Saturday, January 23, 2010

So I Did It!!!

So I did it. I got up there and spoke last weekend. For those of you just tuning in, to my life not as much as my blog, I mean at Village Creek Bible Camp (shout out to EYE-OH-WAAHHH!!), and at the All Girls Retreat.

In retrospect, what was the big deal anyways? Well, really, I think my nervousness was more about what God was doing in my own life, with desiring vulnerability and authenticity from me than a fear to speak publicly. Add to that the fact that I’ve been, for years now but also more recently, hiding my fears and perceived weaknesses about who I am as a woman, behind sarcasm and “being cool” and I think that He is working in me to break these walls down before I even got up to speak. As He began revealing these areas of desired submission and surrender to me in the last few weeks I realized it was more growth with and through Him that I was nervous about, than a bunch of spazzy junior high girls who didn’t get ONE of my jokes or pop culture references. Man I felt old.

But, it went well, I suppose. I had the much valued support of K, R, T & M in the audience, and their great big smiles kept me going, as a visual reminder of how my Father was smiling down too. Most of all I just wanted to share the fact that He has a Love Story with all of us, with me, with you, with these girls.

As a basis for some of what I shared, I used the love story between God and Israel as exemplified by Gomer and Hosea. Oh Gomer, you crazy ho! Yet, how much are any of us more faithful than she was? And because God is good, I knew later on in the weekend that He was desiring this story to be told, when one of the other speakers for Sunday began speaking out of the same book. Granted she prefaced it with tons of comments like “Nobody EVER speaks or preaches out of Hosea”, and “I know you guys NEVER hear from the book of Hosea, so this must be new to you, but … “ It was all I could do to not laugh and think “Oh sweetheart, if you had been there, not even 12 hours ago, you would have heard the exact same verses, and been able to see God’s goodness, as He speaks the same message through two totally different people”.

But my quiet snickers and chuckles must have said plenty, because before I knew it, H was kicking my chair and keeping me in line. All I could think was “Good thing Matt’s not here”. Yeah, I may be asking God to work in my life, but getting off my sarcastic, too cool for school high horse is going to be a project for months to come.

Anyways, I digress. Getting back to Hosea and Gomer. In the few days since I’ve come home from camp, I’ve been asking the Lord to make my personal relationship with Him more real in my life than it’s ever been. My big fear is that I will use this relationship with Him as a source of inspiration to draw from in ministry, or He would be the One I go to when I need something to pull out of my hat or to get the things in life that I want. Instead, I want to fall more and more in love with Him daily, and love Him as I would my dearest and bestest friend, even more than a husband or lover. Today, as I was praying that, and asking Him to remind me to love Him more, this song came on, this song that I love, and that sometimes says it all. Man, God’s timing is perfect!

Of Minor Prophets & Their Prostitute Wives
by Pedro The Lion

All the time you were burning my letters
you were only acting the part
You think without me you'll get on much better
but you don’t even know your own heart

Come home, darling
Come home quickly
Come home, darling
All is forgiven, so come home quickly

I treated you as if you were a princess
you treated me like a cop
I gave you boundaries to save you from certain death
dangling from the end of the rope

Come home, darling
Come home quickly
Come home, darling
All is forgiven, so come home quickly

But your still playing for a love
you'll never find outside of these arms of mine
The whole town is one step behind you
with the hang man on call
They've got the judge and you're convicted without a plea
Darling, they will listen to me
Darling, they will listen to me
Darling, they will listen to me

The fact is, we serve an amazing, awesome God y’all. And His heart is solely focused on our continued, deep relationship with Him, as the foremost most important aspect of our lives. We’ve all walked away from His love, even as Christians, seeking other gods, other loves. But there is nothing He will not do in us to bring us back to Him, in the desert, where He can speak love and tenderness to us.

Looking back at the last few months, and of course hindsight is 20/20, I can clearly see how He’s been moving and pushing me further towards righteousness, growth and personal relationship with Him. Oh, not to mention, once again, that awful, icky V word – vulnerability, but I think that’s another post for another day.

I can see for sure that He really isn’t going to let me get away with not being the woman He’s calling me to be. I’m grateful for His faithfulness. And I trust Him. Implicitly. So, since this is Your desire, God, I guess all I can say is “Bring it on”. You say “Darling they will listen to me”, but I am saying “Father, I will listen to You.”

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