I’ve posted recently about the funk that I have been in.
I have begun to see more and more lately just who and what I am beneath the surface. One thing that has become glaringly obvious it just how afraid I am.
I am comfortable, and therefore I have been complacent. I’ve gone ‘far enough,’ to a point where I either need to push forward or remain stuck and relatively satisfied with the way that things are, in other words simply stagnate. In doing so, I would miss the chance to see all that God has for me. This is terrifying. But I still meander on. I don’t change. For reasons that I don’t get, I don’t relinquish any part of myself. But I don’t want to be stuck here. I don’t want to be chained. I don’t want to be weak. I don’t want to be scared. But the truth is that I am all of those things. God has offered and given me so much, yet I am content to stay here in the boat. Afraid to step out and walk on the water. Afraid to love without abandon. To live, minister and feel without fear. To be free.
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.
I recently, by recently I mean about 6 months ago, finished reading a book called “The Scarlet Thread,” by Francine Rivers. It was a fantastic book, one of her many great reads. Whether you are a believer or not her stories are relatable and heartfelt. Francine is a believer, intertwining the works of and scriptures from God into her fiction work. This has caused me to look at the Bible in a much more relatable way. It is inspiring and encouraging to read her books, as well as sometimes eye opening and heart breaking. I wholeheartedly recommend that you check her out and thank God for my dear friend and sister in Christ Amanda who turned me on to her books. I’ll chalk up yet one more things that I owe Amanda for (heart you.)
In this book, the main character, Sierra, goes through a series of life changing events, dealing with a big move, a deteriorating marriage and a crumbling spiritual walk. Sierra is uprooted from her family life outside of San Francisco and from her mother, whom she loves dearly. Near the end of the book, Sierra comes to find that the attic in her mother’s house has been cleaned. Her mother had organized and cleaned out all of the clutter and the attic was now inhabitable. Things were in their right places, or were in places that made them easy to find and easy to sort. The attic was darn near cozy and welcoming. Which is hard to do, since it is an attic. That scene has stayed with me, had spoken to me. The awe and peace that Sierra found simply because the attic was clean, homey and comfortable.
I didn’t know why that mental picture has stuck with me since reading that book until a few months after finishing it. The attic was such a serene picture. Memorabilia carefully and lovingly organized, put away and sorted. Furniture that you could sit on that wasn’t dusty or reeking of the smell of moth balls. Windows that were clean and open. A place that you would want to be, a place that you might just forget is actually an attic. I realized that this is how I want my heart to be. How I want my spirit to look and feel. That if you could see through me, see my thoughts, see my heart and prayers that you would see this same serene picture. Where everything, big or small, has its place. Where there are no dark corners, nothing neglected, nothing lacking and nothing out of sorts. Nothing hidden from the light, nothing untouched. Nothing broken down. This is how our hearts were meant to be. I know that nothing will ever be perfect in this lifetime. But this heart picture is where I want to be, what I want to strive for.
At least so I thought. In the past months I have been content to give only so much, to reveal only so much. To go only so far. And this has only served in making me more and more depressed. More and more discouraged. Half hearted and restrained isn’t how God meant for this to all be. If that were the case, Jesus wouldn’t have ended up on the cross. The cross should be devastating to us. For us to see what had to be done to right the wrongs. The cross should be penetrating for us, not superficial. And nothing ended at the cross, it was only the beginning. The rebirth.
For God so loved…insert YOUR name, that He gave His only begotten Son that who so ever believeth in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life.
And the cross should be a culmination for us. It is done, it is finished. By His wounds we were healed. Praise God. There was nothing half-hearted about the cross. There was nothing indifferent about the cross. But there are things that are half-hearted and indifferent about us, certainly. But it is my hope that I, that perhaps you as well, would begin to be bold. To not be afraid. There is nothing that has come from the cross, that was done on the cross, that should make us afraid any longer.
I’m working on this, stepping out of my shell. Loving and ministering without fear, living without abandon. I pray this for you as well.