Father, empty me of myself. I want to hear Your voice.
Father, empty me of myself, I want to love with Your heart. I want nothing to get in the way.
Father, empty me of myself. Let me forget me–to love like You love.
In the slowing, let me seek You. In the memory of children’s voices, hugs and conflicts, laughter and tears, let me find You.
Show me what it means to serve.
Father, hide me from the enemy and keep my heart pure. Search me to discern what in me pulls away from You.
Let nothing come between us, Father. Let Your Spirit be my breath, my beating heart, my mind. Let every thought be Yours.
There is freedom in deciding whether or not to be my own. There is freedom in belonging to You. There is freedom in being seen and known and pursued and adored.
I know who I am in You. I know what I love. You battled those fears that kept me from discovering my heart — the passions for exploring mountains and hearts, listening and writing, soaking in quiet and moving fast, in sacred song.
I hear Your voice breathing life. I see Your hands touching my heart. I behold Your beauty singing majesty and grace.
You cannot be contained, yet You reach down and hold me, Your Spirit lifting me. I am a new creation.
In the sacrifice, in the love that is love, the old falls away. I behold newness. I walk in newness. I will look up and rejoice for the new works You are doing. I will claim the gifts You bring.
In Your eyes I am cleansed. You wash away my sin and draw me to You. You do not repay me according to my choices of selfishness. You do not give me what I deserve.
You restore in me a new heart, a life that sings of joy and promise.
No matter where I am, You are there. No matter how far away from You I feel, Your eyes never leave me.
How great is Your love Father, that each child, each work of Your hands is glorious and perfectly made!
I will seek You and I will find You. I will listen for You and I will hear. I will believe and walk in Your ways, with Your guidance and love in me.
I do not go alone. My heart is protected, shielded inside Your love. I am the beloved child who is gathered up and shown how to love with a love that reaches beyond understanding.
Your kingdom lives in me. You give me life. All glory, all praise, all love comes from You.
Friends, I continue to pray and ask God for his perspective on significant moments in my life, moments that have shaped me. There are lots of positive and negative turns in any person’s story, yes? A few years ago a group of friends and I spent a few weeks using Donald Miller’s Storyline as a tool to go deeper into our stories. One particular exercise challenged us to create a story map of our lives, a timeline of significant events we’ve experienced–moments that shaped us in either a positive or negative way.
After we were finished with our life timelines, we spent time with God and asked Him to show us His perspective on each of those moments. For the positive turns in our life story, what did He have to say? For the negative turns, what new perspective did He have for us to see? The exercise was challenging and life-giving, requiring self-awareness, honesty, and a sincere pursuit of God. He wants to redeem every part of our stories. He is not holding out on you.
Flash forward to last week. I am returning to the moments of my story that have shaped me and asking God which ones He wants me to revisit. Specifically, I am asking Him to lead me toward memories that require deeper understanding and healing. And when He does, I ask Him to give me a verse from Scripture to further solidify the new work He is doing in my story, in me.
For the moment outside the grocery store when I was five and I believed the lie that my voice is nothing and I am not enough, He spoke John 10:27: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
For the moment, on Sunday, when my oldest son walked away from us and down the street to begin his new life as a freshman in college and I ached with sadness and joy for the end of a chapter I loved, He spoke Ezekiel 11:19: “And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
And for the moment of my decision to have an abortion, in high school, He spoke Romans 8:6 and 8:15: “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace…For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as [daughters] by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!'”
What moments will God have you revisit? What words of Life will He speak to you?
With these longer journaling sessions in the morning, I have written less poetry but many, many prayers. I believe that the poetry is going to come. And I am excited for what deeper healing will come from it, too.
So, while I don’t have a traditional poetry prompt for you this week, I invite you to continue to dive deep into specific moments of your story. Let God lead you to a moment, and then through that moment. Let Him navigate you through the details. There are things you don’t remember that He will show you. There are misconceptions you’ve had that He wants to straighten out. And then ask Holy Spirit for a verse for each of those moments.
God wants to redeem every part of you, every moment of your story. Will you let Him? The results will be life-changing. I know it.
Will you tell me how it is going? Or share verses He has spoken over you? Or share any poetry born from these experiences with Him?
I can’t wait to read lines of His life in you.
Refuse to be Sentimental
don’t run; stand here
like I taught you