Thursday, February 12, 2015

To Whom Do You Belong?

Sisters in Christ, To Whom do we belong?

I have read so many articles, blog posts and Facebook conversations this past week about that movie. You know which one I’m talking about. No need to get into that hot mess.

But the whole topic has been weighing on me, and as I read a couple of articles this morning, I felt God impress something on my heart…about how it’s really not about the movie… at all.

People everywhere, Christian and not, have been debating back and forth and airing their opinions about why you should or why you shouldn’t see this film. But I think in the midst of it all, we’re just asking the wrong question. No matter which side of the line you find yourself on, I think the question we need to be asking ourselves is, “to whom do I belong?” Because today the topic of conversation revolves around this movie, tomorrow it’ll revolve around something else, but that question at the root of all the debates and all the opinions will still be the same. “To whom do I belong?”

Many people today will tell us that we are our own; that “I belong to me!” We can call the shots, make our own decisions and judge for ourselves what is “right” and what is “wrong”. We have free will to be, do, say and see what we want. And we do.

And let me just get real honest here for a second. There are many, many times in my life when I want to call all the shots. After all, I am human and I think that is the choice we most naturally gravitate towards. There are so many times when I think I know better than God, and when I want to just do what I want. So, is there a part of me that wants to read the books? Yes. Is there a part of me that wants to see the movie? Yes. Is there a part of me that often wants to do countless other things that society tells me is permissible, fun, normal, etc? Of course; but that is not the part that controls me.

I have made a choice to belong to someone else.

When I made the choice to surrender my life to Christ, I surrendered to the fact that I was no longer my own. My old self, with my old desires, and my ego were put to death. And now, it is no longer what is central in my life. Instead, I identify with Christ, and the life that you see, is Him living in me! (Galatians 2:20) If that is the identity that I now claim, and if I truly believe that I have become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), then I have to let those old things fall to the wayside. I have to choose on a daily basis, to deny myself and follow Christ. He is in charge, not me. (Luke 9:23)

This does not by any means equate to perfection. You know as well as I do, that it means quite the opposite actually! I struggle and I fight the urge to let those old habits, old desires and old ways of thinking take over. But at the end of the day, I know whom I belong to. I belong to Christ!

When we decide to answer that one single question, in light of what Christ has done and what He asks of us as His followers, every single thing changes. We no longer become concerned with what pleases us, we are concerned with what pleases HIM. We are no longer worried about what we’ll be missing out on if we say “no”, but we will be worried with how our Jesus hurts when we compromise. We will stop freely letting our old selves control what we say, do, and see, but we will start submitting every area to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. So sisters, let’s change the questions in our lives, and start living like we know exactly to whom we belong.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Made It. Finally.

Well, it's been a little over a week since we arrived at our new home in Salt Lake City. To say that this process has been a roller coaster of emotion would a complete understatement. Over the past few weeks  (not to mention the past year and a half), I have felt incredible excitement as we look toward the future and a new adventure in our life together, incredible anxiety as we tried to figure out all the practical details of moving almost 1,000 from our home, and incredible heartache as we anticipated leaving so many friends and family behind in the Midwest.

Now that we are here, I have felt incredible peace.

Yes, that's right. Peace.

Of all the emotions I thought I would feel this first week (fear, sadness, stress, loneliness, etc.), peace was probably the last one I was expecting to feel, especially in such great measure. But leave it to God to just completely overwhelm me with this sense of contentment as we start this new phase of our lives. He has a way of knowing just what I need. That's neat.

Sure, there have been moments where I miss my family and wonder how I'm going to handle our first Thanksgiving and first Christmas away from them. I'm human. And yes, there have been moments of stress as I try to figure out something as simple as where to find a new couch for our living room. Especially one that fits in our budget. Beh. But for the past 10 days, time and time again, I have found rest in the arms of my Heavenly Father. I find comfort and rest in the One who brought us to this place and has provided everything we needed to get here, and therefore I continue to trust and believe that He will provide as we make this place our new home.

So for all those who have been curious as to how we're doing, we are settling into our apartment, slowly but surely. The laundry is slowly getting caught up, the dishes are gradually finding their way into the cupboards (very...gradually..) and pictures are, one at a time, finding their home on the previously blank white walls. Yes, this place is slowly becoming our home. And visitors are welcome :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Place to Call Home

I've been feeling rather displaced lately. It's as though I'm in this limbo stage where I don't belong anywhere, really. Part of that has to do with the fact that we are still in the process of support raising, and we can't make the move to Utah until we reach our 100% mark. My heart is longing more and more, everyday, to be there and to begin the work that God has laid out for us to do. The other part of that feeling, I think, is the fact that we are currently living with my parents. Don't get me wrong, we have been extremely blessed by their generosity and willingness to let us live with them. We are so grateful to be able to save more money while we wait to make our big move. Even so, I am beginning to feel anxious and eager to have a place to call my own once again.

It's the simple things I miss. Like being able to get creative and decorate our place to make a simple house/apartment feel like belongs to us. Like having a space for Jonathan to play in and make as messy as his little heart desires. But most of all, I miss having a place to have friends over. I miss the love, life and the laughter that used to flow through our home on a regular basis. (insert dramatic sigh here)

So, the topic in the Live Dead Journal today is all about hospitality. Needless to say, it spoke directly to my heart and all these feelings I've been having lately. The author says this about hospitality...

"[it is] our faith in action. It is prayerfully preparing a meal, inviting the Holy Spirit to lead and bless the conversation and fellowship. It is giving and often sacrificing time and focused attention to those whom Christ brings into our homes and seeing each one as Jesus does - because hospitality is really all about the way we see people....our home is one of the most powerful arenas to affect a life for God." 

That last statement was good for me to read and is something I am still trying to grasp as true. Ever since Brett and I decided that I would stay home, I have struggled (and still do sometimes) with thinking that I wasn't "doing enough" or being as effective as I could be in life and in ministry. God has continued to do a work in my heart and mind to reassure me that staying home to take care of my family is and will continue to be the best thing I can do at this point in our lives, and as we get closer and closer to doing college ministry, I know this decision will only prove to be more beneficial.

Brett and I are looking forward to having our own place again soon. We are looking forward to hosting dinners and parties and having that love, life and laughter once again flow through our home. We are looking forward to giving our children room to grow and play, but most of all, we are eager to use our home as a conduit through which God's presence and love are made known to anyone who "affect a life for God".

Until then, I will try to be content with the home that I have and learn to use it as a tool for His glory, even if I can't call it my own.