Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In the Valley

It's good to be home. After what has possibly been the most chaotic, and yet most rewarding semester of my school career (so far...) it's so good to get away and rest. It's good to be on holiday. Recently I noticed that I've changed my language when it comes to coming home. I've started simply saying, "I'm headed back to the Valley." And I like it because it's awfully symbolic. It gives this image of retreat, of a time to regather myself and get realigned. The Valley. This strange place of comfort and who I used to be colliding with who I am and who God is making me. In the words of a friend, a place of revisiting. And I'm learning that home is anywhere, because relationships are so much more important than locations and love lasts. Still, there are some locations that are so infused with memories that they will forever be special, and they will forever be a place where God can get your attention. Not to mention, a change of scenery never hurts the creative spirit. :) I'm looking forward to years from now, looking back and seeing what other valleys God places in my life.

I'm excited about this season. I mean, there's a lot going on in my heart right now as far as figuring out who I am, where I'm going, and who God intends for me to be. Over the last six months or so, God has really been working to show me that I am chosen, that He has some really special plans for me that go beyond what I can imagine, beyond what I can understand or plan on my own, even beyond the shadows of a vision He's placing on my heart. It's a neat feeling to know in your heart that you are special and chosen by God for something great. It lends value and purpose. I pray that you sense that in your own life. I pray that you know you are chosen. It's so easy to forget that or to doubt it, because "no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived," precisely what God has chosen us for, but you, dear one, are chosen. That's just how God is. We're not chosen because of anything we've done or could do. We're chosen because a sovereign God decided we are worth it, because He desired an outlet for His perfect love, and because He's big enough to reveal His glory through even the most broken of vessels, if we will give ourselves over to Him.

A lot of what is catching my eye in my time with God right now is His promises. Promises about resting and rising to my destiny, about God writing His name on me and claiming me for Himself, about His redemption and mercy, about Him sending His rain as I break up my unplowed ground and seek Him (which is precisely what I was created to do), about how everyone around me will know how He has loved me (Glory! How He loves me!) and He will be glorified in the fact that He loves my brokenness so well, about how He will lead me and protect me and open doors for me because I have limited strength. There is no end to His promises! My prayer for this season is that as I seek the Lord and sit with Him and His promises He will cause those to be rooted deeply in me. I don't want to just know them cerebrally. That's enough for my time in the Valley, but when I face the battle once again, how quickly I'll forget it! No. I need God's promises to consume me, to become the very foundation of my identity, so that when I go back to the pressures of school, when I am once again surrounded by all those voices telling me what I should do, when a hundred things fight for my attention, when I face the fires of success and failure, I won't have to search for God's promises. I want them to be so deeply ingrained in my spirit that under pressure they naturally rise to the surface so that I can cling to them, so clearly etched on my heart that the Holy Spirit can bring them to mind in my time of deepest need. I want them to be so much a part of who I am that I will never, ever be able to forget my God, no matter how many wonderful distractions lie ahead of me. Yeah. I want my Beloved first.

His always,

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