Wednesday, December 26, 2007

ready to take off...

whenever i fly, i always try and predict the exact moment that the plane is going to leave the runway... and i never can. all of a sudden i'm in the air, looking down at everything, and it blows my mind. i kind of think my life right now is like a plane picking up speed on a runway... and sooner or later it's going to take off - without me predicting it, realizing it, or understanding it. i'll just find myself looking down at the beauty all around me, my mind blown.

based on where i've been the last few months, i would like to believe that i can only go up from here... my 4-month trial run of nashville (which i didn't tell many people about) is finished... as i fly back out there tomorrow, i know i will be committing... and i couldn't be more excited for it. i am in the midst of such a beautiful adventure, and i loove the mystery... i love not knowing what's next, not knowing how i'm going to pay the next couple bills... and knowing the One who takes care of it all, even when i don't deserve it. i especially love that He doesn't leave it all up to me, or we all know that things would be quite a mess.

i'm gaining momentum... pretty soon you'll be looking up at me as i fly...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

hanging out where i don't belong...

right now i am sitting in the midst of a snowstorm in cedarville... and realizing i have already forgotten how much i do not enjoy winter. people in nashville have been freaking out when the weather drops below 60 degrees... well take heart my southern friends, it could be worse. i do miss cedarville, but not cedarville winters... ugh.

the first couple times i came back up to cedarville after moving away left me confused because i knew i didn't belong here anymore, but i hated that. being up here this time, i know that i don't belong here but i am definitely to the point of being totally okay with that. the Lord has moved me into a new and exciting season of my life, and as much as i miss cedarville and the community and fellowship i experienced here, i know that He has something greater ahead of me. i can't try and hold onto this anymore. that isn't to say that these are not still my best friends and my best memories and the best years of my life so far, but i just know that there comes a time to accept the fact that life changes.

and life certainly is changing. but i couldn't ask for anything better right now... i have never felt more free. free to pursue whatever the Lord lays on my heart, free to go wherever that takes me... such freedom has only come through a long struggle and much pain... that does still linger, but is fading steadily day by day as i head full-force into the adventure that is still ahead...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

stripping all away...

sorry for the serious lack of a post... it's been hard to put anything into words lately.

the Lord has taken me through seasons in the past where He has painfully taken away things that tempt me to find life in them, rather than in Him... and i am in the midst of such a season again, and deeper in than i've ever experienced. as i have written about in the past, nashville can seem like such a desert right now, being separated from what has been familiar and comfortable to me for so long. after feeling that for the first couple of months here, the Lord has stripped things away even more... leaving me completely broken before Him, aware that He truly is all i need...

but to be totally honest, i have wrestled with Him more this time than ever before... which is really rather foolish, because it only brings more pain. so i am learning surrender, because i am completely finite and He is truly infinite. His perspective is so much greater.

for those wanting a black and white update here... i am in my 3rd month at starbucks, still loving it. i have had a couple gigs recently, and have a couple upcoming gigs that are even paid! nothing has opened up for what i know my heart would be happy doing long-term, but enough to keep me going... i am always reminded by people in the know here that i just have to be patient.

i'll leave you with some beautiful promises that the Lord reminded me of this morning.

jeremiah 31.13b, 14, 17, 25
for I will turn their mourning into joy
and will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow.
I will fill the soul of the priests with abundance,
and My people will be satisfied with My goodness, declares the Lord.
there is hope for your future, declares the Lord.
for I will satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.

Friday, October 5, 2007

waiting now and always...

so i really want to write an exciting update for those of you that have been keeping up with this...but the reality is that nothing really has changed since the last post! except that my hair is a slightly darker brown and i can now make any drink your heart may desire at starbucks. i am enjoying work and making new friends...paying my dues and biding my time while i try to find an in to some music work...

but overall, life remains a waiting room...waiting on the in expectation of Him to work His plans that are so high above mine!

i got a call from a friend tonight that graduated with me in may, and i was so encouraged and refreshed to hear of someone else experiencing all of the same challenges...waiting and trusting...she simply told me, "cara, just keep waiting on Him...He will work something so much bigger than you ever imagined." simple words, but so timely.

so what seems to be an uninteresting post - "waiting now and always..." - is in reality very exciting because i serve an amazing God who loves to surprise us and reveal Himself in ways larger than we can dream of. and i am living in expectation.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

well...i have been busy at work and have not updated much...i'm not sure how much there is to say, but here i am! i'm in my third week at starbucks, and i actually wake up most days excited to go to work - i love it! i work with some wonderful people and i just enjoy what i get to do...i mean, you can't complain about free starbucks drinks all day! :-)

other than work, i was able to go on a retreat with the young adult bible study i've been going to...and that was good. i wasn't necessarily in need of a "retreat" yet, but it was a great chance to meet some people and be reminded of my purpose in being here in Nashville...there are some opportunities for me to get involved in the lives of the downtrodden, oppressed and often-ignored people here in Nashville...and i'm stoked. i'm ready to be a part of Jesus setting some people free!

every day it starts to feel a little more like home...but i wonder if i will ever really feel at "home" anywhere in this world...i am so hungry for my Groom to come for me...

so that's the update... a continual lesson of trust and rest in my God, knowing it's not up to me, and it never was!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

i don't wanna leave here, but i don't wanna stay
feels like pinching to me either way
and the places i long for the most are the places where i've been
they are calling out to me like a long lost friend

it's not about losing faith, it's not about trust
it's all about comfortable when you move so much
and the place i was wasn't perfect, but i had found a way to live
and it wasn't milk or honey, but then neither is this

i've been painting pictures of egypt
leaving out what it lacks
cause the future feels so hard
and i wanna go back
but the places that used to fit me
cannot hold the things i've learned
and those roads were closed off to me
while my back was turned

the past is so tangible, i know it by heart
familiar things are never easy to discard
i was dying for some freedom but now i hesitate to go
i am caught between the promise and the things i know

if it comes too quick, i may not recognize it
is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
if it comes too quick, i may not appreciate it
is that the reason behind all this time and sand?...

~sara groves

this song has played over my ipod on each of the 3 trips i've made now from cedarville to nashville...and i don't think i could say it any better. in talking to a friend the other day, i found myself explaining my life right now as being in the wilderness...i know that i have the promises of peace and milk and honey in front of me...but that seems so distant as i wrestle through the "sand" that i can so clearly see all around me...

so i learn each day more and more to cling to the promises of my Faithful Savior, who has never failed me and certainly never will! every day He shows Himself so true to me...

i started work at starbucks today...spent five hours learning about how to clean and be nice to people. it was not especially exciting, but i know i will like it there...all of the "partners" i have met so far are so nice and helpful. tomorrow i will learn the espresso don't come into the maryland farms starbucks if you want a good cup of coffee! :-)

thanks for those of you who are reading...and have no idea how the Lord is answering...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

it's a slow process...

psalm 147.5-6
how blessed is he whole help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them...

i came back to nashville on wednesday for a job interview at went fine but now i'm just waiting...still sitting around with not much to do...and the pressure of finding a job is intensifying every day...

being back these past few days has been a huge battle in my heart, and a test of my trust in the Lord...most of the time, i don't want to be heart is not here. but the Lord keeps drawing my eyes back to Him, His sovereignty and complete control over my life...and He has brought so much comfort and refuge in the midst of all the doubt and fear that plague me...

i went to a young adult bible study at a church on thursday night and had the chance to meet a few people, one of which is from kansas city...we got together last night and talked for a while, and it has been a huge blessing to have the first bit of friendship's things like that that the Lord uses to keep me going, keep me trusting...

it's hard to try and explain the feelings of being'll only understand if you've done it.

i'm so glad to know that my life is in Stronger Hands than mine.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

feels like home to me...

tomorrow i am driving up to cedarville...

i may never come back...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

what now?...

it's sunday afternoon... and my parents have left.

i'm officially on my own.

with a big dream in a big world.

what now?

i was telling randy, whose house i am living in for awhile (he's my mom's cousin's's that for connections?), that i don't even know what i'm going to do with myself this week, having no job and knowing no one... and he just said, "well, the first thing you need to do this week is just spend a lot of time in prayer."

such simple advice... that i desperately needed to hear. they're having people over tonight for a going away party for their daughter, and he told me that they would love to have a prayer time for me... to offer me a support system, to know that people are behind me... wow.

in just 2 days of being here, there have already been little things happen where i have just seen my God show up... He is quietly speaking comfort to my nervous heart... reminding me that i am His.

i can't wait to watch His plans unfold.

Friday, August 17, 2007

here i am...

psalm 62.8
trust in the Lord at all times, o people;
pour out your heart to Him;
God is a refuge for us.

as i drove the 6 hours down to nashville today, following my parents in a van filled with my stuff, i was reminded of the dreams that were in my heart 8 months ago when i started heading this direction... how desperately i wanted to make the name of Jesus Christ known wherever i land, and how excited i was at the thought of doing that in nashville... a city with a church on every corner, and every other person you meet is a 'christian'...
i thought of everything the Lord has done over the past 4 years at college, the things He has broken my heart for, the trials He's taken me through, the joy and the victories had in walking closely with Him... and at the risk of being overly-dramatic, i can't help but feel that coming here is the culmination of all of that... this is where He has taken me, after all He has done in me...
and i want nothing else but to magnify His name... HIS NAME... not the name of cara slaybaugh... i want to be okay with no-one looking twice at my name... but i want people to see my Beautiful Savior.

i know those can be just words... but that is all i know to say to express my heart right now... i have felt every emotion under the sun today, and i am plagued by doubt and fear of what is to come in the next months and years... but when i am reminded of the faithfulness of my God, and that He wants His name to be magnified in this city even more than i do... i can rest.

stay tuned for the journey of a starving artist in love with her Pursuer...