Sunday, July 22, 2012

Can't shut it off.

My mind that is....

I struggle sometimes with this blogging thing. Anyone in the whole wide world can see it and read it. I've thought about making it "private", and I haven't quite yet decided how vulnerable and open I should be or will be about certain things within this place that I can take a load off my shoulders- vent, process, and express thoughts and emotions.

However, I figure even through the sometimes gross, yucky, "I'm a human", "I'm still a sinner" (who knows God's grace), and no where near perfect person that I am- that hopefully Jesus would still shine through this thing, this blog, my life, my words as I try to process and grow from life experiences. I also benefit greatly from reading and rereading my own words and putting them to practice and keeping me accountable. Words to live by, not just typed. Might I add, that if you're reading this, I expect you to keep me accountable by all means, as well. I want my words to line up with my actions and daily.

There's a certain situation that is constantly on the back burner of my mind/heart the last few months, or should I say my entire life, that I carry with me very heavily. I know that Jesus wants this burden, this "responsibility" that I've come to think is partially mine, but it's so hard to give it all to Him.

I know that He can make things beautiful through this disgusting situation that is going on. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Maybe tomorrow the light will shine through, but it might take years. Or it might not be beautiful at all in my lifetime. I need to be okay with that. I need to be okay with Him being in control, that NONE of this surprises Him, although it isn't what He wanted, or designed it to be. I need to be okay with the fact that justice will reign. That no word, blasphemy, lies, slander, or deceitfulness will go unseen. We all have to stand before our Lord one day. But Jesus always wins. He has victory.

I'm also becoming more and more aware that I need only to to be worried about me- and what comes out of my mouth, how my heart reacts, how I respond, that I only need to worry focus on TODAY- not tomorrow or the future, and be aware of choosing to honor the person (Exodus 20:12 and Ephesians 6:2) who needs Jesus' love and so obviously stiff-arms Him away, amidst their foolishness, rash, harsh, hurtful words and actions. Because it would be easy, and on a worldly level- justifiable to scream back, take digs at, and seek revenge in return. (and I have been guilty of doing so) Matthew 12:34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
Proverbs 17:28  Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

To top it all off, I still have to love this person. 1 John 4:19 We love because He first loved us. Through all the hurt. The yelling, screaming, witnessing the slander, the absence (ab·sence- failure to attend or appear when expected; lack; deficiency, inattentiveness; preoccupation) of what their role is/have been created to be, and grieving over what I've lost or never had all these years, I'm still called to love. And whats more- I'm even called to love my enemies. Ouch. Really God? After ALL these years, after ALL they've done? (Again, I have not been perfect or always honorable either, and have been convicted of and sought forgiveness for those instances) Matthew 5:44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! And after time and time again of the evil that spills over I'm called to "turn my other cheek":  Luke 6:29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.

I have to choose forgiveness over anger and bitterness. I do not understand a lot of things that have gone on in my life. Again, I trust that Jesus can make something beautiful out of it.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
I have to remind myself day by day, moment to moment that JESUS has FORGIVEN ME and ALL of MY heinous acts against him and others as well. I need to extend grace like He has to me, and continues to each day.

It's hard.

I pray that things will change. I have prayed for years asking God why it has to be like this? It didn't have to be like this. The closest thing I can think of that (maybe) aligns with this situation is in Exodus. The story of Pharaoh and his hardened heart about letting the Israelites go. Pharaoh knew of God's power and majesty, His will for His people, he had warning after warning, chance after chance- many times on the edge of "letting go", you saw this glimpse of his heart softening and obeying in letting them leave Egypt......only to turn his back and harden his heart once again to God. He never figured it out. Even after God took so many things away from him. I've read through that story several times, and contemplate each time, why- when it was so obvious, Pharaoh didn't listen to God? Didn't see Him? It was so obvious. So right in front of him. And I wonder why God allowed to keep Pharaoh's heart hard after all that time. (Exodus 4:21, 7:3, 8:32, etc)

Silly me.

To bring Himself glory.
 Exodus 11:9 The LORD had said to Moses, "Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you--so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt."

  Romans 9:17-18 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
So maybe, just maybe- and I humbly and respectively say this.....I have a present day Pharaoh in my life. After years of wondering "why" and praying for miracles...maybe God has allowed this to manifest His mighty ways.

Please step in to this situation, may justice prevail, may your love and grace and will for our lives be known. Lead us down a path of righteousness and truth. When in a situation where I can choose to be foolish or wise, to choose wisdom and what You would have me do. Give me words of encouragement and grace, or silence and a quiet heart when necessary. Help me to seek you above all else, to keep my eyes on things above. Only through you and with Your strength can I love my enemies during the trials or when I think they don't deserve it. You can do miracles. You can soften hardened hearts. You can make all things new. Thank you for your new mercies each day. Each moment. Thank you for being my best friend, whom I can confide in and who wants to carry my burdens, who knows all about this. I thank you for extending grace and love and forgiveness when I know I don't deserve it.



Connie Severson said...

Kendra - you do not know me though I feel I know you very well thru a very special gal(Tina) I so look forward to your blogs they lift up this old lady and really get me thinking! You have a very special calling my friend and I just want to encourage you thru HIM! God's blessing on your journey!
P.S. I am Lucas' Mom! I have told Tina that I can't wait till the day I get to meet you!!!
Connie Severson

kendra said...

Connie- you are TOO sweet. Thank you for encouraging and uplifting me in this way. I too, feel as if I know you through TINA! I love that girl so so much. She is so dear to my heart.
Don't hesitate to leave comments or get a hold of me to keep me thinking as well :)

Hope to meet you SOON!