Monday, December 15, 2014

Be Brave

I want to be brave, so brave, and yet often what I feel is fear. I have lurching anxious fears that crouch in my shadows, hiding from light and waiting for me to notice them. They spill out from the corners of my day, threatening to overwhelm my existence. Some days the fears crowd so close i feel like I am suffocating from them. Their presence darkens my path, obscuring hope and joy. Some days I cannot see past the fear of unknown, of past, of present, of future. Some days I am found curled up with tears streaming down my face and I can't explain the problem beyond I am afraid. 

Yet, most days I combat the fears with truth and love. I know love, the love of family, the love of a husband, the love of 3am friends, and most importantly the Love of my Creator. I know love casts out fear. On these days, I shout and scream, "I may be afraid, but I am not alone. I am in the light and the light overcomes the darkness."

On light filled days, love fills my life and I revel in simple joys with a hope filled heart. I cling to these days. I lay soaking in the warmth and light. I store up hopes and joys to share, for I know I will need them on those other days, for myself and for others. And in knowing this I have a message to share with you: You are not alone either. You may feel alone, you may feel afraid, but love is there and love casts out fear. 

Whatever you've been through, there is love.
Whatever you will go through there is love.
If the darkness is filled with fear, then the light is filled with love. Jesus, the light of the world, came down so many years ago to save us. He holds out his arms wide, eager to embrace us and wipe away tears.

Step boldly into His light. Embrace love. His love casts out fear.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Day He Preached

The day my senior pastor, whom I've known for over 7 years, asked my husband, then my fiancĂ© to preach I felt my insides fall apart. I had been in the church since the day we decided to form a church in my pastor's tiny living room. I'd traveled with the group through three living rooms, a teen center, and now another congregations spare space. I loved my pastor, his family, and the church. I loved that he was conservative and clear where he stood. I knew that he had no interest in putting a women behind the pulpit. Until that moment I thought I was fine with his stance. 

If you asked was I proud of my beloved's opportunity I'd unequivocally respond yes. He, who had been leading youth for three years, had begun feeling stirrings of braving "big church" as we call it. He was going to be brave and wonderful. And for the record I loved his sermon. I sat in the front row and recorded every minute of it on my ipad. I am so proud of his growth, his courage, and his heart.

Why then did I fall apart inside? Deep down I was mourning the loss of being able to preach in a church that I loved and that I have supported since it's inception. I am gifted in communication and teaching and could do a good job preaching. I have masters of divinity and a background full of teaching youth. I am qualified to do a lot of things in a church, but as a female I am not welcome in the pulpit. 

Did I realize I was being passed over as many young seminarians had an opportunity to wet their feet in that pulpit? yes.
Did I always claim to prefer having a more conservative pastor over a pastor who was more liberal than I? Yes.

But somewhere I changed. This year, I read Jesus Feminist, and began preparing for marriage through more books and prayer. I spent long hours trying to figure out who I was, how I would be a wife and a mother, and how my identity would change when I entered marriage. It terrified me, the loss of singlehood, the realness of becoming the youth pastor's wife. My beloved held me and assured me only labels changed. I would stay who I was. However, maybe that truth made me question again who I was, deep down. 

Then, reality hit close to home.  My beloved was asked to preach at my church. And no, I didn't handle it well. I was angry; I was disappointed. Then I became resigned and despondent. It was like someone had slapped my inner being. I think I went through the cycles of grief. 

Yet I don't want to grieve preaching. I want to live. I want to seek the way of Jesus. I want to share the story of Jesus however God calls me to. Not limited by womanhood. Instead I long to be free to seek his direction even if that leads to the pulpit.

Monday, April 28, 2014

And So We Held Hands

...And so we held hands.

And looked into the future. It was wide open and exciting. We made plans and took adventures. There were small adventures and small moments that became precious treasures. We celebrated weddings and birthdays. We helped each other through struggles that though sad, began to define how we strengthen and encourage one another.

In our beginnings, there were two lives slowly becoming intertwined by moments.

We discovered holding hands was the best way to approach life.

There were walks and trees and ministry. There was laughter and tears. There was more cooking for and with each other. There were books exchanged, dreams and hopes shared, and visions cast.
We began seeing that we wanted together to be an always and forever.

So on a cool day in November,
everything changed again.

The Very Beginning

The Very Beginning

by David

In the beginning, the very beginning, before either one of us knew where the future would lead us... 
It began when I walked through the doors of her church. 
Its a good beginning. 
For no other reason than giving a ride to my younger sisters I found myself at Hope Christian Fellowship, and meeting Bekah. It wasn't love at first sight, she said hello while I was looking through a comic book bible, small talk was exchanged. 
It would not be the last.
Friendship started with "Bring your own chair" and personality tests and exploding propane grills (much more dramatic in prose than real life) 
With running and chatting and a mutual appreciation for science fiction. It continued with unintentionally matching t-shirts, with high school plays and youth ministry. 
 And from that tiny seed, a relationship grew.
A seed watered by ska music and never-tried-before recipes, by handwritten letters and the waltz. 
Until one day.... 
Flowers, dinner, chocolate ice cream, and Stargate SG-1. A long quiet walk around the pond that ended at a ramshackle gazebo. Confessions abounded: I said "I really like you, and I want to know everything." 
And then we held hands.