Monday, July 26, 2010

And it is a wrap!

Thank God for little things like Cold Orange Juice on a hot morning… I cried last night… and again, this morning. The truth is that I’ve been on a bungee jumping trip every so couple of weeks this summer. The early days were torrential… like a whirlwind. The latter days were better, almost like the first days weren’t there. And then last night was a crack. But this time it was different. It didn’t feel like the first couple of days, and it felt much easier this time to let HIM in.
This time, I knew from the bottom of my heart that I had no reason to cry anymore. What? With Him holding me? No just a ‘Him’… I mean for Pete’s sake it’s the Person… the ONE… who created the Universe? He interwove the crazy nervous system for Heavens sake. Why cry when the indominatable God gave everything up just for me? Why mope when I have so much more to be grateful for?
That was when I knew it was over. The struggling… long time gone. It doesn’t matter what I was wrestling with Him about. What matters is the limp I now have from that battle. Like Jacob whose name was changed to Isreal… I was once [Insert Former Name here] and I’m now [Insert New Name here]-[Mwajim]. I was once unable to see gratefully in the midst of torrential rain but you know what? I’m singing ‘Bring the Rain’ – MercyMe. If I hadn’t gone through the rain, how would I appreciate how dry He usually keeps me?
And so, with great glee and spirited excitedness, I want to tell you that Summer has been beautiful. I have successfully kept 5.5 (yes, roughly so? Yes :D) of the summer plans I wrote about at the beginning of June.
I have had moments (several) where I wanted to shove down a box of sausage pizza (who knew eating mushroom pizza could make you covet so much?). I have had moments when I didn’t fast on Fridays, or broke my fast at noon. I have had moments (plenty) when I didn’t report to the gym, and let my GRE studying slip by for precious moments alone or watching the crazy sporting events (World Cup and NBA finals). I have had moments when I argued and fought with God about the change He has been igniting in my heart… I discovered with self-disgust repeatedly how hard it is for me to love unselfishly and had to learn to commit and re-commit my heart to him for a cleansing and bleaching wash. I have had days where I fell repeatedly and laughed at my wobbles sarcastically… ‘wow Lord, you really do like going the full measure don’t you?’ And I’ve had beautiful blissful moments at this spot à 

Here, He healed me repeatedly when I asked questions. Here He met me (if you squint closely, you’ll see a glimpse of his over-powering and blinding light :D). Here He laid to rest my heart and taught me that it is okay to want to want things differently, and yet, ultimately His will made mine, although with many groanings at first because my flesh wants to be in control, will make me the gladdest.
Its kind of bitter sweet to see my best summer end almost at the flash of a light… I have only a couple of days left in Boston. As I draw to a close with the people I work and live with… I keep seeing His mighty hands propel me towards heights I never even imagined, and I’m so glad… grateful that things are so, just the way they are.

Phew! Sit back and take stock will you? No matter where you are in life, even if you can’t hear, feel or see it, He is still God.  


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Series on Fear

I started chronicling the various fears I have in different areas in my life, and countering that with the promises of God which I know to be true instead.

Its so much noise and clutter in the background - the fear. If you sit to look at your fears, you see that its all lies. I am speaking to mine: writing them down and reflecting on them. I see that they are just misconstructions to make me forget who I am in Him. And I'm praying about them, for God to re-ignite His love in me as he continually teaches me to die to my sins of my old-self everyday... Its hard, and painful. And yet, i've never felt any lighter :D

Here is an excerpt on one of my series.

"I am scared at my Jealousy because it makes me see my inadequacy. I don’t have anyone here. It makes me fear she will move on and I will be left hanging and without...

But then again, I’ve never been one to flow with the pack. I’ve never been one to measure according to everyone else’s coat. I’ve always been ‘different’ like Mummy said.

And the Lord my God has already said to me...
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
"So this soul of mine that He has already told to sit and be still... why are you still wavering? Why do you still grope around as one that has not yet been owned?"

Speak to that fear of yours, whatever it is. It is just a distraction to weigh you down from seeing that God is mightier than your circumstance.

Friday, July 16, 2010

An Open Letter

I’m sitting here realizing that I’m in a conundrum of conflicting feelings and knowing that the one thing I need to do is get down to my knees and pray. Pray for the confusion to stop. Pray for the guilt to wash away. Pray for your love to flow through. Pray for my eyes to be focused on only you… and its hard. It is hard because I unashamedly want to keep worrying. I want to keep running. I want to not stop and appreciate. I’m in this dereliction of self-absorbedness where I’m considering me… me… and of course… me again!

Not me… should be the answer. Not me should be the focus. Not me should be the restitution.
I need to remain in you and you have of course promised that you will remain in me…

So why am I playing with this fire… this inward desire to keep wallowing here staring at me in the mirror?
I should be looking to you instead…

And in the moments that we take to suddenly stop and ignore? No – Look beyond our reflections in the mirror to see your image – love itself staring back… that is the moments that we see grace. The Grace – beautiful, abounding and abundant – able to provide anchors of strength, strength that makes us see that it is not about us. It was never about us – you as an individual. It was always about him, about her and about them. The outward gaze, the outward reflection, despite how hard and unnatural it is, is the supplemental richness that grace affords.

I’m still wobbling and bruising as I learn to deflect from the inner to the outward day-by-day. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

“But [Mwajim] where are you running to?”

“Somewhere in the middle you’ll find me” ~ Casting Crowns

         No one tells you to stop and smell the roses. Neither do they tell you to wait and watch the rain as it pours gently on a mid-summer afternoon. They forget to tell you that you fall and bruise and that it is okay. They also forget to tell you their own stories so that when you are faced with conundrums of what the giants before you went through, you can boldly look up and realize that you were never alone.
         If you think about it, society makes it seem like it is all about the race. A dash to graduate, a dash to get in a relationship or get married, a dash to get that job, a dash to get the promotion, a dash to have a baby, a move on to the next state. We are always looking forward to that next big thing – the next breakthrough. There is nothing wrong with that, wanting to forge ahead. But the thing is, once at that next level we are ready to jump to the next higher level.
         That has been my state for the past… let’s just say forever. I realized that I’ve always been in a state where I’m yearning for more. I’ve never stopped to smell the roses, or appreciate the beauty of where I am standing. From my vantage point, I’ve always been unsatisfied. I’ve wanted better…  everything to be better. As a result, I’ve been too quick to jump into the future. I’m left spending countless hours thinking of the ultimate façade of satisfaction that will be met once I just do this or do that…
         “But [Mwajim] where are you running to?” I seemed to hear my Mother’s anxious question that I had relegated to the background for a very long time. She would always ask me this when I told her my adult version of my future plans when I was a teenager. In her eyes, I saw the fear that I was running faster than my shadow, wishing upon myself things that should only come at a regular pace. I never understood then. I wished she had spelt it out in less ambiguous terms.
         In wanting that next phase of my life to come so bad, I realized that I’ve been in a perpetual state of “waiting”… I mean yes, we are all waiting aren’t we? For that special/big breakthrough?... where we wish to attain? However, I feel like I’ve been even holding my breath in the process… so do I really think that that breakthrough will be it and that I’d never want anymore?
         Yes, I’ve never sat down and been appreciative of what God has so graciously given me. I’ve never sat down and reflected that since I’ve come this far, I should be rest assured that ofcourse “He whose eyes are on the sparrow” is definitely going to keep watch over me. I’ve never sat down to breathe in the after-rain air and be glad from my vantage point. I’ve been flexed to get to the next point only out of fear. I’ve never sat down to realize that wow, since God has brought me this far, I ought to be excited for what he’ll bring my way and even more, I ought to be excited about right where I am. I ought to be more grateful from this vantage point.
         So… I’m going to sit back and enjoy tea in the scorching east coast sun and dip in ice-cream sandwiches as I learn to be more grateful from my vantage point and anticipate in joy and faith rather than in fear and anxiety and speed at what He brings next.
         Care to join me?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

YAY for Free Stuff!!!

… like the laughter of  that someone that makes you feel comfortable.
… like the jokes you share with your mother over tea after a hard day of life.
… like the warm smile you share with your friend over the phone about absolutely nothing.
… like the clean oxygen you breathe.
… like the sweet sleep you get after a wet day in the rain.
… like the comfortable bliss you get from being absolutely yourself in the comfort of your room.
… like the  way you stare at yourself in the mirror every morning and  realize you are more beautiful  and stronger than the day before.

Have yourself a beautiful weekend =D

Monday, July 5, 2010

I am a Recovering Sinner

Angry. Irritable. Vexed. I used to be. I still am.
Unfriendly. Aloof. Self-absorbed. I used to be. I still am. And I was okay… or so I thought.
In the corner of my frontal lobe, I was just too good for him, her, you… too good for all of them. Proud and narcissistic used to be some of my adjectives. You could still say they are. Uncaring and unloving masked in the shadows of shyness and low self-esteem were common attributes as well. And I thought I was okay.

I am not a bad person. I don’t lie. I don’t cheat. I don’t steal. I don’t do bad things…

Churning, slowly deep inside… the anger, the coldness, the pride slowly morphed into doubt, vanity, greed, self-loathing, depression, and loneliness… all the things someone shouldn’t feel when alone.

Why should I talk to Him? Does he even exist? Why all this pain? Why this confusion? I thought I was okay…

Idols in the form of school, friends, relationships, worries about tomorrow, technology all crept up and filled the void I wanted filled with something more intimate. And yet the void was too big… no matter the number of substitutes that were added to the list, the void still remained… more like a big wormhole…

HE can’t possibly be enough. I mean yes maybe there is something wrong with me… but can HE can’t possibly fix it all…

I had forgotten my first love… I never allowed Him to transform me in the first place…

Slowly... bark by bark, shreds of old self had to be peeled away, painfully stripped at times with tugs of war, at times with tears and wails of childish insolence and sometimes with graceful thankfulness… struggling with the indomitable God that willingly gave His life for the YOU can leave you with beautiful war scars that show for all to see…

Scars that remind you why you believe HE exists… Scars that make you say HE should bring the drought because HE saw you through the tornado…

Day by day struggles with the flesh, struggles with myself, me fighting me over who I used to be… in death and the more that I can be and all the greatness I am in Him occur within this fragile body that sometimes wants to give up and sometimes wants to fight through it all. I did let Him change my name after all. I am now a recovering angry, self-absorbed, proud person… recovering to my full health. I was those things… I fall back to being those things most times… and yet, I am letting Him spurn me onto growing into myself as noted by the new names He has given me… peaceful, joyful, loving, forgiving, content… I will continue to let Him keep adding to the list of new names He has granted me… and each new name comes with a new lesson, a new battle of which I must let Him conquer the old self.