21 Days… Tuesday, Apr 19 2011 

March 28, 2011 – April 17, 2011

21 Days of fasting.  21 days of prayer.  21 days of self-discovery.

What began as a journey for the church family, became a journey that tested my faith, and led me to a destination of self-discovery.

My pastor asked that we write our prayers, the ones we most desired to seek answers for, on our hearts.

March 28th my fast began.  It began with “break” week.

Break to destroy the completeness of; to force one’s way out of; to put an end to; to become fractured or broken; to stop abruptly; to yield or submit to.

I, first, had to break down MY will, so that I could seek after HIS will.

I began to pray, “God you know what my will is.  You know what I hope for and what I desire, but my will matters NOTHING compared to YOUR will.  God, I seek YOUR will.”

As I began to break down, I also began to break in.  I had to allow myself to be adapted for HIS purpose…HIS will.  I had to become broken of all of me, so I could focus on HIM.

When I allowed myself to break in, it became possible for me to break out.  This means that I was “ready for action.”  I was ready for GOD to move in, as my flesh moved aside.

April 4th started “bring” week.

Bring – to carry to another place; to get the attention of.

I began to bring forward everything that I had written on my heart.  I began to present to GOD all of my concerns and all of the situations that have been burdening my heart.

I began to bring forth my prayers….prayers not for myself….but prayers for three people who I have had a burden for since the end of 2010.

During this week, the sacrifices that I chose began to take a toll on my body.  I started questioning, “Why am I even doing this?  Will anything even come out of this?”

My Faith had become tested.

When we fast, we exercise our faith.  Fasting strengthens and deepens our faith.

Fasting requires Faith.

Fasting is a test of faith.  Faith helps us take that step towards something that we cannot see.  At the end of the fast, maybe only one prayer will be answered; maybe none.

Even still, by Faith we believe.  By Faith, we sacrifice.  By Faith, we trust.

On April 10th, my Faith was strengthened.  One of my prayers had been answered.

The perfect example of Faith, in my life, was able to regain strength and share a seat next to her husband during the morning service.

To some, that may seem like nothing, but to me that was everything.  If no other prayer would be answered, the 14 days that I had already sacrificed was indeed worth it.

This lady of Christ, who has had EVERY opportunity to lose her Faith, has instead chosen to HOLD ON to it….through EVERY storm.

It was as if GOD was reminding me….

2 Corinthians 12:9 ~ My grace is sufficient for thee:  for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:10 ~ for when I am weak, then am I strong.

It was then and there that I decided, though I cannot see the end….I do not know that I will see any other prayers answered…..but I will continue…..I will complete this sacrifice.

April 10th began “break forth” week.

This was the week that all the prayers that had been brought forth, and all that had been sacrificed would stand revealed.

I began to thank HIM, to praise HIM, to glorify HIM for all HE had done, and all HE will continue to do.

Although my prayers were not for myself, through my sacrifice, things in my life, that I have struggled with, have begun to break.

Because these things have begun to break, I have discovered a new truth and a new acceptance of myself.

For years, I have lived with insecurities.

These insecurities have caused me to lose out on things that I truly desired.

These insecurities have caused pain.

 These insecurities have caused me to miss out on opportunities.

I have come to accept the fact that I am not perfect; BUT I am created in the image of GOD who is PERFECT.

GOD makes no mistakes.  I was created the person I am for a reason.

It does not matter what others think of me.

I am who I am.  I live how I live.  I love who I love. I pray how I pray.

They have not walked in my shoes.

It does not matter if I have been in love and lost.

To have been in love and to have lost is better than to have never truly been in love at all.

It does not matter what I choose to do.

It does not matter who or what I choose to become.

I am not perfect.  I am just me.

I am GOD’s creation.  HE loves me for me.

“I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

When all of a sudden I am unaware  of these afflictions,

eclipsed by glory and I realize how beautiful You are

and how Your affections are for me.”

The chains of insecurities, surrounding my life, are broken.

New doors, in my life, have begun to open.

I am being remade.

Is not this the fast that I have chosen?  to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? ~ Isaiah 58:6

Though these 21 days are gone, I will continue to cleave to Faith. I will continue to pray.

I will continue to trust in HIM.

“If my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear Your voice,
I hold onto what is true, though I cannot see.
If the storms of life they come, and the road ahead
gets steep, I will lift these hands in faith, I will believe.”

BREAK.  BRING.  BREAK FORTH.

 21 days of sacrifice.

One prayer answered.

Worth it all.

~Bek~

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Was It Worth It? ~ The life of a 19 year old angel Saturday, Mar 19 2011 

This past week, I was told of 7 people who had passed away – each because of different circumstances.  All stories are very sad and overwhelming to the family and friends.  For those who were ill, even though they knew death was near, it doesn’t make that loss any easier.

There was one story, however, that truly impacted my life.  It’s a story of a young, 19-year-old, woman.  She was traveling back to her hometown, to visit her grandparents, when her life was instantly taken from her in a very tragic automobile accident.  You may say, things like this happen all the time and then ask why did this story of someone I never met impact me so greatly.  The following is my answer:

Megan, in her short 19 years, already had a more fulfilled life than I.  She was full of life, full of purpose, full of desire and passion.  Not only was I told this from some of her friends (friends that only knew her very little — maybe met once or twice), but also from reading what people wrote in the their condolences, and from watching videos of her that were being posted on Facebook.  Everything that has been said about her has not been negative.  Everyone that speaks of her tells that she was very humble, caring, giving, thoughtful, accepting, and loving.

Today, I had the privilege of attending such a beautiful ceremony, celebrating the life of this young woman, Megan.  There are not enough words to describe the wide array of emotions that were converged into one room — sadness, joy, loss, peace, disbelief, comfort, and most of all LOVE.

“One day your life will flash before your eyes.  Make sure it’s worth watching.” 

That quote has been playing over and over in my mind ever since Tuesday, March 15, 2011 when I first heard of Megan’s tragic accident and how young she was.  I even questioned, why did this have to happen to her?  Why did someone so young, who hasn’t even truly lived, leave this earth so suddenly?  WHY!?  The answer to that question may never be known.  I have to wonder, what did Megan see?  What a story that had to be…..

I began to look deep inside myself….soul-searching.  I asked myself this question…. If I were to die today, at almost 26 years old, could I say that my life was worth it?

During the ceremony today, with every word that was spoken, with every emotion felt, you knew that she truly lived, she truly loved, and she was truly happy.  No, that doesn’t take away the fact that her life ended too soon, but it gives peace to those who knew her and loved her — to know that she lived a life of fulfillment.

Throughout her childhood, her parents instilled in her everything that they knew….everything that they thought she should know about life, love, happiness…and of GOD. God gives us all free-will.  When it came time for her to be responsible for herself, she took everything that was instilled in her and did not use them for the gifts and desires of this world, but rather for the GLORY OF GOD.

Again, you ask me how do I know these things, if I never met her…..  in a way, I feel I did.  She had such an impact on so many people’s lives — young, old, rich, poor, friends, and even strangers.   Because of this, stories are ringing out….stories of again, life, love, and happiness.

I want to learn to live like her — fearless, determined, humble, optimistic…..the list goes on and on.

I want to learn to love like her.  Megan’s boyfriend, Jordan, described their love for each other today.  Even though her feet are no longer touching the ground, his love continues on.  Because, “when you’re ruined (when you are in love with someone, loving them with all your heart, and there’s no possible way anyone else can compare), you don’t want to settle for less.”  While we all deserve to be loved and love like that in return, that isn’t the type of love that I am speaking of, for that is a different kind of love.  I want to learn to love like her — a love for the rich, the homeless, the healthy, the sick….indiscriminate love…..selfless love….

“We were always supposed to accomplish two basic tasks — Love God, Love People.  Everything else is just commentary! ” – Megan

The combination of these two things is what made her happy…. It is what made her who she was.  People will not remember you for the things you accomplished in school, your position at work, or what you were……they will remember you for WHO you were….for how you lived…if you were happy.  Megan is remembered for who she was — an earthly angel.

She accomplished this, by seeking after God….  I feel as if her life was based on this prayer:  “Open my eyes to things unseen.  Show me how to love like YOU have loved me.  Break my heart for what breaks YOURS.  Everything I am for YOUR kingdom’s cause.  As I walk from earth to Eternity.”

I can only imagine that when she looked into the face of Jesus, He looked her in the eyes and said, “well done…..WELL DONE….YOUR LIFE WAS WORTH IT!!!”

So today, I begin a new journey….. a journey to follow in the example of this 19-year-old woman.  She will forever be remembered.  Her legacy has surpassed many.  If I can only be half the person she was….

As the saying goes, “you have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”  The way that Megan made people feel…..that can never be repaid.  Megan truly lived.  She continues living…..eternally…..no longer an earthly angel but, now and forever a Heavenly angel.

Again, I ask myself and I ask you….

HAVE WE TRULY LIVED?  HAVE WE TRULY LOVED?  ARE WE TRULY HAPPY?

IS YOUR LIFE WORTH WATCHING?

 

Megan Hollingsworth

June 24, 1991 – March 15, 2011

 

~Bek~