This past weekend, I attended a woman’s night held at a local church [not my own] and put on by a friend of mine. Truth be told, I was hesitant to go and nervous of what would come. I wondered what people would think of me, pondered what the guest speaker could possible be sharing and replayed over and over again in my head worst case scenarios, in which I stood lonesome by myself outside the circle of women, while everyone else laughed and shared while ignoring me… that and the infamous, “find a partner to share” game in which no one wants to be “my friend!” What, am I back in high school, Kailey? Seriously…
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
“Be still and Know that am I God” Psalm 46:10
These are two commands that have been heavy on my heart lately. I’ve experienced over and over again the amazing power and influence God has in our lives, if we simply trust and allow him to do his work in and through us. And why shouldn’t we let him? We know that his ways are so much better than our own and that he’s capable of more than we could possibly fathom. He promises to never give us more than we can handle and to walk with us, hand and hand through life’s every circumstance [big or little]. He promises to give us the courage, the wisdom and the protection to make it through, all we simply need to do is ask! And he declares that on the other side, theres more beauty, joy and peace than we could comprehend! And I know first hand, that the most uncomfortable and challenging things in life, have always been the most rewarding…
So in reflection of these, I shook my thoughts, refused to accept them and prayed that God would give me the courage to go, a new perspective and the words to speak to those I would surely meet. [I may be talkative and confident in business settings and conferences, but put me in a church event and I freeze like a bag full of mushed peas.]
From the moment I walked in the door I felt peace, God’s presence within me, encouraging me to keep going forward. I hung on to that feeling, yet I knew I hadn’t fully let go and surrendered to his call to come that evening. I felt awkward… stiff, speechless and numb. My normal way of worshipping was out the window and visions of my hands up in the air, singing at the top of my lungs, only danced in by head. With every song and every word from the speakers mouth, I questioned what my take away was.
And just as it ended, when I thought all was said and done, a woman from the crowd got up and asked if she could say a few words. She shared that God had laid on her heart that there were people in the room who were holding back and not allowing the Holy Spirit to have full rein in their lives. That while we think we’re living for Christ, we ask for him to lead our ways and trust in him to deliver, we’re only half committed, holding back, in fear of what it takes to really let him in. She explained that that process can be painful because it brings us to our knees, it requires the breaking down of every wall and removing the scabs from our deepest wounds. And with that brings ugliness, vulnerability and complete acceptance that without Christ we’re nothing… but a mess.
She boldly stated that if we want to move deeper in our relationship with God and truly have him rein in us and change us for the good, that it was our turn to make a move; to step out of our comfort zones, out of the safety of our seat and come to the front to pray for God to once and for all break the chains in our lives that keep us from 100% surrendering to him.
I felt a well of tears burn inside me and I had no idea why…. while my soul felt convicted by something from her speech, my mind was indifferent. “She’s not talking to me!” it whirled. But one tear led to weeping and as my body stood up [almost as if by itself] and walked to the front [What are you doing? my mind beckoned] the weeping turned to sobbing and a full out mascara faced ball.
After the service, the women lingered and I found myself in a conversation with 3 of them, one being my friend, who shared the mission of these events and the vision God had given her for them. She painted a picture [figuratively] of a sword that penetrated the head of a person, went down through the mouth, into the throat and finally into the heart. And inside the heart was a pool of diamonds. And when the sword was pulled out, the diamonds welled up, producing a spring that overflowed through the body out the top of the head- the path the sword had created. At that point it hit me…
I still had walls up around my heart; only half trusting him .. not only in my coming to the evening, but with my very life. I had allowed the sword to work it’s way through my head [ Ok God, I’ll give you my mind by being in your word, learning about your character and meditating on your promises], my mouth [I’ll even give you my speech, to profess your greatness and share the good news of the gospel, because we’re called to be disciples] and my throat [I’ll embrace the events that bring me to my knees, take my breath away and help me see my need for you ], but I had yet to let it penetrate my heart- my very essence, my inner most being. Because until then, I am still ultimately the master of my life.
Partial walls= partial surrender = partial trusting = partial faith.
Boom. There you have it… the reason I was called to be there that night. I felt my heart break a little in that moment, almost as if bruised from a hard blow. And since then I can’t help but consider how many of us go through life like this, not allowing ourself the greatest privilege of fully surrendering to our saviour.
Lord, Thank you for your patience with me! My desire is truly to be in your will- to know you even more and for you to be the master of my life. I know I need to you, because naturally, I fall short, sin and allow my self-sufficient ways to take over. But I hold on to your promise for me…
“Be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion!” Philippians 1:6
While I’m not where I need to be, I can thank God I’m not where I used to be. Thank you for the joy, peace and blessings you provide along the journey, Lord. Every day I see your grace, your workings in my life and in my heart and I praise you. Thank you that in EVERY circumstance you offer me contentment and joy. In you, I have all I need….
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9