Friday, August 21, 2015

Building My Castle.

The winds, they come.  The waves, they peak.
The shores, they wash away.
But even so, I know, I know, I build it anyway.
For crystals fine with amber glow, the beauty pulls me in
For I've not seen such tenderness with every grain of sand.

One tiny speck of powder that glistens in the night;
You'd think it held no power, no purpose or no might.
For at the perfect moment, the sea will swell with pride
And rush to shore with no remorse for swallowing my prize.

I used to be afraid of what would happen if I built.
Would my castle, shaped with love, ever truly count?
For every moment, each detail, so intricately placed
My heart sees beauty in the build-ing, knowing what I face.

But for the joy set before me, the quest for loving deep,
No soul can know how deep the love of Him who beckons me.
To build my castle in the sand for only Him to see
So He can wash upon the shore of this, my offering.

So many deeds, my works, my faith, my fears and even failures
Are often overlooked by some. To Him they are the placements
Of each and every granule that would represent a gift
Born of my heart to make Him proud, His name for me to bless.

Not all will see my castle.  Not all will know my toil.
Not all will know my heartache or the burden I have borne.
Except the sea that knows my God.  It waits for His command.
And with great pleasure He directs, " Waves! Lift up your hands!"
They reach for my small treasure, not to knock it down,
But spread the love of "building up" to everyone around.

So take my castle, One I love
For you own all my sand.
And may I build, oh make me build,
With what is in my hand.

"We kept at it, repairing and rebuilding the wall.  The whole wall was soon joined together and halfway to its intended height because the people had a heart for the work." -Nehemiah 4:6 MSG

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Death of a Dream.

Last October, my dad and my father-in-law both became ill in the same season. Both dads needed my husband and I.  Both dads lived some distance away.  Both dads lived alone.  It was clear that there would need to be a shift in our priorities in this turn of events.  Our dads would both need to be cared for but B and I also had full-time jobs.  And for me, it wasn't just any job.  It was ministry.  And ministry isn't 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.  Ministry is 24/7.  And I was in for quite a ride.

For most of my adult life, I've loved ministry, served in ministry, and longed to do ministry full time. I'm crazy about the church...local and global. I love the people. I love team work. I love life change and the miracle of witnessing it. 

For the past seven years, I've been on staff at the most amazing church. From the moment I signed on, it has been a thrill to see God work in my life and the lives of so many that I love. Friendships run deep. My ties are strong and I have never regretted my decision to do full-time ministry. I'm called to it. Equipped for it. Even graced for and appointed to it. 

See, ministry is all I ever wanted to do. So the thought of letting go of it was heart-wrenching. So I didn't. I hung on with all the strength I could muster up. No one would be able to pry my tightly-gripped fingers from the thing I loved so much. Until the Lord spoke to me that it was time to release my grip. 

Are you kidding? This is what I know! I'm called to this! I love what I do and I love the people I do it with. I fought and I fought hard! Surely there was another solution. But none came. And the day I walked away from all I'd ever dreamed of was total heartbreak. Total heartbreak. 

There's no pretty bow yet. It's been five months and I'm still searching. We lost my father-in-law 2 weeks after I resigned from my job. Grief in our home was heavy but we are so grateful that our PawPaw is with Jesus. My dad has continued to improve month after month and is doing well. In the meantime, I'm learning how to navigate this new space. 

I have no doubt that a new dream will come. But this will always hold a special place in my heart. Not HIS place in my heart, but definitely a special one. For now, I am focusing on my "determined purpose" which is to know Him more. It's the best place to let one dream end and another begin because I know for a fact that no seed has been planted in vain. I know that God has invested His own blood, sweat and tears (literally) into my life and His Word promises hope and a future because I love Him and I'm called according to His purpose. I can choose to stay on top of the mountain that I've spent the last several years climbing and enjoy it all for myself. Or I can head back down to the valley, jump back into the trenches and climb again. So for now I'm going to decompress and readjust to the altitude, surround myself with fellow climbers and wait. For a new assignment. For a new dream.