6.28.2013

Two Whole Years


The story of Joseph has always been one of my favorites in the Bible.  It is one of the best examples of God's sovereignty and the 'all things work together for good to them that love Him' rings so true in the chapters of Joseph's life.  One of my favorite Bible verses is in Genesis 50, where Joseph tells his brothers:

'As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.'


The past few days, I had been thinking about reading over Joseph's story, since I hadn't in a while.  So I got my Bible out and flipped to Genesis 37 and started reading.  Joseph's dreams, his brothers selling him into slavery, Potiphar's wife, Joseph imprisoned, Joseph interprets the dreams of the chief cupbearer and chief baker, and then I stopped.  Something had grabbed my attention.

In verse 14 of chapter 40, Joseph interprets the chief cupbearer's dream as something good.  That he would be restored to his former position in Pharaoh's courts.  And Joseph adds, 'Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh...I have done nothing that they should have put me in the dungeon.'  Right here, Joseph is basically saying that the cupbearer is his only hope of getting out of prison.  And then, at the end of chapter 40, after the cupbearer was back in Pharaoh's palace, it says: 'Yet, the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.'  Bam.  Just like that.  Joseph was not even a memory in the cupbearer's mind.  Joseph's only hope of being released from the dungeon was gone.


I was curious, wondering how long it was before the cupbearer remembered Joseph.  Chapter 41 starts out: 'Now it happened at the end of two full years...'

Two years.  Two whole years went by after Joseph had interpreted the cupbearer's dream.  And this got me thinking...

How many of us are unhappy with where we are in life right now?  How many of us have dreams and goals that we want to chase after, but we just feel stuck?  What are we supposed to be doing with our lives right now if the paths we keep wanting to go down are blocked and the doors are closed?  

Well, I'm sure Joseph didn't like being in that dungeon for two years.  But God had him there for a reason.  We don't always understand God's plan.  We can't see into the future, but He can.  How many of us are restless because we want to get ahead in life, but it feels like God is holding us back?  He's only holding you back, dear one, because He has something infinitely greater than you could ever plan for your own life in store for you.  Trust Him.  
He may reveal the next step you should take tomorrow, next week, or maybe two years from now.  But where you are right now, serve Him.  Where you are right now, tell others about Him and His love and forgiveness.  You're there for a reason.  Use your time for His glory.


6.27.2013

Have you ever thought


Have you ever thought you meant a lot to someone, but then you find out that you’re just one person out of so many others that they talk to?

Have you ever thought that you really didn’t like this one person, but over the course of a few months, you’ve come to realize that you’d rather die than lose them?

Have you ever thought that the greatest distance between two things is not North to South, but it’s the distance between you and someone you love, and them not having a clue that you love them so much?

Have you ever thought that you want only what’s best for someone, but what’s best for them is really just killing you inside?

Have you ever thought that you wish someone would talk to you, but it hurts so bad when they do because inside, you can hardly focus on what they’re saying and just the way they laugh makes you smile?

Have you ever thought that part of you wants something so, so bad, but the other part of you knows that it’ll only happen if it’s God’s will and even in that moment, you’re still wishing for something more?

---


6.22.2013

My Self


I thought that being strong
Meant never losing my self-control
But sometimes letting go of myself
My feelings, my emotions
Is the exact thing God needs me to do
So He can make something even more beautiful
Out of the broken pieces.

I thought that being silent
Holding everything inside my heart
Not letting it take over myself
Was what was best for me
But apparently not
Because as soon as I let it loose
It came like a flood.

I thought that being an actor
Was what could hide everything the best
Pretending that I was myself
That everything was okay
But inside, I was breaking
I was dying
And the only One who could see that
Was God.

And then...
Little by little
Piece by piece
He took my hurting heart in His hands
And gently held it, and comforted it
And told me to just let Him have it
I thought He already did
But my self had tried to stay joyful
Stay happy, stay content
On its own.
But my self had failed.

Oh but He still looked on me with love
And tears streamed down my face
As my heart cried out with my voice
His loving arms wrapped around me
His voice soothed my spirit
His hand pulled my self gently back towards Him.

My self was finally home.
My self was where it should have been all along.


6.14.2013

I won't hesitate


It'd been a long day.  Actually, a long week.  I was feeling overwhelmed and stifled.  After dinner, I told my parents that I was going to take a walk and would be back in an hour or so.  I needed some fresh air.  I needed to clear my head.

The evening was cool, yet perfect to wear just a tshirt and shorts.  I pulled my hair up in a bun as I walked.  I didn't know where to go.  I just opened my front door, stepped onto the sidewalk and put one foot in front of the other.  I looked at the ground as I took step after step, the motion of my body making a beat that I started humming to.

I stopped suddenly and looked around me.  I thought I had heard the soft strains of music.  A guitar and a voice.  I glanced back in the direction I knew my house was, but realized that I had walked pretty far in the short amount of time I'd been outside.

There it was again.  I was sure I heard it this time.  It was coming from behind a house.  Down an alley.  And sitting on a low wall was a boy.  With a guitar.

I peeked around the corner of the wall and watched him.  I recognized the song he was singing...

I thought about it, long and hard today
I realized, I'm standing in our way...
(Song credit: Steve Moakler - 'Hesitate')

    He suddenly looked up, right into my eyes.  I gasped a little.  
    "Sorry!" I said.  "I wasn't meaning to spy."
    "You were singing," he said.  His voice was musical even when he spoke.
    "I was?" I touched my fingers to my lips.  "Sorry."
    He gave a small smile.  "Don't be.  You sounded good."
    "Thanks."
    I didn't know what else to say.  I felt like an idiot just standing there.
    "Would you like to join me?"  He patted the wall next to him.  "I just thought it was too beautiful of an evening to sit in a house.  So I came out here and decided to make some music."
    I walked over slowly and scooted up onto the wall.  It was taller than it had looked from a distance.  He reached out to help me up and his hand grasped mine firmly.  When I was seated, he let go of me, then extended his hand with a smile.
    "Hi, it's nice to meet you."
    I returned his smile and shook his hand.  "Nice to meet you too.  Thanks...for letting me join you."
    "It's a free country," he said with a quick wink.
    I laughed a little.
    "So you know Steve Moakler's songs?"
    I nodded.  "A few.  'Hesitate' is my favorite by him, though."
    "Mine too."
     We sat in silence for a few seconds while he randomly picked his guitar's strings, and frogs serenaded us from a nearby pond.
    "Sing with me."
     I looked at him.  He didn't blink.  
    "You know the song.  I'll play, you sing."
    "I don't like singing in front of people," I said quietly.
    "Okay, then I'll sing with you."
    I gave a small shrug.  
    He turned a little till he was sitting, facing me.  His checkered shorts reminded me of something you'd wear to the beach.  
    He began the intro to the song.  I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
    The human heart is a scary part in fact...
    As we sang, I grew more confident.  When we reached my favorite part of the song, I felt myself singing with more gusto.  I had missed music this week.  I had been too stressed to enjoy my favorite songs.


Cuz I'm fearful of heights and you take me higher
What came with you was a view to admire
I've always been the kind to contemplate
But you like the kind that don't hesitate.
So excuse me while I fall for you...

    The guitar stopped.  I opened my eyes.
    "That's not the end of the song," I told him.
    "I know," he answered.  "It's just..."
    "What?"
    "Have you ever wondered what your hesitation causes in the long run?  In this song, it's talking about deciding to love someone or not.  And what if you do love them.  But what if your hesitation is keeping you from telling them, keeping you from having a life with that person.  Keeping you both from happiness..."
    Silence reigned for a few seconds again as we contemplated his thoughts.  I let my flip flops fall to the ground and swung my feet gently.  
    I was the first to speak.
    I looked at my bright green nail polish on my toes as I talked.  "We're never promised tomorrow.  If we know in our heart that someone is the right person, if we feel God letting us fall for someone special - we need to do something about it.  Now.  Without hesitation.  It's better to do something now and it not work out, than not do it and one day, look back and wonder what could have been."
    "And there's always the possibility that doing something now will have positive consequences."
    I smiled and looked up at him.  "Yeah.  That's true."
    He plucked a few more notes on his guitar.  "Thank you...for saying that."
    I gave a small shrug.  "No problem.  I never get very thoughtful with a stranger.  Sorry if I sounded really cheesy."
    "I like cheesy."
    "Me too."
    We both laughed.
    I pulled out my phone and glanced at the time.  "I should probably get going."  I slipped down from the wall and he did too.
    "Thanks for letting me join you," I said, reaching out a hand.
    He held his guitar in one hand, and grasped mine with the other.  "No, thank you.  For giving me the pleasure of your company.  I was hoping I'd have someone to enjoy the evening with.  I just didn't know it'd be a pretty stranger."
    I felt myself blush a little.  "Oh, thank you."
    "Do you mind if I call you later this week?  Maybe we can get together and sing again sometime?"
    "Sure.  Do you have a piece of paper and a pen?"
    "No.  Just tell me your number.  I'll remember it."
    I squinted at him, not sure whether to believe him or not.
    "C'mon," he laughed.
    I said the digits slowly and made him repeat them back to me. 
    "Good job.  Well, goodnight." I turned slowly and headed back to the street, doubting he'd remember my phone number.
    "May I walk you home?" he asked.
    "I only live about a block away."
    "That's not too far, then," he said, and I realized he was insisting on seeing me home safely. 
    We walked in silence, enjoying the evening breeze.  We arrived at my house too soon, though.
    I walked up the porch steps, waved at him, then slowly closed the door behind me.
    No sooner had I gotten in bed that my cell phone vibrated on my nightstand.

"Thank you for making my evening even more special.  Let's sing together again soon.  Don't hesitate to answer.  Please say yes."


---

Hey readers:)
I've had quite a few of you ask me if any of these short little romance stories are true.  The answer to that is: some are, some aren't.  
'The last person he looks at' is true.  The guy in it is just a friend, though.  And yes, he knows I posted it.
'For what it's worth' is partly true.
And this one, that you just finished reading, is purely fictional.  I saw this photo on Pinterest and decided to tell the story I felt it was showing me.  Hope you enjoyed it:)

6.12.2013

Overpowering


I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed lately.  A lot going on in my life that is leaving me anxious and stressed out.  Little doubts have been popping up in my head.  Things have happened that have made me wonder, 'Oh whoops, was that really the way it should've gone?'  I felt that getting away from the everyday routine would help me sort things out a little more.  And it did.  In a way.  But at the same time, my troubles seemed to follow me.  And I didn't really like that.  I'm feeling stifled.  I'm feeling as if thick clouds are all around me and I know I have to walk forward but...into what?  I can't see anything that can hold me up.  I can't see where I'm going to land.  Little smidgens of light filter through every once in a while and I start to smile, but it's like the clouds don't want me to be happy, and immediately, they cover the light.

What do you want me to learn here, God?

Trust?  Yes, I trust You.

Faith?  Yes, I have faith that this will all work out.

God, I know You're testing my faith...but I feel like I'm failing because I'm just stressing out.  I want answers now, but I know You don't work by MY time and MY wants.    

Dear readers, I've learned a lot this week.  About God, about myself, about who my true friends are.  And yes, I might feel suffocated by cares and anxieties, but one thing I've learned.  One thing I continue to learn, is this:

My God is greater than anything.  My God is stronger than everything.  His love for me never fails.  And yes, I fail Him, but He never, ever lets me down.  His love is overpowering.  His love is overwhelming.  His love leaves me breathless sometimes.  His love...is all that I need.  And something I keep reminding myself through everything that's been going on is that He wouldn't give me something I couldn't handle.  He knows I need to learn something through all of this.  He knows this will draw me closer to Him.  And most importantly, pain always makes a person stronger.

...

'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.'
-  2 Corinithians 12:9

...



6.11.2013

Nothing can stop it


If you believe that you've met 'the one', if you have prayed about it, and sought God's answer and felt peace in knowing that a specific man/woman is your future spouse, nothing can stop your union. Not people, not finances, not any worldly concerns. God will bring you two together in His perfect timing - whether that be next week or next year. Trusting God is all part of love. You can't love without HIS love, and you can't have His love without having received His salvation. And you can't fully love another person, if you don't have His love in you. Yes, it will be a hard road to learn to trust Him more fully with your desire to marry. But remember that He knows the desires of your heart and He has both of your best interests in mind. Delight in Him during this waiting period. Know that He is fully in control of every minute detail that happens between you and the person you like. And that every day, every minute is getting you one step closer to the big picture, His beautiful plan. You can't make things work in your own timing, so be patient. Have faith, be obedient, trust in your Heavenly Father. And hope in the story He is writing for you.