Monday, August 4, 2014

Love Is An Open Door.

Thursday, July 31st

I often wake up with songs in my head and generally...they are worship songs. I love it. I love when my soul wakes up singing praises to the Lord. What a way to start the day. Today, however, I woke up singing a song from Frozen...Love is an open door, with you (with you), with me (with me). What?! While I love this movie and all of the is just so random. And, it's 3am!

I am up early to take my friends to the airport:

My friends who are not really friends at all, but family. My friends who are my sister and brother and nieces. My friends who are being called to walk upon the water and candidate in Delhi, New York for a Senior Pastor position. My friends who God has been preparing me to let go of...because they are going. Whether it is New York or elsewhere...they are going.

I am introverted by nature and when I met the sweet woman in this picture 8 years ago...there was a giant wall around my heart. I was very broken--especially when it came to relationships with other women. I was used to having only one close friend and keeping everyone else at a very safe distance. I did not open up and share easily....OK, not at all really....and, I remained guarded. She, however, was the polar opposite! She loves people...especially women. And, frankly...that made me want to run from her. But, I didn't. I think mostly because she lives next door and well....she wouldn't let me. And, despite my flaws....she just kept loving me. It took several years, but finally we really connected. I began to open up to her in ways I had never opened up to anyone. I stopped just giving her details about my life and began to share my feelings with her. This was new for me. I trusted her and we built a bond that is unlike any I have had before; a bond of mutual trust, respect, edification, and love. A bond that challenges us both to be better than we were when we met. A bond that continues to grow not in spite of our changes, but because of them.

As I sat on my bed praying for this family, my family, I began to pray for my own heart as well. As I prepare to let them go, I can feel a familiar desire creeping in. A desire to hole up in my house and push people away. Even her. Especially her. It would be so much easier to just build that wall up and lock her out now. I mean really....who wants to see me running down the street chasing the moving truck?! Well, scratch that. A lot of people, I'm sure. The point would just be easier to shut them out now. But, as I prayed about my heart and wanting to build up a wall....these words continued to go through my head....

"Love is an open door! Love is an open door! Love is an open door!"

And, it suddenly hit me....

This silly song that has been running through my head this morning is a gift; a reminder from is an open door. I cannot put up a wall or close a door on this woman because I love her...immensely. Love thaws. Love melts. Love is an open door. Oh, Lord. You even use Frozen!

So, I will continue to love her through this transition...knowing and trusting that God is going to use this to strengthen us both--together and separately. And, I will pray that nobody is filming as I run down the street chasing their moving truck crying like a baby. 

So, I dedicate this song to her. A song written to be a love song between Anna and Hans...but describes the friendship and love between my sister and me. 

Okay, can I just say something crazy?
I love crazy!

All my life has been a series of doors in my face
And then suddenly I bump into you

I was thinking the same thing! 'Cause like 
I've been searching my whole life to find my own place
And maybe it's the party talking or the chocolate fondue

But with you
But with you
I found my place
I see your face
And it's nothing like I've ever known before
Love is an open door
Love is an open door
Love is an open door

With you
With you
With you
With you
Love is an open door

I mean it's crazy
We finish each other's—
That's what I was gonna say!
I've never met someone
Who thinks so much like me
Jinx! Jinx again!
Our mental synchronization
Can have but one explanation
You and I were just
Meant to be

Say goodbye
Say goodbye
To the pain of the past
We don't have to feel it any more
Love is an open door
Love is an open door
Life can be so much more

With you
With you
With you
With you
Love is an open door

Monday, June 23, 2014

You Call Me Out Upon The Waters...

On June 13, 2014 my sweet girl left home...headed for Santiago, Dominican Republic.
This mama's heart was nervous. As my previous posts can attest...I have had to let go a lot lately. But, this was different. This was out of the country. This was not in the 'Art of Letting Go' booklet I had been perusing.

They had been planning it for about a year. Fundraising. Planning. Talking. Shots. Bible Study. Passport. Yet, somehow it had not quite sunk in that they were leaving the country. Until the Sunday before they left...when our church gathered and prayed for them.
Suddenly, it became very real to me and panic began to set in.

Here's the thing...I trust God. I am all about being open to wherever God leads. But, throughout the entire planning process I had an uneasy feeling. I didn't want her to go. At first, I thought it was about the money. I didn't think we could raise enough money for her to go. But, every time I decided that she just wouldn't be able to go...I would pray and God would show up in amazing ways. At one point, after praying and telling God I didn't think she would be able to go and that if He wanted her to go He was going to have to just bring the money....a woman from church approached me and said "I want her to be able to go on this trip--I'm willing to put in however much she is short to make it happen." Then, she wrote me a substantial check to get her started. This happened just a few hours after my prayer. WHAT?!?! OK, Lord.

So, it wasn't the money. It must have been her leaving the country. But, after the group departed I realized it may not be about that either.

As soon as they departed...I had peace. And, throughout the week she was gone...I had peace. What I came to realize was that the fear and the anxiety I had been feeling was the work of the enemy...and, the knowing that I may never really get my girl back.

God made it clear that this girl was supposed to go. As a matter of fact, God made it clear this entire team was supposed to go. I knew that. So did Satan. The doubt and fear creeping in was no accident and if I had not prayed to God and allowed Him to reveal His desire to me--if I had chosen to just tell her she couldn't go--I would have interfered in His plan for her and this team. I am so thankful that my spiritual gift is faith and I exercise it often.

This girl came back changed.
I just spent the last couple of hours sitting on the porch listening to my girl share her journal and her heart for the people of the Dominican Republic...and all over the world. Here are some of her words....

 "It's just so different. I love was an indescribable feeling. I feel scared of my passion, though!...I love being here! I want to stay so badly. I want to submerse myself in their culture. There is so much more to learn and so little time to do so. I want to travel so much. I want to learn about every single culture in the world. I want to love them and see how they worship God. I want to help them and care for them. This trip has been so comfortable. And, yet, I have been so out of my comfort zone...and yet, still comfortable."

I have always known this girls heart was special. She is quick to forgive. Never holds a grudge. Loves unconditionally. Stands up for the underdog. Seeks out the loners. Puts others before herself. Loves like Jesus.

I think deep in my heart I knew that when she went--she would want to go back. And, she does. She wants to intern with Envision next year for several months. And, this may only be the beginning. I believe God is calling this girl to the mission field. Maybe overseas. Maybe here. But, He is calling. He has been preparing her. And, He has been preparing me.

Lord, I pray you would take this girl wherever you need/want her to go. I pray the fear of her passion would subside and that she would lean into You and let You lead. And, if you could help me to let go...again...that would be great :)

"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior"

Oceans-Hillsong United