Alyssa Sellers


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Trust in Transition

Trust In Transition

 

Two years ago I decided to actually fully trust Jesus with my WHOLE life. Like for real.

I mean, I’ve been a follower of Jesus since I was a wee lass. And that choice was real and life altering and such, but as I grew up, so did our relationship. We had some rocky times in college (who doesn’t) and then just about 10 years ago I moved 3,000 miles from everything I had ever known and I thought “Jesus, I totally trust you. You’ve got this.”

But what I realized a little bit over two years ago is that I didn’t really believe that. Or to put it more precisely, the aforementioned “this” was a small portion of my tiny life. Things happened in my formative years that made me believe that no one, not my family and certainly not God, would ever be able to TRULY protect me or take care of me, so young 6ish Alyssa set out in life to take care of herself. And super independent Alyssa did a fairly kick-ass job, if I do say so myself. By most measures, I was indeed successful.

But then, just about the time I turned 30, Jesus and I decided it was time I learned some lessons in dependency. God revealed to me this HUGE section of my life that I hadn’t handed over. Like pretty much my entire lively hood. I didn’t trust him to provide for me, to take care of me, to feed and clothe and shelter me. You know all the things a decent parent does. Continue reading

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Following a Big Crazy God

63f17-bigcrazyriverThe Bible is full of some straight-up crazy situations. Take Joshua for instance. After he leads all of the Israelites across a miraculously dry river bottom, God tells him to circumcise all of his men.

I wonder if Joshua thought the circumcision would have been a better idea back in the desert when they had nothing better to do and natural boundaries for protection. Or if he thought maybe a better plan would have been slicing in shifts, thus guaranteeing at least a few able bodied fighters in case of attack. But no, after waiting and wandering around the desert for 40 years because of other people’s poor choices, God tells Joshua to cross over into hostile land and then render his army useless for a few days.

That’s big crazy. Continue reading


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Promising Possibilities

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In John’s first letter to the new followers of Jesus he writes, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.”

How promising is this?! Oh, the possibilities! I am fairly certain we don’t ever fully grasp what an absolutely incredible promise this is. Most probably because we don’t fully grasp who God is.

God created everything.

God has the power to control everything.

God knows everything.

God, like an good parent, wants the best for his children.

Now, we as humans are certainly not the best gauges of what is best. Sometimes we even fail at being good gauges of what is adequate. Continue reading


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Making Peace with Psalm 23

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Where I grew up most, kids learned the 23rd Psalm. I think they had to in catechism. Where I grew up, all the school buses altered their routes to include a stop at the Catholic Church on Mondays for catechism classes. Because of where I grew up, I heard that Psalm recited as rote and therefore I didn’t much care for that Psalm. Also it talked about valleys of death and rods and staffs, and hearing that over and over and over again sorta creeped me out.

Where I live now, I do full time ministry through my church by encouraging and supporting university students and other transients of my downtown Portland neighborhood in a variety of ways. To do this work, I raise my own support. I sorta suck at this aspect, but that’s another story for another time. And now I have an agent for my book so I’m retooling my book proposal which means an enormous amount of research and writing and editing and feelings of inadequacy. Again, another story for another time. And I also have a life full of relationships with people not connected to anything mentioned above that I try to maintain. I guess you could say I’ve got some stuff going on. Continue reading


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I’m Scared of the Nothing

I use to get crazy anxiety when I came to the end of a plan. Mostly because I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I like plans. I used to be kind of obsessed with them, actually. Emotionally, I don’t do super well with the nothing. I feel like I’m shouting along with the Empress in The NeverEnding Story when she is about to get swallowed up by the nothing, “Say my name, Sebastian! SAY MY NAME!”

I’m scared of the nothing.

It’s kinda like when a new born baby endures her first bath. That baby has no idea what she’s getting into and, frankly, it’s scary. I mean she’s just recently gone through some fairly traumatic stuff so understandably she kicks and screams and cries. This is the unknown, this is the nothing. Soon she learns that she will survive this ordeal. Going forward, each bath time gets a little less scary. Sometimes when the air is cold and she has to get marker scrubbed off her arm she cries a bit more than usual, she may not know why this has to happen, but she knows she will survive.

She believes she will survive because she is becoming dependent. She is learning to trust.

I went to the Faith & Culture Writers Conference a month ago and heard William Paul Young, the author of The Shack speak. A good deal of what he said resonated with me, but in particular he said that God is healing us so we can be children.

Healthy, safe, and well cared for children aren’t obsessed with plans. They are unaware of the nothing.

When I live my life in fear of the nothing, I make some really desperate choices that are not for the best. So, I am choosing to live my life as a child of God, as a child of love, not of fear.  I am learning to trust. I am becoming dependent. I will survive.