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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Surrender...

The Jesus Culture conference in ATL totally blew my socks off! Since I've gotten back home, many people have asked me about how it went, what I learned, etc., and I've found it very difficult to even put into words. So far, I've been able to come up with something like, *huge smile* "Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh." Sort of like a really long sigh. Kind of awkward, I know (for anyone reading who may have gotten that response), but I just don't know how to even summarize all that God did that weekend in one conversation. That being said, I think I'm going to have to break it up into several posts, which probably will not consist of any type of order or structure. However, I'm confident that with all God changed and is still changing within me, He will give me the perfect words for each upcoming conversation and blog post.

One could probably assume from this post title what I am about to say. But while I was away, God dealt with me hugely on the topic of surrender. I realized that my entire life as a "Christian" has never been what it needs to be. Up until recently, I have not given over a single thing to God - not a single circumstance, stress, need, want, relationship, angry feeling...NOTHING. I've said that I have, but my relationship with my Savior is not reflective of such an action. Because had I truly surrendered my life to Him, I wouldn't need to feel in control of every aspect of my life, because God would actually be in control for once. I wouldn't need to find my security in my husband, because I would know my identity in Christ, and that is all the security I need. I wouldn't need a drawn out explanation of why we've been told we need to go through specific procedures in order to have children, because I would believe beyond any shadow of a doubt that nothing is impossible for God. I wouldn't be scared or worried about every next step and place in my life, because I would be able to trust in the Lord and read his word to find comfort and peace. I've been miserable for so stinking long because I'm so tired of fighting for answers, and fighting to feel loved, and fighting for reassurance in this world, when truth is, I'll never find any of it without Christ.

This battle with infertility has been one of the scariest times in my life. It's terrifying to think that I may never give birth and get to experience all that comes with raising a child. The thought of never seeing what God creates with equal parts of me and my husband is gut wrenching. I look around at my friends and their beautiful kids, and I listen to them tell stories so sweet about their children that bring tears to my eyes, and I know there's nothing in life that I want more. And there's a problem with that statement.
How can I pray to God and beg him to bless me with a child when I don't desire a relationship with him above all else? Total surrender to Christ, in my life, means giving up everything - my relationships, my life plans, my rights, my pleasures, EVERYTHING - to follow Him. I can't keep living a life of contradiction, where I say I serve the Lord, but sacrifice nothing. I have been living a life of false surrender, and I have been mastered by anything and everything except by God. God is bringing me to a place where I don't just give him something to get by. He wants my surrender, and he wants it regardless of what I hope the future holds for my husband and I. Even if it means I never have children.

The wrecking ball that I talked about in my last post definitely came! I left that conference after every session feeling like I had just been beaten up. And it was like, even though I sat through most sessions feeling like the most horrible person to ever walk the face of the earth, God was in my ear the entire time saying, "I don't care...I love you...Come with me...Give it all to me...Burn for me...Start right now..." And I walked out with an indescribable feeling of peace. And as I laid my offerings before the Lord, I could feel the hurt, anger, and weight of the world being lifted. And I knew in those moments that this was the beginning of a new life for me...a life set apart and wholly surrendered unto God.

That conference does not get the credit for changing me..God does. He showed up mightily that weekend, and I am proof that when Kim Walker says in How He Loves that "...You're never the same after you encounter the love of God..." she is totally right. I'm a messed up human being, and God put me in my place, put me out of my comfort zone, and beat me up, but showered me in love and grace and mercy. He radically pursues me every day, and I owe my life to Him.

So as Chris Quilala so eloquently sings it:
"...So let this love be like a fire, let our life be like a flame, fill our souls with Your desire, let our passion bring You fame..."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wrecking ball...

..I have been referring to this term a lot lately, and it's because I feel like my life is about to wrecked completely by God. And that's a good thing. I think it's already begun, with our struggles with infertility. Actually, I don't even like phrasing it like that. I know what we have been faced with, but deep down I don't believe we are infertile. I just feel like God has got some healing to do in other areas of our lives before the little miracle is to come. God has been revealing to me that His answer to what I've been asking for (a child) is "NO" right now. And I know that because He has completely revealed important things in my life that HAVE to change. The Lord has been pursuing me for a very long time, and I have struggled to get away in fear of what may happen if I am not in control of things in my life. I have been afraid of what He might actually do in my life. But He has woken me up to this and I have been convicted again and again every single day. There is no question about it - Jeremy and I have faced some pretty hard times lately, along with MANY people we are close to. But I'm seeing now that God is not giving up until WE give it up and surrender to Him. I am nervous about whatever is about to come, but I know that God is good. So I am ready. I know it's going to be hard, but it's got to happen!

Tomorrow I will be on the road with two amazing ladies, and we will be on our way to a conference in Atlanta held by Jesus Culture. I have great expectations for this trip! After all, I was reading about the upcoming conference the other day, and this is what I came across:

"JESUS CULTURE CONFERENCES are about raising-up and releasing a generation of revivalists. Our passion is to ignite a youth prayer movement and release healing revivalists into cities and campuses across the nation.

For three days, we will be seeking God, training and equipping, praying on campuses, and ministering in the city. God wants to see cities in America completely saved, and He is raising-up young people who are passionately in love with Him, know how to pray, and walk in the power of God."

After reading that, I sat there in complete shock for what we are about to go through. The two words - Revivalists and Healing - struck me deeply. When we signed up for this conference, (and I feel I can speak for all 3 of us here), I think it started out with more of just a love for Jesus Culture music and a fun trip. I'm not sure we quite grasped what we were getting ourselves into! But now it's clear, I believe. Here we are, 3 women that God literally brought together, all facing similar battles, in desperate need of God's love and mercy in our lives. In desperate need for change and a mess up of any complacency in our Christianity. In desperate need of healing and restoration in our hearts, our minds, relationships, and most of all in our faith in Jesus Christ.

So my prayer for this trip is that God will completely wreck our lives so that we will not return home the same people! I pray we come back changed women of God, ready to share with the world of His faithfulness and redeeming love! Please pray with us!

See you all in 4 days! I'll leave you with my favorite Jesus Culture song now: