Week Three: Surgery, Sorbet, Sunshine, and Shrimp

 

 

If I had to describe this week in two words, it would be: “heart surgery.”

What a week. Between four to seven hours a day, each day, we learned from the wonderful Dr. Bruce and Barbara Thompson (or as some would call them, Gandalf and Galadriel) about their concept of “The Divine Plumbline.”
The basics are that God has an absolute “plumbline” (carpenter term for a measuring line that’s purpose is to make things perfectly straight) of love and trust for our lives, and so often we build up “walls” of lies, rejection, rebellion, unbelief, pride, etc. that are not based on this plumbline, but based on lies and wounds and hurts and rough past experiences.
God never intended for us to live in these circumstances, to build these walls, and so a lot of the week was examining what “walls” we have built and how Jesus came to restore and rebuild those walls so that we can achieve and obtain His best of love and truth.

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It sounds crazy.
It felt a little crazy, to examine our personalities and our pasts and examine how they have made us into what we are today.

It was exhausting.
So emotionally exhausting, especially for those who have some pretty deep wounds in their life, or have carried around a lot of burdens and expectations, either theirs or from others.

And yet, it was so, so good.
It was good for all of us to take a good look at ourselves and see how far we are from all that God has in store for us, because we put up walls of our own against His goodness.

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One of the concepts that had a big impact on my heart this week was taking a look at my own lack of belief in the goodness of God.
See, I know in my head that God is good. But sometimes, my heart doesn’t want to believe that. I stumble around in my own pain, believing lies that the world has told me about my own worth and my own value, especially believing that I have to act or perform a certain way to have value and worth and love.

Not so, apparently.

God confronted me this week on this, reminding me that I have value and worth in Him simply because I AM, not because of anything I DO.
Even though I still find it hard to believe sometimes, I’ve been discovering more and more that he wants the best for me, and wants to restore and rebuild me so that I can access my fullest potential of loving myself, loving others, and loving Him. It was his great love for me that caused him to lay down his life for me (John 15:13), because I am precious to him (Isaiah 43:4), because he cares about my life (1 Peter 5:7), and because he wants such good things for me (Psalm 103:5, James 1:17).
After all, he died for me, for all of us, while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8), not when we had lived perfect lives or done awesome things for him. Nope, it was when we were broken, hurting people that he said “I love those people. And I want to rescue them.”
And he did.

So it’s been a week of heart surgery; a week of examining and rebuilding, but it’s been good.

It also happened to be high tide this week, and with 50 ft waves over in Maui and O’ahu and some good 20 ft waves here in Kona, I was amazed at the sheer strength of the ocean. Not brave enough to go surfing, yet, but brave enough to stand on the shore and feel the waves from there. ;)

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Some highlights of my week included some really, really great Skype/Facetime dates with some of the lovely people I love (thank you, technology!), discovering that sorbet is the perfect cure for hot and humid Hawaiian afternoons, and enjoying our new layout in our room thanks to some enthusiastic rearranging with my roommates. :P

Another highlight of my week was visiting a little place called Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.! Yes, I know it’s a chain restaurant, but it was legendary right on the ocean and was so delicious.

We were seated right on the ocean, and after such a crazy week it was so lovely to just sit and enjoy the view and the spray of the ocean tide in the air, and chat about home and dreams and awesome things like that.

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And, they had really, REALLY delicious nonalcoholic Strawberry Mango Chiller drinks with light-up glasses THAT WE GOT TO TAKE HOME. My week was made.

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To top it all off, Jenny and Kat and I even got all the waitress’ trivia questions right. We. Are. Awesome.

The unfortunate thing about this week is that I also ended up sick right near the end of it. I spent 28 hours from Friday evening to Sunday morning in bed, with about the energy of a sloth. I think the end is near, as I’m feeling a little better now, which is most likely due to the impressive doctoring and nursing from my classmates. I knew there was something handy about being in a “medical” discipleship training school. ;)

Also, during one lecture this week about the foundations of societies, I realized again that so many cultures and societies were founded or shaped by men and women who loved and followed the Lord. Prime example? American money. Kinda cool.

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I miss y’all (I’m learning to speak some Texan!), and definitely love hearing updates from you as well!

‘Til next time…
Jenn

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