Thursday, April 23, 2009

depravity & a late night. exactly as it was scrawled in my notebook.

naked. exposed. vulnerable. violated. unworthy. useless. unloveable. trash. ugly. ashamed. abused. belittled. dirty. alone. cold. haunted. plagued. cheated. double-minded. doubtful. torn. conflicted. victimized.

from the beginning, there's been a war for my mind; and it would seem as if the bad guys were winning. my peace has been threatened.

a vagabond, a charlatan
i've wandered
hands covering my
face, You lowered my
arms, my guard, fought your
way into my vulnerable heart past
the thoughts of unworthiness...
i'm convinced,
there was never a
time when You didn't
have Your hand holding
mine... I may have dirty
hands, cold from the night,
I may have cheated on you
with an ace hidden up my sleeve, or
so I thought-
I may have acted the harlot... but
I'm convinced that You are the bigger
man, the better half, the one who forgives
the thief & traitor, adultress... I turned on
myself, I'm conflicted, I'm divided- now I'm
in the corner naked & violated, because I let
myself go- You silence both halves of me &
for a while at least, I'm at peace... I'm
convinced, You desire me even after all I've done...
I need to realize, You still chase me, pursue
me, You love me, & where would I be if You didn't?

precious. prized. beloved. clean. restored. treasured. important. meaningful. purposeful. warm. comforted. sheltered. rested. wanted. desired. healed. whole. lifted.


Monday, February 2, 2009


It's been over a week since I went to the youth conference called Thirst, but I felt the need to write a quick blurb about my experience.

It was quite a showy setup- a stage with spotlights and new equipment, projected lyrics, a worship band with attractive members, all dressed quite stylishly.

Great. An empty show, solely meant for a spiritual high with no real life change. I did not have high hopes for that night.

Taryn and I rushed the stage as soon as we walked in. Worship started soon thereafter. Since I didn't know the songs they were playing, I took to observing the people around me [as well as following the lyrics on the graphically appealing projection screen, of course]. Most people were really getting into it- raising their hands, kneeling, crying. Hm, I thought. That's cool, but are they really feeling it, or are they just showing off? It's unnecessarily hard to tell the hypocrites from the sincere these days. [Yes, I'm a cynic.]

Then something caught my eye. A few feet in front of me, a tall, strong young man [I'm guessing him to be about seventeen or eighteen] collapsed, I mean COLLAPSED, onto his knees in a completely submissive state of worship. I saw him crying.

There are very few forces that can bring a man down like that.

Worship ended, the sermon began, and while I did take something away from that it's not the main point of this post, so I'll save that for another day.

After that sermon there was another worship session. I was really starting to feel God in that room and I thought, Hm, maybe this isn't just a charismatic show after all.

A couple hundred of us, students and youth leaders alike walked to the aisles for worship.

I can't really explain what happened right then, but it was one of the most surreal things I've ever experienced. I'm not kidding you, I was literally expecting flaming tongues of fire to appear on the head of every person in that room.

As I stood in the aisle I was joined by this FREAKISHLY tall boy- as he walked up, the lead singer of the worship band invited everyone to join hands. So of course we did join hands, and together we worshiped, like a brother and sister. It was really cool. That got old after a while though, so we disconnected and wandered away.

Our little Faith Evangelical church group started to form a prayer circle. After a while three girls whom none of us knew joined us. A tallish girl with blond hair took my hand when she joined. After about a minute of prayer I heard her bawling, I mean really wailing- as I held her hand I could feel her tremble. I didn't know what her name was or where she came from, but all I knew was that God was working in her right then, that she was my sister and that I loved her as if we were the closest friends. Just as a sister would have, I embraced her and let her cry it out on my shoulder. It was surreal. I was completely overcome.

Simultaneously we both fell on our faces in worship and prayer. I wasn't crying out of desperation or loneliness like I know many of those other teens were- I was crying out of awe and love. I loved so much in those few moments that it physically hurt the cavity in my chest. I was so amazed by this God who could bring a roomful of seemingly invincible teenagers to tears.

This lasted for a really long time. No one wanted to leave, and the band played on. Several people took the microphone and shared their personal revelations. The young man I had seen fall to his knees at the beginning of the conference stepped up to the mike. He began to pray for all of us there, his family. He thanked God for the opportunity to come out here. He prayed for those he knew were hurting. After praising God for a while he became overcome with tears and couldn't talk anymore. I love him, too.

Our circle prayed on. Though we had disconnected hands we were all still in a circle. Most of us were kneeling, others were facedown on the ground. I opened my eyes once during my prayer, and I saw Danny praying over Taryn's ankle. I didn't tell him this, but that was one of the best things I've ever seen. You could feel the passion radiating from him.

Much more happened, but the English language doesn't have the right vocabulary to describe it. All I can say is, I don't know who all was in that room, I probably only knew a grand total of twenty people there- but I can't wait to see every single person who was there in heaven. I really can't. I can't wait to spend eternity with them.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Journal Entries from Freshman Snow Camp 2009

1/16/09 Friday night

[On Nick's talk]: I'm a Christian, sitting in the boat being called by Christ to be a fisher of men- I believe, but do I ever really follow? I can hear him calling me, holding out his hand, I want to follow but I need to be trained... what does truly following God look like? Is it deeds, a change of lifestyle, or a total change of insides and character? I'm begging him, please, PLEASE, clean out my insides and tell me what to do... Five Iron Frenzy's "Far Far Away" comes to mind...

1/17/09 Saturday morning

[On morning devotions]: I'm still praying for God to gut me, transform me from the inside out... I didn't actually do the devotion, but I read Ephesians "Living As Children of Light" and was struck dumb by the passage...

Saturday night

[On group sessions]: I can't believe I finally spilled my guts about the OD-ing I used to do. It felt right, though. My friends spilled their guts, too, and we're closer and understand each other better because of it...
[On the campfire worship session]: It was so beautiful I can't even describe it. There was such a sense of family, EVERYONE felt connected. People kept talking about how we ARE family, and it made me realize that we are bonded by something so much deeper than blood... Bill told us to never forget the moment... awesome acoustic worship... I saw a shooting star while singing "Your Love Is Extravagant" to the sky, and I know it was meant for us... I cried... We sang "Jesus Lover Of My Soul," "Prince Of Peace," "My Savior My God," "Blessed Be Your Name," "Heart Of Worship [a capella]," "Surrender..."

I don't want to leave. This is my family, and we may not all be together like this again. I love everyone here, I mean REALLY love them because of who they are in Christ. I can hear God out here in the mountains... I've stepped out of the boat... I'm ready to read the Bible myself and work on joining worship band in the summer as a guitarist, start really loving and ministering, learning to be full of God and absolute truth... I love this. I'm so blessed to be here. It's a spiritual high, sure, but I've learned solid, substantial stuff and I've gotten a lot of things straightened out...

When I'm eighteen, I'm getting a star tattoo with a verse in Hebrew [or Spanish, maybe??] to accompany it. stars play such a big role out here...

1/18/09 Sunday morning

[On morning worship]: The band played "Surrender" and everyone fell to their knees... I learned more about my calling through 2 Peter... we had one last group hug... took the group picture in front of the Covenant Heights sign... had an awesome time in Estes...
and then it was over.

End of entries.

I walked away with a lot this weekend. I'm never forgetting it. Loneliness truly is a bit of hell... now I've gotten a taste of what heaven is like.

it clicked.

i just came back from bible study, where we're reading through Alex and Brett Harris' "Do Hard Things," and i have a few quick thoughts i'd like to relay to anyone who's reading this.

i figured out a huge part of why so many teens i know [myself, especially] are so restless and feel so bored with their lives here in loveland... and anywhere else, really.

what does society expect of teens? go to school (you don't necessarily have to pass). be immature (already accomplished). party hard and get drunk (staggering numbers of teens do this every weekend). blow off work and any other responsibility (who needs work ethic?). stay a kid for as long as possible (even though we're so close to adulthood). be irresponsible with your money (hey, we have disposable income, and it helps the economy, right?). text all the time (a kid has to stay in touch with all the hot gossip). never communicate with or respect your parents (they're a bunch of old geezers anyway).

no one expects anything of us. ANYTHING. i can't stress how little our society expects of young adults. it's completely ridiculous and very insulting.

God made us to do so much more. yet, we buy into the lie that adolescence is a vacation... and we feel robbed, and don't know why. we are horrendously trapped.

brooke erickson put it in a very clear way. have you ever seen a tiger or a lion pacing back and forth in their cage at the zoo? why do you think they do that?

answer: they were never meant to be in that cage, and something in them knows it. they were meant to be wild and have no bounderies, they were made to run, they were made to be powerful. yet they are in a cage, they are demoted, and they crave something more.

i realized that the reason i've been feeling so restless and trapped is not because my life is mundane. it's because the world's expectations of me are so low that i've come to meet them, and they're not enough. i know i could be doing something more. and THAT'S what i'm upset about. i love my life. it's the expectations and lack of opportunity that disgust and bore me to no end and make me want to get the heck out of here.

i've forgotten to live up to God's expectations. i had come to accept that teenhood is a vacation and there's really no responsibility. in reality, that's one of the most revolting lies ever conceived. God has an abundant life planned out, and i haven't been experiencing that because i'm only meeting the low expectations of everything else.

no more. i'm so done with that.

reader: do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed through the renewing of your mind, that you may find and live in the perfect, good, and pleasing will of not let others look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity. QUIT buying into the lie that adolescence is meaningless and unproductive. we were MADE to be meaningful and productive, to follow God's perfect will. raise the bar. you will not be satisfied with life until you are working towards God's expectations instead of the world's. i tell you this because i love you and i'm tired of seeing our generation be dehumanized.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Here's a very informal post that I had originally published to my LiveJournal about a week ago but decided it would serve a better purpose here:

i really don't feel good. in any way.

God kinda slapped me in the face with the waffle iron of irony last night. lately i've been depending on music, specifically acoustic music, to get me through everything- it's so raw and i connect to it so well that i was kinda worshipping it, in a sense. it was definitely at the point where i was looking to music instead of God for answers, life and fulfillment. it worked for a little while but then it just kind of collapsed on me on wednesday. so i showed up to youth group not actually wanting to be there because i felt like such crap, which i was. so there i was, cheating on God with acoustic music and then what happens?

the worship team holds an acoustic worship night. they've NEVER done that before.

come on, seriously?? how IRONIC is that??? God says, "okay, you want to put acoustic music before me? i'll get your attention by magnifying Myself through the very thing that is distracting you from Me, the only One who can help you out right now."


i feel like the world's biggest hypocrite. here i am being all involved with the church and looking like a good little Christian when really i couldn't be more unclean. knowing that just really hit me hard last night, right in the gut, right in the chest, right in the head. i tried not to show it because i don't particularly like being pitied in public, but i ended up crying anyways. i managed to hold the worst of it in until i was home alone, thankfully.

lately i've just kinda been saying "SCREW YOU" to myself and my circumstances. i'm tired. i'm tired of getting on these God-highs, hitting rock bottom and then getting another God-high. it's a sick cycle and i'm tired of going through it. it wears me out. everything about trying to live a Christian life wears me out. it would be easier for me to steal a beer from my dad's minifridge and a couple of pills from my mom's cabinet and just go at it for a night. it would be easier for me to get hammered and high than to try to live the way i've chosen to live.
confession: sometimes, i do think about drinking or popping pills. it's just too easy. hey, my parents are out a lot and they don't keep tabs on the liquor. how would they know? and everyone always talks about how those things can take your mind off your problems- why not give it a shot?

but do i do it? no. no matter how much i'm tempted or how badly i think i need it when i'm home alone after a long day, i can't bring myself to do it. and i'm positive that the only thing keeping me from self-destruction is Jesus holding onto my heartstrings, even though i can't feel Him there. there was one acoustic song at worship last night that really stuck with me.

"I can't get away, can't get away,
Can't get away can't get away, I
Can't get away, can't get away
I keep running into You"

and it hit me how true that is. once you've really pledged yourself to God, there's no getting away. He'll get you in one way or another whenever you stray. sometimes i don't like the thought of "brushing my teeth next to the same God every morning." i'm human and i get distracted easily with other shiny objects. but when it comes down to it it's really not possible for me to express my gratitude for a God who will not let me go no matter what i do or what i put before Him. i can really take it for granted that He's always going to be there. but when i do take it in everything falls into perspective.

you know what else i realized? a big part of me being tired is that i'm jumping through hoops to try to live up to this goal i've set for myself. there's a picture of a new and improved Morgan in my head that i want to become. she's attractive, sweet, charismatic, gentle, artistic, talkative, fun, pure, adventurous, interesting, demure, intelligent, and a passionate Christ-loving Christian. she's the picture of a perfect Christian that anyone would fall over themselves to try to get to know and i want to be her so badly. every day i try to live up to that standard, to be her, and i keep failing, failing, failing. she's basically everything i'm not and i can't stand that. it kills me to admit this but i know i'll never live up to that. i can't possibly be all that. i'm only human. for quite a while now i've had this picture of her in my head and kept running after this image, trying to chase her down and embody her. i refused to believe that my version of the perfect Morgan was out of my reach.

but they say that the first step to recovery is getting out of denial, right? well, i've got that down now. i know i can't live up to what i think of as "The Perfect Morgan." and i'm not going to try anymore. i finally figured out that i've been running after the totally wrong image, and it's draining me of everything, EVERYTHING, that i've got. i'm done running after her. after i screamed and cried into my pillow for a good half hour last night as i realized that i was never going to be her, Christ drew me into his arms and, first of all, settled me. then he said that it's no wonder i've been so drained. i've been fighting him and trying to be this warped, make-believe person who is not on the path he's laid out for me. it's not that she's a bad model- it's just that she's the wrong model. it would be easier, he said, if i would quit making up my own versions of my perfect self and just listen to him.

just listen. through listening you learn, through learning you act. through acting you make up your character, and that's who you are. but i haven't been listening to him. i've been listening to the kids at TVHS, to my ipod, to the tv, to the demons who have wormed their way into my head through other means. i've been listening to everything but him- no wonder i haven't been learning the right things.

i still want to grow into another person. but i'm not going to put a face on her or tag her with a certain personality. i have no idea what she looks like or what she's about or what she knows. i'm trusting God with those things. i'm going to start listening and learning so that i can become whatever God needs me to become. in the end that's all i need to do. listen.

Current Mood: awake

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Grateful Ingrate

So, I've been reading this book Girl Meets God, in which the author, a former Jew, relates her walk with God through her early Christian years after her conversion. One sentence struck me as I was reading the other day: "I know what gratitude is, and I know how to talk about it convincingly, but I have only felt gratitude twice."

This, I thought, is something I can relate to. Real, soul-soaking gratitude for whatever God has done is hard to come by sometimes. It can be so ridiculously difficult for humans to fully grasp exactly what Christ did, is doing, and will do for us.

As I was lying in bed last Wednesday night after youth group, kept awake by the persistence of caffeine, gratitude came knocking.

Here was my thought process:

Who would I be, and where would I be going, if God hadn't interceded at the perfect time? I know what road I was going down when He shook me- I was already struggling with pill popping, over-dieting, lust, self hatred, the desire to drink myself to "happiness," and other habits I would rather not even think about. It's a possibility that I might be dead right now- not necessarily from a suicide attempt, but maybe from an accumulation of self-destructive habits. And if not dead, I could be an alcoholic bulimic who used painkillers and sleeping aides to get through the day, or a wanna-be hooker who completely gave herself away to the first guy who asked just to feel worthy of something. Only God knows where I would be, but I have an idea of who I would have been.
Hmm- God has really reached His hands into every single aspect of my life, right down to my makeup. I've never noticed that before. Not only have I handed over the bad habits I had, but I've even done things like changed my makeup to keep it minimal so as not to overpaint "the perfect masterpiece," the face God made for me. The pictures on my walls, the people in them- would they be the same if God hadn't shown me to my amazing, wonderful, loving Christian friends? Would I listen to the same music? Would I be able to save myself for my future husband? Would I be able to appreciate nature and the beauty of life? Would I be able to love and respect my family like I do now? Would I have this incredible joy and peace 24 hours a day, even in the worst times? Would I be so blessed?
Ah- probably not.

That's when the gratitude enveloped me like a spring tide and I shivered with its impact. I would not have this beautiful promise of one day meeting my ultimate Soulmate and being wedded to Him forever. I would be completely lost, always feeling the sting of losing my other half and not even knowing it. It's such a fine line between the old life and the new- I can still see my old life clear as day. But thanks to the ultimate freedom, I don't have to look back on it. I can look ahead and know that no matter what happens in my life that I will, one way or another, end up in Christ's arms.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."
-Romans 8:1-2

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Martha Or Mary?

Listening to my mom moan and groan over her housechores while I'm sitting in my room learning worship songs on the guitar reminds me of a sermon our pastor gave a little over a year ago.

In a nutshell, the topic was: Are you a Martha or a Mary?

A Martha, he explained, is someone who works their fingers to the bone constantly without acknowledging God in their daily life. They're too busy hustling and bustling around the house or the office to sit at Christ's feet and just listen.

In contrast, a Mary is someone who does take time away to spend with God- maybe a little too much time- to the point where they're alone with God so much it impairs their daily life and effectiveness at reaching others.

Right now, my mom is a Martha. She's tired, achy, and irritated with her housework. I suggested she take a break and read her Bible for a while to chill her out, but this was her response: "I don't have time right now. I have to get this done."

Really, Mom. The antique buffet HAS to be dusted RIGHT NOW? Will the world end if you don't get the dishwasher loaded tonight?

I worry about her, I really do. I know she's just trying to be a good mom and keep the house from spiraling into grime-filled, lime-damaged chaos, but I personally think she takes it too far. She never stops. I help her out when I can, but truth be told I'm almost never around enough. She hasn't picked up her Bible at all lately. I had to give her my notes from Bible study last week just so she could brush up on Philippians. I don't want my mom to be worked to death, doing things around the house that can wait a day. I'm not saying she should be lazy or anything- she's a diligent worker and that's much appreciated- but she told me herself that she puts God inside a box for the day and just doesn't take Him out. I want to see her start putting her work on hold for once for some quality time with God during the day. I don't want her to become a "Sunday morning" Christian.

On the other end of the spectrum, I've put my homework and chores on hold for a few hours while I sit here with my Bible and guitar. Yeah, I'm a procrastinator. I tend to get lazy in my "earthly" work. I'll put my entire life on hold, shut myself in my room for the day, and spend time in the Word. While that sounds like a good thing, there are serious cons to this, too. I don't get out in the world enough. I shut myself in a hole. Sometimes I don't get my work done at all. My relationships with others becomes impaired. This isn't healthy either.
Too often I find myself neglecting the things I need to do to spend time with God.

So this is what I've learned: people need the best of both worlds. We can't work 100% of our lives, but we can't live 100% of our lives physically on our knees, either. God put us on the earth to "be in the world, but not of the world." We have God-given work we need to complete while we're here. He commanded us to work diligently. At the same time, our whole life should be a prayer, an act of worship. Worship and prayer isn't just something that you do in church or in your room. It's bringing constant praise to God in whatever you do and staying in constant communication with God as well. Along with that, we need our quiet alone times with God. In working diligently to glorify God and staying in constant communication with Him, we become the best of Martha and Mary.

We need balance, especially now that school has started. Pray for balance- not only for you, but for those around you as well. Believe me, others need it too.

In Christ always,