Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Not a Guilt Trip

Close your eyes and picture that rugged, jagged, rough cross. Picture the broken, bruised, bloodied body of Jesus as He hangs in agony.
Envision it.
Let the reality of those dark hours invade your mind.

This isn't a guilt trip.

It is, in fact, quite the opposite.

On that cross He carried our guilt. He carried the heavy burden of our wrongdoings. He hung on the cross naked in shame; yet this act provided the way for us to live without shame.

It seems foolish, really, to the natural mind: His shame paving the way for our restoration. His blood providing our only hope of salvation.

It is a haunting, beautiful mystery. Such a seemingly foolish exchange. His life for mine. His perfect heart given in exchange for my pitiful state, my corrupt mind, my perverted nature.

Picture that jagged cross once more, see Jesus laying His life down for you.

It's not a guilt trip.

It's not.

It is more fascinating and wonderful than any other act in all of history.

He bled; not to condemn the guilty, not to shame the impure, not to accuse the failures.

He bled for freedom. He bled for restoration. He bled so you might know Him, and intimately, at that. He bled for your future.

He bled for love.

He bled for you.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

love at first sight

this past tuesday evening i arrived at my new home: floyd, iowa.

the last hour of my drive i found myself overcome by a deep sense of awe and wonder at the beauty surrounding me. the sunset was breathtaking, the clouds putting a 3D spin on the sky's every hue. brilliance. the hills, the farmland amazed me. my eyes kept filling with tears. after 5 years in indiana you'd think i'd be used to it- but this was beautiful beyond beautiful to me!

i knew i was almost home!

when i saw the "welcome to floyd" sign my heart pounded in my chest and i got butterflies in my stomach. i was overjoyed, my heart was melting; it was pure love! love at first sight. i've never experienced this before- it was simply glorious!

such a thrilling first meeting!
but i can say that i do not know that it would have been so powerful if i had not first yielded myself to Lord for this season.

i've been super emotional since about mid-june. i decided when all the tears began to let myself take this emotional journey- to feel, to hurt, to be overjoyed, to grieve, to remember- whatever i needed to make a healthy transition. still, in all that emotion i sensed a deeper, Spirit to spirit change taking place. a mysterious, holy preparation i could not even comprehend. over the past several months my prayer language changed, and the Spirit is manifesting in some new ways i haven't experienced before. it was only in my last few days in lafayette that i had a quickening, a sudden and clear understanding of what these emotions and spirit changes were for.

i sensed all at once on monday that i had to say goodbye to indiana as "home" for good. more than a goodbye, i sensed a "do not" from the Lord.
"do not call lafayette home anymore. My heart will be your home, and wherever i lead you, you may call home for the season in which i call you there."
i lived out 5 beautiful, tumultuous, blessed years in indiana. God has done everything He intended to do in my heart there, and now i must go with all my heart to where He is leading. i must choose to trust that where He leads, He will sustain. no man-made clauses, no loopholes into getting my way or my plan in the process.

giving up, letting go
never was i in control
falling into love again
a love that demands my everything
be given

i penned those words over 2 years ago, but they are as real and fresh to my heart today as the day i sat down in tears, grabbed my guitar, and sang them for the first time.

He loves it when we yield. on monday i chose to yield the final things i held onto so He could release me into the new. i left lafayette well. on good terms with all, with all lose ends tied up.

i was ready.

fully yielded.
fully obedient.

maybe that's why it was so easy to fall in love with floyd at first sight.

maybe it was so easy to say "hello" because i took the time to say "goodbye".