"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, oh Lord..." Psalm 19:14

Friday, April 22, 2011

just let it all out

This past week, my dear friend from Washington, Jody, asked me why I haven't been writing much lately. I replied by saying that, strangely enough, I just haven't had the words to express all that God's been doing in my heart. But as I thought about it more, I realized that's only partially true. The whole truth is, God has been doing some radical, life-altering things inside of me...and I'm a little shy to talk about it. So lately, I've been kind of selective in what I share and who I share it with...but that's not me! God has given me a calling to share my heart and life freely, and so here goes nothin'. I'm letting it all out.

Most of my life, I've felt a little bit radical, and I've never really known what to do with all this passion inside. At times, I've felt really constricted by the boundaries of mainstream, conservative Christianity, but I had huge doubts and fears about exploring outside of its safety.

Last spring, God really challenged me in all of this and asked me why I limit Him and how He wants to reveal Himself to me. So one night, in the privacy of my classroom, during a personal worship session, I surrendered my pride and fears and said, "God, do what You want. Reveal yourself however You want to." And that night, he gave me the gift of tongues.

At first, I was excited, because for the first time ever, God gave me a gift that could only be explained by Him. And in that moment, all of my assumptions and expectations of what is possible were suddenly ripped to shreds. But then, as reality set in, I started to feel really sad. I realized that I've experienced God in a way many people -- even within the church -- won't understand and many won't accept. I had left my safe place of neutrality and would be forever labeled by this supernatural gift.

So for a few months, I decided that, really, nothing had changed. And it's true in a way, because praying in the Spirit is a lot like praying normally; you just don't know what you're saying. But as I kept walking forward and letting God move me, it became clear that many things had changed. Everything had changed.

It's not simply because of the gift, but it's because a people-pleasing, hungry-to-conform part of me had died when I received it, and for the first time, I was open to everything God had for me. In the past year, God has revealed Himself through prophetic word, through speaking specific scriptures to my heart, through crazy, divinely appointed friendships. Even the way I ended up at Life Center (my current church) is totally of Him. I had just fully surrendered my plans to God and told Him I'd even stay in Bangkok or go to a completely new place if that's what He wanted. And that same night, I heard in my heart, "Go to the Brolin's church." I knew of it, because the Brolin family attends our school. So the next day, I went there and I haven't stopped since. Life Center fits my heart in ways only God could have planned, and it was really the main factor in my choice to stay in Bangkok for longer.

I don't share all this to boast of my new experiences. In fact, I say it all with hesitation, because I know some people may think I've now gone off the deep end. And I hate that. I don't want to be misunderstood or judged. But goodness, I don't want to live in fear either. I am grateful that God continues to answer my prayer for more of Him and that He completely blows me away with what that looks like.

More to come. Thanks, Jody, the seal is now broken and my thoughts are again free to flow!


4 comments:

  1. Wow, Holly! What an amazing experience! I am honored to share in your experience simply by reading it. As I was looking for a verse I found this psalm that I thought I'd share with you. It seems there couldn't be any more perfect words to describe this. And in light of Good Friday and the resurrection just two days later, the end of this verse is a great reminder of where our righteousness comes from. It is a long one, but I felt it was worth typing out. His words are just too good to not be proclaimed for all to see! And His words are just too whole to be broken into pieces!

    PSALM 34

    I will bless the LORD at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
    My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
    Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!

    I sought the LORD, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
    Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
    This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
    The angel of the LORD encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.

    Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
    Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
    for those who fear him have no lack!
    The young lions suffer want and hunger;
    but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

    Come, O children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
    What man is there who desires life
    and loves many days, that he may see good?
    Keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from speaking deceit.
    Turn away from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

    The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
    and his ears toward their cry.
    The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
    to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
    When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
    and delivers them out of all their troubles.
    The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed spirit.

    Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
    He keeps all his bones;
    not one of them broken.
    Affliction will slay the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
    The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
    none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

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  2. I am glad that you are open to all that the Lord will give you, even if it is misunderstood. It must be exciting to know that you are in His will for you and that He is blessing you with this gift. We are praying for you.

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  3. Thank you for trusting God and being so open. I love reading about your vulnerability and seeing your open heart to whatever God has for you, and then the way He answers. You are doing it right Holly, and I need someone in my life who is doing it and sharing it and living it. It's like drinking cool water in a desert journey. Love Psalm 34, thank you for sharing Sara R. Happy Easter! He is Risen! Jody

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  4. Holly-
    You were always a blessing in my life! I know that we didn't know each other for long but there are similarities that we have in our relationship with Jesus. I always loved the passion that you have and am great full that it has continued. I know that God has made us all different but it is nice to have people who are radical Christians around. Thank you for being who you are and I will be praying for you.

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