Monday, July 15, 2013

In every high and stormy gale...

Well what do we have here?  I know, I know, I've been completely out of the blogosphere for a while now, but, alas, I have something to share and therefore, This is Good is revived yet again.

I was able to cabinlead this past week at my favorite place, Camp Imadene, and along with that amazing experience, I was also asked to speak in chapel! OH SNAP KIDDIES! Yes, I, Amy Pickard, speech impediment and leaky eyes in tow, but I did it. And I didn't completely suck.

The week was amazing as I knew it would be. I expected God to show up, and he did, but never in the ways I expect him to.  My girls were fantastic, beautiful, caring, HILARIOUS, but lacking in conversational skills. Cabin time was verging on painful. I would ask the required questions, along with my own, and nothing. Crickets. This was really trying for me as we all know I love myself a good chat, but it was also a test to get back to basics. God was showing me that I didn't need to try so hard. All I was being asked to do was love on these girls, plain and simple, and He would show up and do the rest. And he did. Duh.  As of late I've been realizing that although I may plant the seeds, I cannot expect them to sprout and bear fruit overnight, I have to give it time, wait for the next season, and when it's right, fruit will bear and lives will change.

But back to my little chapel sesh.... Nette, our fearless leader, overheard me sharing a tidbit of my testimony during cabin time and she thought I would be a good option to share in front of everyone. GAH! I was obviously thrilled at first. I went to our lovely speaker and asked what he was wanting me to focus on. He asked me some questions, I cried as per usual, ughhh, and he gave me the go ahead.

I tried to write some notes during free time, but obviously my body was yearning to toss some Frisbee, and after some short notes I decided to leave in the Lord's hands.

I spoke on my life, my lies, this blog, and all the This is Good moments that have come and gone but looking back I really don't know what I even said that could have been monumental,

but the response was heartwarming. So many campers and staff came up to me and said how much they appreciated and related to my story. WHAT?! My story? Really? Wowza.

At the end of the week it was time for fire-side, my favorite. If you've been a loyal follower you will remember that this service has always been huge for me. God always provides me with something to share, whether I want to or not, and he did not back down this time.  I was lead to encourage the campers and staff that as we leave from camp, we are not alone in our walks, that we can cling to one another and hold each other accountable. So I shared this passage from Hebrews 10:

22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

39 For we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

To any of you camp folk that are reading this, or even to anyone who has experienced that roller coaster of camp highs and home town lows, I just want to share something.  We have all sung the song "Mighty to Save" (almost too much, but that's my opinion) and in it's lyrics it states that our savior can move mountains. Therefore, I want to tell you that God can move that Mountain Top high to where you are. Now Imadene physically has a picturesque mountain for us to stare at, but it doesn't have to remain at camp. Faith as small as a mustard seed can move that mountain to where you are, those feelings of grandeur and the overwhelming covering of God's love is not secluded to one place. It's everlasting and all-surpassing, so keep seeking it out, because "before [you] call [he] will answer; while [you] are still speaking [he]will hear." Isaiah 65:24

Much love and "big times!"-- A

P.S. I didn't cry either times I spoke!! Go me. Maybe I've found my calling?


Friday, May 10, 2013

I'm in love with your honor...

Wow. So  I haven't done this is a very, very long time.  It's kind of surreal being on here, feels like such a long lifetime ago that this was the biggest part of my life.  Sad but true.

I was reading through 1 John the other night and a couple verses really struck me and I thought, I'm going to write a blog about these.

Thus, I came crawling back to ol' faithful here to share a few choice words with you.

I'm a little rusty, so bear with me :)

"If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything" 1 John 3:19

Now I had to look up the definition of "condemn" to fully grasp what this meant, the second definition states that this means to sentence someone to a particular punishment, especially death. Now as per usual little ol' Amy here has been having her heart toyed with a bit as of late and I kind of related it to this verse and got a lot of hope from it as well.

Can any of you relate to the fact that sometimes it feels as if you have no control over your heart? That it just does what it wants to all on it's own, it's like that Edgar Allan Poe quote,

“Sometimes I’m terrified of my heart; 

of its constant hunger for whatever it is it wants. 

The way it stops and starts.”

And sometimes, because you have lost all control, it feels like you are being punished, your heart aches, it makes you wail in agony because you know that this is not what love should feel like, and especially unrequited love, verging on forbidden, but that's another story,
don't even get me started.

But hope endures.  And just like it states, God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything!  He knows how much of a burden our human hearts can be, for who can understand not being loved back by the ones he loves the most more than an unconditionally loving God?

So we then get to the inevitable question made famous by toddlers worldwide, Why? Why should we have to continue on loving just to be burned over and over again, to have those same wounds re-opened and left to bleed dry. Well let me tell you something, we love because he first loved us.  Now don't think I had an epiphany and made that up myself, as I continued reading through 1 John, that charming verse showed up to answer my query. 

1 John 4:19 is a constant reminder  that we are to love everyone just as God loves all of us.  Love was created by God for amazing things.  I always get so overly excited and school-girl-giddy when I think of what the future has in store.  I know that God is preparing someone for me that will blow my checkered socks off and will portray the love he has for me. his bride, through a person that I cannot even fathom yet.


So just keep in mind, that all this love stuff may be crummy now, but at some point, it's going to work out.  God knows what he is doing, and if I have to wait until I'm 87 years old with two hip replacements to finally have my MOG show up, it'll be worth it.  Cause it's better to endure the pain and end up with the gold than to settle for nickel plated copper and have green rings around your fingers. Ya get me?

Probably not cause that made no sense, yet I still think This is Good.

Anyways, I love you all, and I do miss you just a bit.

Much love and loving lovely lovers-- A