Beyond Borders

courage. faith. action.


6 Comments

But We Were Unwilling.

31 days a writing challenge

 

Our house is filled with chaos and it answers to many names. Autism. Aspergers. Obsessive Compulsive disorder. Sensory processing disorder. Celiac disease. Hormone imbalance. Migraines. Food allergies.

This chaos is like a vortex that sucks you in without warning, and there appears no way out. The more you struggle, the deeper you go, and you fear you might just drown. We fight against it, drawing escape plans, creating ways to wrangle it, but really there is no fighting it. It is uncontrollable. Unpredictable. Undeniable.

For years we have lived in this chaos. Always running just on the edge of that vortex and for years we have continuously been sucked right into it.  We always say we need to find a way to stop this. We need to learn how to live. We need to learn how to stop the chaos.

This is where we erred. 

These things we bundle together and call chaos, they cannot be stopped. Sure we have doctors, therapists, medications; all tools to assist us in the chaos. But this chaos is and will always be a part of our lives. The answer is not in finding a way of stopping the chaos to find quiet, but finding the quiet in the chaos.

For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling, Isaiah 30:15 (ESV)

This verse in its context is a warning to the rebellious. To those who have light, but choose darkness. Thinking themselves wiser than God and pursuing their own measures to salvation, but this path leads only to hasten their ruin.

This is where we erred. 

We rebelled. We took matters into our own hands and we sought to put an end to our chaos, instead of embracing it and turning toward the only one who could provide true quiet in the chaos. We rebelled. We were unwilling.

Pulpit Commentary puts it oh so perfectly for our circumstance.

“in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength; in a quiet submission to the will of God, and in quietly waiting upon him for the issue and event of things, abiding in their own houses, and not in a hurrying tumultuous manner, running here and there for help; and in a holy and humble confidence in the Lord, and in the power of his might, where they should find such strength and security”

In all of our church going, bible reading and prayers, we have not simply sought Him for the quiet. In all of our hurrying and running we created more chaos. How simple would it be to return to God and seek Him in our chaos?  

To trust in His promise that  in returning and rest, you shall be saved, not the salvation we already have in Christ, but salvation from our chaos. Not that it be removed, but in that returning to Him, resting in Him, being quiet and waiting on Him would we not find quiet in our chaos?

 

Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. Psalm 116:7

The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. Isaiah 32:18

 

This is day six in 31 one days of finding quiet in the chaos. To view the whole series click here.


1 Comment

Thirty-One Days Walking Through Darkness Day Eighteen :: He meets Me in My Mourning

20121018-121440.jpgI had just witnessed a miracle. I watched the love of God at work, as my little girl faced her fear. There are no words to describe what it’s like to stand in His presence. To see Him. Watch Him move through a room. To see His power breathed through the lips of a child. There are no words. It’s just glory. All glory.

The worship leader opens with Yahweh, Yahweh! We love to shout your name oh, Lord! And I want to shout. I just witnessed a miracle. And the joy spills out. It’s all glory. The words slide into you alone can rescue, you alone can save, you alone can lift us from the grave… These words stop my heart. They are etched there. Intertwined with bittersweet memories.

At this time last year, this song played over and over every time the car was started. My little girl preparing for the Christmas program. The one where she becomes a conqueror. No words more relevant for that week. They played in the car that morning. The long drive to the hospital. And again that night on the was drive back home. Daddy in heaven. Me numb. The sky midnight black and crystal clear. Stars bright and shimmery. It all seemed surreal. Her voice breaks through the silence… you alone can rescue, you alone can save, you alone can lift us from the grave, You came down to find us, led us out of death to You alone belongs the highest praise…

Then they come. These words… There is strength within the sorrow, there is beauty in our tears, you meet us in our mourning with a love that casts out fear… You are with us in the fire and the flood… You are sovereign over us. And it is all I can do to stop the flood. And I just want to run.

This song. These words. They bring to mind the verses He gave days before my daddy would slip beyond. And the same verses my sister would see upon leaving the hospital the night before his last day. The knowing that this was the end. And I don’t want to remember. And I think why today? Why this week? I want to run.

But then it comes, the pastor teaches from psalm 146 and 147. I was glued to every word, but I don’t remember much. Except for this… Praise the Lord. He speaks of those who have passed on. How to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. How Jesus will come and those that have fallen asleep will rise first, and then those who are alive will be caught up together in the clouds and so we shall forever be with the Lord. Praise the Lord.

And its just that. The why… He loves me too much. He meets me in my mourning. He is sanctifying me. And beyond my understanding He is teaching me to trust.

And God whispers, I’m here.
I am right here.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Isaiah 43:2


1 Comment

Thirty-One Days Walking Through Darkness Day Twelve :: The Neon Sign Flickers

20121013-004702.jpgWe sat on the edge of that bed… him telling me of the day, the latest ventures, the companies they have met. His words were all blurry to me, but I could see it with clarity. It was right there in his words shining like a neon sign… I am angry with God.

I am angry with God. I am angry with God. I. Am. Angry. With. God. The words repeat. Slowing in my head as they seep in with a sting like salt on an open wound. I feel the stitches of closed wounds breaking open. Years of wounds that were soothed and were healing. They are breaking open.

The anger unleashes. It’s hot and wild. And I cannot contain it. I cry out to Him… How did I get here? How did we get here? Weren’t we great together? Weren’t we? I mean, this past year spent in bed, You were there in my bedroom window. Remember the one? Where treetops touch sky? And You paint with broad strokes? Compose symphonies just for me? We were tight, weren’t we? Finger crossed tight?

What happened to us?

The neon sign flickers, and the mind tells lies and my heart is believing. He broke my trust. He took my dad without telling me. He took him without me being there. He took my heart right out of my chest as my insides spilled. And we are done. Its time for me to go now. Because that is what I do. I run. I always run.

His words still blurry, how long have we been sitting here? His eyes meet mine and he knows I am not there. And I say it out loud. I am angry with God. The words echo. And I’m scared. What if I am never able forgive? Because this was a deal breaker. He new it was a deal breaker. He knows all. Isn’t this what the bible says?

And it rains. Tears falling hard. And I am running.

And God whispers…
I’m here.
I am right here.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Isaiah 43:2


5 Comments

Thirty-one Days Walking Through Darkness Day 9 :: He’s Calling for Me

20121009-124721.jpgThe end of me. The slow pouring out of all of me. Empty. It is the only way to freedom. Free from the darkness. Free from the past. Free from a world that devours.

He’s calling for me.

I am wanting to go. But fear has me bound. Fear of what lies ahead. Fear of leaving behind. Fear of the unknown. Because there is comfort in the knowing. Its a fleeting comfort. Temporary. Comfort born of lies. But it wins.

He’s calling for me.

To find rest. It is simple. It’s the the emptying that’s hard. That letting go of self. To be completely poured out. It’s hard.

He’s calling for me.

To be empty. To be poured out. I feel the calling and the holding back. And I see it. I see me. Poured out. Empty. Arms open wide and fingers unfurled. Eyes closed with face toward heaven. I can feel the freedom. It’s warm. And it’s orange. And I am soaring.

God, are you there?
I’m here.
I am right here.


6 Comments

Thirty-one Days Walking Through Dark

For my thirty-one day series you can scroll to the bottom, or you can read first why I decided to participate in this years event.

20120927-153312.jpg Thirty-one days. Thirty one days of writing on the same subject. The Nester hosts this amazing event each year. Last year hundreds of bloggers participated. I was one of them.

I had high aspirations of writing about moving beyond borders. How I found freedom in God. The plan was drawn and the writing began. And so did the migraines and illness that has haunted my body for most of my life. My hope faded. Discouragement settled in. And then the unexpected happened.

On October 15, 2011, my daddy went in the hospital for what seemed like the billionth time. We had been through this routine over and over again. Each and every time believing this was his last, and by nothing short of a miracle, he walked out those doors. Much to the astonishment of all his doctors, he was off to live another day. But this time… this time was different. On October 23, 2011, at 11:03 pm he took his last breath and Jesus welcomed him home.

My world shifted that day. It quaked right open and my faith fell straight through the crack. I held white knuckled on to the little faith that remained. And as everything in the world around seemed to be going as usual. I was standing still right in the middle watching it play out like a movie. I was numb. And I was stuck.

October is approaching and once again The Nester is hosting thirty-one days. And after much thought and prayer I have decided to participate. I am dreading October this year as it will mark a year of my daddy’s passing. I know that does not change anything, but in my mind it makes it final. Maybe real? And this is why I am participating. To mark my progress in walking through the dark. To remind how God brought me through and is mending the broken places. So when that day comes… when thoughts flood of that day… I will remember the good. I will remember God.

Thirty One Days Walking Through Darkness

Day One :: Defining the Dark

Day Two:: The Slide

Day Three :: And Midnight Falls

Day Four :: The Break

Day Five :: Welcome Home

Day Six :: Thoughts are Reckless

Day Seven :: It’s a Choice

Day Eight :: How to Find God

Day Nine :: He’s Calling for Me
Day Ten :: Getting it Right

Day Eleven :: Time Travel. Not just for Sci-Fi Movies

Day Twelve :: The Neon Sign Flickers

Day Thirteen :: I Did Nothing

Day Fourteen :: The Signs

Day Fifteen :: We Stood on Holy Ground

Day Sixteen :: We Stood on Holy Ground Part 2

Day Seventeen :: One Can Learn Much From a Child

Day Eighteen :: He Meets Me in My Mourning

Day Nineteen :: The Needle Pierced

Day Twenty :: In My Daddy’s Words – Part One

Day Twenty-one :: In My Daddy’s Words – Part Two

Day Twenty-two :: In My Daddy’s Words – Part Three

Day Twenty-three :: The Choice is Yours

Day Twenty-four :: The Day My Daddy Died

Day Twenty-five :: Moving Forward


6 Comments

Soul Freedom

We listen impatiently. Squirming with anticipation. The thud. The dull sound that catapults the light toward heaven, with tail streaming long toward earth. Eyes now searching the sky in wonder. The moment of darkness right before the burst. Then in happens. The sky bursts wide open in a roar of thunder. Red. white blue. They dance across midnight. Soar across heavens. Slowly falling into earth.

20120706-123756.jpg

This is freedom. Real soul freedom. The freedom found only in the trusting, in the letting go, falling straight into our Savior’s arms. The freedom found only in the grasp of God.

Standing on the edge, toes grip tight as I wait for the thud. Eyes fixed and focused. I am ready. My eyes close. I feel the anticipation. I hear it in each heart beat. Just let go… And I do. And I am soaring. And I am falling. And it’s freedom.

He holds me right there in His grasp.

For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
II Corinthians 3:17

By His grace alone,
Shelly

This post is linked to the color your world challenge. If you would like to join in click the photo below…

are you ready to join in the color challenge?

1. July’s colors a red, white and blue! (other linky dates and colors)

2. take red, white, blue… interpret it how you want using whatever medium you want.

3. write a blog post about it.

4. grab the ‘color your world’ button to display on your blog or link back to the linky.

5. link up your blog post (not your blog). link will stay open through sunday, july 8th at 11:59 pm cst.

‘color your world’ is a monthly linky hosted by…

jennifer @ studio jru
jen @ i believe in love
stephanie @ beyond words designs