April 30, 2010

let the sunshine in

"the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." john 1:5

they had a beautiful baby girl. she was perfect and they loved her. she grew up to be a little girl, and soon they saw that everyone loved her, too. as she grew, she started shining. she left light wherever she went, and everyone she touched left with an aura of brightness. she became a young woman, and her shine became contagious. her brilliance started an epidemic that soon possessed everyone she met...and one day she met a boy. this boy truly needed her brightness, and she could see it...so she shared it. but the more she tried to share the brightness, the more the boy tried to suffocate it. and the more he tried to suffocate it, the more he realized he couldn't because it came from something greater than himself. so in an effort to take her brightness, he took her life...this baby girl with curly toes and dimples in her cheeks who had grown into a woman full of beauty, life, and promise. but his mistake was thinking her shine was mortal, temporary, extinguishable. through her death, her brightness was reborn and extended to people she never even knew.

as i hugged her mother today and led songs of praise to GOD with 40 of my friends on her front porch, i realized the impact of the light. on the one year anniversary of her death, she indirectly brought life...over 40 lives joined together on a porch, feeling the wind before the rain and lifting our hearts in song. lifting the burden of the sorrow and weight of a murder, something only the power of the blood can do. feeling the betrayal of a best friend, a husband, the boy she sought to share life and light with. and on a day when hearts should be as gloomy as the sky, there was a shine.

i think satan would like nothing better than for light to attach itself to darkness so that it might suffocate it. i think satan would like nothing better for us to do to each other what he did to CHRIST. but his mistake was thinking HIS shine was mortal, temporary, extinguishable. satan seeks to take away our mortal life hoping it will diminish the eternal. in a figurative way he tries to take our life by killing our joy, our spirit, and our shine. he hopes that in our efforts to change people's lives and bring them closer to CHRIST that instead they will be the superior and stronger and bring us down...suffocating us figuratively and taking our brightness. he uses dementors to suck our life, but instead of dressing in black cloaks and bringing forth a chill they are hidden in the warmth of our everyday acquaintances, best friendships, and intimate relationships. they ever so slowly seek to blow out our light, to remove our joy, to kill our spirit and love for the source of our light.

does this mean that we avoid the darkness altogether and only associate with the light? by no means! but it does mean that we yoke ourselves evenly with someone who promotes our shine if not making us shine even brighter. it means that we prepare ourselves to be as innocent as doves but at the same time as shrewd as serpents. innocence is not the same as naiveté, and we are to be ready for whatever we might face. and along with that we are to surround ourselves in the company of others who hold the light and with the presence of the LORD.

"and what does the LORD require of you? to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your GOD." micah 6:8

April 27, 2010

the placeholder, the replacement, & the irreplaceable

"ne me quitte pas, mon chere."

i've heard it said many times that there are 3 types of people in the world: those who can count and those who can't. because that is probably the stupidest joke i've ever heard, i will gladly propose 3 different types of people...ordinary people who create a dichotomy in our lives of being seen every day, yet still waited and prayed for at every moment. do we realize the exact moments when people actually enter our lives? when that person steps in on the dance that will forever change who we are and our path? do they just slip in unnoticed, and what sets them apart? in the study of my favorite subject...people...i've seen many people waiting for "the one" or devastated by "the one that got away." upon monitoring the behavior during the period of anticipation and hope or the behavior after the emergence of the funnel-shaped cloud of depression, i've seen people take on 3 different roles: the placeholder, the replacement, and the irreplaceable.

the placeholder: this person is someone who holds the place of the person who was exactly what you wanted and you lost or who you are hoping and waiting to meet. this is the person you date or spend time with where you are apathetic to the outcome or whom you attach yourself to after you've lost the love of your life, or at least someone you felt very strongly for...until you find that someone who can be the replacement. yes, this person fills a void and provides a comfort in your life, but only temporarily. it's the person you accidentally, or purposely, use in order to feel better without truly loving. it's a band-aid when you need a surgery. a snickers to crank up your blood sugar when you really need the fulfillment of a meal. a jacob black after your edward cullen. it's a backup plan, a makeshift shelter, a quick fix in the mean time of the meantime. in short, it's not meant to last but only meant to pass the time.

the replacement: this is the person whom you find that is what you're looking for as opposed to the nothing you've had or whom you find after a significant relationship ends that completely fulfills everything you lost and even might significantly trump it. you feel no regret for losing the last because you are so thrilled with the next. you have a new comparison, a new standard, a new ideal. (or if you've had nothing prior, it is the something you've been waiting for). you never question what might have been with another or if someone else would be better because you know that this new is a grand improvement and possibly the best option...the best fit for you. this person is so far above a placeholder that when he or she enters your life you have no question or fear of what might be. you might have just told the placeholder that you're not interested in dating anyone for awhile, meet the replacement, and be in a relationship the next week. it's such times when the placeholder, well, learns his or her place. the bottom line here is that the replacement is strong enough to remove all previous questions regarding the past and all fears concerning the future.

the irreplaceable: no matter what beyonce says, sometimes a person comes into your life who is simply irreplaceable. after this person crosses your path, no matter where you go or whom else you meet, that place can never be filled, the wound can never be healed, the break can never be mended...at least not completely. sure there are the placeholders who give the temporary satisfaction, but you just can't seem to find the true replacement. you are branded with that person's mark for the rest of time. it's the person who talks, laughs, smiles, smells...right. that person that you were or are so drawn to emotionally, physically, spiritually, and as you look around you see that so many others are drawn, too. the person who knows you better than you know yourself and dreams bigger for you than you do. who accepts you as you are but challenges you to be better. whom you respect because he or she knows how to tell you "no" and doesn't give into you like all the rest. the person who you could sit and talk with forever. the one who makes a walmart trip feel like the best date of your life and who you adore from the creases of his or her smile to the smell of his or her car. the one you had and now have to watch as people stand in line for just a dream of having. the "one who got away" or the one you thank GOD every day to have. so...if you have an irreplaceable, don't let go. if you had an irreplaceable who got away, what are you doing sitting here reading my blog, GO! if you want to be irreplaceable, be yourself and embrace all that you are. when you love GOD and accept and love yourself it is a common trend that other people do, too. everyone has the right to be irreplaceable and to find the irreplaceable.

April 12, 2010

enough

i'm still waiting for that birthday...to reach that age where i am old enough to be getting my ears pierced. that birthday when i'm finally old enough and ready enough to be dating. to be graduating college. to be getting married. to be getting a job. to be going to africa. to be having babies. to be old enough to *fill in the blank*. when i was a little girl, i thought that all the adults around me reached a magical birthday when all the fears of life evaporated and they were suddenly prepared to take on the world. now that i'm grown, i realize...i'm still that little girl, and that the birthday i've waited for my whole life isn't going to come. i realize i will never feel ready to be an adult. to handle taxes. to tackle stretch marks. to explain to my husband how much i love him. to carry three children while pushing a grocery cart. to perfectly describe to my kids who GOD is. to understand why in the world CHRIST lavished his love on me. to understand the concept of eternity. but the beauty of it all is that i don't have to understand it or to feel old enough or to be ready enough. if we had no weaknesses and failures, we would have no need for GOD. if we ever reached that birthday of perfection, we would never know suffering or fully understand grace. but GOD in his infinite brilliance provided a way to be all we need when we aren't old enough, smart enough, or good enough.

"but he said to me, 'my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' therefore i will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that CHRIST'S power may rest on me. that is why, for CHRIST'S sake, i delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. for when i am weak, then i am strong." 2 corinthians 12:9-10