Thursday, November 20, 2014

What I learned about communication from Unicorn books (or the process of softening my heart)

I'm softer these days, I think
Like a fruit, easily bruised, needing to be handled with care
I need warm hugs and kind words and not too much time spent locked away in my own mind
Words meant in jest come off too harsh, and someone slides into a place I thought was mine and I make (another) wee mistake, or a big one, and my heart aches
As part of a homework assignment I've started a 5 day spiritual practice of setting aside a certain amount of time to talk to God, to worship and reflect and communicate.
It has felt like a pouring out of my soul to the Lord. I've made new discoveries, felt God's presence, and then tonight, as I was sitting in stillness waiting for His voice, it felt like I had hit a wall.
All day I was struggling, wrestling with myself. Writing didn't come easy to me and certain comments stung and I felt this barrier.
I fought against myself, crying out and asking God what was standing in my way, what was making this day seem so hard when before it had come a string of grace days.
"It's my own face that obscures the face of God"
It's a conclusion I've been coming to a lot lately, as God is working with soft hands to prune my heart, to create in me an eternal mindset.
In the middle of this teaching, as my heart is becoming softer, I've noticed more of the unexpected blessings.
Like heart to heart chats with the girl who is my kindred spirit, who gets my heart in ways that not many people do
Like being covered with a blanket as I lay sprawled out on one of the couches in the student lounge
Like being handed a coffee as I stumble into class and my sweet cleaning partner giving me the night off and laughter and story time
my heart is a little softer, and most days I feel the need to carry around a "handle with care" sign.
But I love what He's doing in me, and around me
I am convinced that the God I love will not leave me to stumble around in my own brokenness, that even in the wilderness as I wander nothing will separate us.
Even in these tender days, He's holding my heart

Sunday, November 16, 2014

In the Wilderness (He showed up)

I've been quieter than usual lately. People have noticed.
I'm not sad or upset or stressed, just quiet.
I've been writing some, a personal little project about coffee cups and love and relationships, about getting your heart broken and the people who fix it.
I was talking with a friend tonight about this space, and how it kind of feels like I'm in the wilderness. I'm a little disoriented, stumbling around. There's nothing solid to hold on to.
I'm just out here, standing, waiting.
It gets tiring sometimes, waiting for something you can't even name. Waiting to feel loved, to feel joyful and content, to feel as though you've reached this goal. Waiting to stop feeling like the weak one, the one who can never quite get it right, the needy one who isn't sure what she wants.
And all of it, all this waiting, it's necessary and a space I need to be in for a while, but it's tiring. It's making me a little quieter, taking a little more time for personal reflection.
I was talking tonight to my friend about when God shows up.
God's been teaching me some pretty crazy stuff lately. He's been asking me to trust Him in my relationships (as some of the ones I thought as stable begin to crumble), with my family (as I'm asked to reflect on the relationships I have with those I love the most), to love His people even when I feel weak. Most recently, He's been asking me to trust that when He says He'll show up, He will.
I told H. how I've been going to the church on Fridays, to pray. And how I've been going even when it's cold, and I'm upset, and I'd much rather stay inside and get homework done. And how every time I go, God's met me there.
Who am I that the God of the Universe meets me in such a place?
I go to pray for relationships, for community, for my little town and the people I love.
And it is I who walks away changed
I told her that I've been reading through a Psalm a day as part of a homework assignment, and it is in this regular practice that God has met me.
He's showed up
He has whispered my name in this wilderness and called me Beloved
He holds out His hand and asks for my heart
He calls me blessed, chosen, His
Who am I that the living God of Israel looks on me with love and calls me His?
It doesn't always feel like a gift
This wilderness, where my heart is being gently attuned to the sound of God's voice, it isn't easy.
Relationships fall apart, addictions stay, nothing makes sense and in all of it I have asked "God, where are you?"
His response is the same, "Right here."
Right here, in the wilderness. Right here, beside me. Right here, offering me parts of Himself if only I'll look, and listen, and wait.

"Therefore I will allure her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her." Hosea 2:14