Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I attended the last Resolved conference this weekend. Though disappointed in some of the people I went with, the preaching and worship was incredible. The greatest thing I pulled away from the weekend was this: God loves me.
On the last day, after the first session in the morning I met up with a lady who used to tutor me. She stopped tutoring me a couple years back when her husband went Home to meet the Lord. They were an older couple, both kind, loved God so much.
I attended the memorial service, and that was the last time I saw my tutor. So I was excited to see her again; she asked about school, and what I was going to do with my life. After I had talked some I asked what was new with her. She started naming off some things like one of her daughters getting a boyfriend who seems quite serious, and at last, in a tight yet soft voice she said, "And missing Mr. D." The moment she said that, tears filled her eyes, and I felt tears fill my own. She said she wasn't sure what God wanted her to do next. And off that, somehow we got to talking about physical pain. I ended up telling her of my chronic pain, and she told me that her chronic arthritis had started when she was 25.
We have both been fighters; her being one with years of experience, much more than I. But all the same, we both spoke the same, of not letting pain ruin our lives, or how we live. It was good to have someone I could so easily relate to in this area. Someone who thought how I did about pain.
From pain, we spoke of God's purposes in it. And how He has used it in both our lives. And from God's purposes, we spoke of Home and how glorious it will be. She told me about how having her husband gone has made her think more of Home than ever before. Daily she would think of how sweet Eternity will be. I told her that my pain reminds me that this earth is not Home, that from the pain, I look all the more to Eternity. How comforting it is to know that this is the closest to Hell we will ever get. In full we had a wonderful conversation; both on the brink of tears, we talked of our Great Father, His purposes, and our Home.
So in light of that conversation, the next sermon that we heard was about the future glory of the Church. Steve Lawson preached an incredible sermon, and at one point went off about the love of God. The line that hit me the hardest was, 'God does what is best'.
Then I realized that everything that comes my way; even trials and thorns put in my life are not only to change me. But over that, because He loves me.
He gives us thorns because that is what is best. Him doing what is best is Him saying that He loves us.
God gave me chronic pain because He loves me.
God took away Mr. D because He loves Mrs. D.
But too often we think that anything that goes wrong in our lives is because we have done wrong. Too often we take things as a curse from God. We have formed a terrible perspective from the world, that only when good things happen does God show His love towards us. And maybe we don't see right away the reasons why bad things happen. But that doesn't mean that it must be for a bad reason. Even when it is a tragic thing.
My perspective once again has been so changed this weekend. I've come this far, after over two and a half years, to realize that this thorn is a blessing in disguise.
Perhaps God is preparing me for a lifetime of chronic pain--but whatever it ma be, no longer does this pain feel like a curse. God gave it to me because He loves me.
The feeling I have had over the last two days is like none other. I didn't cry while listening to the sermon, I cried alone a bit in the bathroom an hour later, before the group of people I was with dragged me to the mall.
It's funny how you can cry, be red in the face and have watery eyes, and yet no one cares to notice.
But even as I sat alone on a bench in the mall, I felt so overwhelmed by my realization. The weight of God's love enough to make my body tremble, even as I walked alone though the mall. I fought back tears, because there were no words to describe the weight I felt.
God loves me was all that ran through my head.
God loves me.
God loves me.
The weight of that love is beyond anything words can ever describe. I can't speak of it, not even write this post without tears.
Sure I have known that God loves me. But in light of my trials and pains, it has never been so powerful as it has today.
I can go through trials and take these thorns as blessings. He gives them to me because He knows that this is what is best for me. He does what is best for me because He loves me.
He loves me.
He not only gives, but He takes away. He does what is best for His children. Sometimes Him taking away our loved ones is what is best. It is not always so tragic as we think first off. He does what is best for us, even though it can be hard.
So that is what I've brought back; that is what has caused all of these tears over the last two days.
God. Loves. Me.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
"It is just a swim
Way past branching out on a limb.
Swimming in a pool of memories so bittersweet
that can only give off the sensation of life's defeat.
Through the eye there will always be a smiling face
That no one, not even death, could erase.
Through the ear, there will always be laughter and a voice,
So precious that burying them with the body isn't even a choice.
Through the hands, they will always feel that skin so warm and alive,
That touch, always in these waters will survive.
With every wave that crashes, I relive every little thing
With every wave, another type of sadness it brings.
I swim here, reliving every day we had.
Finally feeling reality sink in, and wishing I could be glad.
Buried in the dirt below, I'm left here nearly drowning.
While everyone else stands on the dock, crying and frowning.
To know that when I cry, you will be no where near.
The sky is foggy and clouded, not even close to being clear.
A burden weighs so deep inside that I might sink
My mind in all too much sorrow and pain to think.
So here I swim, in a sea of memories, too bittersweet to keep,
These memories going down far too deep."
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
This week I had a conversation with a friend about how important it is in a relationship to find someone with the same theology as you have.
Both of us are Reformed; he's a Presbyterian and I'm not really in a denomination. My friend told me last night that he tends to not like the girls who are totally Reformed because other than their theology they have nothing else in common. He told me that the majority of girls he knows are stiff and tend to be more of the boring side.
So, instead of making theology the highest thing to look for in finding the right girl, he told me he just would say he wants a strong Christian girl who loves God and who is teachable.
Two years ago I would have thought that idea terrible for any strong Reformed person, guy or girl. But I think that over the last few years, with having most of my friends not agreeing with me theologically, I've come to be more accepting of those in different groups.
I understand why my friend had said what he was looking for instead of people in his denomination. And I find nothing wrong with that.
As long as the girl is teachable and not in a totally heretical movement I don't see the problem with a strong Reformed guy marrying her.
My oldest brother married a girl who came out of the Fundamentalist movement. She didn't entirely agree with him theologically when they married, but she loved God. And That's what mattered.
She was learning, and still is learning, and my brother is teaching her more. I find nothing wrong with that pairing.
A strong Reformed guy looking outside of the group of girls who agree 100 percent theologically and just looking for someone who he can relate to and who still loves God but is teachable at the same time isn't a terrible thing really.
But upon thinking more about this. I don't think it wise for a Reformed girl, such as myself, to look for a guy who isn't firm theologically.
To me, theology is super important. And I would never marry a guy who I disagree with in a big way. Like on the Doctrines of Grace or Romans 7. That's always the first question that comes out when my friends say they like someone.
Most girls ask, "Is he cute?" I ask, "How's his theology?"
To me, besides being a Christian, theology is the next important thing. Most of that's probably because of my experiences with people in different boats than mine, but also because I realize that in a serious relationship, the man is supposed to be the leader.
And I don't think a good leader should be having his footing in five different boats at one time. A leader has to be firm in what he believes and be able to defend it and teach others.
Of course no one has perfect theology, and we all are growing.
But a guy who is wavering in his theology and who keeps changing isn't in the best position to lead anyone.
Theology not only changes how a guy lives and his perspective, but it changes how a guy leads. And as girls, too often we discount having the right theology and think that as long as a guy loves God and says he's a Christian, then that's all that matters.
But it's not. Too often we look past being firm and never think about how theology really does effect a man's leading.
I don't see how a guy can be in a million different boats theologically and still be able to lead a woman. Too many people are in different boats at the same time, and girls just overlook it and think these guys would make a fantastic husband anyways. Too often girls don't think of the guys as being the leader in a marriage, and so they don't understand how unstable theology can cause unstable leadership.
So I guess that in conclusion, I don't see anything wrong with a strong Reformed guy looking for a girl who doesn't quite agree with him on everything, but is learning. But I think it's different for a strong Reformed girl looking for a guy.
I think theology has a lot to do with the leadership thing. And I think it's important for a girl to find a guy who is firm in what he believes.
Yeah, so those are just some thoughts.