Friday, May 13, 2016

Growing Pains

December 20, 2011 Insecure

I woke up feeling so insecure today. I kept getting jealous of other people's relationship to Jesus and then feeling so horrific about that. Almost to the point of despair. 

I kept bringing this up to Jesus, again and again. Why, why, why? I wanted to know. Where is this insecurity coming from? Why does it keep coming up?

And Jesus answered me. He caused me to remember past beliefs. I had believed that my relationship to Him had received irreparable damage and I had absorbed this belief, and for over ten years, was convinced and fully believed that I was damaged beyond repair, a terrible, irretrievable loss to God, a crushing disappointment to Him, especially after all the glowing possibilities I had seemed to contain, all that potential down the drain of a bad first marriage.

(If I did not keep my face turned intentionally toward Jesus all the time, I forgot my new lessons of mercy, grace and redemption. I was only just beginning to learn how powerful these are as He poured grace out on me, as He openly displayed the extent of His redemption, expanding all my understanding of them far past any former expectation, settling my mind firmly on His truth.)

Jesus caused me to remember other past history, as well, that was emotionally coloring my responses to certain people and certain situations.

He brought back to mind my dream- in the dream, I'd been waiting for my bridegroom, and talking with the bridegroom's former girlfriend and how casually she had dismissed me by saying, "But you wouldn't know him," when I was just days away from my wedding to him.

The bridegroom was Christ. I remember in the dream how the girlfriend talked about the house He had helped her build, but He no longer lived there. The girlfriend didn't even seem bothered that she was no longer with Him. It was as though she were satisfied merely to be friend- to be acquainted with Him. She hadn't sought Him out.

Anyhow, I thought of all these things this morning. And then I thought about how people sometimes go through constricting circumstances that cause them to need to drop all burdens. They can't carry any extra weight.

I thought about how often that had happened to me. And then grace poured out of my heart- grace and understanding. It released my heart and with the release came joy.

I can't hide it- I have deep, unquenched need to be close, close, close to Christ. I want to be important to Him, special to Him. I wish I could be peacefully settled and satisfied, but my longing is endless and my hunger for Jesus is constant.

I want to cease feeling this longing so sharply and rest by faith that I have Him already, but Jesus whispered to me that my faith was His work and changing that desire and need is beyond my capacity. I must hand my longing over to Jesus, again and again, and let Him perfect and craft it and turn it to His own purpose, which is what I am sure He will do.

I kept being still and feeling His love of me. His love was alive in me, all through me, spreading outward from my spirit, which is one with His Holy Spirit. Often, lately, I feel Jesus wrapping His arms around my shoulders and my head and putting His face to my hair, and then, for that moment, I feel that I am wrapped up in Him. I am cradled close in His arms.

I think- my goodness, Jesus loves me! He loves me just as I am, just in this way, with all this brokenness and need and broken thoughts. Jesus loves me so much that He does not hesitate to take me right into His arms and hold me right against His heart and put His face against mine. His love is extraordinary.

I think, yes, I will do this. I will be in this life, moment by moment. I will be in this current life, even with the heaviness and lack of clear sight (that I became particularly aware of, ever since going up to Them in that pure stream of Living Waters). I think to myself with resolution, I will walk through this by faith. I will be refined by this experience, enlarged and deepened by it.

One, two, three, I tell myself sometimes, when my longing reaches a sharp peak of pain. One step, and the next step and the next step. One day at a time. Sufficient until the day is the trouble thereof! I reach out and grab Jesus- His arm or His robe or His hand, because He walks beside me day by day, who is with Me all the time, and He feels what I feel. So I am not alone in this suffering, this being tempered and pruned. Jesus empathizes and feels it all with me, and He is full of compassion, comfort and shelter.

I read in Christy how the character came up to heaven and again, again, I felt tears gather in my eyes as my longing rose up like something alive, filling all my spirit with it. She was forced to pause, and to consider her choice.

She could go forward or back.

And oh, I remembered. I remembered pausing, as I lay on the bed, my cheek to the mattress, and yet also somewhere high up, and looking forward and seeing my Father- my Source, my life, my heart, my wellspring- and looking back and seeing the tangle of lives and my mortal life, straight and lit up softly- my very own life, my human life, given to me, and incomplete.

And I thought, in that moment, it won't be so long- I want to finish my work. It won't be so long, and then I'll be home again, and having learned things and having grown.

So I keep making that choice, again and again. But I don't like my imperfections, I don't like living in them. But, what is more true, what is the deeper truth, is that I don't live in those imperfections, I live in Christ. Whether I live here or whether I live There- I live in Christ. That is where my true self lies, all bound up and safe in Him and He will get me safely through.

Later today, I read someone else's blog, and I had all these terrible thoughts- that she has such a great story, and mine story was crap. My story has no value. My story is all ego. My story can't help people and doesn't have depth and realism like her story does. Blah blah blah.

And furthermore, I thought- my story has driven away all my blog readers and now no one reads my blog at all, because it's nothing but egotistical crap and no one can relate to it and is simply weirdness.

And as usual when besieged by such thoughts, I kept falling back into Christ and His love kept catching me up, confirming and soothing. His love boggles my mind. Boggles it. It's mind boggling.

I was sitting on the couch, just purely miserable, and asking Christ why I didn't have such a great story like her story and He said, very firmly, almost sternly, that I was not that person.

With this very clear message came an equally clear understanding that Jesus did not want me to be that person. Only one person can be that person, and have that story. Everyone else has another story- everyone else has their own story.

Jesus also opened my mind to understand that she received a lot of feedback on her story partly because she gets a lot of traffic. And the reason why she gets a lot of traffic is because she has put her blog out on many different internet mediums and is very active in the internet community.

Immediately, I felt better- everything went into better perspective. My story has value, even if few people read it, and even if it's only my story. Jesus is doing different things with different people's stories- who knows all what He is doing, or why- except that it is good and loving.

So I asked Jesus, should I market or put my blog out there more, and the answer was no. Not now, anyway. Maybe later, in another form, at another time. But for now, this was the way in which I was meant to be walking.

He caused me to remember all the good feedback I had received, including some lately and how my blog had had a domino effect on the people who read it, who then went on and wrote their own blog and shared their story, so that I was like a catalyst for others- even if they were just a few.

But still, I was having a positive impact on people's lives. Jesus caused me to remember the people that land on my blog a lot- there are three of them, one in particular. Apparently, she really connects to what I am writing. If I am doing something which is constructive and good for just one person, isn't that enough?

I would think so. Especially if Jesus is telling me so. It would be one thing if Jesus was saying, build a platform- go out and market. But He is not saying that. My walk with Him is a quiet walk and I have this voice and this small corner.

What is going on with me lately? What am I going through?

December 21, 2011 Unpublished

It amazes me to realized how much Jesus has been teaching me all along. Looking back, I could see that my mind was this horrible tangle of wrong ideas that I clung to out of fear, religious fear. Sort of, this horrible tension between the things I was taught Jesus wanted me to fear and think and believe and do, and the real Jesus, who is slowly and lovingly untangling all that mess.

Jesus caused me to remember the dream I had, of following Him through the tangled jungle to the little clearing, and how the clearing was covered with shards of pottery, some of them buried under the thick, moss grown soil.

He had knelt down on the ground and was beginning to pick up one piece and then the next and put them back together, one by one, in a methodical and patient way.

I went up to Jesus as He knelt there and put my hand on His shoulder. I said, "Don't bother. This is impossible. This will take You forever."

But He didn't stop and then, suddenly, I realized that the pottery shards were my heart and spirit, broken and shattered all to pieces, and that Jesus was beginning to put it back together and He would never, ever stop that slow, steady and loving work until He had finished.

Jesus filled me with His love last night. He caused me to remember that He is constantly and always near me, but that it is my fear and shame that cause my heart to open and close to Him. But He is always there and always available and I just rested in that, all night long.

Even when my emotions went sharply up and down, Jesus did not waver one bit in His love toward me. Jesus walks beside me all day long and I fall asleep in His arms every night. He is always there, enclosing me and talking softly to me and guiding me along, like a shepherd. I can choose to tune into this or to tune it out.

Sometimes, it’s not a conscious choice- my negative emotions switch off my reception almost automatically. This is like turning sharply away so that I don't see Him, as a reflex action. But this doesn't mean He isn't there. Jesus is there. I'm just hunched over with my hands over my face. But when I become conscious of this, then I can turn again to Him, and Jesus is right there.

I just can't imagine that anyone, after knowing Him, wouldn't want to be with Him all the time, as close as possible, and my own longing is insatiable.

I keep practicing handing my longing over to Him. He's the One who is preparing a place for me in His Father's house. It's a labor of love for Him, I am sure. He will make that place perfectly suited to me. And it will be close to Him. Everything will work out just fine.

I am silly to worry about it, but He doesn't think so. He sees the heart behind the worry.

December 22, 2011 Purpose and Design

And now the days grow longer.

From the time I thought about posting about the 3rd chapter of John to now, I have felt Jesus very close to me, guiding me right along. I wrote it the day before, and it was one of the most pleasurable things I've ever done, to fall into that event, that story.

Then Jesus had me let it sit overnight and the next day, I knew- it was to be posted, after a final read through. So I did. I felt very peaceful about it.

When I finished, I lay back on the couch as though against His chest- I felt His love all through me. I thought- I passed on my heart knowledge of Jesus! I experienced His love and in my small and human and faulty way, I caught it and passed it out.

In the night, Jesus held me very close. He told me that He made me for that purpose- so that He could hold me very close. I was His own, His little dove, and that His own desire was the same as mine- that we should be bound up together and close always. He wishes me to fall into Him as I wish to, or more.

It is a perfect symmetry of design and purpose. He kept telling me, over and over again, that He satisfies perfectly the desires of the heart, for everyone. Each time He said this, joy like a flame just filled my soul. I all but clapped my hands from the delight of it.

Everyone is unique and for each person, He fulfills their yearning desire for Him, in a way which is perfectly suited to them, to the way He made them.

Jesus caused me to remember my fears that our best times were behind us, and the joy again burned like a flame all through me. I saw and knew that my fears were groundless. He took fierce joy in my joy -my understanding- and it was as though for a moment, we were consumed by joy.

Again, my desperate desire to be with Jesus, all the time, each day in eternity, burned up and I tried to stifle it. But He urged me to pour my heart out to Him, so I did. I cried out to Him, from the depths of my heart.

And Jesus told me, again and again, that His desire was the same as mine- He also desired that I should be with Him and close to Him, always, each moment- that He created me both to want that and to fulfill that for me.

I can't think how anyone could know Him and not want to be curled up right at His heart, like a kitten. I want to follow Him around, all day long. I want to be where He is at all times, and listen when He talks and lean against Him and see everything from where I am, which is always right next to Him.

I keep imagining that there won't be room or time for me, that I'll have to wait my turn with Him. In fact, I keep telling myself that if I love Jesus, I'll give Him up so other people can be near Him. I don't understand how everything will work out. How can I be with Jesus every moment of eternity and not be selfishly keeping Him to myself?

This is my same old strange belief that Jesus makes us go contrary to what He created us. As if He would create me to be a writer, and then ask me to be a people person, for example. Of that He would give me a deep, burning desire for Him and then ask me to give Him up. I wonder where on earth I got this wrong idea?

Anyway, I have no idea how it will all work out, but I know it will all work out perfectly and my poor little mind can't conceive how, because that reality is far too large for my mind to contain or encompass it.

I just remember that Jesus is the one that is preparing the place of us, and that for Him, it is a labor of love and deeply personal for each person. It is a gift He is lovingly preparing, and as He prepares it, He thinks with love of each of His children, and how they are and who they are and what they like and His relationship with them, which is so precious to Him.


You, too, are being completed in Him, the One who has dominion over all rule, all authority.

-Colossians 2:10, Voice