Thursday, October 16, 2008

.prove me wrong.

"Don't let my doubts prove true
Draw me close and hold me near to you
Keep me still until the day you

Cast out my doubts, please prove me wrong
'Cause these demons can be so headstrong

Make my walls fall, please prove me wrong
'Cause this resentment's been building

Burn them up with your fire so strong
if you can before I bail, please prove me wrong"

this is what i'm praying today. in my heart, i know that i don't doubt who He is or that He's up to good. But in my head, in my small, small world, i sometimes doubt. there's a piece of me that feels like bailing - not on God, not on what i believe in, but on sacrifice. i want to bail on moving out and working at church and just get a job - it would ensure that i am comfortable and complacent - things that i want but i know God doesn't want them for me. so that's why i pray for the doubt to be cast out... for eternal perspective... to be held near to Him in transition and questions. Yahweh, remind me that it's worth it, every bit of it is worth living a life of surrender, remind me of that today...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

.thank you, officer.

a story worth blogging...

i am driving to meet an old friend for lunch today. meeting time - noon. time of incident - 11:59. i'm on palm, which if you live in orange you know is the quasi-main drag to get you to chapman university or old town. now because it's main drag-ish, one would think the speed limit is 35 not 25, right? or perhaps one never looks at speed limits and drives however fast seems appropriate (not me, of course)...

so i'm blocks from my destination and look in my rear view mirror only to see a motorcycle cop with his lights flashing behind me. well let's just say, i'm pretty sure it was his second, at best third day on the job and i'm relatively certain that he assumed i was about 19 years old. he kept talking to me about the college students that go to my school and how dangerous it is to drive fast in a college neighborhood, where old people live as well. is 41 fast? not the last time i checked...

then he proceeds to hand me my ticket, tell me my driving record is clear and then this follows:

day 3 on the job cop: "have you ever gotten a ticket before?"
me: "yes i have"
day 3 on the job cop: "well this is your ticket and right here it says how fast you were going"
me: "thank you" (trying to grab the ticket from his hand and get on the road)
day 3 on the job cop: (with radar gun in hand) "now, this is radar, not laser and i can show you so that you don't think i'm lying - you were going 41, you see? 41."
me: "got it, i believe you. thanks."
day 3 on the job cop: "have you ever heard of traffic school?"
me: THOUGHT - "really? are you serious right now? have you ever heard that people don't like being made to feel like children and they also don't like to make small talk with cops who just cost them a couple hundred dollars?"
me: REAL WORDS - "yes sir, i've taken it before."
day 3 on the job cop: "well, if you take it, your ticket will be wiped off your record completely. like it never even happened. i think that'd be a really great option for you."
me: "your opinion is appreciated. thank you. have a great day."
day 3 on the job cop: saying something as i'm rolling up my window and pulling away - no clue what more was said, but it was likely profound and insightful.

seriously, the dude really wanted to chit-chat and i really wanted to go have lunch with my friend and be done with him. i mean, you'd think that at the police academy they teach you to get your business done and get on with your day. not so with this cat. he was one in a million.

so thank you, officer - for the 16 mile an hour over speeding ticket, for the 12 minute conversation, for making me feel 17 and for causing me to miss the first 14 minutes of lunch with my friend. thank you for all of that.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


i started reflecting on the last few years of my life - mostly the years since i started doing ministry vocationally, which has been since august of 2004. now, let's not forget that reflecting has been kind of my thing the last few months because i have no vision to go towards, no concrete future plans, so the default is to reflect. while i realize this is both healthy and helpful, i also realize that it makes me nuts!

what i've internalized this week is how much i've grown. when i started doing vocational ministry at 23, i was scared out of my mind, so self-conscious, a people-pleaser, someone who at my core wasn't sure the whole "sharing my faith" with people thing was for me. i was innocent enough to think there was a perfect ministry and blinded enough to think i was working for it! i relied fully on the ideas and experiences of my colleagues and i made sure i never shared my opinion in public forums for fear that it might not be right.

like this picture of my niece, i needed someone to hold me. i was oblivious and insecure and in my ignorance had no idea what was coming. i am not that person anymore.

i have grown - immensely.

i now, at almost 28 feel like i have a valid voice in ministry, any ministry, not just the one that has become "home" to me the last 5 years. i feel like i can stand confidently on my own two feet - like people will respect what i have to say because i've been through the fire with junior high, high school and college students the last 10 years, and especially the last 4 on Young Life staff. i have learned to do things i never thought possible and when they were achieved, to smile knowing God and i had accomplished something significant. i know now to hold ministry positions lightly because they were never mine to begin with and will not be mine in the end. this posture in itself has enabled me to be in a 9 month transition without fear of what God will do with me next. i know He'll take me somewhere and i know i'll have to hold that lightly too because only He knows what's next and what's best.

this last month has been an odd transition into college ministry at church because first of all - i feel 22 and like i just finished college, but being 28 and in college ministry automatically makes me "older." boo. and second of all - to feel like i have a small voice in the lives of some potential 3000 orange county college students is a bigger and more humbling burden than i'd ever have chosen to carry. my hope and prayer in this is that through the next 10 years of ministry (wherever that might be),that i will grow twice as much as i have the last 10 years and that God in all His wisdom and grace will continue to allow me to have a small part in the real life of His kingdom.

...and that like my niece, when i get to the top of this next climb, that i will have the same confident look of accomplishment, self-contentment and satisfaction, knowing that i did something i never thought i could do. thanks be to God.