There are certain seasons in our lives that start out as a sort of test, trial, or wilderness, and it is the Shepherd Himself who leads us through them. I’ve been through a few (as most followers of Christ have), learning to cling to Jesus and becoming more intimate with Him in the most precious of ways, sharing in just a bit of His suffering.

Sometimes, when we come to the end of the wilderness, and the Shepherd is showing us the way out and on to green pastures, we find that we’ve picked up a few things along the way: chains, or lies, or sinful habits to bring us illegal comfort or consolation, rather than clinging solely to Him, our only Source of true and lasting comfort, peace, and joy.

For me, this time, it was lies.

Words are powerful things. When you say something enough, you start to believe it’s true, even if you know it’s not. And once you come into agreement with an untruth, it almost becomes part of you, holding you captive to your own words, even if you truly do want free.  That’s the thing about being a captive. No one wants to be in bondage. No child thinks they are going to be kidnapped when they accept the temporary pleasure of a piece of candy or petting the nice man’s dog.

That’s where I was. I knew that Father wanted me in family, and that was what I was longing most deeply for, yet I still somehow felt isolated. I began to wonder, by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, if I was playing a part in my own isolation. Had I walled myself off, in the name of introversion, as an excuse to not be vulnerable with people- to be “safe?”

I came face to face with those questions in one Sunday gathering, when Father showed me what lie I had come intro agreement with:

“I don’t have any friends.”

It started out as a joke. I had moved to a new city, one in which I knew lots of people, but was close to none. So, I joked with a friend about how neither of us had friends in our new town.  Then God gave me a friend or two, and I kept saying it. On one hand, longing for community, and on the other hand being afraid of what I would have to give up to obtain it.

There we stand at the edge of the wilderness, the Shepherd beckoning us to greener pastures, while we look at the chains with which we alone are responsible for entangling ourselves. We wrestle with deciding whether or not to let them go and follow Him to freedom.

I say “we,” but this is me we’re talking about. I believed lies. I let go of Jesus, while still pretending and actually believing I was holding onto Him.  The Spirit is so gentle, but He showed me the ugliness and darkness of that sin. It wasn’t about simply picking up things in addition to following Him. It was not choosing Him.

So, I came face to face with my own ugly sin that Sunday and renounced the lie I had been believing. And even though I didn’t know anybody in the gathering, I received from the family as they prayed over us who had responded. If you’re not an introvert, you might not understand what a step of faith that was for me- acting as if I already belonged there, even though I had yet to meet anyone, much less feel comfortable, like I was in my own home.

The Father met me that day and brought freedom to my heart and mind, when I didn’t even know I was in bondage. He knew (knows) the deep longings of my heart, and He’s always faithful to answer them.

He sets the lonely in families.

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It is a beautiful thing when self dies. Ambition, love of self, and the longing to be loved. Human love.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal…

a time to weep…”         (Ecc. 3:1-3, 4)

You never outgrow learning how to die. You just take it in seasons. This last year(ish) has been one of those (very long) seasons—a time to die, with the hope of one day being reborn; a time to uproot (or, rather, be uprooted) while still longing to be planted (and to plant); a time to weep—sowing many tears, holding onto the promise that they will reap songs of joy.

When I thought I had given up all I could, He came and asked—commanded—me to give more. I gave what I didn’t even know was there, just trusted that He knew my heart better than I ever could, and committed it to Him to do as He saw fit. He emptied me, over and over again, making sure He had me completely.

I would lift my head, hoping this was the end of the threshing. Could my heart bear more sorrow? Was there anything left to give?

He said: Die again.

 So I did, not even really knowing what I was dying to, except myself. I couldn’t give what He wanted or do what He required. I simply laid on the altar my whole self, wanting nothing more than for Him to take whatever it was He was after in me.

I don’t know when He took it. Was it while I was asleep? Was it during a prayer? Perhaps it was in the daily small decisions to prefer and love those with whom I live or in the big decision to allow myself to be joined to a family—not one of my own choosing or even my natural family (whom I love so much), but the one He saw fit.

It wasn’t as much a struggle as the previous deaths. A simple surrender and the strong hand of my Shepherd. This time, I dare not raise myself from the altar. My life is not my own, so here I will stay, dying a thousand deaths to be completely His.

You never really outgrow learning to die. But seasons of death end, just like they had to start.

“Bread grain is crushed, but it is not threshed endlessly.”   (Is.28:28)

There is a time to be (re)born, a time to plant (or be planted), and a time to heal (and heal).

“The Priest put forth a hand of steel, right into her heart. There was a sound of rending and tearing, and the human love with all its myriad rootlets and fibers, came forth.

He held it for a moment and then said,
‘Yes, it was ripe for removal, the time had come.
There is not a rootlet torn or missing.’”     

                                                                                                                       (Hinds’ Feet on High Places)

 Narnia5-4When, after a rough day, I can’t get frustrations and worries off my mind, and I keep replaying conversations and should-have-had conversations over and over in my head, and I continue to think of how I could have or should have acted rather than how I actually conducted myself, and an overwhelming feeling of loneliness ensues because I just want my best friends (i.e. my family) next to me to share my struggles, I hear a quiet whisper in my spirit. Jesus, like Aslan to Shasta, walks silently next to me in the dark and though He is a Lion, He makes Himself meek, and though He has suffered the greatest pain and carried the most sorrows, He whispers to me:

“Tell me your sorrows.” Read the rest of this entry »

To feel deeply, love truly, and live authentically- this is to be human and to be as our Lord made us and as our Lord. For He became human. He took on all our brokenness and mess and let Himself feel, love, and be human. He was not so very different from you and me, yet He was infinitely unlike mankind because He was God and therefore completely sinless.

Read the rest of this entry »

There was a time when I thought that the most beautiful of gifts God could give were sunshine and happiness, joy and peace, warmth and light. I could never understand why grown-ups cried so much. It was the little things- a scene in a movie, a line in a book, a look.  

It’s true what they say: “You’ll understand when you’re older.” For then I, too, grew up.  Read the rest of this entry »

It’s like being pregnant. In a manner of speaking.

“Sweetest urge and sweetest pain,
  To go low and rise again.”

Read the rest of this entry »

So, I come from a very strong, tight-knit family (two parents; 7 kids, all from the same two parents; we love each other, value each other, and love to be with each other- not without our own hiccups, mind you). I also come from a church family that understands the foundations of relationships for building a church and for Kingdom expansion. We promote family as if it were the most important thing we can invest in – oh, wait. It is. Read the rest of this entry »

June 6th, 1944. D-Day. One of the most epic military invasions of all time into Normandy, France.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about our D-Day. June 6th, 2002. Diagnosis day.

Someone- I don’t remember who (sorry, lovely family-of-God member who lovingly served out family)- drove us kids to Columbia, where my parents had been staying with my baby sister at the hospital. I was chosen to stay with her while my parents took a short reprieve to process and get some fresh air.

I just stared at her as she slept, hooked up to weird machines, her left eye not even closed because of the mass that was bulging behind her eye.  Read the rest of this entry »

Last song of [5in5]. So glad I did this. 🙂

This is why I’m not allowed to make disclaimers for my art. No, seriously. And it doesn’t just apply to music.

I’ve got this gift, not as good as hers
I just can’t do it like him
I have these talents, not as many as theirs
They’ve got five, and I only have one

If I can’t do it the best,
Then I might as well not do it at all

You’re the Master, and You’ve given me these gifts
and You’ve commanded me to
Use them for Your glory, but You know
I think You’ve got the wrong girl
So I’ll just burry these gifts in the ground

When I use this gift, I feel my Master’s pleasure
Even though I’d rather do it like them
You give these talents, choose how many we get
So with my heart I will use my one

And as I unearth these gifts
So You are unearthing me as well

You’re the Master, and You’ve given me these gifts
And You’re commanding me to
Use them for Your glory, and You know
I’m giving up my inadequacies
I am Your servant, I’ll do Your will

Who made man’s mouth?
Who gives these gifts?
Is it not the Lord?
Who am I to
argue with You?
I am but dust and clay


I am growing and learning, continually finding out who I am and what I'm doing here. This life is a breath, a shadow of things to come, and I am a pilgrim passing through- on my way to a better Home. These are my musings on the journey.

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