When all of life fades away who I am that remains?
This phrase seems to be the lingering theme in my life of late. Who am I when I am stripped of the facade life brings? How does my heart truly respond to the Lord when there is nothing tangible happening? Where does knowledge of God begin to meet knowledge about God? I am a wrestler (not by profession haha) but by nature, God has given me this tenacity to just patiently wrestle through life…call me the endless endurer if a term is required. I have been quiet for a month now, not writing or blogging, just because I am in the place of secret encounters with the Lord… and I am a slow processor. It is kind of a place of waiting for a shift to take place on the inside. It is like I know God is real, but I barely know he is. He is touching areas in my life so deep, not even I am fully aware of the extent of what the Lord knows and sees about me. It has been a road marked with so much personal encounter, trials and such nearness in the brokenness of my soul. As the days go by I am more aware of how deeply broken I am as a person, yet there is this lingering silver lining that says ‘In brokenness grace is made manifest’.
But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Allow me to share a small portion of that brokenness with you and just lessons learnt within those times. I speak of brokenness not as a crutch or an excuse for sympathy, but rather as a place of common ground. I believe that sin has left this world broken and deeply depraved of true fellowship with God…BUT Christ has come to bridge that gap unto eternal wholeness within him and with him forever.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, Behold, I am making all things new… (Revelations 21:3-5)
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24)
A few months ago I left for America, to work and save unto going to missions school eventually (if you are interested this is the school I would like to attend – ACTS). So two months into me being here in America (all happy and dandy right?), my mother is diagnosed with cancer – insert ‘What the Fudge?! Life is instantly turned upside down…topsy turvy… I find myself in a spiral of fear, anxiety and utter brokenness. My heart deeply shattered and so doubtful of who I am, where I am going and losing my mom. For the next two months to follow, I am in this one big blur of emotion, desperation and sleepless nights. So many accusations arising…’Why God?… How could you allow this?… I followed you and you do this!? Yet in the depths of those accusations I find myself thinking ‘Don’t think this Deidre!’ ‘You are not allowed to feel this way about God’. In the span of two months I was left with so much hidden emotions / accusations, which I thought would never be there…right?…wrong! As I tried to work through these accusations within, the Lord kept holding me in his arms and comforting my heart. Kept speaking truth to my soul. The biggest accusation I had to face was that he won’t bring healing, he is not that kind of God to me…to others maybe…just not to me. Everyday that I sat before him in my quiet time…I was so weak, I just bawled. Two things I learnt during this time was:
1. God is intimate, he comforts…moreover he knows pain and suffering He knows the depths of my internal fears, doubts, pain and needs. In fact, Jesus is a man…he walked the very soil of this earth and had a family. Jesus had a mother just like me…and he had to let her go. He had to allow himself to feel the pain of loss and still say ‘your will be done’….this realization shattered my heart. Jesus had a ‘mummy’ (something I call my mom) and he gave her up for me…if anything her knows my pain. Often I read that part in the bible and think ‘way to go Jesus (super-human-person)’, yet in this brief season I felt the depths of what Jesus probably felt when he left his mom to be cared for by his friend. My mother is one of the people in my life who I consider my all…giving her up is rough. I am in awe of how much Jesus loves me that he walked away from the woman who gave him her life…
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will…The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done. (Matthew 26:39-42).
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
2. God is faithful to hear me…and not just hear me but move on behalf of me. There were so many nights of weeping and weak cries… most days I could barely utter ‘I cannot lose her’. Even in the weakness of little to no words…he was there. He was with me to comfort me and to bring strength. My weak prayers was met by his power. Most days I just took his promises and spoke those aloud. I was able to partner with the Lord, even in my doubt he gave me words to speak. I got to lean upon him in my times of confusion. He was there, every step of the way….he was there. God is real, more than anything anyone could have told me, I now know he IS. He exists…he is not this far off idea of a being on a throne…I have encountered a part of who he is as a man and as the eternal living God.
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:15-18).
More than this verse I have seen the Lord move in my mother’s life like never before. Every tear I shed was not in vain, he heard me and he saw me…my mom underwent an operation and the cancer was successfully removed. He has given her the gift of life…just like that…he gave it…why? Simply because I asked…such love I can never understand…but I marvel in it.
Now I find myself at the brink of discovering another part of this secret self in the Lord. Gosh my heart is being refined, it is so rough…yet SO rewarding. Gosh I have more resilience than I truly know. My heart is a multifaceted jewel case filled with these compartments holding gems. Gems that are so precious they are locked deep within the core of who I am…just waiting for me to unlock the drawers and find them. I am so aware of the truth that even in the storms of my internal self, there is peace when I hide in the Lord. With that said the road to secret beauty is marked with lots of obstacles and even mountains. When I look at the summit of these mountains I am overwhelmed, yet when I look at it one day a time…it seems doable. I am grateful for this place, it brings me deep joy and major settling. You know how you know something, but you really don’t? Well that is me right now…and the more I go after finding the truth for myself…the more my heart is enlightened and my emotions are ignited to believe it for myself. Who I am in the secret of my heart is of so much more value to the Lord than anything I would do in this life. I have one life to give and I intend to give it my best shot. I long for the days that I reread this blog and think…I am glad I said yes to the Lord and pursued it. When that day comes I will be found smiling, knowing that I am even closer to knowing the true nature of Jesus.
I ask that these verses would become the core of who I am, until the day the Lord returns:
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Phillipians 1: 9-11)
Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure… ( Revelation 19:6-8)