HAPPY NEW YEAR!

“Jesus is extending his hand to you. He is inviting you to dance with him. He asks, “May I have this dance…every day of your life?” His gaze is fixed on you. He is captivated by your beauty. He is standing. He will lead. He waits for your response.” – Captivating, p. 218, John & Stasi Eldredge.

I have read this last paragraph of the last page of this book numerous times. It resides in me like a dull gong. It penetrates through the haze and says there is something more. That the very Lord of all creation would stand before me each day and ask me the simple question, “Do you want to dance?” is almost more than I can bear. How many times have I turned him away?

“His gaze is fixed on you.” I shudder to think what He sees.

“He is captivated by your beauty.” I find that very hard to believe, and then I feel bad that I’ve just cut down His creation.

“He is standing.” He comes and stands before me, He is always near.

“He will lead.” I find this most comforting to me, however, I so often fight to lead, stumbling & bumbling about. It really is a poor site.

“He waits for your response.” My response so often is no thank you!

When I first left Barnes and Noble many years ago I was ready to go conquer the world. To capture all this life had to offer…on my terms. God taught me many great truths during that time, and I haven’t walked closer with Him. It was a beautiful, painful, delicious, heartbreaking time…I felt as if I had caught a glimpse of Eden and walked with the Lord in the cool of the day. The journey continued to be life giving as I began to relinquish things to His hands and took on a new adventure of caring for children. I was alive as I had not been before. All the pieces felt right and I knew I would never come back down.

Slowly over the last several years the old tarnish and muck has encased me, entombed me. The things I’d cast away I’ve revisited, in different ways. I’m being swallowed. These last 6 months in particular have been hellish. I’ve learned a lot, of what it really means to follow Christ, the cost, the journey into His will, and not my own. His plan really is best, He does seek to give us joy abundantly, but He calls us to live His life and die to our own. This part is hard for a prideful self-righteous sinner such as myself.

When I quit my job I thought God would move and my heart would be changed. This journey is drastically different. I have been mucking about, not really caring, apathetic. I wanted to write about how great this New Year has been, what hope I have for the future, what a positive, glorious life is ahead. I don’t feel it. It’s even hard to believe it. My dear and amazing friend Kym has given me a lot of strength and encouragement. We both are going through very similar situations and we have each others backs. Even as I write this I fear pity or the need for someone to say just get over it, but I have these friends like Kym, who say, “Melissa, life is hard, God never promised us an easy lot, we strive to trust Him, we know that He is teaching us, He is God, He is moving even when we feel dead, but we are human, in our flesh His things just don’t make sense to us.”

I’m 28 years old and still waiting, waiting for what I think will kick start my life. My amazing friend Krystal and I had lunch this past Saturday. Her life is hectic, overwhelming, and fully rich. She knows God is working for her because the things that are happening wouldn’t have been her choice. She feels she has walked past her existing and into her life. She feels alive, she’s drained, and scared and nervous, but she feels alive…alive in Him. He is profoundly seeking her and she is running towards Him. After our conversation I was ready to run and greet my life, run and greet Him, let the chips fall, let it begin, surprise me, move me, make me His.

As I type this a surge of passion courses through my veins. This is a great need as well, to pour out my wealth of life upon the page. I need it, it feeds my soul to let it run free on paper (or computer as it will), whether that be in fiction or blogging or journaling. This is something I need to keep my soul alive. I starved my soul far to long. I can’t put the pieces together…I’ve tried. I’ve tried to make things work in my way. I wish to step back, I wish to give this to Him, and watch what He does with it. I’m completely and totally confident that if I do this in the next few months I will be writing a completely different blog.

So, my journey for this New Year is simply this, to draw closer to the very heart of Him. He has given me this glorious time to do just that, draw close. I haven’t been, it hurts me, and it hurts Him, yet each morning, each afternoon, each evening, each waking moment He stands and waits for me to dance. I desire it…it is what I want more than anything!

This year truly is the year of my life, full of promise, potential and hope! It is a year of reflection and trust, to know that He has my best at heart, that this life is so fleeting and short and purposeful that we shouldn’t waste one tiny second of it.

I had started this day in such a complete loser way. My dear friend Kym had invited me to lunch and I had declined. As the snow and ice entombs our world here in Kentucky so the grey funk of my life was entombing me. So, I vegged. It is easier to check out than be present. Yet, even in that the Lord blessed…Kym and I had a life giving conversation for the both of us and I was reminded that I am deeply and completely loved just for me. It felt good to be pursued and cared for.

The second part of the day my family and I went driving around to see the power of God. It was terrifyingly beautiful. The first sunny day we have experienced in quite awhile bloomed the white landscape into a shimmering fairytale land. It was the most beautiful representation of God’s awesomeness (like that word!). I came alive. I found myself wanting to get out and help pick up broken limbs and have a little adventure of my own. You know what I did. My car was stuck in the ice and, if you can picture it, here is me, my mom, and my sister pushing the back of my car while my Dad gunned it out of the rut. It was fun, it was dirty, it was an adventure. Now, to my Mom and sister it was a chore, it was something they did not look forward to. How often I look at life just that way. I don’t look forward to things that I do, instead of looking at them as a tantalizing adventure. We so often excuse those mundane chores that don’t suit us as boring or a burden, instead of using every spare moment of life and realizing what a gift it is. I’m nervous about singing tomorrow at church (something that never gets easy), been thinking how I could get out of it. I’m hoping, however, when tomorrow comes I can look at it as I did getting my car out of the rut, a beautiful, amazing adventure.

I’m not to good at asking for help. I don’t like to put my friends out. I like to help them when and where I can, but I feel uncomfortable asking for favors, but I am going to ask you beautiful people to pray for me as I do for you. I pray edifying prayers to lift you up and out and onward. I pray you do the same for me. God is moving in mighty ways, in small ways, out of the ashes is His favorite. Let’s all go on adventure, whether it is taking the dog outside or de-icing your carport pray for Him to reveal amazing mysteries of life, let the adventure begin, let Him work in and out and all through you…

Excerpt from a previous blog and story collection…

I envision myself standing in a room; wood floor tarnished and dug in from many romping nights of music, laughter and fellowship. I can see the moons hallowed glow, and the twinkling stars through the open door in the back. The light from lanterns hung on white washed beams cast an inviting glow to travelers along the weary road. I’m dressed in a 19th century dress, soft purple with little white daisies bubbling about. My curls are braided with a sprig of lavender placed in the back; ringlets encircle my face, green eyes nearly keeping up with the stars. My weathered and worn lace up black boots adorn my feet, which are raised on tiptoes, rocking back and forth, while my arms lace around my back. My fingers are fidgeting with a handmade handkerchief embroidered in yellow roses. I’m humming…”Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, he washed me white as snow.” I hear the laughter of those around me. Some are enjoying refreshment, while others are chatting in comfortable groups. Time progresses and more travelers arrive, friendly smiles, and warm greetings are passed among hand shakes and giggles. The band tunes up and begins to play…soft and low at first, and then raising to their peak a rowdy sort of number that makes certain young folk dance upon the air. All the while I’m observing, keeping rhythm with my toe. He walks in casting a shimmer of a smile my way. My heart will surely explode before He makes His pardons to grasp my hand. Fear rises up in me and I shut my eyes and swallow hard. He touches my face gently sending warmth and peace. He takes my hand and pulls me confidently to the dance floor. The air smells of lavender and my feet touch air. I feel young and free, eight years old again in an open field being swung around by my Father, feet touching heavenward.

Shall I dance? My feet have to move first…I MUST take His hand. I can no longer look to the side or the back of me, or be concerned of the ought of the matter. I must do what I must. I must be reckless. I must let my heart take wing and soar by His side. Life is truly a dance or a play however you choose to look at it. It can be a tragedy, comedy, drama, or documentary. However, the only partner worth having, the only dance worth dancing, is with Him close by my side. I choose to hear His music in the night.

3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;

I have drawn you with loving-kindness.

4 I will build you up again

and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel.

Again you will take up your tambourines

and go out to dance with the joyful…

…13 Then maidens will dance and be glad,

young men and old as well.

I will turn their mourning into gladness;

I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

Jeremiah 31: 3-4; 13

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments

Becky said…
He will lead.

glad so glad to see you back writing.....

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