Tag Archives: restoration

One Word: A Year to Behold

Standard

It’s December.

How did that happen? I wrote the first post about the seemingly simple word of “behold” nearly a year ago and I remember exactly where I was when it came to me.

On the toilet.

I’ll give you that it wasn’t a particularly romantic or spiritual experience, but that’s when the theme for my year came to me none the less. In discovering where the Lord has brought me this year though, I must start first with the view of where I was when He and I began this journey.

Last December I was tired. I hid a broken heart and a weary soul.  I felt as though my spirit was but a shadow of a girl I once was. I thought, at the time, part of my personality’s sobriety was adulthood settling in. That my lack of enthusiasm and imagination was simply, and tragically, the reality of being older and carrying the weight of life’s responsibilities.

Last December I was scared. Last December I was so scared people mistook me for being a strong and independent woman. Last December I was blind to just how big God was and just how close He would get. So when a faint voice whispered “behold,” I had no idea how vivid my sight would become 12 months later.

The vision of myself has always been that of a girl who is moderately good at some things, but not extraordinary at anything. I’m not a musician and I’m not an artist. I’m not a skilled problem solver and I’m not destined to be a world leader. The fact that I was never, not one single semester, a straight A student still haunts me. I’m athletic, but I was never a star athlete. I never had a boyfriend in high-school and I never dated in college either. My social resume of what the world would deem certifiable “accomplishments” has always been severely lacking. My self-perception, for as long as I can remember, has been that I am a disappointment to God.

But this year, the way I see God and His love, and the way that I know He sees me, has truly transformed me from the inside out.

In 2011, I beheld a God that is a fountain of grace that does not run dry. I beheld a God that sympathizes with feeling ostracized and misunderstood. I beheld a God that would not let me stand on the outside alone.

I beheld a God that loves me before I am able to prove that I am lovable. I beheld a God that wanted to give me good things before I was able to earn them.

This year, I beheld the God of the Bible that revealed Himself to me through dreams and the prophecies of friends.  I beheld a God of tenderness and I beheld a God compassionate enough to prune away strongholds that clung to me like deadly vines.

This year, I beheld a God that showed me that He remembered childhood prayers and answered them when it would mean that hope was alive and healing had come.

This year, I beheld a God that was, is, and will continue to be faithful.

This one word for this one year, has changed 25 years of misperception.

Beholding God, as He really is, has changed everything.

Advertisements

Building on the Ruins

Standard

I can’t seem to escape it.  I hear it in song lyrics. I see it in scripture. I feel it stirring in the depths of my soul.

I think God is out to ruin me. Here’s why…

I’m finding that the things from which I garner much of my own personal value are slowly being removed.  Albeit gently, they are none the less slipping through the cracks of my ever-tightening grip.  The people, social activities, and assets that I have so often used as bench marks for my measurement of worth are being stripped from me.  I don’t mean to say that my friends are leaving me, or that no one is inviting me to hang out or that my car was impounded.    Instead, what I am finding is that none of these things are bringing the fulfillment or satisfaction that they did at one time. What’s more is that my desire is not for more of these things which I already possess. My desires have changed completely, from the inside out.

What I really want is less of me being me.  Do you ever find that you get in your own way? I want less of my fleshly human tendencies getting in the way of seeing and hearing God more clearly.  I really need less of my earthly priorities, worries, and even abilities.  I want less of my fleshly reaction and more of His spiritual response.

What I really need is less dependence on (or none at all) affirmation of who I really am flowing from any other source besides Him. I know this. I know, I know this. I just don’t live by or act on it.  And I never would have realized it if He hadn’t removed so many distractions. Distractions that I had made ultimate–things that I have idolized.

Vulnerable. Exposed. Overly aware of how little I truly am and how much I truly don’t have outside of the identity of Christ, I feel as though I stand among the ruins of my former ignorance. The rubble is piled high and the dust is slowly settling, granting me a fuzzy glimpse at how unattractive my walls truly were.  Walls of defense; partitions meant for safety that evolved into barricades of self-sufficiency.  All the while, these safety measures, these acts of precaution, merely created disillusionment.  What I thought I was guarding and protecting so well, my heart, I had really only cut off from any hope of freedom and life.  I had literally sheltered myself from those things I anticipated, but never actually encountered. Lies.

So now I stand among the ruins, squinting at the endlessly bright rays of truth and light, unable to see what lies ahead.  Chains loosed, I stand with weak knees, wanting desperately to take a step forward and nearly too frightened to do so.

Which foot first? What direction? How long is the journey out of this fallen city?

All questions I can not yet answer.  But I am hopeful that my view will be less hindered.

Here are the songs that helped enlighten my heart to this new found place:

Hurricane by Jimmy Needham

I have built a city here
Half with pride and half with fear
Just wanted a safer place to hide
I don’t want to be safe tonight

CHORUS
I need You like a hurricane
Thunder crashing, wind and rain
To tear my walls down
I’m only Yours now
I need you like a burning flame
A wild fire untamed
To burn these walls down
I’m only Yours now
I’m only Yours now

I am Yours and You are mine
You know far better than I
And if destruction’s what I need
Then I’ll receive it Lord from Thee
Yes, I’ll receive it Lord from Thee

(Chorus)

And it’s Your eye in the storm
Watching over me
And it’s Your eye in the storm
Wanting only good for me
And if You are the war
Let me be the casualty
‘Til I’m Yours alone
I am only Yours
I am Yours alone, Lord

Ruins by Bebo Norman

Laying flat upon my back,
All the world in motion
Everything goes by so fast
I feel like I’m frozen

After all is said and done
Did I fail to mention
Everything I haven’t done
All my good intentions

This is my holy hour, this is my world on fire
This is my desperate play, this is where I am saved

I’ve no fear of height or depth
I’ve no fear of crashing
The single thing I fear the most
Simply feeling nothing

This is my holy hour, this is my world on fire
This is my desperate play, this is where I am made
This is my kingdom come, this is my freedom song
This is my helpless state, this is where I am saved

Let my ruins become the ground you build upon
Let my ruins become the start
Let my ruins become the ground you build it on
From what’s left of my broken heart

This is my holy hour, this is my world on fire
This is my desperate play, this is where I am made
This is my kingdom come, this is my freedom song
This is my helpless state, this is where I am saved