Assured

Today I went to visit an old Fran from college.  Kim Morrisette is not just any old Fran.  She’s the woman that God used to water and point toward the Son, the seeds that my mama had sewn into me, raising me in Christ Jesus, knowing Him as my Lord and savior.  I was so broken, so sad and yet I was searching for something big and deep and real and although I was confused about many things, I knew that what I needed and wanted was only going to be satisfied by God.  So Kim led me and a group of girls in our dorm, Greene Hall, through bible study.  Our friendship deepened and she went on to disciple me and train me to do the same thing for other women on campus.  She poured into me and facilitated further training with my roomie and me as we helped to lead a new, small campus ministry.

I didn’t get to spend a very long time with her– I teased her about living out in John’s barnyard (she lives quite a distance from me in a beautiful farmhouse “out in the sticks”) and that took a bit of our time away because good ole me left a little later than I intended and then I made it all the way to her street and got lost–but the time I was able to just be around her and meet her children and see her face and see what her life is like now, was so good.  I missed Kim and I am so glad that during this season of my life, the Lord is making a way for us to connect again.

Within the past week I’ve been in close connection with people who have lost loved ones.  Some have been traumatic and the other quiet but all have been hard and sad.  I almost feel like times are very uncertain right now; you can’t know if the last time you see someone will be the last time. . . how much will change with people between now and the next time you see them, if you are so fortunate to see them again?  So much fear and uncertainty.  And although it’s reasonable for me to feel and think this way, it’s not the way of truth.  It’s not Philippians 4:8-9 and it won’t draw me closer to my savior, it’ll just keep me questioning Him, and doubting Him.  

I enjoyed spending time with Kim so much today because it was a reminder for me that there have been other times when I thought that God had left me, forgotten about me, wasn’t working on my behalf, didn’t have a plan for my life except to repeat what had been done in my family generations past or just plain old didn’t care.  But Kim came to me at the most crucial time in my undergraduate career.  I was on the brink of utter hopelessness and I needed to know that all that mama taught me about God was real and that there was more.  As I look back to then and see what my life is now, in those times when I felt so shaky and uncovered, God, in fact, did have a plan and He was working it out for my good, even when I didn’t always sense it.  Seeing Kim was such a sweet reminder of His grace.  God is so good.  In times of tragedy, pain, sorrow, loss and confusion it’s good to have a blessed assurance– that firm, sure, sweet reminder that He is in control, He knows what He’s doing, His word is still true, He is trustworthy, He’s got me and my whole world in the palm of His hands.  I am safe there.

I’m sure that there is someone out there reading this who just needs a reminder that He is good and that He is a loving Father.  Please, be of good service to yourself and think about your life–what it was, what it is, and what it could be.  He’s there.  And He’s been there the whole time.  If your waters are smooth right now or if they are rough, this is a good time to know the God you serve and His characteristics.  Do yourself a favor.  Remind yourself of all that He’s done.  And rest.  Assured.

Advertisements

Marriage Letters: On Friendship

E 2 tha T,

That’s what your friends call you, right?  Or something related. . . ET, E, Easy . . .

I wanna be your friend.  Your best, good friend.  yeah.  Like Forrest and Bubba.

When we first met, friendship was a requirement for me.  I needed to know that you’d stick around and try to get to know me and find value in friendship with me before I let you pursue me for love.  That was my deal with basically every guy I dated but you were the one who actually took me seriously and dug through my rough places to find the diamonds that I worked so hard to hide while I protected myself from everything and everyone.  Even you.  You stuck it out with me.  You decided that if it took befriending me to get the chance to love me, then you’d be Stevie and I’d be Dionne and we’d make them think we wrote the song! Hey!  And you. were. my. friend.  For reals.  Before and during our dating relationship, we had such a sweet, deep friendship.  But . . . (yeah, there’s a “but”) . . .it’s different now.

I hear you on the phone with your friends, and I hear how hard you laugh and how much you share and I gotta admit, I get a little jealous.   I don’t feel included anymore.  I don’t feel as close to you as I know we could be and as I close to you as I want to be.  And I hear you say that I shouldn’t expect for our friendship to look like my friendships with the women in my life.  (How many times have you said, I am not Chasity!!!) And I get that.  I do.  And it’s not that I want our friendship to look like any other friendship I have but there are aspects of those relationships that I expect to see in our friendship because, I feel, our connection should be greater and deeper than any other connection I have with anyone else on earth.  And when our relationship doesn’t look like our friendship is strong, it’s discouraging because it’s a reminder of how things are different from what they used to be and that we aren’t as close as I want us to be . . .as I feel we should be.  What are we gonna do?

I don’t want to replace your other friends.  You need them, just like I need my friends.  And you know how much all of my friends mean to me.  What it is that I want, is my buddy back.  We have allowed some very good, good things to come in and squish all of the room for friendship, out.  When was the last time we played Phase 10?  Marcus still has our tennis game . . .we could play that!  I know that I can lean on you and talk to you about anything and I know that we can have a really, really fun time together, laughing until crying and talking late into the night, but it’s not our way anymore.  We happen upon these moments, or they hunt us down through circumstances but we don’t run after opportunities to find joy in each other.  Marriage is a gift for so many reasons and it’s a serious matter but I think that one of the reasons we have each other is to make life a little bit sweeter.  Friendship does that for me.  And I want us to be friends.  Best, good friends.  Like Forrest and Bubba,  David and Jonathan, Rose, Blanche, Sophia and Dorothy.

But really.  What are we gonna do?  I can’t blame you, I’ve played a big part in this too.  It was impressed upon me a few months ago that I need to be more vulnerable with you and trust you more.  uggggggggghhhhhhhh.  Two very difficult things for me to do, but I think they’re so difficult because I keep looking at you and your limitations and not the spirit of God who resides inside of you and empowers you, eliminating your limitations.  Even though you can make me madder than a wet hornet, you can bring me joy like no other.  And I just want to enjoy you more.  I don’t want our marriage to slip into the mundane and then glide into this survival, day to day mode where we just take care of each other and our children, but we don’t fully enjoy our lives together.  It seems like a sure indication that a marriage is headed down that road is when the friendship starts to wan.  I know that we are friends.  There’s not doubt about that.  And I know that we have a good time together, but I want it to be better, richer, funner!  ;0) So, here.  Let’s have a do-over-midway-start-over.  E 2 tha T, will you be my best good friend?  Check yes or no.

I love you!!

pamela t.

Wednesdays with Beth: The Calling pt. 1

She’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!  And she’s ready!!!  Beth Moore spoke today about God’s call on our lives, i.e. what have we been put on this earth to do?  It’s a weighty question, but one worth investigating and figuring out the answers to.  Life is short. We want to use the time we have here wisely and we want to make our time here count for more than just the fun times we had, or the wealth we gained . . .  Beth Moore said in her Esther study, (something like) what is it that you want God to say to you when He sees you?  Who is it that you want to present to the King when you get to see Him face to face?  Are you that person yet?  Are you getting closer to becoming that person?  If not, get busy!  Discovering His purposes for your life is a sure fire way to get you there.  It’s amazing, scary, exciting, nerve racking.  But it’s God business, so that means it’s good.  Check it out and tell me what you think.  I think this series is gonna be bananas!!

ok wait, so, why the pic of Elmo?  Because no matter how silly or off-the-beaten-path you think your passion or calling is, God can use you!  I have two very happy and engaged little girls in part because of the work of Elmo and the whole Sesame Street gang.  So, thank you Jim Henson, Frank Oz, and Kevin Clash (among SO many others) for being brave enough to go after it.  I’m up next.

As you know, I love the music ministry of William Matthews.  Here’s another one from him that I thought fitting.  Check out these lyrics:

“He’s awakening the hope in me by calling forth my destiny.  He’s breathing life into my soul.  I will thirst for Him and Him alone.  He has come like the rain that showers on the barren plain.  So my heart and tongue confess Jesus Christ the hope of man!”

woooooooooo!!!  the boy is baaaaaaaaad!!!


Photo Credit

Loving the Word

Pondering this today:

 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. ~Romans 12:1-2 (The Message Translation)

Marriage Letters: On Our Anniversary

Oh, Huni.

Seven years.  Wow.  Seven years ago today we trotted our little scared but in love selves down that wide aisle, ready to give ourselves away all for the chance to love each other the rest of our lives.  We had no idea what our tomorrow would look like but we were sure that no matter what the view, we wanted to see it together.

Remember that wave of fear that rushed over us when we stepped into the vestibule, after we said I do and you planted a big one on me?  Emmanuel!  We were sooooooo scared!  Who’d a thunk it?  And I’m not even sure why.  Those few moments alone, without all the hustle and bustle of making  preparations for the wedding, without the swarm of family and friends excitedly supporting and anticipating the union, all we had was ourselves and all this love that was supposed to get us from there to eternity.

We have since learned that love, as great and important as it is, is not enough.  You need my respect as well as my love and I have learned that the more I love you and respect you, the more I participate in the Lord’s work of making you the man that He’s purposed for you to become.  I apologize for all the ways that I have not loved you and the times that I allowed myself to think that I knew better at the risk of disrespecting you.  I’m really sorry, Emmanuel.  Our marriage is a big deal to me but I am only now opening up to allow God to heal all the broken bits of my heart and while He’s doing major surgery on me (which is probably going to last a lifetime) I’ll have these bouts of hard-to-love-me and hard-to-see-my-love. It’s a side effect of brokenness.  But I’m in the fray.  And I ain’t going nowhere.  And I’m grateful to have a partner who’s as committed to this thing as I am.

So. Here we are.  Seven years later.  No longer afraid,well, at least not for the same reasons that were there seven years ago. . .

You’re my gift.  I get so humbled when I think about my little girl self and see the woman that I am today.  God is so great.  He’s so good, so incredibly sweet to me to have built me to be a woman of great strength, wisdom, and power in my own right and then put a little polish on me when he gave me you.  I’m a movement by myself but I’m a force when we’re together.  ;0)

I’ll take this seventh anniversary as a chance to tighten my grip on your hand as we  move from waltzing to marching into our purpose.  And the beauty of it is that in this season, we’re a great deal clearer about what it is and how to do it.  SO here, we go!  So excited to see what this next chapter brings.

loving loving you,

pamela t.

Joining the Sunday Community

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)10 and find out what pleases the Lord.

11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:

“Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  ~Ephesians 5: 8-20

Linked up with the Sunday Community today over at Jumping Tandem for a Sunday of encouragement through the word of God.  Check it out.