Monday, September 3, 2012

The Miracle of Strife (Part 2)

Working through complicated questions takes a lot of either patience or complete surrender of power of self, as  I soon came to find out in talking with my roommates. They were wonderful listening ears with a lot of the same questions I had, which is understandable since we are all in about the same stage of life. We came to the conclusion that time will tell, experience provides wisdom and understanding. The best that we can do is ask the questions and continue to seek out people's experiences to help inform our understanding.

The next morning, all of my roommates had left the house and I was working on planning music for church. In the midst of questioning God, planning a worship service is really hard. One of my friends reached out to me seeing a frustrated post on Facebook: "Kayla. I have beer. Come over." Would have loved to except I am working on shit for church... no excuses. About an hour or so later, I hear a knock on my door. I open it to see my friend, and immediately the water works go into effect. I have tears streaming down my face and am so appreciative of people that know what I need even when I won't acknowledge it. He comes in and just holds me and tells me that everything is okay. Exactly what I need. We sit down, he hands me a fancy (and rather large!) bottle of beer, and his generosity is such a blessing to me. We talk through some things and he reminds me that I will make it through, that he has seen me make it through before, and that I have such a worth. He has seen me grow and it is beautiful. God's voice speaks through surprising moments.

At this point, I have to leave to rehearse at the church, so I grab my beer, my ukelele, and my purse, walk my friend to the door and head out, eyes puffed and red, but heart ready to move forward. Rehearsal was good (except that I found out my ukelele is broken) and the music ministered to my soul more than any preacher will. We practice for a few hours and then I head home to get ready for a night out with the girls. We head out for margaritas and football, then back to a girl's house for more booze and doggy cuddle time. It was just the relaxing fun that I needed. I ended the night very sleepy and ready to hear from God the next day.

I fell alseep and then wake up at about 4:30, which is pretty normal for me when I drink. I get up to pee and grab some water, then attempt to snuggle back under the covers until my alarm goes off at 7. I lay there, thoughts again whirling around in my head...20 minutes...30 minutes...45minutes...alright still not asleep. I guess it's time to get up. I wake up with a fragment of a verse from the Bible in my head-- "Perfect love casts out fear..." Whatever that means. I spend some time working on the powerpoint for church, then I start to read through a book that a friend suggested the night before. The book is called "The Return of the Prodigal Son" by Henri Nouwen and it is amazing. Nouwen speaks beautifully to the human dilemma of innate worth and feeling loved by God:
"God rejoices. Not because the problems of the world have been solved, not because all human pain and suffering have come to an end, not because thousands of people have been converted and  are now praising him for his goodness. No, God rejoices because one of his children who has been lost has been found. What I am called to is to enter into that joy. It is God's joy, not the joy that the world offers. It is the joy that comes from seeing a child walk home amid all the destruction, devastation, and anguish of the world... I have to learn to 'steal' all the real joy there is and lift it up for others to see... I don't have to wait until all is well, but I can celebrate every little hint of the Kingdom that is at hand." 
The Return of the Prodigal Son, pp 114-155
"This is how love is made complete (or perfect) among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment (or any day, really): In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect (or complete, mature) in love. We love because (God) first loved us.
1 John 4:17-19


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