I’ve been in a place, some might call it the desert. I’ve been dry and try as hard as I can, His word was like sand in an hourglass, a nice steady rhythm but going only one place: down. No matter how many times you flip a hourglass the sand can only go one place. Down….flowing down and to make matters worse, it’s enclosed in glass. Can’t feel it, smell it, or experience it because of the glass. This is how God’s word has been to me for months. Oh, I’ve read and tried to focus and let it breathe new life into me, but there’s been a wall up…maybe glass…I’m not sure. Just not tangible enough for me to feel. I’d read because it is what I’m supposed to do. It wasn’t bringing me to life as it had in the past. I am/was completely frustrated. It had been hindering every part of my life. Not the Word, but the frustration…oh the painful frustration of not getting meaning from it..
I hadn’t been here in a VERY long time.
I have been the one who sent emails and wrote notecards of scripture explaining what God was teaching me. Just maybe He was tired of trying to teach me something, I just wasn’t getting. I can hear Him saying in my own coach’s voice, “Toni, you are killing me here. Get this. We’ve gone over and over this. How hard is it?”
I really hadn’t shared this with anyone.. Just kept repeating the same old truths I knew and learning nothing new. FRUSTRATING!!!
I wanted the WORD alive. I wanted to understand new things God wanted to teach me. Yet, maybe those “old” truths needed to be really learned and believed in my heart and life.
I remember having a conversation with Him about it….”Why will Your Word not resonate with me?” Silence.
It finally hit me… I wanted to be perfect in this one area. It is a pride thing…
It’s the same thing my friend Christy has said to me over the summer. “Toni you have to get to the peaceful release of letting people help you. It is but for a season.”
He wanted me to have a turn to receive. Someone else share the word. Someone else encourage me. Someone to send me scripture daily and pray over me and let me hear Him through someone else.
Obviously, not letting me off the hook with my own study. I was trying to hard.
I couldn’t encourage myself. I couldn’t let the stinging failure of my life go. It had my mind all wrapped up in it and I couldn’t “see” it. Learning to navigate singleness for the first time in 25 years, is frightening. Learning to live again, is just plain weird. Weird in a good way, but nevertheless, WEIRD.
So last week a friend sent me a Facebook link….
I cried the whole time I read it. It was wonderfully written, and obviously struck me deep to my core.
Those two words broke the dam of emotion bottled up and I wept. Where you are right now is ok. No matter where you are or what you’re feeling, it’s simply ok. It was like being given a permission slip to go to the bathroom during class. I’ve reread it about a 100 times.
As I was sitting at a table in Bible Study Saturday morning, I explained the struggle I was having being in the Word and the frustration that held me. I couldn’t help the tears flowing. UGH! It was stifling my writing…frankly I hadn’t been inspired in a long time…much less write about it. When it boiled down to it..I was angry about it.
Holly looked at me and said, “ Don’t you think that’s ok?” (No it isn’t ok!!!!!!) She went on to explain it was normal. Cherylee agreed. We have seasons that are dry. Holly said, “I know how much you like to devour the Word. But if it’s not getting you anywhere, why don’t you just take one scripture and meditate on it. Pray over it. Then write. It’s what you are supposed to do. I know it and you know it. Start small and see What God will speak to you. THEN WRITE!”
It was like the cap off a pressure cooker had been released. The weight of the guilt of not leading the way I thought I needed to lead, of not encouraging my circle the way I felt like I needed to, the lack of notecards written, all of it went away. Don’t look at the big, start small and see what happens. I’m not some Bible scholar, just someone who loves to understand the truths God has written for me. Tears were streaming and I said ok, I will try it.
It wasn’t up to me.
Didn’t depend on me.
Just read and let God speak.
This was Saturday morning. I usually go to church on Saturday afternoon about 3 with Libba who is the weekend programming pastor of our church and a dear friend.
She looked at me and said she needed a scripture to read to the team in the green room. She needed it in about an hour. I sat in a chair and opened my Bible. I went to a very familiar passage for me. There’s a story there about this particular scripture, but as I read it, it just didn’t seem right. So I went back to the beginning of the Chapter and read all the way through. Although, I’ve read the chapter 100 times, somehow I had not noticed this verse before.
I encourage you to read it through, Isaiah 26. My favorite verses are 8 & 9. These are the verses I gave Libba.
The verse that pierced my heart was verse 7:
“But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them.”
Dang it! Crying now as I type.
I know that for my circle of sisters, this verse is for us for 2015. We’ve traveled some highway together and it has been full of pot holes and dead ends.
This promise is for all our hopes and dreams of 2015. The dreams that only God can help us with. But also, the tiny ones tucked away in the recesses of our hearts we cannot yet voice.
He will smooth out the path ahead. I just picture a steamroller going ahead and crushing anything that gets in the way of where we are going. It will not be steep and rough this year. Finally. Smooth. We just need to walk close behind the steamroller and let Him clear the path. I just don’t think much can stand up to Him.
So you are wondering….will there be notecards in your future… Yes. Count on it that Isaiah 26.7 will be the first.
Will I be writing again? Hmmm. It looks that way.