My Night At The Mansion

It all started at a mansion. What a cheeky start, huh?

My really good friend was house sitting the largest and best decorated home in [all of what I dare to believe] America.  The house was amazing. This mansion where it all started had over eight bedrooms, a child’s playroom, a gym, a prayer room, a designated man-cave with a zebra skinned rug, an island in the kitchen made completely of marble that was [not exagerating] bigger than the kitchen in my sister’s house, an indoor pool, and a grotto that puts Hugh Hefner’s to shame [sorry honeys bunnies.].

If I had a permanent address, I’d say I was living the high life by having a sleepover in a place like that! Considering the fact that I don’t have a good enough answer as to why my license says I live in East Tennessee, my car is registered in Illinois, and I am temporarily couch-surfing across the East Coast, I can claim that I’m not living in the lap of luxury despite popular beliefs. [I think I made that up. I’m pretty sure living out of a suitcase is not luxurious to anyone.]

Oddly enough, while I was sitting in the world’s most lush guest bedroom the Lord began to rock my heart in a really deep way. I was reading “The Pursuit of God” by AW Tozer when I felt such a burden of spiritual dryness. Surrounded by the American Dream, I began to recognize that I felt like my hunger for God was rocky. In every sense, I oftentimes desire more from God. I long for more out of my prayer life. And I want more of Him in the day-to-day study of the word. There’s a part of that book that really struck my heart. It’s about being so centered around the intellect that we miss our hearts.

I know without a doubt I am wired to depend on logic and intellect; some of that stems from fear of emotions having seen them displayed in unhealthy ways. Combating my desire to “know” in exchange for constant dependence in an intimate, grace-filled relationship with Christ is a daily struggle. And sometimes if I’m honest, it’s not even a struggle because I stop fighting. And I know that might be something some of you are going through too. Daily fighting off pride, independence or complacency gets tiring when we’re doing it in the flesh. If there is anything I’ve learned through my night at the mansion it is that God: The Master Illustrator shows up in complete, unabashed surrender.

One of my prayers that night was that my heart would stir for the word in a way that helps me to fall in love with Jesus. Now, what I’m about to say might make some of you take a step back and think, “This girl is off her rocker.” Bear with me! It’s not what you think.

I had a vision, and no it wasn’t like a prophetic-incense-burning-3D-projection-from-heaven. It was more like the Lord wanted to cast vision in my heart for how He wants me to have a renewed heart for Him and His word. I just pictured myself in that room reading scripture as if it were a love letter to me. Studying it. Reading it over and over again. Yet, not even noticing that the Author of that letter was sitting with me. God was showing me that oftentimes I read the word because it’s something I’m supposed to do and know, but I completely ignore the Person who wrote it.

Then I imagined myself sitting on the bed with Jesus, reading verses, and discussing them with Him. The verses about His love for us made my heart radiate with JOY! as I got to read them aloud to the God who authored them. I pictured me reading to the Holy of holies 1 Peter 2:9 about being His special people and being in awe that He would die for me! And I began to fall in love with Jesus all over again.

In total surrender of fears and performance, although I was feeling less than competent or even worthy in this massive mansion, the Lord met me. He illustrated where I was at in my walk with Him and where He wants to take me. I felt a burden lift off my shoulders as I felt God’s pursuit of me and see His heart for me. He is an amazing God!

I am excited to walk in this renewed vision and deeper love for the Lord. I am excited to be in prayer about what I’m reading in the word, getting excited with Jesus, and feeling the weight of what He’s saying. If that’s brokenness for the lost or joy in being His, I’m ready to walk through truth with Jesus because I’m confident He gave us His word to know and have His heart.

Thanks for letting me share about my night at the mansion. The Lord is good and His love endures forever!

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College Graduate

I am now DONE with school!! YAY! I am no longer a college kid. I know most people say this but I feel so accomplished. From the beginning I’ve been thinking school wasn’t for me. But I persevered and finished! Thanks mom for making me stay in school for 5 years plus summer school.

Now: I’m an a full time intern with Cru. That’s a total big girl step! I’m support raising right now and it’s been amazing. I really need balance in my life and am learning it through support raising. I’m so excited to be doing ministry this summer while establishing ministry partners. But really my heart is so excited to love on these people and to introduce them to Jesus. I can’t wait to be an official big girl living in AFRICA! 🙂

Is this supposed to be really scary? I know what I’m doing for the next 14 months, so I’m not too nervous. My main worries right now are bugs, african food, and not being able to speak French as well as I’d like. In about 3 months of being there I’ll get over all of that stuff. I think towards the end of my  STINT I might get more nervous/freak out about my future. I have no solid plans and have never kept a job longer than 9 months. It’s sink or swim time. I can doggie paddle pretty well. Surely, life can’t be as hard as swimming….

I say that as I go into a part of life that’s been getting really messy. If you could possibly remember me in your prayers that’d be swell. I’m being tested on loving people unconditionally. I am letting my hurt feelings get in the way of my relationship with the Lord and others. I have let that fester into bitterness and it’s ugly. Instead of using this opportunity to continue to pursue relationships and show Christ’s love, I have chosen to back away emotionally, physically and spiritually from some people who have really hurt my feelings. It’s not healthy for me nor the body as a whole to ignore the healing the Lord wants to bring; it certainly isn’t honoring to the Lord. Christ came for reconciliation and that’s what we’re called to do as well.

I want to love well regardless of how I feel others are treating me or how I expect to be treated by fellow Christians. Christ first loved me even when I was a jerk and my sins nailed His son to the cross. He still pursued me and loved me. As a Christian, I need to set aside my pride and hurt feelings and just depend on the Lord in this situation. I’m wanting to sit in my cubicle and just ignore the issue, but I can’t. I know I can’t. So, just be praying that I am open to the Lord working on my heart and that I am yielding to His hand daily. Pray for genuine restoration. Just be praying.

Thanks readers.

Mary

Satisfied

Tonight’s post is going to be short, hopefully! Aimee (my bunk bed mate) is trying to go to sleep, so I don’t want my typing to annoy her! 🙂

Today while I was on campus a student came up to me and said, “Hey, I don’t know if you remember this or not but do you remember when we talked about shrooms?” I remember, before I knew Jesus, talking to some guys outside of my dorm about drugs (this was when I still did them). I can’t remember specifically what type of drugs or what else the conversation was about. And I don’t remember who those guys were, but apparently this guy was one of them! Anyways, I answered him with a, “No?” And then he asked, “Well, do you know where I could get some?” And I responded with a quick and firm, “No.” And then he walked off.

At first I thought this encounter was slightly humorous. It’s me. I live such a different life than the old Mary that it felt like he mistook me for someone else. Once I started to think about it, my heart began to hurt for him. This guy who was looking for satisfaction, fulfillment, purpose, and joy three years ago is STILL searching. Stop and really think about that. A guy came up to me and asked me for a way to get drugs and all I could do was stare at him. I didn’t say, “Let me give you something better than drugs: Jesus.” Or, “Satisfaction can only come by having a relationship with God through His son, Jesus Christ.” I just stared at him.

I texted my roommates and let them know what happened. Maury prayed that the Lord would allow me to share the gospel with this student at some point in time. I really hope that the Lord gives me that opportunity.

Anyways, that was a really weird encounter that made me think about how unaware I am of other’s spiritual conditions. I see this person who is looking for drugs rather than a person who is lost and separated from God. I’m thankful for this experience, but I am praying this is not the end. I want to see this guy on campus again and share Christ with him. I want to see him come to know Jesus and have Jesus radically change his life. I want him to find satisfaction in the satisfy-er. I want to see him drink water and NEVER be thirsty again.

This is a great photo!
John 4:13-14 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

I need to go to bed now! It’s late and Aimee’s probably getting frustrated 🙂 Please be praying for this young man!

Thanks so much!

Mary