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Friday, January 10, 2014

Celebrate: Lawrence

Two years ago this last week I first moved to Lawrence. I remember pulling up to my new house for the first time. The moment felt pregnant - not knowing what was coming, but knowing whatever was coming was significant. As the months started turning, I realized that God was doing a deep work in me and in the people around me. He had wildly exciting, and at times painfully hard, dreams and purposes for me here. Dreams to experience intimacy with Him like I never had before. To depend on Him more than I ever thought I needed to. To fight to see God like my life depended on it. He knew the best place for me to know Him more. And it was here. 

Over the past few weeks I've been overwhelmed with thankfulness for the time I've spent in Lawrence. I love this city! As I get ready to transition yet again, I wanted to post about my first sweet season in this cutie house. Some of my favorite and deepest encounters with God happened in this house. It truly was a rich season in which I learned how to press into God like I never had before, especially without the presence of community or a local church. I met with God in my cutie little bedroom upstairs as I experienced a little taste of Heaven coming to earth. And that was just the beginning.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Come and Take Your Place

I'm not one to make or really promote New Year's Resolutions, but alas, I find myself inspired. I actually find them ultra cheesy and rarely effective, but this year I feel prompted to make a resolve. To remind myself of why I'm doing what I'm doing, to re-center if you will.

Let me back up. The past few months, or year really, has been the hardest season I've ever had without a doubt. But now that I'm transitioning into a new season, I have been filled with fresh perspective and thankfulness. I'm reminded that because Jesus is so jealous for my heart, for all of me, He is unrelenting in pursuing me. And sometimes that means He's unrelenting in removing things in my life that could potentially take His place. I feel as though almost everything I could have turned to, filled myself with or found identity in has been stripped and removed and shaken. And I'm thankful. He's kindly redirected me to Himself and reminded me that He's all I need and all I want.

It hadn't occurred to me until a few months ago that the "stripping" season had a common theme, one in which I was at the center of my world, getting what I wanted and what I thought I needed. I was unconsciously believing that lie that life is about me. And that lie was costing me a lot more than I knew. Although it took me a while to embrace the "stripping", responding in repentance and brokenness has led me to the feet of Jesus and caused me to experience His mercy like I never have before. I'm learning to believe that true, deep fulfilling life happens when Jesus is at the center.

It seems fitting that this new revelation comes at the beginning of a new year, signifying the start of something new, something fresh, something good.

So this, then, is my New Year's Resolution: To dethrone self, and daily return to and remain at The Center. 

I'm believing that this year would be a year of returning to and remaining at the Center. Although that sounds simple, I believe it's vitally important. This has to be a conscious choice. It requires a willingness to let go of things and hold life with open hands. It requires boldness and deep trust in God. It requires a constant coming before God, asking questions, and letting God move and shape me and the things around me. And it requires believing the truth that Jesus is all I need and knows what is best for my life. It's a risk I believe is worth taking.