Already Included #40 – Ezekiel

By Sarah Nyhan

Ezekiel was sent to his own people. He was rejected over and over again. This was not a surprise to God. Ezekiel did not fail just because nobody listened to him and changed their ways. Not even Jesus in human form was enough for many people.

So I can let myself off the hook. Is relationship with God the goal, the end-game? Or is there some other race I think God asks me to win?

What if everyone truly is eternally safe in His heart? What if God cares more for us than I could ever imagine? What if He isn’t disappointed with us? Can I be assured that just as Holy Spirit never leaves me, Holy Spirit is always in endless conversation with them? In ways they can hear.

What if He already tore up the report card I created for Him to sign? What if inviting Him into our grief, sadness, and anger is what it is all about? What if our hearts echo the cries of His heart? What if He sits with us and holds us together when we can’t keep everything together? What if He never expected us to fix these things? What if it all works out on the other side, if not on this side? What if there is something bigger going on?

Tell it to my heart. My heart only wants relief. My heart wants results, Lord! My heart doesn’t understand what You are doing! Why You let this go on so long! Where are You?!

He meets me every time. Satisfying my soul,  often without answering my questions. Even as I put Him on trial. Peace that truly passes understanding. Knowing that I am seen. That I am so clearly heard. And fully loved.

I walked the dog this morning. New house, new neighborhood for both of us. Only a week in. The dog bolted forward ahead of me. I let him go because he was so excited. It wasn’t about being in control this morning. It was about enjoying the walk.

We crossed the street about 30% of the way down. We continued on to the end and then turned around. A neighborhood where almost every house looks the same. No scent on that side of the street.

The poor little dog went down almost every path to the front door of every house for three to four blocks. It’s like his little mind was thinking, “Maybe this one!” And he would run up the path and stare at the front door and have this confused, thoughtful look on his face. Then I would walk ahead and he’d run to catch up, pass me again, and run down the path to the next door.

He didn’t trust me. He thought it was his job to get us home. I wasn’t mad at him. I was just heartbroken seeing him try to find home over and over again.

Finally he caught his scent from the beginning of the walk and stepped a little more confidently the rest of the way home.

It reminded me of how I don’t trust God. How I bolt ahead of Him offering solution after solution. And He knows where I need to be. He isn’t worried at all. I want the answers without the intimacy. I want to be in control because I don’t trust His heart for me.

I don’t think He has me on a leash to restrict me; just to protect me from what I don’t even know I need protecting from. Can I learn to relax and enjoy the journey?

Enoch walked with God. I want to be like that. Not tiring myself out by dragging God along every path I think I need to go down. Instead trusting He will be with me always. But checking in, looking to Him more.

Relationship. Real relationship. Not just reading books, listening to sermons, studying the Bible, listening to worship music. But a real relationship. That is going to be messy. There will not be any formula I can fall back on. But it thankfully doesn’t depend on me either.

Already Included #38 – Wrong

By Sarah Nyhan

One of the biggest changes in my life over the past almost three years is that I now experience the freedom to be wrong. Like the prodigal. Or the prodigal’s brother. Or like when Peter grossly abandoned and denied Jesus – his great friend, his God – in the darkest hour. Afterwards Jesus pursued Peter and made him some fish tacos. 😉 Not the other way around.

Peter was given the freedom to be wrong. Abraham was given the freedom to be wrong. But here is the point – did their choices serve them and theirs well? Do my choices serve me and mine well?

Yes, I can be wrong and assured that I am loved exactly the same. Yes, I can be wrong and God will not abandon me. But will my choices even get me where I ultimately want to be?

Forget rules. Rules are somewhat of a base level of operating to me now. Rules are for when I’m not experienced enough to understand and comprehend the consequences of my actions.

For example, a baby or a toddler needs rules because they don’t have the context to understand how vulnerable and powerful they are in the world. That yes, mom and dad are always watching out for them now – but that is not always the environment outside and away from their parents. So you give your toddler a rule to never touch the stove because sometimes it could be hot and there may not always be someone there to pull them away from the stove in the nick of time.

You don’t tell your toddler not to touch the stove because of your ego – or hopefully not. Some people are like that. Some people make rules just to have control and power over others. But as they are properly designed, rules are a protector and a teacher. Not an end unto themselves.

This is TOTALLY new thinking for me. Overwhelming at first. Like when a kid graduates and goes out into the world for the first time all on their own. The freedom to make every decision they want.

Yes, I can do everything and anything I want to do. Technically. But what am I here for? What am I doing on this beautiful planet spinning out here in space? What is the point? How do I place myself in the middle of all the people I have the privilege of doing life with? If rules are the only thing keeping me from hurting myself and others then I have way bigger fish to fry than debating theological nuances.

Or maybe not. Maybe I do need to go back to square one. Because my view of who God is and how God sees me and others is at least the unconscious basis for how I treat myself and how I treat others.

Am I faithful to my spouse just because of rules? That’s ok, but that is base thinking for the immature (without any negative connotation or condemnation). I think eventually the idea is that I graduate from base rule-thinking to understanding how important I am in this world and to the people I have relationships with.

There will never be another person who can be me to the people I do life with. My spouse may be able to find a different spouse who treats them better, but they chose me first – and no one can ever again fill that first role that I filled. No one can ever be my child’s biological parent again. Or first adopted parent again. No one can ever be my brother’s oldest fully biological sister again. Or fill in the blank.

No one can ever replace me in the places I am in people’s lives. My mark on this world, myself, and others cannot be erased. Yes, they will encounter other people, other people who will love them better that I have tried to love them. But that will not erase the impact my presence, absence, and choices has on them.

And not only that. But this minute, this hour, this day is not a rehearsal. I will not get to do it over again. I can do differently, but I cannot do over.

So is this the life I want? Am I being true to even myself? If all else goes away, am I even the person I want to be? Do my choices reflect that? Am I unhappy because I don’t live up to my own values and don’t even respect myself?

Rules paint me into a corner. But higher thinking gives me my life back. With all its freedoms and responsibilities. I am no longer a child. I can no longer blame God, religion, or rules for checking out and disconnecting from my heart, mind, and spirit. Those I do life with will only buy that for so long. God will always love me and others may also. But that doesn’t mean people will always tolerate my choices.

Perfect love drives out fear. Today is a new day. I can’t do over, but I can do differently. I may not be able to repair what is broken, but I can at least stop being destructive. I can make different choices.

As I experience God’s love, I can accept myself and life as is and move forward accordingly. I can grieve without feeling despondent or hopeless. The sun rises again. This moment is a blank canvas.

God knows who I am. He meets me right here, right now. He is always for me, always for us. Satisfied with nothing less than our complete healing. Until all that is not of love’s kind has been replaced with all the good that is freely ours to experience all the time.

December 18, 2019

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.”

I have been cleaning out some files as I prepare to enter 2020. I found this photo gem that I took during a past trip to the coast of Texas:

My December 2019 playlist on YouTube has been updated today with the following songs:

Griz – I Don’t Mind

Hermitude – The Buzz

Odesza – Koto

SoDown – Royal Blue

TroyBoi & Stooki Sound – W2L

Please feel free to send any recommended music my way: https://sarahnyhan.com/contact-me/

December 17, 2019

Thank you to Jim (StCyril) for a like on my last post and for also being a long-time subscriber to this blog!

I tried to mix it up today. Even I was getting tired of the same ol’. My December 2019 playlist on YouTube has been updated today with the following songs:

Big Wild – Aftergold (feat. Tove Styrke)

GANZ – Pvrple Forest

Love & Light – Lots of Love

Odesza – Keep Her Close

Tropkillaz – Boa Noite

Please feel free to send any recommended music my way: https://sarahnyhan.com/contact-me/

December 16, 2019

Two songs in this batch that I only came across recently. Memba is the artist. Interesting lyrics to the first song. So unlike what I am used to. Not in a bad way. I feel an energy I like.

Here are all of today’s selections:

20syl – Back & Forth

Alison Wonderland – Take It To Reality

Memba – For Aisha

Memba – Walls Down

Skrillex & Diplo – Mind

Want to listen to the full song for all of these songs? Click on this link for my December 2019 playlist on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2SFh1juh1gn3ZaNTj4EcKAaALBcYG3QW

Please feel free to send any recommended music my way: https://sarahnyhan.com/contact-me/