I avoided it, and I got overwhelmed.
I was not allowing God to speak to me clearly, I was using other things to cloud that.
I went to Stephanie, "Stephanie, I'm struggling. I feel like one day He's pulling me this way, and the next He's pulling me another, and back and forth. I just don't know!" And she said to me, "Mel. I know you. Sit somewhere, put on some worship music, grab your notebook, and ask God. I guarantee that He has an opinion about it. Once you get writing, it will all come out. So do that. Because He does have something to say."
So, I took her advice. "When I think of dating Chris-I am excited for the things we are going to be able to do together. When I think of stepping backwards-my heart feels closed tight. Is this from you?"
One word came to my mind, "Yes."
"God, I am scared."
One phrase came to mind, "Live pure and pleasing to God."
And in that moment, I knew as long as it was done right, God was telling me, "It is okay."
So, I began to go to work. I dug deep inside of my heart, I wrote angry letters to the people in my past, and finishing it up with, "I forgive you." I listened to a ton of sermons. I took advice from my Mom and Steph. I went to coffee with Audrey.
And I kept hearing encouragement. Excitement.
I learned so many things. God spoke to me more deeply than I've ever experienced before.
Going back and looking at my journal, one entry sticks out to me-
"Looking back on my entries, I see the word Believe. I never addressed it more than that. Maybe because I have no clue with it means. But I haven't exactly been looking. Running away from honest thoughts from God. How typical of me, a human. (forgive me, God!)
BELIEVE.
Here it is. Believe. A word of trust. A word implying truth. A word ensuing hope.
Trust our relationship. Trust that accountability will not fail. Trust that boundaries are for the best. Trust that boundaries will not fail. Trust that because God is in it this time, it will not turn out like all the other. Trust Chris. Trust God. Trust God. Trust God.
Truth is, I suck at relationships. Truth is, it's different this time. Truth is, God is my foundation. Our foundation. Truth is, I do love Chris. Truth is, God is okay with that.
I have hope for what is coming. I have hope for a bright future. I have hope for two loves stories written by the hand of God. A love story of God and I, a love story of Chris and I. I have hope that God is going to make this work. I have hope for it all.
All of this, from the word BELIEVE. "Be still and know that I am God."
I believe God is supporting me one hundred percent. I believe that my decision was not my own. I believe it was the right decision."

Two days before I saw Chris, I had ants in my pants, ready to just see where it was going.
But I really wouldn't have traded those 48 hours for the world.

Saturday came. 10 came. And finally, after two weeks, Chris and I met for coffee. (He passed his first secret test, and bought me my coffee. haha.)
We talked about what God was doing inside of us, the things He has been speaking into our hearts. We talked of the trials that will come, and the joy that we will have, because it is SO God-breathed. We talked of boundaries, we talked of our families. We talked about time spent, and words said. We talked and talked and talked, and there was still SO much to say.
I wish I could explain to you the relief that flooded over me. The love that I had found out I had for him, it all was there in that moment. Seeing him, it all came flooding in, and I felt SO much overwhelming me. In the back of my head, there was always this little crush. But God showed me it was something SO much more than just a little crush. God showed me, sitting there at that table, hearing his heart, that I LOVE Chris. I do.(sorry, a bit mushy.)
That night, he came over, and we talked with my parents. We got down to the business of things, and set up physical boundaries and emotional boundaries. We talked about the "business" of it all. And in that moment, we were dating. And I didn't realize it until he left.
Last night, he called me, and we planned for this coming week, and what we'll be doing together (a shoot wednesday, and coffee Saturday). We talked about so many things. And there was still more to say.

Today, I've had time to stop and think while I cleaned out my room. I can honestly say, I know God is smiling. This is being approached so healthily, and so differently than anything else.
Today, I am not a single woman. I am in a relationship. Dating. He is my boyfriend, and I am his girlfriend. I never thought this would happen.
God is showing me His grace. I have messed up SO many times before, and here I am, in a relationship. Not only a relationship, but a relationship with Chris Mueller. I do not deserve to have another chance. and yet, I have one.
This is going to be an adventure (something I dearly love). In the words of Chris, "It will be like a roller coaster... crazy and scary but ridiculously exciting and fun."


I am incredibly blessed to take this roller coaster ride with him by my side.


I'm excited to seek the face of God with Him. To begin this new journey of my life with someone like Chris by my side, to lead me to new places.




So here it is, the beginning of a new chapter in both of our lives. Here is the story, of the way God has whispered into our hearts an example of His love for us.


Feel free to collect your money from your friends.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Long Awaited Arrival



Twists and turns, patterns you crafted long ago. You know the plans you have for me, I long to be still and know you are God. "Stop and see," you declare. I see beauty in new ways. I am your daughter, made beautiful, made worthy, made whole through you. My heart is yours, a gift long overdue. The pleasure all mine, do with it what you will. Washing away the pain, my heart is clean. Your death paying the price for me. I can do nothing but praise you.

I'm a woman of you, devoted to each and every aspect of you. The puzzle pieces all belong to you, because you are the only one who knows the finished project. Like a flower in Winter, I'm beginning a new season of my life. I will not live as I lived before, of my own pleasures and desires. But God, I am yours. Through you my petals will return, even when I have been through the most brutal of Winters. But Father, my beauty is not mine to flaunt, but yours to hold.

I pray that there is no me, and all of you. A beauty is being unveiled, something I had never seen before. But my image was made in you, the most beautiful thing I know. I am not beautiful by merely outward appearance, but you have cleared away all ugliness and made me beautiful. No one defines my worth but You. You are my Father, and I am beautiful through you.


A long awaited arrival, I am seeing what you see.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Past.



I'd like to believe that these two weeks are going to get me to my one and only goal. I'd like to say that this situation doesn't come with a lot of baggage, but it does. I'd like to say that this will be easy, and I'm positive I won't be filled with uneasiness. But I know it isn't true.


I went to coffee with Alyssa today, and she had a lot of good points.

I need to get over some things. I need to forgive some people I have yet to forgive, and ask forgiveness from people who I have hurt. This is not easy.


I don't know what it is, but I am really bad at forgiveness. Even seeing God's complete forgiveness and knowing without a doubt I am forgiven-it's so hard for me, as a human, to forgive people.

I carry a lot of baggage. This was not made known to me until today. Alyssa said to me, "I went through, and wrote letters to every person who has hurt me, and to people I have hurt. I put on some good music, and spent the whole night crying and writing out 'screw you' to the people who have broken me down. But at the end of those letters, I wrote 'I forgive you'. God, the creator of the UNIVERSE, can forgive ME-I, a mere human, can forgive someone who hurt me once or twice. I took all those letters, taped them up into an envelope, and got rid of it."

Guess what? Tonight looks like it's going to be a good night to do exactly that.

Because before I even start thinking about someone else, and what and who we can be together, I need to forgive myself for my past.

I know this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I just wanted to throw it out there that God is a God of absolute forgiveness. And so we, as humans, can forgive the messes we have made through our own self-absorbed actions.

I hope you know this. I hope whoever reads this, you will take the time to get rid of the baggage that is weighing on your heart. And I don't want you to take one look at yourself and say, "I have no baggage," and move on. I want you to dig deep into your heart, think about who you are, who you were, and who you want to be. Are there things you need to forgive? Are there things you need to ask for forgiveness for?

I'm not saying I have no baggage. I'm not saying I have done this. Because obviously, if I had, I wouldn't be so scared to take this step if I had forgiven the people in my life who hurt me. I wouldn't have waited this long to take care of it if it wasn't scary. It's scary. It's frightening. And it is not something that should be avoided.

Seek God, seek what He wants for you to rid of in your life.

"The past is a place of reference, not residence."