Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thoughts on VISION

After attending the History Makers conference in Lietuva several weeks ago, I felt inspired to write about one of my favorite passions in life.....VISION. I pray that this following reflection would be an encouragement to those of you dearest friends who are still in search of your God inspired vision and for those of you who already know what your vision is.....

Looking back on my life, I feel like God's vision has always been upon me in some way. When I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was 8 years old for the very first time, I'll never forget that was the day He placed the passion of Christian music on my heart. God began inspiring me through creative melodies and lyrics at a very young age.  Between the ages of 10-17 I eat, breathed, and sleeped Christian music festivals. I went to at least 2 Christian music festivals per summer during those ages, which I can honestly say, HEAVILY influenced me in my music ministry passion. An endless amount of concerts, I can't even count.  When I was 15 I remember visiting my relatives in Lithuania. God tore my heart apart. That is when He placed the passion of Eastern European missions/ministry/evangelism on my heart. My heart started to break for all my dearest Lithuanians who didn't know Jesus as their personal Savior. So take these two passions Jesus, Lietuva & music ministry...and you get......what?.....exactly....hmmmm.......

I believe that is one way from my personal experience how God can show you His vision for your life. Take the time to evaluate those things in your life that you are truly passionate about, those dreams in your heart that you would rather DIE than have them not come true.

Furthermore, from personal experience I believe as God is developing His vision for you, He can also change it depending on the experiences you go through and the people you meet in your life.For example, about 2-3 years before I moved back to Lietuva, God placed the passion on my heart to start some sort of version of what I like to call "Hillsong Lietuva"...believe it or not.......then one morning I woke up and He was like, "Aiste, you're going to start a Lithuanian metal core band".......just kidding not literally like that......I would say a turning point in my vision development was at my Steiger Missions School in Germany summer 2013. God turned my world upside down. I'll never forget literally walking through the German forests and fields where not a single human soul could be found, simply seeking God with a desperate heart asking for His will for my life. Many endless hours of prayer happened there. I knew during that time that I wanted to start some sort of music ministry in Lietuva, but I didn't know the exact specific details or even genre at the time. To make the situation even MORE ridiculous, during that time of my life, I didn't even know if I was EVER going to move back to Lithuania. It was a very spiritually challenging time in my life that brought me to my knees.  As my dear brothers and sisters at my missions school were ever so kindly praying for me, and as I continued to seek God and pray and pray and pray and pray until I couldn't pray anymore......He Firstly revealed to me that moving back to Lithuania in fact, WAS His will, (I'll never forget sharing my testimony at SMS the day I found out, I believe it was July 26th when I found out....) then Secondly He revealed to me that I should start a Christian metal core band, once I got to Lithuania............I kept praying afterwards to confirm that these things were truly HIS WILL and not of my own doing, and He kept confirming over and over that this was meant to be........

Also, when I was at the Steiger Missions School, I had the blessing to talk with a RIDICULOUS amount of people from Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Austrailia, Brazil, U.S.A., Finland, U.K, Ukraine, Russia and all over the world. After hearing all of their stories, my heart felt so touched and broken for humanity, that is in search of Jesus. I had the privledge to also discover various Christian metal bands from Brazil, Ukraine, Germany, Poland.....and during that time period of my life, for some reason that genre of music resonated with my heart and all the people's stories which solidified the choice of genre for my future music ministry in Lietuva.

I wouldn't say my life was always like this. I vividly remember as a child, up until I was about 15....I read more than I talked. I was afraid of everyone, and I hated talking with people. (For those of you who know me, I know you find this IMPOSSIBLE to believe....but it's true...Somehow, by a miracle, God gave me my "voice" when I was about 16.....I started meeting people like CRAZY at the Christian music festivals I would go to....I started having goals and joked with my friends that I planned on meeting literally "the entire music festival".......cough cough...and let's just say having this goal throughout my life has made me meet quite some interesting people, that has forever changed an altered my life including musicians, bands, artists, hipsters, metal heads, every genre of people you can imagine......So I would say for the past 7 years of my life, God has really used my passion of talking and getting to really know my generation for His glory.

Another keypoint I want to address is Satan's attack. When God is is formulating His vision for your life, there will be GREAT SPIRITUAL OPPOSITION. Let's be honest, Satan wants you to give up on your vision and destroy your life. Everyday, we must rise to the challenge and resist his flaming arrows, through prayer and being in Christian community. I can't even count the times on my fingers of how I wanted to give up on my music ministry passion on vision.Some days I wanted to take my guitar and just through it out the 5 story window and be done. Imagine with me for a second, if God were to reveal to you RIGHT NOW in your heart the ENTIRE future of the vision He has for your life, and that He would show you  EVERY SINGLE PERSON who will accept Jesus as their Savior because of your faithfulness in NOT GIVING UP in your ministry..........with this thought in mind dearest friend, I think we wouldn't even consider the possibility of giving up on our God given vision if we truly knew the impact we were going to have on humanity through Christ.

When Satan and the world STRANGLES you and your God given vision, YOU MUST FIGHT BACK. Don't let Satan or the world suffocate you with their lies. Yes, it will be HELLISHLY hard to reach the finish line, but for God's glory HE WILL give you the strength if you ask Him and seek Him with a desperate heart.

I was chatting with one of my dearest sisters, the other evening, just pouring out my heart at how discouraged I was with my music ministry vision. I honestly wanted to give up. I told her that I just felt like such an idiot with this Christian metal core music ministry and that the world and my own friends were laughing at me and my "foolishness"......She reassuredly told me that God was not done with this vision, and that in HIS PERFECT timing everything would fall into place. She reminded me that it didn't matter what other people thought, and I was reminded that GOD DOESN"T GIVE IRRELEVANT DREAMS ONLY RELEVANT ONES. I told her that God was going to have to pull an "EZEKIEL" and literally make "something out of nothing" as I say and literally take dry bones and turn them into flesh, into real human in the case of finding metal minded band members.......I was reminded that the another KEY in developing God's vision for your life is perseverance and prayer. During the dry seasons of vision, we must keep pursing God and keep moving forward no matter how hard it seems and no matter how bad we want to quit and give up.

Lastly, (if you've read this far dearest friend, wow, you have no life...just kidding, I really appreciate your time) I have personally experienced Jesus doing MIRACLES OF THE IMPOSSIBLE in my own life...Wither it be completely healing me from my life threatening illness on my death bed at the age of 10 and blessing me with 11 more years of life, healing from a depression and suicidal thoughts so deep only He could have rescued and restored me in the end, to going to Steiger Missions School and meeting so many wonderful people, to simply every person I have ever met in my life and gotten to share my heart and story with them,  and I would say the greatest miracle of all was moving back to Lietuva to start my music ministry passion............

So with these thoughts, I pray that you would find the strength dearest friend, to keep seeking God's heart for His vision for your life, and KNOW that He is FAITHFUL, and in His perfect timing, He will come through and shine His glory down up you....<3

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It Was Worth It

As I look back on my life at how God has carried me through,
I can't help but stand in amazement,
and shed a single tear of gratefulness,
I look at those moments of suffering,
and in that time of my life when in hurt so bad,
I wanted to give up, and quit,
because the pain of this life was simply too much,
I fall to my knees and just cry at how God gave me the strength to rise above it,
to persevere through the hardest hells,
and to arise from the beauty of ashes,
somehow....still alive,
It was worth it.....
It's those moments when you realize God has blessed your faithfulness,
those small unforgettable moments of His glory,
were worth all those years of suffering,
just to be alive to see His heart,
His soul,
His smile,
His hope for your people,
it's those moments,
you meet that dear soul,
that otherwise you wouldn't have met,
if you would have given up hope,
and then you realize why God told you to hold on to His heart for so long,
and your realize,
For those moments that anyone has ever laughed or judged you,
for going out of your way to love them,
they spit in your face over your passions, visions, dreams,
they mock you, reject you, even lost friendships arise,
For the sake of bearing Jesus name,
IT was worth the rejection,
I just stand here and cry at the beauty,
at Jesus beauty,
that He has let me live to experience,
it's too wonderful for words,
never will I forget such moments,
and never will I forget that look of gleaming hope,
in his hazel brown eyes,
that I thought was impossible to even exist,
It. Was.Worth. It. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Day I Kissed Worship Music Goodbye

I don't recall the last time my spirit soared
The last time I felt free
the last time the smile on my face wasn't forced
the last time my tears will real
and came from the honesty of my heart........

It's hard to exactly explain what happened, God knows why...exactly, word for word, melody line for melody line, lyric for lyric.......I would say it gradually started to build over the past couple years of my life.....the more I immersed myself with ministry and missions in Europe....the cries of my heart kept getting stronger and stronger....louder and louder and more desperate with each plea.

As I saw broken humanity all around me, looking into their beautifully lost eyes, each precious soul, each unique and original story, something in my heart was so deeply touched, ever so deeply moved in a way that can never be altered...

My desire for my people to know Jesus became SO GREAT and SO REAL, I couldn't merely sing a reflective worship song, and hope they would hear but rather I wanted to SCREAM about Jesus' love for them. Not the kind of screaming that frightens or discomforts, but rather a passionately loving scream within the desperate aching of my own heart and soul for my people to know Jesus for who He truly is......

And one day I simply woke up, and from that day forward the screaming never stopped. The desperation didn't cease.....

I look back over my life, and smile gratefully at the place my dearest Jesus has brought me too. This wasn't an over night musical/spiritual process, but rather evidence of my walk with Jesus that He was changing my heart for the past 10 years......I look at what it took to get to this place of  screaming and metal core, and it's such a treasure to priceless....

I still do enjoy a nice reflective worship song here and there....but I would say that was more of who I was between the ages of say that this is who I am now would be a lie.......I will forever appreciate that sweet season of my life that God let me musically experience, but for now my musical cries, or shall I say screams, are now drowning in a see of metal core...ever so lovely.....ever so passionate...ever so deep......ever so desperate......for a Jesus, for a God who I desire everyone to know. <3