Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Recap

Struggle, struggle, struggle.  That's what this week has been all about.  I've struggled to sleep.  I've struggled to stay dry eyed.  I've struggled at work.  I've struggled in my room.  I've struggled at church.  I've struggled at school.  I've struggled.  That's the sum of it.  It's been hard and tiring.  And I've discovered the problem.

I haven't been having my personal times with God.  It had been an embarassingly long time since I had had a quiet time and I seemed to be doing just fine.  But then we went on a three day trip with work.  When we came back from that it was like nothing in the world was every going to be right again.  (Dramatic, right?)  I made it through Tuesday and Wednesday simply because I didn't have to go to work.  Thursday I went to my Bible study and conviction ran deep because I was 9 days behind in a 5 day a week assignment book.  When I got to work I was weepy and tired and upset.  I wanted nothing more then to just walk away.  I was ready to run out on my responsibility, on my calling, on what God required of me.  I was ready to go like Jonah on a boat to Tarsesh.  Not the best response to a hard week.

But I didn't.  I cried  privately when I could, I did my job.  I collected work from my students.  I did what I had to to make it through my shift.  And then I slept, after reading through the book of Jonah.  I slept for 9 plus hours, it was fantastic.  And then I got up and had some time with God.  Yesterday was better.  I wasn't as stressed out.  I actually got some work done.  I walked like a woman who knew where she was headed.

Last night was a blessing.  I got to attend a concert that benefited the adoption ministry at my church; I cried a few times because God is breaking my heart for the children of the word that need to be taken into good homes.  After the concert I ran into these four beautiful children that had recently been brought into a loving home and it was great to sit in the floor and let them climb all over me for a few minutes.

Today I'm making it.  I'm fighting because I know that it's worth it.  I'm pushing on because I know that I have too.  I want to be the woman that God has made me to be and I want to be here at all times, not just when I'm at work or at school or at church.  I want to be that woman at all times.  I want to be God's in all that I do.

I want a home that is full of children that are loved when the world deemed them unlovable.

I want a life that changes others because I choose to be obedient to the Lord, my God who was the creator of the land and the sea.

I want a life so full of love and joy that others can't help but be drawn in.

I want a life that serves and glorifies God in all things.

Mel C

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The weather has turned here.  The temperature went from 101 degrees to the high 60's overnight this past weekend.  It's so strange around here.  It's cold and drizzly like we are in the Northwestern part of the country, but we aren't; we're in Kentucky.

I find the weather fitting for how I feel today.  It's been a strange day.  I've been draggy when I've wanted to have energy.  I've been sleepy when I needed to be awake.  I've been awake when I should have been asleep.  I've been moody when I should have been steady.  I've been scattered when I should have been organized.

I find myself discontent.  I love what I do.  I love the work God has me doing, but I'm tired.  For some reason I find myself wanting to go any where else.  This is a struggle that I watch the Ladies of the house deal with on a regular basis.  Being here is hard, in every capacity.

Mel C

Saturday, September 3, 2011

That Girl is Gone...

Since so few people actually read this thing, I'm going to write about what is on my heart today without worrying about sounding prideful, because this isn't about my pride.  It's about God's grace and His glory through my testimony.

Last night I realized how much God has changed me.

I have worked more then 24 hours since 2 pm Thursday.  It has been a long couple of days at work.  I know my limits, and they are very, very near.  As in it could get ugly if I'm at work later then I'm scheduled to work today.  I miss having more than an 8 hour turn around between shifts.  But at the same time I have learned a lot about the person I'm becoming here.

In college, way back when I was just starting out on this journey with God (9 years ago last month), I prayed crazy prayers.  The kind of prayers that you pray when you are young because you don't really understand the work that is going to come after you pray them.  I asked God for patience.  I asked that He would help me to be a better listener.  I asked that He would lead me to a position of ministry with women.  I prayed that He would give me a job that impacted lives in a direct fashion.  I prayed that God would lead me to women to disciple.  I prayed all these things with out really understanding the words coming out of my mouth.

Now 9 years later I find that I am a woman I never expected to become.  I never anticipated that I would be patient enough to hold my words until I could speak without harming others.  I didn't think I would ever be living and working in an addiction recover facility.  I didn't know that praying for someone to disciple would mean living with 13 other women in a 3 story house.  I never would have imagined that I would be going to a Southern Baptist Seminary for graduate school.  I didn't think that God could or would change me so much.

Last night the ladies expressed some of how they see me and I was taken aback.  It's alarming to hear how other people view you.  It's also alarming how easily satan can convince you of how flawed you are.  I struggled with knowing if I was the woman the ladies described me as or if I am the woman I have known myself to be.

And then, well actually just now, I remembered 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away, the new has come."  I am not the flawed, self-centered woman that I was even just a year ago.  (I will point out that I still have huge struggles and issues on a regular basis, they are just not the ones that I used to have because I have matured past those issues for the time being.)  I have been made new and I experience new mercies everyday.  I am not the girl that I was, I am becoming more and more the woman that God has made me to be and it's been happening when I wasn't paying attention.

I am amazed at the work that God has done in the little time that I have lived here.  When I think about the things I struggled with daily before I moved I realize that my battles are very different.  God is teaching me the fine art of preserving and pushing forward toward the prize.

 I am more then changed.

We are more then changed.

We are made new, completely new.

The belief that "this is just how I am" is false.  We are how God has re-made us to be.  The parts of me that I thought were here for good, that were unchangeable, have become something new.  God is for real when He says He wants to purify our hearts and minds.

To paraphrase Beth Moore: "I am not that woman any more."

Mel C