Monday, April 27, 2009

Where Does My Help Come From?

"Free to Be Me
 -Francesca Battistelli

"At twenty years of age I'm still looking for a dream
A war's already waged for my destiny
But You've already won the battle
And You've got great plans for me
Though I can’t always see

‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together 
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me

When I was just a girl I thought I had it figured out 
My life would turn out right, and I'd make it here somehow
But things don't always come that easy 
And sometimes I would doubt


And you’re free to be you 

Sometimes I believe that I can do anything
Yet other times I think I've got nothing good to bring
But You look at my heart and You tell me 
That I've got all You seek 
And it’s easy to believe
Even though 


So, from the wonderful advice of my sister (seconded by my mother)  I bring you a little insight into my brain... and blow the dust off my faith language to see what I can do.

"From Where Does My Help Come?"
Renée Grahame, Apr 2009

My sister and I were on one of our patented aimless drives having an unusually heavy conversation when something she said resonated with me.  "I have to make a conscious effort, and sometimes I give in, but the important thing is to keep making that conscious effort even when I don't want to." (This is not word for word, since my memory is not stellar, but you get the idea.)  The maturity and wisdom that my baby sister emits some days is truly breathtaking.  She was talking about balancing the things she doesn't like to do with the things she loves to do at work in order to keep all of her days positive, but really, this idea can be applied to pretty much anything.  For example, sometimes we would rather be selfish and listen to the general media telling us to look out only for number one.  Some days it takes a conscious effort to remember to be a light of Christ to those around us, and some days it's the last thing we want to do.  But the important thing is to continue making that effort, even when we don't want to...

I started thinking about where we find the strength to make that effort.  Where do I find my strength?  Where in my life do I find that thing takes the most effort?

I could not pin-point the thing in my life that gives me the most trouble...  I had come up with a few things I found difficult, but nothing stood out as being the major one until the bridge of a song on the radio caught my ear.

     "Sometimes I believe that I can do anything/ Yet other times I think I've got nothing good to bring"

I am at a kind of crossroads in my life at the moment.  I have just finished school for a specific career, and am trying to find work in that field.  But at the same time, I wonder if there is something else I am called to do an be in this world.  And with that sort of crossroad I find I am doubting myself and this path that I have started myself on. Of course self-esteem issues are not new to me (I doubt there are new for any of us), but this questioning is different from my usual fare.  Some days I feel like I have it all figured out, like my life is heading exactly where it should be.  I am happily married to a wonderful man.  I am an empathetic, intelligent (if a little nutty), cherished daughter and a blessed woman surrounded by love.  
And then there are days when I have convinced myself that I have nothing at all to offer this world.  I am fleeting, a blip, a nothing.  Leaving no mark on any one's heart or soul.  Making no difference in even one person's life.  Unable to spread the light of my faith, and so unwilling to even try.  Surrounding myself with an uncaring attitude in order to insulate myself from hurt or disappointment.  And it is in this moment that I need to make a conscious effort, to remember that I am a beloved child of God.

But where do I find the strength to make that effort?  When my spirit is low and I would rather be invisible to the world than shine God's love around me, where do I turn?  Where does my help come from?  How do a get past the darkness and find myself in the light?  Why I lift my eyes to the hills of course!

  • 1.
  • I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from?
  • 2.
  • My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
  • 3.
  • He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber;
  • 4.
  • indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
  • 5.
  • The LORD watches over you-- the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
  • 6.
  • the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
  • 7.
  • The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life;
  • 8.
  • the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
    -Psalm 121, New International Version

     "But You look at my heart and You tell me/ That I've got all You seek/ And it’s easy to believe/ Even though...
     I got a couple dents in my fender/ Got a couple rips in my jeans/ Try to fit the pieces together/ But perfection is my     enemy/ On my own I'm so clumsy/ But on Your shoulders I can see... I'm free to be me"

I know that I am given whatever strength I need from God.  I know that I am being watched over by a Power and Love that never tires, never wains, and never quits.  And in the end, I know that I have been given the gifts I am needed to share with the world, whatever that may look like.  Perhaps for the next few years this means creating a welcoming and warm environment for dental patients.  God alone knows what it will look like in the future.  All I need to do is make a conscious effort to remember that I am a beloved child of God, strengthened by the Lord, and saved by His Son Jesus by the cross.  Remember to make a conscious effort to be pure of heart in all my actions, and to share the light and love of Christ to those around me.  I am not perfect.  I am not expected to be.  I am expected only to live in the way of Jesus Christ, step by step, day by day.  Because on His shoulders, I am free and supported to be my best self.  (Understanding that my best self is a work in  

So though I am not always able to see the plans that God has for me, I take comfort in the knowledge that I am not in this alone.  On my own I may be clumsy, but I am supported by the tender love of Jesus.  Plus, I am blessed to have people in my life who support and love me for the flawed woman that I am.  And whose journey of faith is an inspiration and steady help to make that conscious effort required to live a life of a disciple.  God Bless.

Dear Lord,
Be with me everyday as I struggle to become the person you have planned.  
Aid me in being a light to others, and help me to see the light in others.
Remind me to make a conscious effort, even when I don't want to, to be a beacon of your love.
And help me to see in myself the worthiness you see in me.

Well I hope that made a little sense.  I'm off to watch some more Stargate SG-1 season 1 with my hubby.  Good night, blessed ones.  Sleep well.

1 comment:

Nikki2987 said...

This was exactly what I was waiting for!
=) I love you Renee!!

<3 Nikki