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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Pained Artist

Processing our hardship can be therapeutic. Often we choose to ignore the stress and pain, hoping it will dissipate on its own. It won’t. After years of suffering from crippling anxiety, I have now learned that vulnerability is my friend. It is foolish to deal with pain outside of community. If your friends don’t know you are struggling, they can’t help. Stress and anxiety need to be combated and strategically overcome with communal vulnerability.

My Taylor community has recently been overwhelmed by physical illness and emotional exhaustion. It is evidence that we all commit our souls to the work. We are willing to sacrifice sleep, homework, and sanity to produce a beautiful work of art. We are all willing to go the extra mile, even at the expense of our health. It is so refreshing to work with people who are dedicated and motivated. Unfortunately, it often leads to fatigue and/or collapse. Artists love to expose themselves to the ugly in life, and we suffer from it. However, in the midst of the angst and exhaustion, there is such assurance that the end result will be a glorious production, a production that will reveal an unknown and needed truth. That is why I have bags under my eyes. That is why I can’t always form sentences or remember words. That is why most of us are addicted to coffee. The artist is an untamed, resolute individual who serves the audience in magical ways. I am weak with my fellow artist and I will thrive in the process.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Good Soil



There is much to process. God is introducing me to my new self, the purer version of His design. I feel more confident, more vibrant. God forced me into the good soil to produce much fruit. I can see a future and a hope. Spring is a month away, which is fitting. My emotions are blossoming as the earth blossoms. During this growing season, I am suffering from a strong desire for the presence of the Lord. I want the world to know His goodness. I want others to understand His love for me, even in the midst of hardships. I want the world to KNOW of His excellence, not just hear about it.
I feel the Lord's affection. Truly the Lord is singing over me. The fears and anxieties that once ruled no longer have a place. I have torn down the idols and silenced the enemy. I now understand that the Lord has graced me with a warrior spirit. He has given me tenacity and resilience. The hope is stronger than the doubt. The courage is stronger than the fear. The light is stronger than the dark.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Break



I'm currently on Christmas Break. I have plenty of time for rest and reflection. I am astounded by how far God has brought me. I am not the same person. This is a good thing. Not that I was a terrible person, but I dealt with crippling insecurities and fears. Now I have confidence and courage. I recognize when the enemy is trying to rob me of joy, and then I silence the devil.
It is amazing how the things that use to oppressively control me, no longer have sway. I asked for strength, and the Lord supplied. I have overcome in so many ways. The darkness of my past no longer reigns. I am no longer suffocating. I know that there will be trials in the future, but I feel better equipped. I feel free.
My victories are not my own. I live within a Christian community, which supports me even when evil lurks at my doorsteps. I have found stability and comfort. They challenge me. They believe in me. They graciously support me. 
I have suffered losses. I thought I would never heal. Foolish me. God has placed me in a community that stitches my scars. A community dedicated to excellence. A community where I can thrive. 
Graduation was a distant hope. I had little faith that I would ever earn a degree. I am only a few semesters away now. God knew my heart's desire, and He granted my request. I love Him for His many gifts, especially the gift of Himself.
I realize that if I am meant for greatness, I must overcome great obstacles. God is teaching me about endurance and dependence on Him. I might have faced ugliness in my past, I might face it in the future, and I might feel overwhelmed. However, God is a constant companion who sees the enemy's schemes...and He defeats that wretched snake in time.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Conquered




They say it isn't over till the fat lady sings, so I suppose this blog post is slightly premature. However, I have so much celebration in my body, I need to express it! I have one more final and one more paper until my fall semester is completed! I survived another crazy semester without a breakdown. I was cast in two plays, took 13 credit hours, and worked part-time. I'm brave! I faced another scary endeavor and crushed it! I am thankful for the Taylor community and my father for nursing me through the bumps and bruises.
I am learning about God's faithfulness and His commitment to restoration. Everything the enemy has stolen, God has recovered. He keeps His promises and fights my battles. He is transforming me into a beautiful bride, fiery and strong. I am humbled by His nature and grateful for His kindness.
Mountains may appear insurmountable. Rising waters may threaten you. However, God is your protector and rearguard. Nothing is impossible for Him. He is able to accomplish His will through weak, fallen vessels.
Time to joyfully worship and celebrate!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Massacring Fear

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I now know that fear is truly the silent crippler. It robs you of your true identity, robs you of potential. You may not even recognize you are experiencing fear. I know I wasn’t cognizant of it. I experienced the negative repercussions of fear without recognizing it as the cause. Now when my heart fails me, I speak truth over my life. I am strong and courageous! No weapon formed against me shall prosper! I am a child of God. He has equipped me for every good work! My identity is morphing into a grander reflection of strength.

The essential requirement of God’s people is and will forever be: keep the faith. It takes courage to keep the faith. One must be confident in the promises of God, not intimidated when the storms come.

This is a basic principle that we learned in those early childhood Bible lessons. However, the message feels new to me. I understand it to a new degree. I was made to live above my fears. I was made to completely rely on God without anxiety. It’s a daily battle, but it is a joyous adventure to grow in strength.

I will put my battle armor on daily. I will ignore the enemy. I will recognize intimidation when it rears its ugly head, and chop that head clear off! No more trembling in the dark!