The Celebrating Soul

Pain Is a Gateway Not a Gift

Pain is a gateway to the best joy & peace. . .God Himself.

It is not that hard & painful things are swept under the rug and dealt with superficially as we tack on Christianese and suck it up. It is moreso that we have no rug or superficial joy or adequate reasoning to turn to. . .so we CLING to the only One who satisfies, who can make sense of senselessness.

We run, fall, cry, and wrestle safely in the Refuge of God. We are upheld, unashamed, and understood. We find our true joy in God because we are finally unable to hide from or ignore the only One who so perfectly comforts, helps, and transforms.

Continue reading “Pain Is a Gateway Not a Gift”
The Celebrating Soul

I Got New Lungs Instead

I feel like life is changing. Or perhaps, I am just fully living in it again? Either way, the change is welcome, and yet quite overwhelming. I think spring and summer will always be marked as the season I finally came up for air and got new lungs instead. I think God has been working on these new lungs for years.

Literal years.

Discovering God’s favor and blessing has been a love story like no other. Tossing out my crooked views of God to finally taste and see that the Lord is good (and good to me!) has been like witnessing a New Testament miracle. Proclaiming over and over again THIS IS LIFE WITH GOD has opened my eyes to the reality I get to live within.

I’m soaked in the waves that still climb over me, but the salt water doesn’t taste like it used to. There’s something beautiful going on here, and I’ve no idea the half of it…but who cares?!

I got new lungs!

Lungs that celebrate who I am in God. Lungs that live in the ocean without fearing the waves. Lungs that breathe favored, not forgotten. Lungs that know how to push out all the new songs I’m not yet sure how to sing.

These new lungs are figurative and symbolic, of course, but for a soul that’s learning what it means to celebrate? Figurative lungs are just as important to life as the real ones.  So here I sit at my kitchen table with new lungs.

And life is changing.

It has been changing ever slowly for quite some time. I suppose that’s what happens when you begin to know your Life-Giver intimately. There’s so much to celebrate these days…and yet so many things that require bold-soul living which can only be done in God minute by minute.

It can be overwhelming to really live again. It’s overwhelming to watch God place new opportunities and people in my life where there were none before. Publishing a book scares me too, but I know I have to do it. Sharing words so publicly and personally brings deep joy to my heart, but the weight of this responsibility presses down hard. These new lungs that celebrate loud and long are also called to serve deep and faithful. 

Only the Life-Giver can keep these lungs breathing and singing, and it’s going to be beautiful! But I also think God might allow these new lungs to get crushed too. Crushed for greater joy, crushed for deeper communion, crushed for the beautiful ways of God. I really can’t be sure of all that’s changing and coming,  but I am sure of this….God hasn’t called me to comfort and He hasn’t called me to silence. 

So, I will sing and celebrate with these new lungs. I will learn what it means to serve right here where I cannot touch the ocean floor. And I will learn to swim out boldly when God calls me deeper, because I am certain that He will…if only to teach my soul that it truly is well and God’s works are more wonderful than the broken shells on the sea-shore I used to collect.