Thursday, January 29, 2015

Reaching for Beautiful

The past few days my heart has been raw. Not bad, just different, expanding and changing and pressing up against my ribcage, stretching and shifting.
I've never been one to adjust easily, and I feel like more often than not these days I find myself reaching for things to wrap my fingers around.
I feel like God's been nudging me. Not harshly, but in a way that says, "Hey, little daughter, do you trust me? It's time to take that step."
I'm the girl who's afraid to step out of the boat.
I'm the girl who's spent so long wandering around in the wilderness, learning what it means to listen to His voice, to see His hand in the darkness.
Now I feel like He's saying, "Come on, sweet one, you can't stay in the wilderness forever."
Existing in the light is scary. It means trusting and taking risks and being open.

But I am not a woman who ever lives the full knowing. I am a wandering Israelite who sees the flame in the sky above, the pillar, the smoke from the mountain, the earth open up and give way and still I forget. I am beset by chronic soul amnesia. I empty of truth and need refilling. I need come again every day - bend, clutch and remember - for who can gather manna but once, hoarding and store away sustenance in the mind for all of the living?

I'm living off His promises. I am ravenous, constantly reaching for the manna, the blessings. I count, I cry, I pray, I savor. I am realizing in these precious days how much I need the constant connection, the manna.

I have run because I long for beauty like a mania, a woman leaving dinner, running in apron for the cast of the moon. When I can't find it - is that why my soul goes a bit wild, morose, crazed? Strange - I hadn't even noticed that I'd been hungry for Beauty until I ran for the moon

Today, in the midst of all my mind's circles, I sat cross legged on the floor with my beautiful friend and discipler. We were talking about relationships, about the ever present root of my own brokenness. She read me the story of the woman by the well. I've heard the story so many times, but it's still one of my favorites.
As she was reading, something in my brain clicked.
Jesus asked this woman for water. We think of her as the lowest of the low, a woman caught in sin, a shameful individual. But Jesus asked her for a drink. He knew her story, knew her past, but still He thought she had something to offer.

How? How could I have forgotten how badly I wanted this? To bow down and rightly worship

Long truck rides driving to no where and town dates with the girl next door and holding hands and being held and gathering around the table and sharing the struggles and the joys, laughter and rest and the feeling of fullness as I walk away from the room with my Bible and journal spread open on my bed knowing that this is how I get full, all of it seems to be a whisper from God saying, "Do you see? Do you see now, my girl? Do you see how much I love you? Do you see that I will complete the works I have began? Do you see that in all of this I had a plan? Do you see that I will not leave you in the wilderness nor will I let you starve? I have called you to bigger things."

I am filthy rags. Is sight even possible? I've only got one pure thing to wear and it's got Made By Jesus on the tag and the purity of Jesus lies over a heart and His transparency burns the cataracts off the soul The only way to see God manifested in the world around is with the eyes of Jesus within.

I am captivated. I am reaching for the beautiful and pulling it close. I am finding sustenance from His manna. His voice says, "Trust me."
Even though it's hard and new and scary, and I've become accustomed to the darkness.
Even when the stretching and growing threaten to steal all my air
Even when I feel like the woman at the well with nothing to offer
He says, "I see you. I love you. I chose you. Trust me, daughter, and come partake in the feast of Manna that abounds. After all, didn't I say you would never starve?"

In the burn of the ache, there is this unexpected sensation of immense moon slowly shrinking and God expanding, widening and deepening my inner spaces. Is that why joy hurts - God stretching us open to receive more of Himself?

All italics quotes from 1000 gifts by Ann Voskamp

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