Recently, I met with one of my leaders and she challenged to take a new step toward maturity in Messiah. The Lord has been showing me areas that I have kept and guarded for so long, safeguarding them in my own strength. I am afraid of being hurt by others. So, when I feel insecure or perceive a lack of love on their part, I hide. I don’t open my heart to them, and I don’t allow them to see the real me. Fear keeps me hidden behind walls that I constructed for myself. In many ways, I am a very gregarious person. I long for connection with others, for intimacy, and for deeper levels of friendship that go beyond the shallow levels we allow ourselves to wade in. So when I hit this wall in my interactions with others, there is always a sense of sadness and loss in my spirit.
I went to my leader to share about my frustration, to unseal what I have been hiding but the Lord has been highlighting. After listening to my desires and frustrations, she gave me some very practical advice. Be purposeful in my pursuit for relationships. My inclination is to hide, to pout, to keep away from others when I am not sure of my standing with them. But she advised that I take a step toward deeper relationships. Take time to interact, ask questions, open up and listen to others. Go for walks, share tea, sit at the table and just be with them.
So, after talking to her, I did it. It felt very unnatural and uncomfortable, and my walls inside were crying out, “HIDE! Don’t let us down!”
But I feel God’s pull. The closer we get to God, the more He gives us revelation on what His words really mean. Of course, we can go our entire life and still be surprised by God. I am so desperately in love with the Lord. So thirsty for His presence every day. But God didn’t create us to be alone. He didn’t just say love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. But to also love your neighbor as yourself. He knew we needed each other. It’s not enough to love God, if I keep hidden from those He loves.
I feel like a birch tree, as it’s flakey bark is peeled off and all that is left is the pale and vulnerable trunk underneath. God is doing what He does best, purifying. I keep asking for more of God, but He can’t give me more of Himself. When God entered my heart, He gave me the fullness of Himself. All I can do now, is empty more of myself so that more of Him can dwell in me. Filling up those places I surrender to Him.
But through the frustration, hope and dependency on God that this trial has produced, it has been impossible to lose sight of the goodness of God. Every week we’ve had opportunities to explore, serve and minister in the city. I have gotten to see lives touched by the love of God. And I have started to learn how to really press in and intercede for a nation and for a city.
Thank you Father for the hope of more of you. Thank you Lord for your grace. Thank you that in my weakness, in my humanness, you are strong. You bind yourself to me, and in return all I can do is give you more of me.