Sunday, February 26, 2017

Broken Spirit

He called me away to spend a day alone with Him.

And my heart thrilled at the prospect of it.

It had been so very long since I had felt the closeness of His presence, and a seeming eternity since I had been down on my face in prayer, and my soul was utterly starving from a lack of spiritual nourishment.

There is a hunger that can never be satisfied apart from Him and my soul knows it all too well.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love;
according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
- Psalm 51:1-2

The distance had grown slowly over time. 

A catastrophic event had occurred that opened my eyes to the unmistakable presence of evil in this fallen world and the idyllic life I thought I was living, was from then on, shattered.  

It would take many years before I realized it, but soon after that moment of complete heartbreak, I had been set on a journey of walking in a barren wilderness.

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart You will not despise.
- Psalm 51:17

It’s not that God had left me, I know He will never leave me and never forsake me, but it felt like one day a wall had been set between us that was impossible for me to climb and I was continually living in the shadow of it. 

Humbly, I’m reminded of some favorite words I’ve often heard Jill Briscoe say, 

“Sometimes God is hidden in the dark, but He is never at a distance.” 

Yes, I can see that. 

Though there may have been a wall between us, imagined or not, walls can be thin enough to hear through, thin enough to be sure there is Someone on the other side, and though it seemed I was walking in a dark and lonely place, He was right there all along, longing for my heart to return fully to Him.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
- Psalm 51:10

And so when I felt Him calling to me, to come and spend hours alone with Him, I was filled with so much hope. 

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
- Psalm 51:12

But I was also afraid…  afraid of what He wanted to tell me, afraid that my heart had become so hard I would be unable to feel His tender touch upon it again, afraid that I had nothing left to offer that He could ever use for good.

But oh, God is so gracious and kind and His love for His children is truly without limits. 

We spent hours together in close communion and afterwards, my soul felt the refreshment it was absolutely aching for, and I knew without a doubt, things were finally about to change.

I’m expecting it will take many years before I discover all that He did for me on that day, and I imagine I may never know it all until I see Him face to face, but I know He cherished every tear that I cried and every prayer that poured out of my heart, and I know that He is ready to do a new thing in my life.

These are the words He had shared over and over with me in the weeks and days leading up to our sacred time together…

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
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 43:18-19

He has been so patient with me all these wandering years and now I believe He is taking my hand to gently lead me out of the wilderness into new places of discovery.

 Yes, He is doing a new thing, in my heart and in my life, and the fact that I’m writing again after more than a year, well, to me…

That’s just one small proof of it.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Singing Bowl

Begin the song exactly where you are,
Remain within the world of which you’re made.
Call nothing common in the earth or air,

Accept it all and let it be for good.
Start with the very breath you breathe in now,
This moment’s pulse, this rhythm in your blood

And listen to it, ringing soft and low.
Stay with the music, words will come in time.
Slow down your breathing. Keep it deep and slow.

Become an open singing-bowl, whose chime
Is richness rising out of emptiness,
And timelessness resounding into time.

And when the heart is full of quietness
Begin the song exactly where you are. 

- Malcolm Guite

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Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing.

- Psalm 98:4-5

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Monday, January 18, 2016

One Word

Long before January 1 rolled around I had chosen my one word for the New Year.

The one word I wanted to make mine for 365 days, plus one for the leap year.

The one word that I hoped would become a revolution in my life rather than just a positive thinking, try-hard resolution.

The one word was, and is. . .


Intentional may seem like an odd word, certainly not very spiritual like many friends I know tend to choose, but this word was so strong on my heart and mind as 2015 was waning to a close, I knew it was the change that my life sorely needed. (And oddly enough, my word for 2015 was change)!

I’ve always been the type of person to live life as it comes and not worry too much about tomorrow. It makes me crazy to have more than two events on the calendar in one week. I think this is partly due to the fact that I’ve been working mostly full-time outside the home since I was 18, so those 40 hours make up the majority of my time during the week and if I have too many other things going on I feel like I don’t have enough time to breathe, then suddenly, it’s Monday again.

It’s always worked better for me to just go-with-the-flow rather than fill up every minute of my day and week with things to do. Well, I don’t know if “worked better” would be the right terminology though, since I’ve never really tried it any other way.

As I look back on my life now, however, I see how this way of living has often filled my days with good intentions, but for so many reasons, (not any good ones I might add), through doing things this way I’ve unintentionally let all kinds of things fall through the cracks and it seems, with them have slipped tiny pieces of my heart.

Much too often I intend to send that card, to clean that closet, to pay that bill, to read that book, to be a better friend, wife, mother, worker, co-worker. . .   I’m sure you get the idea, but I fail to follow through and just intend to do it another day.

And thus, I acknowledge with every missing piece of my heart that has fallen through those cracks filled with good intentions, I need to become more intentional.

I knew this was not going to be easy for me and so I prayed, asking God if this should even be my word for this year. I wondered if He might choose a different word for me, one more spiritual perhaps --- like peace, or hope, or grace, but He made it abundantly clear to me that this was indeed to be my word.

Change is hard, but I also know that regrets are harder and in the end, more painful.

So with God’s help, my intent for 2016 is to be more intentional.

I’ve already found this is not going to be easy. I’ve failed many times in just these few weeks of January, but I will not get discouraged. This is what my Father in Heaven wants for me and He knows what is very best for me. He always wants to bless us and grow us in our faith and knowledge of Him.

And when I think of it, I realize that God is so intentional. Everything He does is for a reason, a very good reason!

So I will pray every day that this year He will help me to be more intentional.

It actually is a really good word

and the one He has intended for me.

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve
what God’s will is
His good, pleasing and perfect will.
- Romans 12:2

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Linking this post in a monthly blog circle with some fabulous friends!

The theme we are writing about this month is:  Beginnings.

What kind of new beginnings are you discovering in this first month of a new year?

Please click on the links below to visit each of my friends 
and feel free to leave comments.

Connie at: Live, Love, Laugh, Hope

Marty at: What Marty Sees

Patricia at:  Pollywog Creek

Friday, January 1, 2016

Born Again

It is a wonder…

How new life sleeps silently below the surface, just waiting.

Just waiting for the day when bright rays of sunlight reach deep into the soil to touch the tiny face of each slumbering seed with an awakening kiss.

Something stirs within…

And soon, there’s a twisting and turning and then a breaking through.

Slowly, determinedly, a tiny shoot reaches up through the darkness to a place that’s full of light.

Hope rising.

Just beginning its journey to become what it was always meant be.

Fully alive.

Always reaching up to the Light.

To bring glory to the One who is the very giver of Life.

*   *   *   

And so it is with us, when we wake up from the dark winter of our lives and awaken to new life in Him.

Touched by His Light.

Moved by His Spirit.

Wonderfully  ~  mercifully  ~  born again.

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We were therefore buried with him
through baptism into death in order that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead
through the glory of the Father,
we too may live a new life.

- Romans 6:4

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