Thursday, March 12, 2015

Seas of Crimson Across An IF:Table

I should have known that God was about to move...His signal to me is always the gift of a song...right before.....Wham!

This song jumped out today, and I am attaching a LINK here to the You Tube video, but I am also listing the lyrics below...

Seas Of Crimson
 
For every curse, you’re the cure
For every sickness, you’re the healer
For every storm, you’re the calm
For all that’s lost, oh, what a savior
On that cross of Calvary
Every burden has been defeated
Every wretched heart redeemed
You drown our sins in seas of crimson

Hallelujah death is beaten
Christ has risen from the grave
Hallelujah it is finished
All to you the highest praise
Hallelujah death is beaten
Christ has risen from the grave
Hallelujah now and forever
All to you the highest praise

On that day of utmost glory
All of darkness cannot carry
Every shackle will come undone
My solid rock thine is the kingdom
Where there was sin your love rushed in
Where sin runs deep your grace runs deeper
For all enslaved the ransom paid
Light of the world, yours is the power

Where there was sin your love rushed in
Where sin runs deep your grace runs deeper
For all enslaved the ransom paid
Light of the world, yours is the power
 
For every curse, you're the cure.

I should have known then...right off the first line.

A few minutes after that I was on the phone with my Sis and then pulling up to our monthly IF:Table.


I could not have imagined...

What IF God is real? What IF everything in the Bible is real? What IF Jesus really did pay the ultimate price for us? What IF Jesus' commands to us to love, walk, talk, act, and live like His example was real? What IF???

Well....then out of the mouth of one of two college-aged girls who joined our IF:Table tonight...EVERYTHING changes. Everything.
 
Allow me a digression...

I was SO excited when two of my girls asked to come to my IF:Tribe's IF:Table tonight...Of course! I had extended an invitation in a private Facebook group I have with them, but didn't know if any of them would accept...what college kid wants to hang out over a meal with 20, 30 and 40 year old women and talk about Jesus? Well, tonight, at least two. ;) :)

Note...these college girls are part of a small group (around a dozen) that I mentor/minister to via our group (and met through a camp here in Arkansas I have counseled at the past three summers. They are 13-22 years old and deeply searching for more of Jesus. In their words, they are not getting spiritually fed...so I am trying in some small way to help fill that gap.

So...for them to come to our IF:Table was a first...and I hope not a last....because the children shall lead us. Oh my! The wisdom that came out of their mouths...and they are so hungry for God...

The IF:Table questions tonight....


Loneliness...Connection...Relationships....
 
Kill. Me. Now.
 
Sorry...that was what I was thinking...as I slid down in my seat...
 
God?! What are you trying to do to me? Have I not been whining and moaning and groaning and generally making a complete JERK of myself about how HARD Lent is? Didn't I stop short of ripping my clothes and rolling in the ashes the other night as I wailed (I am ashamed to say that is NOT an exaggeration) and shook my fist at you (Again...wish I could deny the literalness of this)? Don't you remember??
 
"Yes."..I heard him whisper and then..."I remember you whining about lack of relationships and needing more deep connection and being lonely."
 
Damn.
 
He didn't stop.
 
"I also sent you a couple of angels (two of my college girls) because you may hide from the others, but I know you can't hide from two of the ones I sent you to help."
 
Double Damn.
 
"Sit up."
 
"Dig in. Do the work. Trust me. Trust them. Just a little tonight...then a little more...and then it will get easier and easier."
 
*Pause*
 
"I have got you."
 
*Deep Breath*
 
I remember only snippets of a snippet of my story I shared, but it was enough for a point to be made in my heart....It. Is. Okay.
 
So much to unpack...So much to see through the lens of grace instead of my broken, battered, and worn lenses. I am physically ill tonight realizing what lies ahead of me, but I am going to be okay.
 
It is okay.
 
Tonight I also realized that my uncomfortableness with Lent is partially because it is taking me back to three years ago when I started this latest spiritual odyssey with God. It feels like I am going backwards somehow, but my tribe beautifully spoke a different truth into me tonight...as Heather S. said, "I think this is a sign that you are about to birth new growth as you did back then." New growth. My first genuine smile in days.
 
I am on #Day20 of #Lent2015 (and yes I am "owning" the hashtags), and I am relieved to be at the halfway mark. Tonight was the spiritual shot in the arm I needed to encourage me to keep going...dig in....do the work...learn the lessons...let God in deeper...
 
I was reminded tonight as I looked around that table at my tribe that Jesus suffered and endured through 40 days alone. ALONE. I have the gift of tribe. What was Jesus thinking at #Day20? *Tears Falling* I long to hear his story of those 40 days; I can just see me sitting with him hanging on every word. The funny thing is that right now. Today. Sitting here on my couch in the middle of this messy life in the middle of this broken world...I am hanging on His every word. Begging him to come for my heart in a new and deeper way. Begging him to reveal himself to me afresh. Begging him to answer some of those old prayers and a bunch of new ones. Begging him to tell me again why I need to do this. Begging him to heal me. Begging him to give me better words...better prayers....better gifts...more compassion...more wisdom. Teach me. Tell me. Show me.
 
Pause.
 
Love me.
 
That is what happens...
 
We get so busy begging and whining and striving...even in and with Jesus...that we forget to simply stop. Stop. and let him LOVE us.
 
On that cross of Calvary
Where every burden has been defeated
And every wretched heart redeemed
You drown our sins in seas of crimson

In this second half of #Lent2015 let me lay down my measuring stick (thank you Ann Voskamp) to where I should be, how I should be, what I am not....and simply and gently lean back and rest in the arms of Jesus. There in the nook of his neck, where his chest and shoulder meet, is a place for me to lay my weary head and breathe.
 
Amen.

"So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:15-17 {Emphasis Added by HRN}
How is your Lent journey going?

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

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