Friday, December 17, 2010

five years, and finally

Five years ago today (December 16th, 2005) was the culmination and celebration of something that remains one of my proudest accomplishments. Five years ago today, I shook the hands of Ron Luce and David Hasz, posed for pictures and said tearful goodbyes. Five years ago today, I graduated the Honor Academy.

I never wanted to go to the Honor Academy. I was terribly frightened as I walked away from my parents and friends to board the plane that day. I didn't think I could do it--didn't think I was capable of withstanding the physical exertion and level of discipline required at the HA. I thought only amazing, "super-Christians" would be able to succeed there and complete the program. It took the Lord hedging me in to get me to even apply, and it took more maneuvering on His part to get me there and keep me there, in the face of nearly constant financial difficulty. But stay the course I did, with His help and grace, and I found myself finishing what I had started that cold January morning.

The night of graduation, I chose to spend my last night ever in the dorm, sleeping one last time on my bed. I was alone--everyone else had left or joined their families in hotels. I didn't mind. I don't really remember what I did, only that my dad came to get me the next morning. We loaded up the last of my belongings into our little rental car (a new Ford Taurus with which I remain terribly unimpressed), I looked one last time around my room, and we walked out of Carey Hall, got in the car, and started the trek around the loop, stopping one last time to check out at the guardbooth before pulling onto the road and heading for the hotel in Lindale.

The one thing I remember most is the profound sense of "knowing" that permeated my entire being. I knew, that I knew, that I knew, that I would be back someday. I didn't know how or in what capacity--certainly not when--but I knew I would return.

I am excited--nay, elated--to report that after five years of loving and longing for Texas, I will be returning there shortly after New Year's! YAY!!! This is something for which I have longed and prayed and hoped, and I cannot express my excitement. I'll write more about my decision to return later, but for now it is enough to simply say, "I AM moving to Texas!"

May His holy name be praised.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dear Sirs,

Yes, I am referring to you. You in the white early 90's model Chrysler minivan. You who honked at me to get my attention and then gave me a very, very cheesy "Heeeeeyyyy girrrrl!" smile and wave, at which point I switched immediately into "IGNORE!!!1!1!!1!" mode. While I appreciate the compliment--that you found me beautiful, or at least my face, at least in profile--I do not appreciate the manner in which you went about expressing your appreciation of my beauty. Such boldness, such a tactless approach, is not the way to win a lovely lady's heart. I assure you, I certainly never considered rolling down my window to "holla back" at you. The very manner in which you went about seeking my attention assured me at the outset that you are not the man for whom I have waited these past twenty-five years. I will certainly not cheapen the relationship experience with the likes of you--who cannot be bothered to know a woman's character before attempting to know her body.

I do hope, at some point, you come to a knowledge of our beautiful Saviour, and that you elect to serve Him all of your days. Until then, I bid thee [a hopefully permanent] farewell.


One who shall not share with you her name.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


This year has been rough. It's been a difficult year that followed a more difficult year that followed a year that wasn't easy by any means. I'm tired of rough years. I'm ready for a little peace, for people my age to stop dying, for less drama, for less money problems, for less loneliness. Even if it was just for a year or two, just so I could have a little break from all this "hardness." I mean, I get that life is hard, but does it have to be that way all the freakin' time? Cause that's what it feels like it's been for the last several years. Just hard, hard, hard, hard, hard.

Last year was rough because of the challenges of several succeedingly intense semesters of school in a row, compounded with intense grief over the sudden, preventable loss of a friend, and battling feelings of inadequacy when placed in an unfamiliar position of leadership. This year was rough in a much different way.

This year, the Lord asked me to pursue several things which did not come to pass, and I began to doubt my ability to hear His voice clearly. This year, I watched people proclaiming their Christianity both get offended and stab their fellow believers in the back--and gossip shamelessly about the whole thing. This year, I watched up close the hypocrisy of someone who professes Christ while systematically abusing their spouse--mentally, emotionally, and worst of all, spiritually. This individual also treated myself and others like incompetent, idiotic fools. All of this combined made me angry, and I distanced myself from my beloved Jesus. I was afraid of being mistaken, of thinking I was hearing His voice when it was really my own desires being super-imposed over it. So I pulled away.

The first two situations were frustrating and angering, but the third...I have watched this situation from afar for several years, but having it so close at hand made it much more difficult to deal with. Before, I could sort of push it aside since it wasn't right in my face, but now? Not happening. I have never struggled so much in my life. Most days, I could have gleefully throttled the abusive individual. I've never been able to tolerate hypocrisy, and seeing how this individual used the word of God to manipulate others and abuse the spouse--who is someone close to me--made me so mad I wanted to cuss!

More recently, though this couple is divorcing, the abuser--who is so deceived they don't even recognize the hypocrisy of their behavior--has waged a smear campaign against the spouse, and worse, has helped create a serious rift in life-long relationships, causing damage that may never be undone. Some days I genuinely hate this individual--which causes me great difficulty. How can I proclaim to be a lover of Christ if I cannot love even an enemy? How can I ask the Lord's forgiveness if I am unwilling to forgive?
I waffle frequently between heartbreak and hatred--heartbreak at the damage being done; hatred for the one who caused it; heartbreak that this individual believes they have a guarantee of heaven when their behavior indicates it to be dubious at best; hatred for the one who has deceived this individual so. Watching Christians turn their back on and severely castigate the abused spouse has made me want to smack some people with a two-by-four. Seriously? Way to represent Christ, people. Way to go. When non-Christians are acting more like Christ than the Church, something is wrong with this picture. And this--the behavior of these Christians--makes me mad too! Because they, of all people, should know better than to treat ANYONE like an outcast. Makes me want to cuss.

I'm not proud of my response to so many things this year. I've battled a lot of shame. Shame that I couldn't seem to hear God's voice; shame that I could claim to love and yet feel hate for an individual; shame that I couldn't act more like Christ towards this person; shame that I could feel so intensely alone and uncared for, even when I know I'm loved. I've struggled not to step on over into self-condemnation. It has, frankly, been a pretty horrendous year overall.

I haven't written much because frankly, I didn't have much to say that wasn't pretty ugly or depressing or whatever. I don't like to burden others with my problems, and I didn't want to provide more fodder for the gossip mill, but the silence has become suffocating, and I won't keep quiet anymore. Said abusive individual needs to be outed for for the farce they are, and I need an outlet for my anger before I can begin to forgive. And I think it all boils down to needing to forgive Christians for treating other believers so awfully. And I have forgiven, and I will forgive, but it still makes me angry whenever I think about it, and then I have to forgive again. And I need to be able to lay my broken, hurting heart at the feet of Jesus, and let Him make me whole again.

So that's where I am right now. The end of 2010 finds me having battled anger, bitterness, hatred, frustration, loneliness, and shame on a level I never have before. With the coming of 2011, I hope to be moving past that--because I have to let go of that stuff to make room for new things. Out with the old, in with the new!

Jesus, help me let go of the anger, the hatred, the bitterness. I want to forgive this person but every time I do, they do something new and it happens all over again! I want this person revealed for who they truly are, and for the Christians to realize and be ashamed of their behavior in supporting this person's chicanery. I want to forgive them for the part they've played. Help me not to take things in my own hands, and help me to see this individual as You do. I don't think I'm quite ready yet to love them as You love. But someday, maybe.

<3 love, Beth.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I am learning obedience to the Lord. To hear His voice and follow His direction, even when it kind of seems a little crazy. I'd followed His direction and attempted some things that fell through, which shook up my confidence in my ability to hear His voice, and for a while I distanced myself, afraid that what I thought I was hearing Him speak was in fact my own imagination. Or something. But the Lord, ever so faithful, has continued to direct me and as I've begun to seek His counsel and direction once again, things are intensifying.

Last week the Lord directed me to do something totally out of character for me, and I obeyed, despite my own trepidation. To my complete surprise, I had a positive response and I could hear the Lord chuckling, saying, "See? I told you it'd be alright!" So that gives me confidence that I am obeying Him in something else He's directing me to do that is much, much bigger, and happening soon, and going to change everything. I'm a little scared, because I don't have the means to make it happen, but if He wants it done, He'll make a way. I'm trusting in His goodness and His providence. And getting ready to obey.

Sometimes following Him seems crazy, or goofy, or pointless, and often it requires us to "put ourselves out there," risking embarassment or humiliation or whatever. But I guess if our reputations aren't at stake, it's not really obedience--it doesn't really require trust, does it?

I love You, Jesus, and I'll follow you anywhere. Even if it's kind of scary.


I wrote this on 1 November, 2009, and found it recently while looking for something else on my computer. I wish I could remember more accurately the context in which it was written--what I was thinking, what I was feeling, what was running through my mind--but I cannot. What I do know is that the second part of the writing comes directly from two different but distinctly related visions the Lord gave me in summer 2009--pertaining to the spreading of the glory & the kingdom of God 'round the Earth before He returns. So with that preface, I give you...this.

i wish i could rescue every child from the ravages of poverty and the bondage of slavery; to spare them the abuse of those who have their own interests at heart; to love them as no one else does; to feed and clothe and give a home to those in need of it. i wish every child could be loved as i was loved as a child; i wish every child could hold such fond memories of childhood; i wish every child's spirit was allowed the freedom to soar and dream and find the beat to which they'll march the rest of their days. i wish every child knew he has the ear of God. i wish every child knew her prayers are heard. i wish every child knew his worth, her purpose, he's loved, she's lovely; he's a warrior; she's a bride. i wish adults could be more like children, more readily able to enter the world of the imagination and find wonder in every smallest thing. i wish children were not marginalized, pushed aside, trampled underfoot. i wish every child were protected from the evils of this world. i wish the world were kinder to it's smallest inhabitants. i wish we understood what it means to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. but there is coming a day, and soon, when all shall be made right; when the warrior-king shall ascend His throne and when the powers of darkness shall be rendered powerless. it will not be tomorrow, no, for the world must become ever darker, ever harsher, ever more full of evil. evil must be manifest in every area, in every arena, in every place and the purposes of the enemy must come to pass, must be fulfilled. and as the darkness encroaches, and as the persecution increases, and as the hardships grow harder and as people turn to one or the other, to follow the Lamb or to follow the Lucifer; as evil pervades and blackness grows and wickedness stains the souls of men...there shall be light. first small, isolated, surrounded by unnatural night, it shall grow--and then, another, and another, and then yet more. the lights shall spread, shared to and fro they shall encircle the earth, more and more and brighter and brighter and the whole earth shall grow to be consumed by this light, by these fires of revival and the spirit of the Holy One shall be present in every place where there is a light and miracles shall happen and the Glory of the Holy One shall be brought to the earth and the heavens shall be rended and the warriors shall cry out and victory shall be theirs and the brides with their lamps shall be waiting in the readiness for which Christ foretold and then--the King returns.