“Deeply Personal”

photo courtesy of Justice For All

In this, my final Justice For All newsletter update, you will read a very special story from my friend Mariana, hear JFA Executive Director Steve Wagner’s perspective on my internship, and get a glimpse into the exciting project I will be doing in 2016!

{click here to read my most recent newsletter }

You can read past newsletters here

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I never pictured it this way

Almost two years ago
I posted a poem with this title on my old blog
{you can read it here}

Today I revisit the idea…with minimal revisions
I’m surprised and almost brought to tears
at the beautiful lesson that He is still teaching me

 

I never pictured being here or doing this…

How many times have I said that these two years?
How many times have I made that basic statement:
that I never pictured myself living this life God has me living?

Why not?
Why not dream the big dreams God has for me?
Why not claim more territory for His glory and the blessing of others?

Because I don’t know.
I don’t know what are God’s dreams for me and what are my own imaginations.
I don’t know how to have faith to step into the great unknown territory He’s opening up.

It’s a hard line to walk.
On the one side are the desires God gives me.
On the other, the desires He asks me to give up to Him.

But there’s more than that.
What about the things God has for me that I’m not sure I want?
What about the things I’m sure I need that He doesn’t seem to be giving me?

Almost half a dozen years ago I sang this song with my mom.
Even then I could look back and marvel at where God had brought me.
But I couldn’t have imagined where He would bring me in just six short years.

I never pictured myself here.
So why do I try to imagine my future?
God has something bigger planned. Something I can’t picture.

And that’s a glorious thought.

what are stories made of?

What are stories made of?

Sugar and spice and everything nice

Is that what stories are made of?
Not stories worth the telling.

Intrigue, battles, misunderstandings, suffering, darkness, accusations…

These are the makings of a good story.
Think of the greatest stories – books we are reading decades or centuries after their creators are in the grave. What makes us read and reread them?
Conflict. Hardship.

And the ultimate triumph over them.
Think of the Greatest Story – a Book written over decades and centuries by our Creator. What makes people across cultures and generations turn to it again and again?
Conflict. Hardship.

And the Ultimate Triumph over them.
Each of us has a story.

Will yours be worth the telling?

Once upon a time the hero was you

Am I the only one who saw myself in every protagonist?
Who wondered how I could feel such solidarity with a fictional character?
She might be a princess, an orphan, or a little girl on the prairie.
What does an average 20th-century girl have in common with these?
Plenty.
And in coming to know them I came to know myself.

When was the last time you read a story
and let yourself be in that story?

Why not allow yourself to be the hero
of a story again?

Maybe in experiencing another story
you’ll come to better understand your own.

I must make something beautiful

the pain in the world is great

suffering… misery… torture, even

and here I am making a masterpiece

why even bother?

what good will a painting do
while a child is dying?

how can a poem be worth writing
while books are being burned?

who wants to compose music
while the martyrs are screaming?

my ink is blood, sweat, and tears
my palette holds the colors of fire and water
my notes are the heart-cry of tortured souls
because I must make something beautiful from the pain in the world