Foundational truths

Tonight I have returned to my first love in so many aspects. The heart tends to resign in ways known and unknown to or consciousness. In many ways I have found myself in this place. I have resigned from old dreams and desires in the Lord. Life has simply drowned out these truths as unattainable. Life has also somehow branded my soul through the years. It’s funny how the human heart numbs out when the road becomes a little too difficult.

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Life is one hard cookie to chew most days. Allow me to be bold enough to share my difficulty in hope that this will stir courage in the reader’s soul. The past  11 months I have returned home. From a life that previously was very comfortable and easy to digest. Returning home brought me back to reality, my reality, my home. The thing about living in comfort is that one tends to forget to live from the heart. It’s a beautiful numbing that happens in the place of ease. Coming home and being faced with a reality I had forgotten and disconnected from was not an easy process. I share this not for pity but rather for context.

There is a thirst that awakens, only from being found in a dry place. I have come to find that the desert produces more awakening than the the lush fields of life. We long for comfort, we long for ease, but the hard pressed places produces fresh revelation. It is the place of barrenness that brings fresh water.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

Sometimes everything we ‘know about’ the Father is tested to produce that which we truly ‘experience about’ the Father. The bible speaks about Eternal life as ‘knowing the Father’. It is that foundational principle that will define, how we live and why we live. I have to certain extent walked away from truly knowing this. Often I place my value before the Father to the things I attain and the things I get from him. I have forgotten to rest in the simple truth that who I am and what I can get will never make me more his daughter than I already am. So here I find myself stripped of all comfort, all things I hold up as my trump card about myself. I am left with an utter sense of failure, empty of myself. The aching question lingering ‘Who do you say I am Deidre?’ Who is the Father to me? Who am I to him?

The accusations ooze out of my wounds like puss (gross I know, but you get it). One after the other, my lack of self worth bleeds from my heart. A belief system I have held near for far too long. I have resigned from the Father because I believe he has held out on me. When in fact no good thing he withholds from me. Now that things are delayed and I have nothing ‘good’ or ‘comforting’ to cling to, I see the wounds surface. I believe he has forgotten me, when in fact I have forgotten who I am to Him. Here I am again learning the foundational truths, that I am His and He is for me. I love this quote by Laura Hackett that says ‘rain is no measure of your faithfulness’…rain and abundance does not prove that He is good. HE IS GOOD. He is a good Father because his nature is only good.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

So here I find myself having to cling onto these truths in a very dry place, until I see the rain. As I am busy doing this I am finding revelations about Him that can only be produced by this process of my life. As fleeting as this season will be, I am holding onto the Holy Spirit for a revelation that is deep and steadfast. I can partner in this time or I can turn away and not learn the things this season longs to bring to my soul.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:14-21

I get to partner in this season, by feasting on the goodness of the Lord (reading his word), agreeing with these truths (speaking his word into my emotions) and waiting on the impartation of these truths by His spirit (until my emotions change and align with his word). Until the day breaks I will cling to Him who my soul loves in the dark of the night. For surely as the sun rises in the morning her will shine on me.

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. – Psalm 34:5

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Love is sober

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Love is sober

Love is not drunk with settling for less

Love will never be an easy decision

Love will never cop out

These words above, resound in my being…like no other this month. There is nothing more bitter and rewarding to the soul than a life alone…it is those moments by yourself that illuminates the deepest fears of the soul. When all the world seems to have moved on and you find yourself alone…in your singleness. In those fleeting moments you are absorbed by the lie that EVERYONE around you has life together. This blog is not about being single it is for the masses of loners out there who are consumed by the lie that you are lonely and that life has handed you the infamous lemon. This blog is for those who feel the Lord has forgotten them…for those drunk on the illusion of what life and love should look like.

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers. (Psalm 39:12)

Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:2-26)

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. (Psalm 139: 17-18)

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:27-31)

Jesus stands enthroned in glory forever waiting, forever wanting our weak attempts to love him. Love is fallible…I am fallible. My belief in my God is shaky…and often I find solutions to my fears in things apart from God. This past month of my life has proven just that. I have hit an all time low in my attempts to find love. I have parched my soul and deprived my heart of finding answers that remain yearning, like a craving for the depths of love. I have reduced love to a mere ‘feels good’ existence. Oh how weak the human frame must be to settle, to be okay with ‘just enough’, when a deeper love and experience of love awaits. A kind of love so vast and deep it pales in comparison to the picture we are intoxicated by. The movie image we have clung to for so long…the one I have romanced my fantasies with for decades. Yet each day awaits a sober kind of love that transcends the confines of this life…

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. (Psalm 36:5)

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37)

For a long time I have negated the idea of waiting and allowing the Lord to do the refinement in my heart before I moved ahead and found love in the arms of something other. Yet in my broken justification I have allowed my heart to want something else…something that would consume me and place itself in a position to lord over my affections, my thinking and my decisions. Now I sit here utterly shattered by my clutching hand not wanting to let go and allow the best he has for me to unfold. Even as I write this blog this truth stings my soul like peroxide cleansing a wound. Oh how wounded the soul must be that it is this depraved…this hungry to cling to anything. How void the eyes must be to settle on something less fascinating…to settle for second best when the best is yet to come. In the same breath I am utterly grateful for the mercy of the Lord to have broken into my hardened heart and moved with tender love to awaken me again to the beauty of painfully letting go of a love that was not real…for the One that only satisfies. In a moment when I was willing to compromise, He was uncompromising in his zeal for my affections and his plan for my life.

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch. (Isaiah 62:10)

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Truth cuts like a double edged sword separating the need to settle apart from the best the Lord has in store for me. If you are a single woman this blog post is for you as much as it is for me. I envision my life’s journey to be like one standing at a cross road…torn between two paths. Will I choose the path that leads to loving God well in my single existence now or run down the path that leads me to an alternative solution outside of God. My final attempts at this love thing…which one is the right one for me? The answer is never rooted in that question…the answer is rooted in why this need for love lingers, why I want to fill this void that is and endless hole below the surface. Allow me to share my story. For a while now I have been in the beautiful US…loving life and then…along rolls my second year here and I am like…‘girl you still ain’t got no man…still waiting to exhale’. STING….as funny as that sounds typing it…there is a real abrasive burn that lingers behind. How it comes to be that I (Deidre) could have come this far in my life yet still so far from any form of relationship. Could it be that I am not intriguing enough? Could it be that I will spend an eternity without any man noticing me. Could it be that I have been forgotten by the Lord? Fast forward a few weeks and along comes a dashing male…handsome, charming and completely enthralled by me. Yes! FINALLY…

So I engage with said individual and soon find that he in fact is lovely and a great man. Yet the sober decision of pursuing a man that had different moral standards faces me. Like the harsh reality of ‘there’s no Santa’ I stand like a little girl so badly wanting this to be perfect…to work out The core of the matter was that I am a Christian woman who has certain standards and in a whim I had compromised on them. Soon I had my list out (ya’ll know ya’ll got that list too) and I was checking off some things I could ‘compromise’ on…besides life is about making compromises on certain things right? No…not when those things are values rooted in the character of the man Jesus. When those checklist items I scratch off is rooted in my needs to put a bandaid over the deeper issues in my soul. Thank God for amazingly sober minded best friends who will love me the way I deserve to be. Friends who cut it straight in tender love when all you want to do is cut them (sorry friends the struggle was real). I was so engaged in the emotional component of this interaction that I had scales over my eyes that impaired my vision. Why do I share this? I know there are many single /dating Christian woman who knows that the struggle is real. The struggle of wanting to be wanted vs settling for OK just because we fear the best will never come…oh my darling the BEST is yet to come. The Lord is faithful and he gives only good gifts to us his daughters…the ones he deeply loves and the ones he’s deeply devoted to. In this time of having to make a decision to either walk away from this or pursue this and see how far it takes me…I was deeply conflicted. The beauty of love is this…it is sober. Love is a sober choice and the Lord will never violate that choice for me. Let it be said that never in this time did I feel the guilt of the life I was wanting…the desire for intimacy, companionship and marriage is valid before the Lord. How I choose to live that out is my own choice…deep down I knew God would have me either way…yet the sobriety of loving everything I have in Jesus overshadowed my need to find a man that was ‘just good enough’…when I know I have a Father who has absolutely the best in store for me.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11)

The best is yet to come…

The best comes only when we give up the ‘not so bad, but not the best’. To love the Lord will always require sobriety, sober choices, sober morals and standards. There is no grey area…it is that grey space that will kill your vision for life and your ability to find all you deserve. I came close to sitting in that grey space and vegging out.  You see the problem is not that God does not redeem my time and my past mistakes…but that he values the wise choices I make now to avoid having to be more wounded to the place where I need to come back again and then heal those wounds before I can move on. He values the follow through and the resilience to choose the best he has for me…when all else seems better. I had to choose to end this pursuit of happiness and trust that a man more amazing than this individual would come along, one who values the Lord in the same measure as I do. A man who would lead my heart to glorify God in and through the prophetic image that marriage is. Letting go sucks…there is no better way to put it. I just ended things yesterday and my heart is in tatters. I probably cried most of last night like a girl…yeah I said it…I am a girl deep inside. Yet midst it all I am not hopeless, I know that this is what I had to do in this moment to honor my commitment to being sober in love now and forever. I welcome the day that man enters my life and I know that this decision was the right one. Until such time I have the responsibility to openly bleed before the Lord and to drink truths from his word that will edify my brokenness. My life will always be one that is rooted in the truth that I am living for eternity…the way I choose to express that in this life is my own sober choice.

This verse will probably become my life mantra:

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine; (Song of Solomon 1:2)

I will say again Love is a sober choice to follow the Lord’s will for my life. Love is a sober mark on the heart that says…It sucks letting go, but I love you more Jesus. Love is a sober decision to love a life worthy of being called a pure and spotless bride even when I fall short.

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 – for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. (Revelation 19:7-8)

Love is resilient in it’s walk…Love moves always towards loving God well in the weak decisions and trusting that the best is always the intentions of the Lord for your life. My heart’s cry is to lay hold of a vision for being able to Love soberly…without waver. Love is steadfast…love is not cheap…love will never let go. God is love. The maker embodies the true image of a satisfying kind of love that is able to sustain us in every season of our lives.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:10-11)

God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:16-19)

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13)

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Love unveils beauty

My heart is like an onion being pulled apart one layer at a time. I often think of my affections as being an unveiling of my true nature, my true brokenness…met by the mercy and power of the Father so I can give myself in weak love. It is He who enables my heart to find weak yeses. For a while now the Lord has been speaking a common theme over my life ‘wholeheartedness’. Giving my all even in the place of deep desperation to numb my pain, my fears, my doubts, my brokenness and my ugliness…giving every part of who I am is enough. Midst the desire to find satisfaction within other things I find whispers saying  ‘you are a beauty to unveil’. These whispers gently anchor my heart and draws me back into the heart of Jesus. There is an unveiling process taking place in my life right now and I can give myself wholeheartedly to it or retreat and be complacent in my brokenness…the choice will always be mine. The Lord will draw me out…but he requires me to follow. More that anything the Lord longs to wash me in his word and sustain me with truth like living waters flowing into me and eventually from me. There is deep rest in the truth of the Lord as I give myself to him. There it is that I find restoration and redemption.

letting go of my ideas of love is unveiling the beauty of true love

letting go of my ideas of love is unveiling the beauty of true love

If you do not know, O most beautiful among women, follow in the tracks of the flock, and pasture your young goats beside the shepherds ‘tents. (Song of Solomon 1:8)

 Jesus said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (John 4:13-14)

I am finding that my life has taken a deeply personal course. The secret places of my being, that deeply desire to be loved, is being carved out and in those moments I find desperate cries emerging for intimacy. The beauty of it all is that I am not alone in those moments. I find the tender comfort of the man Jesus and the truth of his words over me. When I bawl my eyes out as the pain surfaces, I am met by the Holy Spirit flowing deeply into those places of my heart. The entire process seems terrifying, and I try to hold back as Lord draws me out and unveils my wounds. As I give him my pain there seems to be a deep exchange of my brokenness met by his word, empowered by his spirit. I convinced each day that the Lord is able to comfort me…He is able to sustain me in loving him above all else…more importantly that He is real and His return is the only reward that truly matters. Love always emphasizes my need for marriage, oh how my heart longs for an intimate union to take place…because I long to be a beauty worthy of being unveiled. This week allow me to share my heart on this topic.

… 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:-7-8)

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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. (Revelation 21:2-5)

My heart is being fused to the truth that Jesus came to be fully man. He fully related to brokenness so that I would not need to be bound to my wounds forever. Often when reading the gospels I don’t get that Jesus was a man…fully flesh yet fully God too. I often am not aware of how much God the Father loved me that he gave his son, so that I would find true love. In a world obsessed with ‘feeling’ love…it is rough to find the true meaning of love. We are so far removed from everything we are made for, that we are unable to touch the reality of a love like Jesus’s. My heart is so weak in understanding that I was made for more than happiness right now…happiness of the moment. We find media messages bombarding us with YOLO (you only live once) messages…take what we can, do what we like…love is fleeting. This is such an assault on true intimate love…you see this devastating impact upon marriages. Love should be easy right? Why work so hard? Oh goodness if anything…if we look at love’s true identity we must look to Jesus and see that love is intimacy met with obedience.

My all time anchor in love is Jesus’s plea before his father. In the moment when Jesus was fully a man and cried before his father to help him. Even in that moment his desire to be obedient and love us well overcame his desire to give up. In that moment the glory and beauty of Jesus was unveiled…even as his heart failed:

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. (Matthew 26:39)

These few verses shatter me…we need a Selah after these verses to just ponder that for a moment…

In John 17:21-24 it unveils the heart behind why he did what he did…why he endured the cross…he did it because he deeply loved mankind. The Lord deeply loved me…Deidre´…in real time. He loved me so much that he took a moment before he was to endure the most brutal, embarrassing and shameful death of his time…he thought of me…ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 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.

Love is more that how I feel in the moment. It is more than how I will feel in the next moment. Love is anchored in the one moment when all of glory was unveiled in the face of a man nailed to a cross. It was unveiled in the moment that man rose from the death overcoming every shameful act I have and will ever commit. It was unveiled one and for all…now I can freely come and allow my false ideologies of love to lie at the feet of true love. I am so utterly broken by this revelation…love is more than my fantasies…it is far deeper than the kiss of prince charming. I have been kissed with a love that drips with freedom, intimacy, redemption and satisfaction beyond this life…beyond the fallible life. As I allow this truth to wash over me, I partake in true love. I am being unveiled as a one who is made to find true love unlike those in the movies. I am made to fellowship in true intimacy. The day I found salvation was not the end for me…it was the beginning of restoration and redemption. Jesus is so much more than a story written on the pages of the bible…he is real and intimacy with him is real. As I come and drink in this truth…as I meditate and fellowship with his Spirit…my beauty in him is unveiled.

This my heart’s deepest desire that I would fully know the man Jesus and see his deep devotion to me. I long to gaze into his eyes and see how he consumes me with true love. I am not crazy…I would be crazy if I did not believe and know he is real.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine; (Song of Solomon 1:2)

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Love demands it all

Today I want to pour my heart out, yet I cannot find the words to utter. There is a silence in my soul that is deafening. I need to write and just allow my heart to get in touch with those places again. My life until now has been one long journey of giving up and going. Sometimes internally and sometimes physically. It has been a discovery of letting go of things that I deeply want to find the things I deeply need. Even as I typed that sentence it seems unreal to me to fully grasp how I have grown in the depths of my being…yet the idea of growing more scares me. I have come to discover that true love is not a cheap sell. It requires a deep commitment of character and resilience. One should be able to be the fool in the moment…when you have absolutely nothing to show for your decision other than that deep deep change on the inside.

The measure with which we love is the length of the road carved out by the Lord...that road is an eternal path.

The measure with which we love is the length of the road carved out by the Lord…that road is an eternal path.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. (Sonnet 116 – William Shakespeare)

I find myself at the place of reevaluating that stance in my life. I feel at the end of my tether this week even as I know this too shall pass. However I need to allow my heart to feel the burn of life and to grieve. I am transitioning into another year of being an au pair…another year of being everything I did not set out to be. On top of it all I dearly miss my home, I miss being someone other than a foreign being. I miss the familiarity and comfort of my family, my people…until you find yourself alone in a foreign country you never fully appreciate the things you have. Most days I just long to hear the sound of my accent coming from someone other than myself. It has been a long 9 months for me…of deeply clinging to the Lord in a manner I have never done before.

My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:8)

Underneath all of the sacrifices made in my life (I am not unaware of the fact that I chose this)… I am met with such depth of self, depth of intimacy which I would never want to exchange for anything. Yet I feel the need to express my heart so that someone out there can know that love is costly yet beautiful. The theme that resonates within me is that love demands everything. This week my life group studied this portion of scripture and it has broken me to an extent that requires much careful reassembly.

Now the Lord said to Abram, Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy- five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, To your offspring I will give this land. So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. (Genesis 12:1-8)

This story of Abram’s courage digs deep into my soul. My heart almost breaks when I think of how much this man had to leave behind because he felt the Lord ask him to leave it and follow. There is something both brave and broken about the thought of leaving and sacrificing the comfort of staying. What struck me most about this text was the process of following…so the Lord says to him ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you…’. It is only until he reaches Canaan that the Lord says to him this is the land: When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, To your offspring I will give this land…for part of the journey (however long it was) Abram just went on the Lord’s word to him. There is something about the Lord’s character Abram must have come to know. I am reminded of my own personal journey in which the Lord spoke this verse to me:

Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty (Psalm 45:10-11)

I left home in pursuit of growth and intimacy with the Lord and I have had to cling to this truth spoken to me by the Lord…over and over again. Even midst my family and friends thinking ‘Ok…does she really know what she is doing?’…and now I find myself there again. Do I really trust the leadership of the Lord? I have no idea what the next year will hold. All I know is that letting go of my ‘vision’ for my life is increasingly staring me in the face. How far am I willing to go if he asked me to? Am I ready to lay hold of intimacy with Jesus if it costs me everything? There is something about that reality that deeply scares me and causes my heart to leap a little. I am deeply and utterly in love with the man Jesus and all he has given me…so now I have this one life to give. The journey from this place will be tough, but I pray I find the courage to just say yes. I am amazed at the change that has taken place in me…it is something only I can experience with the Lord, no one will ever see it…yet it deeply motivates me to follow him. The Lord has given me his life…how can I not find it in myself to give him mine. The measure of love was set when the eternal God  became a man, walked this earth and submitted himself to death on a cross…because he knew somehow, someday this girl would say yes to his call. That somehow he knew that my love was worth the cost of his life. The measure of love is wholehearted pursuit…and I am made to live that way whether I feel it or not…love demands everything.

In a world where love is reduced to mere emotions it is hard to remove myself from that idea. As I choose to find real love and true intimacy…I begin to find whispers of eternity on the inside. I hope that someday I will look back on this blog entry and see how I have changed because I let go of illusions of love for the sake of finding true love. Life is beautiful and everything it has to offer me is truly amazing…yet there is an emptiness it brings…and it hardly begins to touch the depth of the Lord’s eternal beauty. Sometimes I forget that…I hope that someday, just like Abram I would know that leaving my legitimate desires behind was well worth it. That I too would find that the Lord is truthful and faithful to lead me well and to meet my desires as I find them met within him first. For me this journey always leads me back to my desires for marriage and family…yet I know that to be fully able to function as a wife or mother who is able to love well…I need to find this in the only source of love…letting go of this is hard for me. Somehow I know he will lead me there eventually…for now I need to let it go and trust that he will give it back to me.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm,for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)

I pray this always as I try to find my way and navigate my heart through it all:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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There is something about the rain that makes me all warm and cosy on the inside. I want to just cuddle up under a blanket and read. The warmth of that coffee mug in my hand draws my heart into the confines of my space…my mind. I don’t think I have a concrete idea as to what I will be writing about today other than allowing my mind to go and my fingers to type. I guess the notion that hits my soul this week is ‘simple devotion’. I have been reading Wild at heart by John Eldridge (hoping to get some insight into the male psyche)  and have been completely ripped apart by the internal dialogue it has brought for myself (funny how the Lord works…he was probably like ‘psh girl please, I got other plans for this book’). There are truths in the book that has shaken my heart not as a women but as one created in the image of God.

Image source: flickr.com

Image source: flickr.com

I think the deepest notion is the idea of ‘what am I made for?’ Probably the toughest questions to dig into and find concrete answers to. We live in a culture of running…running after, running towards, running forward…constantly moving…don’t stop, keep going. Now I am in the ‘stop and listen’ phase of life. As much as it is killing me, it is bringing such deep character molding and settling I would not have found unless I stopped for a second. So in a nutshell I took a gap in my life…thinking I was going to save for missions school (deeply still hoping to), do music and life would be wonderful. Fast track 5 months into my plan and I am here. I am an au pair, with no solid plan, no money saved and partially faded dreams. Saturday morning during my personal time with the Lord I kept feeling him prompt the idea of ‘What do you see when you look at yourself?’ For the umpteenth time in my life I find myself in this place…and to be honest I don’t think much of myself. Most days I think nothing to less than nothing of myself. I sell myself short on so many things and allow myself to hide from the fullness of everything I can be. I fail to offer my heart, I fail to offer myself…it is easier that way. Then it was like a whisper to answer that searching question… I felt the Lord answer me:

But the Lord said to Samuel, Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. ( 1 Samuel 16:7)

In that brief moment I felt the validation of ‘this is what I see’. That, in my opinion, is the root from which we are to bloom. In that brief moment the Lord validated me through the story of David. There was something in the way David carried his heart before the Lord that mattered more than the job he was doing. When given the mundane task of watching sheep, he found vision and purpose in the moments spent with the Lord. He had seen the beauty of who he truly is, and it no longer mattered to him if he was last in the hierarchy of importance. If only I could get that reality for myself…that regardless of the external factors of my life…who I am in the secret of my heart is what counts.

We are creatures of worship…we must worship something…that is what we are intended for…to worship the only living God.

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty- four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:9-10)

Seasons in life will pass and change…we will evolve in life and find constant change. The one thing that will remain constant in our lives is gazing and beholding the beauty of the one from which we were formed. It is in this revelation that we truly find who we are, what we are purposed for. It is in the depths of his eyes of fire, that all self hatred is disposed off, and the refining beauty of oneself is revealed. Oh how I long to find this truth for myself…that in everything I would see that HE IS and therefore I am. That in the nothingness of my life, I would find the fullness of who he is and how he views me despite my fears and lack of ‘having my life together’.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

I hope someday I will fully get this etched on my soul.

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