Friday, October 23, 2009


"Before I formed you...I knew you..."
Jeremiah 1:5
He knows me well.  

He maps out the lines in the palm of my hand and traces them with eternity.
He instructs my freckles when to appear and hides them again with his seasons.
He paints my eyes from his infinite pallet and captivates them with creation.
He dictates the details of each vital breath and blankets me with his rest.

When my spirit is light and my step has kick -- He sees.
When my heart is moved by the sound of melodies -- He knows.
When my mind is numbed by my own selfishness -- He is not finished.
When my soul grieves deeply and despair encroaches -- He is not without purpose.

For He knows me well.
And set me apart.
And raised me up.
With much intention.

Be known.
Be really known.
Purpose resides there.
So does power.
And a glimpse of a love that never fails.

I mean, what if?

"But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
Exodus 9:16

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I love words. I love the challenge of putting them together in a way that inspires reaction. Consequently, those that do this well, often inspire me -- or at least their words do.

Yesterday, Jourdan, my organized roommate, was performing her quarterly note purging ceremony. I'm not exactly sure what elements this ceremony entails but it has something to do with her sifting through old notes and mail, keeping the items that are still meaningful, and tossing those that are no longer relevant. Then I think she performs a ritual trash dance and closes with the Sevenfold Amen while blowing a kiss to Jesus and lighting a candle for each note she sends packing...or something along those lines.

Anyway, at some point during the day, Jourdan emerged with a note I had written her probably about a year and a half ago. It had survived past note purgings and looked like it was going to stay in the "meaningful" stack. She handed it to me and said "Here is a note you left me a while back, it was a good one and I continue to keep it." To which the insecure, affirmation addicted self inside of me replied with something like, "Aren't they all good ones??!" Gaaaaahhhh. I am exhausting and am putting myself in timeout as I type.

When I took the note from her, I looked at the card, written on some old, personalized stationary, and as I opened it up, I remembered. Inside were words that were not my own, but a quote from Rob Bell that had caught my attention once upon a time.

It was late one weeknight, about 18-20 months ago. The roomies were already snoozing and I was reading a book and honestly just wanted to go to sleep. But the words I just read were resonating with me and making me think of Jourdan's situation at the time. So I found a card, grabbed one of my millions of beloved, colored, fine-point sharpies and scribbled out the quote in my asianesque print. Here is the card in it's entirety:

Read the quote below and thought of you:

" is messy. Gut wrenching. Risky. Things don't always turn out well. Sometimes they don't turn out at all. Sometimes everything falls apart and we wonder if there's any point to any of it. We're tempted to shut ourselves off, fortify the walls around our hearts, and forge ahead, promising ourselves that we will never open ourselves up like that again. But I have to believe that we can recover from anything. I have to believe that God can put anything - anyone - back together. I have to believe that the God Jesus invites us to trust is as good as he says he is. Loving. Forgiving. Merciful. Full of Grace."

Rob Bell

Praying you can believe Him a little more each day. Love you.

And that was the card. What is significant about this quote is not that I was so thoughtful to think of Jourdan during her pain because I am keenly aware that no goodness in me exists apart from Christ. At best, I am a self absorbed train wreck. What is cool though, is that God would remind me, through words His spirit prompted me to write down for someone else close to two years ago, who He really is.

When I scratched out that card late in the night, things were going well for me. I was working purposefully, involved in a healthy relationship, and walking confidently. Since then, much has changed. God challenged me with my own pain and doubt by taking away most of the "knowns" in my life. And during this period, I often found myself doubting his goodness. Or at least, his goodness to me.

Thankfully, I learned that His restoration is real. And while I don't know much else, I do know this. He absolutely brings recovery and He does put us back together -- from anything. From the darkest evil occuring to children in brothels worldwide to the numbing apathy induced by self absorption I encounter daily. He can rescue me. He can remind me of his goodness. He can make me ready to risk again. And while it may turn out messy and painful, I know this time around, it will not undo me.

Perhaps what struck me in Rob Bell's quote was the realness of it. The reality that life really is not for us. But God is. That little card reminded me how God planned for Jourdan and I, through our own experiences, to know him for ourselves a little more each day. Wow.

And He really is as good as He says He is. Even though my life in no way resembles our culture's formula for success. I know He is good. To you, but to me as well. Which is much of the battle.

Praying you, wherever this finds you, can believe Him for you a little more each day.

I mean, what if?