"it's like sunshine and whiskey..." the song fades out and the morning DJ segues into the next song on her playlist "So cannot wait for this concert, nonetheless a sold out show at Red Rocks folks, but if you'll be there be sure to swing on by and say hi... Now here's Jason Aldean with "Burnin'it down" (prelude to the song begins and her thoughts start to run their own course)
... A beautiful morning and the sun has peaked through the clouds enough to the feel the warmth through the windshield. As she drives to meet her friend over coffee; she cannot wait to see her long-time friend visiting from outta town! While she drives along her mind scrolls through a series of comments and jumbled conversations from just days before. Not all in the same order, but recalling things spoken and shared with various people, action taken/or the lack of action taken, and a million and one other thoughts that she could have said, should have said, or would have... but didnt. With only a couple hours that seemed like only minutes how is it possible to conquer the world, solve all the problems, cover a multitude of things to catch up on, share life's deepest stories, affirm ones value and worth and make sure you walk away leaving a lasting impression; all while trying to 'keep it cool?' ha. But seriously.
She remembered moments like this before. And moments way worse.
A mixture of thoughts and emotions she felt the prior morning from what 'used to be', she had questioned if it would ever feel the same. In a bittersweet state, in and out of a fog of thoughts, some dreamland, some past memories; she tried to shuffle through what was reality and take the other thoughts as little 'hopes' bubbling up. Remembering this too was a "new situation." Nothing would be the same as it once was, or as it should have been because this was new. It was a new chance to go a different direction, and it could be awesome!
Jumping back into thinking through the rolodex of conversations in her past that took the "wrong direction" and ended rather too painfully. Harsh words spoken to her like they were facts. Or opinions she couldn't change. Even things he had been through that couldn't be up to her to fix, but somehow she knew greatly impacted where they stood that day because the past cant be rewritten. She recalled some of those 'other moments' with that person long ago and tried to shake it off.
Brought back to present day and already running late to meet her friend for coffee she whispers a prayer as she whisks down the street into the Starbucks parking lot "Lord, I know you know... I trust you... help me to surrender it all before you because it is out of my control" and with a sigh of "oh well"and a "I really really hope you got this" she hops out of her car, clicks the alarm and is off to meet her friend for coffee!
The feeling didnt shake much throughout the day, but it did have moments of being forgotten, depending on the workout, the conversation she found herself in, or the emails she was replying to.
A day wondering and questioning what was said to her, or what she shared in response to something he said. Was the attraction still there? Or has it simply faded now that the initial 'what if' has passed? The check in their spirit not to make it happen then was that for protection today? What isnt being addressed or talked about? What doesnt she know about his deepest fear of jumping in again? OR does she, but perhaps He's just not interested anymore.
She feels called to risk. To affirm the things he shared.
Could this be a God thing to breathe life into him? Could this let him know he's safe to share with her? Why does she care so much when she herself isn't sure? What if he's not the one? Wouldn't she have a stronger desire to want to be around him 24/7? Wouldn't he with her? She's scared. She doesnt know. But he loves God. He's doing the best he can. He is always kind. Never mean. He is genuine and real! Something she wants beyond anything. And if he loves God and He loves me well, isnt that enough? She asks herself again and the thoughts fade in and out throughout the day into the evening.
The questions that go through one's mind when trying to decypher if it IS or ISN'T meant to be. And the thoughts that go inline with the desire to be swept away bubble up. She ultimately resigns the fact that she doesnt know right now. She has a feeling (which is usually right) but she doesnt know. And so she surrenders it again to the Lord and asks him to guard her heart and her thoughts and in the middle of the circles of worry she falls asleep telling God she trusts him. Ultimately it's the safest place to be...
Stepping away from the narrative, I pose several questions and invite you to respond:
Why is it that when we don't quite know how someone will respond to something we share, we hesitate? Or when we finally put things out into the open, and no followup or response is taken, we feel exposed or rejected? Why is it we seek to gain the things we want and need from others when we know this is not possible?
People are fallible beings. It is not up to them to heal or make whole our wounds from the past.
When we lie to ourselves about "protecting our hearts" when we're simply keeping people out so we dont get hurt, we can't experience true freedom or healing, and our cages and bondage grows thicker the more we hang onto the past. We fear of being rejected when we are actually vulnerable enough to share. And we feel exposed because we were transparent, or we let our guard down because we felt safe.
Regardless of how we feel, its never fun to know we're feeling a certain way and dont have a remedy for why! But I was reminded today of some TRUTHS that might help us cope a bit better in situations where our minds run questions faster than we can think and we simply need a little assurance someone is there. I was also comforted to know the very one who promises to be with us, is also the one who can heal us of past wounds and hurts... possibly to the extent that we won't even ask silly questions or feel like we were risking being exposed, rejected, or ultimately unwanted.
I spent a good portion of my afternoon listening, taking notes, re-listening, and then writing and reflecting on a fantastic teaching that has me running towards the cross. It was a lengthy sermon but fantastic for all the right reasons as Matt Chandler talked through what it was like to live in GRACE Saturated living verses a self-righteous existence and fasting for gain. It is in this talk through Isaiah 58, that Chandler talks of living in grace where we're marked by a ferocious type of humility that gladly surrenders to God. He says "our greatest obstacle to the fullness of life is our own pride. And When Grace is PRESENT it does something to the relational dynamics we walk in!!"
If we all were surrounded by GRACE in our relationships the dynamics of our interactions would drastically change. Do you think?
Chandler reminds us: "It takes humility to say: 'I'm gonna trust God at his word' But, the nature and character of God is that in his fervent pursuit of us, he pursues the deepest hurts and wounds of our heart." and who doesnt want this? I KNOW I certainly do.
I scribbled the notes from part of this sermon below and will link the sermon/teaching here too, but wanted to share because of how it resonated within; and my hope is it will the same with you:
Eyes To See
by Matt Chandler
"and your healing shall spring up speedily!!" - Isaiah 58:8
It is in the grace saturated living has God getting to the deepest darkest wounds possible, and beginning to HEAL THEM!!
-- The Lord's desire, IN His grace, is not just to make us pretty externally; He wants the deep parts of the soul! No one ever TOLD me, when I became a Christian, was how diligently Christ pursues us!
That He wanted something else out of my heart: those deep wounds from which all the gnarly
behaviors we're entangled in; He wanted those deep wounds too!
And God says to us
"when you walk in that grace I'll show out my glory by coming after what is dark,
and Im coming after those wounds!!!!
Its gonna be slower than you want it to be and
It's gonna be more painful than you can imagine... but I'm going to HEAL those broken spaces!!!
BUT - you gotta open up and let me in!
You gotta walk in those On-going reps of confessions…
You gotta understand those behaviors that haunt you have a root that's somewhere down there.
We don't just mow over weeds that grow too quickly, we pull them up by the roots!
And in verse eight it continues: "Your righteousness will go before you and the glory of The Lord will be your rear guard!"
He still calls us righteous because of Jesus even on those days when we fall woefully short!!!
There's only a handful of times when we can actually say I've nailed it by behaving awesomely and went to bed 'proud' of myself. Wouldnt it be great if wherever we went we would let God's glory be our rearguard? We could say: "Wherever I go, there HE IS!! Good days or bad days… THERE HE IS! Unmoved. Unwavering. Ferociously committed to Us because of Christ.
He's saying "Here I AM"
So, I CANNOT PROMISE YOU by submitting your life to the Lord and following after Him everything will go the way you want it.
- I cannot promise you good marriages,
- I cannot promise you a full life,
- I cannot promise you a full bank account,
- I cannot promise you that you will not wrestle,
- I cannot promise you that you will not have to Fight your flesh as long as you breathe air….
- I cannot promise you your children will grow up and love the Lord…
- I cannot promise you any of those things...
but I can promise you the very things that God promises you will hear.
That WHEN you cry out, you will hear "HERE I AM"
The beauty of the Gospel is not that by following Him we get what we want. (You don't want most of what you want, and if God were to give them to us, it would be cruel of him.)
The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is regardless of our circumstances we get God and HE WILL BE ENOUGH!
on the day of trouble, we cry out and we will hear "Here I AM"
- when marriage is difficult and we cry out, we will hear "HERE I AM"
- on the day the doctor says "can you come in, we need to talk" we will hear as we cry out to God: "HERE I AM"
He WILL NOT ABANDON...
He WILL NOT QUIT,
He WILL NOT CUT OUT His children
He is EVER PRESENT
EVER PUTTING His Holy Spirit's Power INTO us and sustaining us and hold us up regardless of life's circumstances…
THIS is how he blesses us when we are saturated in Grace!
He IS PRESENT -- HE IS ENOUGH!!
We get the one thing we need over and above things we want! And that are even good to desire. Health isnt a bad thing to desire. A long life is not a bad thing to desire. A great marriage is not a bad thing to desire or to pursue - pursue all of them!
But it is God who sends the storm when his children need the storm...
and it is God who holds them fast in the middle and He will quiet the waves when he needs to quiet the waves. And this is where we trust him, as we hear him say "here I am"
- Matt Chandler
My deepest longing is to be at a place where questions that cause fear and rejection to bubble up won't even cause me to trip. That I will seek to gain my identity and value and worth from a being far greater than I or a friendship or relationship. That I might continue to be healed so I can be an agent of healing and mouthpiece of hope for others.
It may sound like a noble cause, but I simply want to be free of the enemy's lies and deception, when I KNOW Jesus has my back; and theres a reason HE is with us and God is our Rearguard. With HIM we don't have to question because we know we're safe - from lies, from deception, from rejection, from feeling exposed.
Its comforting to know the very one who promises to be with us, is also the one who can heal us of past wounds and hurts, you know?! My Hope is as we continue to walk in the fullness of GRACE, our mind doesn't go to those silly questions and we simply can rest and say, I trust you.
And He can respond "HERE I AM"
I'm a storyteller and creative. I tell stories through LIVE events and Media (Hosting and Producing). I'm a Fitness Pro and a Pro Traveler with a strong desire to change the world. My thoughts are written on faith, risk, adventures and LIFE! Im passionate about Life, People, and HIM! Enjoying the journey every step of the way.