Tuesday, October 19, 2010

God, didn't you get my text?

Many of my best friends are pretty far away. When I lived in Maryland, I developed friendships with people who I never see anymore, now that I'm in California. Thanks to modern technology, I still get to talk to them all the time. They're still just a text, email, skype message, or phone call away. When I'm really missing them bad, I call them up and talk to them. Communication never seems to really be a problem in our long distance relationships.

Don't you wish it were that way with God?
It's hard, when you love somebody so much, not to see their face. It's hard to feel like their not there, not listening, and not interested. I can't send an email to god@gmail.com and hope that He replies soon. I can't dial up 1-800-angel-support and get my Father on the phone. And I'm not so sure He's into Skype video chats, either. I remember when I was little, I wrote God a letter. I never got a letter back - so I guessed Heaven had moved and changed it's address.

It's really hard not to see Him, and not to tangibly have an affirmation of his presence. It's would be like a friend who never returned any of your messages. It would get so discouraging!

Once discouragement sets in, then comes doubt. Once there's doubt, Satan has drawn you to the point of questioning your salvation. This is all of the devil. "God is light, and in Him is NO darkness, at all" (1 John 1:5).

I remember not having gone to the Lord in prayer for several days. When I went back to him, I felt alone. I felt abandoned. I was discouraged. Why?

The story of Nehemaiah chapter 4 explains, by giving the example of Jerusalem's wall. When God's people started to rebuild it, opposition quickly arose.

"So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.

7 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem's walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. 9

This is how Satan is. When we try to follow Christ, he will get angry and try to deter our efforts. Yet, we cannot give up hope! We have to fight for what we believe in:

After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work.

The reason I felt far from God was because Satan was trying to break down my wall! He saw that I was trying to rebuild what I had so terribly neglected . . . and he was determined to sow seeds of doubt in my mind. Did it work?

Not really. This Nehemiah passage reminded me that Satan was on the attack, and I had no choice but to stand firm and defend my wall.

As a girl who doesn't have a Dad anymore, it's hard to not be able to call your heavenly father and hear him on the other side of the line. Every girl wants a father to be able to go to, and get advice from . . . Sometimes, I just feel overcome with the strongest desire to see Him. How is it possible that I've never met this Father of mine, and yet he has brought me such joy, comfort, and peace?? I can't wait for the day when we can have a conversation, face to face.

Keep goin, girls. :) Don't let Satan distract you - don't let him tear your wall down, again. Those who earnestly seek the Lord will find a reward in His presence. And what a great reward it is! Don't be discouraged. Remember that there is no blessing that compares with the intimacy found in Christ.

~Lauren Lee

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Forever and Ever, Amen

It's hard for me to think of the bygone days, once filled with laughter, love, and hope. When days seemed so carefree, and happy. I'm grateful for where I'm at now, but in wake of a broken heart, I can't help but to remember.

A beautiful memory can be a joy . . . unfortunately, it can also be an aching wound that starts throbbing again when it's revisited with my oh-so-helpless nostalgia, fueled by nasty powers of recall. The most painful things in life are the blissful things in life, no longer obtained. The most hurtful moments of all are the happy moments, that seem to have disappeared. The most broken hearts, come from the most wholesome and innocent hearts.

I think I have a problem.
A problem of not being able to get over things. Of not being able to get over... people. There's this thing in me called loyalty that seems to have taken over my soul to such an extent that this naturally "good" characteristic has now turned bad. My loyalty has turned into something destructive to my heart.

There's a song ... a song that my sister and mom turn up the volume for every time it plays on the radio. "Forever and ever, forever and ever ... forever and ever, Amen," ring the lyrics. That is unfortunately my state of mind.

Once I give my heart, and my friendship, and my all, to someone, I expect my heart to be taken care of. I expect them to treat it right. I expect . . . and sometimes I get really, really hurt.
When that happens, it's hard for me to recover. I can't seem to. . . get over it.

The truth is that in order to love, we have to extend our precious hearts out into a vast and scary world, exposed to all it's dangers and perils. We risk it getting hurt, getting bruised, and even letting it get completely broken. We're throwing ourselves out into unknown territory, saying, "bring it on!" When in reality, we can't fathom what we're inviting.

I've learned that that's a risk I have to take.

People aren't perfect. They sin. They hurt you. They beat you up. They chew you, and spit you out again. I've been really hurt, lately. Really, really bruised. It seems like whenever I extend my heart, sure enough, I get slapped. I remember back to the times when I was whole and complete - and yearn for those days of blithe existence.

The problem with this is that it's not a one time deal. It's not that I lost one person in my life, and so I'm sad and writing a blog about it to spill my woes to my unfortunate readers.
No . . .
it's that I've lost many, many people in my life (........and spilling my woes to my unfortunate readers.). :P

The good thing is that I'm telling all this to you, with a point in mind. Here's the point.

Satisfaction must always be found in Christ . . . always always. Because people will fail you. People will let you down. People will promise to take care of your heart, and then shatter it the first chance they get. Christ takes your heart, he mends it, he puts it away in a safe, locked, vault - and protects it forever. No one can get to it, when it's safe in his care.

I'd rather have my heart be protected by him any day, than try to build those walls around my heart, myself.

So, I can sit here in my window seat, and pine away about what used to be. I can mope and sob and cry to my mother (my poor mother... yes, she's heard a lot from me lately. :P ) and wish for the days where my broken heart was whole, and my relationship with so and so wasn't torn apart, and the world was a dandy place of unicorns and flowers and rainbows and waffles. Yes, there is a time for mourning, and a time for grief . . . But I have to get over it. I need to respond to the Spirit of God, whispering quietly in my ear, asking for surrender. Why not give HIM my heart, instead of putting unrealistic expectations on sinful mankind?

It's only Christ who will love me, "forever and ever."


~Lauren Lee

Sunday, October 3, 2010

This Is Gonna Hurt.

I know you've probably heard a billion other somewhat-christian books out there telling young women that "You're beautiful! Embrace your inner loveliness! Be the person you were created to be!" blah blah blah ect. But let me tell you flat out - that's not what I'm going to reiterate to you. I believe that messages like that are flawed and deceitful.

I'm here to tell you something that might hurt ... It hurt me, at first.
In and of ourselves, we are completely and utterly worthless.
To put it in other words, your ego is not your amigo. :P (Right, Mrs. Montoya??)

Understandably, this message is not very well received in our culture. Us ladies all like to feel like we have purpose, beauty, and uniqueness, deep down inside our lovely little selves. Yes? Yes. Admit it.

Scripture tells us that such a mindset is completely wrong. Without Christ, we are completely devoid of beauty - because He IS beauty. With Christ - yes, we have beauty - but it's not ours.

In fact, if you're a Christian, then everything that's yours is Christs. Ian Thomas puts it this way: "The Christian life can be explained only in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you - your personality, your will power, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or your anything - then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it."

The most beautiful picture of Christ making us girls beautiful is found in Ezekiel 16, where Jerusalem is being described in terms of "her" relationship with her husband, God himself.

"On the day of your birth, your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, and you were cast out into the open field - for you were abhorred, on that day when you were born."

That's a nicer way of saying, "Aaaand .... as for the day of your birth, well. You were a pretty gross little thing . . ."

"But when I passed by you, and saw you wallowing in your own blood (EW!), I said "Live!" I made you flourish like a plant of the field. . . . I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. And I put a ring on your nose and and earings in your ears and a crown on your head.

". . . So I saw this ugly baby and I was like, hey! The poor thing! I should do something about that. . . so I took it home with me."

... You were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty.

"Growing up, I gave you designer clothes and really yummy food. You had the best of everything. People thought you were royalty because you looked so pretty. uh huh."

And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God."

I'm not even sure this one needs an interpretation. I'll just say this: Megan Fox, biblical version.

So. Now that we've read that little story, we know that before we knew Christ, we were hopeless.
To those people out there who keep telling you how beautiful you are deep deep inside: Does wallowing in your own blood sound beautiful to you? Maybe our culture's standards of beauty aren't that high, after all. Yuck. The point is that we were born ugly. We were born sinful. Because of our Savior's love, he has raised us up as Princesses in His kingdom, to be true royalty.

I can truly say, I am beautiful. I am beautiful because of how Christ has transformed my ugly heart into something brand new. What security is found, in knowing that! I don't have to be worried about meeting a bunch of physical requirements (although. it is nice to try to look good. :P different topic for a different time . . . ) our culture puts on us.

"It is a tremendous freedom to get rid of all self-consideration and learn to care about only one thing - the relationship between Christ and ourselves." ~Oswald Chambers.


It's so nice to know that I'm thought of as "beautiful" by the only one I really care about. Isn't it?!

~Lauren Lee
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