Do you see the emotion?

I stand at my window with dread welling up in me. It’s a mild, sunny day, yet I can’t help but feel the weight of my opposition. I’ve heard it said that when you taste defeat, Almighty God weeps with you. I’ve heard it said that God restores the years that the locusts have eaten; He brings beauty out of ashes. I’ve heard it said that what the devil means for harm, God uses for good. I have heard it said that there are powerful lessons to be learned through pain, rejection, and hardship.

Maybe it’s all true.

But I have been through these things many times. I have tasted defeat. I have endured much pain. I have come through the desert and arrived at this place a different, new person; and who I am become and the things I have gracefully and humbly accomplished have been rejected and scorned time and again by people who have no idea what I’ve come through and have no respect for the passions of my pure heart.

And I’m not sure I want to go through this again.

I’ve seen a side of God that victoriously displays His glory and upends injustice, and I don’t know if I can bear His weeping. I’m not sure I can bear another defeat. So bitterness knocks at the door of my heart once more and I lock and deadbolt it. Nothing comes in, nothing goes out; and whether or not I let bitterness in, the stagnancy of me will, in time, become bitter and stale anyway. That’s not who I want to be.

I have to try again.

I have to offer the best of me and my passions to the judgment of others who may or may not deem me fit for their own vision and plans. I have to bare my heart to the possibility of desolation again. If I pass, I share in my Father’s joy. If I am rejected, I reflect my Father’s heart in forgiveness and sorrow and hope. Whatever happens, I stay living alive; and I refuse to scorn this gift of life that has been given to me by my Father. I am blessed to rejoice. I am blessed to hurt. I am blessed to love. I am blessed to forgive. I am blessed to feel—to live alive. I am blessed; therefore, I will open my heart to pursue passion and purpose. I will move forward. I will conquer defeat by standing up, looking it in the face, and telling it I’m not afraid of what it may do to me because it can only demonstrate that I’m alive.

Looking on, keep looking on,
Expectantly await the dawn,
You who cling to hope may wait,
May yet your heart now satiate,
Oh do not cease from looking on!
Continue pressing on in hope
And its related isotope:
In joy, that is; may yours be full,
This is the substance of the tulle,
The fabric of the wedding veil,
Fastened quick with thankfulness,
The bride of Christ is thus arrayed,
The love of Christ therefore displayed
In one for whom He bled and died,
Whom Satan shall fore’er deride
Yet powerless fore’er remain,
The righteousness of God implied
That He should hold us in disdain,
We, in our Advocate, confide,
Sin, where is thy gruesome stain?

© 2011 David Andrew

Have you ever been in a place where you’re overwhelmed by a deluge of truth? It’s like the facts of life are rolling in today and I realize how much I just need to trust God. Thank You, Jesus for opening my eyes.

I feel like I have been given new information on my immediate future. It’s information that is hard to accept joyfully, because on the one hand, it reinforces the fact that I might not be coming back to school in the Fall. On the other hand, it is information that I do joyfully accept because it makes it so much easier for me to let go of the situation and trust that God has my back. He is my rearguard, defending me from the enemy behind me and tying up all of the loose ends in life situations where I feel things have been left unresolved. God is so good. Thank You, Jesus for protecting me.

So where does this leave me? I am free to live alive. I am free to pursue the gifts and abilities that God has given me. I am free to drink from the fountain of joy that bubbles up in this lowest place. Thank You, Jesus for giving me joy.

The expanse of the sky symbolizes freedom.

This week, I decided to keep a log of my adventures each day. Why go on adventures, you ask? Well, let me tell you! They are fun (usually), and I like them, and it is healthy to be silly (or serious) every now and then. Besides, they also make for great stories later. Without further ado, I present to you, my adventure log for this week:

3-25-11: I stood on my head, just because. I was inspired by my friend Rachel Jackson, who once stood on her head for 5 minutes, although I only made it to 30 seconds. :]

3-26-11: Created an interpretive dance to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with some people in my wing. I felt extremely silly, but it was absolutely hilarious at the same time. Interpretive dance=good memories.

3-27-11: Talked with Jesus for an extended period of time. He helped me to see several spiritual strongholds in my life and gave me courage to begin facing them. Fun? Not really. Adventurous? Oh yes. Worth it? Most definitely!

3-28-11: I went to bed early. It was a long day of schoolwork and practicing violin.

3-29-11: Decided to change my routine. After my first class, I walked outside in the sunshine for a bit, then went to study in the Commons and ran into an old friend. We talked for an hour and it made me feel valued. 🙂

3-30-11: Well, I guess I forgot to go on an explicit adventure today. 😦 I practiced violin some, and got much reading done. Oh! I sat outside tonight for a little while as I took an online quiz. That was adventurous because I normally sit at my desk to do homework. 🙂

3-31-11: Today I walked around in the glorious sunshiny 78° weather and it was marvelous! Then, I went to practice violin and spent the first ten minutes running joyously around the warehouse the practice rooms are in. Then, after dusk, I skipped (don’t judge, it makes me feel like a little kid) across campus to the library to print off some homework. Then, while I was at the library, I noticed that someone with a severe case of OCD had coiled the chain of the pen mounted to the computer desk. Being a recovering OCD-a-holic myself, I was both initially pleased and internally cringing at the same time. I had to do something about this. So, I picked up the chain and let it fall back on to the table letting it lie as naturally as possible in honor of the second law of thermodynamics. It bugged me somewhat, so I just told myself it was artistic and let it be. =D

OCDness
Oh my goodness, really? Who does this?

Better
Ok, that's better... yay entropy!

I recently auditioned to play violin in my school’s chapel services, and I came away with some realizations that I simply must share with you!

1) I was reminded once again how insecure I really am and how much I crave acceptance from the people around me. The minute I walked on stage I immediately felt a surge of energy course through my veins although it wasn’t completely nervous energy like it has been before—it was more of an invigorating energy which was encouraging. I credit this in part to the fact that I have been given the opportunity to perform worship songs with The Way in front of several church congregations, but mainly I attribute this change to the spiritual growth I have been undergoing in learning to fix my eyes on Jesus.

2) In regards to acceptance, I found my eyes opened to the fact that I still have a long way to go in letting myself become fully accepted by my Father in Heaven and not by man. I still have a long way to go in keeping my eyes on Jesus after initially fixing them.

3) I believe that I am finally reaching closure and full healing from past hurts involving music worship teams at church! My first year at school here I didn’t audition for chapel music worship because I was still too bitter from my past hurts, but over the course of this last year, God has been teaching me some hard lessons in humbling myself before Him. It was in that lowest place though, that I would find unspeakable joy. Now, after auditioning, I feel so carefree. I doesn’t really matter to me whether I am integrated into the team or not. I was true to myself. I redeemed the passions that God has given me. I honored Him by taking a chance and pursuing something that would fill me with life. I’m closer to Abba for it, and that’s all that really matters.

I’ll be frank, I’m not sure what to say right now… I’ve been pretty tired this week. However, it’s been a joyful week as well. I’ve been learning contentment and honesty and surrender. I’ve been learning thankfulness.

In my copy of the devotional Jesus Calling, I read today that I should let thankfulness temper my thoughts. What a wonderful idea. Thankfulness keeps my attitude headed in a positive direction. Thankfulness keeps me from complaining.

Complaining is a dangerous sin. It fundamentally changes your attitude toward God. The Israelites complained in the wilderness and it drove God crazy. They didn’t trust Him even after all that He had done for them. God is looking for trusting hearts. Thankfulness sets us on the path of trust. Also, because God is faithful and does what He says, trust in Him results in joy.

Oh, so, I recently came across a study of water and how words, both spoken and written, affect its makeup. In this experiment, positive words would cause the water, when frozen, to form beautiful crystals under a microscope; whereas negative words would cause the water to freeze in random and disfigured patterns. One of the suggested applications of this experiment was that since our bodies are roughly 70% water, our words have a huge impact on our makeup as humans.

I feel like this ties together well with the idea of attitude—thankfulness leading to trust leading to joy. Joy starts with giving thanks. What we say has an impact on ourselves and other people, so let’s start giving thanks more often.

Okay, that just about sums up what I’ve been thinking about.