Thursday, December 25, 2014

Surprise Packages

Waking up this morning was hard.
My body was tired, my muscles sore, my attitude a jumbled mess of emotion.
Despite my troubles, my worries and my pains, there is a burden on my heart I cannot ignore.
I lay and I dread getting up, but my burden pushes at me, wants to lift me by the shoulders and get me on my way. Tell them, it whispers.
My spirit has jumped up to grab the burden, and in spite of myself I find myself begrudgingly following, tagging along with my childlike side, which is racing after the burden. Together we grab it, and I find myself, heart and soul, being lifted up, encouraged and strengthened as this balloon-like burden lifts us up, not down.

What is this?

How can this be?

He did it!

In my humanity I forgot. In the space of a day I got tired, and my weariness led to frustration. I forgot- but somehow I have it still. This burden, this message, this gift, this life.....

He hasn't left me.
My burden has a name, and He's given me a heart.
He gave me His heart.
I am astounded again, but somenow I can speak.
Would you hear it?
Listen well...

His heart is the heart of a man who saw the darkest things, wept over them, and loved them.
And still He came! And loved.... And he loved us.
He loved me, with all my mess.
And you, he loved you too, even in your brokenness!
He fought for us, I tell you! He fought to bottle your tears and catch your fall.
He gave his life for it, for you, for me.

But He came as a surprise, you know.
To you, to me, to his teenaged mom.
Things weren't supposed to happen that way,
And no one saw it coming.
The signs told about it and the earth declared it, but we were still confused, lost in the dark.
Yet for all our confusion, he came.

He came the weakest He could be, a simple baby in a humble family, in one of the darkest times of the world.
The world must have stopped for a second, when nature realized that God just became man.
Can you imagine, the wind holding its breath?
And then came the baby's first cry, announcing himself so normally to the world, no pomp at all.
But nature couldn't hold itself back, the heavens needed to rejoice.
They saw what we couldn't. A Savior was born! Hope breathed life into the world, and the peace on that day couldn't be contained. Peace exploded into joy as the stars arranged themselves to point to the world- He's Here! He did it! Look, come and see! Soon all shall be restored! 
Then the Heavens shouted as the hosts of angels came to declare- these other beings created just to serve Him, how on that lovely night they praised Him! Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth, peace to men...

He surprised the world.
Death didn't stand a change, and darkness fled before him.
Many didn't see, they couldn't. But still he came, accomplishing His purpose.

He brought life into the world.
He set the earth in motion, to begin the restoration.
Still he is here... Surprising us.
How could we know, how could we see?
We cannot predict the plans of God....
But we can encounter them, and be moved by them.
Or we can ignore them...

Here is my prayer for you, and for me, this Christmas morning.
I pray that we would be surprised around the corners today.
Those moments you dread, those darkest deepest shadows of your heart...
I pray that we would find Him there, a light in the darkness.
I pray that He would invade your hearts with life, as only God can.
I hope that today, you will remember His love as I did, and you will know His heart.

And I pray that we would be those people talked about in Isaiah, who "walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, his light has dawned....."
I pray that you would rejoice! That in the darkest times you would hold on to hope, you would know peace, and even when you shouldn't, you would feel joy.... For you are Loved.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
And the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called wonderful counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
There will be no end."
-Isaiah 9:6-7a

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Confessions of the Ever Positive Person

Have you ever walked through the door and unexpectedly found yourself crying?
Somehow this happens to me a lot.
You see, I'm the kind of person that shows all my emotions all the time, except for the negative ones. I always have a smile on my face. Generally people know something is wrong if I'm not smiling. I've always been the kind of person that sees the silver lining and everything, and keeps my negativity to myself- Until I get home that is. At home I can't be fake, and somehow all the emotions come out, all at once.

My whole life I've been this way. I remember one time when I flipped head over heels on my bike, after coming down a steep hill and hitting a speed bump. There was a definite smack and loss of air as I hit that asphalt, HARD. Did it hurt? Oh yeah. But did Megan cry? oh no. I picked up my bike and walked myself shakily back to our campground (on one of our many family camping trips). People asked me if I was ok and I smiled and joked and kept walking. The second the camper door closed behind me I collapsed into a crying heap on the floor in front of my mom.

Even rocks feel emotions people. Why else would they show the weather of time and space across their faces? Here's the deal: I'm not saying don't be positive. I am the Biggest fan of positivity in the world. I generally think the cure for everything (other than Jesus) is either a cup of tea, a good night's sleep, or a simple smile. (Sometimes all three...).

But sometimes the best cure is that raw human emotion we talked about earlier (see previous post).
My thought on my 'anti-negativity' stance that sharing those thoughts generally doesn't help anyone. I'm not trying to be in-genuine, just trying to enjoy life, you know?

Yet I am still so human, and it just takes one thing to remind me. One thing, like coming home after a long stay away, and not hearing the familiar jingle and bark that was constant through my childhood. This happened last night, when I came home from college, and for a split second I looked for my dog, even though I knew she wasn't there. They'd already told me, but I forgot. Then the welcoming bark failed to come, and that little wagging tail never showed.

So here's the deal people. Please be real. That doesn't mean let yourself go all the time, or that you should give in to negativity. But its ok to cry when things go wrong, or be upset when something happens. Just remember that you are human. Even God cries. Remember Jesus weeping over Lazarus? (if not ask me sometime and I'll tell you all about it).

The best advice that someone ever gave me was after my Grandma died, and I was (in appearance) my usual, happy, "God is good" self. On the inside I was dying and afraid and so extremely sad. This friend of mine saw it, gave me a hug, and whispered "It's OK to cry" in my ear.

I'm not rejecting my love of positivity, tea or silver-linings. And sleep and smiles definitely never seem to hurt (joy comes in the morning, remember?). But I'm admitting that in my journey through life, I get hurt, and I cry.... and it's OK. Be human.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15)