52 Weeks of Adventure: week 5 He is Faithful.

The most difficult thing about writing these weekly adventures is not what you think it would be. The challenge isn’t in finding the adventure or putting words to the adventure. Instead, the challenge lies in choosing just ONE adventure to write about. You see, in a given week there are approximately 50,000,000 adventures in my life alone. Now, there are probably about 10 that I notice if i’m looking and if I’m not looking, there is probably only one that will be fully appreciated.

So I sit here reflecting on this past week, trying to decide what to write about. I could write about the day I lost my keys, the cookies I baked from scratch using a recipe I didn’t really follow, the lingerie party that we threw for my friend, or the day I went to the DMV and officially became tennessean… There are a million other adventures that I can’t write about to their personal or confidential nature… But this week was just especially lovely and full of adventure.

I’m going to go with the trauma adventure of my missing keys today and maybe later I will add more stories… more adventures… more fun! Tuesday of last week I woke up on time and early late and scattered. I usually do feel this way when I wake up, but that day was especially atrocious. I woke up and looked at Watson and could tell our hair resembled each other. Wild and frazzled. We both looked exhausted. It was a Tuesday that felt like Monday and I had a boatload of work to do to wrap up some things at work

Watson and I made our way downstairs and groggily went on our walk. He pounced and pulled between grass, pavement, and bushes. We spent some time with the neighborhood dogs and then finally, we went inside where we made coffee and tried to wake up from our slumber. As I got dressed and ready for work I started gathering my things from the edges of the earth that is my apartment and got ready to leave. After picking up everything that was at the top of the stairs, I put Watson in his room and headed down to my car only to realize… Where are my keys?

My brain didn’t think too much of it when they didn’t show up and thought maybe they were just around. However, an hour later I was still searching and still not at work. Hour turned to hours. My search continued. I searched inside. I searched in the couch and kitchen and refrigerator because I know sometimes I lose my mind and put things in places that don’t make sense. I searched through clothes and pockets and Watson’s toys. I searched through drawers and bags and backpacks and crevices. I searched and searched like one of those sporadic cartoon characters throwing everything every which way.

Next, Watson and I walked around the parameter of the apartments. We stopped by the poop buckets and looked through them (gross!). My  search turned to frantic texts. My panic wasn’t just that I was without my car and house keys but also without work keys and my USB that has personal information.

Worry turned to frantic searching that graduated into panic all the while, my phone rang my mom called. A girl is never too old to talk to her mom when she loses something. Even if her mom is 12 hours away. After explaining the Missing Key Saga and everywhere I had looked and the importance of finding keys that were not my own (i.e. work keys). “Sara, pray about it,” she suggested, “Last week I was missing a parking ticket and after praying He provided when we really needed it…” And I listened.

Making my way to my apartment, Watson and I walked up the stairs, he jumped on the couch and I got on my face with tears in the carpet and my nose breathing in particles of dust, I prayed. Lord, I don’t know if You hear us or answer prayers anymore but I’m praying… Not knowing where those words came from, not knowing where the doubt suddenly appeared from I paused, stunned. I shut my eyes as the carpet got more and more damp. I tried again. Lord, thank you that it isn’t raining today like it was yesterday. Please calm my nerves. Please provide the keys so I can give back what isn’t mine to who it belongs to and get to work. If You hear me, if You’re there, If you still answer prayers… doubts filled. tears flooded.

My keys going missing was something that really wasn’t a big deal and really shouldn’t have been so emotional, but for me it was a deep spiritual realization and an adventure of doubt I didn’t recognize within me until I offered up fervent prayers of desperation. I laid with my face on the carpet stupefied at my doubt. Both knowing and not knowing the root of where this had come from and why it was just surfacing. Both brokenhearted, confused, and elated because I could deal with it. Finally.

Until you get alone with Him in the quiet do you ever start to deal with what’s inside you and who He is… And that day, the adventure began. It began on my face with my nose on the tear-soaked carpet crying out for Him- instead praying to find my keys, I prayed for Him to take my doubt and give me reassurance that He is faithful. Just like I’ve always known Him to be. Regardless of whether my keys were found or not, I wanted to know His character more and be firm and steadfast in it. He is my identity.

To prepare for not having my keys ever again, I called a AAA who sent a locksmith to make a key for my car. As he took the lock off my door, my prayers turned silent in my heart as he stepped up in his truck to go back to his office and make a key… his car sputtered and died.

His car died. The battery died and I stood there laughing. The inappropriateness and rightness of the situation was too much to handle. His faithfulness was in it somewhere, His glory in my laughter. I felt like Sara who laughed at the Lord when He told Abraham he would be a father to many nations. I looked to the Locksmith, “We could call AAA. I have a membership”.

“Ma’am,” he said, “I am AAA. You called us already.”

My laughter turned to snorts.

Eventually he got his truck jumped, he got my key made and arrived back to my car to program it, all the while engaging me in conversations of star wars and star trek and music. Three things I know nothing about… but eventually he handed my new key over to me at 7:30pm and drove away as I stood there in the cold thanking Him, the Lord, for a glorious day and a key to get to work tomorrow.

My roommate arrived home that night and we told each other of our  trauma filled adventurous and eventful day and as she cleaned her purse out I saw her still. She looked up at me and out of her purse in her hand came my keys… and there was nothing to do but laugh and cry and be so thankful that my keys were okay after all, because He provides. Jehovah Jireh. He tests. He loves. He proves faithful. He always knows our hearts and reveals our hearts to us when we don’t know our hearts. He gives us room for doubt and repentance. He’s a good, good Father.

It wasn’t until later that week when I came home from work around 1am that I realized the depths of awesomness I had in a roommate… even after her profusely apologizing to me when I really didn’t care that she took my keys. I was so happy to have them back. I came home to things she left out for me and made for me… she made a HUGE card with scripture on it, an incredibly nice tea maker, a mug, and on the card were hilarious hashtags like #TeamSara #L’Chaim #yehsua #otherjewishthings #Imstillreallysorry #Nevertakeyourkeysagain…. And the week ended with a huge smile on my lips, tears on my cheeks and a new understanding of Him, grace, forgiveness, mercy… and His Faithfulness.

His faithfulness continues through all generations. (Ps 100:5). 

Sometimes adventures can be painful realizations of ourselves and of Him, but that doesn’t make them any less adventurous. I am so thankful for this week!

 

 

 

 

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Let Something Happen To Me

Last night I spent time organizing all of my important papers. Since I moved into my most recent apartment in September, important papers have been piled instead of filed. So it was time to organize and reassess what to keep and what to throw.DSCN0379

I came across a letter a dear friend, Christi, wrote to me several years ago. It’s undated, but I would date it back to 2010- maybe even 2011. A lot of significant things happened during that time in my walk with Him. In the letter she shared with me a prayer that she read earlier that week. The author is unknown but I want to share it with you all today.

 

Oh God,
Let something happen to me,
Something more than interesting
Or entertaining
Or thoughtful. 

O God,DSCN0383
let something essential happen to me,
Something awesome,
Something real,
Speak to my condition, Lord,
and change me inside somewhere
Where it matters,
a change that will burn and tremble and heal
and explode me into tears.
Or laughter.
or love that throbs or screams
or keeps a terrible cleansing silence
and dares the dangerous deeds.
Let something happen in me
Which is my real self, O God.

Coming Home: A Personal, Spiritual Experience.

What I am going to share below was a very, very intimate and personal spiritual experience that I had 2 weeks ago. I haven’t been writing in the blog because I’ve wanted to blog about this, but it is so personal that i’ve struggled to even talk about it. I don’t think this post did my experience justice. And just because I had this experience does NOT mean you will too. I could have misheard things (I am severely hard of hearing) and could be misrepresenting the messianic experience. The blog below is not meant to offend or take away from the faith or be disrespectful to anyone of the jewish faith, jewish heritage, or messianic faith. This experience, to me, felt like “coming home”. It’s the only way i’ve been able to describe it to my closest friends… and I haven’t been able to write about it yet, but I don’t want to forget it… so please enjoy this very rough attempt…

About two weeks ago on Shabbat (Saturday), I decided to visit a Messianic Synagogue here in Knoxville. Since i’ve been reading Torah and then studying the old testament books, I have learned a lot about Judaism and Jewish culture on my own. The Old testament moves me. The law brings me to tears. The tender way that Hashem (G-d) leads His people to Himself through the law… and then explains that it’s not even about what you do so much as to what lies in your heart- why you do it… It’s overwhelming.

There are people throughout history that get this. One of my favorite is King Josiah. He became King when He was 8 years old and followed the Lord as David did. 2 Kings 22 explains that Hilkiah, the High Priest, found the Book of the Law of Moses in the temple and brought it to King Josiah. When the Book was read in front of the king, King Josiah tore his clothes.

Every time I read that verse, it shames me and shakes me. I look around at our evangelical nice, comfortable lives in our nice, comfortable pews and I want to weep. I want to weep because we hear, study, read, and talk about the law and the Word weekly and sometimes even at home too… and we’re not torn. We’re not grieving. Our hearts aren’t moved. We just… sit and do our duty for the week and go home.

I want to be moved like the people in the Bible. I want to be moved like the jews in the Old testament…. or even the jews now! I want to stand for hours and hear the Law and love it. I want to be like David said “Oh Lord, I meditate on your precepts! I think about your Law! Your law is better than life!…” I want to embrace it and love it and cherish it and worship Him with my obedience of it.

So when I entered the synagogue on Shabbat, it felt like coming home.

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I entered and sat in the very back pew behind some women. I assumed that men and women would sit separately and worship separately so when a man and his wife sat by me, I was taken back. As the music started and people filled the sanctuary, they took out their Tallits and draped them around their shoulders. Old men sat on a bench behind me against the wall with their canes and their Kippahs. Old jewish souls with smiles like fire.

We stood together. We blessed the music and worship. The sound of Hebrew and English mingled together and the captions on the screen read all- Hebrew- English.  Voices of languages lifted together. I wanted to sign the words.

This is what heaven will be like. 

Then the music started and the music switched from English to Hebrew and back to English. My eyes watered, my lip quivered. The lady beside me took my hands in hers and her eyes said  “Come, worship with me”. With tears flowing down my face as I followed her flowing, beautiful skirt in the sunshine, she led me to the alter before Him and as we arrived there I looked around to see other women getting out of their seats and joining us. Their faces shined. They linked their hands together and as a team of women, we danced.

We danced for Him. We sang His name, I looked around at smiles and teary eyes as I followed the moves He had put on the woman’s heart. We followed her as she followed Him. This wasn’t wild or chaotic. It was soft and gentle and calm. It was heart-dancing.

And His name rang out from our hearts, to our limbs as we reached to the sky, “YESHUA! ELOHIM! ADONAI! The music roared, and together we lifted our hands to the heavens to Him and turned in circles on our toes to please the King. We landed on our feet and bowed deeply from the waist up, from our hearts. Bowed knees. Bowed hearts, Bowed faces. Tears.

I looked around at the congregation and men blew their shofars. They blew their shofars and clapped for Him. Elohim. Men blowing Shofar, women dancing, tears flowing. Hearts bowing.

Yeshua! Yeshua! Yeshua!

We sang the Shema!

They sang it. In Hebrew. We faced Jerusalem, they pointed the edge of their tallits to Jerusalem and they sang, Hebrew words, Shema together.

We faced the screen for us English speakers and said it in English.

Hear, Oh Yisrael! The L-rd is Our G-d! The L-rd is ONE!… And you shall love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might. And these words I shall command you today shall be in your heart. 

My heart jumped. Because they’re on my heart! They’re written on my heart… a heart that deserves hell- and the law is written there- the mercy.

And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit at home and when you walk along the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

my lip quivered. I looked at the couple in front of me, clasping their hands together, their tallits around each of their shoulders, the man with is Kippah, the woman with her tears…

… and you shall write them on the door post of your house and on your gates… 

A tear slipped down my face as I remember the mezuzah that I had blessed with a kiss on my hand while on the way in– His law written on the door posts. My heart bowed low…. Oh Lord, even the dogs eat crumbs from the master’s table..(Matthew 15:27). 

It felt like coming home. 

The dancing to El Shaddai, the singing of His name… TO His name, the blessing of His word, the following HIs law… Then the singing of Yeshua (Jesus)… The realization that He is my new law because He has been written on my heart. He has been bound between the frontlets of my eyes inside of my brain. He has seared me. I am marked by a changed life and I have been crucified with Him. He has wrecked me. For me, He is my Tefillin. He is my everything!

Yeshua, Yeshua, Yeshua! 

I wanted to shout it. His name echoed from the mouths of old Jewish believers and into the heart of a gentile girl.

I will never get over this.

They read the law from the Torah. The men went and got these HUGE torah scrolls after we said the blessing of the Torah… And they got it, they blessed it again and the walked it around the room while each person kissed their hand and touched the Torah with a blessing.

Lord, thank you for communicating the Word to us, Was the only blessing I could think to say.

They unrolled this huge Torah and I went up close to look as we were invited. The Torah Reader had a Yad (Torah Pointer) in his hand because the Torah cannot be touched.  And the men gathered around and the women gathered around and they hugged toward the Torah to just look at is as the hand-written hebrew words were read out loud from large sheepskin scrolls.

I get chills every time I think about hearing His word in Hebrew from hand-written sheepskin scrolls.

i hurried to stand in my place in the back and not be up front with the crowd during Torah reading. It was too sacred to be near. So I stood from the back and observed- an observer watching the most sacred snow globe in the world.

We read the Torah, then we had a preacher come preach from both the New Testament and the Old Testament- Torah. Because Rabbi was in Israel. Can  you believe it? We were here in the states and Rabbi was in Israel. So we had a preacher. A humble preacher come to preach His word on Shabbat.

I don’t remember much of what he said but I do remember that he preached from Ezekiel 37 and he preached from the new testament and talked about how we have hope even in dark times… Because of Yeshua.

Then we did communion. We did communion with Matza passed around and grape juice poured. We shared the same Matza, We shared the same juice.This is My body. This is My blood. Do this to remember. 

Oh, Yeshua. I will forget and then I will fight to remember. Help me remember.

Yeshua. Jesus.

I can’t get over His name. I want to say it a million times. I want to love it even when I don’t love it. Even in my wickedness.

I yearn to look into the eyes of Yeshua and scream YESHUA! Messiah! I long to take the hem of his robe and hold it to my face.

Messiah.

I can’t ever forget.

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