Thursday, August 26, 2010

OUT OF THE DEPTHS

My friend, Windblown1, has once again allowed me to post more of her story. I've posted it here just as she wrote it in her journal. I'm sure those of you who have been victimized in an abusive church will be able to relate to the emotions she's expressed. I hope her writings will bring comfort and hope to those who are still hurting.


~~Musings From Inside The Walls~~8/31/95~~

I wrote this in my journal during a very difficult time in my life. There was lots of turmoil and the Lord was teaching me how to live in the reality of "Christ in me the hope of glory." I was more concerned with pleasing people than being open and honest.

Today, I have much more revelation and understanding of "living" from that deep place. It is such a place of rest and peace. It is a place of "living loved" and living in the awareness of His presence all the time.

OUT OF THE DEPTHS

Deep calls unto deep in my spirit.

This longing deep, deep within me.

To be heard, to be understood, to be listened to and not judged.

Oh, the joy of having a relationship like that with someone.

My heart longs to know You, Lord, to hear you speak to me.

You have called me to be one who knows You and Your voice.

The trials of my life harden my heart to You,

And muffle my hearing and ability to sense your nearness.

How can I stay in that place of openness to You?

What would you say to me if we were walking together

And I was able to open up and express the depths of my heart to you?

How would You answer the cry of my spirit?

“My child, My beloved child, your heart is shrunken by lack of love and caring in your life.

I long for you to know that you are filled with my Love and Life.

You shall always have things in this life that distract from My communion with you,

but keep coming to Me, I can and will help you sort out and bring light on all that concerns you.

Do you remember all those years when you heard My call, when I drew you by My Love?

Do you remember the first words I spoke to you, calling you one who knows Me and My voice?

For many years you have not walked in that place of hearing and knowing Me.

You listen and strive to please man and you have shut off the flow of My Voice to you.

But I am bringing you back into communion with Me. That is from where your strength and life will come.

The depression, the loss of your “self” is because you allowed things to interrupt our communion together.

In My teachings, I call My people friends, I speak of intimate relationship, but very few have the revelation of Me and My amazing Gift, to actually live in that place with Me.

My people are very religious, talking about scripture but never finding the entrance to that Life about which the scripture speaks.

I want you to know Me experientially, not just read about Me or hear others tell you what I am like.

You don’t like your life presently but if you yield to Me and allow me to speak to you, you will someday look at this as a most fruitful time.

You live too close to the surface.

As in the sea, the waves roar and crash, rage and foam near the surface, but out in the depths, way, way down–all is still and tranquil.

This is where I would have you live. In the depths of your being.

That is where I dwell, that is where you will find Me.

That is where you will hear the still, small voice.

If you learn to stay there, nothing will be able to move you.

I am taking you deeper.”

Windblown1


Friday, August 13, 2010

The freedom to relax

I recently heard Sarah Jacobsen say on a God Journey podcast that we've been given the freedom to relax and that comment immediately captured my attention. For years, I was on a religious treadmill trying to fill every moment of every day with spiritual activity. Reading multiple chapters of my Bible every day whether I felt like it or not just so I could check it off my to-do list. Struggling with prayer yet trying to force myself to pray at least an hour a day, especially in tongues. Going to meeting after meeting after meeting, conference after conference after conference and still no closer to God.

It was only after I had heard and understood the message of God's grace that my life started to change. It was only after I understood that God's love for me is unchanging that I gave myself freedom to relax and enjoy life. I no longer felt the need to try to earn God's love and attention because I now knew that it was mine simply because I'm his daughter.

When I wrote this post, I was sitting on the back porch of Harbor House, a bed and breakfast in Georgetown, South Carolina, which is situated on the Sampit River. As I sat on the swing, I watched the movement of the Sampit River as it flowed past the yard. The fishing boats were docked and ready to head out to sea. The sea gulls were flying overhead as the wind blew causing the colonial flag to wave gently in its breeze. As I sat on the porch swing, I could hear the soft gurgle of the fountain that was just a few feet away.

Life was peaceful and, as I relaxed in the beauty of his creation, God's presence was more real in a way it had never been in all of the hectic activity that I used to be caught up in. Learning to relax is a freedom that I've come to enjoy. Sitting in his presence aware of the sights and sounds that surround me is a special gift that I've come to appreciate and enjoy.

At one time, I would have thought that sitting quietly and relaxing was a waste of time. I felt that I always needed to be busy doing something for God. I used to divide my life into two separate compartments - the spiritual and the natural - with the natural part of my life being inferior to the spiritual. However, as I've come to know how God has created me, I've come to understand that I'm a spiritual being so whatever I do is spiritual. Now that I understand and am living in that reality, my life is coming into greater wholeness.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I'm free to sin all I want. That's foolish. God hates sin and so should we. However, it does mean that I'm now free to join him in whatever he's doing at the moment. Since my days are no longer filled with hectic activity, I'm now able to hear the quiet gentle nudges of my heart as God shows me where and with whom he wants me to be involved in that moment. At times, it may be listening to someone share their story and encouraging them as they struggle through the brokenness of their life. At other times, it might be heading off to Lowe's with my husband when I'd much rather stay home and do something "spiritual." As I've given myself freedom to relax, I'm more peaceful and what I do is now more effective because I'm doing what I know God wants done in that moment rather than following my own hectic plans.

Monday was my birthday and I'm now 64. Recently, I was speaking to a friend about getting older and she said that we're at the age where we no longer want to waste time. Instead, we want to make every minute count. Looking back, I feel like I've wasted a lot of time that I'll never be able to recover.

Today, my life may seem wasteful to others who are still caught up in a frenzy of activity. However, I'm learning that it's okay to relax and I've decided that this is the only way I want to live. Now, I'm free to be like the wind, free to blow wherever I choose and to change direction as needed.