On coming just as I am…

 I’ve been having a little bit of a meltdown lately. I’m not sure what it is but the littlest things have made me cry and I’ve had the overwhelming desire to crawl up in the lap of my heavenly Daddy, have him stroke my hair and whisper in my ear that everything was going to be ok… that things wouldn’t always be the way they were today. Not knowing what’s happening in my body for sure or what the future holds ( like we ever really know?) combined with living with the day to day symptoms and feeling more and more distanced from the peppy, active, normal life I used to have weighed heavily on my heart. I haven’t wanted to cry about, haven’t wanted to be whiny or a burden… to people, to friends, to Jesus. I mean, didn’t they all take such good care of me during the whiny, single, unsure of how to support Hayden years? Hadn’t everyone paid their dues? And then I got married…  it was time for my happily ever after. I kept thinking that surely as they had all handed me over to Ryan, it had come with a sigh of relief, that less care on their part would be required now. When I couldn’t walk, I remember trying to hide it as long as possible. I didn’t want to scare people, didn’t want to burden them. It hadn’t been enough time. How could I be so needy again so soon? What was God doing? These people were tired and had lives of their own. God had other people to help. He had sent me a Ryan, provided for me, given me the fairy tale ending we all dream of. What could I possibly ask for now?? I felt so blessed that somehow it did seem right need him to bless me again in different ways. Why was I the kid who was always asking for something?

Growing up, I was such a needy little girl, from such a needy little family. We had seven kids who we regularly struggled to provide for. I remember falling asleep to the sound of my mom and dad talking, praying, and crying struggling to figure it out countless times. I always needed a ride to church. I often borrowed a dollar in the lunch room to pay for a little Debbie Zebra Stripes snack cake for dessert that I never repaid because I didn’t have one. Our cars were always breaking down and we always needed financial assistance. If I went to church camp, it was because someone sponsored me. I felt like such a burden to the world. I couldn’t wait until the time that I could take care of people instead of being taken care of. I didn’t know yet that we always need one another in some way, we can’t take turns needing completely. All of the things in life I needed, the one I needed the most was my brother Matt. He and Jesus were the safe place in the world where all was right. But in those early years I knew Matt better than I knew Jesus, plus I could see him. Bonus J When Matt died it created such a vacuum of neediness that I tried to fill in so many ways, through marriage, through ministry, through business. I didn’t want to be so needy again so soon.

This morning as I was crying my eyes out like a big whiny, needy baby to the song “Come just as you are” its words struck me in a way they simply never have before. Come just as you are ( whiny, needy, AGAIN) and receive strength for today ( he knows I’ll be a different kind of needy tomorrow and isn’t put off by it) taste the living water and never thirst again ( never be unsure of where to bring your need again) Come and see, come and receive.  Come and see, Christ my King. Don’t you hear the spirit call? ( Don’t you hear him saying that it matters to him? Don’t you know where rest is found? Can’t you feeling it stirring?  In your soul?)

The thought of needing Ryan to do the dishes, or take Hayden to school or even schedule in ( Stacey Rests) on our vacation itinerary forever doesn’t excite me much and I pray that Gods healing power intervenes sooner than later… but Im learning that if it should… God is not disgusted by my need, nor are the people he has placed in my life. He has an unlimited supply of little Debbie zebra snack cakes with my name written on them and he’s not even worried about the dollar… he knows I can’t pay it back. He hasn’t grown tired of being himself, of doing all the things he promised to do. Rescuing, redeeming, healing, comforting, revealing, guiding, leading, providing. This is such good news for such a needy girl like me. And good news for you, being the needy little human that you are. Whatever you need today, he’s not upset to provide in abundance. Come and see, come receive strength for today ( he knows you will need more for tomorrow, that’s ok) Taste the living water…. And never thirst again.  Will you respond to the spirits call and come with me, just as you? Needy, tired, broken, afraid, addicted… hear the spirits call… hear it today and again tomorrow and the day after that. Come, get your little Debbie snack cake of choice, no repayment necessary.


On the message of “Captivating”

Few books have ever changed my life, read my mail, rocked my world, kicked my butt, re –shaped my perspective the way Captivating did. God’s truth through that book hit me in a way nothing else has before or since and oh, how I love sharing its good news with others in various forms. I’ve been thinking about its message a lot lately for various reasons, some for me and some for others in my life.

One of my favorite revelations from that book is the different ways that men and women reflect their heavenly Father. I loved the notion that just as your two children might reflect parents in different ways so men and women reflect their father in different ways. Men reflecting and revealing the strength, might and power of God women revealing the tender, beautiful life giving aspects of God- together we tell the story of the one who saved us. The last year of marriage has made me vastly aware of this nature inside of us both and how beautifully it can work together for God’s glory.

I only have to sit in a room with one of my girlfriends for a minute, talk to one on the phone briefly or watch a Mother comfort her child in the store to be captivated by them, by their beauty, by the healing life giving power of the nature God gave women. Put a room full of them together for a bible study and it’s a powerful thing. Its amazing. The other amazing thing is how unaware each woman will be of her own value. I mean her real, true, God given value.

The summer I read Captivating I was planning on doing something else, starting training for an awesome new job Id been praying for. But at the final stage the job didn’t come through. I really needed it and quite honestly I was devastated. I was running that morning as I often did in that more physically fit season. I was asking Jesus what it was I should be doing with all this empty time. I went to the pool and started reading Chapter three of Captivating. It wasn’t long before I could no longer sit still and a foreign substance was running down my eyes. Someone had their hand in my soul and was digging around. It hurt. I went to my apt and began praying, reading, crying, journaling. I felt like the Lord asked me to describe myself in one word. I offered up several options I’d heard others use to describe me. He passed on them. I was reading a chapter that talked about the enemy’s hatred of our reflection of our maker, of his desire to destroy our beauty and inflict wounds that brought with them lies, which were repeated and we believed. I couldn’t imagine that there were any of those present in my life. I wrestled, unsure of how to describe myself. I thought of all of the bad things I’d done in my life… and there sitting right behind them. I found it, sitting in the corner behind everything I wanted to be, I found the one thing I believed to be true about me…The one word? BAD. I was BAD. Immediately the Lord said. He agreed that I had done bad things but that those things did not define me. I was not bad. There was a picture of me as a little girl hanging on my living room wall. The Lord asked me to look at it and tell him what I saw. Again, I offered up what Id heard about myself as a little girl  ( she talks to much, she’s annoying, she’s needy) The Lord said no,  not what you’ve heard.. what you see when you look. She looked like a fun girl to me, a girl who could light up a room, a girl who delighted in people, a girl people enjoyed,  The Lord agreed and added that his plans for that little girl were great, so great that the only way the enemy knew to stop her was to convince her that she was none of those things… and she had believed him every day of her life. I went and stood in front of the mirror, stunned. I had spent 28 years believing lies about myself, acting out of them- that had never been true. It was that day, that moment that I determined not to spend another believing the devils lies about me and to spend the rest of my days helping women expose the lies the devil had sold them.  It never ceases to amaze me, the things the devil can convince us women are true about us… or the things he can convince us are only true for other- prettier, better, more deserving women. The plans he has for us are good! Why do we forget this? Why do we believe a lie that says we’re useless? Not as good as that other lady? Its time for us to step out and reflect and reveal the nature of our heavenly father, to share with others the life, the gifting that he’s placed inside of us. Women, you are beautiful. A gift to all around you. Walk it out today. Throw off the lies of the enemy, refuse to waste another moment acting out what isn’t true. Rejoice in the wonder of all God made you to be. Breath in the excitement and expectation of the good things to come… and don’t forget to spread the good news… that YOU ARE CAPTIVATING!