Friday, April 5, 2013

What's dead in me

On Easter Sunday, Pastor Dave had asked a question that had made me choke up because what I had let die in myself is dishonoring God's creation. I had let darkness win over one by one, what was good on earth, personified in each living person die little by little. We do that don't we? Not grand dooming kinds of deaths that we see in some dramatic movie, but ones that we don't even know are happening. Maybe a slighting comment, feelings hurt, but you've learned to stuff it and swallow it. At least I have.

In Christ there is Revival, and you won't even have to be that creepy 30 something person sneaking into a youth group revival service this summer, or pretend to be a counselor and participate in a planned revival service. Where there is life in Christ, there is revival or renewing of things that died inside of you which should live, which are meant to live. What is dead, does not stay dead in Christ, so what inside of me is dead today, that I want to relive in me once more?

When I thinking about this question, it makes me rewind my tapes all the way to childhood or even when I was a young girl, or when I'm with my family. Then I prayed that these things would live again in me:

-my belief in friendships and people, that they have good intentions and not out to hurt me
- innocence and purity, the kind that children have...a little bit unaware and uncomplicated
- dreaming and being a free spirit, to use words like dreamy, magical, heavenly and write poems
- my love and trust in family: recently, I began seeing them differently, like I was wrong about banking on them too much
- belief that I am lovable and lovely
- everything that I have suppressed because of words I hear from others, to "calm down" "be reasonable." To no longer be merely nice and tempered so I can fit into what seems "normal"

It seems impossible for whatever was dead in us to be alive again. I often believe that death has overcome us when in fact Gospel is the Good News that proclaims emancipation from death and everything that chains us to our bad habits and reoccurring sins. This belief indicates to me that I don't actually believe or remember the gospel at all, and God has given us Easter in the Spring time to remind us over and over that whatever was dead, frozen and buried will arise again. Spring always comes and winter melts into new leaves, new roots, and new life that cracks open from the harden ground and harden shells to bring forth new life. Spring always comes, no matter how long and how harsh the winter has been that year.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

From the Ashes...

It's been a few days since Easter, but this year I see this "holiday" new eyes and ears. The days leading up to Easter had been a little arduous and cumbersome, dark and tired, I felt just as the climate of passion week and good Friday. Death. I felt stuck in some moment and couldn't get out of it for the last year or so, maybe even longer. I tried so hard to be, I tried so hard to not be, I tried and I tried, but there was not a budge and after a while, I lost hope in everything. I truly believed at one moment that I couldn't change and the almighty God couldn't change me either. I wanted to be that girl that loved Jesus and knew she was loved, "beloved" what's tattooed onto the inside of my wrist as a reminder. I wanted to live out that love, to be able to lavish onto others without expectations of return and feelings hurt. I felt in the last few days, insecure and worthless, devalued because of what no one said or did, but the standards of love I had for others was set too high and everyone fails in the end. That failure reflects upon me, feeling unloved and uncared for. Oh  what I wouldn't do to stop feeling this way, what lengths I will go, and what I would sacrifice of myself to "feel" loved.

On Easter Sunday, I felt tired and sleepy from getting up too early with J and arriving at church at 7:45 am, a little earlier than the normal time I would be there for praise team. I didn't want to be there, I haven't had my coffee, I hate my outfit and it's cold on an Easter Sunday. I forced my church smile, or maybe it's just my public smile, and I soldiered on like usual...practicing a skit I didn't want to be in any more. I was cast as that mean pretty girl, the role I get asked to fulfill more than I'd like to admit, but I was never that girl, I hate that role. I feel a serge of insecurity spike up and disappointment of being misunderstood again dawns on my heart, I feel nervous because I'm perpetuating that perception upon the whole church on stage! I go through the motions for worshiping God through this skit and then setting up as usual my part of the band equipment. God, I thought I would be joyful knowing you? Different from the rest of the world because I am loved by the King. I don't feel this way and I don't believe it, when will I begin to?

After the music began, my heart began to stir and He reminds me of the heart he fashioned in my heart. Quick to turn toward music, dancing and singing, I am touched again by the two people acting as Jesus and girl. He delights in her and shows her his creation, and she is enthralled. I'm reminded again that I am that girl and He is that Jesus to me, twirling, dancing, eating fruit, and picking flowers, I am lost in his wonder. There is true revival and renewal on Easter and I have never known an Easter like this one, where I finally understand that Jesus had risen from the dead, not for himself, but for us, that we will rise with him, not only on that final day, but today! I am changed because of him. I live because he lives in me.

What is dead does not remain dead in me, but I can live again.