Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ouch, ouch, ouch!

I feel like I am being broken. Being broken isn't always a bad thing. When you break a bone, it grows back stronger, right? God has really been working in my life lately with very little effort on my part. This post is more like a reflection and reminder for me, but it always helps me to have others share their struggles.
"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:
What! You too?
I thought I was the only one."
C. S. Lewis
I am the biggest empathizer. This last week a family at our church lost one of their sons in a car accident. He was my age and had been married for 3 years. I looked at his siblings' facebook pages several times this week. And my heart broke for them. It was amazing to see the body of Christ reach out to them, and their very God-centered reaction to this horrendous situation is a testament to their faith and our great God. But my heart hurts for them. It is one thing to say that God has a plan for my life, it is a completely different thing to accept that plan when it doesn't go the way that we anticipate.

My little brother posted this definition of forgiveness on his facebook yesterday: forgiveness is giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.! It would be easier to turn away from this powerful quotation and continuing harboring anger toward this person. And to be quite honest, that is what I want to do. My flesh is currently winning. I know the right thing to do, but...I was right. but...what that person did was really mean and hurtful. but...if I don't harbor this anger and resentment, it is like saying the other person is right. but...then they are going to think they won.
"Hey, Angela, guess what? My Son did that for you. He forgave you. You need to do that for this other person. Love, God."

I love, love, love what I do! I have always wanted to be a teacher. I had a little gradebook when I was younger, and I would give spelling tests to my stuffed animals. My job is everything that I have dreamed for for years. I love going into work. I enjoy the people I work with. Most importantly, I love precious children in my classroom. Sure, sometimes I lose sight of the fact that my classroom is a great platform to show them how to care for others, how to respect one another, how to be nice, and I complain. But God has given me great access into the lives of hundreds of students to be used as a positive influence on their life. But, there is a (strong) possibility that this job\ministry will be taken away from me because of teacher cuts. And that hurts my heart. There is a lot of talk about cuts and potential cuts at school. For the most part, I have been able to maintain the attitude talked about in Luke 12; however, it is difficult when friends are getting laid off.
For this reason I say to you, [U]do not worry about your [V]life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. 23“For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! 25“And which of you by worrying can add a single [W]hour to his [X]life’s span? 26“If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? 27“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 28“But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! 29“And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.
My worrying is not going to add another day or year to my job. All it does is show that I do not have enough faith in God to provide for my needs. If God has different plans for me for next year, I can be confident in knowing that these plans will be better than any plans that I can ever anticipate. I believe this.

Okay, all these random thought tied together:
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses (God, I feel so vulnerable right now), with insults(that really, really hurt when they said those things about me and I can't get it out of my head), with distresses(I am concerned, I mean freaking out, about my job, and I don't want to be), with persecutions(Satan is tempting me not to trust in your perfect plan for my life), with difficulties(I may have to give up my cable tv and movie dates, and I don't want to), for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong(God make me strong in you. Not to boast in my strength, but to turn others to you). 1 Corinthians 12:10.

We have been singing this song at church for the last couple weeks. I love it!! I cry almost every time because it is so true, so true. And yet sometimes, I am so resistant to God. I want to work it out my way, I want to plan things that I have no control over. I want to be broken to be completely used by God for His purposes. I hope this is an encouragement to you as it is to me.
You are good, You are good
When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love
On display for all to see
You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy
You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life,
In You death has lost it's sting

Oh, I'm running to your arms,
I'm running to arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here
In your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I'm letting go

Oh, I'm running to your arms
I'm running to arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

My heart will sing
no other name
Jesus, Jesus

Oh, I'm running to your arms
I'm running to arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

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