Not My Will

Sometimes my will is His will, but my timing is not His timing because I don’t have His patience or His ability to see the whole picture.

Waiting.

It’s hard.

It’s hard to wait for another’s eyes to be opened to something that seems so clear to you.

It’s hard to wait to be able to express love that you know in your soul is right.

It’s hard to wait in order to be certain of a future job or life path.

And yet… if we look at each of these waiting periods as beautiful seasons in and of themselves, rather than difficult waiting periods, we’ll realize that it isn’t so hard at all.

We also won’t waste time waiting, wishing time away, and we’ll experience peace in the fact that God’s timing is always better, and always for our good. And not always about me.

Maybe I’m ready, spiritually and mentally, to receive a truth or start a job, but someone else involved in the same situation isn’t.

Maybe my waiting is a needed light for someone wanting to trust God for the first time.

There’s always a higher purpose when life is lived with and for Jesus.

I was reminded of the beauty of patience and trust in every season in many ways today:

In conversations reflecting on the beautiful relationship formed by one of my best friends, Maddie, and her boyfriend, and God’s timeliness in that;

In seeing an old friend at a coffee shop in whom my paths have crossed many times and who has been a continuous light to me; who reminded me the power we have through Jesus to brighten lives every day;

In catching up with an old friend via message that led to unbelievable closure I can’t explain.

And every one of these examples I have wanted to rush at some point. I have asked God, Why not now?!?!

But He always knows.

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint

So if you are in the waiting… needing to just trust

Take heart, my friend. He is fighting for you. Is your hope in Him?

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‘ina

I remember like it was yesterday asking my Bible prof the question, “does the phrase so that have a single word in Greek? I see it everywhere in the Bible. It must be a common translation from one Greek word.”

My prof smiled. “Yes, it absolutely does. It’s hi-na.”

This was last semester, and I remember knowing that the word was important.

Colossians 1:9-10 We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way.

The word meant so much to me because, when I see “so that” in Scripture, it always denotes a reason, a greater purpose. “Trials and tribulations are so that your faith might be made greater. Suffering and mourning are so that Christ might fill you with His strength.”

On my right wrist, I have a tattoo of the eating disorder recovery symbol. I’ve always felt it’s complete.

Since hearing the Greek word for “so that,” I keep thinking about getting hina, (in Greek it looks more like ‘ina) tattooed on my other wrist.

The eating disorder I endured was so that He might be glorified. The devil has no real authority through the disorder, thus God allowed it to happen so that He might be glorified, and that I might lean on Him more.

Flash forward to now, yesterday, in Biblical Greek class with the same prof who taught me hina. About a month into Greek, and I’m pretty proud of how much I’ve already learned.

When I stumble upon this in my textbook:

Eis can denote either result or purpose; ‘Ina far more commonly denotes purpose. Paul’s change of language is likely deliberate– to point out that his purpose in disciple is entirely rehabilitative, even if one of the results of his action is temporary exclusion and ostracism of the persistently rebellious sinner… “What the grammar suggests, then, is that the ‘destruction of the flesh’ is the anticipated result of the man’s being put back out into Satan’s domain, while the express purpose of his action is his redemption.” Craig Bloomberg

Wow. I can’t put words to how much this commentary excited me. This word had meant truth, historical and spiritual proof of healing to me… and here it was. Discipline purpose entirely rehabilitative.

It is this truth that has set me free.

And that reminded me of the freedom yesterday.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time.

If you know me well, you may be skeptical of my eating disorder recovery.

This is hard to write, but necessary to write.

I understand that. And I don’t mean to be a recovery advocate hypocritically. The healing that God has worked in me, by His Spirit and through His word, is done, and miraculous, and I give all that glory to Him.

But I became aware recently that there were still some habits around food, and views of food, that I held, that I was blind to, because they were normal to me. Because I’d been living this way for so long.

And, with that word, by His Spirit that I both physically and spiritually felt fill me up in my Greek class yesterday, I knew what I needed to do.

Controlled by the Spirit, I finally did the hard work of writing some of these things down. Views of food that I know are skewed. Wow.

I spoke them out loud and renounced them. And prayed.

And more rebirth. More memories. More healing.

There’s always more. Wow Jesus I just want moooore of YOU!

He is so good, my friends. He is so good. He refuses to leave me and He refuses to leave you. He wants to do a great work in you. He wants to bring you in to the purpose of life, and bring you joy and adventure and peace and a kinder heart in doing so.

The past few days I’ve eaten more peanut butter than I have in long time, lots of oily snacky food, and the skin on turkey, and I realized for the first time the swirling voices in my head that have still been there.

And it’s okay that I’ve been struggling. But I’m not okay with staying that way, only because I know Jesus is apart from those voices. And I want to be all His.

He’s allowed me to acknowledge the voices– and silence them.

This whole ordeal– Hina. SO THAT. Purpose.

*if you are resonating with any of these words– about eating disorders, or just about knowing there’s healing/purpose– and have questions or need a friend, I am here. Feel free to message me or ask any questions you might have. I’m trying to be more honest about the lows, rather than forever saying “I’m fine.” Because when darkness is brought to the light… well, it’s not dark anymore.

Day in the Life of a [Learning to Rest] Uni Student [Who is NOT Defined By Her Daily Productivity]

Raise your hand if you struggle with feeling like your worth is in your productivity?(🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️<— me).

Part of the Christian’s calling is submitting to the Word of God as Truth. Christians believe that within the Bible are the keys to life; real Truths are found in the Scripture, everlasting Truth of our Maker, and not the superficial, temporary lies of the world.

So, what does Jesus say about being defined by productivity/what I do?

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:15

Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing.

Upon being convicted of this, I talked to Jesus and sat in His presence and have been, little by little, made aware of the “go-go-go” mentality that was slowly killing me, my energy, and my spirits.

And my life has recently, finally, been looking more like rest.

I’ve been spending most evenings at home, reading, even watching a little TV, spending much more time with friends, but also not feeling “guilty” for having some me time. Most importantly, I’ve given more space for time with Jesus.

And, naturally, time with Jesus has led to more healing.

So the fact that today looked like

-waking up slowly, spending some time in the Word and then in prayer,

-enjoying an unrushed breakfast with my friend and housemate Mary and some amazing conversation,

-cleaning the house together,

-slowly but surely making my way with Maddie to my workplace, Pure Kitchen, not to work but to study and write an essay (in record time, thanks to more rest and therefore focus),

-spending time talking to Maddie and my co-workers, too…

-going to the gym cuz I felt like it,

-sitting in a coffee shop to read and write and pray by myself cuz my soul craved it…

-wondering what I’m going to do in 10 years and letting my mind wander but then slowing down and sitting with Jesus and knowing He transcends time and doesn’t call me to know all these details but just to trust…

A day as breezy and slow and unplanned as this would have once caused me such anxiety. Lacking a strict to do list feels foreign.

Jesus has been teaching me what “righteous organization” looks like. And it’s good. It’s caused me to confront and reflect on some things in my soul I might have thought I wanted to ignore.

And I come back to this:

Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing.

Discovering Sufficiency

He is said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Is it?
Do I live as though I believe this? Do I believe this?

Today Jesus blessed me by confronting me with this grace that I certainly believe in, this Truth that is too good to be true– Jesus’ grace is all I need— and giving me tangible tools to heal from layers of lies that have sought to teach me that grace isn’t sufficient.

All in His timing.

Jesus, You are so so good.

Waking early this morning, I made pumpkin spice pancakes and coffee and spent time in His Word before heading out the door to meet two of my pastors and friends.

What the next hour in their company brought was healing I couldn’t imagine.

Offering me leadership accountability and counselling, this dynamic duo, through the Holy Spirit, equipped me with tools as I met them with my biggest conviction of the past several years: My lifestyle is too busy.

I don’t live as though I believe His grace is sufficient. Because when I’m not doing something, I think I need to be. I fill up all my time so that I don’t have to think or rest. A phenomenon that has led to my hyper-processing, and a low ability to focus on one thing at a time. Stressed to the max, I haven’t known how to say no.

After meeting with this beautiful family, I took all my notes and everything they had said, and prayed. I sat still in Jesus’ presence and allowed myself to be there. And I heard Him speak:

There are still areas of law in your life, Cassie. I call you to freedom. 

Having feared, in the past, letting go of many of the stringent routines I’ve adhered to for a long time, Jesus made very clear to me some of the tangible things in these routines that didn’t need to be there, and that were stumbling blocks rather than helpful. Things I actually didn’t care about, but was just so used to doing.

I did the necessary things, after praying, to remove these stumbling blocks from my life.

Lay it down. He picks it up. Thank-you Jesus.

And today, I was more present than ever with my homework.

I had a killer workout without thinking about/stressing about other things.

I was present with my beautiful friend, Brooke, who really needed a listening ear.

And I’m not afraid to rest tonight and watch MasterChef, read a book I’m loving, eat some snacks. These simple things would usually give me anxiety that I have not previously been aware of, but, as I sit here and write, I feel a calm in every part of my being that I haven’t felt in a long time. I have established priorities that my Lord has anointed, and they’re for His sake, and rest/fun is a part of that.

His grace is sufficient for me, period. His grace is all this life is about. And I will boast in my weaknesses in order that His strength might be known– because the more weaknesses Cassie has, the more His strength is made manifest in my short time on this earth.

 

Learning to Rest for Real

Happy Wednesday!

My Wednesdays look like rest this semester.

Like, actually. I mean, I do homework as needed, and I do my work from home (freelance writing projects and blog work), but this is about it. I have learned what rest is to me, and sometimes it looks like seeing friends, other times it needs to look like doing very little.

I always thought growing meant movement. Growth must equate to a “go-go-go” lifestyle, right?

Well, after a year of full-time uni, working three jobs, volunteering, and facing physical health issues, I have finally begun to learn that growth looks like synchronization with Jesús… which certainly doesn’t demand our doing fifty things at once.

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. Psalm 127:2

It wasn’t until I went to Jesus to pray over some of these things in my life I saw as ministries that I realized I had become a slave to arbitrary laws surrounding them rather than seeking His will in them.

And, simply put, I am not capable of seeking His will whilst doing well in school and maintaining a personal relationship with Christ, nor am I called to. So while I left my this last year of university feeling like I had performed mediocrely, Jesus said I’ve never loved you on a basis of your performance, or how many things you can do at once. I simply love you, and I want to shine that love through you: energetic, called, and equipped Cassie.

I have always stood firmly by the belief that intentional relationships should trump experiences. I care deeply about the people in my life, and believe that compassion is at the heart of who our Lord is.

And compassion can surely be the initial reason for taking on a role of any kind, but it doesn’t necessarily sustain. And when it’s not His Spirit sustaining, that’s when productivity replaces passion, and results replace relationships.

I found myself dictated by stringent schedules and worldly standards, skipping my time at my Father’s feet and convinced outwardly that I didn’t need that time.

I’d love to say that I’ve found this perfect rhythm in which the Holy Spirit guides my every word and step, but I would be lying. But I certainly have been convicted that nothing of true worth can be done without Him.

So today, sleeping in, spending time catching up with Maddie and going to the gym with her, treating myself to a peaceful lunch, meeting with my friend and co-worker Dayna for coffee to catch up on life and work, looking forward to a slow night at home watching Masterchef… I recognize that I need this, because it’s in the spaces that I am not trying to fill that I recognize that my desire to fill spaces often comes from a place of fear.

But I need to rest to be equipped to serve.

I need to be filled up by Him in moments of silence and stillness in order to physically move.

So movement and growth, I’ve discovered, can look like what the world might call a step back.

 

Turning Like the Little Children

Today I feel old.

I don’t know if it’s because I have cable tv in a house I’m renting,

think about work constantly– even when I’m not there and should be thinking about other things–

spending my days running errands, grocery shopping, vacuuming,

visiting my newly married friend’s renovated house, with three large rooms, two for her stepkids and her bedroom of course the shared master bedroom with her husband…

I feel old!

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2

This verse has spoken volumes to me recently that part of the purpose of my life is to be in community with other people.

Friendships and relationships have always been so incredible important to me. More accurately, the human beings in my life are so important to me.

And while my health needs to be looked after, and the house needs to be cleaned, and work needs to be done, these are all secondary to serving Jesus’ Kingdom. Which doesn’t always look like tiring work.

I recently came from an incredibly busy season that taught me the importance and necessity of resting. Resting, which can look like fellowship, accountability, and learning, but also still needs to look like literal, physical rest.

I’m slowly allotting it in to my life. Slowly learning that I don’t need to be go-go-go from the moment I awake to the moment I sleep to be loved or to be productive. In fact, this makes me grumpy, resentful, and stressed.

Thank you, Jesus, for your Word about child-like faith. I know that I need to turn and be like little children in my daily life and my love for You. Help me, by Your Spirit, to know when it’s time to “play” and when it’s time to “work.” Amen.

When Nothing Goes as Planned…

One of those days where none of my plans happened the way they were supposed to.

I could list off quite a number of things that didn’t go today the way I’d thought them out or planned them through.

BUT

I can also list a number of things that happened that were blessings, amazing, and special.

Like the fact that one of the greatest people I’ve never known, Rachel, a barista I worked with at Starbucks, came to see me at my new job, and I wouldn’t have seen her if it weren’t for some cancelled plans.

Or the fact that I have time later to catch up with my momma.

When I choose to focus on where I am and the outcomes that have actually occurred, I am set free to accept, embrace, and live in God’s Truth, the path that I cannot change. But when I stress about changed plans, I subconsciously believe that God’s way wasn’t the best way, and I miss out on submitting to His perfection.

I am learning with age, and ultimately, Jesus, that patience and trust are key components of His Spirit that He calls me to rely on, in order to serve Him, and everyone around me. Trying to forge my own way never works… so I might as well sit back and trust, allowing the miraculous and blessing of the Holy Spirit to work through me. It will forever be the best life.