Sunday, December 6, 2015

Joy and Depression

If joy is only something that is external, something that shows on your face, then I do not always have it, but if joy is something that exists internally with the presence of Christ, I have that.

It is easy to deduct that joy is the absence of suffering. This is not the case. Pain is real AND God is present. Joy and suffering can coexist because joy is transcendent. It seems ridiculous. It doesn’t make sense. It is disarming—God inherently brings joy in all things—so when we are in tune with the spirit, we start to experience that joy even when it feels like we shouldn’t.

If the Gospel is really the good news that we get to be a part of, how can we experience that in the midst of all this suffering? How can we live into what we are already expecting—more brokenness—and possess an unmovable hope which evokes gratitude? How can joy be the perpetual disposition of our mind and character when it seems to contradict what we are actually experiencing?

Let us recognize that joy is both internal and communal. We can experience joy in solitude, and the ability to do so is of immeasurable value, but it is crucial that we do not neglect our interdependence.

We are good at getting in the pit together. We are good at being vulnerable to let people into our pain, but we need the resurrection side too. It is ok to be sad, and even better to be sad together, but it is not ok to ignore what is happening next. 

We must not let our misery turn to despair. Right now we cannot see beyond act two, filled with tragedy, and perhaps we have lost heart…but we have the inkling somewhere within ourselves that act 3 is coming. It hardly seems possible, but the playwright himself has assured us that all things will be made new.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I've been struggling with a deep sadness in my heart that never seems to go away. I struggle with jealousy, bitterness, inadequacy, and feelings of never being someone that someone else can love. I fear for my future.

Today, I was thinking about Job and how the recent series of events in my life reminds me of his story. It seems as if God has allowed Satan to enter the scene and sabotage parts of my life that I held very dear. All the while, I am trying and struggling to stay faithful to God and to not question His plan. I have striven to appear like I have it all together and that ultimately, nothing can put a dent in my faith.

Meanwhile, my heart is longing to cry out to God. I would imagine it sounding something like this: "This again? Really God? I thought things were looking up! I thought You were finally letting me have the desires I held so deeply. I am tired of hurting. I am exhausted from pretending I'm fine. Why can't I know what happens next?"

These are the things I think I need to meditate on...
  • Jesus warns us multiple times that life as a Christian isn't going to be easy. Basically, being a Christian puts a sign on our foreheads saying, "Please, make me suffer." or "Here I am, Satan!" What's important is that I am awaiting a prize that will far outweigh the suffering.
  • Falling apart all the time may not seem classy, but there is much more beauty in being vulnerable to God and transparent to others than in wearing a mask. God does not work in "clean" and "perfect" lives. He works in the mess. He works in the chaos.
  • When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed like this: "Father, if it is possible, take this cup from me... But YOUR will be done." If Jesus was able to pray this knowing that He was about to bear the wrath of sin of all humankind for all time, I should be able to step back and accept that God's will is the best will whether or not He takes away my suffering.

Friday, September 30, 2011

But above all else...

After some recent conversations I have had with someone near and dear to me, I've been thinking lately about how our hearts drive everything we do, and about Proverbs 4:23 which says: "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Solomon (who is believed to have written Proverbs) goes on to list ways that we should conduct behavior, but the first and most important part of this is the mention of the heart being the wellspring of all we do.

This is why it is important first and foremost to have a Christ-focused heart. We cannot expect to do good things and be good Christians because of the good things we do. Our hearts must first be consumed by Christ and THEN we are driven to do good works, out of pure and genuine love and gratitude. Without Christ-filled hearts, works of love are impossible. Our works are meaningless...Because God is love and who does not know God does not know love. 1 John 4: 8 says: "Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." ...........GOD IS LOVE. That means that apart from God, there is no love.

The attitude of your heart is everything. Stop trying to chart God on a grid. Let yourselves be captivated. Our God is the God of the Universe! In Him all things live and breathe. He knows every fiber of our being and still loves us completely and unconditionally. He wants to have a personal relationship with YOU. Let your heart be totally opened up to feel awe and wonder and adoration. Love Him back. Above ALL else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. But when I say guard your heart, I don't mean close it up and don't allow it to feel. What I mean is, make sure it is totally and completely handed over to God. There is no better way to guard your heart than to put it in HIS hands.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I just finished watching an animated movie about the Exodus of the people of Israel out of Egypt, which I came across on TV (Insomnia at its finest). It really hit me as I was reminded of the people’s lack of faith and trust as God led them in their journey. Because he loved them so much, He removed them from a life of oppression and appointed Moses to lead them toward a promised land where they would have everything they needed. Along the way, they complained about the discomfort and inconvenience of the journey, and even through their disbelief and questioning, God provided for them what they needed and more.

I have never thought about it this way before tonight, but I am one of those Israelites. God has taken me away from the life I lived when I didn’t know Him. He is leading me on this incredible journey to a perfect destination which He has promised in His Word.

Yet, I feel discontent. I complain about inconveniences. I continue to long for the mediocre comfort that has been taken away from me so that it can be replaced with the life God intended for me.

God loves me so much that He is crafting my life to be an adventure that leads me to Himself, even though I am undeserving. I should be humbly serving Him in gratitude. I should be loving Him back.

My prayer is that I can surrender my own will to His. I have no idea what else lies between myself and my destination. Lord, empty me of myself and fill me up with YOU. I need the faith and trust that I have been lacking all along.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On Surrenduring..

A father loves his little girl, so he gives her a plastic toy necklace made to look like a string of pearls. Just something cute, no biggie. But the girl freaks out, she puts on her plastic necklace and refuses to take it off. She wears it to bed, she bathes in it, it never leaves her neck. Soon it starts to get all gross and her neck is turning green, and things are getting out of hand.

So moved is the father, that he decides to give the daughter a real pearl necklace. So he finds his daughter, and he holds the real pearls in his hand behind his back, telling his daughter that he has a surprise for her, then he holds out his other hand, and he asks his daughter to take off her favorite necklace and give it to him.

The daughter runs away crying! How could my father ask me to give up this thing I love so much. If he knew me, and understood this situation, he would never ask me to surrender the one thing I care about most. But she knows she can’t hide forever, so she gathers up her courage, and with tears in her eyes, she hands the father the old cheap plastic necklace. Only then does she see what the father has in store.

On surrendering, it’s not about what you’re giving up, it’s about the real and authentic and much more valuable thing you’re receiving. It’s about asking God to take away something you want, to make room for the thing that He wants for you. This is a prayer He will honor, and that you won’t regret.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Music is something that is universal. You're going to find it in some form wherever you go. It has really hit me lately how music has bloomed into everything that it is it is able to reach out to so many...6 billion souls in different walks of their lives. Music is not one concrete thing. It is such a broad spectrum, all inclusive of the organazation of sound. What are its boundries? What limits the variety in the emotional responses it can bring forth? There are no limitations. But perhaps there are boundries, and perhaps boundries don't mean limitations. If we really think about music as it once was compared to music as it is, we will see that there would be no music as it is if boundries were never crossed...if there weren't those who had something to say that did not fit within the boundries. In the classical era of music, acceptable music was subject to strict adherence to order. A well known composer, Beethoven, had something to say with his composition beyond those boundries set, and thus was born the romantic era, often thought to be started with Beethoven's "3rd Symphony." Music has continued to change since then (obviously) through those select few artits who rebel against what is accepted, create controversy, then develop a following. I believe this has all come about by those who have a passion for speaking through music. Music as an aesthetic art is most definitely a form of expression. This is amazing to me. I believe that every musician of every genre who has ever been heard by anyone has passed a message through their music. I believe that EVERY artist has something to say. More so, I believe that God speaks through music as well, by placing this passion of music into souls...into the souls of artists, the souls of listeners, record label owners, producers, promoters, whatever the role may be in the musical realm. The message may be one to move the whole world, or perhaps just one individual who is in need of inspiration. This is my passion, to reach out with music...whether that be by simply leading Sunday morning worship to focus souls on the Lord , or by pursuing my dreams in the music industry by helping artists create their music and to get their message heard. It's so amazing to think about how different of a person I would be if it were not for the development of music throughout time. Music has played a huge role in my faith, my personality, my passions, my goals, my values, and my life as a whole. I know there are other souls like mine who are in desperate need of music. I want to reach out with music because music is what has reached me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

..Whatever you did for one of the least of these..

Last night I slept in a home made out of cardboard on the side of the road to raise awareness for homelessness. It was a very impactful night.  Pastor Andy Odle from Church on the Street gave a great message, and some people who have experienced homelessness first hand gave testimonials of their experience. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lost and the same time.

I guess God had to put me flat on my face for me to finally give in to Him and stop making my own plans for my life. I am a first semester junior in college, and I am completely changing the path of my future starting next semester. As of right now, I have decided that the only way to fulfill God's purpose for my life is to give in to Him and actually listen for what I am supposed to be doing. I have spent all of this time trying to figure it out. I was focusing on a career path that would bring me success without any doubt or question. My ultimate goal was for my future family to have a better and more financially comfortable life than I have had growing up. Somehow, even though I have always been an A student, I was not performing very well in pursuit of becoming an optometrist. Becoming overwhelmingly stressed and frustrated, I was constantly pushing questions out of my mind of why I even wanted to be an optometrist, or if I would be happy doing this for the rest of my life. If someone were to ask me either of these questions, I wouldn't be able to answer them with confidence. I spent almost two and a half years of college in that state.
Recently, I started asking myself those questions that I had always avoided. For the entirety of the fall semester so far, I have been discouraged, overwhelmed, and with a broken heart. I have been struggling for motivation to study and complete assignments. All along I should have been asking myself why I was miserable and taking steps to change that, but instead, I let my driven nature take over and refused to give up. I finally reached a certain point...I gave up. I decided I wanted to get as far away from biology and chemistry as possible. There were suddenly less voices inside me telling me to try harder. I was done. That day came about a week ago.
So what now? I am seeking God's loudest voice to help me decide where I want my life to go from here. I believe God is speaking to me through the things that I am most passionate, creativity, making a positive difference. I believe God has placed people and resources in my life that I should be taking advantage of. I am not 100% sure where my life is going anymore, but instead of forcing myself into the pursuit of a career that will guaruntee financial stability and the title of Doctor Misty Jordan, I am choosing to follow God to find where my passions and talents meet the world's needs. This is my calling. Yes, this is stressful, chaotic, and has brought me to tears on more than one occasion...but there is a peace inside of me from knowing that God is leading my way.

 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20


Saturday, October 23, 2010

..Scream my lungs out to try and get to you..

..With you, it was never a clean break. My heart aches..and I'm forced to keep it contained. She wants you to change. But she doesn't see you the way I do. If it were up to me, I wouldn't change a thing. All that occupies my mind is how I want to be next to you.
She breaks up with you, and hangs you on a string... And I just want to show you that you're loved..
This whole time we've been apart I have felt like a vital piece of my heart is missing, and I tried to fill it with work and friends and music, and it stayed empty...until this summer when you kissed me again and my entire universe snapped back into focus for that hour that we spent together...And I wonder if you could look me in the eye and tell me that kiss didn't feel exactly the same as it did when we were together..
It's always going to be there between us...I can still see it in that wierd grin that you give me everytime we cross paths and make eye contact..
And somehow, no matter how many times I pray for God to just let me move on and stop feeling like I'm stuck in place while the world spins around me, I still have that hope that someday I can be with you again.
After all this time, you're still my only one.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The point.

With the constant ups and downs in our lives and in our world as a whole, we may spend time wondering, What is the purpose of life? That seems like a really vague and cliche question...but has it ever crossed your mind? I know it has crossed mine. What is the purpose of everything we experience? Of all the struggles we face? Of all the happiness and/or heartbreak we feel?
A quote I read recently really struck me and got me thinking about the answer to this seemingly unanswerable question. The quote was "Life is preparation for eternity."
Sometimes, my reaction to something I read is just a loss for every word except "wow." Then the thoughts and analyzations flood my mind to the point which I can barely keep up with them. This was one of those times.
"Life is preparation for eternity." Our bodies were not designed for immortality. They will not last forever. So what is the point in worrying about the way our lives are lived during the  years we have in these bodies? Eternity is the point.
Let me reference a Bible scripture here: "Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:25-26.
Since I'm a dancer, I for myself, I can relate life to ......a dress rehearsal. If it is faith we live by, we dress ourselves in love, humility, service, whatever we have to offer God, and the main point for all of our rehearsing is ...not the big dance recital, but in the case of life...eternity. We were made by God and for God. Once I thought about that, things suddenly made more sense.
So what about all the problems in life? Every person has problems. Life is a series of problems. We are either in one now, just overcoming one, or creating another one. So, if life is about God, and God is all that is good and perfect, then why is it full of problems?
Let me just whip out another bible scripture: " Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." -James 1:2-4
So, what does this tell us? The way I interpret it, is that God is more interested in our CHARACTER than our COMFORT. He wants us to feel happiness, yes...but he is more interested in our holiness. If we are perfectly comfortable and happy with our lives, then we are less willing to grow. We are likely to become complacent and build a home in the current state of happiness, because we are comfortable there. This is not what God wants for us. He wants us to seek HIM and to continue to seek HIM. This is why, I think, our earthly lives are for developing the perserverance which prepares us for what is to come. Everything is preparing us to be complete when we go from earth into eternity. We often hear people say "Everything happens for a reason."
All this is not to say that God doesn't want us to be happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but our personal happiness is not the goal. It's not the point. The point is to grow in character, and to become more Christ-like as our life proceeds.
We constantly have something good and something bad in our lives. The good and bad in life coexist. Things in your life may seem exceptionally good; there is still something that needs to be worked on. Things in your life may be a complete mess; you still have good things to thank God for. What we should be focusing on is our purpose. Focusing on our problems is what makes us the self-centered humans we are.
Instead of focusing on the pain of our struggles, we should put our focus on God and on others. Through our struggles, God gives us a testimony, a way to reach out and reveal his presence to those who may not know or accept Him. Then they may begin using their lives to prepare for eternity.
I ask myself: What do I want the driving force in my life to be? Is it material happiness, earthly comfort, guilt, or bitternes from the problems I am facing? Or will I choose to be driven by God's purposes for my life? My prayer is that I work toward fulfilling God's will for my lifetime on earth, so that I may be ready to join Him for eternity. I want to wake up tomorrow and say, "God, if I don't accomplish anything else today, I want to know you more and love you more."

Ok whew, that's enough to process for now.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Heart under construction.

Can I vent just a bit? Ok cool.

So here's what has been weighing me down...

I thought a mask could cover up this weight I have carried, but instead it keeps getting heavier. I don't want anyone to see this storm cloud that keeps following me around, but I'm only strong enought to hide it for so long, and then the storm comes so strong that it cannot go unnoticed...These are the times I wonder how it actually does go unnoticed. This is what I want to happen, right? At the same time, I can't help but feel completely alone even when I'm surrounded by faces...Especially when I feel like it's so obvious that I'm not ok.
Why do I desire earthly comfort to such an extent when I know how great our God is? I take that back...Our God is SO amazingly great, that I don't even posess the capacity to comprehend how great He is. Yet, I struggle to trust Him fully as a rock and a comfort. I know he is all I really need, but still I am not satisfied by His presence alone. This truly makes me question whether or not my faith is up to par, which makes me feel really guilty. I have a passion so strong in my heart for praising God, spreading His word, showing His love, and reaching out with His service...and I truly believe and trust that in Him, all things are ultimately going to work out, whether we see it or not. The thing is, I struggle SOO much with surrendering my own self completely to Him. I still find myself wanting to take matters into my own hands, wanting to have control over situations that make me feel helpless.
So if I know about God and his promises, and truly believe in them with all my heart, why is surrendering myself to His will such a challenge for me? Why do I feel completely broken when I should be confident in Him? Why am I not constantly rejoicing?

Well, these are my inner struggles at the current time.

That is all.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


We often ask God to show up. We pray prayers of rescue. Perhaps God would ask us to be that rescue, to be His body, to move for things that matter. He is not invisible when we come alive. More and more, I believe God works in love, speaks in love, and is revealed in our love.

"We are only asked to love, to offer hope to the many hopeless. We don't get to chose all the endings, but we are asked to play the rescuers. We won't solve all mysteries, and our hearts will certainly break in such a vulnerable life, but it is the best way. We were made to be lovers, bold in broken places, pouring ourselves out again and again until we're called home."

I think sometimes we can get so easily discouraged and wonder why things aren't changing or aren't turning out the way we hoped, but that is a part of this journey of following Jesus...Things won't always turn out the way we hoped, but we still have a responsibility and a calling to act, to do something...otherwise how will anything ever change?

I encourage everyone to seek their take a step back, a break from their routine. To think outside of what we hope for and expect to happen. He is callign YOU to follow Him, but have you become distracted along the way, wondering what went wrong?
I want to have a heart on fire for God, trusting and following His lead, through all the brokenness I have and may continue to encounter.

That is all.