Tag Archives: heart

Coffee with God & Being Enough

1545558_715060141871468_1705256076_nIt has taken me too many years to realize what a sacred place this is.

It was my ritual for so long.  Wake up. Pour the coffee. Turn on music. Open my journal and Bible.  And there was God.

Every. Single. Time.

Even in seasons when He felt far or silent.  I could still find Him here.  Sometimes it was intense – tears, intercession, loving correction.  Sometimes it was silly – laughing and jokes (really, God told me jokes).  Sometimes I did all the talking.  Sometimes He did all the talking.  Sometimes there was a lot of quiet, simply sitting.

If the morning was crazy and somehow this didn’t happen, it was ok.  He was there in the afternoon or ready to keep me up way too late.  It was ok.

And then it all changed.  I was sitting in a class at church, taught by someone I deeply loved and respected and wanted to be like.  The topic had something to do with not being content to merely coast through our spiritual existence without engaging more deeply.  The teacher was encouraging things like more in-depth Bible study, doing more in prayer than just focus on our own wants, developing the discipline of fasting, etc.  All good things, healthy things.  But then these words were uttered:

“Just sitting there in the mornings with your coffee and your Bible isn’t good enough.”

I couldn’t tell you anything else that was said after that.  My heart shattered.  Years of building intimacy with God, and I had just been told what I thought I had with Him wasn’t good enough.

So I stopped.  And I began to try and find different ways of connecting with God, different ways of growing spiritually.  There was no shortage of spiritual leaders with their recipe: it needs to be in the morning, it needs to be the same time every day, it needs to be in the same place, it needs to be an hour, on and on.  I wouldn’t say none of the approaches worked, but most of them didn’t and no matter what, they never felt natural.  I couldn’t maintain any of them with any consistency.  Finally, I didn’t try at all.  I was so lost and confused – wanting to be close, always feeling far, trying to recapture an intimacy I had once known.

A few months ago, I heard His voice in the deep recesses of my heart say, “I miss you.  I never said your way of seeking Me was not good enough.”

Talk about tears.  Lots of them.  And even better – hope.  I decided to believe Him.  To sit with Him again.  Of course, there are things that are different.  I have two children now, for starters.  The early morning hours aren’t always an option.  But He’s there whenever I come, and we sit together, friends meeting in the morning over coffee or in the afternoon over tea or in the late evening over wine.  We talk, we laugh, we cry, (sometimes I yell), we are still.

And I share all this because someone needs to know – when you take a step towards God, He is not standing there telling you it wasn’t a good enough step.  Your journey into His heart will not look exactly like anyone else’s.  We share our stories with each other, not so we can duplicate each other’s experiences, but so we can marvel at the way He uniquely meets each of us exactly where we need to be met.

I don’t know what it is about us that wants magic formulas and precise explanations and specific checklists.  But any time spent in Scripture will show you there is no formula for how God encounters our hearts.  There are so many stories, and none of them are the same.

So take a deep breath and take a step towards Him again.  He will be thrilled and He will be there.  You’re His.  Your heart is enough.

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Filed under Faith, Hope, Prayer, Presence, Uncategorized

Five Minute Friday: See

Image Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I want to see.

I want the fog to clear, the clouds to disperse.  I want to know and understand.  I understand that blind faith can be something to be applauded – the trusting so completely and resting there.

But some days, I just want to see.

To know how this crazy pile of puzzled pieces could possibly fit together.  To see why I am wired with so much passion and so little time.  To clearly discern which path is the best to take and not fear what is happening behind the scenes because I can simply see.

I want to see Your heart – to not have to merely trust what I know I’ve heard or read or even experienced before, but to see it right now, with what it has for me today.  I want to see the why that has led to this place, to understand, to not keep stubbing my toe on the question marks.

I so want to see the gifts hiding in others, to be able to call those things to life.  To see what You see in their stories.

I want to see.

*This post is part of the link up for Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday.

 

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Giving Voice to the Pain

It came out of nowhere.

One moment I was happily working in the kitchen.  The next, I could hardly breathe, my heart doubled over with an old wound ripped wide open.

Not so long ago, I would have panicked, metaphorically rushed to stop the bleeding with a pathetic gauze of scolding myself and telling myself to just get over it already.  But not this time.  I am learning the purpose of these moments.

A song was playing –  the cause of my emergency surgery.  The words crept from background noise, demanding to be heard and tasted.  All I could think was, “Where was this song all those years ago?”

I don’t know, but it was here today and it gave voice to everything I had been too paralyzed and stunned to say.  It was excruciating to look back on that season and say, “Yes, that’s how I felt.  That’s what happened.”

But then the song ended and a miracle happened.  My heart was more whole than it had been five minute before.  All because the pain found its voice and said what needed to be said.

I think sometimes we are afraid to admit the healing of our hearts is a process.  Sometimes a very long process.  It’s like we’re afraid of making God look bad, afraid to say “I’m mostly healed, but maybe not all the way healed yet.”  And we’re afraid of the reactions of others, the inevitable “shouldn’t you be over this already?”

Can I say to your bleeding heart, your scarred heart, your heart in rehab – it is ok that it still stings sometimes.  It is ok that certain places are sore when they are used or touched again.  It’s ok.

Rarely does an emotional pain only happen once.  Usually there are moments upon moments, associated with certain days and colors and sounds and smells and sights.  Rarely does an emotional pain only touch one spot or one layer of your heart.

Our hearts are complex and deep.  Just as the pain seeped into layers, so the healing will come in layers.  And we don’t need to fear this.  There is a difference between processing a pain and wallowing in it.  There is a difference in acknowledging a pain with all its side effects and holding on to it.

And when it comes to making God look bad, let me tell you, when it comes to the healing of your heart, He is not concerned how He looks to anyone else but you.  Every human relationship represents an aspect of God’s heart and when those relationships become less than holy, leaving their scars, our perspective of Him is marred.  Part of our healing comes when we can see Him clearly again.  And He will walk with you as long as it takes to uproot the lies and restore His truth.

So let me encourage you – don’t shrink back from the pain.  Even if it is an old one.  Truly one day, that wound will be closed once and for all, but until then, lean into the process.  He loves you far too much to leave a single detail behind.  And when you are whole, you will be perfectly, gloriously whole.

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Filed under Healing, Pain

Lifeline

I am weary in every sense of the word.

My heart feels like it has been squeezed and squeezed, and stretched and squeezed.

The last few weeks have brought a barrage of questions, emotions, conflicts, decisions, opportunities, revelations.  It is like the tiniest glimpse into what it must have been like to wrestle with God all through the night.

But tonight, I dragged my weary soul into His presence alongside beloved friends, covenant family.  And it never ceases to amaze me that no matter where you’ve been and I’ve been, we get together and cry out and He comes.

I have spent a lifetime trying to do enough, be enough.  But I get in His presence and am reminded that I am already enough because I am His.  Because I love Him and He cannot resist a heart that adores Him.  I may not be good enough to deserve it, but I am precious enough.

Every burden, fear, worry, hope, expectation, conflict, question – everything melts away when He wraps around me.  His presence is what sustains me through everything else that makes absolutely no sense.  And I know there is always someone who reads words like these and says, “But I can’t feel Him.  Why can’t I feel Him?”

And I can only say, dear heart, I have been there.  I have been in the moments where it seemed everyone was experiencing God but me.  I have been in the seasons where it seemed the only amazing, life-changing service was the one I missed.  I have walked through the times where the wounds were so great it seemed I would never be able to find Him in that place again.  I have known the heavens as brass and His voice as silent and His heart seemingly distant.

But I have learned to never stop chasing.  He is never far.  It does not always makes sense to me, but I know now I will find Him, how my heart will touch Him.  And you will too.  Be relentless.

Because His presence is our lifeline, our everything.  When we touch Him, we are whole.

Tonight I did the one thing that sets my heart on fire like no other – I sang to my Beloved.  He enfolded me with His gentleness and His grace.  He is here with me in my weariness, my wandering.  And I am left with this assurance in the midst of all my imperfections – He loves me.

 

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Filed under Faith, Music, Presence, Worship