Friday, April 4, 2014

Laying out under the stars: trusting him when letting go is hard and writer's block has set in.

Note: I don't normally share anything this deep or personal with anyone. Despite being an extrovert, I remain deeply private about my feelings, thoughts, and prayers. Still this came to me. And here it is. 

Pain. During a season of immense joy that takes my breath away every morning and every evening, there it is: pain. Buried pain. Old pain. Creeping pain. Palpable pain.

I began questioning myself if the joy I was experiencing was false. But I stopped myself suddenly because I know that’s not true. Holy Spirit infusing me with joy cannot be some false moment in Life.

No, this pain is caused by what he is calling me to next: Himself.

Jubilee: a year of emancipation and restoration. It is year of grace, peace, adventure, trust, joy, and love—Christ setting me free. I have it written on my wall. First words I read in the morning, last I read at night: a prayer I sing and a song I pray.

But he is also our Jubilee. He came to be our Great Joy and Freedom. 

But right now it doesn’t feel so free…because to be free he’s asking me to put him first. In everything.  To put him first before everything. “Put him first and the rest will fall into place.” I keep hearing it spoken to me, in me, unceasingly. It’s there. I cannot deny it.

Why pain? Fear. The fear that I’ll put him first and he’ll say, “Ah, see I’m enough. You don’t need anything else you’ve been praying for, desiring after, looking forward to. Give it all up, throw it all away. You have nothing now, no needs no desires, no wants, no dreams. I’m all you got.” My worst fear realized: shrinking into this quiet life, absorbed, never seen or heard again. Just. Alone.

(Did you lie to me? Or do I love my hopes and desires more than you? What is this about? I’m scared.)

Would he say that? Why would he though, when he’s already done so much good in me over the past year.   

Serpent’s voice, disguised as Truth, speaking Fear.

I know it isn’t Christ.

But still fear creeps in like fog, trying to find the hollows where desires for good things I kept hidden away – from everyone, from Him, from even myself because of the fear of my heart and life being shattered. These good things are now seeds planted in thawing winter ground, waiting to grow up into flowers, like sari silk quilts. Sun is coming. Spring is dawning. But fog pushes its way in, hiding, distorting. 

And so, here am I. He is waiting. He is gracious. He wants me to lay down the things I’ve held for so long, prayed for so long about, to take a rest with him.  It’s that painful chapter of the story we don’t want to read. It’s building tension in the most anticlimactic way imaginable. “You want me to come away with you? You want me to put You first and just drop these things I've been holding up for so long?”

So I put the pen down and give him the book. “You write it. My pen is out of ink, my heart out of words. I am scared. I cannot even tell you how afraid I am. Story dead-ended, right after jumping a cliff from Old Me to New-Me-in-Christ. “I cannot get past this chapter. So you write it. You sort it out. I can’t. I know what I want the story to look like, but I just can’t seem to get it there.”

He doesn’t take the pen and start writing like I expected. He places it on the desk. “Lets just start here: all those nights you love to lay under My stars, and be still with Me. That's all I'm asking for right now."

Don’t you want more from me than that? Shouldn’t I just be giving up all of these things with grief, weeping – a terror so unimaginable my heart wants to stop, because I'm so scared for this freedom and joy to end?

No. Put me first. If you focus on the giving up, it will hurt too deeply for you to understand. And then you will be confused. You will run. You will hide. You will go back to the familiar places of slavery. But you'll be more miserable than you were at first, having known freedom.

Just focus on me. Listen to me. You’re not doing this alone, remember? I’m doing this. You just have to let me do it. I will do it anyway. But let me do it. As you do, I’ll put it all-right-in-your-heart in bits and chunks, threads and spans. It’ll be new. You’ll see…bit by bit, the pain and fear will bleed out, Holy Spirit patching the holes they leave with Love and Joy and Peace. I’ll give you new words. I’ll give you a new name for the new heart I gave you. I’ll give you new names for Me. I’ll give you new chapters in your story.

So don’t stop singing, dancing, dreaming, praying, loving, and being free. Just come closer to me. I’ll be there. You can tell me you’re scared, I won’t laugh. Come out of that dusty corner you just ran to – I’m not here to beat the fear out of you. You’re small, you’re young. Sin stained you. Enemy lied to you. People hurt you. I’m here to save you, in the quiet and in the loud.

Just let go… trust me. Let me in. I’ll win your trust. You’ll see, I’m worth trusting and loving – because I already love you. Long, long ago before the world was created, I loved you. You don't have to win me. I'm winning you.