Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Then and Now

                So in a course of events, this morning I found myself reading some things I have written in the past. And as I was riding on the back on the moto in today, I was thinking of all the things I would tell myself back then. And reminding myself of all the things I need to remember that God has taught me. And this is what I would say to me, back then.

Dear the past me,  

I know right now you are just starting to crawl out of some pretty dark places. I know freedom is a bit scary to you right now. You have hurt yourself for far too long. I am not sure what ever made you feel the need to self harm. Where you trying to make the outside match the inside hurt and confusion? You wonder if you will ever fit somewhere, and just so you know. You won’t. You will never feel secure and accepted here on earth. Because we are all created for fellowship with God and everything else, really never makes the cut.

                I know you desire control. But it is in your surrender, you will find wholeness. It is in the surrender that you will find hope. Control is not the answer. Because, let’s face it, anytime you tried to be in control, you messed it up big time. And that is alright. Because you cannot take charge of this, only God can.  I know some bad things have happened, you have been used in ways no one ever should be, you have felt deep pains of loss already. You question if those who say they are there for you, really are going to stick it out with you. And some will, and some won’t.

                But you are in a good place right now, weather it seems it or not. You are learning. You are learning the complete peace and joy of surrender. You are learning to still let go of the past. You are learning you do not need to live the victim role forever. You are learning that there are far better things out there, than what the scale says. You are learning that only God can tell you who you are. Not even you know that, only the one who created you. I know it is still scary to let go. As you learn to step out of some dark places in your life, you are bumping around in the light a bit. Light is flooding into the darkest places as you surrender, and your eyes have not adjusted to it yet. So you are tripping over a whole lot of things, and just being a plane wreck! It’s alright.

                I want you know God has never loved you more in your past, nor will He in the future. Weather you surrender, or you hold on. Weather you turn to other things to numb your soul, or you bear it all at the cross. God loves you, despite yourself. And He is going to use all this one day. One day he will use every scar for His glory. One day you will have sweet orphans in Africa, brush there tiny brown fingers across your arm, and ask you “What are these scar from?” and you will be able to tell them, of your surrender. And one day, you will fall so head over heels in love with the kids who those tiny fingers belong too. And what you eat, wear, or even who is sticking it out with you will matter anymore. You will sell all the things you are feverishly now trying to accumulate, to go love on them all the time. And hope that they will know the same surrender, and new life that you have. You will brush the scars on your arms, and you will think “It doesn’t even seem like those things where me. My life is so different now.” The scars will remind you some day, that you didn’t just watch it on some movie, but it was you. And a very real and a very big God showed you a relentless love that changed it all around.

                So past Tina, don’t fret. And just rest in the surrender you have been learning. Because pretty soon, God is going to tap you on the shoulder, right when you think you got it all figured out, and he is going to flip your world upside down. And you will be on the most incredible ride of your life. There is so much more to come…… and you will sit down and write this letter to yourself in Africa. As you remember that some day, all of this fades. And you will stand before your God, and bow. And your faith will be your sight. Which you know, how real what you cannot see is. Because girl, you are waking up every day in a new surrender to a big God, who will break every chain. And as long as you keep surrendering, He will continue to break every chain. You are beautifully broken.

You in a few years, much faster than you ever thought.

And on that note, the me in the past would remind me today:

Dear me today,

                You don’t have to have it all together. You are a work in progress. Don’t ever think you are not in need of Savior daily. Do not think you do not need his grace still, every moment. Remember, you still need to surrender every day. Remember what God has done in your life, but do not stay there. You do not have to attend every argument you are invited too. And don’t forget, He could not love you more, yesterday, today, or tomorrow. It is not based on what you do or do not do. It is all about what He did at the cross. It is done. Do not get too far ahead of yourself. Remember you cannot save anyone, you can only love them. And you can only love them, because He loved you first.

You years ago. 


  1. Oh, Tina, I know what it is like to surrender. It' brings such peace, not to have to carry the load all by yourself. It does not mean that you will not take responsibility seriously, only that God is right there holding you up when you make the right choices.
    I feel I have come to know you better than I ever did when you were my student. If I had only known your pain, I would have been there much more for you!
    I have grown to love you for all that you are and do, Tina.
    I am confident you will complete the good work you do and more.
    I am so amazed by you and where our God has led you.
    You, dear, are amazing!
    Love to you and the kids you love,