Thursday, July 31, 2008

Having the courage...

I looked at the title of my blog and felt the hot sting of tears. I can and very easily claim the verse Joshua 1:9 for my ministry and all the work that I do for the Navigators. I realized tonight, I've never claimed it for my life. If I am going to have the courage to go all over the world to share Jesus with people, I must have the courage to dig deep into my life and continue to share Jesus with myself. Going there with the Lord is hard and not something I always want to do. A wise woman once told me that the path of wisdom is always hard to walk along. I hate it when I have to actually deal with my issues. In my world, it seems like it would be easier to ignore the problems and let them go away. I'm coming to realize that has been the main issue for so long. Things in my life that I haven't dealt with.... I let them grow yet would attempt to cut them back at times... they would grow and grow and grow. The way to get rid of something is to pull it out by the roots.

I came home to Tempe yesterday and was shocked to see the growth that has happened all around my house. We have this bush in the front yard that kind of reminds me of an alien. In my head, I refer to it as the "space bush". Lame... I know... Anyway, this "space bush" had grown so out of control, I couldn't even make it to my front door. I had to push back branches that have these tiny round orange flowers all over it. The place was a mess and I was instantly embarrassed because I know many people have driven by and seen the attack of the "space bush". I was even embarrassed because I knew that the mail man had to push back these orange budded branches just to do his job and deliver the mail that was supposed to be on vacation suspend. Anyway, I say all of this because it reminds me of the sin in my life. These are the issues I just don't want to deal with. I let them go, believing that they will continue to be the same small issues when I come back. I'm wrong. They grow and create a mess that has to be pushed back in order to get to the door. They stop me from being seen as the real and redeemed Michelle. They attempt to look pretty and add decoration. These are just lies and they need to be ripped out at the root.

I'm reading a book, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free and its pretty interesting. I'm learning about how lies go back to the original sin of Adam and Eve. The lie that tricked Eve made the fruit look absolutely irresistible. She traded the truth about God for a lie that resulted in astronomical affects on His precious creation. If she can do that... what about me? What affects will the lies that I believe have on the rest of God's creation?

I'm here to say that I've fallen short. I've messed up and now have to walk through a process of understanding truth all over again. Things I do know is that God's love is unchanging, everlasting, permanent and will never ever ever be changed or taken away by anything that I do...same goes for you too. I know that I'm never too far away from God to be out of His reach. I'm never too close that I don't need Him.

I can tell that my move to California will be another life impacting step for me. Perhaps I will finally see freedom from the bondage of lies that I believe. Perhaps I'll help others obtain this same freedom. Heck, perhaps I'll even get married and really have to deal with issues in my life... who knows what these next two years of Staff In Training will provide for me. God is a big God who loves unconditionally and desires nothing else but to have us in right standing and good fellowship with Him.

You promised me that You'll never leave me nor forsake me. You say in Isaiah 43:2 that when I pass through the waters, You will be with me, and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm me; when I walk through fire I shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume me. You said to me in Joshua 1:9 to be strong and courageous; to not be terrified or discouraged because You are with me whenever I may go. So here I am, I will walk. I will go. I will fight. It will be hard and I'll probably try to quit on You. I'll probably say mean things to You; say that You are wrong; attempt to not trust you. I'm sick of watching all of this grow into an overgrown ugly mess. Please go to the root and tear it out. Continue to make me new. Continue to keep me excited about what you are doing in and through my life. Here I am Lord... let's do this.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


So... I made it back to Tempe... safe and quickly! Thanks for thinking of me and praying for my trip. I really appreciate it. I must say that Amber is a great road-trip friend. We hardly needed to stop for anything and we made it back to Tempe in 27 hours! I know, I know... that sounds like a loooonng time... but that's the fastest I've ever made it back. My longest time is 35 hours.

Anyway, I'm back in Tempe, and I face a ton of issues... like packing my room, paying the last bit owed on my condo, switching over addresses and canceling services/magazines, dealing with the mistakes that were made this summer and the lessons learned, saying final goodbyes and new hellos....

I have lots to journal I think I'm going to go do that. Perhaps, I'll journal and sit by the pool for a couple of hours? Anyway, once I process, I'll have another one of these posts for you to read. In the meantime... rest assured that I didn't suffer any loss or feel anything in the earthquake in LA. I've had lots of phone calls and emails asking if I was okay. Thanks for the concern... I'll be out that way this Saturday :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

letting go helps us to live new lives.

Experiences teach us so much.... so does letting your guard down. I'm amazed at what it looks like to finally say, "Okay, I give up." For the past nine years I filled my life with hate and confusion. I made vows to never trust or love her again. I spent all this time being bitter and walking around with a huge chip on my shoulder because she's wronged me in the past and she must know how much it hurts. Even with a huge loss in our lives, I still attempted to do things out of my own strength and not out of love. I hurt her more than I can ever imagine and random acts of kindness cannot heal those wounds.

This summer has taught me what it looks like to pray and trust God with your prayers. It has only been 5 weeks, but I feel like I've experienced tremendous healing. I could chalk it up to circumstance and say that's the reason why things are going the way they have been. I think it would be better to let the Lord get the glory out of this one. I've looked at our interactions objectively and seen what's really being communicated. At times there was fear... which I've easily mistaken for anger and judgment. There was frustration at outside events that I took as a personal hatred. There was the needed alone time that I had intruded upon, yet took the reaction as a message of disdain. I've realized that over the years, I would stand on my soap box and scream about how grace + acceptance = love. I never included forgiveness. At times I would get frustrated but comfort myself by saying that I'm being the bigger person because I chose to walk away... yet I held onto my anger for her and let it grow very ugly things in my heart. I could smile at my actions knowing that I didn't throw the first or last punch... yet I still reminded myself of why I hated her and kept the secret anger inside.

Now I love because she's all that I have. I forgive because He forgave us and holding onto anger belittles the grace that Our Savior bestows upon us daily. I've accepted her for her faults and cherish the things that make us more similar than I, at times, would like to think we are. I'm sad that I won't be around for new life changes. I'm glad that we learned how to talk and treat one another like adults. I praise the Lord because a few years ago... er... a few months ago, I never would have written this blog.

Please take this as my apology. Know that I'm finally growing and letting the Lord make things right.

I love you sister.

"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26b

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Honestly, this is my prayer...


I think I'm scared. I'm sitting here attempting to type a letter that is asking for a lot of money, so that I can be fully available on campus in the fall. I'm scared, because as I write this letter and add the specific dollar amount, I'm afraid of the reaction that it will receive. I am afraid that the faith people have in you will shrink away and people will once again believe that you are incapable of making this amount of money come to be. I'm scared because I know I'm the one who is believing these things right now. Lord, I know you are big and I know that you ask us to trust you, even when it seems shaky and extremely uncomfortable. I do know that I am excited to see where my faith is going and that one day I will have all kinds of wisdom given from you because of these experiences you walk me through. Lord, just know that I'm scared. Know that I don't want to walk into these meetings. Know that I don't want to ask for this money. I am tempted to simply hide behind my fear. Know that I will be bold and will do these things because you've asked me to. I asked for you to help me grow and in return, you asked me to trust. So here we are...Please help me to stand on the promises you have given me. Please help me to know that you are faithful to your word when you tell me to trust because you provide. Please help me to once again be strong and by faith step out because you have asked me to. I pray for my funding and for all of my friends who are doing the same thing. Please calm our nerves and help us to trust/rest in you. I love you Lord and I thank you for all that you walk with me through. Thank you for situations like these where I can do nothing but call out to you and put all that I have in you.
- Amen.

Please keep praying for me and all of the staff who are fundraising right now.

Just 28% more... then I'll be at 70% of my total budget and I will be able to report to campus on time.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Heb 11:1