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Quiet Times

13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a]

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.[b] 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,

“All people are like grass,
    and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25     but the word of the Lord endures forever.”[c]

And this is the word that was preached to you.

fully sober – recently i have been thinking back and forth about how seriously the bible takes sobriety. it seems to be pretty clear that we are to be of sober mind. however i also have a problem with the way Christians legally and judgmentally approach people who drink or smoke. I don’t like that someone feels totally fine about a person and then once they discover that they drink/smoke that changes the way they feel about that person. Or that that person is somehow less of a Christian. I also think that Christian people can stumble others by drinking too much or smoking too much. SO again. I am torn. I think the easiest and most straight forward answer is for myself personally, that I want to refrain from drinking to drunkenness and smoking to be high. However I am open about my struggle here. Especially recently because i haven’t been in consistent christian community, I find myself wanting to “escape” and hang around non christians who i know smoke a lot or get drunk to have fun. in their presence i feel a release of myself and allow myself to run away from something. and at the same time i build of this plaque on my teeth kind of guilt about being a bad representation of Christ to them. WHILE at the same time also brushing that off and telling myself that Naomi was telling Ruth to run away from God and that still brought Ruth to God. All of this to say … this is on my mind.

set your hope – interesting that hope can be “set.” Hope is something you have in/on something, so you have to set it in that thing. it’s not just an abstract concept that floats in the air when you’re sad and someone’s like “have hope!” you have to have something to be able to set your hope in/on

as obedient children – this is kind of tied to my thoughts on “sober mind.” i think recently there have been things that God is clearly just asking me to be obedient about and i think these are definitely things that I choose to be ignorant about. Like I always say to myself, if God clearly asks me “don’t drink” “don’t smoke” then I wouldn’t. It’s only because to me, in my opinion, he hasn’t said that to me … but then i challenge myself by saying ok well let’s pretend like he has said it to you … could you even do it?? and then i try to go for a while of not doing these things and i just fall back into them … and my excuse for falling back in is because i don’t want to be a “legalistic” pharisee. but maybe the truth is just that i need to be an obedient child. it’s funny that they say child because a child is SO obedient! they just trust and do what they are told! they haven’t thought yet about why they do or don’t want to do what they are told. i think it’s also really clear here that your desires can be evil. sometimes i think i don’t like to admit that my desires can be evil … i want desires to always be “natural” but maybe just because they are natural doesn’t mean they aren’t evil!

be holy in all you do – i think there are other bible passages that talk about this, but my main question here is ok … what does that mean then? how do i do that?

father who judges; reverent fear – this verse is interesting to me … if God is our Father, then why is he judging us? I guess my dad judges me too? I think by judge it doesn’t mean “thinks badly of” it just means assesses or evaluates? and also if he’s my father than why do i need to fear him? I think I need a deeper understanding of why and how we fear God.

perishable v imperishable – i like this theme of what is perishable and what is not. God is not perishable whereas our own glory is.

Jesus,

Things have been better in the last few days. I feel more stable. I feel like I just have to keep going. I feel like a source of support for other people. It’s always funny how it shifts like that. How either i’m doing so so badly and i can’t think of anyone else but myself. and i’m crying and struggling. or im doing great but then get all these things from other people.

praying for D as she tries to sell the house. i’m not sure how i’m supposed to tell her about you. does it count if i don’t say your name at all but am just a good roommate and a loving person? or do you call me to be blunt and say something about you? and say that I think it’s important that she knows you? how do i do that? is that on my heart as something to do? is that something you are commanding me to do? is there a time for that? show me please. i do care about her. i do get annoyed by her. but i also know that this time that i lived with her was important. she is in my prayers. i know she is someone that you love deeply. teach me how to show sincerely love to her from my heart.

praying for my new rooming situation. please help me get cheaper rent haha. help me to get along with the girl that i live with. im not sure if it will work out. im not even sure if i want to keep living in this state. but

thank you Jesus. thank you for all of the privilege you have given me. thank you that i have a computer to type on and a phone to use and a job to work at. thank you that i have money to buy food and a car to drive. thank you for these material things. help me not to be defined by these material things. Jesus I only want to be defined by you. I don’t want the most important thing in my life to be chasing after the things you call perishable. i want to be growing from an imperishable seed. i want to be rooted firmly in your everlasting WORD. i want to be purified through obedience so that i can set my hope in YOU in something that’s faithful. help me to be more like an obedient child who just does what you are asking me to do. not one who conforms to what is easier or what is comfortable or what i want to do just because i want to do it.

please see my heart Jesus. with all of the struggles and sin and disobedience, please see my heart and that it yearns for you. let my words not just be words. let this time that i’ve been here in connecticut be one where i become grounded in my relationship with you. in the midst of loneliness and more loneliness. in the midst of boring work or weird people or death or drama. God i just want to be closer to you. i am tired of pretending like you aren’t there and that i can figure this all out without you. i want to come back to resting in your presence. sharpen me. i am still just a christian that speaks christianese. i am still just a double agent that fades in the background when i want to fit in. i am still a depressed fool who denies you even as i spent so much time with you and know that you are my savior. thank you for your mercy and grace. use this time of my singleness for your glory. remind me again that i’m not the star of this show. you are and you have always been!

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

new birth – birth is something that is done to you, not something that you can do for yourself; and this one is “new” because even though it may have happened before, it’s something that hasn’t yet happened in this way?

a living hope – what would be a dead hope? or a stagnant hope? and what is this living hope?

resurrection of Jesus Christ – this clearly states that it’s because Jesus rose from the dead we have been given a new birth and a living hope. so Jesus is the source of everything in this verse and not just him but what he has done

inheritance – one that never perishes, spoil or fade, that’s kept in heaven for us. I wonder what God’s definition of inheritance is. Here on earth having an inheritance is a privilege. it’s something that someone else of your genes, of your blood worked hard for and then later in their life preserved to pass down to you. but any inheritance here on earth can be taken away, can spoil, can fade. i’m always amazed at how quickly things spoil here. when we were cleaning out grandma’s closet we had to throw out all the old clothes because of the moths that ate everything

through faith are shielded by God’s power – this is telling me that i am shielded by God’s power. what does that mean? how do i know that is true? just by faith? i just need to believe that is true?

for a little while suffer grief of all trials – i think it’s funny that the timing of this suffering is not well defined. it’s not for a while but for a little while, which still feels longer than for a little bit of time. and even the type of grief suffering is not defined; in fact it almost seems to promise that all kinds of trials will be faced

proven genuineness of faith, greater than gold which results in praise – this is saying that suffering/grief in all trials come because our genuine faith will lead us to praise Jesus. so my faith when genuine results in glorifying God in the midst of trials. It also says that this happens when Jesus Christ is revealed, which makes me wonder … has that happened yet? can Jesus be revealed daily? or just at the end of time? or both?

Jesus,
I am so physically tired. I traveled a lot this weekend. I didn’t sleep a lot. I’m still staying up late typing this because I have been meaning to spend time with you for a while now. I have recognized that there are a lot of things building and a lot of things I need to be talking to you about. And each time I try to pray to you about all the things happening in my life, I just feel like I am not sure what you are saying about my specific things because I haven’t been reading your word. So in a way, though I know who you are (like I know my brother is my brother and will always be my brother) I haven’t talked to you in a while, I haven’t heard your voice, I haven’t been saturating myself in your presence so I’ve been forgetting a bit of what your promises are and what kind of impact those make in my life. I’ve been drifting. And at times I’ve been very upset and confused.

Though my body is very tired, please help me to establish good habits. I want to hear from you. I need to know specific things like where should I move to, who should i live with, how should i keep up with people, what should i do about work, what should i do about him and him and him (BK&HOBSPC). should i keep going at this new church. should i keep going to this new bible study. should i go back to the old one. how do i be more like Jesus to my co workers or should i just give up and be a degenerate because that’s so much easier??

i want to experience your movement this summer. i want to experience something life transforming. im afraid of turning 25. and i’m not even 24… i just don’t want to be in the same place.

the biggest thing for myself i’m praying about is staying in this city/state. every time i really pray about it to you, it seems like you are making this place my Nineveh. Please help me to surrender everything to you. Even my need to know the answers to all these questions. Help me to obey when I do hear your voice.

Help me to see the power of your gift of new birth. Help me to discover and experience a living hope. not one that is stagnant or dead. one that is ALIVE. help my feeble faith as i go through what i consider to be trials of all kinds. i want the result to be PRAISE and THANKFULNESS.

And the biggest thing for others i’m praying for. is the complete and utter brokenness that i have been witnessing around me. I pray for the woman i bumped into on the street who was asking me for money to feed her children. i pray for all the homeless people in the train station that i met that night. and the man who was walking around muttering to himself.

“Here I stand before You now
As honestly as I know how
Broken by the days gone by
Spirit help my soul to rise
I try my best but still I fail
And even then
You’re with me there
You remind me I’m a child of God
Regardless of the things I’ve done
My hope is found in perfect love
Your mercy triumphs over judgment
Love wider than horizons
Stronger than all sin
Lord Your kindness
Leads us to repentance
To the heart of God
Your heart oh God
Is all I want
All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live

 

“You pulled me from the clay
Set me on a rock
Called me by Your Name
And made my heart whole again
So here I stand
High in surrender
I need You now
Hold my heart
Now and forever
My soul cries out
Once I was broken
But You loved my whole heart through
Sin has no hold on me
‘Cause Your grace holds me now
Healed and forgiven
Look where my chains are now
Death has no hold on me
‘Cause Your grace holds that ground
And Your grace holds me now”

“How I live for the moments
Where I’m still in Your presence
All the noise dies down Lord speak to me now
You have all my attention
I will linger and listen
I can’t miss a thing
Lord I know my heart wants more of You
My heart wants something new
So I surrender all
All I want is to live within Your love
Be undone by who You are
My desire is to know You deeper
Lord I will open up again
Throw my fears into the wind
I am desperate for a touch of heaven
I open up my heart to You I
open up my heart to You now
So do what only You can
Jesus have Your way in me now”

the last few weeks. they’ve been interesting. it’s been a process. here’s my rough idea of a timeline: semester started off well enough. good ski trip, semblances of friendships. honestly i can’t remember that far back to actually know any details. i think i was excited/determined to do class and do it right. the first big bump i can remember is the controversial stuff with the group i wrote about in these controversial days. and i think from there a wound was opened. deep irreconciliation. the weeks that followed … spring break, wisdom teeth, MR. physical pain, emotional pain, personal irreconcilation.

i’ve been in a funk. the funk grows and shrinks. the funk deceives me. because around people i can be totally having so much fun. and then i get caught in some weird heavy molasses of depression. and i can’t get out of my own head.

i’ve been actively telling God no. i’ve been rebelling mentally. forgive her. no. stop eating, you aren’t hungry. no. get up and do what you know you should. no. i don’t want to. i can’t do it. no no no.

today i was upset by my brother. because he puts me in situations where i have to help him in these last minute stressful situations. when deeply seeded within me is the desire to not help. but i have to. and i hope he understands that it’s because i’m in this funk.

so a bunch of negative emotion was boiling, bubbling out of me. my stomach was twisting itself. i wanted to writhe around on the floor or scream or just explain to someone why this was unfair. everything. life. everything. ridiculous and unfair.

i took my walk. it was my favorite kind. when it’s cold outside and it’s slightly raining and very windy. and i just started ranting. God, it’s unfair. why do i have to deal with all these shitty people and these stupid situations. God, i can’t. i can’t.

and on this one road as the wind was blowing me back and forth and the rain was softly falling on my face mixing with my tears. he said he wanted to speak to me. he said he would. he said (through deut 30):

“When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes[a] and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

and i realized. that God was asking me something very specific. something i’d been ignoring for weeks now. God was asking me to obey and not just obey myself. my own desires. the callings and beckonings of my own heart and my own stomach and my own mind. he wasn’t asking me to obey what i wanted. he was asking me to obey his commands. and not just the commands that i liked. not just the things he’s told me in the past. he was asking me to obey all of his commands. and incredibly, he’s not just asking me to obey all of his commands. he even cares about how i obey those commands. he wants me to obey all of his commands with all my heart and all my soul. God doesn’t just want me to mindlessly or forcefully obey his commands. he wants my heart and soul to be behind those decisions. to me, that meant that it matters to God that I am not just doing what he wants because “that’s what i should do.” he wants me to obey him because i want to. because that’s what will delight my heart. that’s what’s written in my heart and the whisper of my soul. and and and. if i do this, i will live and be prosperous. because he is in the work of restoring me.

and it gets better:

11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

do you see? do you see?? this ask is not difficult. it’s incredible. because every time i’m faced with not wanting to do what God wants me to do, there’s this feeling of deeeeeep tension. something insurmountable. something impossible. overwhelming. useless. why try. that’s why i conclude that i can’t. and i don’t want to. but no. this command is not difficult. in fact it’s very near. in fact, it’s already in my heart.

this idea was powerful for me. because i knew it. i could feel God’s commands in my heart. i knew i had been running from that for a while. and honestly, i just didn’t fear the consequences of running. because in the beginning i was afraid of being a Christian, i was afraid of trusting God because of these controversial days, i’d forgotten why i wanted to stand firm and obey.

but no today, today today. God is giving me a choice. either i can choose life and prosperity. or death and destruction. and he asks that i now choose life. for my sake, for the sake of my children. simply, i need to love him, listen to his voice, and hold fast. for,  the lord is your life. God=life. by choosing life, i am choosing God. I am choosing the source of life. i am choosing the one who already chose me. already loved me. already obeyed his father to die for me. because he is in the work of restoring me. of giving me life and prosperity.

Dear God,
thank you. thank you for speaking to me today. thank you for walking with me in the rain today. i remembered again today that my happiest days here at Harvard have always been the ones when i’ve been with you. and that my most precious moments have been with you. and i don’t know why i keep forgetting that.
thank you for challenging me again with the idea that the way i am living, the rebellion that i’m following is the reason for my funk. i am not choosing life. i am deliberately not obeying you. i’m almost subduing myself into a foggy state so that i forget what your commands are. because i don’t want to face things i don’t want to do.
God, i’m sorry. i want to obey all of your commands with all my heart and my soul. i am afraid though that i don’t know all of your commands. that i will be lacking in heart and soul. and that i will ultimately not obey. please show me again what all of these components mean and what they practically look like in my life.
please help me to forgive M. though i feel i already have or have begun to, please give me wisdom in this relationship. in all my relationships really. i have not been consulting you, obeying you in how i treat people. think about people. support people.
please give me wisdom in how i spend my money and my time. i think this is another area that i haven’t been obeying your commands.
God, i love you. i am everything i am because of you. i know you told me that i need to spend time with you every day, especially as college is ending. i pray that i will follow through on that.

(apologies in advance for this long gospel post. i don’t normally post such things on my blog. but this was a significant experience for me just now. i needed to publish it. in fact i just made a new category for this post called Quiet Times. if this is not the content you are looking for, please look elsewhere on my page. as always, thank you for following <3)

it’s only been five hours since uglies was published. and in that time i was numbing myself with netflix on my bed, i accidentally insulted one of my close friends, i had a phone call with my brother that absolutely frustrated me. so i threw my coat on and ran outside on the brink of a panic attack.
i sat in my chair that faces the river with my breath fogging the air. and i screamed and i cried and i complained and i asked to die. i asked for it all to be taken from me. because i couldn’t make it. i was sick of hearing everyone’s pain. while being full of my own.
and this whole time inside me i felt Him calling me to read His word. and i kept shouting no. and i kept telling him that i was done with his brain washing and “comfort.” and as much as i felt His being in my body i almost wanted to reject it and kick it out entirely. and i couldn’t even sob. tears just shot out of my eyes and the only thing that felt satisfying was to bang my fists against my thighs and beg for an end.

silence came for a bit.
and then i put this song on repeat.
and i started reading this book.

it begins with something greater than myself:
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.”
And it began to stir in me. that God remains. that God you are not just Lord over my life. you are Lord over the world. over history. you have been here for so much longer than I thought and you have remained the same. something whispered that “these soon shall pass.”

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.”

Again, He was poking at me. asking me. are you hearing me? are you hardening your heart? remember those times when you were in “rebellion” and remember where that got you? Remember your “original conviction” and how firmly you wanted to hold that to the very end. Open your ears. and let me come soften your heart.

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

I felt my heart opening. I felt something reminding me. that i am a person of weakness, but i follow a savior who embodied weakness and who was in agony to the point of death, but he did not sin. i can approach Him with confidence in this time of need.

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him

Jesus, you did this prayer before me. you sat in front of your Father and cried and asked to have the cup taken from you. yet you stayed. you obeyed. you suffered.

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,

“In just a little while,
    he who is coming will come
    and will not delay.”[f]

38 And,

“But my righteous[g] one will live by faith.
    And I take no pleasure
    in the one who shrinks back.”[h]

39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

And then I remembered how important it was to me that I have been saved by grace through faith. And how life threatening it is for me to continue pretending like Jesus’ blood that lives in me and covers me doesn’t mean anything to me. everything I wrote in uglies. everything i had shouted at him. I’m sorry God.

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[e] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a]

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

with this i’ll end.
God. you have re awakened me. You are so faithful. You are not a formula. You are not my comfort toy. You are not my genie that comes out of the lamp I rub when I need help or emotional “novacaine.” You are the creator of this world. You are the God of history. You have laid the foundations of all things and have remained the same, faithful to your promises, through it all. Thank you. I realize now that your mercy towards me is not just meeting me where I am in my sin, but is also your ability to even count me as something worth being mindful of. Because I am such a small speck in the reality of who you are. and my little worries and emotional anxieties and frustrations, depression, sexual sins, laziness, lack of passion and motivation. all of it. it’s just nothing in the actual mural of you’re awesomeness that spans time. that is painted in nature and documented through the history books we read, the technology we advance, even the very genetic material we carry in our bodies. All these things reflect you.
And yet you allow me to confidently approach you. You intercede on my behalf. You have gone before me. You have experienced my struggles and meet me with a personal understanding of weakness. You ask me to remember. you ask me to hear your voice.
i’m sorry God for disregarding the price of your blood. I’m sorry for deliberately turning away from you. I am not sure how that is forgivable. but I ask for your forgiveness. for not understanding the weight of what you have done for me. for not remaining. for being someone who forgets what they look like. forgets what makes them truly happy and what truly gives them life. for being afraid of trusting you because i feared people’s judgement.
Please help me as I struggle in my pains. Please help me as I want to give up. Please help me as I forget why I am here at this school. Please keep reminding me that you have called me to faith and to be faithful. that you have called me to believe that You are able and that even if I don’t receive what I believe I’ve been promised, I will have faith that You are preparing something that is meant to make me perfect. I need you to struggle against the things that want to take me away from you. I know my anxieties take me away from you. I want to keep throwing off this stuff that entangles me and paralyzes me. I want to be someone who perseveres by fixing my eyes on you. and I want to be someone who has joy even as she endures her cross as I scorn the shame that such a cross might associate.
thank you Jesus for tonight. I have been asking for the end. but You keep reminding me this is just the beginning. And for all the times I’ve asked you to take these days away from me. You remind me that it’s these very days I will miss. These days when I could just sit outside and spend time with you. These hours that I can just be with you. Yes, I will miss these days.