Sunday, May 27, 2012

Taming One of The Most Dangerous Parts of The Body

Prior to reading this blog please take the time to read James 3...

My brother delivered an unbelievable, convicting and sobering sermon today. As of today (Sunday, May 27th) he has started a new series entitled "Tongue Pierced?"...addressing the power of our words...and how are your words submitted to the reality of Christ...all the negative, reality, positive and inbetween. scripture out of the many he used hit me like a brick wall...Proverbs 18:21, "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Life AND death? We'll EAT the fruit of the words we speak out?

If I possess the power to speak life or death into am I saying? What am I confessing over others? Over myself? It was convicting on a personal level because how many times, just today, have i said..."Brooke you need to lose weight," "Brooke you are ridiculous," "Brooke you are to much." Are these words binding me to a fate I didn't realize? What do I say over other people? I know I try my absolute hardest to remain positive and encouraging with others...but I know I have moments. I know there are moments I can harpoon someone without even thinking? The guy who cuts me off? The lady that almost runs me over in the grocery store. The teen that is resistant and disrespectful. How about what we confess over ourselves or others in the moments we feel rejected, unwanted, used up, no longer valued, lonely or confused. 

Again, I have literally heard this scripture a million times...but it hit me differently today. 

Why today? 

I wasn't really sure....then I started to think (I know...SURPRISING) I have noticed a huge change in my words and heart attitude over the last few months (yay! points for right). One of the ways is that I have become much more focused on living more simple and quiet. I mean don't get me wrong...I will probably always be a social butterfly...with lots to talk about (travel, food, activities, the Bible, etc)..but my judgments are less and less necessary....less and less spoken. I will probably always want to help others...but I understand my perspective might not always be welcomed...and really....I have come to accept that not everyone wants, values or cares what I have to say for the simply reason that I am judged or not acknowledged for mistakes in my past. And HONESTLY...that's okay. (Life lesson...only the humbled and broken accept the hand that reaches out to's the prideful and dishonest that dismiss wisdom and find those that approve)

I am grateful for how I have changed...and some of that has been recently tested and exposed...but it doesn't mean I should look past the areas that are not submitted and unchallenged. I appreciate the sermon today...because i realize I no longer measure myself based on what I do good and thus subtracting from what I do wrong...I want to be completely whole, committed, transformed and pure. I also want more of God..and if that means I have to expose areas of myself that have yet to die OR might be to afraid to submit and try...well then...I want to do that...if I have to be willing to let go of any good enough or less then thing...the fear must bow...however, my responsibility is to still keep what I believe (my heart) in line with what comes out of my mouth (confession)...and then I have be willing to submit that maybe if what continues to come out of my mouth hasn't changed maybe that part of my heart needs to be changed. 

If I'm spouting unbelief in an area of my life...maybe I don't believe...if I am judgmental about certain actions because I'm afraid of what it might mean about God... maybe I'm not ready to minister..and maybe if my heart remains closed to an areas of hope and depth because I don't understand them...maybe I'm limiting God? So the power of my words...if they are pushed through a grid not submitted, or at least washed heavily in the grace of God, what power am I or death???? 

Dear Lord thank you for grace and mercy....because this little tongue needs a LOT of piercing. LOL

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Reflecting on fire

More then once in the last couple of days I've had friends mention that my Facebook status' have seemed "deep" and reflective. This was definitely not intentional, but I guess it's true. Lately, I have been rather reflective, or maybe a better way to say it is deeply grateful for and inspired by the last two years.

Two years ago I didn't think I was going to be able to survive much less ever foresee myself happy or fulfilled again. One year ago I thought the pain might swallow me whole, causing me to vanish completely. A year ago, there were moments I couldn't breath without tears in my eyes. I remember pacing in my room for a hour, crying out with everything inside of me, begging God to make it stop. In those moments I understood despair, regret, shame, humiliation...but even more...I understood that only God (and the friends He placed in my life) could carry me through.

So you might see why, in reflection and gratefulness, I am humbled and surprised to say I'm more content and happy then ever (knock on wood). If you asked my dad, he would say that he's never seen me so settled, adjusted and happy. "You're back. You're back to normal," he says with every ounce of southern drawl emphasizing his sincerity. lol oh la papa! But it's true!!! I have found myself content with a simpler, more productive and peaceful life. Maybe not always drama free (I still have my job) but consistent, steady and...well...I'll say it again...peaceful.

Why? Well that's where the reflective piece comes in. I've been thinking about the beauty of pain. I truly believe pain and brokenness can be a purging, a way to force the wrong, yucky and dark places of our hearts to surface. My mind pictures the refiners fire. The picture of the fire boiling out the impurities in the gold and silver. All that heat, all the process, causes the metal to become that much purer, that much more beautiful and desirable. That much more workable. And, of course, as with everything we have a choice when faced with those impurities. Many times we might run, avoid at all cost, seek refuge in other people, substances, things. Other times we might turn and face them, work through it, find a way back. Owning and taking responsibility for all the undesirable, hard things about ourselves. And for me...I think I did a little bit of it all.

I definitely ran at first. I didn't...couldn't face my reality. I couldn't see how any of it was fair much less how any of part of it could have been a little bit of me. But eventually I decided to turn and face it. Sit in my emotion and pain. Confront the areas of my own heart and soul that were not easy to own, but necessary to get to the other side if I wanted to be healthy again. Surprisingly, what I found was the pain became less, my mind got more quiet, and my heart and spirit began to expand.  I discovered joy in areas of life I had overlooked before. I learned how to hear God's voice through the storm, and I developed a confidence and strength that has been surprising.

When you're in pain, when you're broken it feels as though that will always be the case. But there is always another day, another side to your story. Out of the ashes God can and WILL create a thing of beauty. And while I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone...I am so very grateful for the peace and joy I have now.