Saturday, October 18, 2014

Spanish Love

    There are 2 types of tourists: those who hate being identified as such and those who embrace every cheesy stereotype that comes with the stigma- lanyard included. I tend to lean toward the camp of the former. It's not that I don't like to be noticed as a foreigner, but I prefer not to broadcast it from the rooftops. When I am abroad, I find myself to be quieter than usual with my very American accent.
    Currently, I am traveling in Spain with my sister, Kat. So far, it has proved to quite adventurous. And here is why...
    I have a very particular talent that I have refined over the years: I can fake my way to making people believe that I have some considerable knowledge of the Spanish language. To non-Spanish speaking people I feel like I am rather successful. The only fault in this practice is that once a fluent Spanish response is required, I turn into a complete moron and the façade dissipates. Hardly any semblance of intellect manages to escape my lips; just the sad mummers of a blubbering whale.
    To prove my point, I am fairly certain that at least 10 locals in Sevilla have come up to me speaking their beautiful Spanish only to find that I am as useful to them as an empty paint can. Not only am I unable to respond, but I have a permanent look of befuddlement etched across my face. The locals, however, are very kind and understanding. Once they barge through my ruse, they give me a look of, "Welcome to Spain. Good luck, you seem like you will need it."
    My sister and I are staying with a magnificent couple, David and Carmen. They have become our Spanish Papá y Mamá. By the end of our stay they will be eligible for sainthood.
    For 3 days they have been talking to me with absolute certainty that I only understand 30% of what they are saying. This is generous for I'm pretty sure I'm only retaining about 5%. But these lovely people are so patient with me. They keep talking to me and include me in their conversations. They don't mind waiting for my translator (Kat) to bring me in the loop. They are patient for me to learn. On the off chance that a miracle has occurred and I am actually able to speak, they listen and hang on to every word of my broken Spanish, eager to respond.
    It is amazing, the wonder of patience. It edifies and builds up. I ave been so encouraged just by one  couple's willingness to listen and not rush me. I have learned from their kindness how to be confident even in my weakness.
    Encourage someone through patience. Draw out boldness. Their weakness will shift into strength.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Being Human

*Half of this doesn't make sense and it doesn't have to.*

Does anyone hear me?
Mayday! Mayday! I have something to say but no way to speak. The words are caught in my throat and my emotions blocked. They are under lock and key with only a slat for air. Only if they behave can they come out to play.

Does anyone feel me?
Am I here or am a just a vapor?
I touch but am never moved. I give love but allow myself to receive none. Am I a dead thing that feels nothing? Immune to everything that holds joy?

The pain ebbs and flows. It rises then subsides, but it is always present. Can You take away the hurt or will you just tease me with notions of peace and hope?

The stillness and silence is maddening. I feel as though I'm standing on a cliff; waiting.
Come on! Do it! Push me already! Maybe then something will break through. Maybe then something will change on the inside. Perhaps then this heart will beat again.

The possibility of becoming human again is too beautiful to be true, but i would rather waste my life on a dream of goodness than exist in a hole of nothing.
Make my heart beat. Beat for something! Anything!
Make me move!

I feel You one minute and the next You are but a memory.
I feel Your breath on my fingers and Your heat on my palms.
You are so wonderful to me but I have nothing to give. One day I want to be with You so sadly I behave like an idiot, the next day I can't be bothered to say Your name.
But even then I hear You whisper mine.

I have nothing to give You but my life. Here is the life of a terrified girl. It is the 'life' of one who cannot fully commit. The existence of a doubter and a runner.
I have nothing, but You can have my nothing a turn it into something grand.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Surface Stains

From what I have gathered and gleaned in the past 10 months:

 I believe that Jesus, in His infinite wisdom and grace, is good. Not just good for the sake of being good, but He is good to me and is good for me. He quietens my soul when the gift of a clear coherent thought would be more than divine. He ushers in peace when I want to scream at the top of my lungs. He. Is. Good.

  In Toronto, I attended the School of Ministry and participated in the Heart module. Depending on you talk to, definitions of this school differ. To me it meant that I went to a school to get my crap sorted out so I could function. (And by God did I need it.) It was the ICU for my heart to be resuscitated and my emotions to be unpacked. I seriously think that there should be a notice or some kind of waver on the application for the school that says something along the lines of: You are signing your tear ducts and emotional conduits to be on overload and potentially fried for the next 5 months of your life. That would pretty much sum up the experience.  I believe that going to this school was one of the best decisions of my life; it woke me up.
 I was kinda under the impression that once I left the intensity of the ministry "bubble" things would calm down. This being said, can we all take a moment for a boisterous laugh at the absurdity of that statement? HA, Flippin', HA!!! Thank you, moment over.
 In my life, in this moment, I am able to recall the past 10 months of being out of the Bubble as nothing but the most lucrative roller coaster/slip and slide combo pack that is about 12 safety tests away from being set on fire. No joke. Emotional debris is just flying everywhere.

Throughout my life I have always been told, "Never trust your emotions as truth". For this day/week/month that is a very real statement. 
Because I am new at this "let your emotions be indicators rather than pathways" and "not everything you feel holds an absolute truth", I'm starting to fee a little nauseous. For me, I am a happy peppy person on the surface and will let you believe that "me" for however long you want to believe it. We could go our entire relationship without you ever knowing a single real thing about me. And I would be just fine with that. Sorta. However, Jesus has decided that that probably isn't the best way to do things. It's a good method for survival; but not living. He is teaching me the novel concept of....wait for it...actually letting people in. Wow, that's petrifying on every level imaginable. I do not like this lesson. I like feeling safe.
But safety is not the only feeling that I am capable of experiencing. I feel peace and excitement. I'm goofy and obnoxious. There are times that I want to go cliff diving out of pure ecstasy and joy. But on the flip side, there are days that I want to do nothing but punch people in the face or go bury myself in a hole. I feel pain and sorrow. I have experienced a depression that almost consumed me. I have gone through a misery that made me feel like my entire body was eating itself. Alone. I experienced all this alone.

Here is my problem: I have no issue bringing people in when I am on top of the mountain, but as soon the valley comes into view, I hide myself away.  In the past, I couldn't bring myself to let others see the mess of what I had become. I wouldn't let my support system support me. What has become apparent to me is that the truest form of death comes when you are isolated. How I survived high school I will never know, but I do know that I do need people. I need to be open. That is my over-riding challenge for myself and for everyone else reading; shine in both the amazing moments and the shit-tacular ones.
For example:
There are days that start out amazingly well and then two minutes later I am a puddle of snot and tears on the floor. It's really disgusting. Or I'll be doing terribly and the only types of sentences that I want to speak would be very long strings of profanities, and then everything will turn into Christmas, glitter, and unicorns. (Yeah, my sister can attest that life with me is entertaining.) So, obviously life isn't always a joyous cream puff but who cares?! Emotions are colorful and beautiful. Sure, they are exhausting as well. Embrace them! Take them bad boys and experience them with people. And for the love of all that is good and holy, don't isolate yourself.

That is my spiel.

I went to a school to be woken up. Good God, did that ever happen. The good thing about it is that I wouldn't change it. I love the chaos and the mess, it proves how powerless I am and how faithful God is to pull me up, give me kiss, and send me out again.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Who He Loves

I've always been interested, or maybe frustrated, in hearing people's opinions on the relationship between John and Christ. Because John is referred to as the "disciple Jesus loved" and the fact that he was one of the three that was always with Him, people say that John was obviously Jesus' best friend. I don't like this take because I am an insecure person and always feel I have to prove myself at something and this just makes me uncomfortable. I'm primarily dissatisfied with in because the Bible says that God doesn't show favoritism(Ro 2:11) and my thoughts of "if John was His favorite, well, I'm just screwed. John was an amazing disciple and spent 3 years with the carnal Christ. I am a 19 year old girl who tries her best at keeping a relationship with Him."

Despite these "issues", I have grown to learn something(what a shocker!);identity. It very well may have been that John was Jesus' best friend, but I now believe that John referred to himself in such a way to express the very heart of who he was.

Whenever I am asked who I am I have a checklist in my mind of how to answer that question. I can say that I am Kristen Wilcox, I have siblings, I go to a ministry school, I'm 19... I could say almost anything to describe who I am. It is the same with John. He could have said that he was a fisherman, a disciple, one of Christ's inner circle friends, anything! But instead of saying any of that, he recorded who he was as Jesus saw him. He was loved by Jesus and  that was more than enough for him. Jesus's love for John gave him life and REAL identity. So many people are lost in knowing who they really are, but John got it! He caught the truth that changes lives!

I want to be more like John. Instead of "I am this or that", I want to see myself clearly as a daughter that Jesus is passionate about. I want to be able to find myself in who Jesus says I am. I am so loved.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

New Thinking

A while ago, a fabulous man by the name of Chip Judd came and spoke to us on boundaries; amazing stuff and probably my favorite week so far. During the week he made an astonishing point. Roughly, this is what he said, “More than any other person, the one that most people hate more than anyone else is the one they see when they look in the mirror. Which is sad because you spend the most time with you and you spend most of your time loathing yourself.” This is kind of a “duh” statement but when something so universal is put into actual words rather than staying thought creates  a certain power that turns its effect into a whole new light. He later made the point by saying that instead of hating ourselves and putting ourselves down, perhaps we should actually say something positive about ourselves. Maybe we should say radical things about ourselves. For example, for me I have a very hard time believing that people want to be around me and that I’m not wasting people’s time. Instead of thinking this I would say, “I am a fantastic person, I’m hilarious and my smile is contagious.” This sounds ridiculous to me and I feel really idiotic when I say it, but statements, whether positive or negative, change the atmosphere around you. So why not make the atmosphere amazing by saying amazing things about yourself and about other people. You have to live with yourself more than any other person, why not learn to love yourself by saying the things that God says about you? What a novel idea.

Yesterday I got together with my small group, and my lovely Italian leader, Celeste, put a bunch of folded strips of paper in the middle of the table. Everyone had to go around, take a random strip, and read OUT LOUD (gasp) what was on the paper. Each piece had a phrase of how we should see ourselves. They. Were. Awesome. The most amazing part about it was each person kept drawing pieces- at random- things that held a certain theme for themselves. For one girl, she kept getting things about love and marriage, another got things about loving herself and self-acceptance, and I kept getting things about strength and being a warrior.

The fact that God, my Daddy, is really a daddy and loves me enough just to give me encouraging things with the same THEME is cool. Celeste gave out packets of things we have to say over ourselves and report back to her by next week how it has affected us. I’m pretty sure it will work ridiculously well.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Song of the Day

Kelanie Gloecker- Pressing On

I did not come to entertain the people in the court
I’m here to please the King, I wanna love on You, Lord
I did not come to camp outside and view You through a haze
I’ve got to look into Your eyes in the Holy Place
In the Holy Place

There’s no going back to where I’ve been‘Cause You’re in me and I am free from sin

I’m pressing on… I’m pressing on… (2x)
I fix my eyes on the prize, I’m lookin’ at You, Jesus
I fix my eyes on the prize, I’m lookin’ at You (2x)

I did not come to settle for the average or mundane
‘Cause the Spirit of Jesus Christ is flowin’ in my veins
I did not come to bow down and give in to fear of man
I’ll prophesy, sing a new song and dance Your dance
I’m gonna dance Your dance

The blaze in Your gaze is drawing me….into You
I’m being chased by the very One that I pursue

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Love

Your Presence is all I need
It’s all I want, all I seek
Without it, without it there’s no meaning
Your Presence is the air I breathe
The song I sing, the love I need
Without it, without it I’m not living
I will exalt You, Lord, I will exalt You, Lord
There is no one like You God
I will exalt You, Lord, I will exalt You, Lord

No other name be lifted high
There will be no one like You
And no one beside You
You alone are worthy of all praise

There will be no one like You
And no one beside You
You alone are worthy of all praise