Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's a long one, but it's been a long time in coming.

I had been carrying a backpack of bricks around for a year. You'd think I would know by the strains, the tiredness, and this unyielding sense of, "Seriously? C'mon...this has gotta end..." that I would have figured out I was carrying some kind of superfluous weight on my back.

Call it maternal, call it the "developer," the carer, or the controller in me. It's a mixed bag of all of those things. There is much room for those things to be sifted out with hopes of removing more of the control while strengthening the other traits.

I know that I didn't need to wear the backpack this long to learn what I learned, but God gently helped me carry that as he knew the scales would fall off of my eyes. Impeccable. That's what His timing is. Much came to my attention yesterday and the past few weeks that solidified some revelation that had been given, and more revelation was given that finally released me of the weight of the backpack--it just slipped off of my proverbial shoulders.

I wasn't able to go to every session of The Torrey Conference (an event that takes place every year at Biola University), but I was able to go to the closing session. I appreciated the fact that there was a recap of the overarching themes/messages of the week :

* Trust the process of suffering & move into it.
(rehearsing the whole of your faith/Psalm 60/77)
*Trust God for treasures in darkness.
*Trust the power of incarnational love. 
*Trust the bigger pictures.
*Trust His care for us.

All that I've shared is the bare minimum backdrop to a very complex, multi-layered, bittersweet friendship of mine. I don't know how you deal with things, but I have an incredibly hard time watching and being present with friends who I know are walking straight into a hole--a hole of heartache, a hole of destructive behavior, of whatever--you name it! Whatever the case, there's much self-inflicted pain; all of which, in my mind's eye are events that are completely avoidable. I want to love, but I don't want to condone certain things. I want to be there for, but I don't know If I can hold the hand of someone who is hurting themselves. I wanted to love her, but in trying on my own, I more so realized that I wanted to fix her.

There is the problem. "I" want to love, "I" don't want to condone, "I" want to be there, "I" don't know if... "I, I, I!" All of the I's in my thought process slanted my heart towards what I thought as wise (doesn't even matter whether or not I was right). My heart was bent, and trusting God became even more difficult--the focus was off of Jesus and placed onto myself. Wisdom is crap without a deep rooted trust in Love.

Well, there in the raw, has been one of the biggest struggles in my life in this past year. I wanted so badly for a friend to be well that a posture of love quickly turned into a posture of control masked as   love. Trusting God with that friendship was lip service. Well, no--more like a tug-of-war between trust and myself; there was much back and forth with me foolishly thinking that I was actually winning at certain points.

Let me revert you back to these previous statements: I want to love, but I don't want to condone certain things. I want to be there for, but I don't know If I can hold the hand of someone who is hurting themselves. Like a ton of bricks, it came down on me one day; God loves me when I'm a complete idiot, and He also is present with me when I am self-destructive. In God's love, He shows His wisdom. He's doesn't love me if, He loves me even if

In places where I know nothing else but to be with someone, I was reminded that I need to trust in the incarnate love of Jesus. Just be, and He's got the rest. I am helpless, but He isn't.  

While I was hanging out with some friends, a friend shared a vision God gave him for me. He saw me writing with an ink pen in this journal with a huge smile on my face, splattering ink everywhere, but loving every moment. Things shifted, I was still writing, but now I was writing frantically and there were no words showing up. I started writing my own story.

I'm writing your story. Let me show you how amazing your story is going to be because it's a part of My story.

So, I don't know if it's appropriate to call it this, but there was a sequel to that vision. He also saw me trying to hold someone else's pen as I attempted to write her story (mind you, this is what the Spirit's telling him; this friend wasn't completely unaware of the situation with my friend). This is when the backpack just seemed to fall off of my shoulders, and as I just cried, the tears seemed to cleanse my soul. The very thing that "did it" though was the verbal declaration of, "God, I give my sister to you." The verbal act happened in community, and that's what I had needed all this time. I don't know how many times I had said that in my head or in my heart, and it still wasn't enough to bring that darkness into light. There was a release of that to the Lord in the Body. Healing!

God is with us. Emmanuel. El Emet. God of Truth. Thank You for being with us and being Light for us and in us. I don't know and will never know how it is that You love us so much.


Anonymous said...

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E[liz]abeth Pham said...

Anonymous :),
Thanks so much. I'm so encouraged by that. It's just what God's showing me. I can't take any credit for it. I'm just going through the process!