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Monday, May 20, 2013

Celebrate: Graduation

One month ago I was sitting on my front porch overwhelmed by how much had to happen between then and now. Today I sit on my front porch thankful for the grace of God to finish well! This past weekend I graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Communication and a minor in Sociology. After transferring schools and changing majors, it really is a miracle that I was able to walk down the hill this weekend.

God has been so faithful to me over these past four years. He has made a way for me in both new and old places. I'm so honored to be a KU alum and excited for the next step of my life. Although I have no idea what's next, I do know that God "works for the good of those who live him" (Romans 8:28). Clinging to the truth that He is for me, loves me and only has my best in mind. I choose to be hopeful for whatever the future holds, even though I've been redirected so many times in the past few months. He's bigger than my current and future circumstances, faithful to my heart, and always good. 

Praise God and rock chalk. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Low Road

The low road. In our human nature no one prefers to go this route, but this is often the path we're called to choose most. It is, after all  the path Jesus modeled. I'm beginning to realize that I'm called to a lifetime of choosing the low road, rather than just a season. It's better to assume the last position and be invited forward, then to assume the first position and be rebuked and led to the back. As I begin to transition out of college and make decisions for the next year, I'm convicted, challenged and encouraged to respond well in the midst of so many unknowns.

A good friend of mine recently told me that each new step God has called her and her husband take has been lower, but sweeter. We live in a backwards Kingdom, so oftentimes the lower choices are the best choices. This may seem counter-intuitive and even unproductive. But Jesus came "not to be served, but to serve" (Mark 10:45). I'm so challenged by Jesus' choice to go low. Although He was God, "He did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, but stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave)... He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried his obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!" (Philippians 2: 6-9).

This is the epitome of backwards! The Son of God had the absolute right to lord his authority over others and assume the best position. But He didn't. Glory to glory doesn't equal lower to higher. But it does mean that we encounter Him in each new place, even if it's lower or less attractive. This revelation has convicted and rocked me these past few weeks. I'm so stirred to follow Jesus' example and choose to go lower, even when it's hard.
I'm reminded of a scene in the book Hinds Feet on High Places where Much Afraid gets to a dead end on her journey and is led away from the high places, where the Shepherd promised to take her. She cries and doesn't understand. But the Shepherd says "The high places are the starting places for the journey down to the lowest place." Much Afraid claims this contradicts his promise, to which he replies "It's not a contradiction, only postponement for the best to become possible."

The low road doesn't contradict the promises of God. I'm actually believing really big, incredible promises over my life. But I also really believe that Jesus takes me to low places to develop character in me. Without the character development, I'd never be able to sustain or effectively step into the promises of God or callings on my life. The promises are an invitation to trust God more, especially when they don't seem near or possible. As we choose the low road, He makes the best possible.

As I approach graduation in just a few days, I am standing firm on the promises of God, yet willing to  take the low road, and even be redirected, for God to develop character in me and get the glory from my life! He's worthy of all of the glory and I'm so expectant to encounter His sweetness in this next season. The low road is a joy to take then, because it yields intimacy with Jesus! It makes a way for character to be developed in us and for Jesus to get all the glory and honor He deserves.