5.02.2015

Locked Places (Five Minute Friday: Door)

Every week, a whole heap of fabulous women get together and bravely write for Five Minute Friday: five minutes of writing without thinking, without planning. Just the sweet written word through the clicks of the keys, or the pen on the page. Today's prompt is... Door

Go.

Initially the blackness of the room engulfed her, but as her eyes adjusted, the scene before her took shape: A room of many doors, of all different sizes and designs. And though she couldn't see beyond them, she knew if she stayed inside she'd be hidden there for eternity. Decidedly, she reached for the knob closest to her, but she knew as soon as she touched it: locked. Again and again, as she attempted each door in the circular room, panic rose to her throat.

I'm trapped. The breath of words barely passed through her lips. All the doors are locked.

Fear took over her heart, her mind.

But in her deepest despair, when the room was at its blackest, a breath of voice washed over her soul, while a white light began to pierce the darkened room.

Peace to you!

The voice ushered in, resounding through the curved walls, taking its stake among the doors. And it was at that moment the voice covered her with peace and perfect joy. Fear replaced by this Spirit, in which she received wholly and without question.
***
It's so easy to hide, in the locked places of our souls: contemplating our past hurts, our unknown identities... where it's quiet, and no one bothers us. But there is freedom in breaking away from these locked places, the places where we think no one could understand. Where no one could relate, or forgive, or assist.



The Enemy wants this: for us to be alone on our journey, to not seek out those around us. He wants us hidden behind these closed doors, covered in the darkness of solitude.

But God desires something different for our hearts. He desires for us a community of others in our lives, each person holding a key to each door of our hearts. He wants to wash us with His Holy Spirit, so we may rejoice amidst the suffering of this life. Hiding alone in the darkness does nothing but keep this gift out of arms reach.

Stop.

Well, that may have taken me 8 minutes. Or ten. But who's counting really? ;) Hope y'all have a blessed weekend!

xoxo, k.

4.27.2015

My Wrestling Place

I recently took a bit of a respite trip to a magical place where peace is woven in and out of the fibers of the walls. Where God resides in the hearts of all who enter, and where I rediscovered my life-giving gifts from our Father Almighty. Thank you for letting me reflect on those days in this space.


I'm not where I thought I would be.

Mother? Yes.

Wife? Yes.

Friend? Daughter? Neighbor? Yes. All of those things.

What I didn't expect was this floundering of my soul; this anticipation of being great, or accomplishing something amazing, and then waking up every morning to find that the earth hasn't shattered because of the accomplishments in my life. I didn't change the world today. Nobody noticed my completed tasks. Each morning the sun comes up, and I find myself on repeat. Nothing changed. Same routine.

And that's the problem: my childhood perceptions of what my life should be are so far from where I have ended up. It's not necessarily that I had some grand vision of what it would look like, but rather, what it would feel like.

Kristin Kuda. Mid-life crisis at the age of 34.

It comes down to feeling so small and insignificant in this world -- a world filled with evil and pain and heartache -- that I have such a hard time recognizing my worth. The enormity of these things take over, and those roles as mother, wife, friend, daughter? Well, they just don't seem as big...


Because the hillside I'm overlooking is grand, and the thunder of pouring rain consumes my every thought.  Our Holy Father is revealed in every living and breathing thing around me, and my enemy sneaks into the ripples of water coursing down the roof as he whispers, "You'll never be as significant as these things."

I believe him, because the monotony of my life feels like nothing close to the glorious sound of rain and birds and earth surrounding me. And right before I am wholly consumed by it all -- the nothingness and monotony and the insignificance -- a breeze blows from the West and I hear His call:

Peace be with you.
Peace be with you.

He says it twice because I didn't believe it the first time. He says it twice because I am but flesh and bone and broken and sinful. I believed the enemy when he told me I didn't matter, and I believed the enemy when he said my purpose wasn't God-breathed. And I believed Him when he told me my soul was impure and would never truly be forgiven.

But, God.

But God is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrong doing. (1 John 1:8-9)

But, God.

But God has made a covenant with us and has put His laws in our hearts, and has written them in our minds. (Heb 10:15-16)

But, God.

But God has given me a Spirit not of timidity, but of power, and of love, and of self-discipline. (2 Tim 1:7)

So, instead of feeling small, and unworthy and insignificant in this large, all consuming world, I will cling to the prayer Paul blessed upon us:

...that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes to you through Jesus Christ, for the glory and praise of God. (Phil 1:9-11)

Faith is a confidence in God that persists, even when the questions remain unanswered.

Faith trusts God even when circumstances seem to contradict His promises.

Faith rests firmly on the knowledge that God is faithful and His promises are True. God asks only for our obedience and faithfulness to assure our usefulness in our own period of history. In this, He gives us freedom to act on our life-giving gifts, freedom to see the beauty in the mundane, freedom to live our lives fully, regardless of our preconceived notions and idyllic plans.

I see now: the beauty of it all, the power of normal, and the beauty in routine.


xoxo, K.

**
Sharing with all the ladies on this Monday! Check out some beautiful writing here.

1.26.2015

Week 4: God Does Not Resent You

God Does Not Resent You

The first time I read those words, they hit me over the head like a ton of bricks. And even though it was two weeks ago, they continue to resonate like a sounding gong over and over and over again.

God Does Not Resent You

The people pleaser that I am, I don't like making a stink about things, or really being much of a bother to anyone. Apparently this translates to all things divine as well. I'm a self-righteous God-pleaser, and I'd hate to bother Him for anything, really, so sometimes I just keep my brain quiet, as to not disturb Him in all of His business.

There was a time in my life that I don't like to think about. So many great things happened during that time, but one part of me kept my heart in a state of unrest: my ignoring the gentle tugs of the Lord's call. He would whisper, Come to me and I will give you peace, and I responded with the equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears and singing, "LA LA LA LA" as loud as I could. I didn't want to hear about His mercy. His peace. His forgiveness. His redemption.


Why? It wasn't as if I didn't believe He was there. I am fortunate enough to have known about God's presence for most of my life. But the thoughts in my head sang the tune of, I'm just not that important. I don't want to be a bother. My troubles aren't big enough. Just little 'ol me. Nothing to see here.

It's funny, looking back on those few years of my life, and I'm able to see His hand in all of it. Without my asking, He placed me in the safety of His arms, saving me from myself and my self-destructive behavior. He knew how the story would twist and turn, with my eyes slowly changing direction and refocusing on His grace and forgiveness. Even though I blatantly and purposefully ignored Him while claiming just not wanting to be a bother, He actively pursued me and my heart. He slowly showed me what true acceptance of His love meant.

The thing about God? He doesn't care where you live, or what you've done. He actively seeks each of us as individuals. Despite war and famine and poverty, and all of the things that seem significantly more than little old you, He still cares. And He'll still pursue your heart. Because He wants you to pursue His. God shows us this perfect way to live, because he wants us to live in Him fully so we can show love and kindness to others despite their place in life.

Those years ago I think, despite my child-like response to His call, deep down I knew the Truth. I knew there was spiritual warfare taking place for my soul specifically. And He went (and goes) up to bat for me every. single. time. He let me fail, and learn, and grow. But He never left.

Because Christ always wins.


No matter your past. No matter your present. No matter your wrongs. No matter your actions. He does not resent you asking for help. He does not resent you for seeking His guidance. He does not resent you for constantly pleading for His hand in your life.

God wants you. All of you.

xoxo, k.


Today's post was inspired by the completion of my small group's study of Beth Moore's Children of the Day. Go read it. Right now. No compensations here, just spreading some good 'ole love.

Need some more inspiration this Monday? Head on over here to enjoy some other courageous writers!
 
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