30.11.17

CALLING

Called Me Higher, All the Sons and Daughters 

Am I the only one got it into my head that being alive is about perfecting relationships and establishing business and nestling into a happy nest of comfy success?

The perfecting of a relationship and the establishing of a business are good things, but this song spoke to me how it is:

He's called us to live in Him, not in the happy nest, and the happy nest isn't the goal. The business is good and the relationship is precious -- but the nest isn't what we were made for. And sometimes the business and the relationship are all about nestling into the happy nest, instead of falling into God and making home in Him.

I'm asking myself now -- am I living for the happy nest, or to nestle into God? What do I ultimately want? Why do I ultimately want to perfect this relationship, to create this business, so on and on?



But I wanted a happy nest life. 

Taking a bit of a dive into Thessalonians, it says it as if it were like any old fact in existence:

God, who called us into his own kingdom. 

I want pain and blemish free neatly tied with a ribbon and meanwhile, our true calling stands.

God, who called us into his own kingdom. 

This God, they are family, their names Father and Spirit and Son.

The story goes that they lived in communion, in abundance, the givers and joy-makers who one day created humanity to be a part of their family. Birthing us out of their beauty.

Humanity rejected Their call, and the Son reached right down into our dusty depths and put on humanity's bones and flesh and with a breaking heart, continued to call us into Their own kingdom.

Oh, and us, so temperamental about our lives being our own -- the Son stretched himself out and wrists dripping red, water rushing out,

He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves. (2 Corinthians 1:15)

His death was our birth and His resurrection was our adoption.

Out of sheer generosity He put us in right standing with Himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where He always wanted us to be. (Romans 3)

The Spirit is in relationship with humanity. As we awaken, we become participants with the Spirit in the sweet awakening of a sleeping humanity,

as the dust still shifts, ever so slight,

in memory of His feet over the sand.

25.11.17

finally home

How to say it? I've been afraid of coming home. Afraid of looming hours and unplanned wandering and loneliness.

And I started the drive home last night and I asked it out loud for the first time, maybe acknowledging it for the first time: Papa, why do I have such a strong aversion to coming home? 

Approaching the railway intersection, between the cracks of trees and sky I saw lights illuminating buildings and space and I was met with a deep feeling of familiarity that I haven't experienced in years.

It was the feeling of coming home. Of knowing something as home. The realisation that you are returning, that you have finally returned, to a place you knew a long time ago, perhaps in a dream.

I woke several times in the early hours of morning and each time, dread would breathe its grey dust in through some broken, open wound I've got exposed here, threatening me with empty.

Each time, the word would rise inside me,

Home,

it's edges painted gold,

so deeply satisfying the longing inside me.





I am constantly focused on how I need to know God more and be closer to him, and last night I heard him speaking to me, like waves that keep coming,

saying to accept, appreciate, and be present to where we are now, to where I am with this God who is Three,

Father, Spirit, Son,

this family with arms always open.


Home is something that exists. It's a place where you live.

Mulling over Jesus' words in the pages of John, I remember how I always ask him, and what is real life? What is eternal life? 

There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home. If that weren't so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live where I live.  
I will talk to the Father, and he will provide you with another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can't take him in because it doesn't have eyes to see him, doesn't know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!
I will not leave you orphaned. I'm coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you're going to see me because I am alive and you're about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I'm in my Father, and you're in me, and I'm in you. 
Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me. I am the vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is -- when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples. 
I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done -- kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love.

Home,
is where nothing is missing. 


16.11.17

{heart cry}

Ah, my walls. I suppose you've stumbled into them a time or two, hoping to meet with me.

They stay out front, guarding. 

There's four, you only need four sides to truly wall something in. To be honest, I'm so used to having them around that I actually forgot that they were there. Forgot that they were between you and me. 

You've seen the glass, probably. I think it's usually pretty fogged up when you're around, but maybe you know it's there. That little window. 

You might catch a glimpse of me, someday. 
Unless... you have walls, too, and you only have a small window, like me. In that case, it'd be a stretch for our glass panes to line up, and even if they do, if one of us were a little foggy, neither of us would see anything. 

I mentioned that the walls guard. Another word would be, protect

They protect my heart. 

My heart's kind of battered, see. Got heaps of sticky taped wrapped right tight round it. Even got these fading scars where blood dripped out. Oh, how it all hurt. 

I don't remember the conversation we had after it all happened, but at some point, I must've signed up the guards. They came in all their brick glory and made a border round my heart. 

Now that I'm telling you all this, I'm remembering something else. Right when the blood was trickling out, and the pain was like a hammering against my soul -- 

right before all the sticky-tape bandaging began? 

Right when cracks covered all the surface of the old worn heart? 


Oh... that's when the love all poured in. All poured out. 

You guard, you walls -- leave, now. 
Goodbye. 

This old-worn, tattered, battered,
beating heart -- 

it calls out. 

Calls out, beyond the walls,

and I hear it now. 

I'd wound it up so tight. 


It's edges loosen, 

and as they do, 

a brick moves. 

Light moves and He moves His arm round my shoulder,

and blood trickles down his side,

and there's this heart-cry,


how love pours out and in like blood. 

27.10.17

staying or walking away

The word accept terrifies people because it comes attached with the idea that it means to lower your standards and submit to something that isn't good enough, whether it be in ourselves or somebody else. 

What is the opposite of the word accept? I'd go ahead and call it rejection

What does it mean to reject? I'd say it means to cast out, to throw away, to declare unfit. To reject means to turn your back on. To walk away. 

Opposite words usually have opposite definitions. If to reject is to walk away, then what would it mean to accept? 

To stay. 

I guess it turns out that what we're really fearing is what our act of staying really says about us: that our standards aren't good enough, that we're settling for less than the best, that we don't have what it takes to be who we ought to be, that we have no pride if we can accept somebody who isn't measuring up to the ruler we're holding against them. 

As soon as we submit to this act of staying, we fear it saying that we didn't have it in us to make it to where we should've been. 

As soon as we commit to staying, we concede defeat: now we will never reach the standard, never be who we ought to be. 



My experience of shame comes out of not being the person I strive to be. I attempt to white-wash over reality by denying what is true about myself. 

And I know, I know what you're thinking -- this is the only way to overcome the things that aren't good enough. By proving that they aren't there. 

But I am a quiet person. And wishing to deny this and be different from this only keeps me from drawing the beauty out of this quality. It is not wrong to be a quiet person -- but I've always thought it was.
Sometimes I am quiet because I am being self-conscious -- thinking about myself. I am aware of this now. And when I find myself being detached from a conversation because I am wrapped up in thoughts of myself, I have discovered the wonder of realising that this moment is not about me -- this about the person I am with. Whilst I don't suddenly turn into a bright, bubbly person and the life of the party, I become a person who is able to see the person in front of me as a glorious creation and truly appreciate who they are, their presence -- and find myself with things to say and questions to ask because I am truly in awe at who they are and their existence on this earth. 

However, if I had stopped at the point of thinking, being quiet is bad, I have to be talkative, my thoughts, motives and intentions would be entirely based on self, on being a better version of me, of attempting to surpass myself -- and I would have missed the human beside me entirely. I would have missed Jesus entirely. 

Think of an aspect of yourself that you struggle with. Something that for whatever reason you believe ought not to be how it is. Maybe a word you use to define yourself, a belief that you have about yourself, a standard you hold yourself to (and seem unable to reach). At its core, acceptance isn't about what we do but who we are. 

Now -- why do you struggle with this aspect of yourself? And because you struggle with it, what do you do with its existence? 

Do you attempt to overcome it? How have you attempted to overcome it? 
Do you attempt to deny it? Has this been successful, or made its existence more prominent in your mind? 
Do you experience shame? Anger? Fear?, toward this aspect of yourself? Why? Does this specific response make you happier? Stronger? Kinder toward others and yourself? 

Let's return to our definitions. 

To reject -- to walk away. 
To accept -- to stay with. 

We're attempting to walk away from ourselves and each other where we don't measure up. We're abandoning our selves and each other out of fear that to stay is to give up. 

But this is where we've got it all upside down. What situation has there ever been that to stay means to give up -- and to walk away means to keep trying? 

Maybe, in the end, our denying and attempting to overcome and prove ourselves has always been a rejection of ourselves, a giving up of ourselves, a refusal of ourselves. 

In the end, maybe the bravest thing there is... is to stay with ourselves, to stay with each other. You and me both know it's the bravest. 

But what're we gonna do? What choice to we have? Walk away from ourselves -- or stay? 
There's holiness in this risk. In this act of staying, this act of acceptance. It's not a giving up -- it's a surrender. 

And if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself. 

Oh, the wonder. 

Ponder, 
whisper your fear, 
and know that you are loved. 

14.10.17

what i found

I am filled with hate. Love does not live inside me. I am a hard, calloused thing. Hate forms my thoughts, my defences.

I don’t know God, because I don’t love at all. I am emptied of love. Love doesn’t know me as home. Jesus it’s dark. It’s crowded. It’s lonely. It’s prideful, it’s careless, it’s selfish.

I sit between the back of the couch and the window, feet pressed down into wood, peering at flowers behind the glass. They’re closed, their petals are torn, colours fading. They were open yesterday.

Hatred is at home inside me. It’s comfortable. I didn’t even know it was here until just before, but now it makes sense as I remember the edginess, the restlessness, that shoot bullets at my heart and take pointed words and throw them at other hearts.

It is me. The battle is between light and dark, good and evil, hatred and love. I am fighting for dark. We fight for whatever lives inside us.


It’s true that light breaks darkness. But how do you love when you are filled with hate? 




When you find yourself begging the question, you find love summoning you: 

come



3.10.17

human jesus // spoken word

- spoke some words - 

He was too human. The Jesus in my head was glossy, and valiant. Not wrinkled and ordinary. 

 I realised that the Jesus I thought I knew was only my own ideal, 

and that an ideal is something that can never be personally known. 








30.9.17

anything, in this,

This -- it's where I left off. 

How anything is about knowing Jesus. 








Shopping and laughing and praying and reading and singing and writing and working and speaking and planning and playing and organising and preaching and listening and sharing and practising and washing and eating and meeting and gathering and remembering and giving and receiving and driving and stopping and walking and running and creating and designing and committing and loving and spending and saving and granting and breaking and growing and savouring and trusting and relinquishing and cherishing and thanking and baking. 

I said -- Jesus, forgive me for everything being about anything besides knowing You. 

I've wanted other things in all of them. 

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognise what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2

What is anything but to know You? 

When you're living to get through... you forget you're living to know Him. 

And He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:15

We fight mental fires and feelings and we find ourselves getting through -- and we find ourselves asking why, and what is this auto-pilot life? 

When you're living to get through, you forget you're living to know Him. 

When you live to know Him -- you're no longer living to get through. 

When you're wringing out every gift of being -- baking and writing and playing, friendship and family -- you find yourself a bit soul-wrung.   

When you're wringing out every gift of being in an attempt to satisfy soul-emptiness, yeah, you find it to be all wrung-out and this soul still empty. 



You get to this heart of the whole thing and right where you are, here, now -- this is you meeting eternity in the present and knowing Jesus. 

You can know Him right here. In this. All within and through, this Way, Truth & Life. This Jesus, in this, you can know Him. 

19.9.17

missing?

A.W. Tozer brought it up, this segregation I've made between myself, the sacred, and the secular. 

Between with God and without God, being inside and outside, with the boy and without the boy, 

healthy and unhealthy, broken and whole. 

Who I am and who I am not. 

My mind is divided. My life is divided. 

I cry for unity, for oneness, for whole -- 

and all the while, this bleeding soul makes distinction that makes abandonment unavoidable. 



As if it were my own differentiating between life and death, right and wrong, good and bad -- that creates this empty space inside of me? 

Could it be that my tendency to separate one thing from another is why it seems like something has gone missing? 

I've stolen from myself what I thought had disappeared some other way. 

Would it be so simple? 


When I distinguish between the two and myself, it means that something will always be missing -- the sacred or the secular, God or no God, the boy or no boy, health or lack thereof, brokenness or whole. 

No matter my seeming desire, the separation I make between two means that something is always gone. Something is always not here. Something is always missing. 

As long as something is missing, I'm always scrambling to find it. 

I guess the question that's been flicking at the edge of my mind, my heart, this soul today -- is what if nothing is missing

What if nothing is missing? What if it's only what I've broken apart into two that makes two out of one? 

What's all these pieces in my hands? 

What's this holy God being three but entirely one? What's this, their calling to humanity to come into their oneness?  What's this oneness out of many? 

I'm holding all these pieces -- inferior or superior, sufficient or insufficient, talent or practice, close or apart, dream or reality, sky or grass, 

and oh, the distinctions I create

What if nothing is missing? 



All the missing in me -- all that I see I'm not?

What if nothing is missing? 

12.9.17

STORM EYES

Years of asking the same questions finally escalated a few days ago with me being unable to do anything at all due to insufficient answers. "Why does it matter? What is the point? What is the reason?" 

I caved, there on the ground, beyond all shame for my years-long dilemma. I couldn't even pretend any more. The mask had just sort of fallen off. Years of battling what I was doing with a reason and purpose. Years of trying to twist every act and commitment into a reason for doing so. 

Shame behind me, I picked myself up off the floor. "Where are you going?" the boy asked. "To pursue God." 

I went out the back, and I spent a few moments pacing the concrete, gazing from sky to trees to sky, and then I remember mulling over the fact that it was like there was something in front of me, blocking me. Then I became aware of where I'd found myself standing: this red brick wall right in front of me. 

I can't move it, I said. 
I know, Papa said. But I can. I'll dismantle this wall, brick by brick. 

I took a step backward, and I looked up at sky, and acknowledged the thought in my head; I'd been contemplating doing something, and had internally asked, will it give me purpose

And then, clear, a voice sounded: But what if who you are is purposeful? 

These simple words rushed into me like a waterfall and they gushed out the fear and doubt. 

All these years, I'd been attempting to derive meaning and purpose for myself -- 

and He'd spoke and I was freed from my fear and shame about who I was and what I was doing. 


That was a few days ago and I'd been enjoying the ease and peace that I'd had ever since hearing those words. But, then, today, I started to doubt. Which made me worry. I started worrying I was slipping away from Papa again and that depression would wash in like a tidal wave and just when everything was starting to get better -- would it just fall apart again? 

I've been reminded of a greater truth that I'd forgotten, that I used to keep close in my soul. It's from the book of James, in chapter two, and it goes like this: 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  

I'm reminded of Peter, when he stepped out of the boat onto the wild roaring ocean waters, and walked toward Jesus. When he started to sink into raging waters. How He drew him out. Asks him why he doubts. 

After all the storms, 
all the dark, 
all the healing,
all morning's rising's -- 

we find ourselves in another storm... 
oh, Jesus,
fix my eyes on You. 
Hand of God

15.8.17

Enough

I use this word a lot. Especially when I’m not going too well. “I’m not good enough.” My boyfriend would say that this is a favourite tagline of mine. “It won’t be good enough,” I’ll say. “It’s not enough.” “Am I enough?”
It’s such a transitory word. Illusory. Subjective. Elusive. Uncatchable. It’s haunting like that.
Your eyes catch on to it and you’ve got your arms outstretched, greed growing in those eyes. Enough. Oh, to catch it. To get your hands on enough and hold it. Oh, oh, so elusive. To strive for enough, you and I are guaranteed failure. To be good enough, to get enough, to be enough – if this is what you really want? Stop chasing it. Stop, stop, stop.
Why do we seek enough? I’d say in seeking enough, I’m seeking rest. Comfort. Reassurance. I seek enough because I see myself as inadequate. I’m striving to become more – what I call enough.
More, and enough, how are they the same thing?
When I think about what the word enough means, I question why I approach it with measuring tools. Enough? Has no standards. Enough? No requirements. You can’t hold a ruler up to its face, and no amount of rope will refer to its distance, either to you or from you.
What if I told you – and I am about to hear this the first time for myself – enough is the most accepting thing there is? What if I told you that enough rejects nothing and nobody?
Enough is yourself, the people around you, the world around you. Why do we seek to be enough? It’s who we already are. We’re a dog chasing its tail!
A dog chasing its tail.
I want to be enough. What we really mean when we say this is that we want to be more than we already are.
More.
This page has been a journey for me. What I thought was enough actually refers to more. Let’s copy and paste what I thought described enough – when it really is talking about more.
It’s such a transitory word. Illusory. Subjective. Elusive. Uncatchable. It’s haunting like that.
More indicates that there is not enough. More indicates that what currently is, is not acceptable. More suggests that something else must be attained.
When I say “I am not good enough,” what I really mean is, “I need to be more.” This is the fundamental underlying belief in what I am saying.
I need to be more. More than what I am.
And at what point will more suffice as enough? Will it ever?
I am chasing more. I have never known more to reach an end. More never ends. I will always need to be more. As long as I crave more, I will never stop running after it.
Oh, oh. I thought my battle was with enough and it turns out that enough is not only my alley but a descriptor, my greatest acceptor.
I didn’t think I struggled with more¸ I thought I was only fighting to be who I ought to already be, but it turns out that what I really desire for myself is to chase more until I die.
All I can think is that if I keep chasing more, I will never be enough, but how does this even makes sense, if I am already enough?
But all I see is that I am less than, that everyone else is better than, and doesn’t that make me not enough? Will I ever understand this concept of enough?
Comparison. And enough doesn’t play this game. Comparison is the game of more, and I’ve shown up to practice every single day.
I am that committed.
I am that miserable.

I wish I could just stop chasing more. Just stay with enough. But I’m scared, cos, you know, then I might not be enough… 

28.7.17

..right here

I always idealised the life of the wanderer. You could run and roam and give in and give up and nobody would hold you to it. You could begin anew and you wouldn't have to settle any accounts, wouldn't have to make up or break up. There'd be a constant moving on, and you could be whoever you wanted to be because you wouldn't be afraid anyone would keep you accountable to anything. 

And I'm still living in the home my family owns, but to be honest, even though there's always been a place to lay my head, I've said it out loud, that it's not like home, and I guess I have to admit the truth, about me being a wanderer. 

I wanted to be a wanderer, because they can run away whenever life is too much to bear, and there'd be nothing or no-one keeping them anywhere. No ties, no chains, no pain. Wanderer's live out the romanticism of escapism and it's something I've been desperate to live in to, when all I can see is a bajillion pieces of existence that don't equate to anything like beauty and whole. 

Coming from a girl whose been wandering the homeland -- tears live inside me, and it only takes a word to draw them right up and out. Weariness has successfully overtaken my body, my mind, my soul. I don't know what I believe in, but I know that somewhere here there's a God more real than I envision him to be -- a God more real than the abstraction I speak to in the sky. 

I'm falling apart. I don't have any more dreams left, even the ones I left to sit quiet in me. They were there so long, I think they disintegrated. They were all for me, anyway. In the end, I was planning on using the world for mustering self-acceptance.  

Apparently when I most want to disappear -- this is when I most want to be found.

I'm afraid that if I stop wandering, I'll have nothing. I'd rather suffer the illusion of everything than be faced with a reality that could be anything. 

I'd rather string everything along in pieces than have it weaved into one dedicated whole, because I can leave pieces anywhere, but to walk away from something whole would be to walk away from myself. 

I'd rather a muffled illusion of friendship, dreams, and plans than a certain assurance of whatever life really is. I've been avoidant. Avoided facing up to people and things wherever possible, no matter the cost. I'll flee and move on, but never forward. 

I guess it's not where and to whom I travel -- but acknowledging where and with whom I am with, exactly as it is. 

When I most want to disappear, I most want to be found? Right, here. 

9.5.17

Jesus & a million

How years ago I'd stumbled into this: getting and becoming all the things I wish won't ultimately satisfy me. 

I'd followed that truth right into dark despair. Don't hope in this. That isn't the answer. Don't go there: it won't make you happy. It won't last. 

A simple truth can get confused when you miss living into a greater truth: the fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. Hebrews 11:1

When you know deep in your being that no earthly possession or accomplishment will bring real fulfilment -- you stop hoping. But what was meant to happen was something beautiful, and it's what's finally gracing my spirit after all these years of questioning confusion: 

Hope in God -- and hope for a million things. 

We start with this essential holiness and nowhere else: hope in God

I spiralled down into dark when I believed that hoping for anything else was futile -- and all the while failed to grow into any hope in God. 

I confused hope in and hope for -- and I became hopeless in the truth I didn't fully understand. All these years and the other week I finally recognised it -- this hurdle that jammed itself right in my vision any moment I ever entertained the thought of something being good. Any time I ever considered looking forward to something, the barrier was put in front of me. And the other week I finally watched it come up, and I wondered what it was, and why it was there. 

All these years and it's been crushing me. When I would consider writing a book, or counting an assignment as important enough to care about, or making plans with friends, or starting a cafe out of a shipping container, or making food, or watching a movie, or playing a game, or exploring a place, or going for an adventure -- this fence-like barrier would pop up out of the ground of my mind and you know what? It didn't really even have to say anything. I knew what it signified: this isn't the answer. It won't make you happy. Turn away from it. A sparkle of hope ignited would blow out so quick -- I let that barrier speak silent to my mind every single time, and I never questioned it. I believed it was right, and I didn't want to focus on the wrong thing -- I didn't want to get carried away by something that would only end up disappointing me. 

Every time a whisper of joy would enter my mind, the barrier raised its seemingly caring head and silenced hope. I made a practice of rejecting joy, believing it was the right thing to do. 

I was confusing hoping in something with hoping for something, and me here stumbled through confusing depression. 

Lunch break on the beach and breaking waves recede and on a park bench I make the connection: 

To be truly hopeless -- is to recognise that nothing earthly is to be relied on for true joy and fulfilment... yet, to have no hope in Jesus. To know a truth but not the Truth

My hope barrier is growing weaker. My inner critic -- how the boy remembered me, it's not the holy spirit. 

It's starting with hoping in God,
and I'm finding myself trampling over this barrier. Hoping for things. 

"You must embrace your union with Christ, bravely surrender and trust that what's breaking and being lost is never the eternal, needed parts of you, but always the temporal, needless parts that were getting in the way of you becoming real." The Broken Way, pg 148  

I think I'm losing something by surrendering to the call for joy?  When I'm really becoming more real. Surrendering to the call for joy is choosing authenticity.  When I choose to look forward to things, when I choose to hope for them -- I am making room for disappointment. And that scares me. I am scared of being disappointed. Choosing not to hope leaves no room for rejection and disappointment. And it leaves no room for living, either. Choosing to live in the risky faith-embrace of God's action for me  leaves room for disappointment and rejection and imperfection. It makes failure a possibility. I'm so afraid of these things. I'm afraid of hoping and being left disappointed. 

I fear the abandonment that could occur. I fear hope abandoning me -- I fear giving hope power. When I give hope power, I become vulnerable. I become susceptible to exposure -- and a disappointed hope can lead to pride becoming very, very injured. I am a good protector of my pride. 

I remember days not so long ago when anxiety tore into me and I was a monster trapped inside and I began to say it, over and over: perfect love casts out fear. 

I said it over, and over, and it was like something holy pouring right inside, like grace to my spirit, like air and water and bread. Perfect love casts out fear. Saying it not in beauty but in damage. Speaking this out loud transformed my inside. When no willpower or strength brought me back, this illumination of Truth made breath and sight and life where there was a sleeping, numb, absent, rock-hard raging girl. 

Hope does not destroy me. Hope revives me. Hope is risky, and when I surrender to hope, I surrender control. I become vulnerable. 

When I hope in God, I find myself standing in a place that will never fall through. Standing on this foundation we call Jesus, I can hope for a million things -- 

and always be standing, even when what I look forward doesn't happen like I hoped it would. 

Hoping in Jesus, every failed hope will be a sinking into Him. 

Hoping in Jesus makes the risk of hoping for things kind of non-existent. 

When I hope in Jesus, it's like proclaiming over and over again that perfect love casts out all fear. When I hope for something brave, like tomorrow when I begin my first day of teaching rounds, I think that what I consider falling.... 

will actually be, yeah, a falling into Jesus, and that's it. That's just one embrace of grace for one cup of hope, 

and eyes to see a million people and a million things to hope for. 

One Jesus and a million lights that sink into a song of rejoicing.Jesu 

22.4.17

holding broken when you want to be held whole

Morning after morning I'd be the same, all through every day, 
trying to fix myself. 
Making right what's wrong inside. 



I woke early this morning, couldn't stand being stuck there with my mind a second longer - went outside and said God, I'm swamped with guilt. 
Opened Ann's book from beginning all over again, get to the end of the chapter and... it's clear. 

God is on the broken way, and it's my only way. This broken mind I try re-write like God, I've been adamant about the fixing, the restoring - and truth behold, I have to accept this broken way. 
How long I've been refusing. Me, so adamant - I will fix me. So badly I've wanted to fix me - re-create a broken mind, a broken body, a broken spirit. 




Accept the broken way... Coming to God as broken - and stop telling him how I'll fix it, stop re-assuring myself how I can re-make myself. 

After all this time, finally this morning it rings true. God doesn't want to see me trying to fix myself. He doesn't want me to come broken with a Fix-It hat and determination. 

He knows me broken and to come simply and honestly as myself - this is to come broken without the hat, 'cos I have no real qualification in re-making, un-breaking. 

Throat closed of guilt,
Wrought with defining shame,
Stumbling over self-hate and inadequacy and inability to self-create perfection. 
It runs through vein, anxiety - 
wispy fog closing the marked road to hope. 



I can't be who I ought, and the only hope I cling to is something long gone - some missing part of me, the state of peace and understanding - and I think everything will always take me there and yet slowly, the options sink into nothing. 

They're all mud already, anyway, all these professions to happy, to this lost state of being I can feel right underneath this empty. 

But to accept a broken way - would kind of be to admit to me losing. Yeah, I lost. Isn't this whole point of living - to put something good together? Why would I submit to being broken? Aren't plans about making goodness for ourselves - in ourselves? -
Now it turns out that maybe the first plan is to take a broken way? - is to say that I can't fix anything. 

First time I read all these pages of a road broken, the second chapter had me plunged into a kind of abandonment I hadn't experienced before, a separation between me and the boy I'd been walking earth with. All the words rung true, me in a space where loss and abandonment and grief grew so large in me there was nowhere to crawl and cry but Jesus, and he held me. 

It was a necessary surrender, that severing, and it was my first real walking along any kind of suffering. In a way, we'd chosen it, but other ways it was the only road. 

It was an entering, and the only way to survive was to bend into it, to cave right into the hands of God, and they embraced me like they hadn't in years. 



Boy and I reconcile and there's a picking up of broken pieces and now this is where I am, enough strength to carry them again and I'm hearing it somewhere, from heaven or deep inside? - put them down. 

They're cutting into me, like carrying their cutting edges against my skin is the only way to ease the shame inside, a balloon with too much air and edges into skin is the only way to shrink, release, enough air to breathe. 

Only way to survive has been to carry these rough, broken pieces - or maybe it's only 'cos I'm holding them that I think pressing them in to me is the only way to breathe. 

Maybe if I put them back down there on the ground the air would clear again, like that first breaking when the world somehow crashed down and restored itself all in one instant and both worlds were simultaneously existent. 

What difference does insisting on carrying and mending and analysing my broken make, anyway? Sure, I can justify my efforts to make greatness out of insufficiency - I can worship my effort to make wholeness out of broke - 

but it's been years, and shame still rings out. Guilt droops my head. My mind isn't capable of fixing me. I can't control every anxious thought and depression I can't solve. 

I can't solve my mind. How many years I've sought an equation? They lead me a little while, and they never turn out to be the answer. 

I don't think I heard what she said the first time, but I think I'm hearing what's Ann's saying now: walking with our broken and no fix-it hat is the right road. 

That is such a shameful thing to do. Not even trying to be okay. We can sympathise with struggle - but only if you're doing what you can to make victory over it. 

Is taking the broken way really saying that we're giving up the fixing? There is so much shame in that statement. I am ashamed because I know what you're thinking - if you stop trying, you are not worthy of any love. You are not worthy of any grace. If you stop trying to fix you, I will give up on you. 

All the not good enough I wish I wasn't - I've taken to agreeing with you, that I'm falling short, and inside I can't let down my guard and I'm working too hard at willing soul perfection and it's just. not. coming. 

Starting to see that laying down broken is brave, not noble. I hadn't seen the shame before, but I'm seeing it now. It's saying that I can't do it, can't fix it, and it's saying that I'm not even going to try and fix it anymore. That is the greatest failure we can perceive - giving up. Is this really what we're called to do? Give up

It's not only weak - it's disgrace. Dis-grace... or is it? Disgrace is shame from dishonourable action - 

and Grace-giver? He's the one saying it to me, lay down the broken things, and stop trying to fix them

Laying down broken pieces of me is weak - and it is grace. 

To keep carrying me broken and making plans and equations of fixing me? This is to dis grace. To reject grace, to say it isn't good enough - that's what I say when I insist on me and my Fix-It hat that has never even gave an indication that it can do any kind of fixing work. 

I've heard they call Jesus king of an upside down kingdom and I'm seeing it here, where to hold and spend a life attempting to fix broken things is noble and worthy - is actually to dis grace, and more importantly - to reject wholeness. 

Yeah, turns out that right side up, the upside down kingdom of Jesus is putting down the broken me and saying yeah, it's really broken and unfixable, Jesus - this is receiving grace, this is putting ourselves in the embracing arms of wholeness.

And it turns out that in our strange earth world, accepting gifts is frowned upon. 
No-one frowns down on anyone opening a gift they haven't bought for themselves. 
It would seem strange, come Christmas time, we all purchase and wrap a present, put in under the tree - and Christmas morning we all grab what we put under the tree and unwrap it for ourselves. 

What a joke. 

Apparently it's how we're meant to live, though. According to everyone but Jesus. 

There's a lot of resistance in me. At least if I'm trying to fix broken me, it's not just sitting there. 

But if I'm trying to fix broken, how will it heal

I can see goodness, freedom, no more provability about who I want them to think I can be. I'm not the person I wish I was, I'm not the person I know I ought to me. First, I can admit this. 

I can't fix myself into the person I need to be. 

Wholeness is really a healing of our brokenness. 
And maybe a healing of our brokenness is really a holding of our brokenness - 

not my holding, 
but the broken one who is whole holding all my broken,

'cos I fully put it down on the ground,
and he saw it there and swept it all into him and me, too. 

I'm still broken, and that's the whole point of a perfect God breaking. I can be with him, even though I'm broken.