But, this week, I just felt like God was saying, "Press in."
I came away from last week's worship night feeling so incredibly frustrated...overwhelmed...and inadequate.
The whole day on Monday, I felt God simply calling me out to a place of surrender. Over and over again that day, in my quiet time, in my office, in our ministry team meeting, the tears would rise to the surface and I knew that I needed to press in, that I needed to surrender it all to the Father. Yet, I struggled, holding on to the lies instead.
At our ministry team meeting, The team prayed out over me, speaking words of life and truth. I had a picture of me on my knees, hands stretched forward to receive the words spoken, yet, for some reason, I couldn't...or I wouldn't.
They spoke of God's love for me, His pleasure over me, giving me pictures that I will hold captive in my heart...yet, I couldn't make that move of obedience by physically kneeling down.
I realized that night that what I am scared of most is intimacy.
I like to appear strong.
I like to have it all together.
I like to make it seem as though I can do it all.
But, God longs to meet me in the middle of my greatest weakness.
He wants to minister when I am broken and tired and weary.
He wants to put the pieces back together when I have scattered myself too far.
And I wouldn't let Him. Because I was scared of what it would require. I was worried that maybe people would think less of me if they saw my weak places. I both longed for intimacy, and feared it at the same time.
I was reminded yesterday of this same time in my life 11 years ago. February 4, 2004, God came and met me in the midst of the darkest season of my life and set me free. It was that night, in a dark little prayer room on my University's campus, that I got a glimpse of what the Father's love really looked (and felt like). It was that night that changed the trajectory of the rest of my life. And out of that night, I began to experience the joy of vulnerability...seeing my friendships reach new depths, hungry for the truth in a way I had never thought possible, and so desperate for more of God.
I think I was reminded of that time, not only because I count it as my spiritual anniversary, but because I was reminded that that season brought such freedom. If it changed me then, why couldn't I trust that God has good in store for me now? All He is asking for is my obedience in surrendering my fears, my insecurities, my weaknesses, my weariness, and yes, even my places of strength. And then, oh then, another level of intimacy could be developed...and even while it scares me a bit...I know of its goodness.
I'm still in the midst, but I am beginning to feel more whole again.
As I was talking to Stacy about it all this morning, she said that in so many ways, we are all being called up. We are being humbled so we can be called up to what God has for us next. It's the greatest mystery of this life of faith...to be brought lower to be brought higher. And it's big and it's beautiful, but we have to be willing to be moved and changed and we cannot be satisfied with what we had before.
So, I'm pressing in...
We were talking about Brennan Manning this morning and his breathe prayers:
Breathe in: Abba
Breathe out: More of you
And I'm starting to breathe again...pressing in...learning to let go of the places where I feel so incredibly weak...and the places where I even feel strong.
Pressing in, because I want more.
I need more.
More of my Abba.