ometimes, words just need to be said aloud. I needed to do that here, girls. I am a bit serious, but trust me . . . There is joy, at the end of it all.
piece of me is dying right now. After all the prayers, on my knees, over the years and all the small deaths I’ve died already, there are always more deaths to die.
That’s the way it is, girls, isn’t it? Death welcomed or death rejected?
I am torn by the question: do I want part of me to die?
He says in yesterday’s Loop, “Planting”,
“My darling, let Me create something new within you today. I plant seeds of hope within you, and I promise to bring you joy. Do you believe I can and I will? Truly, do you believe?”
Why does He ask me that question again? Must He repeat it? And why does He continue to ask me questions about my heart and what I truly believe? It makes me uncomfortable. It makes me pause, and sometimes I just don’t want to pause. I want to keep going my own way. I want to feel comfortable, sure of myself, feeling like I know where I am going. I want to be strong and independent. I want to have it all together and be successful and well-liked and wise.
Is hope what I want? Is more of God what I want? Do I believe He would bring me joy?
He knows how I can so easily keep going my own way. But He also knows what is most true: My heart flails, and I sink, in despair, on my own.
So He keeps asking questions:
“Do you now ask what will it require, this planting? Do you wonder what you have to give to receive gifts of hope? May I ask you—is there somewhere else that you could receive these gifts, on your own?”
Oh, I am wrestling here. . . Do I think I can find joy and hope on my own?
I am good at living like I do.
Perhaps I am worried . . I am worried about what God’s planting seeds of hope in me would require of me. Because I remember Paul’s words: ”What you sow does not come to life unless it dies” (1 Corinthians 15:30). Paul speaks of Jesus dying for our sakes, so that we may have new life. But in the Holy Spirit’s invitation to plant seeds of hope in my heart, I know God is inviting me to die, too. For seeds to grow, for His planting to be successful, I have a choice.
“Receive the gifts—my gifts to you, my girl—or not. But you can’t find hope on your own. And you can’t find joy on your own.”
He asks me another question:
“Do you believe I can give these gifts to you? Do you believe I want to? Why worry about what the gifts will require of you to receive them?”
I hear Him asking me if I believe Him, if I love Him, if I trust Him . . . if I believe He is good and faithful and my God.
My heart wrestles with Him–searching for what I really believe . . . wondering if I am willing to surrender so that I can both die and live. . . live and die.
Yes. I do. I do. And I want Him to plant these seeds of hope. I am tired of trying to figure out how to find joy and hope on my own.
And then He tells me how to do it.
“The requirement of receiving hope and joy is trusting Me more than yourself, loving Me more than yourself.”
Letting God sow seeds of hope in me means that for hope to be born in me, I must be wiling to surrender and let the sinful part of me die. He is in control and I am not.
His plans for me are good.
He is love and He is light. He is beauty and hope and peace and joy. He is my Father and my Creator, and I want to follow Him.
No matter what it takes.
And I am dying.
And you know what. . . even though it hurts and I have been crying a lot this week, the heart that for so many years I believed was dead inside is now opening up to receive more of Him. And I see myself stepping back from caring about recognition and validation and the world’s standards of success just as I feel Him moving me to a new place of greater strength in my identity, in Him.
This is what I posted at the You Are My Girls Facebook community page yesterday:
“Sometimes, girls, you’re just in a soft place–a place where your heart feels vulnerable and a bit happy and sad all at once. You wonder if there is something wrong–’cause you cry easily, this day, but you can’t figure out why. But it is good, and you are glad–because you are feeling. You are filled with emotion and it makes you remember that you are alive and God is breathing and there was a sunrise today and this heart of yours is beating. I take a deep breath in these moments–because often, when my chest feels tight like this–I feel like breathing is the last thing I can really do. I can hardly catch my breath. And this is when I remember I need God to catch me. And that is what I needed all along.”
He plants in me the truth of who I am, and I am more myself today, this moment, than I have ever been.
There is no going back now.
I will take more death, any day, for more of this Life.
What about you, His girl? Are you receiving Loop in your inbox twice a week? It is His heart for us, here. I have never been more sure of that. (You can sign up right now, right here.) How do His words sit with you? How can I pray?