I Will Know Him

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for reaching out and extending your hand to lead me. I love the look in your eyes, beckoning to follow, wooing my trust on the path you are leading me. When I think of the relationship I have with you, I realize this is the intimacy, trust, and submission I want to experience with the man you have prepared for me. I know the only way I can experience this close, deep intimacy with a man is if he is also in deep, close, abiding intimacy with You. I will see in his eyes the same gentle beckoning, coaxing to trust and follow. I will see You – I will recognize him by Your Holy Spirit. He will recognize me as his spirit relaxes into the comfort one feels with a dear friend because Your Holy Spirit is with me.

Thank you Jesus for all you are teaching me in this season and thank You for reminding me how much You love me. It is only with You and through You I will come to life everlasting. Guide me in all Your ways and keep me from the snares of the enemy. I pray this all in your precious name Jesus! Amen!

I Shall Not Want

As I have journeyed this year, through all God is teaching me, the 23rd Psalm has played a central role.  Over twenty years ago as a new Christian, I fell in love this Psalm and committed it to memory.  I would, and still do, carefully recite it in my head, or aloud, and wonder at all God is telling us through this Psalm.  

About two months ago as I was praying to Papa God, I heard myself say the words “more than anything else, I want…”.  “I want” stuck out to me, and as I continued to pray, I felt the Holy Spirit continue to draw my attention to how much I use this as I cry out to God in prayer.  Immediately I began to recite the 23rd Psalm, The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…(I shall not want, I shall not want).  He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

As I commit myself and the rest of my life to Christ, what can I possibly want?  What has God not already provided for me as I walk through each day.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul.  He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  I have more than enough to sustain me through each day and each challenge I face.  He assures me, as I walk intimately close to Him, following where He leads, speaking the words He gives, staying still and silent, He guides and directs me.  I am walking in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. He has prepared this path for me. 

I notice when I declare what I want, it is often when I have rushed ahead of Him, rushed ahead of the Shepherd, away from the flock.  I am out in the wilderness in places my Shepherd has not intended me to travel. 

My wants are often for the love of my own comfort, the fear of having nothing, or toward a life of worldly passions.  I know my Lord and Savior, my God, knows my heart better than I know my own heart.  He knows what I need as well as what I want, yet above all, He loves me and guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  I have tasted the goodness of God and all He has prepared for me. What more could I possibly want

The first time I heard the song “I Shall Not Want”  by Audrey Assad, I wept as I listened to the words “Deliver me O God, from the need to be understood, from the need to be accepted, from the fear of being lonely, deliver me O God.”   I wept because these are the things I long for most… I want most, more than anything else.  I wonder if God is asking me to look the wants I declare as things driving me to run ahead of His leading.  Are these wants driving me off the path of righteousness, the path He has prepared beforehand that I should walk?

I know Papa God knows my heart.  He sees my desire to be understood, accepted, and not alone as I walk through this life.  These are very human emotions and fears, yet He is asking me to trust Him and seek first to be filled by Him.  He is reminding me to be driven first toward Him, and if these things are driving me to run out ahead of His plan for my life, my desires are out of balance. 

All I can do with this revelation is to turn to Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, and lay it all down at His feet.   I give to Him all my wants and desires as a sacrifice.  I tell Him I love and desire Him above all else and I trust Him because He knows me, understands and accepts me, and has promised He will never leave nor forsake me. ~♡

“I Shall Not Want”

From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me O God

From the need to be understood
From the need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

From the fear of serving others
From the fear of death or trial
From the fear of humility
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

No, I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

Written by: Audrey Assad, Bryan Brown

Lyrics © MUSIC SERVICES, INC.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

Learning to Dance

As I begin this next adventure, learning to dance with my new friend Joy, I recognize this as a divine appointment You have scheduled, answering my prayer for help to follow You more closely; to teach me to be a better follower.

Learning to ballroom dance with a partner involves many different aspects.  The dance consists of many parts then doing them together without having to think.  Haha, not an easy task!
First, I learn the steps.  The East Coast swing, consists of quick steps, starting with the right foot; triple step, then left foot, tripple step, and a rock back on the right foot.  Practicing the steps over, and over, and over again until it becomes second nature to my body; until I no longer need to think about the steps.
I liken this to learning the word of God.  Steps, or the word of God, need to become second nature to my thought process, popping into my mind supporting wherever God is a leading.

Next is learning to follow.  This is something I struggle with, and why I prayed for God’s help.  In my mind, I rush ahead, responding to whatever is happening around me.  I am driven by stimuli, the things I see, hear, and experience. Rushing ahead, anticipating what will happen next, trying to avoid surprises.  I don’t like not knowing.  I don’t like not being in control.  To follow, I must submit my will to another, a lesson of submission and obedience. I must be open and vulnerable.  I know I will only experience the joy of dance when I let go of control, submit and follow.

There are many different dances, each appropriate for different types of music. There is the waltz, the two step, the swing, in all its various forms, salsa, rumba, tango, and within each dance are many variations in different parts of the country and the world.

This is like the places and people God calls us to serve.  There are right actions, movements, and interactions, specific to each new person, culture, and situation.  Learning to dance and follow God’s leading is a beautiful engaging experience, a beautiful dance.  Through this journey, I listen, feel his leading, follow without hesitation.

As I learn to dance, all I can manage is learning and repeating the basic steps over and over.  Practice, practice, practice, taking every opportunity to dance with a partner.  I remain open and vulnerable, willing to look foolish, make mistakes.  I have found dancers to be kind, helpful, always willing to share what they know.  They offer tips, suggestions, and gentle instruction.

“Take smaller steps”, “keep squared up with your leader”, “as a beginner, don’t miss any steps, just keep repeating the basics”.

Each dance lesson adds new moves, fancier tecniques, challenging me to apply what I know and push the limits.  By the end of each hour, my brain-body connection is shot.  I am no longer able to dance the simplest moves.

I am so grateful God has me on this journey and love how He continues to answer my prayers in the most amazing ways.  I will continue to share what I learn about following, and hope I can soon report I have experienced the joy of submitting and am gracefully gliding across the dance floor, gracefully following my Lord to our next divine appointment. ~♡

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Too Late, Too Damaged…

I married in my early twenties, knowing it was for all the wrong reasons… we both had doubts we should be together.  When you are young, you lack wisdom, but have energy, hope and naivete in spades.  Sometimes life breaks us down as we go through trials,  our hearts are broken… We either turn to God and allow Him to do His perfect work on our hearts, or we become bitter, cynical, and lose hope.

For my story, I feel more hopeful, healthy, and equipped to be in a godly loving relationship than any other time in my life.  I have been divorced for over twenty years, only dating about two years after my divorce.  When I finally fully gave my life to Christ, I entered into a covenant relationship with Him, and I stopped dating, committing to grow in my relationship with God.  During these years I focused on my career, my education, and becoming deeply rooted in my faith and love for Jesus.

Just this year I felt God stirring me, challenging me to open my heart, let go of all my fears, doubts, and need to predict and control outcomes, just ‘fall’ in love… Through this journey, my heart has opened and I am experiencing a deep connection with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit.  In this, I feel incredibly vulnerable.  I am learning this is the absolute best place to be.  It is when I am most vulnerable, God does His best work.  In this state, I am completely dependent, and intimately aware of my need for Him.  In this place, I desperately need His leading and guidance.

As I submit and cling to Him, staying intimately close, I am connecting with others, and experiencing incredible divine appointments on a regular basis.  Focusing on deepening my relationship with Him, keeping my heart wide open, is the perfect place and time for a godly loving relationship to develop.

There was a point several years ago I felt the chance for a godly loving relationship was gone, and I resolved to being alone and single for the rest of my life.  Now I know God’s timing is always perfect.  In His perfect plan and will for my life, there is never a too old, too late, or too damaged.  I know every day God has something new and wonderful to show me as I risk being vulnerable and commit to keeping my heart wide open. ~♡

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Submission? Not for me!

Well, this was once how I felt.  God continues working with me on the issue of obedience and submission, and has for many years.
I have a very rebellious nature and have had to face this in my walk with the Lord.  God’s word equates rebellion to witchcraft, which was quite an eye opener for me.  (I Samuel 15:23 nkjv).
Through this realization, the Lord walks with me, teaching about submission and obedience. He is helping me understand true freedom is found when I am in right relationship with Him.  Right relationship is where I willingly yield to Him and obey without questioning.  In this posture, I acknowledge Him as sovereign over my life.  I seek Him, and only Him as my source of love, self-worth, and approval.
I know many women struggle with the concept of submission and obedience, and we all prickle a bit reading Ephesians 5:22, instructing women to submit to and obey their husbands.  They see this posture and position as weak and powerless.  Yet are we  missing the truth?  True power and freedom come from God.  As we turn our lives over to Him, follow His plan and seek wisdom from His word, He will give us the desires of our hearts.  The thing is, most of us do not even know the desires of our own hearts.  We get caught up in pride, the political issues and social mores of the day, and we let these guide us.  However, God sees past our facade and blustering words.  He knows exactly what our hearts long for; an intimacy that touches both body and soul.
God has been using the image of a wild, untamed horse to show me the condition of my heart.  Over the years He has used this image again and again to lead and guide me in a process of healing my heart.  He is my personal horse whisper…the one who in peace and gentleness whispers to my heart until all I desire is to chase after Him.  In this chasing, I am completely free and unrestrained, yet no longer wild.~♡

Oh What Joy and Rapture!

The Horse Whisperer

Five white horses running in slowed motion along a sandy stretch of beach, their manes flowing in rhythm with their gate.  A single rider stands in the middle, each foot planted gently on the back of two different horses, holding the mane of one as his body moves in perfect rhythm and unison.  In another scene the same rider sits on the ground, a lone white horse stands right behind him, as one stands intimately close to their friend or love.  The man, relaxed and comfortable in a space most would consider unsafe, with a powerful animal able to stomp him where he sits.  The horse nuzzles his head as he enjoys her attention and gentle affection.   Several other scenes in this short film show him riding bareback, his hands free or gently holding on to the horse’s mane, or surrounded by the same five horses as they encircle him. He is comfortable and at ease, these beautiful, powerful animals in complete submission and obedience, yet free and unrestrained.

These mesmerizing scenes are from the short film The Horse Whisperer, in which Jean François Pignon, tells the story of how he was captivated as a teenager by a white horse named Gazelle.  From her, he learned to communicate with horses in a totally silent world of senses, where one must be calm and serene inside, completely free of tension.  Once in this state, one is able to communicate on a truly sensitive level.

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These images of the relationship between the horses and their trainer strike me as particularly beautiful.  The freedom, respect, and love exhibited in this relationship speaks to my heart.  These magnificent, powerful creatures, unrestrained, yet in complete submission to their trainer.  This is a beautiful example of the way I wish to experience complete submission and obedience to my Lord.

This is also an image I have held in my mind and heart of the relationship I desire to have with a man.  Moving in sync and harmony as he directs.  We are quietly sensitive to each other’s needs, aware of the power each is given, and moving with grace and complete unrestrained freedom.  Within this relationship is complete trust and respect. The trainer respects the power and freedom of the horse, trusting her to fully submit and follow.  She gives over her will to his in complete faith he will care for her and lead her well. The joy and freedom they experience is what I long for, both with the Lord and with my love. This becomes even deeper as I imagine the man I love and long for in complete submission and obedience to our Lord.  Oh what joy and rapture!

Perhaps these are lessons we can use in our walk with the Lord.  Entering into silence, away from the noise of our lives and the endless chatter inside our  heads, releasing tensions and the cares of this world.  Calm takes over, serenity and peace move in. Here we become sensitive to His Holy Spirit, the still small voice.  We sense His movements and His power.  His leading is gentle and we follow in complete faith and trust.  The deeper our relationship with God, the more open and receptive we are to healthy relationships.  The more we make God our center and source of love, acceptance, and approval, the less we seek these from others who can never fully satisfy the longing in our hearts. ~ ♡

He’s in the waiting…

Waiting is hard.  It is a time of quiet contemplation and prayer.  I question whether it is wise to wait, or if it is better to take action and move on.  But move on to what?

God is always in the waiting.  He is patient, He is kind, and He is always with us, gently waiting to lead once we become still and quiet enough to hear His voice and see the path He has prepared to walk with us.

He will never leave us or forsake us.  He loves us through our madness and even accepts and embraces us in our anger and frustration.  His love never fails.~♡

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Be Still and Know…

In every situation, pause and look for God. He is there, standing beside you in your pain and confusion waiting patiently to lead you. Patiently waiting for the roar of thoughts and emotions to subside until the still small voice breaks through, a fresh breeze soothing the soul.

Through submission, meaning and purpose are redeemed.

 

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