Posts filed under jubilee

my Father is good.

i spent last night in the arms of my Father. as i sat in His lap, head against His heartbeat, it wasn't a 20-something who, exhausted from crying, drew in ragged breaths. i found rest on His chest as a little girl, confused and broken and needing rescue.

the minutes were precious - in His arms i found the beginning of healing. i found the Protector who was with me so long ago. i felt the Vindicator breathe deep and prepare to battle on my behalf.

it was then i knew. i may not have chosen the hurts of my past. i may not willingly walk through the pain of yesterday all over again. but my Father is good. and as much as i don't understand these memories and as much as i want to hide, i find shelter in His embrace. this is the only place i can look at my past without fear because the same One who is holding me now is the same One who protected me long ago.

i said a couple weeks ago i was holding onto my one word for all it's worth. i practiced this last night. arms around my Father, i closed my eyes and held on tight to Jubilee. there is a time for everything and with my Father, who works all things for my good, the time for rejoicing is near.

Posted on January 14, 2011 and filed under jubilee.

on cravings.

my soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!  insatiable for your nourishing commands. - psalm 119:20 i want to crave God.

i feel stupid admitting this. i should already crave Him. instead of reaching for other things, i should reach for His word when i wake in the morning. instead of spending time listening to random music on my commute, i should listen for what He wants to say - allow my heart time to breathe in His presence.

i don't. and you know what? i'd even be okay with that if i reached for Him at some point within the day. and i may think of verses every now and then - i may close my eyes in brief moment of prayer - but i don't sit and dwell. i don't go deep.

i certainly don't go wide.

this ripping off of ugly is a lot harder than i imagined. i'm grimacing as i write, because i wanted it to be easy. some times, i feel a prick of the pain and i run. i grab what's so easily entangled me and cling to it - afraid of letting go of the thing that's brought me comfort. i sit there, wounded. defeated. i turn furtive glances back to Him, patiently waiting for me to return. i know what i need to do - i know the steps back to Him will be difficult. i know the pruning of what's consumed me will result in heart-holes not easily healed.

i remember His own scars - etched deep, markers of my sin - remnants of a debt paid in full.

and if He died to set me free, and if i wear the title of His daughter, this mess i cling to has already been beaten by a blood-stained tree splintered with His skin.

i must believe this. i must fight the lies, the ill-spun belief i'll never be free.

because the truth is i already am - i can lift my hands in jubilee and know the price is paid - and though i'm dirty and ragged, He loves me anyway.

and this is when i realize the power of His truth. you see, the more i crave His word - the more i read His promises and hold them to my heart - the more i know of His love for me. the easier it is to spot the lies. the more i crave Him, the more i approach His throne of grace with a confidence of receiving His mercy.

so this is the next step. diving deep - going wide. the heart-holes may hurt for a moment, but His love flows deeper than any wounds i receive. this is the beauty of His heart for us: He wants us to be free.

all it takes is for us to crave Him above anything else.

Posted on January 12, 2011 and filed under jubilee.

aslan's claws.

"Then the lion said -- but I don't know if it spoke -- 'You will have to let me undress you.' I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it. "The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know -- if you've ever picked the scab off a sore place. It hurts like billy -- oh but it is such fun to see it coming away."

"I know exactly what you mean," said Edmund.

"Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off -- just as I thought I'd done it myself the other three times, only they hadn't hurt -- and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobly-looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me -- I didn't like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I'd no skin on -- and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I'd turned into a boy again."

when i first realized jubilee would be my one word for 2011, i didn't fully understand the significance.

well. i've come to realize, this is no joke.

a friend mentioned jubilee entails freedom & release - she said this with a grin, celebrating the coming year. it's jubilee! it's a celebration...right?

absolutely. but i'm beginning to understand there's no celebration without a victory. for me, this victory would be over my sin.

i need healing. nothing has been more clear these past few months. even today, as i sat with note cards filled with scripture scribbled in haste scattered across my desk, my eyes filled with tears. i am so, so broken. and He is so, so beautiful. and i need Him more than ever.

it's actually kind of incredible, to see how He's prepared me for this moment. allowing me to truly hear words spoken at the Story conference - the importance of honesty [even in the midst of pain] with our art. how this translated itself to a brief counseling session with a former student. how, this thirty minute conversation, seemingly unimportant, led to a month long series where others wrote about playing in their pain - knowing the ultimate Healer beckoned them to wait in His arms while He bandaged their wounds and rebroke their bones in order for them to live right.

i don't see it as a coincidence that this series spoke to my own pain - my own selfishness. i don't see it as a coincidence that through this series God made known to russ & me the next steps - a step of faith even we are still trying to wrap our brains around.

i don't see it as a coincidence that now, i'm recognizing my own dragon skin aching to be peeled away. aslan's claws are waiting, ready - His arms primed for the fight i know i'll give. it's never easy when your sin, possessing a life of its own, sees its own demise. it clings tighter - whispers sweet nothings in your ear trying to make you believe its okay.

but i know better.

trusting myself to aslan's claws may not be safe. it may hurt like hell. but if there's one thing i've come to realize these past few weeks its that just as much as russ & i are pursuing jubilee - just as much as we ache for a union with a child we haven't even met - my Jesus pursues me. he is good. he is faithful.

and in order to understand true jubilee - true freedom & release - there's going to be some battles.

it's a good thing i already know Who will win.

Posted on January 4, 2011 and filed under jubilee.

one word.

right after russ & i decided to proceed with adoption, i drove down to new braunfels for a cousin's bridal shower. on my way, i prayed for God to give me something - anything - to cling to during the process of paperwork and waiting. without any hesitation, a word latched on to my heart and wouldn't let go. jubilee.

tears came to my eyes as i thought about the beauty behind the word. the thought of debts being paid and celebration and fresh starts...it was perfect.

i told my two sisters that day. i told them we started the process the night before and how i prayed on the way to the house about what God wanted us to focus on and how he gave me the word jubilee. one of my sisters looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "oh elora. it's the year of jubilee. it's your year of jubilee."

adoption has always carried a tremendous piece of our hearts. particularly because of the realization of our own adoption - how Christ came and found us, orphaned and alone - dirty and left out - and still loved us. it's an incredible picture of grace in the midst of hopelessness. and what's more beautiful: once we accept this completely free gift of adoption as sons & daughters of Christ, we owe nothing.

the debt has already been paid.

so, when my friend alece mentioned she was doing her one word for 2011 and invited us to do the same, i immediately knew what mine was going to be - there was no other choice, really.

jubilee.

i'm hanging on to this word for all it's worth this year.

this morning, i was reminded of the price of jubilee during worship. as i stood singing Jesus paid it all, tears flowed down my cheeks when i realized the significance.

oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this heart up from the dead.

this year, i aim to focus on His jubilee: through our process of adopting from Ethiopia and through experiencing more of his grace in my own life.

what's your one word for 2011?

In short, the Spirit is upon me to declare that now is the time; this is the jubilee season of the Eternal One’s grace. [Luke 4]

Posted on January 2, 2011 and filed under adoption, jubilee.