i am not this person any longer. and i think that might be okay.

hey. long time no write.

finding this blog again was a bitter-sweet occurrence for me. as i read the bright and sweet posts, admiring the cute titles and balloon graphics (if you’re not reading via mobile), i thought to myself, “wow. i am not this person any longer.” and honestly, it made me really sad. five years ago, i was a sweet, kind, and (more) open young woman. my faith game strong, my fight game strong. tender-hearted to the core.

so naturally i thought, “what happened?”

i’m not sure a clear answer exists to that question. a lot happened:

heart break. dreams deferred. bad decisions with long-term consequences. new, big doubts and fears. graduate school. three big moves. the loss of a deeply rooted support system. memories of things i don’t want to remember. and then my response to all of that. i guess i let it harden me. at some point i decided it was too much to weather well.

but thankfully, by God’s grace, i’m still in the fight. selfishness dying, little by little. tenderness returning, day by day. but probably i will never be that previous version of Angela ever again. so while i grieve who i once was, and the person i see in the mirror today is not necessarily someone i like all the time, she is in progress. she is being sifted like wheat and refined like gold.

so i apologize ahead of time for the edges she displays and that you may feel rather sharply at times. then the sins which she will ask for forgiveness again and again but wish she didn’t need to do. but i certainly hope you can love her and see past all of that and instead see someone who is desperately trying to trust her Maker, trying to cling to what is good and true, fighting to know she is loved so she can fully live out those two great commandments. and that she is someone who really does love you but just struggles to show it well.

in the meantime, i’m going to keep the site the way it is, balloons, cute titles, and previous sweet posts. they will serve as markers, reminders of where i have been and of great faithfulness behind and before me.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” ~ Philippians 1:6

Perspective yall…perspective

An awesome post by my awesome best friend.

From license plate to real life

{Perspective}

There’s so much weight in that little word! I’ve had to think on what exactly that little guy means more than you could ever know over the past few weeks.

I wanted to sit down and blog about my crazy whirlwind month of May (Morocco, sweet friends visiting, family visiting, boyfriend visiting), but there’s something definitely weighing on me I’d like to spill out first. It’ll probably be all messy, but hey, that’s what blogging is all about, right? Hopefully that other blog will come soon!

Honestly, there are days that pass by and I could not be more overjoyed to be here! It’s still unbelievable that Father would use me, little me, here. I often still look around and ask myself, “is this real life??” It’s a joy to be with the ladies, it’s neat to be speaking in a different language a lot of the time, it’s…

View original post 466 more words

Gomer.

Everything I Cannot See

In a corner of my heart, I built a temple
to a hope without a foundation,
with a bed inside upon to give proper homage.
Selling my mind to fleshly desires and
dreams deferred,
turning tricks and forsaking fidelity to my Groom;
I made my bed to lie with these cruel desires,
my false lovers whose pleasures taste so sweet,
forcefully fed but willingly taken.
Yet when they leave, I can smell that filth
masked so well in charm and deception,
the raunch of gross conduct
that beds within my heart.
Lusty idols now rule on a freely given
but undeserved throne.
Foolishly listening to enticing persuasions,
distracted by sinful sensations:
I now reside in whorish bondage,
shackled to a bed abounding
in disappointment, disgrace, and ruin.
And I am a wayward woman,
not by eroticism or some such vice,
but with every careless choice
divorced from Goodness and Truth.
I hear those foul lovers knocking on the door;
allowing them to enter this secret bed chamber,
they laugh joylessly at what they have conquered.
And I close my eyes and beg for mercy.

By Angela Lee

This poem was inspired by the book of Hosea.

Art by Emma Leaonard

The Word.

girl reading

Here it is. First real post on my not-first real blog.

I’ll just jump right in; no need for fancy intros.

So this past year has been extremely hard.

I may have shared with some about how hard, but I want to be perfectly honest and say that being in seminary, moving (x2), and being away from the people I have come to really rely upon has often been like one horrible fire ant-infested, 100+ degrees picnic.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have loved getting to know the people I have met in seminary and what I am learning, but sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it, if the costs have been worth it. Relationships. Home. Church. I could have never anticipated the current depth of turmoil within my heart. The sins and struggles. The fears and doubts. The sadness and anger.

I read the beautiful Psalm 19 this past week. It’s all wonderful but verses 7-14 especially struck me:

The law of the Lord is perfect reviving the soul;

the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;

the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;

the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;

the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;

sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can discern his errors?

Declare me innocent from hidden faults.

Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!

Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,

O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

And then I was reminded that Jesus is the Word.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:1-5; 14

I have never put these two passages together. So then I reread this part of Psalm 19 and understood it like this:

Jesus revives the soul.

Jesus makes the simple wise.

Jesus rejoices the heart.

Jesus enlightens the eyes.

Jesus endures forever.

Jesus is righteous and true.

Jesus is to be desired more than gold and sweeter also than honey.

Jesus is the reward.

Only Jesus can declare me innocent.

Jesus, my rock and redeemer.

I found that to be so beautiful and real. I needed to hear those truths in that new way.

My prayer right now continues to be these words I read in a poem by Dietrich Bonhoeffer,  “I do not understand Your ways, but You know the way for me.”

I may doubt what life looks like right now, but I can choose to trust the One who does not only keep his Word but who also is his Word.

Photo: “Girl Reading” by Emma Leonard

Another (Blog) Home.

tender to the blues

I guess after the year I’ve had with the many moves and changes, it seems appropriate to start a new blog site. Well, that and Posterous is shutting down.

So I invite you to my new (blog) home. Consider this post the “Welcome” mat bidding you to come spend time with this girl and learn of her Light.

Welcome, friends. Glad you’re here.

Much love,

Angela Lee

Art by Emma Leonard, Tender to the Blues