Sunday, December 26, 2010

Just Like Mary

"Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." (Luke 1:30)

I feel a special connection with Mary.

She was young and given a blind command to take the humble position of a vessel for world changing.

"I am waiting in a silent prayer. I am frightened by the load I bear."

I can understand how she felt.

"In a world as cold as stone, must I walk this path alone? Be with me now."

While my experience is vastly different than a young woman given the task of raising the Son of God, I have been given a task that requires my life and unknown sacrifices along the way. I too feel like an unworthy, frightened girl who isn't quite sure what to do. The fear and sheer weight of moving forward at lightening speed into a future that people frowned upon are not strange realities to me either.

"Do you wonder, as you watch my face, if a wiser one should have had my place? But I offer all I am, for the mercy of Your plan. Help me be strong."

The task before me incorporates twenty-two years of experiences, both positive and negative that vary from a lot of people's my age. The trials have been many, and often I found myself asking "Why, God? Why me?" But the answer would remain the same. I made you different--I am preparing you for things that are so much more than you could ever plan.

As painful as it is, I regret very little about my past, because every shattered piece of glass on the floor was one more experience I can now relate to.

The task is overwhelming for two young women (my amazing business partner and I) as we set out to change the world by shining the light of hope in the Bay Area. It is a daunting thing to reach our hands out into the darkness and offer a lifeline to drowning teens around us.

It is easy to feel unprepared, inexperienced and thoroughly not ready for such a huge weight upon us. But God isn't giving us the option to say no. He called us to a monumental task, and we have no choice but to go forward. I keep asking why I have been chosen to be a part of this great plan. Why not someone older, stronger, more outgoing and virtuous than me? Wouldn't they be better for such a job?

But regardless of my doubts, I keep researching, dreaming, and taking steps forward. I am not perfect, nor the ideal example of humility, but for some reason, God saw fit to place me in this role.

I was chosen for such a time as this.

Our time is now. His time is now. Change is coming, and though I so often question if I'm the right girl for such a job, He hasn't taken back the call. That is not the change. The change lies within my heart, as I seek God's comfort and strength and set out on a journey into the treacherous unknown. It will be difficult. It won't be safe. But that's the part that keeps us seeking and searching for wisdom and truth. That's where the success is found--in being wholeheartedly willing to be the vessel, and dedicated to following the call, even when it is desperately beyond our human understanding.

Lyrics from "Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)" by Amy Grant

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Waiting Out the Pain

I woke up this morning to a shooting pain that I can do nothing about. Every couple of months this happens as an accompaniment to my chronic illness. Again I found myself whining to God, Why does this happen to me? Why now? I am already too stressed this week, I don't need THIS! I can't do this!


Eventually I grew tired of whining and started asking better questions. Okay, fine. Why is this pain here now? What purpose does it hold in my life right now? What do you want to teach me through this?

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

"For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:11-13)

God is a patient parent, but He does not reward whining. He is attentive to His children's cries, but He instructs us to that fateful word: trust. He wants our complete and ultimate trust that He, the giver of all good things, has enough power to give us strength and victory.

In the meantime, my lesson is to accept that life is full of setbacks, challenges and disappointments, but if I take His hand and believe deliverance is on the other side, the wait through the pain is more than worth it.

This week is my test. Who will I put my faith in? Myself? Medicine? Or the God who wants so much more for me than what I've settled for?