That’s where I feel like I am… back at square one today. Which, really, isn’t a bad thing. I think I can get myself too used to only the “complex” things and thoughts about walking with Jesus in the every-dayness of my life.
I don’t think it’s too rare of a thing to struggle with consistency as a believer… a few weeks ago, while Shane was out of town for the weekend playing some shows, I had a group of college girls over (from the Oaks School of Leadership that our church started — if you follow Shane & Shane on Twitter or read their blog, you’ve heard of it. It’s an awesome, awesome program!) in the thick of finals week. We ate lasagna, talked, and then sat around my living room and shared what our plans were for the summer and how we could be prayed for. That morning I had read the passage from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” (see: The Rare Moments blog below) and really felt the need to share it, not only on this blog, but to actually READ it with them… if you scroll down and read those short paragraphs, maybe it will resonate with you, too. Chambers had such a strong word for those of us (I think I’m the president of this particular club) who rely solely on the “inspiring” moments in our lives in God. If something isn’t inspiring, motivating, emotional … we don’t waste too much time on it.
Yeah… guilty. So, so guilty of that.
Anyway, in my unrealistic expectation to somehow skip multiple steps from –> only sticking around for the rare, inspiring times in my faith to –> having a deep, intimate, genuine walk with Jesus … it probably isn’t shocking that instead of moving forward, I often find myself in familiar places.
And, to be honest, I probably always will struggle with wanting the emotional times over the times of true, tested devotion. Example: in case you didn’t know, I’m American. About five minutes after I poured my tea this morning, I wanted it just a few degrees hotter, put it in the microwave, and thirty seconds later had a perfect cup of tea again. You get what I’m saying? Being used to that in so many areas of my life has handicapped me as a believer in a lot of ways… I’m not deeply moved toward Him and broken when I read His consistent command of me in the Word, “Wait.” Instead, I usually go, “Ok… I’ll wait… how long again? Five minutes? Ten? Uhh.. I kind of have to go and get some things done today… ooooookay… nevermind!”
How much have I missed out on with that attitude in my heart?
I’m sharing all of this, honestly, with a LOT of joy this morning, which may sound weird… but I truly feel His leading me into a season of repentance and new beginnings. I mean, HELLO … in eight weeks, sweet little Lucy is coming into the world! So much newness and excitement and the unknown surrounds that brand new season of baby, marriage, loving Jesus. In the anticipation of that, I can feel the Lord leading and teaching me in preparation for it, and I’m SO thankful. Thankful beyond words. His faithful heart and steadfast love continue to draw and inspire me, even in the uninspiring days…
So. He really spoke to me this morning about prayer. I can’t blame it all on pregnancy that I’ve been distracted in that area as of late. I’m going to especially need that discipline in a couple of months, but I’m also in desperate need of it today. So, as uninspiring and practical as it sounds (which is hard for emotional/artsy people, but usually very healthy and needed!) I wrote out in my journal for about ten minutes all the names that I feel burdened to pray for. I counted them. I put them in seven groups, or, Sunday-Saturday. I really sensed His leading in it, and then when I was done I said out loud, “Lord… this looks way too organized and practical for me.” But, you know what? I probably need that. To have some sort of a grid to work off of- something uninspiring that will begin a habit and consistency in me. I’ll weekly bring family, friends, our community, before Him … instead of remembering to pray for our church after weeks of not, for example. I know that’s not for everybody, but I think it’s for me right now.
Prayer. Consistently reading the Word. Reading books that make me love Him more (right now: “The Pleasures of God” by John Piper is rocking my world). Talking to people about Jesus.
Sounds like square one, huh? And I’m excited about it. Expectant in it. He has been faithful in growing me up until now, and He will continue to be, by no striving or effort of my own – purely by His Spirit at work in my life. Through what? The practical. The every-day. The uninspiring. And, maybe, as glimpses here and there along the way… a moment of clarity, passion, inspiration, emotions getting behind what I’ve committed to.
Until then, I’ll wait… with lots of joy and hope in my ever-growing heart. Kind of like my belly is stretching out, I feel my heart doing the same.