Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Love Song For A Savior

Some songs shape our lives, some we cling closely to for reasons unknown. "Love Song for a Savior" by Jars of Clay has been on of my favorite songs since I heard it as a child. Yet, I always stayed in that state of mind - that "one day I would understand... one day I'll run into his arms." Friend, I finally have... I've run full sprint - falling head over heals and tears come freely - ALL THE TIME. So below is the new song I sing based on the original song that I love so dearly for so long:

In open fields of wild flowers
I breathe the air and fly away
I thank my Jesus for the daisies and the roses,
in no simple language,
Today I understand the meaning of it all

You're more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close as a heartbeat or song on my lips
I've learned how to trust you and I'm yearning to see you
I've heard you calling and I have come running
I fall in your arms and the tears they fall down as I pray,

I am so in love with You
I am so in love with You
I am so in love with You
I am so in love with You

How right we are to adore you?
Love, lead me to your banquet hall,
Tell me you, whom I adore - that your banner over me is love.
I searched and found you - now I will not let you go.

You're more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close as a heartbeat or song on my lips
I've learned how to trust you and I'm yearning to see you
I've heard you calling and I have come running
I fall in your arms and the tears they fall down as I pray,

I am so in love with You
I am so in love with You
I am so in love with You
I am so in love with You

You say I am altogether beautiful
Lord, you see no flaw in me.
So I cling tightly to your promise,
waiting for you to call my name and say,

"I am so in love with you"

"My heart and eyes they follow you."

Sunday, March 15, 2015

White as Snow

"I hear the savior say
Thy strength in deed is small
child of weakness watch and pray
find in me thine all in all.

Jesus paid it all,
all to him I owe,
sin has left a crimson stain,
he washed me white as snow." *

*(May or may not be accurate - completely from memory)

It never hit me until I was in the valley, a literal valley on the edge of Sierra Blanca, how short my presence on the mountain top would be. I had become a little cabin restless, so I decided to take a short run to calm myself when I came across a small creek. Of course I went down to touch the water - ice cold.
Snow cold.

My hand, burning from the water, quickly found comfort in the warmth of its stolen glove. I picked up the pace laughing at myself for recklessly diving my hand into the blood-freezing water. As the run progressed, my mind stayed back at the creek. The creek held tightly to my thoughts not wanting to be removed from my memory. I asked God, yes literally asked, "What's up with that?"
Sometimes I humor myself... and sometimes I think God chuckles at me, too.

Then it came... the answer. (I'm sure after God shook his head at his ridiculous child, grinned, and sat down ready to explain what was really up with the fact that the creek would not run free from my attention.)

"Brady, sweet Brady. Your favorite song is about me washing you white as snow. White, pure, clean... unmuddied snow. Let me speak truth to you now. I want you to stop staying frozen on the mountain top. I need you to listen carefully child. You crave the mountain top - yet up here you can't breathe life. White as snow - frozen in my presence, beautiful and clean. Now, yes now, I want you to melt into life water, overflow with what I have done for you, and pour into others.
Run to the valley!
Bring life.
Bring truth.
Beware, rocks will try to stop you, limbs and obstacles will cover your path, but have hope because with me you will flow freely and I will flow freely out of you."

Teeth gritting, I became frustrated with this command. I just reached the mountain top, why would I want to go back down?! I have not been here for a long time and this hurt hearing him say "melt... run to the valley!" This was not at all what I wanted, not at all.

So I pushed on... frustrated with the God I am enamored with because I just reached the top and now he is asking me to not slowly come off the mountain top but run freely down!

As if it is my choice?

Suddenly, my thoughts were halted by 5 deer that stopped me dead in my tracks. One squared up to me in the middle of the road, three on the opposite side of the creek and the 5th on the left side of the road trucking up a hill. My eyes bounced between the one who barricaded the road and the three that were drinking from the stream. As I slowly back peddled over my steps a song rushed to my mind - one that is very dear to my heart,

"As the deer panteth for the water,
so my soul longeth after you.
You alone are my hearts desire,
and I long to worship you."

Breathe, Brady.
Step back.
God, I get it.

I understand!

I pivoted in the road and returned to where I had come from.
Mixed between overwhelmed and overjoyed I cautiously asked one more time, just in case.
"Okay, what else do you want to show me?"

I mean seriously, I took this run to relax not to be spoken so clearly to, but if God wants to speak - if the Holy Spirit wants to show me "what's up" then I might as well let him. (Side note - What a spoiled rotten child I can be sometimes... I am so human and worldly it can be absurd/frustrating!)

Then all was quiet.
The run continued back up towards my cabin, when I felt compelled to step back towards the creek one more time. As I took a few steps in I looked down at my feet. Below were pine needles, by the thousands.

A sweet whisper in the wind gently ushered, "I know every one of these Brady."


Again it whispered in my heart, "I know each of the needles that have fallen, those that have fallen before these - now look up."

I did.

And I wept. Heart overwhelmed because I finally understood with the little understanding I have.

I am known. Among everything in this world, he knows me. He knows my heart. He knows my longings and desires. He wants to use me... and he take his personal time to speak so clearly to my soul.

My God wants me to go to the valley, he knows what I've done before, what I'm doing now, and what I will do later in his presence. He wants me to go because I understand how loved I am and I do not need to sit on the mountain top any longer basking in his love - frozen in his presence. He wants me to flow past the rocks, the branches, the dams to bring his truth!
He loves.
He forgives.
He washes you white as snow, then sends you to be a truth bearer, a disciple, a life giver.

I asked him to use me... arms wide open use me.
And he will, he already is.

Much love,
Brady :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Beautiful. Flawless. Brave. Courageous.... Victorious.

Some moments are meant to share while others are meant to keep in your heart.
I obviously haven't learned the difference. 
I am a sharer - if that is even a word.
God knows that, and unfortunately so does the enemy.
Thus the enemy attacks me secretly in such a way that I do not even notice what is holding me back.

In the past few months, I have been hitting this black wall.
A black wall of what to do next.
A path with no light.
I am an arms wide open "JESUS USE ME!" woman, and this darkness hurt.
I had no idea what to make of it.

Then two wise women in God's council pointed out through prayer -
we have to shine light on this darkness to find the next step.
Ask God, "What is this darkness - name it."
He did.
"You hold me responsible for your Papaw's death, because I did not heal him."
I did.
I cried.
Unknowingly, I held the maker of the heavens and earth - my papaw and me, responsible.
An unknown, secret hate drifted inwards - deep into my soul.
Satan had a foothold.

This hurts. 
This feeling of secretly being held captive.
I had written a few days prior to this that I knew the truth about who God was -
but did I believe it?
I knew that he is, 
"The God who moves mountains,
the one who melts the gates of bronze.
He destroys the chains of iron
that bind my grasping arms."
Did I believe it?

Naming the darkness reopened a harsh wound.
Naming it shone light on how ugly the wound had become...
not healing, but festering, contaminating every part of my relationship with my Lord.
But his love, grace, and mercy -
his forgiveness for my unforgiveness, for my grudge
cleaned this wound...
binding it with oils and medicine that would allow it to heal properly.

The healing began.
There I was in a vision.
A vision of being on a mountaintop with Jesus.
He lifted my gaze to the stars with the gentle touch of his hand.
I was in love, heart exploding, head over heels... 
then it was gone.

More darkness.
One more.
One that has bound me for years, 
one I was afraid and ashamed of - 
but a new me woke out of bed today.
A new me that believes she is 
a conquerer, 
and strong.

This one last darkness that was preventing me from stepping forward,
raw -
gluttony and purging.
I'm not afraid to admit it... 
like I was for so many years
if it brings one person hope that it can be overcome.
If it shines light in one person's darkness.
I am not afraid because I am brave and made whole.

This sin that bound me for so long,
my Good - Good father has seen every tear it brought,
every angry cry.
Yet, last night He gave me a new name,
a new vision of who I am.
He told me that he is enthralled
by my beauty. (Psalm 46:11)
That I am altogether beautiful
there is no flaw in me (Song of Songs 4:7)

No shame can scar me.
There is no flaw in me.
When he washed my feet and said you are forgiven,
when he showed me a vision of a flower standing strong and tall,
I knew that my beauty was in his hands.
My body is a temple, 
one I was trying to control so tightly it began to crumble in my grasp.

The chains broke.
The cage of bronze melted.
I was free, running after my Jesus.
Both hands wrapped in his, 
and I was walking. 
Walking fully encompassed with his presence
fully consumed with his power.
My eyes would not leave his -
this means...
they finally left the ground
left the hate and self despise behind.

I was freed.
Freedom comes when you're ready to let go.
Even of hindrances you're unaware of...
like me, who now walks down a once dark path
fully captivated by who He is,
instead of what I'm not.