Reality

Sometimes it’s hard for me to know what’s real.

I don’t mean to say that I am out of touch with reality, (although that too, sometimes ;-)). I have no problem being able to say, “This happened today,” and know that’s true, but the trouble comes in when I, without realizing it, start assigning meaning to the events of the day.

I look at the facts and start answering for myself “why did that happen?” and “what does that mean?” Like an architect examines a structure for stability, I pace back and forth over the events of my life, examining them second by second, inch by inch, asking the questions: “Is this thing solid? Am I secure? Am I safe?”

I don’t feel very safe today.

And that’s why I say I don’t know what’s real. Because nothing bad happened, it’s my own analysis of events, my own answers to the “why’s” and “what’s” that has me feeling like the ground I am standing on is shaky.

And is it? Am I safe? Is it shaky? I DON’T KNOW. I don’t know what’s real and I’m scared because I need to know I’m safe.

Which brings me to another one of those fork-in-the-road moments though, doesn’t it? I can either choose to act out of my fear, or I can choose something better for myself.

I can choose to view my day through the lens of fear and trauma, or I can choose to view it through the lens of: “Where was God?” That doesn’t make it any easier for me to know whether or not I’m safe, but it does help me get back to the basics of what ACTUALLY happened today.

Remove the emotion, get down to the facts: Where was God?

He was in my slow-start morning.
The willingness of Laura to bring by my medication.
Having people to call when I need to be emotional and messy.
The warm day.
Watching Arlow play at the dog park.
Finding a ball at the dog park, after realizing I forgot to bring one of ours.
The woman I met, who I talked with about her divorce and daughters and dogs.
Not hitting traffic on the drive back home.
A good sermon.
Flickers of hope.
The invitation to have dinner and s’mores at a friends’ house tonight.

*

I heard a sermon today about the men who lowered their friend through the roof of a house to get him to Jesus. They would’ve done anything to get their friend to Jesus. They weren’t concerned about being impolite or interrupting or making a hole in someone’s roof. They just wanted Jesus.

And I heard that, and I thought about my theory about love. How loving someone means doing the least selfish thing.

But what those men did? That was pretty selfish. And it might not have even been motivated by love, but by need. And yet, Jesus still responded to it.

People can’t handle desperation. People can’t handle it when you come to them with a “cut a hole into someone’s roof” category of need. But God can.

With Him, I’m safe.

But He’s not here.

He’s in my day, but He’s not here.

And I wonder if it’s more important for me to love Him well in the midst of this life that is too hard for me, or if it’s okay to come to Him desperate and ruled more by need than by love.

And Now I Shall Ramble

I don’t know how to make sense of it all.

I don’t know how to say words that will be received with empathy and understanding, and not used against me as evidence that I am mentally unwell.

I’ve put so much effort into trying to handle things well. How is it that, in spite of my best efforts, I am coming off looking so bad? How am I smack dab in the middle of a situation that should never have included me in the first place.

And whenever I try to advocate for myself, it gets to twisted. I’m told I’m mind-reading or not thinking clearly or that my past and trauma are blinding me. And how do I respond to that? How do I argue with that? I can’t. Anything I say will just be used as fuel to support their argument that I’m irrational and unstable and need professional help. And it hurts. It really, really hurts.

Guys, I am an INFJ. We are intuitive. Do I think that sometimes I let my trauma and past experience influence how I perceive things? Sure. But sometimes I think what people call mind-reading is actually me being able to perceive things. And it’s infuriating. It’s so, so maddening to just KNOW something and have people look at me like I’m crazy and impossible to reason with.

*

I don’t understand.

How can one day feel so full of love, and the next so full of conversations about all the ways I am not living up to people’s expectations?

So much feels fragile. So based on my performance. So “I will withdraw if you don’t do x, y, z…”

I feel like, no matter what I do, that possibility hangs heavy in the air. It’s like a sword in the holster on their hip that can be withdrawn it at any moment.

*

I am working so hard to seek God’s heart and thoughts and will for my life through all this- putting my own emotions aside.

And the every single day takes incredible energy and requires intense spiritual warfare. How can anyone say, “I disagree. I don’t think you are trying that hard.”

I’m alive. How does that not count for anything?

I cut unhealthy ties with my family this year. I lost my nieces and nephew.

I lost other people too. Lots of them. They walked away from me. They didn’t tell me happy birthday, clearly conveying to me that my life doesn’t matter to them anymore, these people who once professed to love me unconditionally and forever.

I’m alone in so many ways. Tamara, Party Of One.

BUT I’M HERE.

I am here. And daily, even on my hardest days, I catch myself laughing and thanking God for the good.

I am here and I am grieving, but I am not stuck. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I am determined to keep moving forward, eyes on Jesus.

*

I don’t expect people to understand. It’s lonely to feel misunderstood, but I can’t expect my heart to always make sense to others.

I know that God has built me this way. And it isn’t a flaw. Some of it is trauma, and some of it is the softness and desires He’s woven into my heart.

And I won’t hold tight to the ache within me and demand it be filled the way I see fit, “or I don’t want anything at all!”

Trusting means accepting the today and surrendering to the future God has for me, however it looks. And knowing the future is good. Even when it doesn’t’ always feel good, it is. I don’t have to look forward with fear or sorrow. I can look forward with joy and hope.

And yet, I know God understands my grieving, the screaming ache of my heart. And I know He says, “Yes, child. It’s right to hurt over this.”

*

I can look at someone’s actions and say, “That hurts.” But I have to be careful not to follow that destructive rabbit trail.

I can know it hurts, but I can’t know that it means they don’t care or that they don’t love me or that I’m not important to them.

I can know what I know, but I have to be careful not to assign meaning to it.

*

I am tired of suffering. I am tired.

But He woke me this morning for a reason. My eyes are open, my heart beating, my lungs taking in breath.

And it’s not a mistake.

I am not being propelled forward by my body- my heart, ticking along until it tires and I go home. My body isn’t calling the shots. I am not here, passing time without meaning or purpose.

My body isn’t the boss- my God is.

It is He who sustains my beating heart, it is not the internal clock within me, set to expire at a certain date and time determined at the time my cells all came together to form a living, breathing person.

I am here, in this time, in this place, for a reason.

And I will believe that.

I will trust Him.

*

“Get therapy,” they say.

That isn’t helpful. I know enough to monitor my heart and mind and ask God if I am okay (or okay enough) right now or not, if it’s time to jump back into therapy or time to sit back and soak up His presence and let Him do the hard work in me that I know He’s doing.

But they say I need therapy.

And what I need them to say is, “What you’re feeling is exactly what you should be feeling. Let me stand beside you while you grieve. You are not broken. You are not ill. You are okay and you are going to be okay and I am here.”

*

I will hold on to Him. His promises. His kind eyes. His loving touch. His gentle smile.

I will hold on even when I close my eyes and I can’t see, even when the only one wrapping their arms around me is me.

I will hold on even when words and promises and hope and truth feels slippery and elusive and maybe even mythical. Because–thank God–His promises and truths don’t change, regardless of what I feel.

And so I won’t spend time in my brain, trying to untangle the mess of it all so that I can feed my heart with words that hurt less.

I won’t write my own story in my head, putting periods and “the ends” where God would say, “Shhh, child. I’m the author. And this isn’t the end.”

He’s in the middle of a sentence. He’s scripting a comma followed by “and then”, but I’m taking out my red pen and scribbling periods in places where He never intended there to be a period.

He’s patient with me, though. My red pen doesn’t call the shots any more than my beating heart does.

*

I feel like the losses haven’t stopped in years. I hope and I praise Him for the good and then it fades away like smoke, or crumbles like stone, or stands tall and proud while I crumble from its neglect or abandonment or rejection.

And always, I end up standing alone.

But I keep showing up. I keep hoping. I keep finding things to love about this life I’ve been gifted.

I am ALWAYS doing the hard thing, the scary thing.

How could someone accuse me of not trying?

Not being obedient to God isn’t an option. I have to obey because where can I find life apart from Him?

*

I hurt.

A lot.

But I won’t give up.

I won’t isolate. I won’t stop smiling at people and making conversations and showing up.

I won’t grow angry. I won’t harbor judgment or criticism or think I have it all figured out. I won’t condemn people’s hearts or try to jump into their brains.

I won’t shut my heart down. I won’t label myself as unloved. I won’t say they don’t love me.

I won’t give up on the screaming ache within me for family and belonging.

I need Him. I need Him fiercely. I need Him to hold me and I need Him to act. And my shutting my heart down will only make His job harder. So I will keep it open. I will breathe and trust and hope and believe. I will not deaden my emotions. I will pray, “Lord, I will stand. I will choose to be fully alive.”

I will cry. I will grieve.

And I will believe it won’t last forever. Somehow. Somehow joy is coming.

And regardless–in both the mourning and rejoicing, the desert and the mountaintop, the darkness of night and the brilliance of day–I will follow hard after Him.

*

I am under no illusion that He alone is the air I breathe, the One who sustains me, the ultimate comforter and counselor and lover of my heart.

And if I could choose between Him–an experience with Him as real as anything I’ve ever known in this life–and everything else my heart is screaming for, I’d choose Him. Instantly. Without hesitation.

But He designed us to need each other too. Right?

And maybe He isn’t asking me to choose.

Maybe what He has for me really IS better than anything I could ever imagine. I mean, if scripture says it, it has to be true, right? There is no “maybe” about it. And so I’ll let go of what exactly that looks like, but I will smile because IT IS GOING TO BE GOOD.

*

Give me eyes to see, sweet Jesus. Give me ears to hear. Give me a heart that’s open and soft.

Even when it all looks like loss, destruction, devastation, help me to know that You are creating something good.

You don’t tear down and strip away unless there is a greater good in store.

There is something being built.

There is cause to rejoice even in the suffering.

*

There’s always more than one way to tell a story.

How would I tell it if I could see more clearly? If I could set my heart aside and look at the facts alone?

There’s always more than one way to tell a story.

I could tell about how no one said they loved me.
About the grief that I can’t shake.
The exhaustion and heavy eyelids and sluggish brain.
About how work today has been incredibly slow and very few things have gone my way.
I could tell about mysteriously sore shoulder and mysteriously itchy chest.
I could tell about loss.
About fear.
About belonging and being precious and being held- and their opposites.

Or I could tell about the blue sky.
Time spent getting lost in a book.
The homemade bread gifted to me from a coworker.
The words flowing from within me, relieving some of the overwhelming pressure.
The cats and bunny who are going to be happy to see me when I get home, and the turtle who will crane his neck to watch me as I go about my evening.
The Starbucks employee who smiled at me.
The people I showed kindness to, and how amazing it is that God wired us–even in our heartache–to feel glimmers of life and comfort as we try to reflect Him to those around us.
I could tell about the clients who like me.
The sparkly green fingernails that, each time I catch a glimpse of them, remind me of one of the Disney’s princess’ (Ariel’s?) dresses.
I could talk about the hope of being loved in return, even when I don’t feel it or see it.
I could talk about the forever, steady presence of my Creator- even when I don’t feel it or see it.

I could talk about all that threatens to pull me down, makes me want to give up, sob endlessly, all alone, as the sun goes down and the night stretches before me, daunting and empty, and it’s just my tears and breath and my sorrow filling up the air around me.

Or I could talk about what sustains me. The hope that is always present, the good that God promises to be doing, the light that darkness cannot drown out. The nearness of the One who gives breath and tears and oxygen and has set me here with intention, not by accident.

I cry. I grieve.

But I refuse to give up hope. I refuse to give in to fear.

He has a plan.

Hold me. Abba, hold me tight.

I can’t drown if I’m holding Your hand.

I Will Lift My Eyes To The Giver Of Life

Here I am. Wide awake at 5:30. An hour and a half before my alarm.

And I didn’t get to bed early last night. No, quite the contrary. By the time my head finally hit the pillow and I closed my eyes, I had that all-too-familiar thought: “I’m going to be SO tired tomorrow.” And then I had to force myself not to do the math- the “how many hours of sleep will I get if I fall asleep within the next ten minutes” math.

But I’m awake. Illogically and irrationally.

And so I think maybe it’s God. Maybe He wanted this time with me.

I wanted to write this blog last night. In fact, I wrote most of it in my phone as I lay draped over my bed, teary and snotty and praying wildly.

In the car yesterday as I drove, I was pouring out all my anxieties and the unrest in me to God. And I heard Him say, “Let yourself be loved.”

And at first I kind of laughed and said, “You do realize that’s my primary source of pain, right? Wanting to be loved? Ooookay. I’ll ‘let myself be loved’. Noooo problemo!”

(Sometimes I get kind of sassy with God. ;-))

But then I realized that wasn’t actually the full extent of what letting myself be loved looks like. Letting yourself be loved isn’t the same as wanting love, or even keeping your heart open to the people who love you.

When you let something happen, you relinquish control. You rest and trust. Come what may.

And so that is what God was instructing of me. He wasn’t saying I’m not doing a good job of pursuing love, He was saying I need to take a deep breath and stop thinking it’s my job to hold anything together. He wants me to let go. He wants me to rest. To be able to just be grateful for what He’s provided without worrying when it’s all going to fall apart.

Oh my soul, find rest in God alone.

And yet, even as I realized that yesterday while I drove, and even while my mind keeps straying from Him to things that make me feel all uneasy and fretful and desperate, and even while I have to keep pulling my thoughts away and re-centering them on Him, like a badly aligned car that wants to keep veering into the wrong lane, I hear Him say: “Child, REST. You have to let Me love you, too. You are love-starved. Your heart, why you feel and think the way you do, it isn’t a mystery to Me. And it isn’t a flaw. It’s sorrow. So be patient and compassionate with yourself. Let Me do the good work in you that I have planned. Trust, child. Trust that I love you. Trust that I know what I’m doing.”

And so, I pray:

Sweet Abba,

I know if I look anywhere else for the love I need I will be disappointed. Teach me how to not be disappointed with You.

Teach me how to make my home in You alone.

I don’t want to try to find comfort or rest for my soul in anyone else’s love above Yours.

Teach me how I’m not alone when I’m sobbing on my knees on my bedroom floor, hands raised to heaven. I’m. Not. Alone.

Help Your loving eyes and Your reassuring hug be what floods my mind when I’m grasping for something to hold on to- somewhere for my mind to rest and breathe.

And teach me how to desire Your invisible love more than the love of people.

I’m trying so hard to want You above all else, Lord. But I’m not there yet. I need You. I love You. But I feel like it doesn’t matter because You aren’t delivering.

I don’t understand how an invisible God can truly be all that I need.

And I feel frustrated because I feel like I’ve given You ample time to come to me like wind or fire or rain or breath. And I feel like You’re not here. You’re not here and still You’re saying all I need is You. And HOW. IS. THAT. POSSIBLE?!?!

Only I know that it is.

Teach my heart how to know that too.

And I also know, Lord, that it can’t be true that You aren’t delivering or coming to me. Because You are good and You are love and You change not.

So is the problem me?

But that can’t be true either- not because the problem is never me ;-), but because I’m on my knees before You, begging You to make right what is wrong in me and capture my heart and draw me to You. I am BEGGING. And I am trying so hard to keep seeking Your face and not anything else this world has to offer.

And You hear me. And You see me. And You know how hard I’m trying and how desperately I am asking for Your help.

Even when I feel alone and empty inside and I’m wracked with sorrow, You hear.

But Lord, I don’t want my relationship with You to be the equivalent of me wrapping my own arms around myself and saying it’s You. I don’t want to call my own voice resounding in my head and heart You and fight to believe that it is, that it isn’t just me being lonely and needing my God to show up.

And maybe it is You. All of it. But how is THAT enough??

How do I hug myself and comfort myself and speak Your truth over myself and have that matter as much to me as someone letting me rest my head on their shoulder or dry my tears or seeing love in someone’s eyes?

How do I make You be my heart’s desire?

Maybe I can’t. Maybe that has to be all You. And maybe I’m here, trying so hard and beating myself up, and maybe You’re just simply saying, “Child, let Me love you.”

And so I’ll just keep falling to my knees and sobbing, emptying myself out before You, begging You to take me and fill me up everywhere I’m empty and broken. I’ll just keep begging, hands raised to heaven, that You will help me know and love You more.

Abba? That’s all I want for my birthday. Just for You to be my soft pillow, my security blanket, the invisible hug that, even though it can’t be seen, can be felt just as real as anything this world has to offer.

In fact, Lord, more than all I can see and touch and taste and hear in this world, help Your love for me to be the realest, truest thing.

Oh, Lord. Please, please, please don’t take anything else precious from me. But I don’t need You to give me anything else either. Nothing else but You.

Teach me how You are enough and how I’m not alone.

And show me how You looked on me with delight and all-consuming love and fierce protectiveness the day I was born.

And how You look at me that way still.

When Hunger Keeps You Alive

What do I feel and why do I feel it and is it her or her or him that I want to hear “I love you” from or is it Him?

And am I going to be able to satiate all that’s insecure and lonely within me by soaking up others’ words or hugs or presence? Can I crawl into another’s soul-comforting words and live there- pulling another’s affirmations and love up and over me like a blanket?

No. And I know that. We’re wired in such a way that we need Him. Nothing else will do.

But even that brings about its own questions. Even that comes with a desperate, panicked clinging.

Because how do I wrap myself in His arms? How do I fold myself within the pages of scripture and breathe in the peace and shut out everything that hurts or confuses me or scares me? How do I bury myself so deeply into Him that my thirst for love is met?

Can I spend an hour on my knees and trust that it’s not futile? Can I really, fully believe Him to be as near as my very breath?

Do I have any idea what it really means that He loves me? And if I did, if I had even the slightest sense of how He loves me, wouldn’t that be enough? Wouldn’t He, indeed, finally resonate within me as More Than Enough and Life Abundant and Living Water for my thirst?

I refuse to let myself numb my hunger by feeding myself things that aren’t Him.

But I also refuse to let myself stop looking for Him in all things.

Because the sin isn’t needing to be loved, the sin is putting a higher value on the things of this world than the One who created it.

He knew we’d long to be held by Him. That’s why we have each other.

But He also knew people would fall short, they’d let us down and love us imperfectly and, even when relationships were perfect, there’d still be a part of us hungry for something more.

He is my 3 a.m. confidant and the one who I’ve, on multiple occasions, met with as I cried in a bathroom stall, my head tilted toward heaven, uttering only these words: “Who do I have in all the world but You?”

He is the warmth of the cat curled up and purring against my neck.

He is the comfort I feel when I wrap my favorite blanket around my shoulders.

He is the creator of the ones I love. He is the creator of my heart. He is the one who is orchestrating all things.

Here I am. In this place. For a reason.

And I don’t understand everything that is unsettled within me, but I know that if I keep running to Him, seeking His face, I will come to know Him as More Than Enough. I will come to know Him as the one who can quench my thirst and satiate my hunger.

Because He is good. And He IS enough.

And He’s the giver of good gifts.

And so I’ll wait and trust and breathe in all the blessings around me that are marked with His holy fingerprints.

And I’ll over and over and over again remind my soul to worship Him alone. And to trust.

And I don’t know why it’s so hard for me- why I have to fight so hard against this depression that threatens to pull me down. I don’t know why I only get glimpses–days, moments–in which I see life the way I remember it being- good and worth it and full of light and hope and joy.

But I know the depression won’t win. I know it lies. I will not stop fighting.

And neither will He.

This battle–the battle within my heart and my mind and all that’s broken within me, this battle to know and love Him more and above all other things–it’s not just mine. Ultimately, it’s He alone who can set all things right. It’s He alone who can teach me how to dwell and abide in His love and to never thirst again.

And hunger doesn’t have to be painful maybe. It doesn’t have to be a scream that this world is not my home and that He cannot hold me. Hunger doesn’t have to become a taunting voice, leading me to despair, mocking me as I kneel before the Lord, asking me what that’s actually accomplishing.

I will shut out any voice that isn’t His. Because the voice of my Lord reminds me that hunger is a gift.

And actually, it can become a bubbling well of joy, can’t it? If it keeps driving me toward Him, if I’m living my life with eyes wide open because I believe He has given me this hunger for a reason and knows how to meet it, then hunger can be a source of life and excitement for what’s to come, yes?

But only when I trust Him to provide.

Not when I think I can x, y, z my way to a solution. Because then the process stops being an adventure, rather is becomes a reason to beat myself up and ask if I’m doing enough and think it’s all pointless because I cannot SEE the progress being made. After all, when have we ever been able to say we’ve “earned” our blessings? It’s all grace. Grace upon grace upon grace. It’s not my fault, and it’s not because I’ve earned it.

And so I’ll cling to Truth and hold tight to His hand and keep my eyes locked on His face, while I wait, and trust, and pray for deliverance and peace and love like a waterfall.

Our God Is For Us

I have discovered that often, during the times in my life when I feel like I need someone the most, a mom or a dad or a loving and compassionate sibling, those are the times when people are least present, the least loving and compassionate.

I used to take that personally. I used to quickly decide it meant that I was unlovable and alone in life. It doesn’t, though. It’s not my fault. It’s not theirs, either. Nor is it coincidence. I think it’s design. Especially since I’ve noticed that people also tend to be the most compassionate and loving when I don’t think I need them, but do.

I think that God, in His wisdom, wants to make it hard for me to make anyone else my god. He wants me to run to Him first. He wants to be the one to comfort me, and He wants me to know He is capable of being my mom and my dad and my sibling. He is capable of being whatever and whoever I need. It would be easy to forget that I need God if people weren’t fallible.

I am SO grateful that He is a jealous God. I am so grateful that He isn’t quick to let me walk away or worship someone/something other than Him.

Not only are we designed to worship Him alone, and not only is He the only One worthy of our worship, but He also knows that nothing else will satisfy. He knows that a life spent worshiping someone/something other than Him will be a life filled with pain, with searching, with hopelessness and depression and feeling like something is missing. He wants more for us than that.

God alone can satisfy.

Lord, capture my heart. All of it. “Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart.”

Oh, how He provides.

On Tuesday night, I wrote something, which I will share with you now:

I was really tired today and wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through work. He provided.

I needed (but didn’t realize it) friends who cared about me. He provided.

I had to take Theodore to the vet and was praying the entire time that he was going to be fine. Again, God provided.

I needed a hug from my Lord and drove past a statue of Jesus hugging a small child. God provided.

I needed the right words to say to an angry client. God provided.

I needed to know that I belong to somebody. I needed to know that someone’s eyes light up when they think about me. And God revealed to me (not for the first time, but afresh) that He is that person. I DO belong to somebody. He calls me HIS. Is there any greater label than that?! Is there any description of me that could possibly bring me more joy than Child of the Lord?! No! I couldn’t feel prouder if I was wearing a gold Olympic medal around my neck instead of a gross necklace! Just thinking about that, the truth that I belong to Him, makes me want to throw my hands towards heaven and dance, even in my tired and teary state.

The vet bill for Theodore was pretty expensive, but even as I paid that, I knew I needn’t despair because of all the ways during the day my God showed me that I could count on Him to provide what I needed. That $200? I didn’t “need” it. Or rather, I did. He blessed me with it knowing I would need it to pay for Theodore to see the vet.

Additionally, I thought on Tuesday that I needed my sister. I thought I needed her compassion. I thought I needed a hug. But I didn’t get that immediately. Instead, I got patience, from Him. And I got the opportunity to seek God for what I thought I needed from my sister. And then? And then I got an apology from her.

Oh, how He provides. And His timing? It’s perfect.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6).

I need to start looking at my days like that. I think it’s easy to focus on the ways we feel like God didn’t protect us or provide for us, but when I look at things more clearly, when I focus on all the ways He told me throughout the day that He loves me and that I have nothing to fear, I am left with unspeakable comfort and joy and peace.

Ultimately, He knows. He knows what I need. And he knows what will destroy me. And I trust Him. Whole-heartedly, I trust Him.

I, we, are going to be just fine.

We belong to Him!

*

“Hannah’s final response to Eli revealed another of her positive spiritual traits. ‘And she said, ‘Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.’ So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad’ (1 Sam. 1:18).

Hannah cast her whole burden upon the Lord and left her sense of frustration at the altar. She did what she had come to the tabernacle to do. She has brought her case before the Lord. Now she was content to leave the matter in His hands.

That demonstrates how genuine and patient her faith truly was. Scripture says, ‘Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you’ (Ps. 55:22). Some people will pray, ‘O God, here’s my problem,’ and then leave His presence in complete doubt and frustration, still shouldering the same burden they originally brought before the Lord, not really trusting Him to sustain them.

Hannah truly laid her troubles in the lap of the Lord, totally confident that He would answer her in accord for what was best for her. There’s a real humility to that kind of faith, as the apostle Peter noted: ‘Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you’ (1 Peter 5:6-7).”

 

Oh, Abba. Hallelujah.

My First Love

Jesus, help me seek You with my whole heart.

There is so much in the world vying for my attention. There is so much that promises to fulfill. But it’s all lies- fulfillment, true fullness of life, is found in Christ alone.

Lately I’ve been finding it is requiring a little more discipline to make the time to spend with God, but when I do, when I sit down with my Bible, instantly there is nowhere else I’d rather be and nothing I’d rather be doing. It’s like until I sat there before the Lord, ready to hear from Him, I didn’t realize how thirsty I was. The thirst is always there, so much so that I hardly even notice it, but when I make time for Him I suddenly realize. Oh, how He satisfies. And oh, how quick I am to forget that!

I feel like I am programmed with little “warning signs”. When I start to think certain things or feel certain ways, I know I am not getting enough of Jesus. And yet, because I am so quick to forget that it’s Jesus I need, I keep plowing forward, looking for something else to fulfill. And that never goes well.

It’s like I’m driving a car and the needle is on empty, but I completely ignore that and find myself stranded on the side of the road a few miles later, shaking my fist and asking the universe, “Why does this always happen to me!?” It’s illogical that I’d somehow feel justified in protesting my plight when I was given ample warning that I needed to fill up.

Lord, help me remember that YOU are life. Help me continue to fall deeper in love with You.

Time spent with you is invaluable. Nothing is worth trading that time for something else.

I am Yours and You are mine,
forever and ever.
Amen.