Sunday, 12 June 2011

A Restless Soul and the Peace of the Pastures

I came home feeling rather used up and exhausted. And I have struggled with discouragement at the thought that after weeks home, I have still felt daunted by the thought of moving on. I have felt God has been somewhat distant. I have taken long walks crying out to Him to just show me what's going on, and felt as if my cries echoed back to me empty. And I have wondered how long this season would last, and would I ever feel more myself again (because I am nothing but lost without Him), and would everything always feel so ambiguous and confusing, and would it always look as if everything takes so much more emotional energy than I have? A weariness had settled over my soul in such a way that I started to fear it would never leave.

... But even in the frustrating weeks of privately thrashing about trying to put things back together, when I didn't even know what had broken, He began to minister quietly to my soul. Through lyrics playing over the Christian radio in the car (Christian radio stations?! They are rare in Europe...); through the Francine Rivers novels I have been revisiting (The Mark of The Lion Trilogy is speaking to me more profoundly now than ever before... a MUST-read); through the priceless abject lessons found in cuddling my precious nieces and nephews (How can what God feels for me be GREATER than what I feel for these children??)-- quiet whispers in the day-to-day, nothing obvious to be found in my current bible study workbook or a revelation while listening to a sermon. He slowly started tuning my ears to His quiet whispers sent to my soul.

And, again I find it is in wandering the pastures of my father's ranch that it all comes into focus, and I can feel His presence thickly, wrapped up in all of His beauty. And it's there, in His presence, where I am healed and made whole again.

It has felt as if I just couldn't put my finger on what I needed to do to make things right-- so the vice-like grip of anxiety has been draining me of life-breath and leaving me battling for hope; forgetting that it has never been about what I can or can't do to begin with! 

Sitting under the majestic beauty of these blue skies, this prayer falls from the tip of my pen and even as it comes from my heart, He is breathing into that heart some perspective again:
"Thank You for being mine, no matter the circumstances or the quagmire-y days, weeks, years I trod through. Lord, I am counting on You now, as ever, to renew my passion. Be my joy and my strength. Give me wisdom by Your Holy Spirit that I do not hold on my own. Give me grace in my speech and my deeds that can only come from Your overflowing wells. I need You, Father God. You know that. So please, break through whatever barrier I knowingly or unknowingly put up and be all to me. Every breath, every word, every thought, every hope, every deed. Be all. May my life, my attitude, my words, my every action, speak one long story of You, that draws anyone who hears it, reads it, or sees it, to Your heart, Lord God. Give me boldness in the fear, trust in the anxiety, love in the hurt. Lead me to always forgive as You have forgiven, a radical choice of love in a world of hate... Give me the humility of one who knows who she is as Yours. Yes, Lord. That's what I need. A clear knowledge of who I am in light of You.

I sit here in the emerald sea of the pasture-lands of home and I know You are here because I can physically see all the beauty around me. Thank You. Thank You for coming to redeem me. And then for not leaving me all alone in my own mess in this world, but leaving Your imprint of beauty on everything to lift my eyes and my heart to You. And for leaving Your Holy Spirit. Lord, teach me how to walk anew with Your Holy Spirit guiding every step, every breath.

I am Your vessel; nothing more, nothing less. I do not have to worry about tomorrow or about how I should or shouldn't plan my days. You will lift me up and carry me in Your purpose. Oh Lord, renew my faith. Show me how to rest in Your will and Your grace, knowing it is more than enough for even me! Give me work to busy my hands and inspiration to guide my life. And teach me to rest. Then draw everyone around me to You with the fragrance of Your presence, Abba God. You love us all so. May my life endlessly proclaim Your praise because of it..."

If any of you know what it feels like to be aching for peace, may you find somewhere to curl up next to Him and just pour your heart out, waiting for Him to come in and fill it. He meets us wherever we are. Again and again, I stand amazed at His majesty reaching down to wrap little old me up in His embrace...

May you know this Love; may you love this Lover.

"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on You! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock."
-- Isaiah 26:3-4

"I am no longer anxious about anything as I realize this, for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient...So if ...God should place me in great perplexity, must He not give me much guidance, in positions of great difficulty much grace, in circumstances of great pressure and trial much strength? No fear that His resources will prove unequal to the emergency! And His resources are mine, for He is mine, and is with me and dwells in me!"
--Hudson Taylor


Deb said...

God has ministered to me as well, Leah, through songs played on Christian radio stations at just the right time, and also through books written by Christian I can empathize with what you are feeling.

While Europe may not have very many Christian radio stations, if you have an internet connection most stations have a website where you can listen to them online 24/7 from your computer. KTIS 98.5 FM receives messages and testimonies from listeners all over the world.

Just a suggestion....

Jennifer said...

Beautiful, the way you seek Him. And beautiful, the way you find Him.
My love to you, sweet Leah

Heather J said...

Thank you for sharing your prayer. I've also been struggling with the knowledge that I need to rest in Him but lack of ability of knowing how to actually do that. I am getting there, though... just seeking Him and renewing my confidence in the fact that He's already here. I appreciate your willingness to share glimpses into your journey with others- it's a blessing. I write poetry occasionally and always thought/wanted to share, thinking someone else might somehow be comforted by it, but, mostly it gets stuffed away and buried with doubt... Perhaps you could pray about that with me?

Leah said...

Heather J: Of course I can pray about it with you! And I could even read them if you wanted to practice sharing them with someone ;) You might just have to start a poetry blog :)

Keep on seeking after Him, girl. I will too. Remembering that it's the journey where we learn to walk with Him...

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