“You are a mighty river. A reservoir for the thirsty soul. My God… the only one who makes me whole.” Jeremiah Jones
I wish he was right here.
I wish he was sitting in front of me.
I would feel his arms around me.
And I could just simply cry and cry and cry.
Without having to stop.
He would know what to do. What to say.
And everything would be alright.
But, Jesus isn’t here. Physically.
Jesus lives in my heart.
So, it’s up to me right now.
Will I open my heart?
Will I open it up so wide, I won’t be able to stop the rush of feelings and words pressed up behind the dam in my soul?
This is a dam I’ve constructed oh so long and patiently throughout the years — one stick at a time, carrying one timber, mud, or stone to build a place to live — to protect myself. From hurt. And pain.
It was necessary at the time. To live separated from my heart.
I needed to be careful. What I chose to say. Or do.
I needed to work hard and steadily. No nonsense.
I needed to survive my emotional winters.
The Time Has Come
God made me smart. God made me strong. He helped me to build a lodge, in the middle of a frigid pond — even though it hurt him. Because this wasn’t the life He would have chosen for me.
I’ve asked him — Why? Why me?
I haven’t heard any answers. Just images of His heart breaking for me — through the gray skies blowing in crisp and quiet as autumn tip toes in — through color bleeding out of leaves, giving way to crimson, orange and rust.
God knew one day, I would come to this point in my journey.
The time has come.
For me to break up this dam.
But, I’m not sure I know how.
Because all I’ve ever known is to stay the course.
Not to want too much happiness. Or ask too much out of life.
I mistook my surrender as contentment.
I’ve seen myself fall into this pattern of building dams this past month.
As you know, I finally turned in my manuscript at the end of August.
I even took my first airplane trip in two years to Georgia and navigated my first social group interaction in September.
Then in October, I wrapped up my final edits. It’s happening.
I had climbed Mt. Everest and I was on top of the world.
I was out and breathing. It was surreal. I was so happy.
I was inspired to share all my new discoveries. The good, bad and the ugly.
I was so excited to confide in you, all the ways God helped me write.
The tips and inspiration that blew wind into my sails.
And yet, on the days I told myself I would blog, I woke up depressed.
Everything I felt inspired to say fell flat.
The critical voices shut me up.
Who would want to read that?
Are serious? You think you’re all that?
That’s already been said.
Now, why would you want to tell anyone that?
So, I retreated. Behind the safety of a dam. To wait things out.
So I don’t have to sound so… unstable.
Happy one day. Sad the next.
I asked my therapist, Dr. P. Hey, didn’t I just write a whole book? Haven’t I graduated from this wholeness journeying? Why am I still struggling?
A Good Sign
Instead, Dr. P tells me this is all a good sign.
It means I’m finally living out of my whole heart.
Because the easier thing to do is nothing.
Then I would never want or struggle.
But, I would never be real.
I’m learning my journey to joy doesn’t happen in the absence of loneliness, sadness or fear.
I’m learning contentment is surrendering to — all — God has for me.
Every time I take apart the dam I’ve built for myself, both the refuse and the flow of the river will break free together.
Every time we move towards becoming free — to open our hearts — we will experience resistance.
We will want to retreat.
But, we need to step into the opposite direction.
Because the joy-me and the wounded-me are one and the same.
Holding Onto Both
Holding onto both — what makes us and breaks us — is not being unstable.
Maybe that’s just what we’ve told ourselves when we’ve been rejected or ignored, when there was no one to love us and say, “You’re gonna be okay. I will take care of you. I am here for you.”
You and I can wake up one day inspired to make this day different.
And yet, we can wake up the next day feeling discouraged to the core.
Both are true.
It’s called walking by faith.
When we open our hearts, life will not be predictable.
But, we will become real.
It’s the way Jesus describes the Kingdom of heaven — a wild mustard plant, a crawling weed, taking over a field.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,
which a man took
in his field.
Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows,
it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree,
so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
We may not be able to control how faith breaks up the soil, in order to bring new life and changes.
Life is wild.
But, we have the choice —
to plant the seed, friends.
in the field of our hearts.
No matter how tiny, small, fragile or insignificant it looks or feels.
Plant your seed.
Right Where We’re At
I realize I can’t wait until life is predictable enough — until I no longer struggle — before I plant my seeds.
Neither can you.
God is calling us to stop building dams for ourselves — and start planting in the fields right where we’re at.
Even though we have no idea which ones will grow. And which ones will die. God does.
Try some new things with me, as you feel led?
Join me in this next phase of my faith journey as I dare to open my heart —
to try some new things,
to write about some new topics of faith,
and explore some new ideas to nurture my soul and give voice to the real me.
Jesus is here after all. Physically. Living in you. And me.
Let’s help each other.
I know I can’t do it alone.
And you know what? I know I’m healing because there’s a new truth dawning in my heart:
I don’t want to do it alone anymore.
What is the one seed God has placed into your hands?
What is the field you find yourself standing in right now — as you rest, heal, rebuild, celebrate or dream?
Pull up a chair. I feel at home hearing your share. Click to comment.
Psst… Save the Date. November 14. Thursday.
I’m getting the Faith Barista Bar ready to open up again, friends. Get ready.
No matter whether you’re new to blogging, felt stuck for a while, or you’ve already found your groove, let’s open our hearts together, yes?
I’ll be serving up our first faith prompt this Thursday 11/7. You’ll let the topic soak in your heart, then publish your post the following Thursday and link up to share it with us.
And if you’d like to write to express your heart – journaling or blogging — but not sure how to begin? Click here to sign up for more information.
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