Saturday, October 18, 2014

What does God say about me ?

Insecurity. That word, we all cringe over & about a thousand things start whizzing through our minds before someone even finishes the word. From physical flaws to personality issues. To words your loved ones said that completely crushed your heart to being rejected by a guy you thought was the sweetest guy on Earth. They stem from every direction. They intertwine, unfold, disappear, then come blazing in from another direction. The other night at our Impact ( my youth group ) Big Nite, we had a "panel" of very qualified, insightful adults & even some pretty incredible, gifted teenagers answer questions that students had submitted a few weeks ago. I always love this kinda service because it shows how the word is alive as it transforms through perspectives & situations. It also gives a look into the struggles of these teenagers. This Wednesday there was a theme I noticed.. it was insecurity. I know everyone has it, so I just sorta overlook it. I mean again, what can I do to fix it, it is just a part of life.. but see once more, boy was I wrong. So I take you to this picture above that you're probably wondering if I just wanted to show you for the fun of it.. but, it is a bit more than that. In this picture above, you probably noticed the beautiful background & my surroundings. Maybe you noticed my dress or my hair. Or teared up a little because it's my senior pictures which means graduation is getting immensely close. ( it seems unreal, you have permission to cry  ) .. Chances are you didn't notice the insecurity I felt in this moment. You can't see my struggle of feeling too large. You can't see my desperate plead of wishing my arms were a thousand times smaller. You can't see my glands flaring up because I am thinking about the acne that I just know is invading this photo. You can't see my hives I am almost positive I had because of the feeling of just not being good enough. You can't see my heart breaking from hurt & rejection I have felt & am feeling. Or the guilt I feel of my past. Or the worry that floods through my every thought. You just see a picture of a girl..  Now, lets be clear.. This is one of my favorite senior pictures ( done by the insanely gifted Missy Frank , Inframed Photography). So now, you think, ' Kalyn, you just said like six negative things about yourself that this picture brought up, but you say you love it?' yes, I may just be crazy .. but you'll hopefully understand after this blog is wrapped up... Back to the question at hand during Big nite.. it was " What does God say about insecurities?"
hmm so good question.. in my head, I was like well hello, he doesn't want us to be insecure but I am & that is just life & how it is going to be. ( I am a stubborn person my dear friends, not exactly in my favor typically) Well the answerer said the word.. Validation. Validation? What do you mean? I am validated.. . Now, you think " girl.. I am a teen, I am not barely validated to drive much less anything else".. but that's where yourself & I am so so wrong. We are validated as a daughter. That statement just.. feels my heart with such comfort. When I think of a daughter.. my mind automatically sees a daddy looking at his babygirl with such love & awe because my brain just does that. Some of you don't have that in a dad active in their lives & some have active dads ( or mom), just they fall short of this picture. The beautiful thing about Christ & what I have been really learning through the past few months is that picture in my head of a father with that look of absolute adoration for his daughter.. is my Father in heaven looking down on his daughter in which he loved so much he sent his son for.. that daughter is me. it is you. The past few days ( & few months.. this topic keeps occurring repeatedly in my life.. I think Jesus is trying to paint me a picture) I have really been looking at this picture. It is a beautiful picture, everyone I have shown has fallen in love with the simplicity of it. I have looked at this picture so many times, along with pictures for years thinking  about all the negative I can find. But, as one of the wise teens on the panel said.. ( I am paraphrasing bigtime) " I may not have confidence in myself all the time, but I do have confidence in who I am in Christ.. & that is a daughter" So perfect. Because the truth is my weight didn't go down.. my acne is still on my face, & my hurt is still an everyday thing.. but with my savior Jesus, he covers with love. When I see this picture, I feel confident now. Confident that I am the daughter of a king who is bigger then the comment in 6th grade bashing my arms. I am the daughter of a king who is greater then the rejection I feel of being alone. I am the daughter of a king who is mightier then any flaw the devil tries to use to bring me down to less then who my Father says I am. When I look in the mirror, I say straight back to the devil when I nit pick over my image , that I am fearfully & wonderfully made by my God who overcomes all. Nothing in all creation can separate the solidity & everlasting love my prince of peace has for me. Have a pep talk with yourself, declaring the Lord's love & promises over your beautiful soul. You are more than gorgeous in the eyes of the Lord of Lords. Take this world's judgement, & give me Jesus.

Friday, October 10, 2014

surrounded in the hurricane, taken by the waves

Close your eyes. forget where you are. Now picture a hurricane, but you're in the middle of the water. The ocean is swirling, the sound of the crashing as the waves meet accompanies the lighting striking down around you. Wind is howling through your hair. The sky is a dark mix of black & gray seeming to trap you in the storm, blocking you from what's ahead in the distance .The waves are closing in around you. every chance that you get a quick breath of salty air, another wave comes to knock you over again.  It drags you under, twists you & turns you under the water. You don't understand where you are, or how you got here. These waves used to be so beautiful, a few hours ago you were dipping your toes in to relax in the amazing creation of this vast ocean. The sky was sunny & blue as far as you could see. You were above the waves, staring out into the distance. Unmistakeningly giving praise to our mighty creator for his amazing painting. Now you are drowning.. you are wondering if you should fight to get above the waves to knowledge that you will get knocked under yet again or just simply let the wave take you on into the depths? This is where this blog began. This is where my strong walk began.. When I faced the difficulty of the storm. Many of you know what I am saying when I tell you my faith has been shaken like an earthquake throughout the last year & a half. I lost my grip on my purpose & honestly just the point of life. The troubles, worries, hurts & doubts just kept adding to one another. I didn't understand why God wasn't stepping in to save me. One day I was just crashing down, & my sweet leader was just listening to me cry in a mess of jumbled feelings & I was trying to explain to her how I felt.. the description I opened up with was what I said to her. That the waves were knocking me over, over & over everyday. I had been knocked over so many times. too many times .I felt as if I couldn't breathe anymore. I felt like just suffocating because the hurricane was taking me under with it. I often thought that it would be easier to choose option B then to continue with the fight leading me through the pain & confusion I felt. I questioned living at times, this was one of my darkest times . I remember it so vividly. The feeling of giving up. The feeling of I just cant take this hurt. This storm was too big for me to handle, & for some reason God wasn't stepping in. I felt that God had decided to just leave it on me because that was how I felt with this world. I didn't want to bother anyone because I know everyone has their problems & they don't need mine to add to it. I didn't wanna look weak because I knew I needed to be strong, but the thing is that I am not strong enough for my storm. That is the absolute truth. But good news is that through my times of worship, reading, & writing my praises I have fully realized that I am not alone, it is not just me. God knows me. He loves me. He knows my worries & troubles. He is God. Soon after this state of giving up, I read a scripture that speaks so perfectly to my heart.
 "He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves." psalm 107:29
This verse, just ahh I can not even explain to you the comfort it brings to me. He calmed my storm to a whisper. To a faintness. Yes, my storm may be there. It may hurt sometimes, but it is but a whisper. He speaks over my storm, over the waves. They are hushed. It is my favorite scripture in the Word that I have come across. It is in my bios, I have it written on my journals, written on mirrors, on notecards. It is my senior quote. I mean the spirit is wrapped up in this verse to me. The word is so alive , it speaks so differently to every situation. On Sunday, my Pastor talked about storms which was just the reminder I needed as I face more unpredictable storms. In Mark 4, Jesus calms yet another storm. I love this passage as Jesus shows his great power in such simplicity.
35As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
38Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
39When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
 I ponder over Jesus' question , " DO YOU STILL HAVE NO FAITH?"  Kalyn, do you really have so little faith even after the many blessings I have given you & showed to you ? Waoh,, conviction right on the nose. Faith is believing in what you can't see. I can't see the end of the storm, but we need to have faith that he is at the end. It is like a dark tunnel through a mountain where you can see nothing , you don't see the light until you get to the end. Then you emerge into the beautiful creation & his light he so very much wants to give to you. The inevitable is that we live in a world of sin, we will have trouble. We without a doubt will have storms, but how will we handle the storm. will we let it drown us or will we call out to him to be with us to be a light to our path ? The song , " Oceans" , by Hillsong United just speaks this.
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours, and You are mine
Keep your eyes above the waves, the oceans will rise but our father in heaven sees the rainbow ahead. He uses storms, these faith testing hurricanes, to draw us closer to him. I am crazy bout some analogies & I often use this one when I feel like the tide is taking me under.
"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree"
Pslams 92:12
 Palm trees make my heart happy, when I saw a palm tree I automactically was like oh my goodness how beautiful, now I am awe stricken by these masterpieces. God puts me in a sense of absolute speaklessness when he uses the most simple everyday things to show us his heart & purpose. His purpose is not to let me drown under the waves, he wants me to build up my strength & faith to be stronger.
 I learned this through our Pastor, flourishing like a palm tree. Palm trees are strategically placed in areas of strong potential of hurricanes, such as Florida. These trees are deep rooted in the ground , so they do not snap, they bend in the storm. Bending in the storm, can be seen as kneeling to God for his guidance through the wind & the rain. After these massive storms, typically these palm tree roots are stronger then ever because of their need to become deeper rooted. Being rooted in Jesus is what allows us the hope of getting up above these treacherous waves that seem to be against us. He is the light in the stomy skys that darken our sight. Lean in to Jesus, he will be with you through it all. Not for a second will he forsake you.