2017. A new year.
I thought I’d be more uplifted about a new year.
The year rolled in and I found that there was a sort of despondency in my flesh. It felt like slivers of glass I discovered were lodged into my skin because something brushed against them—an uncomfortable and jarring sensation.
Over the past few months a stark contrast of happenings took place. And. These happenings were all within the context of holidays and celebrations and work dynamics and relational dynamics and creativity and the aching of my clumsy heart.
In fact, my hiatus from longer writing is largely because I am continuing to process the landscape of peaks and valleys that erupted on the time-line of my life.
I told myself that I would write when I felt settled or when I got to a resting point.
Neither settled nor rested—and still experiencing a bit of hopelessness in the flesh—here I am.
Without fail, Abba continues to whisper into my heart about leaning on Him and not my own understanding, holding fast to Him, and trusting Him.
While I know this—leaning on, holding fast to, and trusting Him—to be unquestionably true, I find myself experiencing a feeling that is akin to a scene I recently saw in a film.
In the science-fiction thriller Melancholia, Kirsten Dunst plays the character Justine who suffers from severe depression. In one scene during the dreamlike prelude, Justine walks across a lawn in a beautiful white wedding dress, sinking in each step as wisps of smokey darkness trail off of her body.
The scene evokes a sense of arduousness to keep taking steps, to keep moving forward.
Visually, I found that the scene captured what it is like to trudge through the flesh, fighting to get back to walking by the Spirit.
As I watched it, my heart wept.
Over the weekend, I had a moment with the Lord in which I cried out, silently. Silent sobs. Silent screams. Inwardly, there was a break and through the break came an understanding and words on my tongue.
The Lord first helped me to receive understanding about the attack of the enemy on this year, on The Church, His Bride. The enemy is attacking with hopelessness.
Abba reminded me that the enemy is neither flesh nor blood but powers and principalities. He reminded me that he is also defeated and that our hope is in Christ alone.
I then saw the faces of specific men from over the years, and the face of the most recent man from a couple of months ago, and in the name of Jesus Christ I declared that they would not be used as weapons against my heart.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, I came to understand that a sort of thorn in my flesh is romantic love. Maybe not romantic love in and of itself, but the impatience that leads me to make unwise or hasty decisions in order to experience it—giving way to those untimely moments that chip away at the hope in my heart.
What good comes of untimeliness?
None, that I can say.
Even in my most recent stumble, Abba is causing all things to work together for good for me who loves Him and is called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, NASB).
I am receiving understanding along with His wisdom. While I may not feel I am receiving as quickly nor as deeply as I should, Abba reminds me that I am hearing His voice. He reminds me that I am continuing to walk by faith—no matter the times that I stumble along the way.
He is showing me the contrariness of idealistic notions based on external conditions, notions of which I’ve held onto for some time—about myself and about romantic love.
He is showing me how these idealistic notions have acted as footholds for the enemy to use against me in an effort to wear me down and distract me.
The godly desire in my heart to be a wife is marooned by a deeper attack—an attack on my worth.
Eating cereal one morning while looking out the kitchen window, my mind wandered and a lie surfaced, “I am not worth marrying. I am not worth being a mother.”
With the noise reduction turned on, I was stunned by how clearly I heard that lie.
Tears welled in my eyes.
I heard the voice of Abba in my heart, “These are not your thoughts. These are not My thoughts.”
The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance my worth and value not only as a human creation, but as a beloved daughter of God the Father in Christ Jesus my Lord, the lover of my soul.
Abba reminds me that in His time the right man for me will see the worth in choosing me. Abba reminds me to trust Him and His timing.
It takes time to climb up peaks and walk through valleys and unravel lies and experience the end of hurt and heal and rest and recover and pass into a new season.
My needs today are different than they were two years ago. The circumstances of my life and condition of my heart have and has changed, is ever changing, as I continue to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus, here and now.
One of those idealistic notions I held onto was that my walk of faith would somehow look the same. I thought that I would experience Jesus’ wooing in the same ways that I had in seasons past. But. There are many variables that alter the quality and clarity of such experiences.
The greatest comfort I continue to receive is the unchanging nature of God and His love for me. His love is a powerful magnetic force.
No matter the trudging, Abba reminds me that I never cease to seek Him or hear His voice.
In all my better and worse days, we remain one.