Monday, January 19, 2015

back to the basics // back to the Cross

I haven't written much lately. I've thought about it, as days pass, and sometimes I even try to sit down and put my thoughts and feelings into words. But I haven't really known what to write about. You can conjure up words to fill a page, but if they aren't worth anything, or have a purpose, they're just words. So that's probably why I've hesitated to continue this journey via written word. Because I wanted you all to read something legit, or genuine, or real.

Life's been real. A whole lot more real than ever before. Gone are the days of life past. We have a different sort of life. Yet it's entirely the same, but not, really. It's odd, having been playing the game for almost seventeen years, and then sticking two new players on the team, and having to teach them the rules. Sometimes we function well as a team; other times we wonder what we're doing. I'm going to be honest with you all. The past two months of my life have ushered in some of the hardest trials I've ever gone through. Learning how to handle a little girl who has had no concept of living like Jesus, and being the Light even when the darkness seems so out of control.

Life has been a lot of me learning how to be a daughter. Of Jesus. Life has been a lot of Nicol learning how to be a daughter of Steve and Kara, and a sister to the rest of us. My mind, for all of my life, has been: me, mom, dad, Anna, Stephen, and Nathan. Learning how to adapt that list to include two more is a daily struggle. How do you function as a unit, when you're trying to get used to the new team, as it were? We have new players, and I'm getting used to that. And it is a strange mixture of life feeling so right, and so strange and uncomfortable.

Jesus is teaching me a lot. We're going back to the basics, Him and I. He's stripping my soul bare, and exposing the core of who I am, and what I do, and why I do it. He's asking me to look at Him, and to gaze upon the Cross, and to simply let my life be an outpouring of His blessings. He desires love, and I've gotten so caught up in the struggle that I never even thought to lay down my burdens and take His nail-scarred hand. Jesus is wooing me again. I'm beginning to listen.

Sometimes it takes a lot of noise to understand that you need peace. I don't want to run and hide from the daily work of shining. I want to be a picture of the Grace and Power of God Almighty. To my siblings, and my parents. To Nicol, and to Maria. They are too precious for me to waste my life on what I feel, and what I think is too hard. There's a battle to be won, and I was too busy looking at the enemy to simply stand next to my Shepherd and watch Him take out the wolf pack. Because while I've had my eyes on me, there have been battles won, victories gained, and hearts softened. Nicol became my sister spiritually only last week, as she and mom had a conversation over the iPad translator about what it means to follow Jesus. She gave her life to the Lord. And so as a family we're covering the basics, and I realize how much I needed to go back to the foundation. There's a need to say to the Enemy: "I'm not letting this adoption cause you to have a foothold in my life. That will not happen. The only thing allowed in by this adoption is the Spirit and Grace of the Holy Spirit."

Let's go back to the starting block and evaluate what stuff we're made of. And when we see that we don't match up to everything Jesus is, let us be broken and contrite and fall prostrate before the Lord. Because we have people in our very homes that need to be reached with the Gospel of Jesus, and we're too caught up in us to be shining. Why do we turn aside so quickly? Turn your eyes upon Jesus.

I'm speaking to myself. Lift your gaze heavenward and let Him fight the fight for you. Let Him prosper you and keep you and be your peace. It's a fruitless effort when we attempt to be Jesus, without Him.

Look up. Gaze at the Cross. Go back to the basics.