Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Knees to the Earth

I used to blare Kirk Franklin throughout our apartment when we lived in San Antonio. I had suffered a miscarriage, couldn't find a job and I hated life! I thought of ending my life almost on a daily basis. It was such a dark time in my life & I thought I'd never have real joy in my life. It would be almost 3 years before I would be set free from depression. 

I spent many hours on my knees, crying out in our walk-in closet.

Knees to the earth.

Other than Allen, my mom was my biggest cheerleader. She encouraged me, lifted me up, and prayed over me time & time again. She knew that God had great things in store for me, if only I could see what she saw & what Christ saw in me. She knew I'd overcome and pushed me to get help time & time again. Honestly, I just thought "it was just who I was" (oh the lies I believed), but mom knew that was NOT who I was. She has poured Christ into me since I was a little girl. She always told me I'd do great things for the Kingdom.

Now the tables have turned and I have the honor & privilege of encouraging, uplifting, and praying over my mom. It's tough watching your mom suffer, but more than anything it's tough watching her spirit suffer. Because I know that is NOT who she is. And I know she IS and will continue to do great things for the Kingdom.

This, her diagnosis, her cancer journey is just the beginning. I often joke with her about being her booking agent or when will start speaking about the miracles God is doing.

Cancer is physically tough, but mentally & emotionally I can't even imagine. Basically, it's a death sentence [IF you choose to see it that way]. But as believers we know Christ already conquered death & we are ALL dying little by little every single day. It's how we chose to live each day that matters. Not next month, next year, five years from now, etc. So I choose not to see it as a death sentence, but yet a spring board for God's goodness & grace.

Perspective is everything.

Our minds are programmed to think towards the future, but I'm starting to believe that's not at all how Jesus intended it to be for us. Always chasing the next best thing, the next vacation, the next promotion, the next, the next...

Isn't today enough? Isn't HE enough?

I bow my knees to now. Today. This day whatever it may bring. Thanking Him for today. Even thanking Him for the hard- this hard, cancer. I look for opportunities I can seize today. I also threw out the expectations of THIS world. I want to be in this world, but not of it. 

I want the lens of grace.

The grace that transfigures all. After all, isn't that why Christ suffered the ugliness of the Cross? To transfigure us, through grace. To prove there is beauty in the suffering.

When we lay it down, knees to the earth we empty ourselves. Emptiness is then filled with His grace. Maybe that's why His grace abounds in deepest waters...

Our vantage point changed. Transfigured.

We must change our lens in order to see the God of Transfiguration. To experience fullness. Grace. Beauty.

I remember once mom told me while sitting at the kitchen table...that isn't it sweet to be in the valley. I cried. All I wanted was to be on the mountaintop (or dead) because the valley was hard. But she was right.

Life is full of valleys & it seems we're in the valley more than we are on the mountaintop, but maybe it's not the valley that's hard but our perspective that makes it hard. Satan wants nothing more than to keep us in chains & play with our emotions. Our perspective gets blocked & we feel hopeless. 

But our knees are our vantage point in the hard. 

Where we bend the knee and meet Christ face to face. 

Where darkness transfigures into light, sufferings transfigures into grace, bad turns to good, and pain births new life.

It IS a sweet, sweet spot. 

Sometimes I wish I could go back to that closet with Kirk Franklin blaring & tell myself THIS is where your pain will be used for good. For the Kingdom. He picked me & you mom for Him. For His Kingdom. For His good.

He picked you for this. Like Esther, "and who knows you have not come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14) 

So Mom it's sweet to be in the valley. The valley is where sweet surrender happens, where we're transformed by His grace and love. Consider it ALL joy - the valley & the mountaintop. Consider this time just a resting spot but not a destination. 

God wastes nothing.

So bend the knee, give thanks for the pain, and transform your perspective.

May you have eyes to see the mountaintop God has before you. The beauty in the pain.

But meanwhile knees to the earth. Emptying out yourself where grace transfigures all.

Even cancer.

"Proudly refusing to accept this moment (including the HARD moments), dismissing it as no gift at all, I refuse God. I reject God." 

"Thy will be done," - not just in heaven, or down the road in the future in this world, but in this world at this very moment." 

This very moment...

Mom- i love you madly! Lift up your face for mercy remembers your name!!

Tomorrow is a new day but tonight blare some Kirk Franklin & lay down your fears at the feet of Jesus & yes buy that gift & dye your hair & do all the things you normally do because you are STILL living!!! & according to AB you will be for a while ;) we're still in the fight! It's time to get back in the ring & show the enemy just WHO you really are!

And I'd gladly walk through my darkness 100x over it means that I'm able to face this with my mom. I'm thinking knees to the earth with thanksgiving is the only way to live.

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