I have walked around for weeks with this desperate need to write. I have a journal, strictly reserved for the thoughts for this blog that run around in my head and heart, and it is filling up. I have a million thoughts, feelings, ideas and emotions that have been building up over the last month and I am just ready to attempt to share them. I have no real direction for this post, no clue where it is that the Spirit wants to take me, but I am going to just try and follow my heart.
This last month has been one of abundant blessings. God’s hand has been fully upon my life, patiently guiding me, providing for me and filling my heart with more love than I deserve. This last month has been packed with laughter, love, good wine, wonderful food and so many beautiful children of God. I did not know a heart could be as full as the one I have right now.
A few of you already know that this last year has been one of immense struggle, discernment, heartache–an achingly beautiful year. I have been trying to cling to God when all I have really wanted to do is run very far away from the God that I know can help but who is also calling me to something I am terrified of. Yet, God still has been answering prayers, providing and making my life immensely more beautiful than I could ever imagine it could be.
I have a dear friend and she and I have a few themes right now: God’s hand upon our lives, weaving an incredible tapestry and how God’s timing is perfect. I think these two themes sum up all that has been going on in my heart and my life recently.
No matter how much I want God to be the crusty, old, grumpy, judgmental god that my fear makes God out to be–God is in fact an active, loving, mischievous, forgiving, welcoming, great hugger and comforting God. God has a way of constantly coming into my life and shaking up everything and continually challenging me to open up my heart, to look for the good in everything and everyone, and to love in spite of my fear–God seems to never stop showing up and calling me to be and do more than my fear. When I look at my life, in the last year, the last six months and especially in the last month I am humbled and thankful to find God’s colorful fingerprints all over the pages of my book.
I have never really paid attention to the “active experiences” I have had with the Holy Spirit. I have had a few distinct images of God before–but the Holy Spirit is much harder to pin down, which I kinda think is how the HS likes it. During this six(ish) months that I have been in the Charleston area, I have had a hard time seeing the more “tangible” images of God that I have clung to in the past. But if I lean in, look closely I can see and feel the whisper of a being blowing in my heart and in my life. Sometimes it is a noticeable gust other times its just the tickle of a breeze but still very much active. Someone recently sent me a message that said: “…Breathe deep the Spirit be blowing.” I have felt the HS breathe into my life, patiently breathe life, love and laughter back into my heart and soul and wake me up.
I see this so fully in all the beautiful people God has brought into my life. As another dear friend said to me the other night, “You have your village.” Oh Lord, how I do! My village is full of brilliant, vibrant, colorful, gorgeous children of God with hearts that are so full of love. We always joke that “it takes a village” but it really does, we, as humans, are relational creatures that rely upon community. My village is near and far but they surround me with healthy affirmation, love, laughter and so much color.
One of my recent devotions spoke to the heart of what I am experiencing and feeling. It comes from Henri Nouwen’s (I know, another one by him–but I am telling you this man speaks so much Truth) The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom. The journal entry that has really spoken to me is entitled, “Be a Real Friend.”
“There [in the inner correspondence] spirit speaks to spirit and heart to heart. True friendships are lasting because true love is eternal. A friendship in which heart speaks to heart is a gift from God, and no gift that comes from God is temporary or occasional. All that comes from God participates in God’s eternal life…Dare to love and to be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as to those whom God has given you to love” (pp.80-81).
I think the line that really gets me is: “Dare to love and to be a real friend.” Something that has become abundantly clear to me is just how scared people, including myself, are to committing to something. Just how scared we are to opening up and revealing our true selves, our true hearts and our true beauty to others. Maybe it is because of all the hurts our hearts have suffered; all the rejections, all the times our hearts have been broken, all the bruises and stab wounds–I know that is what it is for me. Yet, I can hear God calling me out saying, “Step out, Margaret. Step out in faith. Trust and dare to love, dare to let people in, dare to be a real friend.”
As Maya Angelou wrote, “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
Wherever you are in your life, I truly hope that you are sensing God’s hand upon your life. I hope that you feel the Holy Spirit blowing all up in your business and let yourself just go with it. I pray that you step out in faith and dare to step out in love.
May the Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Peace, Joy, Blessing and All My Love,