How am I doing? I'm doing really really well. School's keeping me busy, but more significant than school... God's been filling my life with so many people that I feel like my heart is overflowing with love and fellowship. I remember telling/complaining to Anderson about how I had no close girl friends... how I yearned for close girl friends or even a best friend (who wasn't him)... and how I kept coming up empty in that area. I look at my life now and I am SO blessed to be the recipient of blessings from SO many other women. There are women to laugh with, to cry with, to shop with, to study with, to work alongside with, to share my heart with and it is definitely one of the hugest ways that God has provided for my every need and fulfilled the desires of my heart. Thank you, ladies, for your love!
I worked a night shift last night and I'm working another one again tonight. I had intentioned to sleep until 5:30pm and then wake up and get ready for work, however, a persistent cough and a mind overrun with thoughts has kept me awake since 3pm. I've only squeezed in one REM cycle this morning. I hope it's enough to get me through the next 16+ hours until my head can once again be laid to rest on the cloud I call my bed.
I think today... I wanted to write about being... clueless. I call it clueless... I think the Bible calls it darkness. Blindness. Having eyes but not seeing... ears but not hearing. I felt like I'd been clueless all my life... until suddenly... I was not. And I feel like I've been having so many of those "clueless and then suddenly not" moments lately.
Let me back up and catch you up a little on the life happenings since my last post... over 2 weeks ago. Almost immediately after my last post on the 22nd of September, I got sick. Probably a cold or something. I wasn't sick enough to be bedridden... I was just sick enough to need to stay home, cancel my social engagements, and spend time on homework. I was sick just enough to remove one layer of my life... going out and being with people and having a quick, clear mind to think and converse. I totally feel that God used my physical weakness to strip away one layer of my life that I found security in. Once that top layer was gone... many more things came into light.
When I was physically weak, I put aside all the "extra" things in life and I struggled to just keep the bare minimum for survival. I kept my times with God because I needed it... I kept my homework going because that's my job for now. Functioning at bare minimum, I slowly began to see what else I tended to rely on for comfort and security... what things I indulged in to help me get through the day. It brought to light a lot of misplaced security in things of the world and therefore became sins that I had to confront and uproot in order to keep my heart undividedly seeking God as my number one, all-encompassing source of security, identity, love, and life.
As God was revealing these things to me... I was in awe. One by one, I was awestruck and blessed by how God was revealing things to me and providing me freedom from being enslaved to these areas of my life... and awestruck and appalled at how sinful I truly am and how clueless I was about it. I had no idea. I was clueless... until I wasn't.
More often than not, songs tend to speak to me more powerfully than written word alone. I've blogged about it before in the "Lifesong" entry. Anyway... these words came to mind:
I was lost in utter darkness 'til You came and rescued meSo so true.
I was bound by all my sin when Your love came and set me free
Now my soul can sing a new song, now my heart has found a home
Now Your grace is always with me
And I'll never be alone
I've also been studying John with the BSF ladies. I had one realization as I was reading the commentary. Something I'd never thought about, but that gave me so much comfort.
Lately, I'd been overwhelmed and also acutely aware of how real darkness, dark forces, and the oppressive power of evil. A month or so ago, I remember watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy with my family at a gathering... it really made me think... about the power that sin has in our lives. We're so drawn to it. It's everywhere. It's ugly. It's got a LOT of minions that seemingly just sprout of the earth with little to no effort (like an Ork <--how do you spell it?) and are immediately ready and waiting to wreak havoc and hellfire on all that is good. It pounces on you and doesn't let go... sucking life and love out of you. And we're like... the little hobbits. The weakest, smallest, most defenseless of all the inhabitants of Middle Earth. We really don't stand a chance.
In the Bible, I think somewhere it says that sin is like yeast in a lump of bread dough. Just a little bit permeates and leavens the whole darn thing. You can't pick it out or remove it out once it's been introduced... so little has such a huge impact. I'm not even sure but it might even chemically bond at such a molecular level that it might be physically impossible under the laws of nature to separate again. We cannot humanly get away from it. We cannot remove leaven on our own. It would take a miracle... a purification process at the molecular level... even defying physics and the laws of nature to undo what has been so ingrained, integrated, and inter-meshed with every molecule of our being.
Darkness vs. light. Sometimes it feels like darkness conquers all that is good. Darkness wins. Darkness confuses and makes people lost... and it's so powerfully scary. But the battle is not darkness vs. light. The two are not equal entities. Darkness is not something that exists on its own, it is the absence of light and is therefore no match to the power of light. Light pierces through darkness. Darkness only blankets and covers when light is not there. Light will always conquer darkness. The battle has already been won. Who's side are you on?
With that perspective, I'd been SOOOO thankful, SOOOO grateful, so indebted... so in LOVE with Jesus Christ. So eternally thankful for the saving grace of the gospel... firstly, that Christ's blood has saved and redeemed me and secondly, that it continues to do so everyday for the rest of my life. I experience grace upon grace as I allow light to pierce through the darkness of my heart. It's so freeing, so joy-giving... it's beautiful.
Sorry I've been more vague in this entry than I have been previously. I just wanted to share that little bit of how beautifully rich my life has been lately. And there goes my alarm... waking me up for work. I'm glad I got to take a little time to share this with you. I hope it makes you think a little and also blesses you today. Much love to all. :)