14 April 2014

Bless the Lord

I still remember her words vividly:

Nadine, I know you trust God through suffering, because I've seen you do it and I'm watching you do it. But do you trust that He has good for you?

That was at the very beginning of last fall. 

After having my eyes open to the fact that I didn't, I became determined to believe rightly. 

I prayed almost daily, simply asking for belief. I asked God to show me His love, to remind me who He was. 

It took awhile, mostly because I'm a stubborn sinner, but lately I've noticed myself having what feels like new beliefs. 

I believe that God has good for me. And that belief is changing everything - my confidence, my joy, my hope, my sorrow. 

Bless The Lord, His faithfulness ensures forever. And ever and ever and ever. 

08 April 2014

Friendship is

We sat down and ordered drinks and chatted life. They talked the boys in their life and I listened and gave my (obviously good since I’m not currently dating) advice and it was nice. It was just friends chatting. 

One mentioned a certain fear and the other spoke truth into it. Another brought up another fear and again truth was spoken. She mentioned this and I spoke into it. She mentioned that and she spoke into that too. I spoke of things I was terrified for - callings I am feeling from God, the type that make me weak in the knees and give a stomach aches. The type of things I wrote about yesterday

And they cheered and spoke truth and listened and loved. 

And I noticed. 

I recognize how that's what friendship is. 

Friendship is the listening and cheering. It's speaking truth into the lies our friends believe and listening silently when they really just need an ear. 

Friendship is saying "yes you can" and whispering "maybe you shouldn't”. It's the good and fun and dark and dirty. 

Friendship is the sitting beside, standing with, walking alongside, and holding close. It’s the letting go and the saying goodbye.

Friendship is late night runs for bad food, paying too much for a morning mimosa, fitting three on a bed, laughter that hurts. It's the tightest hugs simply because you can. 

Some friendships are for such specific seasons and others span seasons on end. 

Friendship is many things. It’s living life in community, and I really think that community is how we make it from here to the end.

friendship is

What does friendship look like to you

07 April 2014

It's time to tell our story.

This is a post that has been rumbling in my heart for weeks and ages but it's never felt like the right time. Or really, I've just been scared. But after reading words by a friend today, I knew it was time. 

I wrote the following words, just the italized ones, to that friend in an email just now, and then I came here and wrote the rest. It's loosely edited and all my heart.

I'm excited to hear the parts of your story that you share. I too have felt this similar rumble in my heart, one that's making my knees tremble with fear because it's terrifying to say yes to the story God puts us in. There is so much of my life I like sharing, and that's easy, but I feel this tension to start sharing the parts that don't shine quite so pretty, but that just absolutely wreak of the Gospel. 

I feel this tension right now. So strongly. To tell the stories of what is actually happening. I’ve never lied here, and I’ve never painted a perfect life, but I’ve also written little about some of the biggest things going on in my life.

I want to write more about being a worship leader. How I prepare and how I love it. How it’s hard and beautiful and how it’s changed so very much over the past year or so. How my prep is some of the most important work I do for my church.

I want to write more about being a community group leader at my church. It’s one of the sweetest challenges in my life right now. I told some friends recently that during group I usually have the tensest stomach because I feel such a need to make sure the Gospel is spoken, and how it’s also one of my biggest joys. I’m more aware of my failures than my successes as a leader, and I want to write about those things too. I want to share the ways I’ve really failed, the spiritual battle that shows up every single time I prepare for group, the words that the Lord has given me in the midst of it all.

And then there’s the things I don’t want to write about. But that I have to.

I don’t want to but need to and will be writing about being single. The past few weeks have held some of the clearest words from God I have ever heard. And it’s been terrifying. I’m always good at the beginning of things and terrible with the follow-through so I’m trying to listen to Him with such a heart of obedience. Because I’d like to follow through with the call I’m hearing Him tell me, even if it utterly terrifies me.

In the talks of singleness, I’ve got a whole bunch of subjects I’ve been writing on, and trying to study up on. I think there are a whole lot of lies that we’ve been told as singles, and as marrieds, and as everybody in the church. I don’t think anybody set out to lie deliberately  but I think Satan set out to just put confusion on top of singleness and I really believe that he has been succeeding. I want to write about the lies I’m hearing and I want to more so write out the truth that the Gospel shares.

In the talks of singleness, I want to talk about what it looks like to trust God fully with your life and also be so very lonely. Not incomplete, because Jesus completes, but definitely lonely. And how that’s not sinful. Oh friends, lonely is not a sin. What we do with our lonely can be (and often is) sinful, but the feeling of being lonely really isn’t sinful.

I want to talk about how Jesus has shifted my heart over the past few months. I want to talk about how Jesus has changed my life. I want to talk about the Gospel and how I was dead and now I am alive!

Yesterday the pastor said: God is not a god who makes bad people good. He makes dead people alive.

That’s what I want to share. I want to share what it means to be alive in Christ.

So I am going to!

Will you join me? Will you start writing the words that are scary to pen but necessary to hear? Your heart needs to be willing to write them, but even if you’re not willing to share them yet, will you write them?

Will you grab a new journal and a pen, or use your typing fingers, and will you start writing?

Because I need your story. I need it so desperately. I need to know I’m not the only one living in the tensions of this life.

Will you join me?

Because it's time we all tell our story.

tell your story

04 April 2014

April goals (plus a March recap)

setting goals

Things I wanted to have happen in March:

1. Set up all the walls. Mostly done. Still have a couple walls to finish, but little by little, the place is becoming a home.

2. Share some pictures of my home here on the blog. Didn’t happen, but honestly, I really and truly don’t care. I filled my month with fun, and that’s more important to me than pictures.

3. Keep making healthy choices. Ugh. Didn’t happen. Between busyness, sickness, genuine body issues during a work-out and all the things, health got set aside. 

4. Invite people over for dinner. YEP! This one I did, and it felt great! I think I had people over 6 times! Yay. I love that type of community so it was truly life giving.

Things I’d like to have happen in April:

1. Be ready when school starts May 5th. Books. Pens. Papers. All the things. Including a heart ready to submit to the schedule that is education.

2. Be obedient to the things God is saying. God’s saying specific things and I’m trying to listen well. And not simply listen, but step out in faith.

3. Better rest. Less lazy. I’m far too good at doing things that are leisurely and lazy but yet I still find myself tired. I want to figure out what actually gives me rest.

4. Grace. Grace. Grace. I’ve felt super burdened lately to speak more life in this space. With school starting in May I’m not sure what this space will look like over the next year (I’ll be finished school next April) but I want to just pour out grace because Jesus offers grace!