This morning the far left number on my phone said “5” when I woke up. Granted, it may have been closer to the “6” than the “5” but it was early nonetheless. My sweet friend Jessica and I decided to try to get together every Thursday morning to check in with each other and also go through a book called The Allure of Hope – God’s Pursuit of a Woman’s Heart. I stumbled across this book earlier this year and it has been changing my life. Several years ago I read Captivating and it helped me understand my heart and the way women are wired. This book has been digging deeper into the core issues of how a woman deals with Hope and the unmet expectations. A lot of what I’ve been blogging lately has been about Hope and my Hope being in the LORD. Jess reminded me of what this book says that I think is revolutionary truth. Essentially we believe the sign of maturity is when we are able to become more and more content within the context of what we hope for. In reality all that is actually doing is killing desire, because like C.S.Lewis said, if I have desires this world cannot satisfy, I must conclude I was made for another world. I’ve been thinking about that all day – the freedom in not assuming maturity in my relationship with Christ is the increasing of being content, but how I respond to my longings and Hope within the context of Christ. Am I responding in a way that trusts His heart when my immediate longings aren’t met? Am I responding in a way that believes His heart is good even when I’m standing in the proverbial alley after being kicked to the curb? My response within those situations is a clear benchmark of the growth in my relationship with Him. Not my desires dying. And Hope is active, and painful, and it aches, and yearns, and longs. None of those are the sweet, idealistic, romantic notions of Hope. Very new concepts for me but I’m excited to keep diving into them and discover Hope in a whole new way.
Today was a good day for my heart. It felt at peace. The excitement for Africa comes in waves and today was a tidal wave. I was able to move my paper chain to one long vertical string that touches the floor by maybe one or two. I am so.close. Though to be honest, part of me is terrified. I’m terrified that the love I already feel growing in my heart won’t be there and I’ll fail at every interaction. I’m terrified I’ll get sick or hurt and be a dead weight to the team. I’m afraid of rejection. I’m afraid of the language barriers. I’m afraid of my life being wrecked. I am afraid.
Yet I long for the moments of holding those sweet African babies. The time where regardless of race, religion, color, nationality, age, gender, language barrier, I will hold those precious kids in my arms and just feel love. To be the hands and feet and arms and kisses of Christ. Is there any greater privilege than that? I’ve been praying that the LORD would get me out of the way and there would be none of Rachel but the things that can be used to communicate love. Would you be praying that for me? Would you intercede on my behalf that the LORD would break all of me so only the traces of Christ in me remain? Will you pray that the enemy would be far from me and the distractions he keeps trying to put in my way would be demolished?
Silence has been good. It’s been scary and hard, but good. It’s beginning to recalibrate my brain and bring me back to a place of focus and center. I’m reminded that the love of my LORD is not conditional but sweet and all encompassing.
I’ve been loving this verse lately on the very nature of who God is and His love to provide.
” ‘Test me in this’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’ ”
Because really, we can’t out dream the blessings the LORD has in store for us.