Well, I’m taking it easy today because we’ve had a long, hard week and my flesh is quite tired though my spirit is gaining strength. And I’m writing again today because it soothes me and teaches me. As I lean into God and listen for His words, He always comes shedding light and insight, refreshing and strengthening me to live another day by His sufficient, amazing grace.
Many have prayed for us this week and to those of you who have, I have prayed abundant blessings on your own lives. When we stand in the gap for others, raising the broken on their mats and bringing them in faith to the Lord who heals, we are all healed in some mysterious way. I was reminded again last night. I heard a hurting heart longing for her own healing.
“I just don’t have a heart for her.” I heard a mother say of her daughter. Years of disappointment, of defiance, of seemingly no progress have left a family cold. Once warm hearts have chilled and there is guilt and helplessness. I don’t judge. I have not walked in their shoes. And I understand deep grief and cold heart. But I know a Great Heart Physician who always heals.
“I give you and Todd credit that you haven’t abandoned your kids. That you still stick by them.”
I told her the truth.
God should get the credit. Our only part has been in cooperating with Him and, true confessions, we haven’t always done so.
I’ve been where she is. Still am sometimes. I look at my own heart and am chilled by what I see—cold, thinking only of myself and my needs. Feeling hurt and mad and sad, sometimes sinking into ugly places of shame and guilt—because I KNOW better. I know I should BE better. But I can’t. I just CAN’T. And those feelings of helpless in trying to be the woman I know I ought to be but see that I’m not tempt me to run and hide and give up. But those are temptations of one who does not love me. The Tempter wants me to self-implode. In those times, God’s still small voice calls to me in my poverty of heart and soul.
When I realize I can’t be who I want, I’m in perfect position to call on God who CAN and WILL. I explained to my friend . . .
When my heart has frozen and I’m numb and not caring and just trying to keep my own nose above the water line, all I can do is beg for mercy. I call out to God and tell him right where I am, even though He already knows. Because so often the act of confession is not so much for God as it is for us. Confessing our brokenness, our inability to grow on our own and do the things we KNOW we ought—this confessing shines light on our need for help. Confession breaks our pride of self-sufficiency, an absolute pre-requisite for healing.
I confess my tenuous feelings of love for someone right now based on some extremely hurtful actions toward me and my husband. I WANT to feel love but I don’t, not the past few days. I feel angry and sad. Just keeping it real, again.
But feelings aren’t as important as covenant commitment. I’m committed to the one I covenanted with 16 years ago, when Todd and I began adopting. And when I find my heart beyond repair—beyond my own ability to fan back into flame—I turn to Holy Fire—to the One who can infuse me with His own heart and I pray as I have been praying this week . . .
Lord, give me your heart. Give me your eyes. Give me your hands and feet. I have nothing right now and am poor in spirit. Fill me with Yourself that I might love as you love and that I might be healed in the process.
When I come to God and confess my poverty—that I don’t love as I ought—and I ask Him for nothing more than HIM—I witness miracles. And here’s the miracle of this week that ALWAYS happens when I confess and pray as I have . . .
My cold heart starts warming and I can feel love again. My eyes start opening and I see another as God sees them. And in return for admitting—confessing the state of my heart and asking for help—God heals my heart not just for another, but for me. Gone is the guilt. Gone is the shame. I know I am nothing without God and I can produce no good thing on my own in these circumstances. But HE can—if I let Him—if I ask Him. He can and He does. Always. Because His business is in healing hearts—ALL hearts. His business is in saving us from ourselves and transforming us into His likeness where there is true life—not the half-life for which we so often settle which really isn’t much of a life, is it? His business is changing us from the inside out and transforming relationships, infusing people with His loving heart.
So I’m praying for myself this day again, “Lord give me your heart, your eyes, your hands, your feet. Help me love others as You love them and help me love myself as You love me. Heal us all, LORD, for You can do everything we cannot.”
We’re still wondering where to go with our latest crisis and I’ll admit, I’m still feeling shell-shocked because my husband and I never know when the next crisis is coming, but God is beginning to shine light on the path of this crisis and we’ve taken the first few steps forward with Him. My grief and fears and being flushed from my soul by God Himself—I can feel it—and being replaced by His wise guidance and love. Ideas have come after prayer. Names of people to contact have come after prayer. A plan is starting to take form. And once again, I can say . . .
My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2
Thanks to all of you have prayed and stood in the gap for us. Your prayers and words of encouragement have strengthened us and given us the fortitude to keep persevering.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:19-24
Harvest Moon over Santa Rita Mountains, Green Valley, Arizona courtesy of James MacLaren Photograpy. Thanks Dad!