Hi friends. Just wanna give an update of my life for the 2 of you who actually look at this blog ;) I actually write this blog for myself, it’s kind of like my second journal.
Colorado is great, my community is great, church is great. I have found that the more I am in Colorado, the more I fall in love and do not want to leave. I feel as if God is using the people around me in my life to reveal more of Himself to me. What a blessing it is to live life in such a beautiful place again!!
Everyday I am learning more of what it means to surrender to God and what that looks like. I have hit a place in my life that is beginning to realize how much I have settled and continue to settle for second best. God has given us His love and life, yet we turn to substances and relationships and “love fillers” in exchange for a relationship with God. I think I read a C.S. Lewis quote the other day talking about this very thing. I truly believe this is why sin breaks the heart of God so much, because The Lord knows the desire of every human beings heart are desires that can only be filled with the love of Christ. Yet we settle for temporary happiness which is actually eternal emptiness.
A sermon was preached recently at my church over Psalms 130.
"From the deep water I cry out to you, O Lord. O Lord, listen to me! Pay attention to my plea for mercy! If you, O Lord, were to keep track of my sins, O Lord, who could stand before you? But you are willing to forgive, so that you might be honored. I rely on the Lord, I rely on him with my whole being; I wait for his assuring word I yearn for the Lord, more than the watchmen do for the morning, yes, more than the watchmen do for the morning."
Our pastor used this verse to discuss how when we go through tough seasons of life, we are in desperation for The Lord to answer our prayers and to remove us from our circumstances. The Israelites are yearning for the Lord more than the watchmen wait for the darkness to end so that the dawn will come. I have been a watchman the past six months. I have been praying, hoping, and trusting that The Lord will answer a specific prayer. What I discovered is that in my deep longing for Him, in the midst of my pain and disorientation, is where I experienced His presence the most. In my longing for God to hear my cry, I grew so deeply with Him, just like the Israelites in this passage. My heart shifted to a point that became so trusting of God, that even if He did not answer my prayer, I would be able to trust that somehow His plan was better. I did not trust him every day with my full heart. There were days that I doubted Him completely and had a lot of questions. But, God did end up answering my prayer and it was one of the most humbling moments in my walk with The Lord. I doubted Him, yet He proved Himself faithful to me.
The dawn for me came beautifully and wonderfully. But once God had answered my prayer, I suddenly began to move on with my life. I no longer had to seek God in this situation, because He had answered. My wrestling with God with this circumstance had stopped. I almost felt as if I were missing something. I thought I would obtain so much joy after He answered my prayer, when actually I felt more empty than when I was questioning God’s plan and wrestling with Him everyday. Although I began experience freedom because a tremendous burden was lifted from me, I missed the longing I had for God in the midst of the unknown.
This is why I truly believe that some of the toughest seasons in life can be the best. With challenge comes growth. It is so easy to forget the providence of God in our lives, and I think the best way we experience His faithfulness is through difficulty.
Our pastor proceeded to talk about how in our deepest longing for The Lord (to hear our cry, to answer our prayer), is when we grow most with The Lord. We begin to experience fierce intimacy and deep desire for God. In the deep longing for God, we are stripped of ourselves and are left raw and broken, not masking anything. This is the place where The Kingdom begins to transform our hearts. Maybe God wants us to be in this place of a raw, ugly state, because it’s the place where we recognize how thirsty our wretched souls are for full satisfaction and for a Well that will not run dry.
This is a lot of what I learned on gap year. What it means to be raw and being able to love myself in my broken self. I no longer feel the desire to settle for second best, yet so often I do because of selfish motives. I am coming to a point where I would rather live every day of my life ugly, bent, broken, deprived, confused, in chaos wrestling with God than to spend a single day of my life without Him.
I was reading in Ecclesiastes this morning and in verse 9:8 it says, “Let your garment be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.” White garments represent purity and chastity. Once we recognize our ugliness and wretchedness, we sacrifice our pride and allow God to make our garments white. To make our souls pure. To no longer feel the need to settle for second best in life.