Month: August 2011

Dreams Broken

What do you do with dreams that are broken? unfulfilled? maybe even ‘wrong’ dreams?

What do you do when you come face-to-face with the reality that your dreams are not God’s dreams?

1 Corinthians 13:11a  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. (GWT)

I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be rich ~ all doctors are. I wanted to be important and respected and honored ~ doctors get all that. I wanted a big house with lots of horses and a garden and a ton of adopted children ~ and as a doctor I would be able to have all that.

1 Corinthians 13:11b  When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways. (GWT)

I spent 3 years of college pretending I was going to be a doctor. I had my first child, worked a year as a Certified Nurse Aide, and taught a vacation bible school for 5th graders. I decided being a doctor wasn’t me. I didn’t do well in Chemistry (a lack of effort, not ability – but a good excuse to quit).

I didn’t want the life of a doctor (on call, weekends, holidays); and I didn’t want to work so hard to clean a huge house, manage horses and children, and grow a garden (I have a brown thumb anyway).

These were all childish dreams – dreams I gave up as an adult ~ to be an English teacher.

I spent another 3 years of college getting a degree in English education. I was not excited about English – I often felt out of place because I didn’t eat, sleep, and breathe literature. There are many, many ‘staples’ of English literature that I have not read and have no desire to read.

But I wanted to teach.

I loved preparing lesson plans (I’m an obsessive planner) ~ I wanted to influence teens like my best teachers had influenced me ~ I was good at English (and math and science and history) ~ I wanted the life of ease teachers have (weekends, summers, and holidays OFF). I thought I could be a better mother as a teacher than as a doctor because I’d have more time with my kids.

BOLOGNA!!!

1 Corinthians 13:12 a & c  Now we see a blurred image in a mirror … Now my knowledge is incomplete.

I am jobless at the moment. I’m questioning all I’ve ever wanted ~ thought ~ dreamed …

I don’t want a blurred image in a mirror.

I don’t want to drag myself off to a job that is not what I like to do,

or am passionate about doing,

or am sure that it is what God wants me to be doing.

I want to ‘see very clearly’ (12 b). I want to clearly see His image reflected in the mirror when I look at myself.

When someone looks into my eyes, I want them to see Jesus. To see Who He is to me: love, peace, mercy, grace. To see what He can be to them.

I want to ‘have complete knowledge [of God] as God has complete knowledge of me.’

I want to know His dreams for me (at least the next step) ~ I want to know His heart for others (what of Him do I need to reflect to them?) ~ I want Jesus.

1 Corinthians 13:13  So these three things remain: faith, hope, and love.

Faith ~ He’ll show me the next step; He’ll walk it with me; He’ll provide for me as I go;

Hope ~ He’ll use even me; I do have a purpose here – an impact to make; I can reflect Jesus clearly;

Love ~ love God, love others.

But the best one of these is LOVE.

Why is love the best? I think because it is the only one we’ll need ~ experience ~ have ~ use in heaven.

 

 

 

Wait . . .

I’m working through questions and fears and insecurities.

I’m wondering if God will show up . . . when God will show up . . .

trying so hard to remember all the times HE HAS SHOWN UP.

And today, I get this reminder every where I turn: WAIT ON ME.

All from Facebook:

a post from one of my favorite singers reminds me of Psalm 130:5: I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.

His Word promises that He’ll never leave me, nor forsake me.
I am His child, and He wraps me in His arms of grace and love and mercy.
Perfect love, HIS perfect love, casts out all fear [and doubt and worry].

Another post from this wonderful singer: her Scripture snack is about waiting.

A fellow blogger is waiting on flooded roads to be passable:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Grace-full-life/124125761004183

A reminder from (in)courage blog:
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun!” Is 43:19

From a friend: Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
I may not see God working
right now on my behalf – but I hear Him saying that my waiting is the proof of my faith – the confidence of my hope – the assurance that He
IS working on my behalf.

Lord, I’m waiting. Do not leave me; do not forsake me; do not let my faith be shaken and shallow; let my hope be in You and in Your promise of life more abundant – living to the fullest – adventure and grace and excitement and mercy and joy and peace.

Forgive my years of rushing to and fro – looking and surviving but never being satisfied or content – forgetting and ignoring You and the life You offer – squandering the abundance and inheritance You died to give me.

Help me to wait – patiently, with confidence, with trust.

Faith is hard sometimes

I believe that God told me to quit my job at Union High School. Not only was the drive long, but gas prices were skyrocketing and my family time was being squelched. Also, I no longer agreed with the school’s mission or methods; it was time for me to go. I felt great peace when I quit; the relief was almost tangible.

I had lots of people ask me if I was crazy. Why would someone quit a job when the economy is this bad? How would I find another job? What if I couldn’t find a teaching job? Really, am I insane?

This past week, I’ve been very fearful. I thought for sure I’d have a job by now. I’m still trying to decide if I want to continue teaching… or write professionally… or work from home for more family time… and Satan is making me question myself: am I capable? employable? stupid for thinking God would talk to me?

See, money is starting to get very tight, and I still don’t know what God wants for me, and I see no money coming in. And I’m praying that He’ll provide, that I’ll only do what He wants…

And then I read this post, http://www.aholyexperience.com/, and I wonder if God is asking me to walk to the beat of a different drum.

Here’s what spoke to me most from this post: “catastrophizing is how we make our own soul-cages. That fear’s always the flee ahead.” … “Abide. Because it’s never about your capabilities. When you’re in covenant with Christ, it’s His responsibility to cover your cracks, to be all your competency and completeness. Inabilities, in Christ, are made all-sufficient, just-right abilities. Abandon worries — and wholly abide.” … “Waiting is just a gift of time in disguise — a time to pray wrapped up in a ribbon of patience — because is the Lord ever late.” … “Because on this whole spinning planet — this is the only rhythm that makes music: to do the will of the One whose heart beats at the center of the cosmos. Regardless of what anyone thinks of us. Maybe the genuine followers of Christ always march to their own drum — Thrum: I will walk with God. Thrum: Even if I walk different than everyone else. Was it just that he heard his name called down the canyons of his heart — and love compelled him to lunge forward? Love is never a trite feeling. Love is a wildfire in the bones, a burning flame willing to serve — willing to say yes. “Mom?” Malakai’s speaking to me — but he’s looking out the side window … Or within. “Do you think God’s calling our name too — all through our hearts — to come step out — and we’re just not listening?”

So, Lord, I’m listening ~ I’m waiting ~

I’m scared ~ but by faith, I’m trusting.

Purpose

Purpose – the intent, the meaning behind an action or event, the “why?” of a situation.

I agree with Beth Moore (in a message titled “God’s Purpose for you” as seen on a video from LifeToday) when she says that God ONLY allows the pain when the purpose is more important – when the purpose outweighs the pain.

All her childhood abuse – all the poor choices she made because of the trauma of that abuse – ALL of it was worth it to her because of God’s purpose for all that pain: Beth’s ministry to women who have been abused, to women who have made poor choices in reaction to pain in their lives, to women who question their worth and usability because of their past.

A former pastor of mine recently posted on Facebook a quote from Helmut Thielicke, who said, “When afflictions and catastrophies come into our lives, we dare not be content to merely ask, ‘Why should this happen to me?’ but rather, ‘To what end, for what purpose, has this burden been sent to me?'” ( “Christ and the Meaning of Life”).

Life is full of surprises for us – but not for God. He never gives up or loses His sovereignty. So if we’re going through a difficult – catastrophic – trying time, we need to ask ourselves: What is God’s purpose for me in this? How does it advance HIS purpose for my life?

And then we wait on the answer.

The Purpose of Prayer

Prayer is a two-way conversation with God ~ you talk, He listens then He talks, you listen.

When we pray, we benefit more from the time in His presence ~ listening ~ than we do from getting our prayers answered.

When we sit ~ when we wait ~ when we listen  to Him, the peace and joy of being in His presence is often times more sweet ~ more precious than the content of the conversation.

There is nothing like sitting with my LORD, pouring out my heart and asking my questions, then waiting for His response.

His nods let me know He’s listening ~

His words of comfort and mercy let me know He has heard my heart ~

His words of correction let me know He is helping my heart to be His ~

His answers to my questions let me know I can know Him, His ways, His thoughts ~

Just as He knows me, my ways, my thoughts.

I see the compassionate tears in His eyes as we talk about my hurts.

I see His righteous anger over injustices I’ve done and had done to me.

I see His loving censure as He corrects my disobedience.

I look into His eyes ~ I listen to his voice ~ I learn His body language ~

I begin to know my God and be known by Him as we sit and have conversation.

Life Wasted

We spend so much of our lives wasting time in a desperate search for meaning, for purpose, for fulfillment ~ and it’s all right there in front of us.

There is NOTHING that compares to living your life with Christ.

Everything is more real

more true

more alive.

Joys are more joyful ~ sorrows are more sorrowful ~ life is more alive. And Christ is IN each moment of joy ~ of sorrow ~ of life.

What makes us choose to ignore this? Why do we choose to life our own way? Haven’t we proven to ourselves often enough that on our own we screw everything up?

A friendship that doesn’t have God at the center is destined to fail. It cannot be its deepest and most meaningful because we are incapable of that level of connection apart from Christ. A person who is completely ~ devotedly ~ whole-heartedly committed to Christ has a hard time connecting deeply with someone who is not. What is there to talk about?

What joys can be shared? The one’s joy so far surpasses the other’s joy.

What comfort can be given in sorrow? The person who is not connected with Christ cannot receive His comfort that the other person is trying to give.

What life can be shared? Priorities are different; interests are different.

This is not to say we CAN’T or SHOULDN’T have relationship with them. It just will not be ~ cannot be ~ should not be the deep, soul-stirring, challenging, engaging relationship that would be there if both were in the same place.

I thank Jesus that He is willing ~ and able ~ to be my Best Friend.

© 2017 Charlene Birky

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