Last month (how did time go by so fast?) I promised I would share with you what practical things I do to fight for my own heart when God feels oh, so far away. You ready?
We grasp hands and lean back, digging our toes as deep as we can into wet sand.
We are sure to topple over, I think. And I dig my toes in deeper, lock my knees, stabilize my legs. My daughter clings to me with the silliness and joy that gives her her nickname, “Golden Light.” And the waves crash against our legs and the sea water splashes into our open, smiling mouths. We stand side by side, heads back, delighted by our ability to not fall despite the surf’s resolute heaving of itself onto shore.
This is the best. I don’t want to miss it.
So I don’t take many photos, just a few. And then I put the camera and the phone away, tucking them into my running shoes near the sand castle we built higher up the beach.
To look and to see, to listen and to hear, I have to fight against every distraction, every obstacle threatening my awareness of love, joy, beauty. I struggle with the tension of wanting to remember moments like this–the moments I am aware of as holy, filled with love and God’s presence and glory. And it is my heart that needs to remember, needs to see, hear, be.
A phone, an Instagram feed, a Facebook post, a journal description–none of this can adequately capture what it is God is doing in us, this moment. This moment.
Wake up. Read More . . .
We lean in closer. We need to hear it again. “You are loved. I will love you outrageously all the days of your life.”
Graham Cooke declares it. He declares it with the Voice of truth singing loud and strong: “You can only love Me as much as you love yourself. So my love comes to set you free from yourself, to set you free from how you see yourself, to set you free from the smallness of your own thinking about yourself.”
Our Father comes and frees us from the smallness of our own thinking because of the abuse, the self-contempt, the despair, the shame, the pride, the fear.
The six of us sit in a circle around the small portable speaker placed on the ottoman in the center of the room. We are hungry, searching. We are missing God. We are tired and want to lay ourselves down.
We gather, the six of us, because the lies have come again. Silently. Stealthily. They have crept in, and we didn’t even see them. But they are tangible. They are dark. We can feel them on our skin, our minds, our hearts. Read More . . .
There are things—and people—we just can’t change.
At least not on our own.
But we really, really want to. We want to control the situation, change this person, change ourselves.
We push and pull against God, asking Him to come, to fix this particular situation, change this person, transform us. We are frustrated, struggling to lay down our expectations to God. We desire freedom, surrender, hope. But we don’t know how to get there, live in that place of peace.
So we battle, mainly within ourselves, occasionally pleading with God for help.
We so need to hear what God’s take is on our situation. We are desperate to hear what He has to say.
We’re not alone. There are women, just like us, who struggle with this too. Read More . . .
Jesus, it is even in the cracks of moments, when hearts turn themselves over, begging for hope to cover, You come.
It is not only in the darkness that you enter, when tears leave us empty, parched. But it is in darkness too, when we are in the desert, wondering if You are close. And You are. We know it, yet we wonder still.
The earth is aching. Pain that is too much to bear. And You bear it. In the confusion and disorder. In the darkness unleashed, You are still mighty. You are justice, in the night. You are love in the hate. You are comfort in the chaos. You are peace in the mess.
Wise friends share how it is hatred that is here, a thunderous movement upon the scarred land. Hearts are calloused, but the ones who know You cry out. You hear. You are here. You do not abandon the downtrodden, the alone and desperate and afraid. Read More and pray with me . . .
There are stories that have yet to be told, yet to be whispered, even in the dark when we believe no one could possibly hear. But we wonder yet if these words, hidden in secret places, could be gathered up. We wonder if there is a place for them. For the question is about more than words. It’s about the claiming of our stories, often the ones most difficult to speak out loud.
It’s hard to share. There is fear of rejection; we’re convinced that the person to whom we share will condemn us. There is shame, the cruel and twisted feelings of humiliation at having sinned. We want to keep the story secret. It’s a story too painful to tell. There is disbelief that sharing the story–even a story of beauty, or joy–will help. We think it surely can’t bring about any healing–for the person listening, or for us.
So we struggle, even, to open up our hearts to God.
And sometimes we don’t even know what the prayer is, until it is unearthed, the Spirit searching our heart and revealing to us the hidden, fragile places that need to be coaxed into the light.
It can feel impossible to discern, sometimes, how to pray. It can feel impossible that the beginning of prayer–sharing our heart with God–can even do any good. I know this from my own experience, and from leading women’s groups for years. And I’ve been wondering why we feel this way.
And I’ve also been wondering what it might be like to walk like Eve did, with God.
What would it be like for us right now, in our particular life situation, to hear God’s whispers? Read More and learn all about my new book! . . .
This Monday can feel heavy, a weight we carry. It is the expectation to not expect anything good. But we push through.
We push through because we remember these days are not supposed to be easy.
We push through because in the difficulty, the doubt, we choose to remember we are not alone.
We choose to remember the God of Joshua, who went before and conquered armies and fulfilled every promise.
We choose to remember the God of Eve and Adam in the garden, who walked with his daughter and son and delighted in being with them.
We choose to remember the God of Moses and Elijah, who calls each of us by name. Read More . . .
She reads it, paper in hand, with a conviction I can feel in my bones: We don’t have to have this life all figured out. We don’t have to not mess up. We don’t have to know how to get through a day without help. In fact, we can not know a thing about what