Friday, March 16, 2012

i know how you feel

This is for those of you that have loved and lost, have come and gone, have said hello only to have to say goodbye.

I have noticed in life that often times our hearts have contradicting feelings simultaneously, how can it feel so good to know you're going home, and hurt so much knowing you have to say goodbye? How can it feel so right to love someone with all that you are, and then have this knowing about you, that it's time you let them go?

You have these moments too, right?

Moments that you enter in and you are undeniably sure that you were made for moments, such as these.

Moments when you know that it's your time to pack your bags and carry onward into your journey, but that doesn't make it any easier to leave those you love behind.

Hellos and goodbyes are ever so frequent in the lives of those at NOE. People enter in for a time, and then God calls them home. This means, emotions rise for a time, tears frequently leave their traces, and sighs become the pauses that somehow hold us together.

We are in such a time, and with that being said, it  opens the dusty suitcase of nostalgia that I stowed away last June.
Vivid memories rush in.

And I wonder why?

But then again, I think I know, I think it's one of those times that God allows you to identify with the pain of another.
When you can truly, truly say to someone you know how they feel and mean it with every fiber of your being.

One of the three, is leaving us, come Monday.

And I know how she feels,

there's a desire to run home into the arms of those she loves, but then there's this trifling sense that home isn't where she thought it was, that quite possibly home is right here.

there are moments when she is laughing in the company of those she loves, when all is right, and then suddenly she is consumed with the pain of leaving, all too soon.

And you know what? In times like these, I have found that only God, in His love suffices.

I've spent a life of hellos and goodbyes, and with that being said, they never become any easier. I don't know one place as home, my heart has many. But even though we lack understanding in times such as these, we'll look back and see that everything, even the heartbreaking goodbyes had a reason. Everything, everything has its' season.

So this is for Sophie, who has spent just a little less than a year here, opening her arms and her very heart to Centro NOE.  This is for you, dear. Our hearts might never understand these moments, on this side of Heaven, but one day I know you'll see the beauty in it.

One day.

Until then, cherish every moments and relish every laugh and word with those that you love. And know, just know that you'll never be replaced, nor forgotten. No, you never will. We'll be waiting for you.

If your heart has caught up on such a contradicting mixture of feelings, it's my prayer that you'd see God in your midst. He's there, I'm absolutely sure of it. Look closely, love. Hold tight to hope, cause there's always hope. If you loved and lost, come and gone, said hello only to say goodbye- you've been given the beautiful chance of seeing purpose. And oh how, everything under the sun, has a purpose.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

God moves ever still.

I tell you. I tell you.

God is moving. He amazes me even still.

I'll be honest I have been a little discouraged these past couple of weeks. The extra conversation classes I added for my highest level students, haven't been attended lately. So I thought about eliminating them altogether, but something within me decided to have it just be one day a week, instead of two days.

Today, I arrived at NOE, and I didn't see a single student of mine, and immediately my thoughts rushed to  why didn't I follow through with the idea of canceling them?

But then, two trickled girls trickled in, and five minutes later another entered in. We went about describing ourselves in three adjectives, talking about our favorite years in school etc. One of my girls asked me what time in my life left me the most impacted, and I shared.

This deep question posed an idea in my head and heart to ask what was one of the hardest times in their lives, that at first they didn't understand, but then they were able to see God in the aftermath.

When it came time for the third girl to share, she spoke up and then immediately the tears began to fall from her beautiful cheeks.

Right away, I knew God was present. I knew He was moving.

So the three of us spoke life over this precious daughter, as much as we knew how, and all of us felt His leading to pray. Pray we did, and that just meant more tears fell, from that of all of us.

And as I prayed, I knew that the words that came weren't mine own, that they were His. I knew He was circling around His child with us, lifting up His very own prayers as we sought more of Him.

Afterwards, there was a sweet silence and just a knowing that the presence of God was in our classroom, and how ordained the moment was for that of four women to venture to NOE to speak English, only to end up speaking Spanish and begging for God to come, to heal, to speak.

One of my girls decided to speak up and affirm my presence in not only NOE, but her nation. To tell me that she can't explain it, she just sees God in my eyes and feels His love. The tears came again, because my heart needed to hear everything she said.

Because sometimes we can't see the reason behind our hurts, the promise behind the pain. 
Because sometimes we can't see our purpose, in being, right where we are. 

The mess, the tragedies they take their toll on our ever so fragile hearts, and we tend to give up, to lay down, because we can't pick up our pieces off the ground. 

Everything tells us to stop. 

But then, He lets Himself in with His key, and He whispers, "come to me, I'm all you need."

We get so overcome with anxiety, and the mess that we've become, that we cease to trust that He is in it. 

But soul, oh precious soul, these pain consuming moments, 
are never something we have to bear on our own. 

Our burdens are His burdens. 

Relax your wearied shoulders, close your swollen eyes, release the tears you've been holding back, 
let go, precious soul, let go, 
and let Him in. 

When you let Him in, that doesn't mean from here on out, everything will be perfect, things will fall apart.
 It does mean, that you will have someone take His careful care to mend you back together, to strengthen your weak knees, heal your heavy heart. It does mean that you'll never, never be alone. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

refining beauty

Sitting in the refinery, heart held in hands, she lets it be,
Her bent knees, kissing her forehead, she sees

she sees grace, and Your light leaving Your beautiful trace,
she feels renewal, desperately pursued,
through and through.

and she rests, because here in the refinery, she is known,
and Your ever-surpassing glory, is shown.

Her love for You grows, the trials and thorns,
do nothing to tear her apart, nothing but a sweet time to mourn,

but then Your love beckons her come, and enter in.
Enter in, to the beauty that lies awaiting her after the storm.

Cause after the storm, hope rises,
out of demises.

Cause after the storm, love is found,
chains unbound.

Cause after the storm, peace comes,
in soft lingering sighs and hums.

In the refinery, You're near,
ever nearer.

In the refining, hearts find reasons,
for the perilous seasons.

In the refining, hearts find rest,
long ago stowed away in memory's chest.

In the refining, there is beauty,
you just have to look ever so closely to see.

And she's sitting in the refinery, heart held in hands, she lets it be, 
Her bent knees, kissing her forehead, she finally, finally sees.

He's refining me. I used to be scared of the word refined. It used to cause fear to rise up within my beating heart, but God's showing me the beauty of it. Sure, it involves pain, uncertainty and it's never comfortable, but beautiful hearts, it's worth it. Cause in the refining, You find more of Him.

And what is better than having more of Him in all of our waking moments?

Don't fear refining, remember perfect love casts out all fear, dear. Lift up your empty hands and your hurting heart, take a respite on your bent knees, and just let Him, let Him be.

Let go of the burdens you claim are just your own, and remember sweet daughter and son, you, you are known. Hope exists for the heart ever so refined, don't hold onto what is behind, but walk in faith sweet child. Walk in faith, sweet child, hold onto hope. And don't you ever for a second think, you are alone, you are not your own.