Sunday, July 17, 2011

Crazy Love Story

What if we looked at the love of Jesus like a crazy love story? What if we looked at what He has done for us with the same passion and emotion we feel when we love another or watch the latest chic flick? I mean seriously...
Once upon a time, there was a man named Jesus.  He loved another with all that He was.  At first she didn't even know Him, but slowly she gave Him a chance.  She found out that He was the perfect guy; He was gracious, understanding, honest, and kind.  He loved unconditionally and never judged.  She fell in love.
Yet, she still had some issues to work through, some unfinished business.  He understood, though.  He loved her in spite of those things.  She would run away, and He would wait for her with open arms.  No matter what she did, He would always welcome her back; always accept her.  She never could quite stay out of trouble. She made a habit of making poor decisions, and one day He stood up for her.  He stood up for her in front of her accusers and took the blame for her.  They wondered why, but they just wanted someone to punish.  So she sat by and watched as they took her love and punished Him for all that she had done.  She watched as they killed Him so she could live.

If this was a movie, we would all be wondering:  Why did He keep loving her?  What did He see in her?  Why was she worth dying for?  And why did she keep screwing up?  Didn't she see what she had right in front of her?  Didn't she see that He loved her no matter what?

Now put it into perspective.
You and me - we are the ones who keep messing up; the ones who don't seem to see what we have in front of us.
Jesus - He is the one who loves us unconditionally and stands up for us.  He takes the fall.  He gets punished.

Why me?  Why does He choose me?
Why can't I seem to grasp that there is Someone who loves me unconditionally?  Someone always waiting for me with open arms?

We know that the story did not end with Jesus' death.  In fact, He overcame death and is now alive so that we can be together; so that this crazy love story can have an eternal happy ending.

So why is it so easy to forget about this Crazy Love Story?  Do we honestly think there will ever be another to love us as much as Jesus loves us?  Do we really think our lives are that important that we should focus on our issues and our daily drama rather than His eternal love and promise?
"Why does God love us, in spite of us?"  [Francis Chan]

I am humbled that Jesus chooses to love me. Daily.  ME. A sinner who has a habit of making the wrong decisions.

Now THAT's a crazy love...

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Positive Relationship with Change

In the past, I have never really been one for change. It scares me and doesn't always motivate me in a good way.       Slowly, however, it seems my past unhealthy relationship with change is turning into a pretty good friendship!  I have thought long and hard about this (I have a lot of free thinking time on my hands.  This job in the corn fields really only requires my hands, not my brain.), and I have come to the conclusion that it all started with the tattoo. I got a tattoo on my foot (It hurt alot! But it is super adorable and says Grace/Psalm 63) the day after my 21st birthday.  From that day on, it seems my life has been different.  It may sound crazy, but I really think it all started then.  I got my tattoo because I wanted to, not as an act of rebellion (which it very easily could have been  a year or so earlier).  It is not something the "old" Anna would have ever done.  I still get the "I can't believe YOU actually got a tattoo" look regularly.  I think it was my first step out of my little box.  Then, I left home and moved far, far away to North Carolina.  At first, I decided to leave to prove myself to others...then it was because I wanted to prove something to myself.  Looking back, I think it was a bit of both.  I think deep down I knew I needed to do something that would challenge me and make me think.  Voluntarily Change.
God is so good, because He brought me here to the great state of NC.  I am 100% sure of this.  I don't even know all of the reasons yet, but I know that deciding to move was the best decision I have made in a long time.  I have learned so much about myself in the last month.  When I went to my best friend's wedding, my parents and boyfriend were insanely surprised at how different I was.  I didn't think I had changed that much in a month, but the more I think about it, the more I see what they were seeing.  I am more confident, more sure of myself, more outspoken (mostly in a good way!), more joyful, more enthusiastic about living and loving life.  I love my life.  I love being me.  I love where I am.  I love my God who has blessed me so richly.  I can honestly say that I have never been this ... content in my life.  I know who I am, and my identity is finally grounded in Christ.  I am learning about Jesus and the characteristics of my great Creator.  Everyday I am at work in the field, I see His handiwork.  I look in the mirror and actually like what I see.  I know what I want and I go after it.  I think that I am finally becoming the person I have always wanted to be.  And though I know I am far from perfect, I am pretty content to walk this path.  Striving to become the woman He wants me to be, the woman He created me to be.
I have learned that God has a bigger plan than what I can see.  This has been proven to me over and over the last month or so.  I am in awe of His sovereignty.   
I am so blessed to live with such godly, wonderful, funny people.  Kathleen and Keith teach me daily about real love and life and how to deal with different situations.  I am so thankful that they have welcomed me into their home.
I am still learning and I have a long way to go.  But I am now so excited about where God is leading me and where my life is headed.  I am excited to live each day.  Each moment teaches me something new.  I look forward to seeing His plan unfold! :)