Tag Archives: trust

Trust.

29 Mar

Trust. Trust. Trust. Trust.

It’s like my mantra now.

I wish I could draw because:Image

 

 

Ok, I might be able to handle that. But er…

 

Image

Unconditional trust.

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Pictures and words

19 Mar

I have way too many words on my assignment. Ever noticed I talk too much?

A little stressed about this assignment but Philippians 4:13, eh?

But I’m all worded out on work so here’s a picture of happiness instead:

Who moved my grace?

10 Jan

I just got asked (well, in a virtual sense)… Okay, okay, I’m asking myself to answer this question. Do I have sensitive nerves?

Yes. I do not forget hurt easily. I remember how one birthday, someone said ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter what you want’ to me. It was my birthday. I’d worked myself up to a sense of entitlement. The words still hurt. Efforts that people make for my birthday – beautiful, loving efforts by the many people who love me even when they are several countries away – still bring up a lump in my throat. Efforts the same person who said that makes – they’ve forgotten – still bring a heavy lump.

I remember a designated ‘best friend’ in primary school who I am still in touch with and excited to see on the rare, random occasion. As we walked up the main, rather grandiose staircase at school, she turned down towards me and said we weren’t friends anymore because she wanted to be friends with someone else.

Ever since then I have intense social awareness. One of my friends called me ‘popular’ and I wanted to laugh my guts out. If I don’t get an inside joke, if I stand a little outside a circle – these are very few times. People are usually incredibly gracious even in their hardest times…

But I am intensely aware. Intensely analytical. And always overly conscious never to leave someone out. It doesn’t matter if I’m the only one explaining, and it doesn’t matter if the conversation has moved on – I’ll probably make the time to explain it to you. I’m not saying I’m that nice. Possibly OCD? 🙂

Because here’s the thing – my sensitive nerve is trust. Any slight erosion of it remains with me a long time. Unless it is directly addressed, I find it hard to forget.

And yet do I not serve a God who pours out his love into my heart? Who forgives over and over, and then also trusts me  to continue to fulfil his vision, do what he entrusted me with in the first place or more? I receive this grace time after time. And – as Angela reminds me – do I not set my hope fully on the grace that will be brought to me through the revealing of him? It’s there. Everyday. If I can just remember to reach across my unwieldy self to hold it in open hands…

No conditions

22 Sep

Today was a pretty ‘ouch!’ day.

Our hearts are so vulnerable that it makes it an even greater wonder how God loves us. Even when he tells me what I do not want to hear at the time, I trust him. Because my heart has known no firmer centre, and never will. This covenant is mine.

We are so clumsy with each other and in our interactions. And yet, God meets each of us in our most vulnerable, off-guard moments and still holds our hearts, emotions and his relationship with us as infinitely precious as an old, pressed leaf that would crumble if the faintest vein does not rest on firm fingers. He never lets go.

Unconditional love. It’s the most beautiful assurance in the world, and we’re called to give it.

Ecce, Dominus.

You

16 Jun

Father, all of my dreams have been, from their inception, out of Your imagination. They have been yours, never mine. This path that I want to take – I want to take it because slowly, when I was ready to hear, you whispered it to me. This path, before me, that is even now so unattainable, so far from the tips of my fingers.

I relinquish control back to you – this desire to photograph the vision you stole into my head, and to force an unwieldy brush in my fingers to repaint it. I’m letting go. You tell me what to speak, and what to do, and what to pray, and how to cry. It’s You I long for, after all. It’s You I long to find along and at the end of every road. And it’s You that hold my hand anyway in this hoping and waiting.

Because when I am holding on to all of these things, I struggle not to let go of You.

Father, I want you to carve out my destiny. Because my destiny is You, Your glory and Your purposes. Carve out my destiny as you see fit. The visa questions, the travel questions, the course questions, the place questions… I am sorry that it seemed to take the ripping away of something close to perfection for me to see that the perfect job was not the answer, nor the perfect sponsor, nor the perfect finances, nor the perfect people.

You.

You alone deserved my trust, and maybe for that one moment when the perfect everything-else shone bright, I nearly forgot. One evening perhaps – or longer. In seeking any of those things, I have been seeking You. In the changes I have made, I have been following You. And then I forgot whom they came from. And I am grateful that even though your purposes are being fulfilled, because You are ready to perform Your word (Jer. 1:12), this moment when I could not see the things I am used to seeing has stripped away the layers before You. Because in my inadequate praying, Your Spirit can break in and redefine parakletos to my dulled sensibilities. He can take the human words and vision that I so struggle with, my humanity perhaps faultier than most – and change them for His. And I am so grateful that You can.

So take this, whatever it is. Give me Your words, Your grace, Your spirit.  Give me You. There is nothing else I have ever wanted, in all my wanting. Nothing beyond You.

What’s blind about trust?

26 May

I remember this time when God gave me a vision, a revelation of what it meant to trust…

I didn’t have to wear sackcloth or travel to Nineveh, but I did see the same picture every time I shut my eyes. The memory of the picture was strong, but sometimes it wasn’t a memory. It just swiftly slid in before my closed eyes.

There I was, standing on the edge of a cliff. With –nothing– before me. Nothing. Just a very long drop. I remember checking the second or third time I kept thinking of that picture and seeing it to see what was below me. There really was nothing.

The path to the edge was very short. There didn’t seem to be much else before the cliff edge. Perhaps a curtain of trees. A very impenetrable curtain anyway. Because all I knew was I was desperate and terribly scared and unable to take my eyes away from that heart-plunging drop into nothingness.

And I needed to walk out from that cliff.

But God’s will for me – or my sense of it in that moment of visualisation was pretty strong. I was convinced despite my shaking fear that I needed to go forward into what was, as far as any sane man could see, empty space and the world’s biggest fall.

Later on that week, I think I was able to imagine another faintly discernible cliff edge beyond the abyss. I wouldn’t say it was beckoning me – if anything, it was worrying to think that that was what I was going towards. I had no idea what I was walking towards or what it held.

But I stepped out.

Because God in my head was so undeniable and consuming. I took a step forward and nothing happened, while I hovered precariously with one foot gingerly testing the gravitational resistance of air. But I decided this – one of two things would happen. I would fall and God would hold me. And I already knew the best place in the world was in my Father’s arms. Or I would fall and hit the bottom if there was one and I might know nothing after that. But I would rather (although minimally rather, and for this I asked for some growth in love) that fall into God knew what than live between the curtain and the edge having turned away from God. I’d rather that than live anywhere without this God. So – um – the me in the dream (I was fabulously skinny in the picture, of course) stepped down on air with my happy first foot and took the second foot off the ground.

I dropped.

For the fraction of a moment – okay, or even a whole moment – there was a fall into nothing but I wasn’t afraid. Given my choice, I had this resignation that I recognised in that moment. And then I was standing. And walking.

Ever dreamt you were falling only to wake up and find your bed solid beneath you? It was kinda like that – a vaguely familiar feeling.

So I walked on air. Or rather what looked to me like a pretty multi-coloured, white light rainbow type bridge that didn’t go any further than each last step I took.

And in the moment between the fall and the standing, I heard these words: ‘Unconditional trust’.

To me, they were new. I’ve seen them being written about since, but they were new. Unconditional love was a given in my mind – but trust? Oh, that needed data for a sceptic. And yet, and yet – that day I had my data in the force of God’s love. I can trust nothing more.

iAnalyse

7 Apr

I analyse. Incessantly. Mostly myself, mostly critically, ‘most all the time…

Here is what I have come up with. I have upper-middle class sympathies and inclinations, I am quick to recoil from the failings of society that can be massed into a statistic, I have several of my own failings that sadly are less open to scrutiny. I don’t know if analysing my categorisability will make me want to fall into another category… In fact, I don’t think it will. But I am intrigued by the quirks of judgement that go with categories and labels.

Teen pregnancy, alcoholism, addiction, lack of a college education – Lord, may it never come into our lives. And I agree – amen! I don’t want it there. But but – there is little said about the domestic friction, the violence in Indian homes, the gender dominance, the deep-seated resentment of familial structure and dependence – these things, we will never bemoan openly.

I’m not bringing down the standards. Far from it. I’m saying in giving ourselves obvious standards, social standards, we find it easy to be the new ‘genteel unhappy’…

The Lord weighs the heart…

And then there is more to my self-analysis. This is the real cruncher. The level at which I analyse most of the time… Just plain ol’ me. I don’t know where you are on this spectrum – but you can be objective about your thoughts, about your beliefs, you can tell when you’re irrational, you can tell when you’re instinctive, you. can. criticise. and be your worst opponent in an argument.

This is a blessing. I kid you not. I mean, it’ll take you a while to find out but it really is… Because when it comes to accountability, you’ve already done the hard work. I am also grateful for the times when this isn’t self-induced but instead I am listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, convicting, moving and gently nudging to acknowledge truth, to hear His heartbeat and not my own.

And although it hurts, and although your self will try to take over and be merciless, I love that vulnerability in the presence of God.

I give you all my pieces, Lord. Hold me together. And take the unbroken parts and break open the flaws set in stone… Change my heart.  Find it here, as I lay myself before you. I give you only broken worship. There is no one else I trust, but You – Your Holy Spirit and His revelations, and the people you use and nudge me to listen. Hold me close into wholeness then. I do, I really do – I give you all my pieces.

The Crazies

7 Mar

“Oh, R”, I laughed to one of my co-teachers, after hearing her itemised list of which teachers sit with which grades and in which appointed places in the sprawling gym area, “we just sit with the crazies 😀 .”

I meant it. First grade can be pretty crazy and even crazier if you’ve been teaching adults for most of your professional and academic life! Strange little humming noises, five off-key tunes together, head-banging to nursery rhymes, a random trip to centre-stage, intense debates on why the sun has bigger muscles than the moon, on why your teacher is tall, and what your latest snot sculpture was – really, you name it… we’ve probably got it.

Some moments, in the middle of our guided reading workshops, I’ll hear ‘Twinkle twinkle… the fuuuuu-uhst NoEEEEERRRRRR… jingle bells jingle bells jingle bells jingle jingle bells jingle bells-one ‘ouse open say, YAY’. My co-teacher is patient. I admit to having said ‘Cut it out’ once. The selection of music depends on the season. The selection of fantasy story ideas also depends on the season, or whatever real thing has happened that can be moulded into magic. Yes, it’s pretty crazy.

It’s also pretty full of energy and affection. Affection that people learn to hold back in later years. Little children don’t, y’know – if they love you, then they just do. They’ll pick favourites. They will take sides. And they’re terribly loyal. And they depend on you to sort out anything from snot to bullying to romantic relationships (even when you can’t quite believe they have them). And any moment in the day, when they see you walk past, whether they are doing Math or Literacy or P.E. or recess, they will appreciate you in whatever way. The classroom or the chairs or the rules don’t constrain them. Or whether they’re in a different school and they have no classroom, or teacher, and they’re waiting for your time. You get introduced to their (real and imaginary) friends, their betrayals, their plotting and everything else inbetween. And just as you finish one station, and ask them to clean up their whiteboards, they’ll quickly scribble ‘I love you’ on it and show it to you shyly. And it short-circuits your thought processes (and your lesson plans!) incredibly quickly and leaves you only with a familiar, stupid grin. Funny – never had that effect on me with the adult learners!

I think that is what Jesus meant when he said this. I have, in my old Children’s Bible, an illustration of many different kids scrambling up on Jesus’ lap or responding as he makes them laugh with (I imagine) his stories. This is the God I know. The picture I carried with me for a long time, before I gave my life to him even. And all through my life in him, I’ve returned often to this sense of relief to be found in getting up there. Right by my father. Letting him make me laugh. This is the God we know.

They drive me crazy, yes. But the kids also trust me. Some of them, not all. Some of them are starting to consider other things. But when they do trust me – WOWZA! I feel so honoured.

And they’ll do the things I ask them to do. I might think of a zany activity like ‘Write about camping’ eeeerrrrr ‘under your tables’. It’s cool – it works for them to imagine the tent idea – and they remember the exercise for next time. We turn the lights off maybe… Or I make up rules like ‘Write your names on the whiteboard and I’ll come to you in turn’, so that they aren’t always following me and my co-teacher around the room. Sometimes I decide to go to where they’re at. And I’ll make up whacko actions. And they’ll do it – like touch your nose round your head. And sometimes I have a unit plan that I want to stretch over days because of some literacy skill or the other, and they’ll ask me why they can’t finish today – but for the most part, they’ll stick to my crazies.

Maybe that is the second reason Jesus said that and that. I know I posted about thinking Christianity – in thinking about God and seeking him in his word, the experience of an everyday, working relationship with God in complete obedience only becomes more real. I read this today, over at (in)courage. I almost copied it here and said nothing myself 😀

We sat with the crazies that day. And had them cheer for us every time we breathed. And chatter every time someone else breathed. Seriously, pretty intense. 🙂

This evening

16 Feb

This post was born in my head yesterday evening and it is early in my work day, so technically my title is right… ;P I think.

They arrived in the car with Tassi who seemed to have survived the day with remarkably upbeat spirits. What can I say, she’s an upbeat dog! Prince was staying over at an aunt’s on what turned out to be a very civilised social call. Prince is our other dachshund, the boy who never grew up 😉

Tassi was too excited to see me to let me sit in the backseat. So I carried her off the front seat, got in, and settled her on my lap. I wish I had had my camera with me to capture the looks on the security officers’ faces, when they saw me pull a dog out of the car on the premises!! Security is very tight at our school, considering its management and community. So they check every vehicle every morning, but I don’t think they thought to check for pets 😉

At the vets, it was a LONG wait. I could not believe the doctor would make the animals wait that long! People waiting is bad enough, but some of those dogs in the waiting room needed a drink or a toilet break for two hours straight, I kid you not. But I do still wish I had had a camera again for the characters that were in that lounge! 😉

Tassi was very scared and unhappy to be there. She kept wanting to poop, and boy, was she smelly with those raspberries! When the doctor finally arrived, they had to muzzle her because when she hates something she’s pretty vocal. Our poor baby looked at me as if she simply couldn’t understand why I was putting her on that x-ray table when she told me she didn’t want to be there. I have a video of her talking some time ago 😉 – haha, I’ll have to upload it some time.

Anyway, we took two x-rays and she rested her head in my palm as they stretched her out for it. And whether it was from frustration or sadness or not knowing what was happening to and around her, she cried and kept looking round the lab technicians at my face. The next x-ray, my mum went and kept her company.

She has what I thought it might be in the morning – intervertebral disc problems. Dachshunds are prone to it. The doctor – and he does seem to be a specialist – said it even comes from climbing up long flights of stairs which the Tass does often. She also jumps on the sofa or on the dining chairs or on our laps. Amazing. And it really does just happen overnight, not incidentally caused or anything like it. Just wear and tear.

I worried that they did not put her in a crate or in plaster. She won’t keep still without. What I read up on seems to suggest it, and so did this new friend when she read the last blog post. Tassi is going to try and drag herself around to bark at people passing, or say hello when someone comes in through a different gate than she can see, or at strays even as are wont to pass by in the neighbourhood. She will do it! And she will give everyone a piece of her mind, good or bad!

I did ask the doctor, but he said it wasn’t necessary. Hhhmmm.

Tassi has two vertebrae that seem lower and out of position from her spine, and the fluid has cause a swelling around it. She does still have her deep pain nerves working.

This was the decision. She is on prescription drugs for two days – which means she gets tablets rolled up in as many sweets as it takes! – and after that, we will go reconvene for ultra-sound or laser therapy.

I think her biggest desire now is to scratch!!

I said yesterday that we are trusting. We still are. And God’s awesome. Always.

This morning

15 Feb

You know the Tass by now as she’s featured in this blog a couple of times.

We woke this morning to a Tassi who couldn’t walk. She is a dog who is always full of energy, has so much to say and gets pretty feisty about everything in the neighbourhood. This morning, a little after 5, I heard a hurried knocking on my door.

Something was wrong with Tassi.

I stepped out to see her sitting funnily with her hind legs floppily on one side. Eating her normal morning snack. Except, when I tried to urge her to come to me, she didn’t move. Neither did the wet nose and flustered jumping all around a Writeroo not only awake and present, but awake-so-early-yay-let’s-chat routine happen. So I took away part of the beloved snack and held it just a little further from where she was. She didn’t even rush. Then, knowing I wouldn’t give up, she just dragged her whole back on with her two front paws and reached up to the snack.

She seems… suddenly paralysed. And I didn’t know just how sad that would make me. I didn’t know that would make me cry as much as it did.

There is a certain sort of helplessness with dogs, because they cannot articulate for you to find the cause of their illness, if there is such a cause, and vets are simply not as specialised where I currently reside.

At 6, we took her to our usual vet. As soon as we could possibly wake her up. She put her on a steroid and vitamin supplements, and waited until 9, for progress.

At 9, she got a different prescription and a referral. But the surgeon only comes in at 6 pm. We’re waiting and I’ve read up on this and this and that.

We are trusting.

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