i waited patiently at the sea`s shore. the sky slowly becoming grey. the waves tumbling to my knees. they asked for next in line. it was my turn. i waded out into the water, black, overly large t-shirt becoming drenched as i walked farther, fighting the waves as they continued to pound me. i grabbed his arm and he held me firmly so i would not fall. “Do you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?” he said to me. “YES!” i shouted, excitement swelling up inside of my body. “then it is my honor to baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” i felt my body push down into the cold waves. imersed in the ocean`s salty, foamy liquid. God took everything that i had done to hurt him, to hurt others, to hurt myself. everything i had done that stopped my growth with Jesus was thrown away in that moment. He cleansed me. i came back to surface, letting the warm air deeply fill my lungs in one swift breath. “breathe in life,” the Lord said to me. i smiled at him and said thank you as i walked out of the water, completely renewed. a representation of giving my life back to Jesus after all this time of disobedience. as we waited for the other baptisms to be finished, cheering and screaming for those who made a decision to give their lives over to the Lord, the sky grew darker. we walked back to our blankets and towels, completely drenched in sand and salt. the wind started to pick up, telling us to leave. clouds surrounded us, strange shapes formed in awkward angles above. they approached us faster. darker. stranger. god was going to show us his power. the wind was no longer a breeze, but a sand storm. slapping us as we ran to the boardwalk passing over the dunes to the cars. we needed to get off the island. sand would strike my legs, arms, face in vicious, pounding blows. my life flashed before my eyes. fearfully, the Lord could take my life at any moment. but peace immediately overcame my body. if that were to happen, i would be with the creator of the universe. can you imagine the Lord standing before you?
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
satan was out to get me. i was being thrown in all different directions. i felt helpless. useless. stupid. weak. satan was attacking. throwing everything possible at me that might make me fail. a guy at work was pursuing me. making me feel like i was all he could ever want. calling me beautiful, kind, sexy, easy-going. my dad was fighting with me about money...again. satan wanted me to feel as though no one loved me at home, and i needed someone else to care for me. he threw a man at me offering money to sleep with him. “a thousand dollars,” he said smiling handsome and smooth. satan knew i needed the money and that i wanted to feel wanted. i rebuked him, disturbed. he brought my ex boyfriend into the picture. devastate me by telling me that he is not coming back to college. piercing pain. agony. screaming. embarrassment. my heart broke all over again. and then brings him to ocean city to confuse me even more. “want to walk on the beach?” satan couldn`t have targeted me more! he deceived me. manipulated me. made my weaknesses seem desirable. made sin seem beautiful. made me feel loved and adored and wanted.
“I know the plans i have for you,” declares the Lord.
for the first time in a year i feel like i`ve come through on top of satan! god has already conquered satan and he has so much more in store for me! he had always conquered satan, i just wasn`t allowing myself to experience the freedom that comes through obedience. god calls us to be free. he wants me to experience the joy that only comes through obedience.
i woke up laughing uncontrollably in my bed. rolling over, head in the crook of my elbow, i prayed for strength for the day. that i would not allow satan to take hold of any piece of my life at any moment. laughter spilled out of my body. i couldn`t stop laughing. god spoke, “submit yourself to Me. resist the devil and he will flee from you.” and i thought, satan is attacking me because god has awesome things planned for me and he wants to stop growth in my faith! how cool is it that?! that the reason i am being targeted is because the Lord of creation wants to do something BIG with my life and that is a threat to satan. when we pursue the lord, we are threatening satan. when we speak truth, he can do nothing to argue us. we have authority over satan because the Spirit of God lives inside of us. i couldn`t be more excited right now. it blows my mind how awesome god is. and how he wants to do so many things with my life, all i need to do is say “yes.”
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
shame. i leave his apartment. down the steps, to the concrete. feet bare, in black and scandal choice. clouds dark, air warm, one drop. to my head. i stop. i dont care. i will do what i want. another drop. i dont care, its about my heart not what i do. the sky opens and god floods the streets and sidewalks. instant trap for my hair and anything else that desires to stay dry. “give it up,” he says to me. but i dont want to. the lord fights with me. “you are not satisfied,” he says. rain drenches my body. hair, dripping, dress swiming, feet splashing in his water. water rises up inside of me. my stomach to my throat, to my eyes. i try to repress it. “surrender it to me,” the lord weeps with me, “i have already suffered for this, you dont need to carry it anymore.” my body shakes in fear and shame. warm tears arise and stream down my face. one immediately after another. warm and salty surrender mixed with cool baptism. i soak in his grace. water up to my knees i slush back and forth in joy.
the beach never felt more tangible. the sand never so thick in my hands. the ocean waves never more powerful- foam against the ground. the moon with never more glow. the sky so navy blackened as the coal. the chair. wooden, marked, chipped, oak to steady hold me up above. the view, as if god were to hold me as raffiki did to simba on pride rock. firmly gripping, yet gently nurturing to my needs. god takes hold of me. a heart-capturing, adventure-seeking, joy-spilling, ocean-flooding lord. he excites my soul as i skip inside. “wait. just be still,” he
says to me. “i cant!” i reply. “yes you can.” he builds excitement within me. i begin to giggle as the waves rush to shore and retreat back quickly. a glimpse, he brings a blushing-neon cloud to surface above the blue. my heart beats faster. a few moments. “wait, and i will show you more beauty than you ever imagined.” the sky grew pinker and god slowly romanced me, allowing me to see the sun more and more every second growing golden. my eyes expanded and my insides fluttered. utter joy flushed my face as i sparkled in his glory gift. climbing down to the shore, he romances me with the ocean. “walk in my waves,” he said to me. and so i walked. along the surfaced bubbles, my toes slide. my feet sink. i let them. run. arms spread, soaking him in. he sends waves up to catch me. to my knees they reach me. i giggle at his chasing, enticed by his beauty. me in his image. he shows me, coy and rosing at his silly humor. “i wont find another love like you.”
he is showing me that there are christians who are real. i want to be entirely authentic, but the only way to do that is to yield to the spirit and allow him to move you when he calls. god wants to use me.
he wants to use my gifts.
he is teaching me about my specific gifts. i am realizing more and more how much jesus has given me a heart for international students and different cultures. and he is reassuring me every day of my gift to sing and that i need to use it! god what do you want me to do with my voice?! i want to worship you!
okay so my dream job for the next ten years would be to join a worship band that travels to different countries and gives concerts and gets to know the people of the cultures. if i could do that. wow.