Sunday, March 17, 2013

Remembering the Yes...


“Be careful what you pray for...”


Isn't that the oldest of cliche's in the Christian world??

Growing up in the church, I've heard it more times than could be counted. And every time it’s uttered, I roll my eyes in annoyance of the redundancy…and start a conversation in my head regarding the Biblical theology of the comment and issue it was spoken about...because I'm far from convinced that life gets crazy and ridiculous just because you ask for God to 'fix something' in your life. 
(the ‘patience’ one gets me every. dang. time.)


 And then......


After reading my last post, a friend asked how long I've felt like this…

Years, I stated…it’s been several years.

And it seems so ridiculous to me that it could possibly be true. As a lover and watchman of the seasons…I usually feel like I have a good grasp on timings and such, both physical and spiritual. So a summer season lasting years and years couldn't possibly be true, I tried to tell myself…....

But it is.

And I’m not saying it’s all been terrible. I’m not saying there hasn't been precious, heaven reaching down and touching my soul moments…that I haven’t ever been able to connect with God in this time….but those moments have been fewer and further between. And the dryness and disconnect I’ve felt from God is what has consumed me. 

But...

Several months ago…as I was lying on my bed…wishing I had the energy, or even desire, to whisper a prayer to God…and wondering what the heck has gone wrong in my life…He brought back the memory…


The memory of the surrendered prayer. The one where I stood under the blaring speakers...music swelling around me…arms outstretched…face toward heaven…singing the heartfelt words from the inner depths of my being….that part so deep inside, you barely know it exists…. “Awake, Awake oh North Wind….Awake, awake oh South Wind…blow over me. Come oh winds of testing, come winds of refreshing…blow over me.” (Misty Edwards...tiny song video right over thereAnd I said Yes. I knew God was wanting to do something more in my life. Verses of pruning vines had been seeping up and hinting at me. Words of gentle corrections had been whispered into my heart. I knew He wanted me to go deeper in Him. And I said yes. I asked for the dead branches to be pruned. I asked to have everything that could be shaken, shaken. I wanted the dead ripped out. I wanted the lies I believed rooted out from the truth. I wanted my foundation to be solid and pure. I wanted to be sure of when I was standing in assured confidence of hearing His voice…or when I had crossed the line of really listening to my own voice and calling it His…I wanted the pride gone...I wanted the impurities drawn out...I wanted deeper depths...I wanted grace and purity and holiness and love to consume me...I wanted to be more like Him. 
  

And somewhere...in the midst…when the season went on longer than I had ever known a season to last…the distance between myself and that night became so great...so divided…that I forgot about that prayer. In the pain and the difficulties and the shakings and prunings…I forgot I said yes.

And I wished it was all just that simple. Just the remembrance of the yes…and everything was back on track. But unfortunately...it’s just not quite that easy.

Really...the reminder did help stable my bearings. It brought back refocus. It helped me feel a little less forgotten and abandoned. But there’s still a whole world of crazy that has to be sorted and dealt with...and let go of and held on to. 


But the thing is…the conclusion that I came too, after weighing the options from this side of the viewpoint, even in the midst of all this hardship and heartache…I’d still say yes. If I could take back the surrendered prayer, I wouldn't. If we need to keep going, and this season's not quite over… *deep breath* ...I’m still in...and I'm still saying yes.

Because I’m starting to get it. I’m starting to see what this time has been about. I’m starting to get my eyes off myself...and back to where they never should have left. 


I'm still not convinced that life automatically gets bad or crazy or hard just because you've prayed a prayer. There's just so much more to it than that. 

But what I do know...is that it's important to remember the yes...



~
I lo-ve this song…and have posted it before…but it’s worth the repost. I love it because it pours out a heartfelt prayer of an overwhelmed and desperate heart…but then changes into a declaration of praise and worship to the Almighty. And isn't that what it’s all about….

Friday, March 8, 2013

singing into the silence...


The silence on here has been quite deafening…

Far too many times in the last many many months, I’ve written and erased…and written and erased…and stared at blank screens…and have tried to find the right words…or even make up the wrong words…I have slammed my laptop in frustration and tossed it across the couch…I’ve tried again the next day…and then, tried again and again and again…and have erased... and erased... and erased…

I just couldn’t figure out how to give words to my feelings…
                                                                                                         and my confusion…
                                                                                                                                and doubts…
                                                                                                                                                and frustrations…

…and deep, deep brokenness.


I never knew a hot, weary, dry, dessert season would truly last so long. Although…considering the Israelites were in one for 40 years, I probably shouldn't be so surprised.

It’s been a season when the doubts and disappointments and broken promises that I've tried for years to fight, squash, ignore, and conquer would no longer back down into submissive silence…and their screams have become too loud to ignore...and I'm the one that lost her voice.

It’s been a season where I've fully and completely doubted my ability to hear God’s voice. And what’s a girl to do when she’s relied on the voice of God to guide her through her everyday existence.

It’s been a season where I've felt confused…exhausted…alone…and forgotten. And to feel separated and forgotten by God…is the most unbearable of feelings.

It's been a season of the North Wind blowing...and pruning...and shaking. And I don't know if I know what to do with the pieces that have been left. 


It has been so hard to write because I didn't want this to be a ‘Woe is Me’ platform…and I certainly don’t want this blog to turn into one of those blogs where everyone joins together to bond in their doubt of faith and God. Those blogs are far too many and on my nerves, I have to say…and I didn't want to join their ranks. Of course there’s sometimes a need to voice where you’re at…and to know you’re not alone…but I've wanted to be careful because doubt and confusion does not need to take any more center stage than it already has.

But…I feel it is important to share where I’m at. Maybe no one else will read these words…but there’s something that won’t stop gnawing deep inside and I’ve felt like I should have been writing all along. Even when it was looking the darkest, even when it seemed impossible to find the words…I think I should have been more intentional to press through. And so…I’m going to attempt…to blog the rest of this journey…

I don’t know what it’s going to look like…but as I have kept telling myself for months, the concept of this whole blog is Girl Seeks Truth…not Girl Gots The Whole Truth and Already Has it All-Together, Yo.
So I still don’t quite know, honestly. But I am going to at least try…and I have to say…that to try to figure out how to write from a place of raw vulnerability seems overwhelming to say the least.


And I must must must declare this…that even in this dry and weary land…where pain and doubt and confusion and feeling and thoughts…are trying to scream at me otherwise….my spirit knows………it. knows………that God is still Good. And He is still Faithful. And I am loved. I may not be sure of much more than that at this moment, (and I’m really not, honestly) and I may not be seeing those things evident in my own life right now, and the voice of doubt may be trying to drown out the Truth that is in my spirit…BUT……but… Truth. is. Truth...and that voice of lies will not win. 
It will. not. win.

I had a friend recently write me this, “When in the desert, dig a well - the camels are coming with full reward for holding on.”

Now, I’ll admit, that when I first read that…it did not bring comfort, peace or joy. Instead, I rolled my eyes in frustration and thought, “What the hell does that even mean?” My faith/trust/hope of any promise of provision is was nonexistent…and I thought I no longer knew how to dig those spiritual wells. The more I thought about it that first week…the more frustrated I became.

But God is a gracious God.

And for the first time in a very very long time….within the last month or so, He has brought me small splashes of refreshment (like that word from my friend)…and although I’m far from being in a good place…and I’m not sure I really have it in me to believe that ‘camels are coming with any kind of reward’…….I AM beginning to think that maybe, perhaps, I might at least be able to find my way back to a good place, once again. 

I’m not na├»ve enough (well, if I’m honest, of which I should be…don’t really have enough faith) to think this season might be coming to an end… 
BUT, at the very least, even in the midst of the ugliness...
I think………...
                         perhaps………………
                                                           maybe…………..….
                                                                                                     
I’m beginning...
             
                      to find my voice……


And on this International Woman's Day (a day of which I adore)...this Woman...is standing, once again... even in her emptiness and brokenness, with no idea of what lies ahead...and is digging her well.

No matter what my feelings or circumstances say…I know, with everything in me…He is worthy of my worship…my deep adoration…my total obedience.


And so...
                    
                           I journey on…





*****
“When words fail, music speaks”…and I’m so thankful for musicians who can put those silent words of your heart into a beautiful melody and sing it back to you.
Like this song…..