Thy Will Be Done

If you know me, I don’t think you would deny that I can be a bit of a “willful” person. I do not like being told what to do. And goodness do I have some fiery opinions. I will try to keep the “Christianese” to a minimum, but there are certain phrases that while foreign or uncomfortable that truly capture what I am about to write about. So as a disclaimer I won’t shy away from that language

To live an authentic “Christian-life” that is alive and contagious, you have to come to terms with surrendering your will to God. What makes a phrase like “surrendering your will to God” so lofty and confusing is because…. well honestly, how often is a statement like that unpacked. Goodness, I know I cannot unpack it in a single blog post. But you are here already so let me try the best I can.

God has a Will and desire for the world. Like all of creation. The pebbles, the oceans, the mountains, the little chipmunks, and humans (individually and collectively). Also, something weird… sometimes people capitalize the word “Will”. Like God’s Will just got done starring in the Fresh Prince of Bel-air. I tend to be one of those people. I like to look the English language in the face and blow a raspberry in its immediate direction.

Emily Dickinson understood the power of turning words like “Will” into pro-nouns. To me, God’s Will is alive. It has a personality, it has a direction, it knows love, it knows hurt and brokenness and it breathes out life into creation. What does God’s Will want? It wants all of the world to surrender its pride and its selfish desires. It wants every human to run, to sprint, to roll, to drive, to swim with tears streaming into the open arms of God. God’s Will wants humanity to be its truest and fullest self. And the matter of the fact is that God’s Will is not misguided like our own, like my own. It has a vision that can see a picture written throughout history and time that my mind could never comprehend.

So for argument’s sake lets play out this scenario: At some point in life you decided that you want your will to match God’s Will. You even went to the extent to ask God verbally or quietly to use you how ever God desires. This is not a far-fetched scenario. Most professing Christians or even former Christians have been led to prayer a prayer just like this. I have no idea how many pastors and leaders have been completely honest about what a surrendering of will to God’s Will means. So stick with me, I am about to piss some people off.

Submitting to God’s Will is the single most painful and dangerous and fear-ridden decision you will ever make.

But God, is it good.

When you surrender like that, the pain will be searing, Dear Jesus it will hurt. People will still try to abuse you, they will try to manipulate you, they will try to crush you. You will constantly be put in situations that scare you so deeply that you will feel so small, so vulnerable that you will not be sure if you can press on. Every single one of your fears will be brought to the surface. They will be laid out, they will be examined, they will be poked and they will rage. And you most likely fail and concede more times than you can count. And when you think you have no more to give, and think you just cannot do this anymore, God’s Will ask for just a little more.

That pain, though, it will change your heart. It will change how you see people it will change how you see the world. It will strengthen you to climb heights that you thought were insurmountable your entire life. It will fill you with a fierce fire and a power that no human, no circumstance, no loss and no struggle can quiet.

And every dangerous situation God’s Will brings you into will make you more alive than you ever thought you could be. Life will taste sweeter than you ever believed it would. Relationships will be truer and greater than the world is prepared for.

Every time you have recoiled in fear will be brought forth. You won’t just survive your fears. By God’s Will and strength you will thrive midst fears you never thought you could endure. Thrive. Your fears will rise up and love will smash them down.

God’s Will has dominion. And God will not stop until your fears, your iniquities, your hurts, and your pain all submit to God’s Will. God will ask more of you than you think you can handle. But God’s Will knows you more intimately than you will ever know yourself. God will ask you to bend, but will never break you.

Submitting or surrendering to God’s Will is not a one time thing. Maybe you are willful like me and your plans are found in imperfect thoughts. And you will tell God “no”, but I hate to tell you, it probably won’t go down with God saying “aight, you do you”. I cannot tell you how many declarations I have made about what I won’t do and how every single time God has blown a raspberry in my immediate direction.

So you know I have lived out what I am talking about and am still living it out here are two examples of how God has dealt with my stubbornness.

At some point in college I said verbally, well more than a few times that I will move WHEREVER God leads me, but I WILL NOT live in Texas. Lol. Before y’all get upset. I’m not just some Texas hater. I didn’t even really have bad feelings towards TX, it just was not something I would consider….

So… in 2014 God put me in a car and sent me to my first vocational ministry position. In Texas. Goodness were those years difficult. They also changed me at my core. I do not live in Texas any more but I love the people there and that state like I never thought I could. My time in Texas taught me more about who I am in God’s eyes than maybe any other season in my life.

My second example. I have had this friend named Allison for nearly 16 years now. It was one of those frustrating situations you see where everyone wanted to tell us what we should be. I promise you. Her and I both on many occasions growing up said. I will never date him/her. Side note she is just as willful as me if not more. I believe her when she says she won’t do something.

Would you believe what God’s Will did. October 21st, 2017. I married Allison on a magnificent Fall day in Southern New Jersey. And on that day a mass of people saw that God’s Will will do what it wills. I am married now to the most amazing woman, I could not imagine a life without her by my side.

I just need you to know that it is all worth it. The pain, the disappointment, the anger, the abuse, the failures. In this world these things will persist. But God’s Will is a fierce and unstoppable force that will conquer every last ounce of influence that does not make you your fullest self.

God will ask for more when you think you have no more to give. And if you do not have more to give.

God will supply it.

I wrote a poem earlier, it isn’t great, but also I have not written a poem in years it feels like, so I figured I would share it. Just remember, it all doesn’t just “get better”. Christ makes your reality unimaginably good. So good, the thought of it is making me shudder in my seat. That goodness, that all-encompassing passionate love that your heart craves so desperately. That is what waits in God’s Will.

Much Love


Here is that poem:

I never knew about

The devilish Mischief

I would endure

when you asked and

I begged yes

Ten years ago

I never knew

My fears would

Be examined

Be extracted

My whole self

Put under a microscope,

My chest peeled back

My heart pounding

Open for surgery

With my eyes


Just when I believe

I can take no more

You see it fit

To dig a little

Deeper; You prod


Some how your hand gets swifter

Your incisions more precise

Through tears

The scar tissue

The bloody mess

I cannot take more

And still you press


I offered myself

Over to You

So long ago

When I said, yes

I didnt realize

I could no longer say no

That you wouldnt

Stop chasing

When I run

That when my word

Was bond

Your promises

Could come alive

Still my fear rages on

And your answer:

“Just a little more”

Your will be done

You will press harder still

My will is surrendered

My will be yours

I will endure


Messy Second Chances

Before you start reading this post I would encourage you to watch the video above and then when you are done watch the video at the bottom of the post. It is not often that I include media into my posts. But I believe both of these songs have dictated what I am about to write about.

I want to talk about abandonment, fear, brokenness, grace and Jesus. Just so you are prepared for what I am about to get into here.

I was reading John chapter 11 this morning. Perhaps you know the chapter. It is the very famous passage where the author writes the words “Jesus wept.” Let me paint the picture. It has come to Jesus’ attention that his friend Lazarus has fallen very ill and may be nearing death. Jesus is unmoved by this and declares that this situation will not end in death.

Fast forward a couple of days and Jesus arrives to Lazarus’ home where his two sisters are mourning (Martha and Mary) Martha runs out to him. Mary does not.

This is what I want to look at, I have heard many sermons on this passage, but nothing like I experienced this morning.

Has someone ever hurt you before? Someone that you trusted and believed in? And after that hurt you found it incredibly difficult to face them? Maybe not because you are angry, but deep down you are terrified that they no longer love you? That they have abandoned you? That your trust was misplaced from the very beginning? You are terrified to face them because you are terrified that everything come out as false.

That is what abandonment does.

What does Jesus do? He calls Mary’s name.

Mary in turn runs out to him and falls at his feet weeping. The first words that come out of her mouth are drenched in salty wet confusion and brokenness. “Lord, if you had been here my brother would still be alive!” (Why didn’t you come, why weren’t you here, I thought you loved me, why did you forget about us, why God, why GOD, WHY GOD?)

Just then, Jesus is deeply moved in spirit as the author tells us. A verse later we get the “Jesus wept.” line.

Of course he wept. Yes he was saddened by his friend’s death, yes it showed us human emotion. But this ENTIRE scene in scripture paints a more beautiful picture of our human relationships with God than I could ever put in ink. It keeps just BLOWING my mind.

Jesus is heart broken, God is heart broken, that his children think he has abandoned them. He knew before Lazarus died that He would be glorified, but that doesn’t change how unbelievably messy and broken the situation, neither does it change how he takes complete brokenness swirling into chaos and spin it all on its head. He mixes the colors of tears and fear and paints a brand new picture.

He brings Lazarus back to life. There has never been a sunrise so awe-inspiring.

That is what it means that God takes brokenness aside and makes it beautiful. I am getting chills as I write this.

Jesus did not need to prove to any one there that he had not abandoned them. He is God, why should he have to remind us that we are loved and fully known? He did not need to call out to Mary in her desperation and pain.

What does he do instead? He first calls to Mary, he has not forgotten her. Then he listens to her, he hears her pain. Then he asks his Father to bring Lazarus out from death.

He stomps down so hard on the lies of abandonment and of a God that does not love us completely and fully. The lie about of a God who does not care. The lie about a God who does not forgive. Jesus stamps them out and changes every human life in the process.

Maybe I am insane, but I cannot express fully the beauty I am seeing in this chapter. I have never seen it like this before. Jesus wept. For us.

Like a parent who is truly devastated that a child has been hiding in shame and fear because they are afraid that his or her parents will never look at them with love again.

Like Adam and Eve hiding from a God so powerful, how could He ever love a mess so corrupted?

Yet still. He takes brokenness aside and makes it beautiful. Yet He is the God of second and third and infinite chances. Grace has no bounds. That is reality.

So I ask that if you struggle with any of these lies, look to Jesus, look to the cross, look at how God’s heart breaks to know we are afraid of him, that we are terrified that He will not take us back.

Jesus, that is what Unconditional Love is. Turn to Him and watch the master piece He paints on your heart.

He is calling out to you, He is waiting for you to run out to him, to fall at his feet and plead with him. He is waiting for you to be exactly who He made you to be. He is waiting for you to bring your ball of mess out to Him so he can make it beautiful.

Much Love


Indian Fusion

Strange title right? Well that’s because I am listening to a collaboration of Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling and an Indian Group called the Dharohar Project. I am not sure what language they are speaking or what in the world they are saying, but I am enjoying it thoroughly. Honestly I can barely understand the English accents of Mumford and Laura Marling.

So those who are close to me know that I have a major soft spot in my heart (and stomach) for good Indian Cuisine. My various trips to Indian Restaurants the past semester may be my brightest highlights. Man I could kill for some Chicken Tikka Masala and Saag Paneer, right now. Stupid South Jersey has no culture.

I remember one of my recent trips included a server really pushing for me to order from their “Indian Fusion” menu. What exactly is that? Well I asked the same question. The waiter explained that it consists of dishes that are mixed with flavors from different Indian-like cuisine. So they are hybrids of sorts. Part Northern Indian and part Bangladesh. Part Southern Indian and Part Pakistan. Interesting combinations to say the least and to the majority of Americans it is all just “Indian”. This isn’t a blog about cultural insensitivity, but my opinion is that for the most part Americans are ethnocentric and butt heads.

Moving on. So. Hybrids. Cross-breeding. Inter-special Mating (gross). Go read Frank Peretti’s Monster. 

So this post is a hybrid of sorts. A smashing together of some thoughts and ideas and words.

First it needs to be noted that the internet I am using is atrocious and I will probably lose what I am writing several times before I can save or post it. Fun times.

Also, Nothing in my life has panned out how I would have liked or how I desired. Again, if you are close to me you may be aware that I have been quite the pile of mess for I would say at least the last month.

Have you ever heard the phrase: When is rains it pours? Well I have. And I have lived it, time and time again. It kind of stinks. And I don’t mean old garbage stinks. I mean rotting man-flesh mixed with dirty socks, vomit and a sprig of rosemary.

So here is my fusion experience. A little dose of crap from all different areas of my life culminating into a truly unique sensory experience.

I still haven’t figured out if it cost as much as my Indian Fusion plate…

But I refuse to leave my readers on a dismal note.

Life is hard more often than it is easy my friends. That is something that we all have to deal with and accept. Some of us deal with challenges more visibly and seemingly more consistently. But take this as courage.

If you are faced with a challenge, it means that you are strong enough to overcome it. It will NOT be easy. But it is more than doable. So here is my suggestion.

Make your own Fusion plate.

Look back at what has encouraged you over the years. I know it is there. Think back on all the ups that have followed the downs. Think about the lessons you have learned. And as hard as this may seem look for those nuggets hiding in the murky dark. If you feel like you have wasted a month, a semester, a year. Think and pray with all you got.

Search for those nuggets and try to see the lessons as they develop. Ask yourself in the most loving tone (avoid cynicism)What have I learned?

I promise there is a good answer there no matter how much it has hurt.

So as you are compiling all these treats, these flavors. Bring them together onto one plate. And

Begin to paint.

Paint yourself a masterpiece of Truth. See the beauty of life and Christ’s love for what it is.

You have your finished plate. Now use it. Use it to move forward through the next valley. Hold on hope.

Hold onto hope. Never let it go.

Much Love