Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A story...

A story is told of two people. Both were surrounded by high wall of bricks. One day, the earth shook and the great walls that had been surrounding these two people crumbled to the ground. As the first dropped to his knees and started anxiously and nervously picking up the pieces of bricks and tried to rebuild his wall, the second person stood silent, staring at the bricks that surrounded him. The walls that had been built tall and strong to keep the evil world out were now laying at his feet. As the first person kept his eyes only on his bricks - and thought only of rebuilding the walls that had fallen to stay safe, the other person looked around him - full of excitement and wonder about what was before him - yet he was torn between the beauty of this new world and the memories of the pain that caused him to build the walls.

The walls had kept him safe for a while, but as he looked around he realized that everything had changed since the day he had built the walls. When he first started building - the world was a dark scary place filled with pain. As the walls were built higher, he lost sight of what was happening on the other side. Now, as he looked around he saw scars that the old world had left behind; but the world was now bright and full of beauty.

Knowing only a life spent building walls, the man bent down to start picking up his bricks, but he couldn't stop thinking about the beauty of the world around him. He decided to take a step over the pile of bricks that was before him - to see what was beyond his pile. As he stood in front of the pile of bricks he started to feel happy and safe. Soon - the other person looked over through a crack in the new all he was building and saw that the man was outside his wall - he let out a cry of terror for the man and then hid behind his bricks in fear. The builders scream overwhelmed him with fear, memories of the old world - and he jumped back behind his wall and trembled with fear.

Soon, however, the freedom he had felt after he took that first step, and the beauty of the world around him kept calling him to go back beyond the bricks. Days went by before the man got enough courage to try and take that first step again. Slowly, he stood up and took a step beyond the pile of rubble. The freedom that he had felt returned and the man took a deep breath, letting the happiness sink in. He stayed close to his pile, cautiously looking around at the world, incase something happened - he could return to his walls.

As the man stood on the other side of the bricks he looked back and saw the pain and loneliness of the man rebuilding his wall. It reminded him of what he once felt in the days when he hid behind his own walls. The builder looked up for a moment, and saw the man - once again on the outside of the walls - he let out another cry of terror, this time however, it didn't scare the man - he stayed, outside his wall, because he knew he wanted the freedom of the world. He was scared, but he stayed.

One day the man got the courage to take another step away from the pile of bricks. He took another step away and began to explore the beauty of his new world. Each day he took another step away from his old home. As the man moved father and father away, the sounds of the builder grew quieter and the memories of the wall that he once his behind grew softer.

As the man explored the beauty and wonder of the new world around him he began to notice the scars that the pain from the old world had left behind. As he looked at the scars he was reminded of the pain that they once caused. He thought back to the time that he had spent behind the wall. As he took a step back from what he was looking at he saw the beauty fo what that scar had become once it healed. As the days went by and the man grew stronger and more comfortable with his new world he traveled back towards where his wall once stood. He could no longer see the rubble from his wall - but he remembered the journey that he had been on - and then he took one more step towards freedom.

a letter to myself

I'm sitting at my desk, writing a letter to a student that is struggling with some major self esteem/self image stuff... I printed out Psalm 139 and went through and highlighted and wrote notes on it... notes that i have written time and time again in my bibles and journals. Pleading with God to help me believe his truth, and feel his presence... The thoughts and struggles i have with believing that i am fearfully and wonderfully made - that my body and soul are MARVEOLOUSLY made... that God made me - and that God doesnt make mistakes...

The page is filled with notes that i've struggled with for years. Things i have had to fight to believe - things that i still have to fight to believe. It was hard for me to write them, knowing that one of my students - who look up to me to be the strong leader - will be reading some of my weakest and most alone moments.... But, my deepest desire is for her to know that she is NOT alone right now... for her to know that it will be okay someday... that the things she's believing are LIES.

Because that was my deepest longing when i was stuck in that place - for someone to reach out and fight with me, to show me that i wasn't alone.

One the back of the page, i wrote her a note... As i neared the end of the note, my heart started beating fast and faster.

I was listening to a worship chapel that i had been at my freshman year at Multnomah. I remember that chapel - i always have. Scott played and it was AMAZING. I didn't know scott at the time, i didn't know who he was, i didn't know his wife, i didnt know anything about him - but i LOVED that chapel. I connected with Jesus in a way i never knew possible. Now - 7 years later, i'm sitting at my desk listening to the same chapel because Scott and Mel are now not only some of my closest friends - but my family.

So, Scott's music is putting truth into my ears and my heart - and i'm writing a letter to a student who is in a similar place to where i was when i was sitting in that chapel. Alone, unsure, beliving lies, and not knowing what Jesus's comforting touch felt like yet.

As i got to the end of the letter i started to realize that this letter wasn't just for her - it was for me, it was for you, it was for everybody. My hand was writing - but i'm positive it was not my mind crafting the words that were put on the paper - it was my Papa... writing a Love letter to all of us.... and you need to read this letter as much as i do and as much as my middle school girl does.

I wanted to share some thoughts that i've had before - things i've struggled to believe - these are REAL thoughts from my bible when i was younger, although i still have days when i have to go back and read the truth that God says. You are loved more than you'll ever know, by a God - a father - more perfect than you could ever comprehend. When you start to believe lies that people tell you - run to scripture. Read it, soak it in, ask God to help you believe it. Cry, scream, punch your pillow - whatever you need to do to help you believe that what God says is TRUE! it will take a while, you will have to fight for it, and fight hard - but you will believe it one day. You will even FEEL it one day. It will happen when you least expect it, in a way you never imagined (i'll tell you my story sometime - it involves a waterfall).

Your papa loves you so much. The words on this page are TRUE. the things your "friends" say to you are LIES that satan wants you to believe so that you will be so consumed with loneliness and fear and sadness that you wont be able to love others and show them the light of God's love. Don't believe the lies. Fight for truth. You wont feel like it's true at first - but it is - you MUST believe that. Your papa has you wrapped up in his arms. Holding you tight. Waiting for you to choose to believe HIS words and accept his unconditional amazing love for YOU!