"So I went to India ..."

Thursday, May 27, 2010
No, it's not me that went to India. It's someone, somewhere in the world who wrote an email about her trip to India to someone else somewhere in the world and this someone passed the email on to someone else and that someone else passed it on to another someone else and eventually it reached my inbox. And I want to pass it on to you. Why? Because it is such a great example of that which God was showing me yesterday about being a witness

Isaiah 43: 10 - 12
"You are my witnesses", declared the Lord,
and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me 
and understand  that I am he.
Before me no god was formed
nor will there be one after me
I, even I, am the Lord
and apart from me there is no savior
I have revealed and saved and proclaimed
I, and not some foreign God among you 
You are my witnesses, declares the Lord
that I am God

So here is the girl-who-went-to-India's testimony about a living, relational God meeting her in her mess ...

"So I went to India and thought I was going to help people, learn the language, travel, come back and sound super cool. Then nothing worked out like I thought, nothing. Before I left I was almost at the point of giving up my faith, feeling like there was no relationship. All I knew was that I couldn't look around at the world and think that this all just happened by chance, and Jesus made sense to me. But I didn't understand his love.

A week into India I was so p*&% off, sitting on the roof, so angry that this isn't what I wanted ... thinking that I spend 1500 dollars to sit in a house on the other side of the world. And then, it's like God spoke, in a way - not audibly, just a feeling, I guess - that he brought me there to know his love, freedom and relationship. All these things I was praying for, for a while - I took that semester off to do that but I ignored him again - and He showed me in that moment that He will always pursue me. He will take me across the world to just be alone with Him. Away from all these distractions, make everything I knew disappear, take even language away from me.
When I read through my journal, it's like the psalms. I learned how to let God know that I am mad. And bitter. And I would yell and cry, and read and not understand. Then He would reveal to me, at the height of my madness, of my confusion, that HE only would reveal, proving that HE only can. And it was supernatural. Every time it got into me more and more - His truth. It was the beginning of the foundation I felt I had always missed, the foundation of His love. It totally nullified all the ways I had been taught in church, all the trying, all the guilt. I learned that it wasn't about me controlling things and it was beautiful. I was starting to learn who He really was/is, who He knows Himself to be, not how I knew Him to be. And my heart changed ...it changed cause I was honest and I let go of my agenda, but I didn't pretend that I wasn't mad about it. But it's a fight.

Mostly, I realized I was a mess. I mean, I already knew that, but the most important part was missing. The ending of that is in Romans ... who's going to save me from the mess that I am? How will I be made new? A mess can't save a mess, right? Right. So who can? Thanks be to God, the Lord Jesus Christ!!! He's the One! So, I'm a mess, and I was never supposed to fix myself. I know I suck at it anyway, but before I thought I just failed because I couln't fix myself.
And, I would always have this idea in my head that I would feel differently in another place more fitting to me. I was so bored for such a long time, and discontent. Nothing was going really wrong in my life, circumstantially, but nothing felt worth any kind of push ... I just didn't understand what life was for a while pretending to understand. I felt so plasticky ... it was gross ... ugh, it grossed me out. And I couldn't do it. But, it was no different in India at first. The only time it changed was when He changed my heart. When I felt like FINALLY this relationship was a real thing.

So, really, it was the beginning. And not any kind of beginning I'd ever imagined. But I really believe that if I did everything I wanted to do ... work at an orphanage, help a lot of people, see a lot of places ... I would be just as restless, just as plasticky, just as much discontentment.
The Lord wants you solely, first before any desire to use you for others. And if we don't feel that, any work, any effort is just that - work that is only work, effort that is only effort ... all about us us us, even though we're pretending it's about Him Him Him. But He calls everyone (I really believe) that He wants to use, into a place of truly knowing Him ... and what that means is a knowledge of Love, since that is who He is" 

This is witnessing - testifying about a personal encounter with a living, loving God!

Remember what I said in the first posting?  That my stuggle now is to keep resting in His love while making my life available to others in this way? To not be on a mission to do for God? What the girl-who-went-to-India said in the last paragraph about 
the Lord wanting you and me solely, first before any desire to use us for others 
is exactly what He has been saying to me from even before the struggle in me started. His desire is for me! 

"I belong to my lover and His desire is for me" - Song of Songs 7:10

And from that position of knowing and being in relationship with the God of love, the overflow to others always follows.

To blog or not to blog? - a question answered

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I've been thinking about starting a blog since the end of last year, but did not act on it. I just did not have faith that it was something that God wanted me to do. I've learned (and especially through the last year) that when I listen to and follow His plans and purposes for me and others, what I do, then bears fruit. We can be very busy but not achieving much through this busyness. I didn't want to waste time. And in any case there are probably hundreds of other blogs and bloggers which and who are saying the same things that I want to say and also in a more captivating way. But the idea kept hovering around and "just for fun" I registered a blog and played around with a few templates. Then, not long ago, a trusted friend who did not know what I was contemplating, forwarded the following devotional from the work of Henri Nouwen

Making our lives available to Others
One of the arguments we often use for not writing is this:"I have nothing original to say. Whatever I might say, someone else has already said it, and better than I will ever be able to." This however, is not a good argument for not writing. Each human person is unique and original, and nobody has lived what we have lived. Furthermore, what we have lived, we have lived not just for ourselves but for others as well. Writing can be a very creative and invigorating way to make our lives available to ourselves and others. We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to live them.

Hmm... This spoke right into my heart. This was not the only thing that brought me to faith though. There were words and encouragements and circumstances along the way that slowly increased my faith to do this but this was my point of clarity (as a friend likes to say). So let the blogging begins. The struggle for now is to keep resting in Him and His love while making my life available to others in this way. But more about that later ...