Monday, January 28, 2013

I will overcome: OVERCOME THE LIES

"As for me, I never lived, I was half dead, I was a rotting tree, until I reached the place where I wholly, with utter honesty, resolved and then re-resolved that I would find God's will, and I would do that will though every fiber in me said no, and I would win the battle in my thoughts. It was as though some deep artesian well had been struck in my soul. . . . Money, praise, poverty, opposition- these make no difference, for they will be alike forgotten in a thousand years, but this spirit which comes to a mind set upon a continuous surrender, this spirit is a timeless life." Frank Laubach

"We should be determined that as best we can, we will be responsive to God's leadings." Ortberg

I have been wrecked by lies lately- quite fitting, because I find myself being welcomed into a sisterhood, a campaign to overcome the lies.

I had one of those moments that shake the life out of you the other day. I had to gasp to catch a breath between my sobs, because lies were being spoken over me. The world I knew was being rocked and I just didn't know where on Earth I went wrong.

You see I was just trying to be love more than usual. I was just taking a mere part in the life God had set me apart for, but all of my actions, every last one was being questioned.

I sat there and I caved. I tried to defend myself, but then sat there cowering, defenseless.
I was paralyzed to the very core.

The pieces I had been trying to hold together for fear of shattering, with endless 50+ hour workweeks came unglued.

I broke. My heart split into two.

I wanted to run and hide, stow myself away from onlookers. I wanted to give up.

And mind you, God had been convicting me about my placement there for quite some time.

I felt the need to the very depths of my heart to be in this place, but I didn't see the possibility any longer.

It was too much.

Too much work.
Too much sadness.

I couldn't bear the burden.

I couldn't hold myself together.

But God wasn't done.

He took me aside and loved on me through people that would decry ever being used by Him.
They spoke life over me and blatantly refused the lies on my behalf.

They gently whispered that I was capable. They told me I could overcome.
They told me I could fight back with resilience.

They were His voices.

And with them, I realized that these are the lies I am meant to overcome. The Enemy would love to see me runaway from a place that I'm needed. But I cannot let him have that satisfaction, because truthfully my battles have already been won.

I have a God who fought for me, and continues to fight for me.

A God that needs me in this place, for such a time as this, and He isn't finished with me yet.

I shouldn't close this door just because of lies. I will overcome.

Wherever you are, dear, God's got a hold on you. I know it may seem so far from the truth, but His love is so delicate and persistent and His love seeks you out. He believes in you.

It's easy to run, sure, it is.

But love if you remain a runner, you'll deny yourself of so much beauty. 

So walk on and into the journey, you've been set apart to fulfill, no one can take your place.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Overcome the LIES

Lately, I have found a glorious community through limited characters. A community that depicts living in the shelter of each other. A community that speaks life into darkness, and chases the loneliness that often runs rampant out of our longing souls. I've found a community that resonates with this heart in transition, that refuses to define me by my past and reckons that God is good and faithful, and ever-present to hear my prayers. 

I've found a sisterhood, better yet, a family through Twitter, and I'm okay with this admission, because if I've learned anything- it's that God uses anything and everything to beg for our attention. 

He is unlimited, and while the bond may be created with 140 characters, there's no limit to where He will take us, on this side of Heaven. 

I know we are all so quick to judge social media and decry it for ruining our relationships, but I do think it can be a beacon of light in the loneliest of darkness. I think we can choose how it affects us and realize that God makes beautiful things out of everything, He makes beautiful things out of us. 

Every. Last. One. Of. Us. 

With all this being said, something beautiful that's come out of this sisterhood, is that I've been invited to take part in a campaign called Overcome the Lie

"Overcome the Lie is a social media campaign running January 28th to February 3rd. We are continuing to believe that Jesus is going to encounter our hearts and He is going to break off some of the lies we have believed. We are not held victim to the lies that we aren't beautiful or unloveable or never enough. We are more than conquerors and we get to rise above and believe the truth. 

You are beautiful. You are bold. You are brilliant. You are free." Ashley Beaudin
Many thoughts have accompanied this invitation. 
My past has risen up and caused truth to resound from the depths of my heart. 

Because I have overcome. I'm not through, not anywhere near having overcome all the lies that have deemed themselves my confidants. 

But at 25, I have overcome the lie, that confidence cannot be reckoned to me. 
I am worthy to believe that I'm worth it.

I can tell you that my heart has many homes. 
I have overcome the lie that I just get to have one.

I can tell you that two languages, fall from my tongue as second nature. 
I have overcome the lie that I must cling to self-doubt.

I can tell you I was built for loving people, being poured out upon His children beneath the Mexican sun. 
I have overcome the lie of my shyness. 

I can tell you that I can move to a foreign country, a city of a million, unknown to me.
I have overcome the lie that I am useless. 

I am not my past. I am not man's rejection. I am more than this. I am more than the lies that society seeks to define me with, because in their eyes I'm just a 25 year-old single girl, picking clothes off the floor with a college degree, that got me nowhere. 

But I know that is far from the case, because I'm a 25 year-old single woman, whose heart is kept in Mexico, whose fulfillment comes out of loving not one, but many. I'm a woman whose passion means more to me than just settling down with a man to revoke loneliness as my future.

I'm 25 with hundreds of dreams beckoning for my attention, with words brimming over my old-soul incessantly. 

I was made for more. I am worth more. 

I have overcome. 

What have you overcome, little heart? 

What lies are holding you back from living fully present, what's keeping you imprisoned, sweet soul?

God is good. God is faithful. He's got His arms open-wide, ready to take you home and out of this wilderness that's been keeping you for far too long. 

You can overcome. 
You will overcome. 

I'm certain of it. I'm with you in this, for the meantime, and I'll be sitting hand in hand with our Father on the other side to welcome you home and out of the lies. 

Fear has no hold on you, little one. Let's overcome. 
Let's walk out of this together, because you can overcome the lies. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Don't give up...

"Reflecting on this afterward, I realized that I tend to divide my minutes into two categories: 
living and waiting to live. Most of my life is spent in transit: trying to get somewhere, waiting to begin, driving someplace, standing in line, waiting for a meeting to end, trying to get a task completed, worrying about something bad that might happen, or being angry about something that did happen. 

These are all moments when I am not likely to be fully present, 
not to be aware of the voice and purpose of God.

...and I need to learn. Joy is at the heart of God's plan for human beings. 
The reason for this is worth pondering for awhile: Joy is at the heart of God himself. We will never understand the significance of joy in human life until we understand its importance to God. 
I suspect that most of us seriously underestimate God's capacity for joy.
-John Ortberg, "The Life You've Always Wanted"

I wonder how many times we overlook God, how many times we refuse to take part in the pure joy that accompanies being alive, how many times we stop our hearts from beating and just sleep it all away.

There's joy to be had here.

And I'll admit, most days it's a fight to just grasp for even a minute. You've worked perilously all day, with no accomplishments to be seen. You've fielded complaints from bitter hearts and you've come home to an empty house, your heart crying for someone to just pay attention.

You're done. You're over it.

You've lost your joy and you've beheld that there is nothing joyful about living anymore.

Your eyes are swollen, your voice is scarred with a rasp, and your heart is marred with past rejection.

You've. Given. Up.

Your heartbreakers, lost passions, unreached dreams have conquered you.

You can't fight anymore.

Joy is out of your reach and misery is the only thing within it.

You're alone and your lies have overcome you.

If I know anything, it's that God and His abundant love are always within your reach.

It's that joy is always worth fighting for.

And sure sometimes it's lost in the shadows of the bad days, the days worth leaving unmentioned, but JOY is always crying out for you to hold.

It's for you to have and to hold, love.

Victory has already been had, dear daughter and son. He won the battle for you, when you gave up the fight, long ago.

Your life is worth living. You are worth loving. Joy, love, truth, grace, and hope: are all things that are within your reach.

You can overcome. You will overcome.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

a year ago...

Last year around this very same time I was sitting in an airport, computer for my company and my two overbearing suitcases stowed in transit, awaiting my next flight.

I was caught up in speechless revelry, lost in the thrill of people-watching and brimming with gratitude, because I was on my way.

I was just a few short hours from walking into that small airport and embracing my sisters, for the second time.

Just mere hours away from stepping foot into a city of over a million, my home away from home.

And today, I'm on the other side of the world, you could say.

I'm sitting here with that same computer for company, letting myself reminisce about my fully alive heart, about those that I came to love.

One might think you come back from the field and you get over it, this norm of yours now becomes your new norm and those brown-eyed beauties are just a thing of your past.

But that's far from the truth.

I spend most of my waking moments with Mexico, out of sight for the moment, yes, but not out of mind. And well, if I'm going to be completely vulnerable with you, my eyes have been full of tears lately. My heart has been gaping with an open wound of missing the only world I've come to know as home.

It's been a year and three months since I've held out my arms and caught the sweet little hungry girls running up to me, held the sweet mothers whose souls are poured out for their children- a year and three months since I've stepped foot in the Baja. That's the longest time that has ever separated my visits for seven years.

It's been six months since I've been in Morelia, Mexico and today marks my second anniversary of knowing the beauty of NOE, the beauty of running head-first into the unknown city, I met through a few pages in a book.

I'm homesick for the field I left behind, but even still I carry it with me.

There are moments from the past, that beckon my attention at random, and sometimes they just can't be ignored. I'm compelled to return there, even if just for a minute.

My fifteen year-old self would have been highly doubtful that a trip to a Mexican orphanage would change a single thing in my life, but it didn't just change a thing, it wrecked my entire world. 

I discovered with what little Spanish knowledge I had at that time, that my heart was set on not just returning once or twice, but my heart was built for Mexico.

I was made to wake to the cowbells, to fall asleep with a never-quiet city, to lose myself in a foreign tongue, to teach brimming with creativity, I was made for Mexico. 

I miss you today and everyday, Mexico. Today it's just a little harder, because a year ago I would have been reuniting with my loves and my heart. So don't you forget it, please.

My norm has done nothing to erase you, in fact, I think my ties to you are all the more stronger because of the distance. You wrecked my entire world and stole my heart, and I will always love you. Always.

Truth is, we were just avoiding goodbyes, 
accompanied by silence and our broken sighs. 
Five, then four, quickly became three, 
and it began to take all of me--
to hold it all in, 
beneath my thick skin. . . 

And you said, it was time, 
walking together, we went, 
hearts already spent. 
We stood in that same place, 
tears streaming down, leaving their trace. 
Holding on, not letting go. 
Begging for Your very presence to be bestowed. 

Face in hands, trying to understand. 
All but having to walk away...
knowing the longer we spent; the longer we'd stay. 

Leaving another goodbye, for the next, 
tears began falling, like all the rest.
A couple minutes passed,
and they were the last. 

The door opened to close, behind the both of you, 
and the sobs began to come, it was all I could do. 

And just like that, I was left with two more goodbyes, 
and heavily swollen eyes. 

A week has passed, 
and the missing still outlasts. 

But I'm carrying you in my heart everyday, 
and that is precisely where you will always stay. 

A part of my heart belongs to you, it's true. 
God used you to open my eyes...
find beauty and joy in place of my questioning why's. 

I didn't know such a love exists-
for me to have and to hold. 
Thankfully, I heeded the call and didn't resist-
or I would've never known such a love, to break the mold. 
-June 2011

Monday, January 7, 2013


“You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you.”
 [Psalm 89]

“The same power that conquered the grave lives in me.”

Let that settle into the depths of your heart, where self-doubt rises up, through tears crawling down your cheeks.

The same power that conquered the grave lives in you.

Do you hear me?

You have these moments, when nothing compels you to move forward, you’re paralyzed-those feet that lifted themselves out of pits of darkness are standing still.

Your heart is frozen.

& You’re scared to death that this is all there is.

Nothing good can ever come from this life of yours.

But. These. Are. Lies.

God is mighty.

His faithfulness surrounds himself, and more importantly His faithfulness surrounds you.

You, with the weary swollen eyes, you- the voice that gave up singing, you- the child that gave up that dream, you- the writer that put down his pen, you- the heart that gave up because love has left time again.

His faithfulness surrounds YOU, ALL OF YOU.

Wake up and out of yourself. Wake up, you, precious sleeper. The same power that conquered the grave lives in you, even you.

Don’t for a second think that you are alone in this muddled dark pit of self-doubt, deception and rejection.

You can overcome. You have overcome. You will overcome, so wake up.

Retreat from the lies and demise, find refuge in the faithfulness that is quick to surround you.

And oh the beauty that awaits you, when you just let yourself be stilled to knowing that He delights in you, wounded child. 

He. Delights. In. You.

As the mountain surrounds Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people.