These past three posts have really led up to this...what is the GOOD stuff God has been doing in me over the past several weeks? I wanted to start out with the basis and background that all of the wonderful things God has shown me came out of a place in me that wasn't pretty. I'm not sure who needs to hear this today, but I feel like I need to say it again--It's okay if today is a day you aren't feeling "pretty". It's okay because God still shows up in our ugly place and draws out the pretty that IS in there whether we want to see it or not. This wasn't a light bulb moment I would have learned when life was going well, unfortunately. There was a lot of hurt, doubt, and questioning in my heart and mind that I had to find Truth for, but it wasn't going to happen until I faced those head on. So, I did, but how? How did I hear those wonderful things from the Lord?
I took some days of escape to the TV and then decided enough was enough. I put out a prayer request email to several of my closest friends asking for them to lift me up. I told them the details of my struggles with life (which I've already mentioned in these posts here, here, and here) and I asked them to give me some words from the Lord if they ever felt Him say anything. I also headed to my church class being offered right now on "Breakthrough Prayer" where Eyob is taking us through the Lord's Prayer and what all that means for our lives (which is a.m.a.z.i.n.g.). I listened to the sermon preached by Jay Shetler I missed when I was working in the nursery entitled "Does Prayer Really Matter?" (which you can listen to here, equally a.m.a.z.i.n.g.). I also cried, journaled, and talked things over and over with Micah (have I expressed how a.m.a.z.i.n.g. my hubby is??? He is.). All of these things were instrumental in how God spoke to me, however, I believe the key was not that I did those things, but instead, that I had a willing and ready heart to listen to God wherever I was--whatever I was doing in the moment. You see, I didn't do those things unnaturally. I am always emailing my friends, I'm always at church classes, I'm typically always hearing the sermons at church, and I'm pretty much always crying (some very good tears), journaling, and talking with Micah. However, I was now doing all the "normal" things of my day, my week, my life with a different approach. My approach changed from "I wonder IF God will show up and speak to my wounded heart" to "God, I'm EXPECTING You to show up and speak to my wounded heart." My approach went from reaction to action.
I have had to deal with these questions of "Where is God when life hurts?" and "Why does He allow crappy things to happen?" too many times in my life. Can I get an "Amen!" I was tired of feeling like I don't have solid answers when life gets rocky. I was tired of feeling as if I have to question my beliefs every time something happens that isn't "happy". I wanted a God who was rock solid. A God who I could rely on. A God who was always--I repeat--always--looking out for my best, desiring my best, and desiring the best for everyone. A God who was Good to the core of the word. A God who I could always run to instead of fear or hesitate to approach. I needed to be filled with the One True God to a point I, for whatever reason, hadn't been filled with before. I needed to know my faith in God was what would pull me up and out of my worries, discouragement, and doubt instead of wavering because of them. So, I began expecting God to reveal Himself to me.
The outcome...well, He did just that. Dear friends, He can be relied on. He can be held up to meet some big expectations. He can be called on to speak to little ole' you. He loves me and He loves you enough. We so quickly forget that He actually allowed His Son to die for us. Of course He is going to answer us when we call on Him expectantly. When we think we might be inconveniencing Him with our stupid questions we are probably more likely delighting Him that we've come to talk. When I began looking for Him and expecting to hear from Him, He consistently brought me back to these two core areas I needed to be shown Truth.
1. His Goodness
2. His Relationship with Me
So, without further ado, I'd love to dig into these two areas with you. I'd love to show the specifics of where He has become my light bulb moment (and a pretty bright one at that). I'd love for you to go through the rest of your normal day EXPECTING God to speak to your wounded heart just as I did. I'd love for Him to deepen your faith in Him just as He did for me. When watching PBS Kids with my children the other morning, God spoke to me...yep, during PBS Kids (I'm telling you, He speaks in the normalcy of your day!!!). There was a group of kids learning how bread was made at a bakery and the baker's t-shirt read, "It's Nice to be Kneaded". I sat there smiling as I thought, "Yep, God. That's so true. Sure, it's nice to be needed, but it's also nice to be kneaded. The process of being stretched, and rubbed, and pushed gets out the air bubbles in us that could potentially leave huge holes in our final product. Getting kneaded allows those air bubbles to be deflated and our final product is just one solid loaf of yummy, good bread." Are you willing to let God "knead" you today? I'm going to leave you with a song to listen to today. Sometimes God speaks to me through songs better than anything else.
In my next post, we'll begin digging into...His Goodness.
*I feel like I need to insert a little note here before I go on to explain I do not have much theological training really nor do I claim to know these are the answers for everyone. I haven't spent hours upon hours scouring the Bible to make sure there are no Scriptures that contradict my thoughts. I am simply writing my thoughts and my experiences of my last few weeks. If it resonates with you then may the Lord bless that. If it doesn't, then may it spur you onward in your own quest to figure out what the Lord is saying to you.*