true. real. solidity.

this actually happened:

"...But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!”  A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving deathI will therefore punish and release him.” But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will. Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.
...And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”  One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit! And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” " from Luke 23.

isaiah 53:
"...he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs

    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
He was
oppressed, and he was afflictedyet he opened not his mouth...
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;

    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors."

"Therefore, since we _have been justified by faith_, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace _in which we stand_, and we REJOiCE in HOPE of the glory of God...For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (5)
"Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"(7)

"There is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit... For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace... If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you... For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him...

...What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? _No one_. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ...NO!" (8)

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose." Galatians 2.20

thank you Jesus. how i want my love to grow in response to yours! how real, how passionate, how inseparable from Your very character, is Love. And because so is Justice, Holiness, Goodness, Purity, Sovereignty ..i can ((trust)) this love. & what a lovely insanity is the story You are writing! for all creation's redemption is also shown in Your love for me; because You have tied it within your own glorification. not because i am worthy. but because i am unworthy. yet You choose to make me worth so. very. much. one bought with the precious blood of Christ himself is valuable on NO merit of their on! i am clean. forgiven. forever. ((it is finished)). oh if i grasped the glory hidden in the weight of those words...may i live to make much of Christ! what other lover can measure up to His kindness?! i want my love and relationship with Jesus Christ to be _.THE._ defining factor of my life. that all else would be intertwined & flow from it naturally. like real love. that affects all things. for even the unrelated things awaken the heart when one is "in love". set me aflame//


midnight exhalation

people are broken.
and they break others out of their own hurt.
sometimes a broken heart
is like a shard of glass,
scratching everything nearby
unconscious of it's wreckage. helpless to stop.
its messy.

sometimes God doesn't show up and save the day, at least not in your timing.

and pastors or counselors have all the answers. all the Bible words, concepts, whatever pared down into "if you do a & b, c & d will result. or it should unless you're just not doing the right thing."

hmm. but. we're human. (read: fallible) therefore our interpretations of life/bible/people aren't always perfect.

can we admit that God doesn't fit in boxes? can we please be honest and say we don't know? sure, we know some things: God works all things together for good. He brings forth good fruit from our pain. He refines us through trials. He NEVER punishes a believer for sins, because Christ bore all the punishment we could and will ever earn (and God is a Holy God who must stay Just in His dealings with us). there is always hope. but its not a here and now hope. it can be. but its not the foundation.
that means
we may taste, enjoy, experience said "good" right here.
 or. we may not *ever* see the good from (some) situations_.here.
"good" means a day in heaven, eternal good, hearts-being-made like His good. not pretty flowers, easy answers, everything-better-like-new-in-the-present.
refining takes years. yeeaarrss, in some lives, before He turns down the heat.
He lets us live out the consequences of sin. He disciplines us so we don't run out into the metaphorical street.

i just wish we would admit that. admit that we don't know. admit that it may never get better on earth, admit that it doesn't make sense and people--yes, believers--are experiencing real pain that we don't have solutions, medicine, or band-aids for. can we please just say "i don't know why you're in that situation. it hurts. it sucks. God is still good, so don't lose heart. i get that it doesn't look like it, so i'll fight to believe with you. but i can't and won't try to explain it all for you. nor give you the manual on what it is that you're doing wrong to stop or should be doing right to start." can we ever just cry with each other? can we not be so squeamish? can we stop running from discomfort? can we be ok with hurting?
it's like we're afraid to acknowledge suffering AND God. but admitting un-understandable, this doesn't make sense suffering isn't saying that God is a liar. it's not denying His promises.
it brings us smack into the face of our own definitions of those promises.
it shatters our own boxes and Americanization of the bible & what following God looks like.
it makes us face our doubts, fears, unbelief.
isn't that where faith loses borders? where trust grows into something real?
when we lose our own ideas of what "good" and "safe" and "heal" look like?

idk. i know that Christ does heal. yes and amen, Christ is enough for all! and He is a healer! i believe He knows the end result of all things and holds all the answers. but we're not going to know ALL the answers. He also takes time...
and no amount of
human will
or force
or attempt
can hasten the clock of the Creator.

that's all. now i will sleep.


more wild joy & some breathing

hi guys. good news! i am still here. bad news! i haven't had time to write out the how-God-drastically-changed-this-heart-and-why-i-now-have-a-tatt post. i really do intend to...i actually NEED to make the time. hopefuls for tonight? because i am one of those people who has to process her life. ya know, taking time out of it, thinking & compartmentalizing & doing the whole what is the big picture/story here that i don't see? kinda deal. (oh look. horrendously constructed, ultra confusing sentence for the day? done!)

but what i do have time for is to slap up some pictures. i actually had this fantastical post written the night i did this (i think it was 3 weeks ago?) but i did it on my phone and cash deleted it. :(
so this is the scrambled version but it beats nothing. i smile everytime i remembered this day so i thought i'd share the happy.
a few weeks ago, i got off work around 2.30 in winter park and as i was driving by the I-4 ramp toward home, this little thought process went off in my brain:
LOVELY perfect beach day dang it!
too bad i'm broke.
hey. wait, i have a full tank of gas...and i'm halfway to NSB from here...
i have a change of clothes...
sorry to whoever i cut off as i suddenly jumped onto the I-4 East at the last minute.
CHECK out that OCEAN!!

it was so fun. i stopped and returned some school things i hadn't needed after all and with that money, got a hideous $2 bikini top & a $3 hello-sunshine-yellow towel. plus susan wilcox had given me a starbucks giftcard, so i even splurged and had hazelnut added to my iced coffee. when i got there, it was empty. except for a few older tourists from Canada in sweats. a young mum & her little boy were the only other ones in bathing suits. i ran screaming into the ocean like i'm 6, and that is my favorite. when it's so cold your skin goes numb & tingly...it's so fresh feeling. like even my soul gets scrubbed clean & i'm invigorated in a way the summer waves just can't quite match. then i laid in the sun on the wind-scraped beach feeling cold-how often does that happen? listening to driscoll.

and i just...breathed. inhale/exhale. i looked & smelled & listened & delighted in all the joyful beauty God has infused this sin-soaked broken world with. i didn't think or sort or process anything. i was just there. resting. it was heaven. pure, wild JOY!!! a little like being in love. i felt giddy & couldn't stop smiling and laughing at how amazing God is that not only am i free to do silly things like this but i'm free from sin and free from having to earn anything. i CAN rest. not every hour of my life has to be serving or productive. so wonderful. just doing something totally spontaneous, crazy and very much single-without-kids 24 year old instead of responsible-ness. which i'm told i need so i need so hey. i'll take it.
i had the cutest little pic of an old couple walking in sweats but i deleted it.

that was my breathing day. i did something kind of selfish just for myself. i drove the same amount of time that i had at the beach. i still made it to caregroup on time too, which was stellar. :) it was good.
the end.


broken. remade. re-named.

Genesis 32.22-32 has always had special meaning for me. how i have related to jacob & his wrestlings! i had often felt the conquering, the broken hip...but never the finality of God's victory. never the new naming.
until last year. last feb specifically. that was the hip breaking. the one where the joint is literally out of socket and irreparable without miracle. march was accepting i needed to be remade. and april 15 i knew that i knew  i had a new name. not just conquered. not just being turned inside out. but restored, recreated. in the process these verses have come to be engraved on my heart:

Psalm 40.1-3 // 2 Timothy 1.12 // Romans 5-8

none of this is new, i was puking & bawling on here during this whole thing. but still i feel i want to take however much time i need to write this out. because it's my story. and its a story of God's rich crazy mercy, one i already tend to forget. and as i can't see what God is doing these days perhaps it will help to recount. recount His faithfulness. wake up my heart & spiritual eyes a bit more.

so i will in the next three posts. but not now. because right now i am far to happy & excited to use words well...right now i am still soaking in the fact that i belong to GOD and not myself; that i am His child & servant; that i have raised the white flag and surrendered EVERYTHING once and for all. & i put that in permanent ink on my skin today. so i can never, ever take it back. no turning back!

i am safe. not in myself. my body, my mind, my heart may all be crushed or shattered.
but my soul is safe. hid with Christ on high!
i am secure in all things.

wild joy. no other way to describe it!!



"Even our (failures) can bring forth}} good .if. they crush our independence, }}drive} us closer to Christ and make us more aware of our need of grace. The greatest need of a true saint is a greater revelation of the love of God IN CHRiST." ~paul washer

so maybe i feel like i am doing the worst single-mum-of-5 + dog + helpful teenage weekend ever. i think i was more fun, patient, leading-little-hearts-toward-Christ aware my very first time at this than i am now.

but. maybe God's working in me. AND these precious littles. maybe He has a plan in all the littlest things that don't seem siginificant at all. who knows? He is about the business of redeeming hearts...hooray.