Tears threaten to spill.
The sun is shining but a cloud has stopped over me today.
All around me are things that need to be taken care of.
In front of me are things that all push for priority.
Yet here I sit. Pausing. Pondering. Working to keep my eyes on Jesus. Today is a day of stillness. A day of loneliness and reflection.
“Daddy kiss it and make it feel better.” Yet God’s plan involves getting to the heart of the matter. Its not about the surface wound, while He could make it feel better what He wants is for me to experience a heart change that lasts more than a moment; a heart change that impacts my story, is used for His glory and points others to Him. Why do the best stories, best I mean that we connect with, involve pain, heart ache and God showing up in the midst of it?
“We only find out where we are when we find out where He is. We only find ourselves…..when we find Him. We lost ourselves at one tree. And only find ourselves at another.” P22 The Greatest Gift
My hearts cry – to find Jesus in the midst of the tears.
Day 3 in the Greatest Gift focuses on Genesis 3:6-9 and the story of the Fall of man; they ate the forbidden fruit and hid from God. God comes walking in the garden and asks them “where are you?” One of the questions today had to do with where would I want God to seek me out. As I have been thinking thru this and working to pause and reflect I am struck by something else. The burning question for me right now – is God where are we? God has sought me out in the part of my heart that I have fought him in going – yet that is where He has taken me.
God where are we? I don’t recognize this place. I recognize you. I recognize my husband. My family. But the landscape is different. I don’t see the ocean or the open landscape. All I see is the narrow path we are walking. Hold on is that a cliff to the side of us – I am scared. Do we have to walk here? Jesus quietly answers – yes we are going to walk this way, I have you – trust and follow really close behind me.
We stop along the way and He looks at me and talks to me very poignantly.
You have been too busy. You have been struggling for a long time to find rest and thrive. You have been in survival mode for a very long time, I know this is unfamiliar to you BUT where we are going is bringing you to a place of peace, of thriving, of freedom. You were allowed a period of rest because I know this is going to be hard and tough. Only you and I can walk this path. I have surrounded you with a husband who loves and takes care of you – encourages you and is walking with you – but he can not walk this path for you. You must walk it. As we walk this path – don’t miss all that you have to be thankful for. All the blessings, even the blessings that hurt. Remember to say Thank You – those two simple words refresh you.
Don’t you see? Your cup to pour out to others was beyond empty and I want to refill it. I am refilling it – but as I refill it I am repairing the vessel, making it stronger – yet humble, confident – yet dependent on me for everything, updating and removing blemishes. We are preparing for what is coming. Quit fighting me, trying to look around me and what is ahead – all it does is prolong the process. Focus right here and right now – focus on me.
I have given you a blessing, are you beginning to see it? The opportunity to be available to your family. A brand new plate – a plate that I am filling up the way I want. I won’t stop you from putting things on it that are not necessarily my best for you, but I would like to be the one to fill up your plate this time. I know its scary. The unknowns. The lonely places. Rest in me. Abide – grow – learn – listen – let my word, my presence wash over you. You don’t need busy to be my daughter. You don’t need a title to be my daughter. To be useful to me – you need a willing heart. A heart willing to take risks. A heart that trusts me. A heart that is listening. A heart that is obeying, even if it doesn’t make sense.
“Obedience often comes before understanding.” Pastor Wes Davis (my paraphrase)
Where are you? You my dear daughter, are right where I want you. In my presence. Before me. Nothing that has happened has caught me off guard. Nothing – did you catch that; NOTHING. Trust me. TRUST me.
DO NOT FEAR. Where are we? In a place where you have not wanted to go, a place where you are simply you.
You are my daughter, the daughter of the King of Kings.
You are precious.
You are loved.
You have a purpose.
My plans for you are higher than you can ever imagine. My purpose for you – will be revealed in due time.
You are a follower of Jesus.
You are learning.
You are a worshiper of ME, the Great I AM.
Daughter, my dear precious one – what is it that you are fearing? Father God – I am fearing what is next; of not knowing. I am struggling for control, yet You are asking me to let go of control.
Hope, faith, trust & control….they don’t go together. Child – let it go. Let go of control. Open your hands, turn them up and let it go. I know where we are going. We are on a mission. I want you to be a part of it. You need to keep you hands open, keep your priorities and focus in the proper spot.
Be in the Word; read and study it each day. Spend specific time with me.
Pray – ongoing conversation. A conversation is two way, so be careful to be quiet and listen (and don’t forget to respond)
Community – be in community; relationships are important. First your husband, then your family, and then the world around you. I know the dynamics better than you do. Bring it all to me and let it go. Trust me. I have this.
Write. Don’t over think it. Obey. Let me take care of the details.Let me open the doors, train you and point you in the next direction.
Be available to encourage others.
God – I thought I had my napkin dream from you, but I am beginning to see that it was very narrow focused and what I thought I wanted, not necessarily what you wanted. May I dream the dream you have for me and follow you as you open and close doors.
Gail, don’t forget what I have called you to; that has not changed. You are caught up in the wrong aspect. How you were living out your calling has changed but not what you care called to. Don’t forget – you are called to encourage & equip the saints to move the mission forward. Listen to those who love you – you have been moved and released. What seems tragic right now is the tool I want to use to make you more effective and more useful to me and my mission than ever before. Don’t forget though as we walk this path it is not about you; it is about me. It is about My kingdom coming to Earth. My dream – that the whole world will hear, will see, will believe that I died on the cross for them. I ask you now – will you join me? Will you trust me that the path we are on, is where I want us to be? Will you let go of what you think this should look like, trust me and let me lead?
Jesus, here I am. Pausing. I trust you. Forgive me for continually trying to take control. Here I am. Use me. Give me the courage to take your risks. Quick to listen, quick to obey, slow to argue with you about what and where we are going. Thank you for finding me, for taking me to where I don’t want to go so that I may continue to become a woman after your own heart.
My tears have turned to HOPE as I have typed this out; I pray that you have HOPE. That you see that God wants a real relationship with you. I don’t know what is going on in your life; life could be going great or life could be rough right now. Wherever you find yourself, I pray you see that God is walking with you and wants what is best for you. If you don’t know Jesus yet – a simple prayer to Him, confessing that He is God and you have sinned; that you believe He died for you on the cross and rose from the dead – choosing to believe He is Lord and He loves you. This walk with Jesus is a journey of learning more of who He is; of learning obedience, being redeemed & changed to a purer reflection of Him thru the trials and the joys of life.
Christmas 2014, Jesus is showing up…….may we see how He is working around us.
Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience printables & much more
The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp