Restore Me, Restore Others
Mostly this is due to being busy and growing through a lot of changes in my life.
Has anyone ever seen crazy restorations happen when you least expect it - right out of the blue?
This is what my life is encountering right now.
I'm watching some major rifts in relationships be mended - so much and in such a way that it has left me spiritually with my jaw dropped. I could NEVER have imagined the kind of faithfulness that the Lord is showing me in the life of my family.
Let me explain.
The Lord and I have interesting conversations and there are a few in which a moment is defined by a memorial snapshot for God to bring out later. Such was the conversation that I had RIGHT before the biggest fall out my family has ever experienced happened.
We had just changed churches, and my family was in a shambles. I knew that we needed the Lord's help because it seemed that a lot was falling apart in our family and there was no one who was safe enough to be there for us in that time.
God and I had this conversation where I consulted Him about the entire situation and I was as serious as I could be for a 19 year old.
I said, "Lord, I don't even care anymore how much it hurts, whatever it takes, help us. Heal my family."
Those 2 words formed into a desperate prayer, "help us!" were more on my lips than any other.
It wasn't too long before some of the biggest secrets came out that were both shocking and mortifying. Who were these people I called my siblings?! None of us had even a clue until that long 4th of July night, 3 years ago. Never had we experienced so much emotion, so much anger, so much hurt, so much heartbreak in small amount of time. It was wrecking.
I remembered my prayers, and I didn't understand.
But the Lord was faithful. He reminded me that in order to help us, He had to clean things out.
Fast forward 3 years and individually, a few us have begun to heal in our own way. Restoration, we thought at this point was a far off hope.
But it wasn't.
A relationship which has had problems from the get go was restored on an ordinary Friday night at a bonfire AND as of tonight, my parents are meeting with another person who was a major part of the fall out with our family stuff in the first place.
And still, I cannot forget my prayer, "God help us!"
Three years seems like a long time in high school. But it ends up being faster than one could imagine as you go into your twenties.
Before you know it, 3 years can be planned for without a problem.
Looking back on the last 3 years, I don't see all that God has been orchestrating in our lives. Who knows even now? But all of a sudden, something has shifted, and its time to make amends. Beautiful isn't it?
One day, you wake up and no longer feel resentment towards a person who you've been trying to forgive for years. In fact, you almost feel - love.
God is faithful.
So here's what I've been thinking. Its a lie to think we get to where we're going in our own abilities and our own strengths. Its only when we find the ugly end of ourselves that we begin to actually move forward and beyond ourselves in the first place.
Yeah, some people prosper for a short time even in their wickedness. But as for me? As for those of US who are following Jesus? We are blessed among men.
"Some trust in chariots and some trust in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall but we rise and stand firm. " - Psalm 20:7-8
Titles, pedestals and man-made positions fade. One cannot take their college degrees into eternity. At some point none of that can help you if you don't have favor among men.
But we - we are blessed among men because we have favor with God.
"God, help us."
Desperation. Deliberation. Down-right dependent on God being good.
That is what it comes down to.
"3 years" has broken any notion I had that I was in control. What, was I in control of my emotions? My feelings? My friends? My family? My life? My job? My church?
ALL of it came crashing down.
What then, am I left with? A confused, finite mind - a pride that will fight truly unto its death.
But God. (What a wonderful phrase - but God .)
But God was answering my prayer.
Only God can help my family at the lowest and highest points. Everything and everyone else is dispensable.
It comes down to trusting in the good name of the Lord our God.
Same is true for me: only God can really help me.
I've personally been going through a season where I'm allowed to feel EVERYthing for what its worth.
My entire life I've been told I'm oversensitive and so my entire life I've been trying so hard not to feel my emotions to the fullest that they are. Stuffing all that makes for one angry person - someone who controls themselves impeccably until something sets them off. But God has been hacking into all of that and I'm able to finally forgive for real.
I'm allowed to be fully angry and I'm allowed to be ecstatically excited. I'm allowed to! But that also means that I've got to face the feelings of deep longings, disappointments and even dare to... hope.
No man can help me here. Only God. But God.
And He is. So I'm becoming free.
Free to express, free to share, free to NOT share. Free to love. Free to be just ... me. Not have to worry about people telling me that I feel too much, that I AM too much and that I'm not good enough.
God is my help. The Spirit is the Heart Changer even in our most wretched state.
Praise the Lord and thanks be to the most High God! And because He is the Heart Changer, I'm free to finally offer grace to those who have fully betrayed trust. How can I not when I'm finally beginning to understand how much forgiveness has been bestowed upon me?
"God, help us."
He is a good, good God, guys. He scares me. His unpredictable ways undo me.
But He's good and He loves His kids.
Today I visited a friend's church and the word that stuck out in the prayer time was "Restore".
Talking about how restoring doesn't just mean to put something back in its place, but to put something back in its place and abundantly more. This is the story of my heart right now: Restoration.
Here are the lyrics to one of my all time favorite vineyard songs:
Have mercy on me my unfailing love
Have mercy on me, Redeemer
Please open my eyes
My soul now set free
Create in me a pure heart oh God
Renew a right spirit within me
Cast me not away
From your presence oh Lord
Cast me not away
Restore me with joy from heaven
Restore me to sing Your praise
Restore me restore others
To follow Your ways
Come breathe on me now
Oh life-giving wind
Come breathe on me now, Redeemer
You’re looking for hearts broken and contrite
Look with favour
Look with favour
Look with favour