Monday, July 31, 2006

Give every minute to the One who's given today

[Every Moment, Joy Williams]

This weekend was like a small reunion of sorts. I spoke on the phone for literally about ten hours- and I rarely talk on the phone- to friends from each of my phases in life- Jill, who I've known since sixth grade; Darla, who has been one of my closest friends since high school; Shiona, one of my best friends since college; and Becca, one of my roommates and my closest friend now in T_F^A.

I've been thinking a lot about who I am. In John 8:14 Jesus said:

For I know where I came from and where I am going.
I've been ruminating over the fact that I feel like in many ways over the last year and a half I have really lost my sense of direction and where I'm going in life. Well, had, not have.

I've always known with a quiet certainty that I will marry someone in the ministry. Not because I think I deserve it, or because I think that it's more spiritual than serving Christ via a secular job. It's just something that I feel God has not only said will happen, but that He's also been preparing me for. Others in my life, godly friends and mentors whom I respect greatly, have told me they see this as well- often even when I haven't told them what God has said to me about it.

I also believe that God has specific plans for how He wants to use me in the ministry. Five years ago I went to see Beth Moore in person for the first time, at NNU (Northwest Nazarene University) in Nampa, ID. It was a precious experience, where God turned up the heat on breaking through my deep insecurities, my longing thirst for unconditional and validating love, and brought me to His feet in worship and brokenness.

The main message He inscribed on my heart that weekend was that I was an empty cup, and I was trying to take things of this world- approval, acceptance, achievement, accolades, acquisitions, affection- in order to feel fulfilled. Beth did an illustration where she took an empty tin cup and threw in a few coins. Then she shook it from side to side. My heart twisted inside out at the sound- the hollow empty clang of the coins rattling inside awoke my slumbering spirit. How truly tragic that sound in my own life to that point must have been to the Lord.

His desire is to be the Living Water in my life, to fill me to the brim and overflow into lives around me. When God uses things in this world to bless me and I am already filled with Him it only causes more of His thirst-quenching, life giving power to flood the other empty cups around me. But I was not there- I was empty and bashing my poor cup to pieces trying to find fulfillment in a few pennies of the world's treasures.

For perhaps only the second time in my life I was brought to the heart of God, saw my own inadequacy, and was broken before Him. How could I ever be filled with Him? How could one as frail and broken as I was access that well of Life and be filled? Ever faithful, the Lord lifted my head and said, simply, "Walk with me, Daughter."

In a later session, Beth was onstage digging deep into- and rightly dividing- the Word of God with nearly a thousand women (and a few men) joining her. The beauty of lives changing right there before my very eyes was awe-inspiring. Seemingly out of nowhere a quiet, still voice whispered, "I want to use you to do something like this, T___." Shock mingled with disbelief and I pushed the thought to the back of my mind.

Flash forward three years, and I filled in for a few Bible studies for my beloved Mamacita (K@thy, my second mother). I found that I absolutely loved studying God's Word, and not only that- the Holy Spirit revealed things to me! I saw things in scripture that even my much respected pastors hadn't seen when I shared what the Spirit had revealed to me. Not only that, but I absolutely loved getting to share those things with the high school girls, and my fervent prayer and desire was not accolades but for transformation in their lives.

So lately I've been thinking about where I came from; God has faithfully built a firm foundation established upon His Word under my feet. My background is a beautiful mosaic with dark tiles that only cause the times of light to burst in radiance. My life is without a single accident or oversight in detail, and I have come from 24 years of seeing the Lord's hand clearly on me, even pre-salvation.

From Christ and of Christ I have come; where, then, am I going?

I've contemplated this, recently, as well.

To be continued...