Home is....

This post is long overdue.  But I find myself in that place (again) trying to figure out what I’m doing and where I’m going and funny enough....the answer isn’t coming...and if you KNOW me well...you KNOW I don’t sit still well...in the place of not knowing; without definition or purpose or meaning.  I’m a processor and rationalizer and I’m processing and rationalizing and I’m continually coming up short.  And if you know me well, you also know I don’t make a next move till I’m sure....doesn’t mean it has to make sense....I just have to be sure.  And since I’ve been back home, it’s just been that.  One tiny step after another, trusting, and believing, and knowing that God has some crazy plan cooking up, but not having any clue what that big picture looks like.  I just know, I’m in this weird waiting/preparation stage and I’m not getting answers and thus, I’m stuck sitting.  In the worst place....where you’re right where you are supposed to be but it’s not really what’s next, and you don’t really have a passion for where you are in the now, but you know God’s doing something and you are here in this season for something and you can’t really go backwards or forwards and so you just kinda sit there.  helpless.  Which, also, if you know me, does NOT jive well.  But it’s exactly where God wants and needs me to be for the moment.  (probably cause I, ummm, don’t listen so well, when I can help myself...read blogs from last summer for more explanation).  Anyway, I’ve started this blog a thousand times in my head, but I have no clue where it’s going to land, so I keep pressing the delete button.  But after this week, and this morning, and tonight, I figured I should.  So I’ll back up.....
Ever since coming home I always hear some of the same questions when people find out I lived in Africa.  And sometimes I can answer them...and sometimes, I have no clue where to start and so I probably give the simple diluted answer which suffices them enough, but is nowhere near the whole truth.  One of these questions is....how do you come back to this after seeing that/how has it changed you?  I hate this question.  It’s usually asked in passing as if you can answer...well, I used to love rice till I ate a bazillion bowels of it and now, sometimes, can’t stand the sight of it...and then be done answering the question.  Riiiiight....and when people ask questions in passing, I always get slightly irritated cause I’d rather them not ask at all.  I know, it’s kinda like the knee-jerk reaction people have after they hear you got in a wreck or something...you have to ask something right or you’d be rude.  So then I always stand their taking a mental inventory on whether or not they are actually asking cause they want to know or are they just being Southernly polite (which btw annoys the heck out of me-read I hate the fake politeness just cause it’s manners, but you could really care less attitude....I crave authenticity and that just goes against it. completely....soap box over).  Anyway...I’m sure there was a point in there probably somewhere around somehow I’ve changed.  Outwardly, inwardly, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and well, as someone said today....”you just can’t un-see that”  One of the most (noticeable to me) things is that I find it harder to connect to people than I ever did before.  Not my friends I’ve had before.....although, the more acquaintance level ones are the first to fall away.  It’s kinda funny too cause missions is all about building relationships, but still, I find it harder than I ever did before.  I think it’s cause, to get to know someone (new) involves a fair amount of simple chit chatting about nothing.  And while I can do that with the best of them....it’s the topics that I can’t always muster up enough excitement or words to fill the space.  Mainly in the arena of the latest trends, technology, the over importance of having or doing or being most anything which I usually find quite silly, or fashion, or celebrities, or even TV (not that I don’t watch, I just don’t actually CARE what happens...cause you know-or maybe you’ve forgotten-they aren’t REAL people).  I don’t have a problem with you getting all excited about it....I’m just NOT.  And so, I find myself, saying no to certain invites, or seeking out quiet corners, or just simply sitting there dreaming about something else while the conversation goes on around me.  I think it’s cause my head and heart is filled with matters which, I’m pretty sure my God would agree with me, are just slightly more pressing, more important, more eternal.  And I have this deep desire to do something about it and with urgency, but well....did you read the beginning of this post?  sigh.  

Anyway, for the first time in a long time, I found myself challenged at work.  I attended a delivery of a baby boy with a birth defect that is incompatible with life which simply means, he’s safe and sound while he’s inside his momma, was born alive, but the problem cannot be corrected, and he would die, soonish, because he can’t survive on his own.  I hate those...I feel helpless.  The parents knew beforehand, but you still can’t prepare for that and there’s not much we (medically) can do so you’re just there...helpless to say or do anything that can fix it.  cause it can’t be fixed.  Then I went back to helping a nurse all night (cause this little dude required just that much attention) with a brand new patient that would become my patient the following night.  A sweet TINY (read 1 lb except that was mostly the weight of the fluid his body couldn’t get rid of) little boy that was also fighting for his life.  And everything we did made no difference.  There was no winning in those shifts. Not us, not him, not his parents.  He was in pain and struggling.  We could do nothing, and his parents weren’t ready to accept the final outcome.  And no amount of anything helped anyone those nights.  Which is when I stand there, outside those dang plastic boxes, surrounded by tons of machinery and knowledge, and supplies and medicine, and know the only thing that makes a bit of difference is the prayer I’m offering up while I’m letting this tiny human wrap his entire hand around half of my pinky (cause it’s too small to completely encircle it).  My head and heart turn to the eternalness of it all and honestly, I just try not to cry (at least in those moments).  Flash forward to this morning at church...the worship leaders had lived in Africa for 6 months and returned about a year before I left and were reflecting on processing everything when they returned and figuring out how to somehow conjoin those lives.  They shared a verse God gave them during that time (‎"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." from Jeremiah 6:16) that melded so well with the scriptures we were corporately chewing over in Luke about counting the cost to be His disciple; about being salt.  But also meld with exactly where I am...sitting at the crossroads with NO firm direction on which path to take.
While working the other night, those two heart breaking nights, I had the privilege of meeting an amazing young lady who I’ve heard a lot about in the last almost 2 years, since I work with her aunt.  I’ve been told we’re a lot alike.  And after reading THIS www.thedamascusroad.blogspot.com (her blog) I recognized myself in her and it had me absolutely homesick.  Not for Africa...ok, well, a little...but I know that’s not the WHERE that I’m meant to be right now....no, it had me heartsick for the eternal.  The home that’s set in my heart, the one I long to see a bit of on this earth through the hands and feet of Christians following their hearts and serving Him in the place He’s put them; men and women that have counted the cost and are following Him anyway.  The eternal, which is the only way to make sense of the injustice and hurt in this temporary place some of us have settled for as our permanent heart home.
In just 3 weeks, I’ll have been back here in the States for 2 years.  I pray I never grow complacent, for a heart that remains pliable and continues to break at the sights that I see daily on my way into and out of my neighborhood, or that I never become okay with being safe and comfortable with the familiar, the routine, or stuck in this box where everything makes sense and is ordered and easy.    I pray my soul will not grow weary of doing good, of striving in often fruitless times.  That all this will continue to drive my passions and stir my heart and move me to....well, move.  Cause, I know it’s not what we were created for.  We were created to live outside ourselves, in a way that cannot actually work apart from Him, but always to be stretched, and growing, and pressing in to Him.  To serve. I think I’m afraid I’m going to somehow forget as the memories grow a bit fuzzier.  That somehow this will all seem completely normal again....worse?  That there’s nothing to be done to make a difference.  So.....that’s where I’ve been these past months.  Sitting.  Waiting.  Praying.  And trying to process in the quiet and the still.  Which, I’m quite certain, is just what I need....Oh how my Heavenly Father knows me.  Praise God for that!
This song pretty much sums it up..... http://youtu.be/shMpobVFTiU


2 months and 1 house later

I can't believe it's been 2 months.  Just a bit ago, one of my closest friends told me something like..."I can't believe it...you are one of the LAST people I expected to be settling down and buying a house."  And that's exactly how I feel about it too....we're on the same page.  Slight disbelief, mixed with complete peace, sprinkled with a bit of crazy.  And yet...it's so right.  I can't really question it.  From the moment I said yes to this whole crazy scheme God concocted, it has been so easy and peaceful and blessed.  His hand has been ALL over it.  And even in the milisecond I attempt to question it....I do something like drive home and see the city from the side I'm living on now and something in me SCREAMS:  HOME!!!  (ps-if you've never seen the city from the East side of the Broad River at NIGHT...well....if you had, you'd agree).

I'm sitting here on my couch in my new old house, drinking coffee, surrounded by half empty boxes and paint cans and groupings of things I need to sort through.  I just received an email from a sweet friend living in the Netherlands.  We spent a year working together in Mozambique.  I just finished replying-catching up on life and sharing where God is leading us.  Yesterday I skype-chatted with a close friend living in England whom I also spent 18 months working with in Mozambique.  2 days ago I received a package from Malaysia.  A sweet supporter and prayer partner whom I've never met physically but have shared many emails and prayers with had sent me such an encouraging note and gift for my birthday.  3 days ago I spoke to a dear friend I met right here in Nashville...she's in Kenya now, serving as a missionary.  She left just a few months after I returned home. We spent over 2 hrs together just sharing how God is working in our lives and all the girly fun friend stuff too that never seems to matter, but it so does when you're living transculturally and so far from friends and family (it seems everyone just wants to know about the big stuff).  4 days ago I was sitting in church (yes on a SATURDAY-I like the Sat evening service).  I was sitting there waiting for my friend to meet me and I opened up the bulletin and realized it was the first weekend in December which means the start of us as a church family talking about missions...Global missions.  We share and learn and listen and discuss how we can have less under our tree so we can give more to the world....where it's truly needed.  And this particular weekend, we had all our global partners from around the world back here to speak to us.  As I sat there and saw many of them dressed in traditional clothing and heard their familiar accents; the hesitations in speaking a language that is not their first, or even their second to share how God is working in their lives, through our church, and in the lives of the people God has called them to serve......I sat there.....having a bittersweet moment.  The kind where you have a peace about where you are and KNOW and BELIEVE it is right but have a bit of longing and aching in your heart for the other part too. I had closed on my house 3 days prior, had spent my first night in my new old house the night before and just 2 hrs earlier I had been opening boxes.  Bittersweet.  It made it all feel so permanent.  Well....at least for this season permanent.

It's just been one of those weeks....where I've looked around and say....HOW did I get here???  Who am I to have friends ALL over the world?  To have experienced all that I have in these 30ish (yeah yeah almost 31) years?  Did I really just buy a HOUSE?  And am I really deserving of all that God has just blessed me with?

But I know the ending to this...."to whom much is given, much is required" (Luke 12:48)....and I'm living out the required part.  Well I'm trying my best to live out the required part.  It's a daily kinda thing.  For today (and today only)....I’m committed to doing THIS.  just THIS.  and tomorrow I’ll do tomorrow’s portion as He places it in front of me.  and in that way....it's a bit easier to manage.  "And HE determined the times set for them and the EXACT places where they should LIVE.....In Him we LIVE and MOVE and have our being" (Acts 17:26-28).  I'm trying to live and move and just BE, just rest in Him...especially in this season of change and new beginnings.  And I know I am blessed and so excited to give it all back......

(So yeah....I have a house....and I love it....and it's perfect and overwhelmingly more than I asked for...there's a story in that, but maybe for another cold day and another cup of coffee....today, right now, it's time to paint...I'll post pics soon!)


The next chapter...

So I know most of you have been wondering what I’ll be doing next, when I’ll be returning to the field, and where I’ll be going.  I have to say that you’ve been in good company because I’ve felt the exact same way.  And at the end of May I think God started getting through to me and I began actually HEARING what He had been trying to tell me since at least February.  I know what you’re thinking….it’s been 4 months.  I’m going to open this by apologizing for not sending this any sooner than now, but as you read on and discover where I think God is leading me, you’ll start to understand why I’ve waited, and sat, and listened, and sought counsel, and prayed through this hard before letting ya’ll in on it.  I wanted to make sure this is where God’s leading me….and sorry for the length of this post...it's the only way to get you up to speed!

It never ever ceases to amaze me that no matter how much I am seeking His will and I think that I am listening, I often find that my will is crowding out His still small voice....but eventually God gets through and I always lay down my will to submit to whatever it is that He has planned for me, which is when He begins to truly reveal His plans to me.  Back in February I felt God once again speaking to me about laying down my own dreams and plans and things of the flesh and being willing to say yes to Him in whatever capacity that looked like, even if it might be different than what I had begun to treasure up and envision in my heart for the past 12+ months, ever since I came home with the intention to just be here for 6 months and then return to the field.  Well, as we all know, those 6 months have come and gone, and the beginning of June made a year.  And since then, I've been praying and seeking that God would show me exactly WHAT it was that I was clinging to instead of clinging to Him.  I had a discussion with a Godly missionary friend of mine serving in Kenya right now and I felt God undoing something in me I couldn't really put words to at that time.  I know God called me the first time to serve Him as a single missionary for those 2 years, but since returning home I cannot say that I feel Him telling me to return to the field and serve Him full-time long-term as a single female in this current season.  And I’ve noticed that the passion I had originally and daily struggled with of so wanting and waiting to return to the field has been removed over the past months.  I still yearn to serve Him in missions (and He keeps opening up those doors), but I felt like I was just waiting on Him to give me the next big passion to replace that which He had removed. 

God really started speaking again to me about His plans versus mine...and it came at a perfect time (as is all God's timing is) that I would leave for 14 days to be in Alabama with the only distractions being the physical training and grad school work during a missions training course through SIFAT which I attended back in May...but the rest of the time I spent seeking Him in the quiet moments and praying through WHAT my next step was to be.  In those days I had a lot of discussions, a lot of prayer time, and a lot of revelations, but I felt like it was all too overwhelming to make sense of while I was there.  So when I came home, I took a full day and spent it with God dealing with all of it, getting really honest (once again) with myself and God.  I prayed through what He started in me in February, to a specific prayer I prayed in early May turning over all my desires, goals, agendas, and dreams to Him about what the next mission chapter of my life will look like-to be in alignment with Him no matter WHAT that looked like, to the discussions I had while I was at SIFAT in AL.  What came out of that time is that I'm still quite uncertain about the tiny details of where the Lord's leading me and what the next chapter is going to look like, but I'm completely at peace with the fact that it will NOT be living full time in Mozambique or another developing country in this present season.  In fact, it was just what I had been clinging to instead of what God had been calling me to…..and as I let go of that God started reminding me of what He had placed in my heart before I left Mozambique and started my trek back home……

Some of you may remember that vision and passion…..it was beginning to meld a few passions I’ve always had into one big one-loving on children, mentoring and walking alongside women and teens, and helping people get healthy (in all ways beyond just the physical).  I felt Him combining it with the new passion He was placing in me which was to move into a community, walk alongside it, live within it and be part of an amazing transformation from the inside out-starting with one person, moving to one household, and extending to one community.  I had this sense that it would be a bit beyond my comfort zone and not the safest idea for a single 30 year old female, but I’ve trusted God time after time in some of the most outrageous of His plans, and always seen Him prove faithful, so I have no doubts in this one too.  That’s when it happened.  I took that tiny seedling and I wrapped my tiny 2 year old fingers tightly around it, shoved it deep into my pocket and started conjuring up my own dreams of how that was going to look.  I had twisted the simplicity of the plan He had put in my heart and began thinking He was calling me to get more education (which He was) and then return to Mozambique, move into a more rural community and then share Christ and help transform lives from a malnutrition clinic of some sort.

As I began listening to Him closely and loosening my grips on the plans I had begun making, He started revealing His true vision for the next chapter of my life.  I started acknowledging that since February I’ve felt God telling me that my time for this next chapter is back here in Nashville and after all this time of being home, it’s only been in the last few months I’ve finally felt released to get back involved in my community, replanting roots that I was honestly a bit scared to start putting back down.  I’ve felt Him speaking to me on how to meld all of this together.....I have been blessed with an amazing part-time job at Baptist hospital as a nurse that gives me the time, flexibility, and finances (while living extremely missionally) to share the rest of my life as a missionary here in America-tent making along the way.  I’m praying with and talking to a missions group based out of the States which would allow me to help them prepare, plan, lead, and mentor small teams to developing nations working alongside indigenous missionaries and focusing on community health and transformation projects...starting sometime in Jan (hopefully depending on my finances with finishing off paying for school)...but I also feel very led to how my life should look when I am here on the ground in the States.  God has been speaking to me very specifically about moving to East Nashville and living and walking life alongside a community....which is where that vision He had planted, which I twisted, and then He not quite so gently untwisted, and firmly revealed to me, comes very apparently crashing back in again. 

To some of you the mention of East Nashville means nothing….to others your first thought is of the super trendy part with the cute shops, local restaurants, ect is.  But that’s not quite the part I’m talking about (though that’s less than 2 miles away).  I’ve been looking in a small area of East Nashville on the other side of the Cumberland River from downtown called Cleveland park which has the highest African and Sub-Saharan Africa descendants (about 10%) living in it than any other Nashville neighborhood, predominately African-American populated, with the highest single-mother headed households in Nashville, and a higher rate of childhood poverty (those falling below the US federal poverty line).  This brings along with it other problems such as higher rates of high school drop outs, higher crime rates, drug use, prostitution, ect.  I’m sure for those of you who hadn’t already thought I was crazy, are now beginning to speculate on how crazy I just might be…..well for those of you who are still with me and haven’t quite wanted to pick up the phone and tell me I might be crazy before reading to the end of this….there’s still time.  Cause that’s not quite where it ends….God’s been speaking volumes and opening doors wide open for me to not just live and walk alongside this community but to purchase a home there and physically live there.   So that’s where I am… I finished up with school the first week of August and began praying seriously about whether or not I had heard God correctly on the whole home-ownership in the middle of a transitional neighborhood thing correctly or not with my part-time job situation (which if you had tried to sell me on all this 8 months ago I would have laughed in your face and told you that YOU were the crazy one) all while picking up as many shifts at work as they’d possibly let me.  I’ve been trying to figuring out how to connect and weave together living here, planting roots, with looking internationally.  And during this time a few song lyrics were stuck in my head that God used to continue speaking to me….

Lead me to the Cross-HillSong
“Everything I once held dear/I count it all as lost/Lead me to the cross/Where your love poured out/Bring me to my knees/Lord I lay me down/Rid me of myself/I belong to you/Lead me, lead me to the cross”

Slumber-Need to Breathe
“All these victims stand in line for/The crumbs that fall from the table./Just enough to get by/All the while your invitation…/Wake on up from your slumber/Baby, open up your eyes”

Blessings-Laura Story
"We pray for healing/For Prosperity/We pray for your mighty hand/To ease our suffering/All the while you hear each spoken need/Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things/…../What if my greatest disappointments or the achings of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy? And what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights, are your mercies in disguise?"

The truth is, I know I’m not called to a life of complacency or much of a life that looks anything like what most would call, the American Dream….and I’m more than ok with that.  Cause I’ve been blessed beyond belief and have more than enough….and what I feel most led to do is share that with those people around us whose blessings are going to come when the Church stands up and pours out the blessings God has entrusted them to use for His glory….there’s a quote that goes something like….”Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering and injustice when He could do something about it." "Well, why don't you ask Him?" "Because I am afraid He would ask me the same question."   My response is…I’m not afraid He would…I KNOW He would….and I know this, cause He does…..daily.  I feel ever indebted to those of you who continue walking this journey with me, praying with me, holding my hand, encouraging me, giving me such wise counsel, and helping me continually seek Him in all of this.  Ya’ll are amazing and I couldn’t continue to serve Him here at home or abroad without the sum of all of you.  I’m excited, a bit anxious, and hopeful about this next season, but I know one thing for sure….God has already gone before me, is completely in each of these details, and all things will hold together for His glory (Colossians 1:17)….and in that…I’m completely at peace.

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you for joining me on this journey….I’m aiming to keep you more updated now that I know where I’m headed and what I’m doing and things are speeding along now (oh and now that I finally have a LOT more time on my hands with school being done).


I want to let go

My name is Erin and I'm a control freak.  

Ever since I was little.  I blogged before http://emptyhandedbutalive.blogspot.com/2009/08/lord-is-good.html that sometime back in college, God really did amazing things in my life, molding, and perfecting the personality He created and gave me into a more Christ-like one that was a lot less me-world-centered.  And this was one of the big areas He helped me um tweak.  But when I get stressed, or tired, there's tons of changes all at once in my life or something is too big, it comes out again, albeit in super minor forms compare to my high school and college days.  My need to control things sneaks into the quiet moments.  And while I rarely have an incessant need to make sure all the cups' handles are at exactly the same angle any more, there's one area of my life, that I can't seem to completely unwrap my fingers from.  And this amazingly bad habit is ashamedly with God.  

It's kinda funny cause I'm not even really a worrier.  Cause, duh, it's out of my control.  There's really no use, right? And I really try hard to press in and turn to God for every decision I make in all parts of my life to seek guidance and His plan.  I earnestly want to be at the absolute center of His will for my life at all times no matter the cost.  I lift my hands up in worship and get down on my knees pleading for a glimmer of how to move next and He does what He always does....He gives me the next step or the rough draft.  ok, He doesn't deal in rough drafts, but He knows that if He gives me the full thing, I'd prob. run screaming in the opposite direction....so He tends to give me little tiny steps or rough ideas without all the mind numbing super scary (to me) details.  It's a great psychology tactic.  And God is seriously the master of it in my life.  Get me to say yes to one thing...anything so I'll stop being so stubborn, quit stomping my feet, and you can get me to say yes to anything after that.  You just have to get me to stop saying no first.  So I get His plan and the peace and hope that He always gives me with it....what comes with knowing He's taking care of the rest and that I'm just along for the ride.  He's always faithful in giving me this indescribable peace when He tells me where He's working in my life and what I need to do.  To date, His plans have never failed, never been too much for Him, never not worked out absolutely beautifully.  And yet, that's when the ugliness creeps back in.  The flesh centered, 2 year old grubby fingered, control-freak in me rears its ugly head.  And before I know it, I've taken the beauty God's given me and smashed it up into my fist and wrapped my fingers so tight around it my knuckles are white.  And THEN I try to do it on my own.  Major fail.  Now, I mean, I'm an analytical, detail-oriented, expert planner who can take something and make it happen.  But it is NEVER going to be as good as God is going to do it.  And I know for sure I kick some of the middle men out in the process who God wants to use for His purposes either in my life or theirs during that journey.  Cause, hello, it's easier to do it myself.  Less people to mess it up, right?  See where this is going....down a dark, ugly path.  

It's not really about the end result....it's the journey in the middle.  The process, the work part, the trust and faith in Him to follow Him part which is where all the good stuff happens.  It's where He changes us and others and brings glory to Him in the process.  It's those tiny surprises He throws at us because He knows our hearts better than we even do.  He cares for us so immensely that He so delights in providing for us in ways that man never can.  And it always amazes me that I would want to spoil that time and time again.  Then i wonder why I'm struggling, or feeling overwhelmed, or like I'm drowning.  Usually, after I stop to catch my breath, I notice, it's cause God entrusted some amazing plan to me, something He wants me to join Him in, and I put it in my fist shoved it deep into my dress pockets so the dream wouldn't fall out while I went merrily along my life.  And in the process, I stifled what God really wants to do.  I stopped asking Him how and when and what.  Oh how I LOVE that He has such amazing grace for me, such mercy.  He sits so patiently, waiting for me to come sit back at His feet, to open up my hands, offer it back up, and together we watch as HE unfolds the story.  I'm trying so hard to not do it again.....

I want to let go, I'm weary and bound
I'm giving it up and laying it down, 
Take it away, out of my hands 
Out of my reach and safe in your plans 

'Cause I need to know, that you can hear me
Fill me with your peace, yeah, and cover me gently, 
Like only you can...

So take me, and hold me, break me and mold me, oh
Take me, and hold me, break me and mold me
I want to let go

Cradle my hands, knuckles so white
Open them up, and say it's alright, oh
 Show me a plan, call it your own
 Make it a journey, leading me home

'Cause I need to know, that you can hear me, 
Fill me with your peace, yeah, and cover me gently,
Like only you can...

So take me, and hold me, break me and mold me, oh
Take me, and hold me, break me and mold me
I want to let go
-Lindsay McCaul

While I didn't write this....it's exactly, every word of it, how I feel.  And what I know God is whispering in my ear...

Dear friends, please join me in praying I don't get all 2 year old grubby fisted on this one.....I'm trying desperately to daily lay it back down at His feet and seek His will in each of these next steps, to follow Him in what I believe He's calling me to do this next season....and allowing Him to do all the detailing and planning and dreaming for me.

I want to let go, I'm weary and bound
I'm giving it up and laying it down, 
Take it away, out of my hands 
OUT of MY reach and SAFE in YOUR plans 


Whatever you're doing inside of me

I have 4 more weeks of grad school and I cannot tell you how excited that makes me feel.  For lots of reasons....less stress; no more studying; freedom to read for fun and attack the mounds of books I’ve been waiting to read, but can’t muster up the motivation on top of the hours I spend for schoolwork; more free time to delve into God and join Him in what He’s doing around me; free time to spend with people around me whom I love and feel like I have such little time to offer them; and time to get prepared for this next season.  Speaking of the next season, I feel like once again I’m in a season of transition as grad school is finishing up and I’m looking forward to what God has for me next.  And in this, I know it’s going to bring something new in me and for me through Him.  The song below has been playing in my head on repeat and I swear it’s on the radio every time I get in the car, but I feel like every single word of it has been my life over the last 6 months or so and will continue to be in this transition period.  I love that every day is new with Him and that He is constantly changing me, drawing me closer to Him.  It’s a continual process and won’t stop until the moment I take my last breath.  God is always doing something in my life, perfecting me into the likeness of His image.  These days, it’s just in a super concentrated amount as He’s helping me shed the old and put on the new and it’s exciting (and chaotic) to wait on Him and watch Him work.

It's time for healing time to move on 
It's time to fix what's been broken too long

Time make right what has been wrong 
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me 
All I can do is surrender

Whatever you're doing inside of me 
It feels like chaos somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see 
But I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything I surrender

To whatever you're doing inside of me
 It feels like chaos somehow there's peace

Though It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
But I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever you're doing inside of me 
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me 
Larger than life something heavenly
Whatever you're doing inside of me 
It feels like chaos but now I can see 
This is something bigger than me 
Larger than life something heavenly
Something heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house 
Time to breathe in and let everything out
-Sanctus Real

Our pastor said this during his sermon this morning….”Faith is not what you believe about God, but the things you do because of what you believe about God.”  Simply put, it’s our belief in action.  Is it really faith that those things you say you believe are true if you can’t or don’t put them into action?  It always takes an extraordinary amount of faith for me to surrender to the things I know He’s doing in my life, allow Him to do the work, prune away, and wait on Him for my next step.  To allow myself to believe that despite the fact that it feels chaotic and doesn’t make sense, and is completely contrary to the world, that it is worth it, is completely the best for me, and is going to be so amazingly good.  To allow Him to lead and for me to simply follow the path He has laid out for me.  Pushing down my “self” daily and keeping my eyes fully on Him.  And I know that not only this transition season but the next chapter too is going to stretch that.

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me 
Larger than life something heavenly