Have you ever been in a season of your life where NOTHING goes the way you planned and EVERY way you thought you would react is absolutely not the way you end up reacting?
Or how about the one where you don't just wrestle with God all night long - but for MONTHS long?
Or what about the season where you almost welcome the ugly truth at any cost, just so there's finally some absolutes in the muddled mess of chaos that seems to be all-encompassing in the brain and heart part of your life?
Add those 3 examples up and stir in a few more - and you've got the season I've been in for probably the last 2 months or so.
I've had more midnight encounters with the Lord in the last 5 months than I've had in my entire lifetime.
I remember asking God to inconvenience me if it meant losing sleep at night. I didn't know that the answer to this prayer would be accompanied by the turmoil I've been facing in my heart these past few months.
In a nutshell, I've been facing the all-too-real fact that apart from God, I can do nothing that benefits me or anyone else. Not only that,
but I'm finding I can't even render my own heart unto Him without Him giving me the ability to. I confess the very truth here that - I honestly thought I wasn't all that bad, growing up. I know I have issues but there's always an excuse of, "if people just understood me" it wouldn't be so bad.
But here's the UGLY thing I've been having to face: I don't even understand me.
Granted, I understand why I do (mostly) what I do and I gauge my responses and reactions with root things and understand the tendencies of my personality, HOWEVER. I never could have been ready for what God was unearthing in my heart. I don't trust Him because I don't trust people.
I expect Him to be overwhelmed by me just like people have been. I expect that randomly, when I'm least expecting it, He's going to change His mind because - I've been blind in the past and my life is RIDDLED with people changing their minds or not understanding me and just - leaving.
Why would I want to serve a God like that?
How do I serve a God I expect to be like that? I don't understand myself. I'm living a paradox. One that isn't healthy.
As an analyzer, it becomes increasingly difficult not to conclude falsehoods rooted in wrong mindsets especially when it comes to my view of God. Its easier to fall back on "comfort blanket" determinations that directly oppose what the Bible says about His character or on what God has told others and not necessarily what God has told me. And, He's calling me out on the carpet for it. I can't keep taking the easy route of self-deception. The truth is: I don't trust God, I don't trust people, and I don't trust me. To appease my ever-planning, always-trying-to-understand-everything brain, I conclude falsely on assumptions based off of my experiences which - we ALL know, is neither healthy or good.
So here I am, standing before a VERY holy, very sovereign God - wrestling with the pride of having to come before Him yet again, without having myself figured out yet. I hate not having things figured out, especially if its myself, because I then don't have a reason for why I'm a mess. I just AM.
I read something that profoundly spoke to my spirit this morning.
I don't read My Utmost For His Highest religiously every day, because I don't feel led to.
However, I felt led today, and the title was "Self Awareness" with a scripture from Matthew that simply said, "Come to Me..." Oswald Chambers said,
Self awareness is the first thing that will upset the completeness of our life in God, and self awareness continually produces a sense of struggle and turmoil in our lives. Self awareness is not sin. ...Yet it is never God's will that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him. Anything that disturbs our rest in Him must be rectified at once, and it is not rectified by being ignored but only by coming to Jesus Christ. ... Beware of anything that can split your oneness with Him, causing you to see yourself as separate from Him. Nothing is as important as staying right spiritually. And the only solution is a simple one - "Come to Me...." The intellectual, moral, and spiritual depth of our reality as a person is tested and measured by these words. Yet in every detail of our lives where we are found not to be real, we would rather dispute the findings than come to Jesus.Come to Jesus.
Just come. Don't think, don't analyse. Just come.
I don't even want to swallow my pride either; 'Cause its still inside, then.
It must be splayed out on the table, wide open for Him - and Me, to see.
I must say that I have never been more broken-hearted over my own darkness before God than I have been in this season of my heart.
The thing I'm holding on to is His consistent, divine love of grace.
"I am dark, but lovely." - Song of Solomon 1
Its unbelievable. He understands me - and gets me more than I get myself.
One of my mentors challenged me to thank God for my unanswered prayers. Some of the things we want and pray for would ruin us if He didn't love us enough not to answer them right away or even at all.
I never thought of it that way. The only thing I want ruining me is God's holiness.
Last Tuesday I sang out my heart. I've felt so overwhelmed and like such a failure, even though I KNOW I'm making progress in the Kingdom.
I sang out of Hosea, which is interesting to me.
2 things I sang - the promise God gives to His back-slidden bride of betrothing her to Him in righteousness and the promise that He will allure her and speak tenderly.
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor [trouble] a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. "And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me 'My Husband,' and no longer will you call me 'My Baal.' For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. Hosea 2:14-17
And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD. Hosea 2:19-20
And I sang, "allure me, draw me to Your wilderness. Speak tenderly, God my heart is such a mess. Bind me in Your righteousness. Betroth me in Justice. Betroth me in Your steadfast love and mercy mercy. Bind me in Your faithfulness - Help me to know You, Lord."
It was a very sweet set for my heart. Thank You, Lord.
Something really hit me as I was thinking of all of this the other day. I'm really at another fork in the road. If I don't move forward, I'm being disobedient and am therefore no longer walking with the Lord where He's going. Its another decision to either be a woman of my word and move forward despite the difficulties, or flake out and do my own thing.
Before, I never even considered that these moments are pinnacle decision-making points in choosing Him again or not.
I wasn't aware of this before. Of course I would choose God. But now, these tests become harder and harder. Its becoming easier and easier to desire the easy way. We always have a decision to make. But the truth is - we want to be people of integrity. I've chosen this way, I will continue to choose this way.
So here's where I'm at: I don't understand myself. I haven't come to the point of complete surrender that I would like to yet. In fact, I can't even do that without the Spirit of God guiding my heart to that place. So I'm caught in suspension. Acknowledging my pride and my sin, acknowledging that I can do nothing to fix it without God, and now waiting on God to make His move, because I need a miracle in my life. I think that's what His grace is for, isn't it?
I'd love prayer. I'm in dire need of it.
I'll tell you what - I've underestimated God for far too long. Its time He's bigger than what I've ever imagined. I guess it takes making me recognize that I've made Him small to begin with, in my heart. And not to correlate who and how He really is with what I've viewed Him to be. Because its clear that I've been very wrong. In fact - I AM wrong without Him and besides Him.
Two things I truly hope I glean from all of this: big faith in Jesus, and a deeper knowledge of Him.
Lord, let nothing separate me from being identified and abiding in You.
"Change my mind and change my heart. Everything I think and know - tear it all apart for the sake of knowing You, for the sake of knowing You."