Wednesday, December 21, 2011


For as long as I can remember, I've loved how Christmas and light go together.

As a kid, I used to help my dad put the Christmas lights on the house. (That was before I developed the paralyzing fear of rooftops I now have.) I couldn't wait until it got dark and we could turn them on and see our handiwork, to see them twinkling against the winter night sky. My soul always soared and a smile would softly form on my face as I stood outside taking it all in.

Every Christmas Eve, I have a little tradition of my very own. I wait until my family has gone to bed and turn off all the lights except the iones on the Christmas tree. I grab my favorite blanket and curl up on the couch, basking in the soft glow. Then, I go outside to stare up into the sky, peppered with what might be my favorite bit of creation, stars. They absolute captivate me and remind me of the majesty and beauty of my Lord.

My fascination with light continues throughout the rest of the year, not just Christmas, but especially at Christmas. I'm starting to think there's a reason for that.

Yesterday evening, I was reading the story of Jesus's birth in Matthew 2. The star is mentioned four times in the first 12 verses. I feel like that's kind of a lot. It was a beacon, guidance and hope for the wise men who sought to see the Christ child, but it wasn't as if the wise men had special goggles that allowed them to see it and, therefore, were the only ones able to have this hope and direction, no, it was available for all to see. It could have essentially been hope and guidance to everyone, pointing the entire world to Christ.

This got me thinking.

So I flipped a few pages over and read John 1.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

(John 1:1-5 ESV, emphasis added)

Well, that's Jesus, for sure. He is truly the only one who can bring us from death to life. To bring us out of our darkness into his light. He is our star, our beacon of light. Those who are a part of his light have great hope:

"The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

(John 1:9-13 ESV, emphasis added)

Pretty amazing.

So what do we do with this light and life within us? John 1 tells us that, too. We do exactly what John the Baptist did.

"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light."

(John 1:6-8 ESV, emphasis added)

John the Baptist paved the way for the coming of the Messiah here on Earth. In his time, he was the only "witness" for Christ. The only one. Let that sink in. He knew what his calling was and the responsibility he had and died because of the message the Lord gave him to share.


It says in verse 8,  "That all might believe through him." 

Now is that not our calling, too, for those of us who believe and are called according to his purpose?

"Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

(Matthew 5:15-16 ESV, emphasis added)

Same thing, right?

And is not our Lord coming again? Is not judgement in the future for all? Do we not need to continue to pave the way and bear witness so that others may know Him through us? Is that not our commission?

It all comes back to the Gospel. Light. Christmas. A star. Lights on a house.

To whom are we guiding and directing the world? To ourselves? Or to Jesus?

I'm under the impression that all light is meant to remind us of Him. Now when I see Christmas lights, bright and shining in the darkness, it makes me think of not just how lovely and wonderful my Lord is, but that his light is meant to be shared, released into every dark corner.

So, this is the week before Christmas and let me tell you, the enemy has tried very hard to make me hide my light and at times, I may have let him. My stress level is through the roof, beyond just the normal stress of the season, and I was doing fine until yesterday. Yesterday was a low point. I hid my light and lost sight of the Light. I wallowed in the darkness and let those tears of defeat stream down my face.

It was just a moment in life really, but a moment too long. But oh how merciful it was for the Lord to remind me once again about the hope that I have in Jesus, how He is Immanuel, here with me in the midst of this messy world of darkness, stress, and weariness. His light gives me life and strength for this world, to endure and to share.

I am to be paving a path of light with my life. Like a star, a compass for all to look and find the true light, the only hope.

I think I understand this song a little more now.

"Go Tell It On the Mountain"

While shepherds kept their watching
Over silent flocks by night,
Behold throughout the heavens,
There shone a holy light:
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo! above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed our Saviour's birth:
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

Down in a lowly manger
Our humble Christ was born
And God send us salvation,
That blessed Christmas morn:
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

When I am a seeker,
I seek both night and day;
I seek the Lord to help me,
And He shows me the way:
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

He made me a watchman
Upon the city wall,
And if I am a Christian,
I am the least of all.
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

Blessings and Merry Christmas. <3

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Who likes waiting? If you do, then we can't be friends. I kid...well, maybe.

In my life, I am once again, waiting. Waiting on God, trusting His timeline in my life.

The thing about the waiting that gets me the most is how I feel like I no longer belong anywhere normal anymore: at my church, with my friends, at my home, my job, etc. I struggle so much with this, just on a regular basis, let alone during the changing, growing, transitioning times of life. The enemy works overtime telling me that no one cares about me or what I'm going through, that I have no place among my friends any longer, that I'm alone as I prepare for the next phase of life, "and seriously, Angela, you should just stop caring because they no longer care about you". As much as I would like to say it doesn't get to me and I don't let it affect me, it does... in fact, it just downright hits me in the gut and I often go down for the count.

I see how I begin to believe all the deceptive whispers in my ear. First, my attitude suffers and I find myself tired, down, maybe even a little depressed. This puts me into hypersensitivity mode (as if I weren't sensitive enough...) and I start getting my feelings hurt waaay more than I normally would. Of course, what do wounded animals do? Two things: hide and shrivel into as small of a ball as possible until they feel safe again OR lash out in anger; since the latter is less socially acceptable than the former, personally, I tend to pull away from everyone and everything, not wanting to feel the pain of being left out, ignored, forgotten, unimportant, or whatever else I've let myself believe.

But here's the thing, even if all of that stuff is true about my friends, co-workers, church family, and whoever else, that they don't understand or want to understand and are unable to be sensitive to what I'm going through, MY JOY IS NOT FOUND IN THEM. My joy is in the Lord, who He is and his love for me. So now, I have to remind myself of this truth constantly: He is enough. Christ is enough. No other person could ever satisfy as He does, no matter how much I love them or they love me.

Don't get me wrong, it's still a struggle for me and probaby will be my whole life. This isn't the first time I've battled this, nor will it be the last. These are struggles I have from hurts long ago, scars I will never rid of until I go and meet Jesus in heaven, but I certainly don't have to let them rule over me.

I want to be graceful and glorifying to Him in the waiting. To trust Him and shine for Him, to not shrink back into a hole of isolation. I'm over that. Been there. Done that. Read The Long Road to understand more fully.

The passage below has been a constant in my life for the past 2 months; may it minister to you as it has to me, reminding you to fill yourself with the sustaining hope and joy that only Jesus can supply.

  I have forgotten what happiness is;
 so I say, “My endurance has perished;
  so has my hope from the LORD.”
  Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
  the wormwood and the gall!
 My soul continually remembers it
  and is bowed down within me.
 But this I call to mind,
  and therefore I have hope:

  The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
  his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
  great is your faithfulness.
 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
  “therefore I will hope in him.”

  The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
  to the soul who seeks him.
 It is good that one should wait quietly
  for the salvation of the LORD.

 Lamentations 3:17b-26

Angela Lee

Monday, August 22, 2011


I wrote the story below 5 years ago. I can't believe it has been that long... Lately, I've been doing a lot of reflection/evaluation in my life, trying to gage where I've been, where I am at, and what I still need to work on in my walk with Christ. These sentiments expressed here have never left me and although I've struggled in my walk at times, this has held fast and has only grown stronger. At this time in my life, with so many changes ahead for me and many of my friends, along with having returned from Riverland, this event may have happened 5 years ago, but the feelings are as true as ever in my life.

Smelly Memories

"So I was driving home one night after class and I was having a hard time finding the comfortable point between the super cold air or the lovely Oklahoma humidity. I decided that I would try the outside air option instead in hopes that this would bring homeostasis.


Anyway, I'm not sure if the air actually smelled this way outside or if it was just the air from inside the dash, but it smelled of heat and mold; it had a strange bitterness to it as well, and as much as you would think this would be unpleasant to me, it was the very opposite.

The smell was exactly like the way it smelled in Matamores, Mexico at the children's home where my family and I would go every year to do mission work when I was a kid. As I smelled this air, I imagined children playing soccer in the dusty field behind the pig pens and then drinking Joyas after teaching VBS. I remember how it felt to know that what I was doing was really important and that I loved it very much. That smell even made me miss the bunkhouse we stayed in and the simple life we led while living there.

Almost as quickly as it had come, the air changed and it smelled of night and grass with a touch of exhaust. As the smell faded, I felt a rush within me, as if something was pulling me back to this world. Tears began to rise, but I held them back. I know that what I really missed was the simplicity of life- loving God not just with my words but with my entire life and leaving everything this life offers in the dust.

I want to have that again someday. I want so much more than what this world offers." 
(Angela Willard, 2006)

I'm ready to jump. To free fall with the only net needed, Jesus Christ. It's so simple.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


So much has happened since I last wrote on here... My best friend got married. I've been to the other side of the world. Summer is almost over. I can't believe it. Seriously.

God has been stretching me so much this summer and I have had to take a step back and look at everything that has happened and try to find the lessons and blessings in it all.

Let's break it down:

  • My best friend got married. If you have already been through this, help me out. I have come to a further realization that our loved ones lives will continue on their own path and even as juvenile as it may sound, my dreams of growing up beside one another, having babies side-by-side, and drinking sweet tea on eachother's porches each week are likely to not happen. As we each seek to follow the journey Christ has set before us, we must realize that it will often take us away from what we thought we wanted. I know for me that I used to want so much for my life, good stuff, too, and although I still want those things, I want my God more. I want his will more. I want the narrow path more than the less narrow path. As I watch my dearest friends venture off, I must look to God and God alone and accept what He lays before me. Another aspect of this new realization is that I must trust God with my loved ones lives as they trek a new path without me. They are no longer doing what I do, living where I live, seeing the same people I do. Do I trust God with their lives and decisions? I, at times, barely trust him with my own....I pray for His wisdom as I tread in unknown waters. 
  • I went to the other side of the world. My heart and head finally came to agreeance with the Spirit and I made my way to Riverland in Central Asia to encourage a small group of believers there. So many people have asked me if it changed my life and my answer is, yes, of course. How could it not? But the real change happened before going overseas. The very fact that God has changed my heart to burden for the nations and that my desire to go was greater than my fear is the true miracle. I had prayed for so long for Him to change my heart to be like His. It reminds me of a verse I love in Psalm 119, verse 32 says, "I will run in the way of your commandments, when you enlarge my heart!". I needed for him to enlarge my heart, to change it so that I run in obedience to him.
  • I am learning the strength and character that comes from patient waiting...story of my life really. I get a little scared thinking about what God is going to ask me to do with all this strength, character, and wisdom He is developing in me. All I know is that He is the same good and righteous God in times of joy and in times of trial and I want to trust Him with my whole life.  There is change on the horizon for me and I get excited thinking about what is coming and yet scared too...Trusting is not my strong suit. I am so thankful though that He isn't done with me yet. He is still using me and growing me and I am beyond humbled. For this, I am so thankful.
  • As summer begins to wind down, I get so excited thinking about autumn and the holidays! And my birthday! 26. Good grief. I am trying to find joy in all of life, especially the simple things. This summer went so fast I almost didn't enjoy it and I am going to make sure that doesn't happen in these next seasons. I want to live life simply and gloriously for Jesus. He is in the small, beautiful things in life, not just books of theology or Christian thought discussions. He's in the joy of the changing of the leaves, laughing with my best friends, and so many other wonderful things. It's easy to forget that. I want to remember again....

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;  
 his mercies never come to an end;
they are new
every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."
 The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
   to the soul who seeks him.
 It is good that one should wait quietly
   for the salvation of the LORD.
 It is good for a man that he bear
   the yoke in his youth."

Lamentations 3:22-27

Love muchly,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

In and Out

Over a year ago, much of my outward appearance was very different from what it is now, but it is more than just my actual physical appearance, definitely goes deeper than that. I have always struggled with the idea of modesty and have always known that my choice in dress has not always been wise and glorifying to God, yet I never seemed to actually care enough to change and struggled with what that meant as a believer. Last year, God began to do a work on my heart and change my priorities and desires. I no longer wanted to be a distraction in the world or a stumbling block to my fellow brothers in Christ but I now want to help point them to Christ and not to myself and my body, as well as be an example for other young ladies, including my teenage baby sister.

Along with my attire, I knew it was time to change some other things about my life, including some of my music, an area that I always held onto firmly not wanting to believe that God truly cared about that area of my life. I went through my Ipod and CD's and just started throwing things out and deleting items. I didn't even want to sell any of it, not wanting to spread and encourage any one else to listen to that music. Most of it was nothing too scandalous but some really needed to go. God changed my heart as He deepened my desire to glorify Him in all that I do.

Although I was always set apart in some ways, I can see even more so the process of sanctification in my life as He further consecrates me for His purposes. My outward actions, choices, and appearances changed not because I wanted to "look the part" of a Christ-follower but because inwardly my heart has changed by His grace and power and the overflow of my heart is such things.

"But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness." ~ Romans 6:17-18

"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." ~ Galatians 5:25

Angela Lee

Sunday, January 30, 2011


My brain has not really had a mental break in several years. I have been on a constant learning curve for about 5 years now and I cannot help but wonder why God has decided to take me on this journey. The past 6 months have been especially weighty and I just feel the need to debrief a few of the many things that overwhelm my thoughts on a daily basis, those few things with which I often struggle.

1) I am not worthy. Of anything. The level of humility I have been brought to has been an unexplainable blessing. God knows that one of the best ways to make someone teachable and repentant is to humble them. Obviously, I often pick up a cloak of pride instead of the one of humility that I am told to wear. God hates pride and he sent His Son here in the most humble of conditions, who am I to have pride, especially when all things are under His authority and have nothing to do with me?

2) With the above being said, that brings me to a barrage of questions. Why me? Why have I been chosen? Why have I been shown the greatest of all His mercies, salvation and so many other small and beautiful blessings? What do I do with this knowledge? Mercy has always been one of my favorite biblical concepts, but as the Lord shows me more truths in His word, I cannot help but be overwhelmed by how he loves me and that I do not deserve it. Grateful and thankful, I struggle with what kind of life I should be living. How can I with this knowledge continue living a "normal" life? Do I even want to? Where do I go from here? It's just so much.

3) My brain hurts. Daily. I have been learning so much about the depth of God's Word; it truly is 20,000 leagues deep (and probably more!). This has been one of the hardest things for me to balance in my life and I often struggle with frustration with the day to day activities I must do, when all I really want to do is sit a the feet of Jesus and listen to Him speak to me and glean what I may from His words with my little brain. I am thankful for the desire to study that God has given me, but I sometimes struggle with discontent with my life and want it to be different so that I can study more and serve Him differently with my life. I know that I must be content with what He has for me but the frustration can still surface from time to time.

All of these are burdens I try and bear joyfully for they are lighter than the burden of sin and death. I must rememeber this when I want to complain of carrying my cross and remember that I used to carry around a dead corpse. Praise Him.