Father’s Day

far away from my Papa. It’s safe to say that I adore him, through his faults though they are numerous. Six years ago my dad had an encounter with God that changed him forever, and the man who I trust with all of my heart is no longer the man whom I knew through my childhood.

Childhood, am I finished with my childhood? I used to literally believe that there was nothing my daddy could not do. Now I am simply convinced of it. When anything goes wrong he is the first one who I call, and by anything I mean ‘try me’.  Painting, house maintenance, car problems, weird bugs in my lawn, migraines, emotional struggles, tension with friends, how to fix the air conditioner, boy issues, fights with my sister and major life decisions.

As early as 8 years old I can remember sitting across the table and telling him I was called by God to go to some random country and serve the local missionaries, and watched him honor the passion of my heart while still gently saying “I would be a bad father if I let you go.”

We had that conversation countless times over the years. The tension of his covering was painful at times, but not as painful as the day that I watched him let go. The youngest of four, I received a blessing from my parents when I moved. With tears and prayers my daddy kissed my forehead and committed me into the hands of the Lord, where he has left me. Through all of our conversations and hours of receiving his counsel I am always aware that he now speaks to me as one who has no control over my life, entrusting my ways to the Father who he is still learning to trust his own steps to.   I’ll admit there have been times I have longed to re-enter my father’s home and re-submit myself to his covering, but I have been released.

The days that singleness is not my joy are the days I feel the most connected to that very reality; the distance between the covering of my father and the covering I have made for myself. The truth is that I have yet to find a man who takes care of me the way that my Papa does.  Through the brokenness of our past, the treasure in our healing and the tenderness of our relationship I have learned lessons not easily earned or easily forgotten. I’ve found myself incapable of the  flippancy which my generation treats their hearts.

But that’s another topic. Today I’ve cherished my papa in my thoughts, wishing for the comfort and strength in his nearness and thankful for how the Lord pours out love on me through my daddy. Such a gift Lord, thank you for the love of my Father.

And at the same time I have spent countless hours in prayer for him to leave the past behind and to walk in the fullness of who the Lord made him to be.

Sleepy thoughts – ATC

2am, open the door step inside just to sit on the floor and take a deeeeeep breath. Purring cat climbs into my lap, it’s the first bit of attention he’s received all day and the normal ferociousness gives way to his need for affection. Yeah Kita, I know how you feel buddy.

I ran out of creme four days ago but haven’t made it to the store and I’m realizing my coffee-less mornings may be hazardous for the campers. Three nights this week I’ve stepped into the house just to drop on the couch where I end up falling asleep. At some point in the night I wake and make my way to bed but sleeping on the couch had pushed my shoulder out of place by this morning. Mid-afternoon found me swallowing two migraine pills and a large cup of coffee which only succeeded in making my heart race and only slightly dull the stabbing pain. 5pm found me in an old familiar tension of deciding whether or not to head home to more medication and a very early night in hopes of avoiding the emergency room, or pressing through with prayer and fighting to believe for deliverance.

The opportunity to sing with Zack Simms forced my decision. I spent the 45 minutes fighting waves of nausea and convincing myself to stay on the stage and not throw up. It never ceases to amaze me how much despair is tied to the migraines. Tonight, for the first time in a long, long time I found resolve in my heart. Refusing to go home I made my way to the balcony while hearing Tamara preach about being alive in Christ. My vision was blurry, my mind numb, and my body screaming but I laid on the floor letting the truth of the Word comfort my heart as I committed my body again to my friend Jesus.

Thoughts were scarce at this point, my awareness was dim and the ability to judge time was non-existent but somewhere near the end of the message the pain simply began to ease away. Trying to slowly sit up I heard a pop in my shoulder and in less than five minutes thoughts and awareness began to return. By the time I made it downstairs and backstage my heart was tender again and singing during the ministry time lifted my soul more than I have felt in weeks.

Some hours later I was still tender while sitting next to my sister in the prayer meeting, aching for her to experience the breakthrough she’s been asking for so faithfully. Looking up I saw a man in the ministry line who I have respected for many years, and just recently have heard he is going through a divorce. For whatever reason that was the drop that broke the dam and I found myself bawling on behalf of love grown cold, and the healing of his marriage. And that is how the rest of the night played out. After a week of countless conversations with counselors and campers alike something in me gave way under the emotions of their hearts that I’ve carried. We strive and push to make God speak to us and the silly thing is that if we’d just sit down we’d find that He never stops pouring Himself out.

Tonight was a paradox; the winning of a battle with a migraine, and the brokenness of heart. A miracle and sorrow swimming together in the same tiny fish bowl. The wonder and the mystery of both is found in this, that the majority of people alive on the earth do not know how to feel a single true emotion outside of themselves. I can’t help but believe that it is only the love of Christ renewing our souls that gives us the grace to cry for someone else’s pain and laugh for their joy.

A mother stopped me in the lobby this afternoon thanking me for serving her children and as she walked away I was surprised to find myself fighting tears. As a 23 yr old kid it is easy to forget WHY I am working my butt off to help put on this camp for the rest of the summer, but the deep gratitude in the eyes of a mother slapped me with the honor that it is to provide a place for hundreds of teenagers to come and encounter the heart of God.

Oh Lord help us to remember the privilege of waking up so tired each morning just to fall in bed exhausted. I used to pray all through the night believing that the youth would be volunteers in the day of Your power. Give us grace to call them to Your heart this summer. Keep us green & tender to Your ways, all day, each day, through every rebellious teenage moment and every break through that comes.