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Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Someone we know has been trying to write you all week.

If one were to be entirely honest in a transparent type way one would write you and tell you that a person that we know was in hysterics the day before the retreat because she was feeling left out of the fun of travelling to Ethiopia with two of her favorite women on the planet. That person would also tell you that while that woman COMPLETELY understood that God would have made a way for her to go if He had really wanted her to be there she couldn't help but feel deep pain. There was something to that pain though. Something more than just an earnest hurt. Something uglier than she imagined at the time.

That person admitted to having to fight hard against feelings that she was not invited to the party. Now by saying "party" our girl doesn't intend to suggest that heading over to Ethiopia and seeing the magnitude of suffering her favorite ladies were going to see was by any means a fun party. What she means is that she KNEW God had big things planned for them during the trip. She KNEW that God would draw near to them even as they drew near to others. She TRUSTED God had BIG, life changing things planned for them. That's the kind of party our girl wanted to partake in. The seeing God move and experiencing Him kind of party. So this person was wrestling with the question of why the Sovereign Almighty had deemed it to not be her time to go when she so desperately wanted it to be.

Our friend, you know the whiney one, well she also likes adventure and she thinks that this also had a role to play in her pity party. There's something in her that sorta clicks over when the odds seem to be against her. She knows that something in the adventure and the challenge causes her heart to pump a bit harder. She barely admits it to herself. It's just that there are times when she knows things could topple over and, deep down, she wants to see if she's up to the challenge. Not that she thinks she's got the stuff, but she happens to follow someone Who does and He loves her. To use a bad analogy: she's kinda like that girlfriend who picks a fight with a huge guy just so she can watch her boyfriend defend her.

Now this person was blessed to have a seat reserved for her at a retreat scheduled to happen in her life at the time when she had otherwise planned to have a pity party for herself. Wanna know what the topic of the retreat was? It related to being like Mary in a Martha-like world. Our girl, very unfortunately, is much more like Martha than she has ever been like Mary. Now, don't be too hard on our girl, she does have some pure motives but God knew they needed to be sifted, and sift He did! He shook her up real good. Some of the shakin' was hard for her to swallow. There are a BUNCH of reasons why it was hard for her to swallow but the nasty, bottom line truth is that there was a lot of pride involved.

God understood so well what our friend didn't; that she needed to let His love for her and His approval of her be her ONLY validation. He wanted her to realize that often she seeks validation not only from others, but from her own self and that the measuring stick she was using was a faulty one. Jesus wanted her to accept His love as more than sufficient. He had no problem with denying her what she desired and allowing her to experience discomfort due to shortsighted vision and impatience. He was loving her and doing what was best for her. Like Mary, Jesus had invited our girl to sit at His feet and to find rest in His company. He offered His very Self as her reward only she was in danger of trading all that for her own version of Martha's busyness.

Well folks, here's where the battle ensued. Which (or should we say whom) would our girl choose? She had a few options. 1) She could delude herself into thinking it was all about her. She could imagine herself being more important that she really was. She knew that would be a bad choice but she'd be lying if she didn't confess that her fleshy pride really gives sanity a run for it's money. 2) She could refuse to accept God's sovereign plan and stubbornly lock her knees instead of bowing and accepting that His plans didn't include her preferences. 3) She could grumble and be discontent. 4) she could trade the invitation for intimacy with Jesus for activity and the busyness of doing. 5) she could do ALL of the above at once or 6) She could let it all go and just submit. In her submission she could receive Christ.

Well folks, our girl wanted you to know that she's choosing submission. Don't think for a moment that it's easy or that she's submitting in every area constantly. She wanted you to know that it would be a HUGE mistake to think that she's all cleaned up with a nice bow on top. She doesn't want to make herself seem like she's got this one pulled together. Sometimes her emotions sorta straddle a few of the options. Ultimately, though, she's cast herself before the throne of Mercy. She's seeking a transformed heart and pure motives. She wants to be Mary even while the Martha in her is fighting tooth and nail. She's given up resisting being shaken up and sifted through. She's trusting in Redemption and Hope. She's a mess apart from Jesus and she knows it. She doesn't like herself any other way than in His care. She has only one hope and that's in Christ alone.

PS- A while ago our friend wrote this:

If you want to know why my blog is named be BOLD jen here is why: I intended to write personal things that would be nearly impossible for me to speak to you face to face. I wanted to just be me, to write about my heart, what I am learning and all that is swirling around my brain. I wanted to honestly track what the Lord is doing in my life. To do this requires boldness. So I meant to remind myself every time I went to blog to be BOLD. There ya have it. The title pushes me on to write some sentences that otherwise wouldn't have made it on the page. I hope there is some benefit for those who spend some time here reading

That never fails to bite me in the rear end when occasions like this arise.


Teachertraveler said...

You have no idea how badly I needed to hear this, how deeply I have struggled with the same feelings as I wait for God to provide the next steps for me.
Thank you for saying things that I've been too afraid to verbalize to anyone.

beBOLDjen said...

Hi Rachel, thanks for letting me know you could relate. This was one post I really thought twice about posting.

I wanted to tell you I LOVE the new photo of you. It's cool and you look so pretty in it!! I had the chance to go check out the blog of your friend who took it. I had so much fun looking at everything there.

Sherry said...

Jen - I read your post yesterday and thought about it alot. Thank you for sharing your heart and for being BOLD! It was very close to being a writing about ME! What a journey this process is - filled with SOOOO much emotion! Great highs, but also ugly lows. I have had more opportunities to battle and deny my "self" in the past 18 months, than ever before. It is a daily battle and a daily reminder of His plans and ways being higher than ours. No pat phrases or answers - just doing battle one day at a time! Know that you are not alone. I feel your pain and I feel your JOY. We are growing deeper with HIM each day of this walk!

Blessings! - Sherry Semlow

Brooke said...

To this lady-

You were at the party the whole time, just not in body. And though that didn't feel like enough at times, I think you are still there. I am still there. Kim is still there. God puts our hearts and souls in places we can not imagine and you have big work to be done at that party... just keep submitting and encouring us to do the same. What one writes in their moment of weakness makes another reflective and thanks for the bold appeal. All my love and understanding friend.

beBOLDjen said...

HI Sherry! You are so right about this journey having amazing highs and UGLY lows! This was definitely one of my uglier lows. Thanks for stopping by and sharing with me here!

beBOLDjen said...

Brooke- I LOVE YOU! Thanks for loving me. I am loving reading the stories and seeing the pics on your blog :)

Stacey said...

I think it's great just how transparent this girl really is. I don't know very many girls who would put themselves out there like you! I've always admired this about you. I think God is doing big things in and through you! What an inspiration.