Saturday, March 28, 2009

Peace in Surrender

I'm giving You my heart and all that is within.
I lay it all down for the sake of You, my King.
I'm giving You my dreams.
I'm laying down my rights.
I'm giving up my pride for the promise of new life.
And I surrender, all to You ... all to You.
And I surrender, all to You ... all to You.

The Lord's been really layin' this verse and chorus of the song, "Surrender," on my heart over the past couple of days. ..... I've never quite understood why surrender is such a tough concept for me. I mean, sure ... I'm stubborn, selfish, fallen ... but come on! God has been, is, and continues to be MORE than faithful, MORE than enough, MORE than all I need and want ... and He provides so much MORE than I can imagine ... every single day. Sheesh, Mical. So why is surrendering my desires so hard? It's killin' me! Not so much the surrender part but the fact that I AM SO DAGGONE RIDICULOUS! God has proven Himself over and over and over and over (and .....) again. He has NEVER ever ever ever ever (ever .....) failed me. He is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING .... every single day .... every single MOMENT of my life. ..... But surrender. It is so daggone tiring ... so daggone on difficult ... so daggone opposite of the flesh. Which is why it's so hard. I am flesh. God is holy. Those two things are too opposite to go together .... thankfully, Jesus came along and broke that wall of opposites so that we (the flesh - me .... and God) could live in harmony with one another. And Jesus came along .... surrendering His life .... to enable us to surrender our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and God (one in the same).

Whew! So what does that mean? .....

I

MUST

SURRENDER.

The end.




And in this process of surrender, there is peace. Sweet Jesus peace.

Isaiah 26:3 - The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace because he trusts in You.

.... But that peace only comes when we keep our mind .... our heart .... every nook and cranny of our being stayed upon Him, the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Trust.

Peace comes from trusting in Jesus. Period.

Verse 4 - Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.

Verse 8 - Indeed, while following the way of Your judgements, O Lord, we have waited for You eagerly ......
Ah ha! There's that word again .... "wait." Mmm .... isn't that just becoming your favorite word? Bah! No way! But isn't it funny how God is bringing it up over and over again? .... Think He's trying to get your attention, Mical? Hmm .... ;) ....
The rest of verse 8 - Your name, even Your memory, is the desire of our souls.
The desire of our souls.
The desire of MY soul.
Is He? ..... Are You, Lord?
Precious Jesus, BE the desire of my soul.

Verse 9 - At night my soul longs for You; Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently.
Help me to long for you, O Lord. Help me to seek you with every ounce of my strength .... not just until these areas of my life are surrendered but beyond .... until we meet face to face.
... Peace comes from seeking Christ ... diligently.


Surrender. It must be done. Peace. It's a gift along the way. Embrace it, Mical. Embrace it, everyone! ... How? By seeking God. By trusting Him.
And ya know .... trust is surrender.
When we trust Jesus with our lives, we are surrendering our lives to Him.

Let's give our hearts to Jesus ... and all that is within.
Let's lay it all down because Jesus laid down His very life for us.
Let's give Jesus our every dream.
Let's lay down all of our so called "rights." (Ha! Like we really have any of those!)
Let's give up our pride and live in the NEW LIFE we have in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Oh, everyone!!!!! My heart is crying out! (If you didn't notice). ;) .... I want to surrender ... every nook and cranny of my life to Jesus. I want that NEW LIFE that ONLY comes in an intimate, holy, completely surrendered relationship with Jesus. I'm not there yet. I've got a loooooonnnnnggg way to go. But I can't ever stop striving for that goal. Let's strive together, shall we?

Friday, March 27, 2009

"Little Deaths" ... More Thoughts from Passion and Purity

Warning! Warning!
This is gonna be a long post! So get ready! .... Don't be intimidated by its length ... if you don't have time to read a long post right now, then come back when you do! ... Go grab some hot tea or a bag of popcorn, and then come back and get ready for some powerful stuff! It hit me hard, and I wanna share it with you all. :)

A few posts ago I mentioned that I'm reading Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot. Amazing book. Everyone needs to read it, but especially if you're longing for your guy to come along ... or for the guy you want to come around. ;) It's a book all about giving your love life to Christ. Again ... amazing stuff. ... Well, I was reading this morning, and chapter 15 is crazy good! VERY convicting! And VERY good! .... So! In the following paragraphs, I will share "snipets" from chapter 15 of Passion and Purity, and then chat about them a bit. .... It should be fun! Read on! :)

The University of Oklahoma, where I studied linguistics, has an enormous stadium. Nothing was happening there during the summer, so I often climbed to the top row of bleachers, following supper, to enjoy whatever breeze there might be after the day’s scorching heat, and to watch those sensational Oklahoma sunsets. It was a lovely place to be alone to think, read, and pray.

I was disturbed to find that I could not think, read, or pray except about Jim Elliot. He loomed in every thought, every line I read in the Bible or anywhere else. He got mixed up in the morphology, syntax, and phonetics I was stuffing into my head. He distracted my prayers. It is a good thing the Lord has compassion on all those fear Him, knows how we are made, and remembers we are only dust. He loved us both, knew exactly how we loved each other, and used even the detours to bring us home again. Someone once observed that the toothache you have this very minute is the worst pain in the world. Love sickness may seem a trifle compared with other maladies, but the one who is sick with love is sick indeed, and the Heavenly Father understands that. He steadily draws us along the pathway to glory, if our deepest heart is set on His kingdom, if we are not of those whom Psalm 78:8 describes as “a generation with no firm purpose, with hearts not fixed steadfastly on God.”

Has anyone ever felt this way? When it doesn't matter what you do and EVERYTHING reminds you of that guy? When thoughts of him are lingering in everything? Yep ... I can relate to ya, Elisabeth. Daggonit! Why is my love for this guy so daggone strong? Powerful. I agree with Elisabeth ... Goooolllly! "It is a good thing the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him, knows how we are made, and remembers that we are only dust." Yep. 'Cause if not ... He would've given up on me oh, so long ago!

I wait. Dear Lord, Thy ways are past finding out, Thy love too high. O hold me still beneath Thy shadow. It is enough that Thou lift up the light of Thy countenance. I wait because I am commanded so to do. My mind is filled with wonderings. My soul asks “Why?” But then the quiet word, “Wait thou only upon God.” And so, not even for the light to show a step ahead, but for Thee, dear Lord, I wait.

This is such a great prayer about waiting!!!!

“When the will of God crosses the will of man,” Addison Leitch said, “somebody has to die.” Life requires countless “little” deaths – occasions when we are given the chance to say no to self and yes to God. The Apostle Paul said, “For continually, while still alive, we are being surrendered into the hands of death, for Jesus’ sake …” It is not that everything that has anything to do with ourselves is in itself wicked and deserving of death. It did not mean that when Jesus said, “Now my will ….” There could not have been even the smallest part of His will that was wicked. It was a choice to lay down everything – the good He had done and the good He might do if He was permitted to live – for the love of God. The same choice is offered to us. To see Bert’s profile, hear him sing; to contemplate the blessedness of marriage as I watched couples who were taking the same course at the university; to call up in memory the sweet anguish of those hours by the Lagoon; to picture Jim’s face as we said good-bye at Union Station – only “little deaths,” but little deaths have to be died just as great ones do. Every reminder that aroused a longing had to be offered up.

Man! This is the toughest lesson ever! It's the biggest lesson I'm learning right now. ..... I don't think my desires are ungodly or selfish .... but I'm confident that my desires are out of God's timing. So ... I MUST offer 'em up to God ... Every. Single. Day. ..... Boy, it's a challenge. It seems like every prayer these days is about ___________. _________ "looms" in nearly every thought. ..... Little deaths. They must happen every day. Every moment of everyday. .... "Every reminder that arouse[s] a longing [must] be offered up [to Jesus]."

I was e-mailing my friend, Alex, about this concept just yesterday, and as I was typing, a thought occurred to me. It relates back to an earlier chapter in Passion and Purity where Elisabeth Elliot states that "Passion is a battleground." Alex and I love word pictures, so I threw out the idea of God being our Commanding Officer ... telling her how thankful I was that HE is our CO. I went on to throw out more ideas concerning this idea. .... God is our Commanding Officer in the battle (the WAR!) of passion. And in this crazy fight, He is the Commanding Officer who not only LEADS us into battle (and out of it) and helps us OVERCOME (or win!) .... He also, and most importantly, LAYS HIS LIFE DOWN FOR EACH OF US. ..... That is powerful! ....... So in return, I should be MORE than willing to lay down my life for my Commanding Officer. I should lay down my life concerning my love life ... I should be jumping on opportunities to die these "little deaths." .... It's crazy-hard work, but passion is a battleground .... and I can't let my guard down even for a second!

The last part of the chapter that I want to share with you is this ....

There is a big however. It is this: We are not meant to die merely in order to be dead. God could not want that for the creatures to whom He has given the breath of life. We die in order to live.

Wow! That is powerful stuff. Listen to that line again .... We die in order to live. ..... It's true! REAL life only comes from knowing Christ, serving Him, and putting Him first in our lives. When we die to ourselves (give up our desires for Christ's), we live! In dying, we live! A crazy concept. Demanding. It requires E V E R Y T H I N G we've got. Period. God's call on our lives is a mighty one. It is NOT for the faint of heart. It is NOT for "Sunday Christians." It is NOT comfortable or easy .... and sometimes it is downright no fun at all ... at times it is the most difficult thing we will ever face. But it is our calling. It is our purpose. It is our life's mission. "Take up your Cross daily, and follow Me." .... Jesus never said it was gonna be easy. What, in that sentence, sounds easy? "Take." That's a command. Commands are not usually easy. "Your Cross." Our Crosses, in this case, are our very lives. Yep ... that's right! Jesus wants it all! Ha! He's not asking for much, is He? ;) .... "Daily." We are to offer up our lives every single day .... not just on Sundays, not just when we feel like it, not just when we're not very busy. And "follow Me." ... Lastly, Jesus calls us to follow Him - trust Him, serve Him, seek Him in all things. ....... Whew!!!! Crazy! Difficult (to say the least)! Purpose. .... OUR purpose. .......... It's not easy (not by any stretch!) ... but let's learn this lesson of DEATH TO SELF so that we can truly LIVE FOR JESUS. :)

Well, as you can see ... Passion and Purity is not a book for the weak-willed or lazy Christian. It is a book with a high standard ... the highest standard there is - God's standard. Please read this book! God is sifting through the silt and rocks (uglies) and the deepest longings (God-honoring parts) of my heart with each page of this book. Convicting me and challenging me in incredible ways! It has NOT been easy, but it's been so good for me! Take the challenge! If you are struggling to bring your love life under Christ's control ... or really ... if you're struggling to bring ANY part of your life under Christ's control ... read this book.

Okay .... I've repeated myself a thousand different ways .... hopefully you get my drift by now. ;) .... Good stuff, huh? ;) .... Let's keep surrendering our lives to Christ ..... everyday. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This, That, Either, or Neither (AKA Another Stolen Post From Judy!) :)

Well .... since my life is so crazy, I don't have time to blog anymore. Sadness. Mostly because I (most of the time) put a lot of thought into my posts. And who has time to think when they're going to school and working in the writing center 10 hours a week and helping out with after school twice a week and going to small group and Higher Ground and youth group .... and what about Jesus time and friends time and sane time? (Oh wait! I don't have any of that last one.) ;) ..... Anyway! (Alex, please don't hate me for getting to this blog post before I've written you back. I AM in the process of a long, thought out, reply to your marvelous e-mail!) .... Again ... anyway! I saw this post on Judy's blog, and since I'm not busy here in the writing center at the moment, I'm gonna post a fun and mindless post. :)


Judy calls this post This, That, Either, or Neither.

Jog or Walk?
For exercise .... jog. Although I've been a bum about it this week. I've gotta get my 3 times in before the end of the week or Mags and Em are gonna kill me (we've set a goal and a reward that will be lost if I don't get my 3 days of exercise in!)
For chats with friends .... walk. It's awful tough to run and talk at the same time.
For everyday purposes .... walk. Although ... I kind of like to run from time to time. :)

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee is N A S T Y !!!
SWEET tea is my F A V O R I T E drink in the whole wide world!

Pepsi or Coke?
VANILLA coke is my all-time favorite carbonated beverage ... and really the only one I drink.

Flats or Heels?
F L A T S!!!! Oh my goodness! I am so NOT a girl! I almost despise heels!

Fries or Onion Rings?
Not a big fan of onions. And potatoes are my favorite food ever!!! Therefore - fries!
Cats or Dogs?
NEITHER. I don't like animals - any kind. My motto is "When pets attack!"

Skim or Whole Milk?
2% is my favorite. Yes, I know .... the more fat and the few vitamins, the better! ;)

Small or Big Purses?
I've always carried a big one .... so I guess I like big purses best.

Van or SUV?
Van, baby! I'm gonna need one if I ever have those gobs and gobs of kids that I want! (If you didn't know, I wanna have at least 6 or 7 kids someday!)

Winter or Summer?
Ugh! How about fall! That's the best season there is! Period.

1 Piece Bathing Suit or 2?
Ugh. If I MUST pick ... a one piece. But they are both pretty awful.

Sit Down Restaurant or Fast Food?
Sit down! Hello! More time and comfort for conversation!

McDonald's or Burger King?
McDonald's. Best french fries. Sweet tea! Yeah ...

White Gold or Yellow Gold?
What the heck? What about just gold?

Fish or Chicken?
Fish ... and pretty much any kind of seafood is gross. ..... Therefore - Chicken!

Edward or Jacob?
My initial reaction was .... "What?! Who are they?" .... Then someone in the writing center said ... "Twilight." ...... I guess I'd pick Edward .... but I actually kind of like the blond guy who asks Bella to the prom. I think his name is Mike. He's a nice guy.

Pizza or Burger?
Hamburger!!!!

Apple or Orange?
Oranges :)

Spend Money or Save Money?
Sadly, I spend more than I save. :/

1 Story or 2 Story House?
Ummm .... I love my house, which is a two-story. But ... it's my HOME ... so I'd love it no matter what. In reality ... I don't care much about the house .... I care about the family in it.


Alrighty! Well, that was fun! Have a great day, everybody!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Clogged with Wishes!

Wow! ... So I'm reading a really amazing book right now.  Yes, Mical Masterson is reading!  This is huge, I know! ;) ....... It's called Passion and Purity.  It might be my new favorite book! .... I'm sure I'll be sharing all of the points I took away from it when I'm finished reading it, but for now, I need to share a quick thought about chapter 7.  It is hitting me so hard right now because the author, Elisabeth Elliot, went through the exact same thing that I am going through now.  At least her thought process is the same.  I won't try to compare my puny life to her grand and crazy trials.  But anyway ....

Toward the end of chapter 7, Elisabeth asks a question and then makes a statement that I couldn't have said better myself.  It explains my position right now.

"How can God work His will in me if I am clogged with wishes of my own?"

"I was wishing that my wishes were what God wished; I wished that I could wish that my wishes would go away, but the wishes were still there."

Oh, how true!  I have two desires in my heart right now - my two greatest passions in life.  And at the moment, God is putting them on hold.  Maybe forever.  You never know.  But I ache.  I desire them so much that I don't know what to do with myself!!!

But!  In saying that, I am reminded of another important lesson from chapter 6.  Ugh.  Important but difficult!!! .... Elisabeth described a conversation with a girl who used to live with her, and this girl wanted to marry a rich and handsome man.  When she came home from a date one evening, she started telling Elisabeth how the guy she went out with was nice, a Christian, interesting ... but then she mentioned that he wasn't wealthy.  Elisabeth then asked her questions like "What if God were to choose for you to marry a poor and homely man?"

The questions and responses continued for awhile until the girl finally asked, "Doesn't God want me to be happy?" ... Wow.  Isn't that just like us?  It all comes back to our own happiness.  If we aren't happy, then life just isn't worth living.  When, in reality, we should be finding joy in our trials, in our heartaches, in our unmet desires .... because these "unhappies" force us to depend on Christ and find complete fulfillment and happiness (or rather JOY - which is NOT temporal but lasting!) in HIM ALONE. .... This girl was focusing on her own happiness, which is what we all tend to do.

But I love Elisabeth's response! ..... She said, "God wants you most to be holy." ..... Wow!  I remember being taken aback when I read this line.  It was one of those moments when the words jump off the page and smack you in the head! .... I started reading Passion and Purity because I was down about my desires concerning my love life.  I was reading it to pursue Christ's perspective in the situation, yes .... but also because I was bummed out.  Isn't it great how God will reveal His perspective when we really seek it out?  It's great alright ... but also convicting!!!! ..... I think He wants us to be happy ... BUT! .... He isn't ultimately worried about our happiness.  He's worried about our holiness!!!  A similar way to put it .... My pastor often says, "God's not concerned with our comfort; He's concerned with our character." .... Holiness is being "set apart."  Jesus is the ultimate picture of holiness - completely set apart from any ideology, any response to any situation, any person on this earth.  And He calls us to be set apart as well. .... Elisabeth threw out the definition of holiness to mean "wholeness."  Another great way of putting it! ..... When we are holy ... set apart ... we are W H O L E.  I want to be whole! ..... It reminds me of James 1:4 when it says .... "And perseverance must finish its work so that you will be mature and complete, not lacking anything."  That is EXACTLY God's desire for us!  He wants us to be whole!  Complete.  Not lacking anything.  Holiness is the path to wholeness.

So in all of my "unmet" desires ... I need to be seeking out holiness.  Then ... I will eventually be whole.  Whew! ... What a rough concept.  I hate that it is taking me so long to learn this lesson in surrender.  You'd think I would've learn it by now.  But no. ..... Thankfully our God is entirely faithful and full of grace to extend to us each and every day.

Alrighty .... So I really wrote this only for myself.  I needed to get some thoughts. .... I pray you all have this surrendering desires thing down pat.  But ... knowing you (the fact that you're human), you don't.  So I thought I'd share my struggles and thoughts. .... Like I've said so many times before ... it is soooo much easier said than done.  But we can't stop striving toward the goal.  The goal being - WHOLENESS IN CHRIST ALONE.

Friday, March 6, 2009

First Things First!

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine, Jason (who also helps lead our youth group), shared a message with our youth group about our ultimate calling - Glorifying God. ....... It was pretty amazing! I got a lot out of it and have been thinking a lot about his words and God's words that he shared with us. I've been wanting to share 'em here ... so here goes! :)

"Put first things first, and we get second things thrown in; put second things first, and we lose both first and second things." - C.S. Lewis

READ THAT AGAIN!

"Put first things first, and we get second things thrown in; put second things first, and we lose both first and second things."

That is big! Wow! Better preachin' than you think!!!! ....... Here's my paraphrase: Put God first in your life, and all else will fall into place. Leave God out of the #1 spot, and everything else will fail. ......... This is a BIG idea! This is a big REALITY!!! Life is pointless, futile ... trifling! ... if we do not make Jesus our E V E R Y T H I N G !!! He MUST be #1! Always and forever!

Jason asked us to think about a few questions ....
* What matters most to God?
* What cause is God most passionate about?
* What is the primary reason God wants us to spread His Gospel?
Think about these questions for yourself ..... what kinds of answers do you come up with?

Now! Read these verses ..... Colossians 1:16-18, Isaiah 43:7, Ephesians 1:6-14, and 1 Peter 4:10-11. .... In case you don't have a Bible handy, I'll give you the "gist" of each passage. These are the "fill-in-the-blanks" that Jason had us fill out.

Colossians 1:16-18
* Christ created all things so that ......... fill in the blank. .... so that "He, Himself, will come to have first place in everything." (NASB)
Isaiah 43:7
* God created us ........... for His glory.
Ephesians 1:6-14
* The ultimate reason God saves us is so that ........ we will praise and glorify Him.
1 Peter 4:10-11
* The primary reason God wants our service is so that ......... we will glorify Him.

Seeing a pattern? ;) ..... Yep, that's right! We are called to GLORIFY GOD. Ya'll can do what you want with these verses. And I challenge you to really read them; dwell on them; soak them up!

And I want to leave you with a passage that Jason left with us .........
1 Peter 2:9-12
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation." (NASB)

Good stuff, huh? ......... It's all God's words. :)

And think about it ... we were CHOSEN to GLORIFY GOD. This is our P U R P O S E !

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

New Question! Swweeet! :)

This post is actually a question I asked under the "Question for You" application I used to have on my blog. It's such a good question to think about, and I love my answer! So I couldn't just delete it! :)

What do you want to be/do when you grow up?

Me? .......

I want to finally get this primary calling thing right ... to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. I want Psalm 16:11 to be the center of my entire being, not just sometimes, but on a moment by moment basis ... "In Your presence is FULLNESS of JOY." I want to live in such a way that JESUS is my EVERYTHING! I'm a workin' on it ... but I want to be ever closer to PERFECT joy in Christ!

I also want to work with young people. I want to work ... somehow, somewhere ... with kids, teens, and people young at heart! I want to pour myself into them and be poured into by them! I want to share Jesus with them ... share encouragement with them - "You CAN overcome these hard times! I overcame mine through the power and grace and faithfulness of my awesome Jesus!" ... I want to simply BE with them!

.... Could this mean teaching? I thought so for such a long time ... but I'm waiting on God for that one. Could that mean going into youth missions in the deepest jungles of South America or in the growing churches in China? I don't know. Letting God take that one! Could it be taking over the Sunday School program at my church? At a church in the ghetto of St. Louis? I have no idea! .... God knows though! And He'll let me know in HIS time!

... All I know is that I want to love on chil'rens and youth and .... people, in general!!! :)

Lord, guide! Direct! Provide! Give peace! Open doors! Shut doors! I will follow your lead!

Happy Birthday to Mical! :D

Well .... it's my birthday today!

22!!!

So .... since it's my day ... I'm gonna splurge and write a couple of blog posts I've been storing up. It's one of my birthday presents to myself. :)

Gooolllly! My life has been oober busy the past couple of months! Hence, the lack of blogging. I'm workin' on it though. :) Slowly but surely finding balance. ... God is faithful. :)

Without further ado ... the previous couple of posts are some thoughts I've been wanting to post about for quite some time .......... Yay!

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

God's Grammar Rules 102: Appositives

So .... does anyone remember God's Grammar Lessons? .... Yep! Waaayyy back when! The first lesson was about commas and periods. Today's lesson is about appositives. They are one of my favorite grammar devices. (Yes, I'm an English major.) :) ....


For those who aren't into grammar and have no clue what I'm talking about ... appositives are phrases offset by commas that when you take them out of your sentence, your sentence functions just fine without 'em


.... I like 'em because they are often used to enhance your sentence. They can also make your sentence wordy or too long and confusing, but used correctly, they can make your sentence so much better! So! I have two thoughts about "life appositives," as I'm gonna call 'em. :)


Before I start ... let's make a word picture. (Yep, they are our favorites, aren't they, Alex?) :) .... Think of your life as a sentence. If we wanted to get really complex, we could think of our lives as an entire paragraph or even a whole book .... but for this lesson, let's stick with our life as a sentence, shall we? ... We shall. :) Our sentences (lives) are full of punctuation, adjectives, nouns, ect. Our sentences are also full of appositives ... those events/people/whatever that either enhance our lives or make them confusing and difficult.


Often (if not always!), we can take these things out of our lives, and our lives function just fine without them. The example I want to use in my life is ..... dut, dut, dut, duh! .... My love life (or lack thereof - ha ha!). .... For the past two years, I've been trying to add this love life appositive to my sentence. I've been trying to write my own love story. But rather than this appositive enhancing my sentence, like I THOUGHT it would ... like I WANTED it to ... it just got wordy and confusing. This appositive involved getting so caught up in finding the "right guy" that I wasn't focusing on the ONLY Guy who really matters ... yep. The Jesus Man! :)

I battled these crazy offset commas for months and months. And when I finally dropped the pen and let God continue writing my sentence, I found that He took this love life appositive out. He knew that the sentence worked just fine without it. He knew the sentence worked BETTER without it. He helped ME see that my sentence was better (at least for now) without these so called "enhancements."

Perhaps ... down the road ... God will put this love life appositive back in my life. But for now, I'm really enjoying my sentence without this particular appositive. My sentence is reading so much more smoothly, and it is no longer wordy and confusing. .... It's amazing how that works, huh? When we give the pen to God, He writes a sentence (and an entire story!) packed with fulfulling and purposeful punctuation, adjectives, nouns, appositives, and so much more!

Keep trusting God to write your sentence! He is the Master Writer and Editor, and He knows what He's doing! :)