Wednesday, July 16, 2008

the waiting room.

i walked into my dad's hospital room this past saturday evening, and found my heart instantly begin to break within the first sight of him.

if you've ever had a close family member in the hospital for a serious illness, you probably can relate.

seeing my dad lay in his hospital bed, upset, hurting, and in pain broke me in ways i've never been broken before. i couldn't do anything but sit by his side, hold his hand, and cry with him. this was the first time i'd seen him in the hospital since he got checked in 30 days ago.

and it seems he will be here another 21 days or so...

but what kills me the most is the fact that i can't be here with him these next three weeks. i don't live here anymore, and my life is back in wichita... fiance, job, church... i guess not used to being permanently settled in one place still. in college i could hop in my car and drive the five hour drive to chicago whenever i wanted, but i've learned that being a grown-up is different...

being in the waiting room is hard.

as my dad starts the next round of chemo tonight, my last night in chicago, we can do nothing but pray, wait, and believe that our Creator is greater than leukemia.

thank you for everyone who has been praying. continue to join us in prayer and experience with us the miracle of God's healing hand.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

living pepsi?

this has been a challenging summer.

jumping into my internship right atfter school got out without a break... trying to plan a wedding... working more than the hours expected of me... my father finding out that he has acute myeloid leukemia... my roommate suddenly having to move out because of flooding in my basement... attempting to fix the flooding problem... living alone for the first time in my life... struggling with the fact that i can't be with my family as much as i used to... trying to find free time to continue growing in a relationship with matt, read about 8 books for marriage counseling, find alone time with the Lord, time to sleep, etc etc etc...

i've been 'go go go' since august of last year, and i need a break... so i'm headed back to chicago for a week.

don't get me wrong, i love being a youth intern, planning lessons, connecting with kids, helping to plan events, but with everything else falling into my lap this summer, i feel like i've been running on empty ever since may. i haven't been using the right "fuel" this summer...

i've been resorting to my own strength, my own determination, and my own drive to keep me a-goin'... and i'm finally, after many weeks of pushing myself, out of fuel. i know i can't go anywhere else unless i let the right fuel fill me up.

cliche, i know, but no wonder Jesus talks about being Living Water. i'll make it simple... while i've needed Living Water, i've been filling myself with pepsi. it keeps me goin' for a little bit, but soon after i need to drink more, which ultimately leaves me more thirsty, tired, and have you ever tried running after drinking a pepsi? i don't know about you, but i usually get a huge cramp in my side. plus, i can't afford to buy anymore pepsi; it's too expensive.

i think it's about time that i resort back to drinking Water.
Living Water.

Monday, July 07, 2008

2 timothy.

for God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love, and of self-discipline.

i've been memorizing some scripture in 2 timothy. this specific verse above, verse 7, captured my attention last night. i had read it before, probably more times than i can count, but last night i read it in a way that i hadn't before.

the Lord reminded me something in this simple verse: He opened my eyes to the power that we have when the Holy Spirit lives within our hearts, and when we allow Him to work through us, mighty and great things will occur.

timidity, fear, anger, apathy, and jealousy do not come from God. when we were created, He did not put within us the spirit of apathy, or the spirit of fear, or the spirit of timidity. the Lord put within us things that show His own character.

if we have within us spirits that are that of God's own character, think of the mighty things we can do through the Holy Spirit. no, i am not saying we are God because we are no where near Him in that sense, nor can we ever be, but that within you and within me, we can have the Holy Spirit. if we have the Holy Spirit living within us, we cannot help but see incredible things happen... people be saved, people be healed, or people fall to their knees in worship.

if you read further, in verse 9b it says, ...not because of anything we have done, but because of God's own purpose and grace. right before that, starting in verse 8, it talks about not being ashamed to testify for the Lord, that He has saved us, and then called us to live a Holy life.

but we can connect what timothy said, or rather what God said through timothy, in verse 7 and this segment in verse 9. God put within us these characteristics to do nothing but Glorify Himself. we did not earn them, we are not worthy people, but He did it so that we may see His Goodness, see His Worthiness, stand in awe of Him, and use His Character to enhance His Kingdom.

if that paragraph was written about anyone but the Lord, i'd say "that is the most selfish thing i've ever heard in my life." but when we're talking about our Creator, the God of the universe, and the One who placed within us not a spirit of timidity, but spirits of power, love, and self discipline, that is the farthest thing from selfishness there is.