This is probably one of the rawest and real things I’ve ever written. When I write, it’s normally from a place of overflowing and abundance. This post, however, is a place of emotional reflection and honest struggle.
2017 is drawing to a close. It’s that time of year where I start reflecting on what has transpired. I can honestly say this was a year of progress and growth for me, especially the first 6 months.
But if I had to define or label the last few months, it would be pruning. (Man, I hate that word.)
Most people around me wouldn’t know what’s been going on inside of me. I know it is the work of the Holy Spirit and the unsettling He has stirred in my life, but some days, that doesn’t bring me any comfort.
I have felt Him ask me, “What if it was all gone?”
I didn’t want to answer that question. What if my health left me? What if my family and friends rejected me? What if I lost the pleasure of doing things I typically love?
Ultimately, I felt Him asking me if He was enough?
We often sing that song at church “Christ Is Enough”, and it’s one of my favorites because the bridge of the song is that simple song that we sing with our kids.
I have decided to follow Jesus.
No turning back, no turning back.
But was He truly enough for me? It’s the question I have been struggling with over the past months.
Broken and ashamed, I’ve had to admit that my answer is no.
O God, you are my God, earnestly seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. – Psalm 63:1
In my Bible, next to these verses I’ve written: “Lord, help me to make these verses true in my heart.”
I feel like He’s answering my prayer, but not in the way I want. But isn’t that the way God works? He usually takes us through that stuff we usually try to avoid. He keeps guiding us back to face that “thing” that we always by chance miss or avoid eye-contact with.
I know that without a doubt, I want God to be the Lord of my life. But I have a lot of stuff that I’ve avoided or shielded from the redeeming power of Christ. And He is just waiting for me to invite Him into my struggles and issues because He has already won the victory for me, I just haven’t claimed it.
I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I’ve avoided my stuff long enough. God is saying to me, “In order to grow closer to me, you’ve got to let me in your guilt, shame, insecurities, inabilities, and struggles.”
You see, friends, we can live as Christ-followers for years, believing the truth, singing the songs, doing the Bible studies and saying all the right prayers. But the beautiful thing about God is He loves us just as we are, but loves also us too much to ignore those things we’ve been hiding and stuffing into those dark corners of our heart, which don’t leave room for Him. And part of work of the Holy Spirit through the process of sanctification is bringing into the light, all the things we’d prefer to leave in the dark.
I wish I could leave you with more than that today. I wish I could say I’m better and not still struggling. I wish I could say I’ve made it through the pruning. But I can’t at this moment. I have days where I’m barely holding back the tears. Then there are days when the process has me angry. And then comes the days when it’s peaceful.
My intention with this post is not to have you feel sorry for me, but to let you into my heart and the real me. And I pray that God also spoke to you in some way about how much He loves you and wants you to give more of yourself to Him.
*And one of the songs I’ve been listening to on repeat (other than Christmas songs) is Broken Things by Matthew West! It’s been soothing and uplifting to me during the pruning.