I knew the closer I got to the end of this 90 day thing, the more intense each blog would be. I did not realize they would be more spread out... but now I'm beginning to understand why. Let me attempt to explain. You see, like the "hiddenness" we've discussed before... God is also doing something in us that we just can not see and we couldn't even explain it if it were visible. Perhaps that's part of the reason why we can't see it, the other reason possibly being that we might try and get in the way of His miraculous work.
Most of you know by now what 'Instagram' is, right? Well, if you don't... it's just another one of those tools to connect friends from all over the world together by posting pictures. Some post pics of their animals, their favorite meal, their vacation at the beach, their concert experience at the ryman watching mumford and sons (still pretty upset about this one), or just pictures of them looking cute and fun with their significant other (barf.. haha, jk).
Every night before I go to bed I look through these pics to help me catch up on my friends I suppose. Lately I've been noticing it's actually bringing me down a little bit. It didn't help that I was having severe pain in the left side of my jaw and my dentist making crazy talk about a root canal or something. Needless to say... I began to feel Lonely (notice the capital L). Ew. Do not like this feeling. Yuck. I could honestly do without it. Here's what went through my brain next.... "Oh man, I feel like I'm missing out on EVERYTHING. Geez. Life is moving on at a rapid and fun pace...without ME. I HATE feeling crappy. Boy, it'd really be nice to have someone to hold me...someone who is missing out on all the fun too :) Someone who really cares about ME." Then I started thinking... "Ugh... who wants to hang out with a debbie downer like me? hahahaha".
So basically those feelings progressed until today. I had been planning to leave for Nashville on Saturday but my trip had been postponed because of the pain in my teeth. I reckon another reason for the trip might have subconsciously been to run away from those awful feelings (as if we can, but I always seem to try). Well... today it was recommended I get an xray before leaving town. So I did... and an hour later I had successfully survived a root canal. Didn't see that one comin'.
As the doctor looked at me and explained what had just happened, I sat there and soaked it all in. It's like something in me had shifted. I knew that something was going on in that little heart of mine, but I wasn't quite sure what yet. He said that the infection had got into my jaw bone which was causing severe pain...(and I think it had actually made it to my bloodstream as well). Looking back, there had been several signs of discomfort but I just kept hoping they would fade away eventually and sought other ways to ignore the real pain. The doctor so intuitively shared that I could probably get the main infection squared away... but unless I got to the root of the problem (literally), it would just keep coming back.
Hmmmm.... interesting, very interesting. I'm telling you, something happened during that surgery today. It's almost as if God when straight to my heart and yanked out the ugly apathetic weed that would send me swooning over other loves to fill my crater of loneliness in the depths of my aching soul. All I know is that when I got out of that chair, I felt like a different woman... with a new bite of course (hee hee.) Instead of being hungry for the quickest most temporary fulfillment of my lonely desires.... I now feel this strange contentment. After 32 years... I think I have finally learned how to let God be the one to really HOLD me.
A few hours later I was sitting at our kitchen bar chatting with mom as she did some dishes. All of the sudden I got a picture in my head and started laughing. It was an 'Instagram' of what God is doing in my heart right now. I felt like the Lord said very clearly..."If they could only see what I'm doing in your heart, they would be the ones feeling like they are missing out." Then I just got this overwhelming peace again of the Father's love for me and truly felt like He was squeezing my guts out....in a good way of course. As I tried to explain what I just saw and heard I just started bawling (been a little bit emotional the past couple of days i might add).
You see... so desperately our Daddy want us to be pleased, content, and excited for what He is doing in each and every one of our hearts!!! Especially the things we can not see but have to trust and believe in. And how joyful it must make Him when we rejoice in these things... not only in our hearts, but in other's hearts as well!!! How beautiful is the beat of our heart when we let Him be the one we desire to hold us. Our heart begins to be welded to His where the very secrets of His love for us and the world are hidden. Sometimes we want to know the great mysteries, but not the heart of the one who creates them. We can see the promises and perhaps believe them to be true for others, but never really know them for ourselves until we KNOW the Father.
There is absolutely nothing like His love... there is no one who could ever love you like He does... the greatest love on earth just can't compare. The sadness, pain, sorrow, and hurt you've had DID not come from our Father... He could not possibly create such things. But His son has physically been through everyone of them, in fact died... so that you could have freedom, healing and LIFE abundantly.
An excerpt from a Bill Johnson sermon:
What has the power to separate you from the love of God?
All the devils of hell aimed at one person don't have the ability to separate you from the love of God.
No human experience can separate you from the love of God.
But if you step into meditating on the failures of yesterday, you pull yourself out of the game...and put yourself in a place where you're no longer able to receive and experience the wonderful transforming love of Jesus.
His love is ever-flowing. Have we chosen to put ourselves on the side lines putting a barrier between the love of God and us? I don't think that's any one person's intention or agenda, but we MUST start believing what He says about us!!! We are children of God with an inheritance whose purpose is to pray the kingdom of heaven down to earth every single day so that we can walk around in this place as sons and daughters amongst a world of orphans and invite them to the table to feast upon the goodness of our Papa. He has so much LOVE to give all of us... it'd be a damn shame for us not to tap into that amazing glorious love on earth. I want the floodgates of that LOVE to come pouring out all over me and those around me, so that I know without a shadow of a doubt who my Dad is and what He's capable of. And lemme tell you, in these rushing waters you can't help but get caught up in the desires and plans He has for your life...
Lord I pray you force us to stop running, stop hiding, stop sticking our head in the sand, stop ignoring, and stop medicating. I pray that you reveal the real roots in our lives, the roots to our pain, discomfort, loneliness, frustration, fear, and anger. I pray that you do what it takes to yank out those roots that are causing infection throughout our entire mind, body, soul and spirit. It sure does hurt at first when you hit a nerve... but we want to RECEIVE all of the love you have for us. Let us not focus on the past... but look deep into your eyes and allow us to weld our heart with yours Father!!! YOU ARE SO GOOD, ALL THE TIME and we CHOOSE to trust in YOU! Amen.
B90: (2 Timothy 1- Hebrews 8:13)
"Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee from youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." 2 Tim 3:20-22
The more we patiently allow God to work on the 'unseen' parts of us, the more He is able to work out the things that hinder us from being pure and holy..."ready for every good work". Yes, i know we'll never be perfect... but I used to use that as an excuse to NOT pursue righteousness in my life. Sad but true. I assumed if it wasn't attainable, then why spend so much time on that path. But then... God quickly and painfully revealed to me that wasn't the point at all, was it? My 'call upon the Lord' used to be a state of emergency..."Oh God save me from my earthly stupidity again". Did He save me? Yes. But did He have something completely different in store for our relationship? Of course. Before my true love encounter with Him I was a Christian with an orphan spirit. Now I can truthfully say that I'm a daughter who calls upon the Lord because He loves me relentlessly, and I love Him the same.
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works." Titus 2:11-14
When I first read the above passage it sounds as though Paul is getting a little self-righteous.. but the more I read and meditate on it and see it's connection to the previous verse I mentioned, it seems to shed a little bit more light on where He's coming from the the beautiful yet stern warning He's placing in our lap. I think the words "training us" are so important. The more I prepare for this half-marathon, the more I realize that I'm actually doing things every day to train and build up endurance. There is no way I could sit on the couch, watch tv, eat potato chips every day and then expect to run without any pre-conditioning what so ever. God has given us the tools to be trained... but we MUST choose to use them.
Walking through the spiritual disciplines in my other blog: "the twelve"(http://discoveringthetwelve.blogspot.com/) has really helped me see this. He desires to purify us to use us as clean vessels for Him. But we must see that we need to make decisions in life that align with His word to stay on this path of training, sanctification, and purification... being patient with what God is doing on the inside, as we run fearlessly towards Him with all we have at the pace He's set.
"At the end of the day, direction, not intention, determines destination." Andy Stanley (The principle of the path)