These last couple of weeks, I’ve spent any spare time reflecting from a horizontal position on the couch.

The new life inside seems to strip me of vigor even as it grows in the secret place; my life for my child, it’s as it should be.  My fingers haven’t been keen to write either; as God writes more important things inside of me, my stamina to enter the arena of ideas dwindles.

Ideas and projects are good and important, but where is the heart that is fully devoted to God?

Is there any greater good than to lay myself down inside the heart of my Heavenly Father and live solely unto Him?

Increasingly, I am resting in Jesus.  I don’t know how, after 30-odd years of life on this ball I missed this secret place, but now that I have finally found it, I’m not letting go! 

He’s meeting me; really and truly my heart is – perhaps for the first time – resting in Him.  It’s like the immeasurable greatness that Paul talks about in Ephesians is actually beginning to spill over me and all I want is to spend my extra moments listening to His lovely voice, reading His perfect Word and asking Him all the pent up questions that have been hounding me for years.  It’s like He’s taking my burdens away from me one by one, and I don’t have to wrestle with them anymore… it’s like freedom.

And it’s coming without effort, without striving, without anything being perfect on the outside of me, because the veil has been removed from my eyes and I am embracing Scripture as written, not as the popular evangelical doctrine machines would explain it.

I used to think I was free, but I had no idea that this kind of freedom was available to God’s children.

I used to think prayer was like me leaving a message on God’s answering machine, maybe He’d get back to me, maybe He wouldn’t (“God always answers: sometimes it’s a yes, a no or wait”, right?), and in the waiting I would develop character, of course.  Well, I’ve been learning that God is communicating to me all the time – like a radio station – that simply requires me to ‘tune in’ to the right frequency: Him!

And now, hearing from Him in my spirit through words and dreams, and pressing into His word, I am finally building a relationship with Him… like when I first started getting to know my husband… all the world is new and I just don’t care about hobbies or entertainment or the latest whatever, because the lover of my soul wants to be with me!


Regrets of the Dying

In the book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, apparently the number one regret at the end of people’s life is “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

I’m pretty sure I never saw a movie where I was rooting for the protagonist to submit to the doomish, narrow opinions of others who wanted to shut down the dream.  (That would make for a pretty lame movie.)

Struggling to work out the vision God has given us amidst the real-world cast of characters that surrounds us has made it clear to me that fear has been a dominant feature in my life; let’s just say I’m not exactly ready to star as a hero any time soon.

I was never scared of spiders or of getting sick or normal day to day stuff; I’m not a wimp, generally speaking.  But, the quiet background noise of fear has penetrated my thoughts over the years, especially as I have stepped out in greater and greater faith, often prompting me to overly care about what other people think about me and causing me to feel strong guilt when I fail to live up to other’s expectations for my life.

But another book I read recently (Fear No Evil) articulated what has been forming in my mind for some time now: “Behind every fear there is a lie.”

Behind every fear there is a lie.

Fear = lie.

Fear is not of God, because perfect love casts out fear.

And so, whether I’m afraid of disappointing others, or getting ‘too weird’, or being totally misunderstood, or fearfully wondering if I will even make it through the mess of this day (if I don’t, I suppose it will prove the critics right, I am in over my head), I’m learning that all that anxious thinking is at best unproductive and at worst massively destructive.

Why do I mess with fear?  Why is it so hard to punch it in the face and just get over it?

It recently occurred to me that of my closest circle of friends in elementary school, I am the only one with children.  The others are doing marvelous, meaningful and glamorous things with their lives.  Yet, it struck me afresh that what will last is the life we build.  Our ideas and art and efforts will endure a season or two or five, but children carry the spirit of life into the next generation, to a place I will never go.

This crazy work of cleaning up goobery faces, waiting out tantrums, matching 8 million socks again, and clearing mold specimens out of the containers at the back of the fridge, is all for a greater purpose: life beyond me, life beyond here.

And that’s the dream we have, essentially: Life, abundantly; life free in Jesus.

Honestly, I don’t know where our story is going, but how can I be afraid of a dream like that, a dream that is woven through scripture like a perfect golden thread?  There’s no fear in that, only victory.