Returning from this summer has been an amazing growth process in itself. Though I have struggled with the lack of strong community at home, and lack of authentic inquiry about my summer, I have been apathetic to applying my experiences from this summer to my life here in Ohio. I have out myself in place where I feel others don't understand the intensity of the Father's love that I experienced. I have been deceiving myself, leading myself into living this lie that tells me that I'm on my own, left to process the refined relationship I had learned to build this summer. How difficult it was to try to do it on my own. Wasn't this what God was preparing me for all along?
Talking with Makenzie in the coffee shop about Malachi and the Lord as the refiner. This painstaking process the requires the refiners full attention at all time to accurately remove any impurity from this precious creation. If not left in the flame long enough, the metal is not pure, it's value is compromised, but if left in too long, it is comsumed by the flame, and worthless. Reflecting on this thought that my suffering is tailored exactly to my personality type, the passions of my heart, my reluctancy to listen, and my other imperfections. It always is isn't it? If anyone else had experienced what I did, the result for them would have been different, but for me, the results were glorious. Trusting the Lord as my safe-place, learning to rest in the shadow of the Almighty directly seeking rest, comfort, security, purpose, meaning, safety, Love... savoring this idea only to continue this suffering, giving me a time and a place to apply my new found elementary concepts-learned deeper.
I then was led to Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world." This came to me while on a mountain in the monsoonal rains. How, in an environment like that, can I not just know that He is God, and not just be still in His presence? Tailored just for me. Struggles and expressing His glory. Pure. I wept. This is the God that created the universe, and this is the way that earth was created, how it was created, in its origin. Beauty expressed by mudslides, hazy clouds, pouring rain, the faint sound of worship songs being sung by a friend, and then, me. The most beautiful thing I have ever experienced.
Sufficiency. One of our weekly focuses, and it came at the perfect time. (Doesn't it always?) The time in my life when I have felt the weakest, I re-learned that His power is made perfect in weakness. This concept that He needs to be a part in literally every aspect of my life isn't new to me, but it felt new. Fresh, renewed. No more disappointment, believing in circumstances, believing soley in myself and others, and no more thinking that I am not enough. Instead, I can rest in the shelter of the almighty, find comfort through Him through seeking Him, allowance to love the people who are deemed un-loveable, I can find joy in any circumstance, I know that He is glorified through me, and my fear is erased (or at least extremely minimized...). I cannot be used by him until I forget about my own plans.
All of this brought me back to refinement. A long, hot, rigorous test of endurance. We all have to go through the fire in order to be refined. I am by no means purifed completely, but I am on my way.
Till Next Time...