Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Let it go

I thought choosing the word fearless would enable me, after three months I realise that actually it instead has drawn attention to my utter disablement. 


For someone my age I've done quite a bit: young person of the year in my area - not many people can claim that one. It has taken a lot of stepping out of boxes. 


At the beginning of last year, I felt brokenness. I can still recall that throttling pain, I needed a word to help me breathe. And I learnt the art of Now. In doing so I gained the confidence to take on Fearless this year.


I guess I imagined myself riding in on a horse with a sword or something and slaying down this "fear". But more and more I just realise how broken I really am. 


I can't do it. I don't like doing it. And really it was easier when I played it safe - when I stayed inside my comfort zones and let everyone carry me along. 


Fearless is a lot less about finding something in the depths of me and more about releasing the control. Letting go. 


I don't choose Fearlessness. I choose Jesus. I choose to draw nearer. To thirst more. To breathe Him in. 


And it's Him. It's Him as love - perfect love, that casts out all fear. 


Every day I have to open my hands. I have to stop clasping. Clinging. Sitting in the darkness.


As I sit in this grace-space here. As I look at what this three months has done in my heart. All I want is to be held.


This was less of a quest and more of a falling. 


Fearless is firstly about letting go. It is about grace. And hope. And FREEDOM - but ultimately: Jesus. 


It is about letting go of this empty faith that can only trust God so far, and stepping into the land where impossibilities dance.


There are three words: three MIGHTY words that say it all: It is finished. 


It. Is. Finished. 


No longer will fear have power. Or control. Or a hold. 


It is finished. Love has won. God sits on the throne of grace and casts out all fear. 


I pray that I live in that. That we live in that. That we realise truth. That we realise our humanity but let it go and find the supernatural that chooses to dwell among. 


God is here. He has come. He declared the war won, He declared it finished. May we choose this freedom. 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

There is something about this darkness

I know I've been thrashing. It was an underlying thought, but now it rumbles and it tumbles and it shakes me to the core. Because when darkness overtakes that's where you land. 


When you understand the darkness that keeps depths of your soul in the shadows, you can begin to shine a light right there. Sometimes it feels like you've fallen off the edge. 


And it hurts. 


I was comfortable. 


Now I feel broken and bruised and wonder who on earth it is I look at in the mirror. 


Much of what I thought I knew of myself began to disperse. And now this is a thrashing of increasing understanding. 


But always - ALWAYS - with God. 


Maybe I am nuts. I whisper it aloud in the darkness of the night. 


Maybe I am nuts. 


When your comfortable bubble of all you ever knew is burst and popped and torn apart - that's a horrible thought. It's a scary thought. It's a fear-grippingly, terrifying, strangling thought. 


And the nuts part of me craves yellow nail varnish. 


It is a crazy roller coaster trying to understand all the monsters in my head. All the discrepancies, all those beautiful, lovely, NICE things they taught me. Oh Jesus loves me this I know. 


Who's the king of the jungle?


Oo oo. 


And I'm just left on the side looking in wondering who I am looking at anymore. Because as much as I cling to it that innocence has gone. And now the brokenness falls into my lap. And I wonder who this God is. 


All we are left with is a search, a longing, ultimately a pilgrimage. Where is this soul headed? Oh God come closer. Draw nearer. Open my eyes. 


Open the eyes of my heart Lord. Open the eyes of my heart. 


Because I want to see you. 


The foundations quiver because no amount of learning can prepare me for this shaking earthquake of the soul - only God can. And so the winds rage. The storm goes on. The rain falls. 


And I dance. 


I dance badly. With little grace and no elegance. And I fall, I stumble. 


And she watches and wonders and tries to pull me up off the ground. And I think he only glimpses. And most won't notice. Because I hide behind the smile, the bounce, the flick of the curl: the knowledge. 


The map is blurred by the tears that spill, all is distorted and I stand lost but amazed. 


I stand amazed. 


And there is no shame in that. He is amazing. He is Mighty. He is God. 


THIS IS OUR GOD. 


He holds me here tight. And I thrash. And I spin. And I wriggle. And I thirst. 


He remains. He is love. And there is Beauty.  


I stand amazed. 


Forged in the fire of darkness. 


What can need such preparation?


Let it remain that there is always hope. At the end there is always hope. Let it be said. Let it be heard. Let it be blasted from the rooftops. 


There is always hope. And so I can dream. And I can fall apart. 


I can live a continual mess and still hold on. 


I'm holding onto the achingly holy as we head for God's beautiful somewhere. Because that is where the yellow nail varnish heads. 


Mandy Steward's Thrashing about with God - Mandy's beautiful opening of her heart and soul about the path she still travels, opened a door I hadn't realised was there. I am okay. I am learning. I am becoming. And this is part of that. Sometimes it's scary, but leaning into God's heart - into His beautiful. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

I wonder if a bus will break down on us this year.

We travel along. Every day, we climb aboard. And we turn, we stop, we pick up, we stop, we drop off. We drive along and we turn.

Nearly two years ago that was me – us. That was us travelling each day on this crazy bus, that probably defied laws of mechanics in its ability to actually move. And yet we climbed aboard, and we screamed louder and louder: rapido! Rapido! RAPIDO!

Faster! Faster! Faster!

And oh the laughs that bounced around in that Holy place.

And the experiences it carried me through – to. Away from. The miles we covered together. Gelling.

Falling apart. Laughing: crying. Singing. Getting super mad.

And then one day it all just went KERPOOT. Because when a bus runs out of gas that’s what happens.

A year later. We’d already caused havoc. We had buses screeching to halts as we waved like crazy from the other side of the road. We’d hitched a ride on the steam train. We’d yelled out of the open tops. And then this day we were heavy laden.

This day, we were in it for the ride before the train home. We couldn’t be late for that.
So we are laughing. Reminiscing. Solidifying the most delightful memories. The scenery is flying by. And then BANG CRASH WALLOP. All is a standstill as parts go flying, smoke fills the space around and the bus will go along no more.

We have no choice but to pile off.

And now…NOW what about this year?

Oh the bus feels like it has blown a casket yet again and I haven’t climbed aboard even one.

Because that is how life goes. I thought it had gone wrong, when the emergency brakes were applied. And when the driver couldn’t see through the fog. And when every. Single. Person. Was HONKING like mad people.

All of this and I thought it had gone wrong – but no. No, it’s not until the bus stops and you have to climb right off that it really hits you.


And there is still hope. There always is. In Him. Only in Him. Fiercely, abundantly, beautifully in Him.