Friday, September 28, 2007

Seeing Jesus in Felicity

Over the course of the past year I have felt like I have been walking away from my faith. This is not something I desired or really saw coming. It started by getting lax in devotions. Then, rather than praying for the disaster I would just think of it, and get angry that said event even takes place. I felt like although I could see the events of Gods sweet provision I could not reconcile it with all the wrong I was seeing on a daily basis. I hated the hypocrisy of the Church and for a long time I was not sure if I wanted to change it or just get out. I had just become angry and I didn't even recognize myself.

The Lord has been sweet to me. He has put in me the will to delight and praise his name again. This week one of my closest friends lost the baby girl they had been expecting. I don't believe there is a way for me to write that so that I can get across what a gut wrenching loss this is. Danielle has done a much better job of expressing exactly how I have felt all week being by Molly and Aber. I can't do her post justice, I strongly suggest you read it. I do have a few things personally to add though.

Felicity has helped my heart to be captured by Christ again. In writing this I feel like a child trying to sum up a life changing week. I didn't have the right words to say, for most of the week I felt awkward, wanting to fix something I knew in my heart it was impossible to fix. I prayed a lot on my own this week, pretty constantly. It seemed as though I was privy to the worst moments of someones life, everything felt fragile and temporal. I spent a lot of time with Danielle looking at pictures from the hospital. She put together the most amazing photo album I have ever seen. Those pictures, while difficult to look at, taught me the meaning of beauty. The sacrifice of Christ, a mother and fathers pure undefiled love of their daughter, a daughter who has met her creator. Felicity was beautiful. I don't think I will even look at love or think of beauty the same way again. There have been nights where I could not sleep, the images of the pictures replaying in my head. Those were nights of sweet communion with God, where thru tears I met Jesus again. I am forever changed by the short life and death of this child whom I never actually met. I am a new creation because of a all Soverign Christ who works all things for our good even though it may hurt like hell.

Aber wrote a Poem for Felicity for the funeral. It is wonderful.

"Felicity, your mama and I've been prying since you were just a speck
that you'd be saved-that you'd love Jesus. "At an early age," we'd
sometimes pray, or sometimes we would even say, "Very soon."

We didn't know what we were asking for.

Last night, as we tried to fall asleep, for the fist time since we found out you exist, we didn't ask that God would save you. We thanked him
that he had.

The Lord has blessed you and kept you, Felicity. The Lord has made
his face to shine upon you and been gracious to you. The Lord has
lifted up his countenance upon you and he has give you peace.

If you'd been given to me longer, I'd have put my hand on you and prayed that blessing for you every night. But Jesus said "Yes" before I
got the chance to ask.

Yes, I'll bless her. Yes, I'll keep her.
Yes, I'll shine my face upon her and be gracious to her.
Yes, I'll lift up my countenace upon her, and I will give her peace.
Yes, I'll do all this for you. What's more, I'll do it for you now.

I can hardly breathe, Felicity. We didn't mean our prayers to be
answered quite like this. But here we are.

And there you are. Pleaseures forevermore. Your name could not be
truer now.

We never need to pray for you again-only about you: Dear Jesus,
thank you for Felicity."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

life, ext

I have been re-reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller again as of late. It is a book that I always seem to go back to when I am feeling far away from God. It is a book that, rather than smother me with guilt about not being the "best Christian I can be" (which I already do, so I really don't need a book to draw that out. Thank you.) Rather he challenges me to look at the root problem of my sin. It is refreshing to hear an author acknowledge his own depravity and even tell us that he has an issue accepting grace. I find him engaging and challenging. Here is a sample of the book that has been resounding in my soul.

"We dream of Christ's love for His bride reading like Romeo and Juliet; two equals enflamed in liberal love. I think it is more like Lucentio's pursuit of Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew. That is, the groom endearing the belligerent bride with kindness, patience, and love.
Our "behavior" will not be changed long with self-disiplin, but fall in love and a human will accomplish what he never thought possilbe. The laziest of men will swim the English channel to win his woman. I think what Rick (his pastor) said is worth repeating that by accepting God's love for us, we fall in love with Him, and only then do we have the fuel we need to obey.
In exchange for our humility and willingness to accept the charity of God, we are given a kingdom. And a beggar's kingdom is better than a proud man's delusion."

+If those of you who know about it could pray: The interview is tomorrow. I am as prepared as I can be, now it is up to the Soverign God. Just pray it would be overwhelmingly obvious if this is a good match, both for them and for me. Thanks!