Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dear Friends,

So I turned another year older today... (and next year will be the year that my age will stay frozen at till 2022 (a decade later) when I will then be a year older!) and I've been told that apparently, after 21 the years just stock up higher and intermingle and you just can't tell one birthday from the other - they all feel the same. However, I've not felt that way. It's been a few years since 21 and I still get giddy on the 18th of the eleventh month of every year... I still sit back and reflect on the past year - its presents, misfortunes and opportunities, and it feels different every time... I will never tire of this!?!? But, I may be wrong. Maybe age, time and brittle bones will get the best of me yet, but until then, I will keep the giddiness up.

To start off, this past year was... interesting in a very different way. For the first time, I've been more aware of my shortcomings and I don't mean those: "Oh, I need to stop this and that..." NO, more in a blinding: "You seriously need to work on keeping this up and that..." It's like I never had a year like this one, where I wanted to seriously be truly liberated into the contentment and liberty of finding what Christ has freed me into... It has been like having a tussling fight with my desires to either wallow in ingratitude and counting of losses or remember the good news that I am more than an overcomer both in this life and that to come. It was slow and painful and etched on for a while... but as in all things that we subject ourselves to, there has to come a time when we either look ourselves in the mirror or slap ourselves to sense, and say that: Enough is enough!

I got tired. Tired of looking at the glass half empty. I refuse. I refuse to look at the glass half empty. It is half full.
Correction - It is brimming full and overflowing with gratitude, thankfulness and praise. I am learning and continually learning to battle my feelings that attempt to sit with the tide and turnings of circumstances. The Psalmist (I love Psalms!!!) puts it perfectly:
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5 (NIV)

So therefore, I will yet come with dancing and jubilating and praise for what God has done, what He is currently doing and what He will do in  my life. He has already called me as though I already am all that He is calling me to be: Blessed, Redeemed, His daughter, an Overcomer and so much more... and I.... *breaks into smile* am so glad and delighted!

I pray that I continue to remember this, and live out my life in full realization of these facts.

So yay! Happy Birthday to me :) 2 dozen years on this earth and still so much more to be done. I can only ask for continued grace and strength to truly love Him and love people as He has called me to do!

Have yourself a fantastic week filled with lots of love and thanksgiving! Gobble up people. xoxo.

Mwajim Al.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Girl Who Forgives and Moves on...

Apparently, forgiveness is more than just ushering it from your lips, and praying it in. It's more than just saying you've forgiven the person and next thing shanking them in your heart... the heart... Apparently, forgiveness is letting go and moving on from the heart... the heart. 

I've known that theoretically. It's like math: 1 + 1 = 2 - someone hurts you, you forgive them. You just let go. But for me, letting go means I profess with my lips and imagine 1001 ways to serve revenge cold. But of course, God must be looking out for them because I'm a wuss I never get the opportunity.

So here I am, sitting and listening to people talk to me about forgiveness and my mind is going: "yadda yadda yadda... same old kapeesh"... until they bring up the heart: the seed and harbor of all intentions. 

I mean if I backed up for one second and reviewed what I honestly wished for people I've been harboring in my heart: 
1) Would it be good intentions? Nope. 
2) Have I or have I not imagined scenarios and rehearsed (emphasis on rehearsed) where they beg on their knees for my forgiveness? Yup. 
3) Have I passively aggressively played good nice wonderful girl, freely giving out my "forgiveness" readily without their asking knowing well I would pine in anger and retribution? Absolutely. 

And Ladies and Gentlemen, I've been claiming for years that I easily forgive... that I easily let go (adjusts halo) and still, the intentions of my heart portray a different light. 

The people talking to me on this occasion went on to say different things: "We need to forgive so that God forgives us...", "We forgive just as Christ forgave us..." etc etc... Still yap to my ears... It should have clicked earlier... I know... If I claim to be in absolute awe of the Almighty One, the thought of my sins being forgiven as I forgive others should have me running to my heart's armed safe, beaming it with laser rays and releasing whosoever I hold in... It didn't click yet. What clicked was that: "Whoever hurt you is just like you, hurting in some way or the other..." Whether they hurt you intentionally or not... whether this offensive act that hurts you was big or small... That's just it... they're human too.

And there it is folks. Somehow I think letting go from the heart suddenly made sense... I know, I know.  (I shouldn't hold people on some weird abstract playing field, where I expect them to do no wrong). I should know this stuff. Or it seems I should have. But at that instant in time, it just made perfect sense. Lip profession. Act forgiving. None of that matters if I can't let my heart rest in the solace of just letting go and moving on...

I think this has been a long time coming... and for the first time today... reviewing stuff from this year... I realized that in a weird way... I'm becoming this girl who actually is letting go and moving on (for real this time guys, no daggers in heart). I know I write about this on here often enough that one would have thought: "Whatever it is, just suck it up... it's life, it's unfair..." But that's just the thing... that doesn't cut it for me. I can't just suck it up...  I can't just view it as life. Well, one could then say: "Well, did you come up with answers that help you cope or deal?" Honestly... No! And i don't think that will ever happen. Not on this side of heaven.

What is happening every day however is the decluttering of this heart. I know - it's my copyrighted term. 
More room for love - because I need it. Disclaimer: Love from Jesus.
More room for peace - because i'm a volatile belle.
More room for joy - because I have to overflow some more.
More room for truth - because it's all there is to live for.
More room for His goodness - because nothing else can stay. Nothing else. Nothing.


That's a nice load off my chest. 

And so onto more positives.

You. I know it's easy to believe you've forgiven. Your words say it. You act it. You've cut them out, or still let them in - whichever the case. What else could there be to forgive? But that's just half of the story. In your times of frustration and road blocks, they take the mental heat from you... they take all the leashed arrows... But the truth is, honestly, you're the one taking the leashed arrows. Like a monk sworn to silence, your promise eats you up. You're the one to set free, not them. You're the one who needs to show mercy... not to them, but to you. So, look inside you... your heart, muscle and blood, beating in chest and with one deep sigh and breath just release yourself... you deserve better. Better than broken promises of a past life. Better than lost memories of an frozen childhood. Better than shards of a memorabilia... You deserve space for the beauty and fullness that Christ came to free you into. It takes time, I know... just crawl, drag, run, sprint, walk (forward of course)... whatever you have to do... just don't stay stuck. 

And then, we can say this in harmony when we've fully forgiven, fully moved on, strengthened that the best days are happening now in His arms: 
10 I delight greatly in the Lord;
    my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
    and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
    and praise spring up before all nations.
Isaiah 61: 10-11 (NIV)

Have yourself a delightful weekend! 
And, may this month be one of your best months yet :D 

Mwajim Al.