Ok. So I finally figured out something! I’m doing it all wrong. You can’t go back! You can’t try to recreate it or do it the way you used to do it because it never works! Here I have been trying to find my place of prayer and my writing stance in “my chair”, in my special “place”, but it’s going to be different now! All this time (2 years) that I have missed having my special prayer, inspiration, scripture reading, because of living in a tiny apartment in Shreveport and then living with mom and dad for a time; I thought, “once I get back to my space and my habit, it’ll all come back the way it used to be.”
We’ve been here 1 ½ months and I’ve enjoyed my time, I’ve had some times of reading, etc., but “it” never returned. That feeling of anticipation of what God was going to do and seasons of prayer, inspiration from scripture; it never came.
Sometimes I know you have to keep doing things because it’s right, not because you have feelings. That’s what I’ve been doing—but this morning when I got up, I had this distinct feeling that I needed to “forget” doing anything like I used to. Quit trying so hard to emulate the mood. You can’t ever go back! It’s like moving away from home and going back and expecting everything to be like it was when you left. People change, circumstances change, events happen—it’s like trying to make jello all smooth again after stirring it—it can’t be done! The more you try, the more mixed up it becomes.
God, are you going to do a new thing in me? Now that I’ve finally come to my senses, and laid my own preferences down, asking you to meet me in my preferred mode, are you going to show me what YOU want for me? I sure hope so. I’m like a stupid sheep. Dumb. Ignorant. Foolish. Thinking myself wise and I’m as dumb as ever! I guess if I’ve learned anything it’s that I haven’t learned my lesson.
The above was an entry in my journal on August 16, 2013. Since that time, God has been showing me that it’s not about what I prefer and how I want it to come. It’s not about my addiction to the feelings I get when I am in His presence. It’s about being in His presence and resting in His presence, no matter how I feel. It’s less about performance and more about trusting. It’s less about a combination of words in a certain order to show gratitude and to make requests, but to live grateful.
I went through a tough time (to put it mildly) when everything my husband and I had built and prepared for that time frame, fell apart. I had questions, I had doubts, I felt angry, I felt confused and sad. We questioned ourselves, we questioned God, we questioned our decisions. We held it together, we fell apart…all in a little one bedroom apartment that was supposed to be temporary. The rest of our belongings were in storage ready to be picked up when we could move on.
Then I found out that I had to have major surgery, my mom got severely ill and just when things were supposed to get better, the lights went dimmer. How could this be an answer to our prayers? We prayed hard to walk with God, to join Him in His work, to guide, to lead and to use us for His service. To draw us closer to Him, to know Him more. How could everything falling apart be an answer to this prayer? How could wanting to do something more result into doing less and less?
“Learning” is so difficult to do. If it’s something we endeavor to learn; something we would like to do, then of course we are more eager and thus more open and receptive to that learning. However, if the concept goes against our human reasoning or our fleshly nature, then that learning becomes taxing and more difficult to acquire.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30 NKJV)
“Come to Me!” He says. “Put your stubborn little head in the yoke, and don’t strain away from it, let me do the pulling. I am gentle and lowly in heart. You can find rest, if you will just quit pulling in the other direction. I am bigger and stronger, and I can see where we’re going so that will make the yoke easy and burden light if you let me do the pulling and you do the walking alongside me.”
I’ve learned that when you pray prayers of getting closer to God, the answers aren’t what you expect. I’ve learned that when you desire with all that is within you to know Him more, what He teaches you can be excruciatingly difficult. I have learned that when you pray to trust Him more He leaves you alone and everything falls away that you’ve been depending on in order to know that when He is all that’s left, He’s enough.
A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to receive the book “Found” by Micha Boyett to review. I had read a few blurbs about it as well as some comments from people that I am connected to on Twitter. This. Girl. She has read my mail. It’s a story of questions just like mine. With the type of honesty that I pour into my journals, Micha pours herself into the pages and shares them with me. With you. I get a glimpse into her living room and drop in on her moments. It’s not about “sin control”. It’s not about performance. It’s not about prayer lists. It’s not about winning God’s approval. Maybe it’s grace. Maybe it’s acceptance. “Maybe prayer is less about my words and more about the turning of my heart.”—Micha
“Micha Boyett writes brave. She stands with one foot in what we think God wants—and one foot in the mess we’ve got.” Ann Voskamp in her foreward of a book called “Found”. A story of questions, grace and everyday prayer.