There is so much going on that I don't even know where to start. I don't know how to even begin to explain what is going on in my heart in this season. I started reading this fantastic book. It's called You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth. It is wrecking me. It talks about how we don't have to do more or be more to be good enough for God. We are enough. As women I think that sometimes we feel like we have to be perfect and do everything right and if we don't then God doesn't love us. We constantly compare ourselves to others and berate ourselves when we feel like we don’t measure up. I know that I have even felt like God is comparing me to other people. God is up in heaven and leans over to Jesus and says something like “Joy sure doesn’t love me as much as her friend does.” Or “Joy is not using her gifts as good as that one is.” But the Truth is that God fully delights in me. He doesn’t compare us to each other. So why should we compare ourselves to anyone else? He says we are enough.
I am learning what it means to be enough.
Recently I decided that I was going to just step out of every thing that I have be working in. I decided that I needed a break. I had been neglecting my relationship with the Lord and was tired. I wanted to just have a season of REST. I have been so busy doing that I had began to burn out... bad.
What I have learned about rest is that it's not about not doing anything and sleeping all day. That's not the kind of rest that my heart longs for. (However, I do love sleep!) The kind of rest that I have been needing can be explained in this little acronym... (and yes, I came up with this one by myself!)
Relationship- stop striving, realize that He's got it under control. I don't have to DO anything for him to love me. Things will not spiral out of control if I take a minute to relax and respond to His love for me.
Enjoy- life with Jesus is fun, not burdensome. Pursue things that make my heart happy.
Surrender- I don't have to bear His burden.
Trust- He has never failed me. I can trust that he has it. Rest isn't scary.
I am learning what it means to rest
God is an emotional God. He is not some emotionless being that looks at us and is numb to our emotions. He isn't afraid of our strong emotions. I am deeply emotional. He is deeply emotional. We read throughout the Bible that God has strong emotions. He is a God who laughs. But he is also a God who weeps. He gets angry. But he restores with his compassionate love. He is not turned away by our emotions. He wants us to feel. If He didn't want us to have emotions or if her expected us to hide them all the time he wouldn't have given them to us! It is okay to not be okay sometimes.
I am so guilty of being "good" all the time. In the book that I talked about earlier there is an entire chapter on emotions. It has completely turned my view on emotions upside down.
I am learning that emotions are good
Relationship with God isn't about what we can do. How many chapters we read in our Bible or how many girls we bring to a youth service. That's religion. Relationship is about quality, not quantity. Honestly I have spent more time with God in the 3 minutes of, "Crap God, I don't know what to do right now. I am so overwhelmed!" than I have in hours of searching the Bible for a fix-all scripture. God just wants us. He wants our hearts.
I am learning what it means to be intimate with the Lord
An 11 mile journey took the Israelites 40 years. The majority of that time was spent waiting. In my life right now, I find myself being told to wait. I hate being told to wait. I have learned that just because God is telling me to wait it doesn't mean that He is punishing me. Waiting isn't a punishment. When I wait I have the chance to rest. When I wait, I have the chance to HEAL. Healing is something that I am experiencing a lot of right now. Healing isn't always enjoyable. Think back to a time when you were a child and you fell in the gravel and skinned your knee. You mom, being the loving mother that she is, scooped you up and sat you on the counter. She may have even kissed it to make it better. But her healing touch didn't stop there. She grabbed a bottle of peroxide and a towel, maybe some warm soapy water and she began to clean out the dirt and bits of rock. I don't know about anyone else, but when that was happening to me I was sure my mom was trying to kill me! In my mind there was NO WAY that she was making anything better! What I didn't know at the time (and refused to believe it when my mom told me) was that without that pain, healing wouldn't occur. Holley wrote this in her book and it left me in a heap of tears and snot on the floor in my room- "If I wash your feet, will I not wash your wounds?" Jesus wants to reach in and wipe out all the dirt and rocks. Jesus want to take his loving hands and wash our wounds. He is gentle with it. But we have to choose to drop our guard, remove the bandaid we have placed over the infection and let Him clean them out. We have to choose to drop our guard and let him heal, or continue to guard our hurts and allow the infection to settle in deeper. It's scary. I still flinch when I see the bottle of peroxide... but I know it's for my own good.
I am learning that waiting is not a punishment.
I am learning that Jesus WANTS to heal my brokenness.
He is a good God. He is a real God. He knows the stars. I had a collision with God the other day during worship. I was very overwhelmed. I had a rough week. There was a lot going on. But I connected with the Lord for the first time in a while. Really connected with Him. As I stood there weeping, I heard the Lord say "I know the stars." Now that's the last thing you want to hear when you are wondering if God even cares about what is going on in your life. But in that moment the thing I didn't want to hear was the thing that I needed to hear. Those few words remind me how real He is. How good He is. God knows the stars. Trillions and trillions and trillions... He knows which ones are about to go out. He knows which ones are about to be born. He knows the names, the sizes and the locations of all of the stars. If He knows all of that... the glitter of the Universe... then wouldn't he also know the ones who he created for fellowship with Him?! He knows me. Fully.
I am learning that He knows the stars.