i am broken. i am redeemed.


Known
August 28, 2008, 2:24 pm
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SO much has happened. SO much that the Savior has done in my life and in the lives of those around me.

When I first met Jesus, I was so excited to know Him and be a part of what He was doing on earth. Then I became slightly apathetic for about a year. And then for several years I was on FIRE. There was absolutely nothing that could deter me from my focus on Him. Many bad things happened during this time and I just kept saying, “He is Just.”

But then I stopped believing it and I walked away. I walked into what I now call my ‘spiritual crisis’. This past year has been incredibly difficult. Learning to trust Him again and love Him without abandon again. And not necessarily how I used to. Like Abraham, I feel like He is leading me down old paths and leading me back to where I began with Him in order to learn to love Him all over again. Which is damn hard.

I have been clinging to a certain song. It’s by an artist Audrey Assad. If you’re reading this and you haven’t heard her. Oh my gosh. Listen to her. The song ‘Known’ has been my heartbeat the past few months. In and out of sin.

Audrey told me,”I know from experience that Jesus makes ALL things new, even the ugliest, the sourest, the darkest. Just to encourage you. I guess it boggles my mind that He could lean over my unformed body, putting it together, with perfect love and tenderness, knowing exactly how many times I would fall. He truly is merciful. He truly is kind.”

Those that know me know that music is my biggest passion. Whether it’s listening or writing or performing… it’s a passion God instilled in me. And for months… I cannot get this one song out of my head. I’m not sure that God has EVER used one song so strongly to speak to me. I’ve actually decided to walk down the aisle to THIS song. At the “as a lover knows…” part. Because this is my story. Thank you again Audrey.

Luke and I talk about this all the time… just like Paul said in the NT… doing the very things you hate and never succeeded at the things your heart burns within your chest to do.

I freaking hate it.

Black as tar… like Audrey said.

This is her song… please listen. ‘Known


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As the dew falls on the blade
You have touched all this fragile frame.
and as a mother knows her baby’s face,
You have known me.

As the summer air within my chest,
I have breathed You deep down into my breast.
And as You know the hairs upon my head,
every thought, and every word I’ve said…

Saviour, You have known me as I am
Healer, You have known me was I was and as I will be
In the morning and in the evening, You have known me
You have known me completely
You have known me.

And as the exhilaration of autumn’s bite,
You have brought these tired bones to brilliant life
And as the swallow knows, she knows the sky
this is how it is with You and I.

From the fall of my heart to the resurrection of my soul,
You’ve known me, God, You have known my ways
In my rising and my sitting down, You have seen me as I am.

As the lover knows His beloved’s heart;
all the shapes and curves of her, even in the dark,
You have formed me in my inward parts;
You have known me, You have known me.”

Oh so beautiful. I want nothing else than to tell others what God has done for me.

I don’t care exactly how’s it done as long as it’s done. And I know damn well it isn’t done through pretending like I’m perfect and like I have it all together. Because I sure as hell don’t. I’ve never seen Jesus in a perfect person. I see Jesus in those who crumble often. I see Jesus in the hurting and the sinners.

I see Jesus in Luke. Luke, who so terribly wants to love Jesus with every fiber of his being. Luke, who has such a big smile and a big heart. 

I see Jesus in Jessica Lauren. Dear sweet JL, who now matter WHAT is the most beautiful woman of God I’ve ever met. JL who has been through more pain than I can even let my heart accept. JL who will not stop fighting off the enemy.

I see Jesus in people like Christina and Deana and Tami and Hannah and Adrien and Malia and Bethany and Travis and Callie and Jeff and Kathryn. I see Jesus in SO MANY people. These brothers and sisters whose stories I can’t even begin to tell the greatness of them.

Not one of those people is perfect. So, I apologize to those who see me and are looking for something perfect. Because all you’ll see in me is a wretched, depraved sinner redeemed and comforted in the hands of a Just, Angry, Beautiful God.

I will do my best to live for Him. And no it’s not what everybody thinks it should look. But  I see Him in me. And I know exactly what it looks like for Him to not be visible. And I see Him working. And I love it.

He has known me



Proverbs 31
June 18, 2008, 9:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I long to be a Proverbs 31 woman.

Speaking for the truth. Virtuous, capable, trustworthy, a good helpmate for my future husband.

Multi-talented, energetic, strong, a good missionary, prepared.

Clothed with strength and dignity.

Joyful – a laugher, wise, kind. God-fearing.

I long to be a woman of integrity, strong character, deep wisdom, many skills and great compassion.

This is what I live for. This is my pursuit of Christ and His pursuit of me.

After all Acts tells us that “In Him we live and move and have our being.”

 

I want it all.

 

-kelly ann



Check.
June 18, 2008, 1:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve really been wrestling with the mind of the Lord the last two weeks. I’m freaking worn out. Walking away with a limp? Check.

See… I’m in love with a boy. His name is Luke Cory Jones. This boy Luke is in love with the God of the Universe. Check. He’s also in love with me. Check.

God is doing AMAZING things through us. Truly beautiful things that I rarely see in the lives of others. Proof that it’s all Him and not us at all.

After nine/ten months of Luke’s prayers and about five months of my own prayers… we’ve both been begging God to show us His plan for us individually and collectively. God is being a quiet One. Which freaking KILLS me because in my mind… I gotta know now! You know? I mean, don’t get me wrong. He’s providing peace. Not so much clarity. He is Alive and Working and His Hand is evident but it’s where it’s leading that is still not clear.

Patience, Kelly. Be still, my child. That’s ALL I’ve been hearing and I can’t quite say I’ve checked those off my list just yet. Oh, that and “Fear of the Lord leads to wisdom.” Okaaaayyy… well just what is this wisdom then!?! At least it’s nice to know I’m not alone in this struggle. I’ve got my dear sweet best friend Jessica-Lauren walking with me hand in hand. Oh, God.

So, as my heart searches out the Lord’s plans for me and the Lord’s plans for Luke… I’ve had this poem in the back of my mind. It’s called “Ants in the Sugar Bowl” [author unknown]

Just lovely.

I dream of Africa. Check.

 

So I send you to ants in the sugar bowl.
To things that fly, creep and crawl into the house.
So I send you to uncertain water and sporadic electricity.
To long hours, sweltering heat, exhausting days.
So I send you to uncomfortable vehicles, crowded jeeps, smelly buses.
To noisy early, EARLY mornings.
So I send you to rice, rice and more rice.
To poverty you didnt believe existed.
So I send you to masses of people like you have never seen.
To know and work with people who have never even known any kind of comfort.
So I send you and I expect you to adjust.

So I send you to people who will give to you in the middle of poverty.
To friends that will embarress you with their generosity.
So I send you to pastors that will entertain you from their lack, with bounty.
To hungry, receptive, questioning people who want to know God.
So I send you to study, to teach, and to learn.
To probe your very own motives, values and beliefs.
So I send you to learn about yourself and the culture that has reared you.
To know God and to understand more deeply… dependence on Him.

So I send you.
Are you going? Because I will go with you all the way.

 

Trying to enjoy the bumps along this journey toward Him? Check.

 



How He Loves Me

 

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This past month has been quite…. oscillatory…??? I have failed to keep committments that I swore to keep. But what’s most interesting to me isn’t that I fell but that Satan has no room in my life anymore.

I’ve learned that purity and this growth that I desire is not an event [Shane Claiborne] but it’s a process. A very long, hard, painful process. I have to try and keep trying and try some more — all the while remembering that when Christ died on the cross He rescued me from guilt and shame and defeat. They were all nailed there right next to my iniquities.

I’ve learned [re-learned, rather] that I have to pick up my Sword on a daily basis in order to gain the self-control that I so desperately long for. I have to be in prayer CONSTANTLY. The Word says we must submit to the Lord then to resist the devil and he will flee. But first — we submit.

I’ve truly come to understand that the joy of running from sin is SO much more beautiful and filling than in for a moment and therefore taking thirty steps in the wrong direction.

I’ve learned that I want to be surrounded by true Jesus-lovers. Lord, I’m BEGGING that my relationships with the TRUE Christ-followers in my life will escalate intensely.

Lord, I am all yours.

The past week has been accompanied by this song in the video. His name is John Mark McMillan. This song is pure beauty. And if you listen to what he says, it was written out of the depths of despair after he lost his best friend in a tragic accident.

The story of my life is wrestling with believing that You, O God, care and that You’re really active. I would give anything to see your Face. I’ll keep fighting, Lord, and I know that this is a risky statement to make. Because I’ve seen in my life countless times and I’ve seen in others lives countless times and I’m seeing in Jessica-Lauren’s life right this moment that when a claim like this is made in the heart of a child of God — many times you don’t hesitate to snatch the rug out from underneath in the process to draw us closer to You.

I see that in this song.

But I’m ready. Because I have been there. Right there. Claiming that I’m ready for God to move. He’s done it plenty of times. And the last time it happened, I threw in the towel because it was just too hard. But I’ve been there and I realize it’s not worth it to walk away. It is SO MUCH MORE BEAUTIFUL to stay in Him.

“People, they try to tell me You’re cruel but if Stephen could sing he’d say it’s not true, ’cause God You’re good.”

Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good. When trouble comes, he is a strong regude. And He knows everyone who trusts Him.”



Revolution
April 30, 2008, 9:43 pm
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My life just gets better as the days go by. And I know it won’t always be this way. And I don’t have to choose joy, but I do. Like right now I could very well have a blood infection, but I’m hoping I don’t. I miss my boyfriend but I’ll see him soon. I really want a cigarette but God is delivering me. And again, I know this could be a hell of a lot worse. I’m content where I am.

I can’t even begin to explain how much the Lord has done in my life the past two weeks. It’s unbelievable!!! I was just sitting in my room a last Sunday, the 20th, and starting realzing how ugly of a a person I’ve become. I also started thinking about how much I’ve complained and cried out the past four or five months because God hasn’t been “speaking to me” or what not.

Then I started thinking about all the idols in my life. Cigarettes. I am so addicted it’s not even funny. Almost a pack a day. That’s awful! Which, aside from the health factor, I don’t like being addicted to something period!

Alcohol. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with alcohol but I do think there’s something wrong with being on the verge of being an alcoholic [which runs in my family]. I also think there’s something wrong with the fact that if I’m having a bad day I always say to myself, “Man, I can’t wait to have a drink” instead of “Oh, I can’t wait to get home and see what God has to offer me.” PLUS, I can count 6 or 7 times that I’ve drank in the past year alone and NOT gotten drunk. I have no self control. This is an idol in my life.

I’m not going to go into the details of everything because I’ll just ramble on. But there are so many things seperating me from God. So between Him, Luke and about 8 of the godliest women I know… God started a Revolution in my heart.

Within two hours of me being on the verge of just letting go and walking away again. Walking away from home. From Luke. From God. Within two hours of this, God showed me COUNTLESS Scriptures like this,

22 “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations.23 I will show how holy my great name is—the name on which you brought shame among the nations. And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes, says the Sovereign LORD, then the nations will know that I am the LORD.24 For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land.
  25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols.26 And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.” —Ezekiel 36:22-27

Verse after verse after verse after verse of God promising me that he’ll deliver me and restore me and uplift me and rebuild me.

Praise the Lord for what’s going on around here. I haven’t felt this way or see God’s hand so clearly in about a year and a half. And I have NEVER been more aware of the prayers of the Saints as I have these past two weeks.

It also stands to amaze me what the Lord will do THROUGH me when I am kneeling before Him. Because not two days after this happened, a sweet sweet sister of mine watched all of her walls fall down and she reached out for me. Only God knows why. But He has used me to speak truth into her life and I pray it doesn’t stop. Because it isn’t me. Seriously, there’s a revolution going on. I can’t miss out on it.



Lead Me to the Cross

Anyone who knows me at all knows that a day does not go by where I do NOT stuggle with loving Jesus.

Believing Jesus.

PRAISING HIM for dying for me.

I wish I could say that I woke up every day and praised God and talked to Him like the Lover and Friend and Savior that He is. But I just don’t.

It’s absolutely absurd that He would do this, die for me, knowing I would spit in his face before I turned my back and run. But to Him it was worth it. For me and for you. He would rather die than leave us in the dark.

Also, anyone who knows me knows that I am not anything near a preacher. This could be good just as it could be bad. I won’t make that decision. But as the tears viciously stream down my face as I type this, I plead with God that I NEVER come to the place where I am not broken on my knees for my sin.

I can just see Him up there, barely breathing and blood pouring all down his body. And it was all for me and you. He who knew NO sin BECAME sin so that we could live. So that YOU AND I could live. Talk about a good friday.

Why is it that on this particular friday, I hate myself? I hate my sin. I hate my choices. I hate that I bow to sex and drugs and alcohol and lying and stealing and gossip and greed and hatred and bitterness. I hate myself for that. And all of those feelings of shame and hatred and hurt and grief are the EXACT feelings that Jesus felt when He was on that cross.

Never let me forget that those were my nails and that was my crown of thorns. I feel like I should be apoligizing to God for Him taking it from me. But it’s out of my hands isn’t it? Just like it’s out of your hands. There is nothing we could ever do to make up for the shitty choices in our lives.

WE OWE EVERY BREATH TO JESUS CHRIST!

And I know VERY well that more times than not I am a TERRIBLE example of Christ’s purpose and will. But at the same time, I suppose I’m a PERFECT example of his grace and redemption and furious love. Anyone reading this, I want to apoligize to you for not loving Him the way I should and in so doing not showing YOU how greatly He loves you and can change your life like He absolutely has done for me.

Julie, I’m sorry. Amie, I’m sorry. Dominque, I’m sorry. Colina, I’m sorry. Kris, I’m sorry. Nikki, I’m sorry. Jamille, I’m sorry. Katie, I’m sorry. Brandi, Justin, Mike, Ryan, Evan, Brad, Jenni, Sean, Lynn, Nicole, Caryn, Chad, anyone and everyone who knew me whether or not I was wanting to love God in that moment:::::: I’m sorry I screwed up and didn’t exemplify Christ’s love for you through his love for me. I’m sorry.

I owe everything to Him.

And I desperately wish that I knew I wouldn’t struggle with hating Him tomorrow. How the hell could I? After knowing that he was beaten and murdered and came back to life again so that I wouldn’t have to die like that. So that I could be in heaven with Him if I wanted to be.

If I wander from that alter, lead me back to the place you were slain.

I hope that every person who reads this has a wonderful weekend. Please don’t let today and Sunday pass by without recognizing the miracle that was Christ’s death and resurrection. This is the metanarrative that defines your very being.



absurd
March 3, 2008, 11:31 pm
Filed under: absurd, forgiveness, God, redemption, second chances, sin

A little thought that burst into my brain the other day was that God is amazing. Okay, so that’s not a little thought. That’s a pretty damn big thought. One that I can’t even BEGIN to wrap my mind around.

 Why does He forgive us when we screw up by allowing things to come between us and Him? (Which -by the way- is my personal definition of sin) It is absolutely absurd that God forgive me when I choose other things over Him. In it’s all selfish too. Anything and everything that I allow into my life that I KNOW doesn’t glorify Him is just plain selfish. And like I said, it’s absurd that He forgive me and yet, He still does. Every time.

And I can either give in and accept the idea that I’ll never change with or without His help or I can believe the fact that He can change me. And I know that He wants to do that by me digging into His Word without abandon. And I’m not doing that. So what right do I have to complain that He isn’t helping me?

 Uh…. none.

 God does beautiful things through us finite creatures. He makes us into something more than we ever were. Which was pretty much nothing.

Thanks God!