1:00am is Honesty Hour

Happy thanksgiving!

I am so thankful for my life
…mostly.

I truly do have many reasons to be thankful. Where God has placed me. How He created me. Who I belong to. And everything that falls under those categories.
Ugh…still, only mostly.

Can I be honest?
I would like the gift receipt on living single in a married (or lustful) community–depending on the setting. I would like the gift receipt on being allergic to the cold, and being called to live set apart. I would like the gift receipt on still belonging solely to my parents’ family when I’d much rather…. be “On Mission” someplace warm with a Godly, loving husband and having all the holy sex I want. Yeah, I said it.

I’d much rather be “On Mission” someplace warm with a Godly, loving husband and having all the holy sex I want.

But Kirsten… (insert scriptures about contentment, fulfilled promises with patience, and good gifts here)!!!!!!


Trust me. I know it all. Ok, that didn’t come out right. I know all the semi-scripted “answers” already. And they do give me hope! I’d be happy to share them if you ask, but I’ve learned that knowing the answers don’t instantly fix your feelings. I’ve listened to the wise ones in my life, I’ve listened to 6+ sermons a week, I’ve studied the scriptures…I know the “answers.” I’ve toughed it out. I’ve cried myself to sleep, I’ve tossed and turned, I’ve tried to talk to people, I’ve tried to recharge alone, I’ve gotten closer to God, I’ve talked to Him, ranted to Him, and listened to Him. I’ve tried to forget the past and strain ahead.

I told a good friend recently, “I feel like a football tackle frozen in time.” Like every muscle in my being in straining against what is determined to destroy me, but my opposition is not giving way. Did you see it? I FEEL. I can KNOW everything I do, and still FEEL hopeless.

“I feel like a football tackle frozen in time.”

This is not an explanation of why I’ve decided to give up on God and do what I want. This is admission of my weakness, my humanity and my frailty. I tell you this, if I learn nothing else during this time in my life…I will learn compassion. I will. As long as I continue to pursue God’s heart and ask Him to make me like Him…I will. I understand better now than ever how people are driven to drink or use substances to drown out the pain. I understand now more than ever how people (Christians even) can be so depressed that they don’t want to get out of bed. I guess I never expected the intensity of emotion that would come with becoming like Christ. I’m used to being pretty logical and level-headed for a female. (That wasn’t a knock in women. I’m just honestly not characterized by drama and flurries of emotion.)

God is messing with the very things I characterize myself by. He’s messing with my identity, my perceived strengths, and my expectations of life.

I guess I never expected the intensity of emotion that would come with becoming like Christ.

I HAVE resolved to use the advantages of this particular season for the Kingdom of God. However, I also admit that it is hard to actively wait in readiness. At the end of the day, I know God is working. He does not sleep. He is not a procrastinator. He is not lax or lazy.

God is planning every detail of a grand surprise party. And (let me be cheesy for a sec–I mean it IS 1am)…He’s in the process of giving His faithful servant (and her MIA prince) an other-worldly makeover before her entrance to the ball. My dad, was probably right after all (goshdarnit):

I will be surprised by joy.


So, in the most circuitous (←new vocab word!) manner possible…

God, I thank you for giving me the things I don’t want, and for keeping from me the disastrous, less-than-best things I’ve practically demanded from you. Thank YOU for being good even when I am perplexed (and offended) by the unique way you are dealing with me. Thank you for the lessons I’m learning and the compassion I’m acquiring. Thank you for the truth-telling, wisdom-sharing people you have placed in my life. And finally… Thank you for positioning me in my assignment. I know for a fact that I am no “second-string Kirsten”. You’re training me for the big leagues–and not the stands either. There’s nothing I used to hate more in volleyball than conditioning, but there ain’t nothing like playing to win.

∴ I press on.

P.s. If you haven’t listened to Pressing On by Relient K recently, ya’ll should get on that.

I can’t figure God out, part 2

So we’ve established that although God is constant, He is not by any means predictable. We can learn to know His heart intimately. We can draw closer and even learn to hear His voice, but we cannot predict the details of His response to each of our lives.

Why?

Because we each have a unique “end”, if you will.
As members of the worldwide group known as Christ-followers. We each have a unique role to play toward a collective goal. Many teachers have likened this to puzzlepieces in a puzzle (duh), links in a chain, or even an array of colors in a painting. All very sweet visuals.

However, visualizing and demonstrating are not the same. Application, application, application.

So I have another visual for you (hang in there, last one)…

A football team. Obviously, their goal (as a team) is to win, but each of their roles are different. Some need to be quicker, taller, bigger. There are:
coaches- teachers,
play callers- leaders,
route runners- servants,
blockers- protectors,
linebackers- attackers,
trainers- nurturers

And here is the key–each of these team members were born the right size and build for their role–but even more important than that,
~they went through unique preparation to train for their position~

I know this is a very vague description of football. I really don’t do it justice, but just look at it! If a football team isn’t the closest parallel to how the church should be that you have seen…
but seriously. What two things make up a member of a football team?
HOW you were born:  who you are
HOW you train:  train like a champion

So all that said, recognize that you are different than the person next to you…and recognize that your training in this life will be just as unique. Don’t live your life wishing for someone else’s. Go into the day with the attitude:

I WAS BORN FOR THIS!

… and train like the champion you are born to be.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God.
Romans 8:37-39

I can’t figure you out, God.

I am learning to come to terms with a new paradox. Well, new to me at least:

God is constant.
God is complete.
…but God is NOT predictable.

And this is why:

WE are not constant. Ever.

God’s methods change to straighten out our wavering. God’s plan for your life is different from His plan for mine because we are not complete on our own. We are only a part. That makes for an awfully frustrating reality for this black-and-white, old-fashioned, structured, analytic, performance-minded firstborn. If God wants me to keep waiting on him, then why is He allowing a baby-Christian to enjoy a reward that I’ve been working toward for over a decade? It doesn’t seem right… but no one else is me. No one else has this same calling on their life. No one else has these same issues. No one else has these same fears to conquer.

2 Corinthians 10:12 I don’t dare to compare myself with those who praise themselves. I’m not that kind of person. They measure themselves by themselves. They compare themselves with themselves. When they do that, they are not wise.

I’ve always known it’s not wise to compare, but when my life isn’t going as planned and God has me walking blindfolded…how else does a human being assess their situation but by using the lives of their peers as a reference point? It’s just not natural.

~stay tuned for part two~