Bethany Dillon

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Whole August 2, 2010

Filed under: Christianity,Life,Lucy — bethanydillon @ 10:51 pm

Getting close to five weeks. It’s crazy how fast that has gone by… and how slowly. (Almost) five weeks ago, Shane and I were in a hospital room, trying to wrap our brains around the sweet little “love lump” (as Grandma Barnard calls her) that had just arrived. We STILL are trying to wrap our minds around it, but to be honest, our minds are a little too tired nowadays. I know for myself, I can’t really remember the last time I fed Lucy, let alone the last time I showered… which can be scary.

But, wow, isn’t the Lord really as good as He says He is? I have been tasting and seeing that, especially in the last two weeks. Things (and when I say “things” I mean: motherhood, marriage adjusting to parenthood, every day life, life in God, etc…) are getting a little less blurry and coming into focus– what a huge, overflowing, overwhelming blessing this season is.

I couldn’t even begin to share all the things He has spoken to me in the last five weeks. I’m not sure if I should, really. Some of those moments are untypable and unbloggable. There really aren’t any words FOR them. Some of my moments with the Lord lately have been wordless and pretty unassuming, except for the “still small voice” that brought quiet and peace and worship to my heart. I’ve stared at Lucy and just sighed and smiled till my face hurt and my eyes were all watery. I’ve stared at my husband holding her, or comforting me in an emotional moment, or waking up with me in the middle of the night to make sure Lucy and I were alright … and wondered, How did I get this blessed? The faithfulness and tender heart of God has been shown to me through Shane consistently pre-Lucy, but now it’s something I lean on daily.

All of that to say… this morning I had a really sweet time with Him in our sun room. I was reading Galatians 5 about the fruit of the Spirit… LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL… and had this deep, restless hunger in me for the evidence of the Spirit at work in my life. I know He IS — I wouldn’t be able to get through a day if He wasn’t! But, when I looked at that list in my Bible and then copied in my journal and traced over several times, I could tell by the ache in my heart that I don’t pursue those things. More like, I don’t pursue Him to the point of those things just naturally bearing fruit.

Sure, I have joyful days. Sure, I have moments where I choose to be patient. Sure, there are times when I have to have self-control and do.

But, all of those things? To walk in the Spirit so deeply and authentically that all of those things are evident in me? I’m not sure.

And then, I flipped over to Ephesians. I saw a verse in (I think) chapter 5 talking about “giving no opportunity to the devil” … and I started to think about how many times in one day those fruits I just read about are challenged. How my flesh, and beyond that, my unseen enemy are hostile towards God and stand in opposition to those things taking root, sprouting, and producing sweet fruit in season in my life.

Ephesians 6:10-18

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,18praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”

I know it’s kind of an unattractive book of the Bible, but I have always, always loved Deuteronomy. Side note: if you haven’t ever spent much time there, you should give it an hour of your day. Flip through the chapters… there are so many that point to Jesus. Anyway, I remember it being a theme in that book, especially talking about the law, to obey the WHOLE law. To offer WHOLE offerings to the Lord. To love the Lord with your WHOLE heart.

For some reason, that word stuck out to me today… whole. I want to know what it is to experience all of the fruits of the Spirit- the wholeness of it. And, in Ephesians 6, I have a high and urgent calling to put on the WHOLE armor of God… my life depends on it.

So, I’m seeking Him for these things in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

And I want to begin each day with these things armoring me in the unseen: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the readiness given by the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and praying at all times.

The beautiful thing about the Word… and about the Lord… is that, in order to experience freedom in it, you can’t omit the things you’re uncomfortable with or inconvenience you. Kind of like how I have a joyful day here and there, where I really am joyful IN the Lord… I have days here and there when I pray at all times. Or I arm myself with the Word at the beginning of my day. Or I chose to wrap around me the truth.

But, I don’t want the glory of victory that that passage talks about in pieces! I want to experience what it’s like to really, really, REALLY walk in the Spirit. With my WHOLE heart.

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34 Responses to “Whole”

  1. Kayla Says:

    Bethany, this is so challenging and needed for me today..especially the passage concerning the armor of God. How am I to use the Word as the sword if I don’t practice? Discipline. And walking in the Spirit and loving the Lord with my WHOLE heart..
    Great words. Thank you.

  2. Kensy Says:

    Thanks so much…your take on Scripture always inspires me and gives me a hunger for the Word!!!

    THANK YOU! 🙂

  3. Katie Says:

    Hi Bethany,

    This was a great read. I am close to your age (24) and just gave birth to my first child last Tuesday. So I can relate to you in many ways. I was astonished by what God is teaching you now because it is exactly the same thing He is teaching me now with the addition to the family- cultivating the fruits of the Spirit and putting on the whole armor of Christ. I even had a moment today where I slipped into an emotional funk and God reminded me to put my armor on and stay one step ahead of the enemy.

    I guess since two first-time moms are being led by the Spirit to learn these things, it will be critical for the future of our families. I am eager to learn these lessons completely, even the uncomfortable parts, so that freedom and victory may be found.

    Congratulations on Lucy’s birth and God’s blessings to you! 🙂

  4. Kristen Says:

    Thank you!

  5. Bobby Says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for your word in this blog. Those could be my thoughts and words if I slowed down enough to write them down. We’ll be working through the book of Deut. for the next couple months, and you’re right it is an awesome thing to do.

    So I was contemplating what to read tonight, so besides Daniel, I think I’ll poke about Gal 5 too.

    Thanks again, with Love in Christ,

    Bobby

  6. Pat Langer Says:

    Dear One,
    Thank you for sharing your heart and where your treasure is. It blessed and encouraged me today. One of my favorite chapters is Colossians 3. It starts out by reminding us to stay heavenly minded, but goes on to say: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
    It is one all of my daughters are familiar with as we used it to help us solve any ‘issues’ they had while growing up! It is still one I strive to walk out.
    Bless you sweet Bethany and know that out of the abundance of your heart, your mouth speaks!

  7. Lydia Says:

    Bethany, this really encouraged me! I agree with you in that I don’t use every single fruit of the spirit. It’s more like trying to do one at a time for just a little while, and that is stopping short of what God created us for. Thanks for the encouragement! I really enjoy reading your blog!

  8. Belinda Says:

    Thank you so much for that Bethany, it really hit the mark!!

    I had a young girl in my cabin at horse camp a couple weeks ago and she said she met you once and you sat next to her at the concert she was at, her name is also Bethany. Anyway I thought I would share that with you.

    I am so happy for you and Shane, enjoy Lucy and your love.

    Belinda xx

  9. Lanie Beth Says:

    Great word! So happy for you and Shane!

  10. Becky Says:

    Thanks Beth (& Pat) for your posts! Your words of encouragement, searching and humility really resonated with my heart today!

  11. Anna Says:

    Me too, me too. Thanks for this post…

  12. […] by Courtney Smith in Uncategorized Getting close to five weeks. It's crazy how fast that has gone by… and how slowly. (Almost) five weeks ago, Shane and I were in a hospital room, trying to wrap our brains around the sweet little "love lump" (as Grandma Barnard calls her) that had just arrived. We STILL are trying to wrap our minds around it, but to be honest, our minds are a little too tired nowadays. I know for myself, I can't really remember the last time I fed Lucy, let alon … Read More […]

  13. Callie Says:

    Hmm, thanks for the thoughtful post.

  14. […] 4, 2010 by nathaliesaunders I just read this blog post by Bethany Dillon: https://bethanydillon.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/whole/ I can’t really explain what she says in a few words, so if you’re interested, give it a […]

  15. mark sisco Says:

    Loving the Life Ive been given……thats so cool…mark

  16. Chelsea Says:

    Thanks so much, girl. Keep seeking hard after Him with everything you have. Keep writing when you have the time! I know we all appreciate it so much!
    Praying for you and your new family!

    -C

  17. KK Brink Says:

    This is sooo great! Its encouraging knowing we’re all going through this together!! Its cool to think about…walking in the holy spirit with our WHOLE heart… and that its actually something we CAN do! What a powerful thing! 🙂 I’ve been really praying about this in my own life, with worship leading, and what that looks like for me. There have been a lot of hurtful experiences with different leaders that i’ve been under which sub consciously has put a lot of fear of LEADING, which ultimately puts fear into what I KNOW the Holy spirit is leading me to do…its hard because its such a quick process. I’ve been praying lately that the holy spirit would awaken the things that are held back by fear in my life, and cause them to come flowing out of me, while ministering through worship and just in my daily life, hanging out with friends and working at my job! 🙂 thank you soo much bethany for posting these blogs! I really look forward to reading them!! You’re Great!! Have an awesome day! Congrats on LUCY TOO!

  18. Jenna Says:

    I hope you’re breastfeeding Lucy!!!!! It’s the way God meant babies to be fed. It’s not too late to try even if you haven’t breastfed successfully yet. Get in touch with your local La Leche League. You are an inspiration and model to so many, I hope you consider giving this amazing God-given gift a try! Many many blessings,
    In Christ,
    J

  19. Michaela Says:

    beautiful. so beautiful. p.s. you are an incredible writer!

  20. Nena Ocampo Says:

    Bethany thank you for your beautiful words. When I feel down or need something inspirational, I always turn to your blog. Your words are dripping with God’s glory and guide me in the direction I want to go and what i need to pray about during my time spent with God. I can never thank you enough. When I read your blog, I feel like you are an old friend giving me some wonderful advice.

  21. Ethel Says:

    Dear Bethany,

    I’m a great fan of yours and your husband too, and I’m so thankful that God is using the two of you powerfully to minister to the world with the gift of music. Also sooo happy for you two with the beautiful blessing of lovely Lucy! Children are a blessing from God 🙂 may our Lord continue to reveal indescribable aspects of His love and heart thru the blessing of your daughter in your life 🙂
    Thanks also for your blog – what you post up is so edifying. I don’t return to it very often, but when I do, God really uses your words to speak to and encourage me. 🙂

    Much love in Christ 🙂

  22. Ali Reza Says:

    Hey Bethany
    I’m Ali Reza And I’m From I.R.Iran
    I love You’r Music’s
    Today I noticed that you married
    Strange I know!
    But I say sincerely congratulate you and your child birth also
    I’m waiting for next album
    Good Luck To You And To You’r Lovely Family…

    And In Persian
    موفق باشی هم برای خودت و هم برای خانواده فوق اعاده دوستداشتنیت بتانی عزیز

  23. Lindsey Says:

    Bethany,
    Everything you write encourages me in my walk with the Lord so much. Thank you! I feel like I get an awesome glimpse of how actively the spirit is working in and through you. So cool! I am praying special blessing over you and your new little one!
    – Lindsey

  24. Oh Beth! Your heart is so beautiful. What an inspiring post!

    It’s pressing, especially after you have children, to be the woman God wants you to be. I can’t wait to see how else Lucy impacts your life! And your work. Keep the pics coming! She is too precious.

  25. littlefisk Says:

    I just had my daughter 6 weeks early via emergency c-section on the 18th of this month. She is in the NICU with kidney problems, and probably will be for the next few weeks at least. Your song “In the Beginning” has kept me encouraged on the days where I’m not sure I can go on. And what you said in this blog has also encouraged me to fight against Satan when he is tempting me to be afraid and worry.

    Being a mommy is a wonderful thing, but it requires relying on the Lord daily, especially in the scary times. Thanks for reminding me of these things!

  26. Emma Stokes Says:

    I’m a 19 year old from the UK. i started listening to bethany dillon about a year ago by chance.
    I listen to your music almost everyday, and at some points, my boyfriend tells me to put other music on too, i just forget! 🙂

    LOVE IT.
    hope you are well and baby lucy. shes gorgeous.
    Emma Stokes
    UK xxx
    emma_stokes@msn.com

  27. SheryAnn Says:

    that encouraged me so much. its crazy how scripture can refresh your heart like that? 🙂

  28. Amanda Says:

    Hi Bethany! I read of blog of yours before you and Shane got married, and you talked about a book on marriage that the two of you were reading. Would you mind telling me the name of it?

  29. Jess Guemmer Says:

    I am so thankful for your heart. Encouraging words today…

  30. Priscilla Says:

    Hi Beth,

    Great thoughts and insights! love it. While I was reading through this post it made think of the classic David Crowder Band song ‘Wholly Yours’…. one of my absolute favourite songs ever! Because it touches right on this struggle we have as Christians in giving our whole lives to God and not just making Him a part of our lives and fitting Him into our own agenda. Thought I’d post the lyrics here:

    I am full of earth
    You are heaven’s worth
    I am stained with dirt, prone to depravity
    You are everything that is bright and clean
    The antonym of me
    You are divinity
    But a certain sign of grace is this
    From a broken earth flowers come up
    Pushing through the dirt

    You are holy, holy, holy
    All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
    You are holy, holy, holy
    I wanna be holy like You are

    You are everything that is bright and clean
    And You’re covering me with Your majesty
    And the truest sign of grace was this
    From wounded hands redemption fell down
    Liberating man

    You are holy, holy, holy
    All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
    You are holy, holy, holy
    I want to be holy like You are

    But the harder I try the more clearly can I feel
    The depth of our fall and the weight of it all
    And so this might could be the most impossible thing
    Your grandness in me making me clean

    Glory, hallelujah
    Glory, glory, hallelujah
    You are holy, holy, holy
    All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
    You are holy, holy, holy
    I want to be holy, holy God

    So here I am, all of me
    Finally everything
    Wholly, wholly, wholly
    I am wholly, wholly, wholly
    I am wholly, wholly, wholly Yours

    I am wholly Yours

    I am full of earth and dirt and You

  31. mark sisco Says:

    Wow! loving your tweets and the pics of Lucy and childhood nostalgia , from your visit to Ohio…Im feeling it …Thinking about the lyrics to all my favorites and putting them with the veiw……Pleeese start writing! mark

  32. Sarah G. Says:

    I’ve been having a tough time lately actually reading the Bible and praying every day. For some reason sometimes it makes me feel crazy, like I get this self-defeatist attitude where I think “Well I know that soon I am going to hit a low-point in my faith so what’s the point of being consistent?” or when I look at how many people I want to pray for I start feeling overwhelmed. Reading your blogs every day has really really helped me start to remember that no matter what, Jesus is someone who is worth getting to know and worth holding on to; and that when we do hit that spiritual low-point we will be able to look back on all we have learned about Jesus; how much He loves us and wants us to be with Him, and we’ll be able to ask Him to hold onto us until we get back on our feet. Thanks for helping me see the beauty and worth in spending time with Jesus every day, again. I am so amazed at how God has used you in my life and we don’t even know each other.
    May God continue to bless you and your new family, Bethany!:)

  33. Monica M. Says:

    Thank you for sharing your life with us! Its funny…I have been a huge fan of your’s since 2004…and I get excited for all of your new life experiences, because I know you are going to share an amazing reflection of it in your music. Your lyrics are sooo true and honest and I feel privileged to share in your response to God’s revelation in our lives. Today, I was getting music off itunes and I randomly thought…”hey, I wonder if Bethany and her husband are pregnant yet.” I was so excited to learn that you had a beautiful little baby, and I smiled really big when I saw the picture of your little blessing! I am very happy for you, and am praying for you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing your music with us. Its such a beautiful thing to witness someone participating so openly in the creativity of God. God is great! Oh yeah…also…Go Bucks! lol…I am a fellow Ohioan from Bowling Green. Have a beautiful day!

  34. Hillary Says:

    hey beth! I love this so much… we talked about the *fruit of the spirit in my small group a few weeks ago. We talked about how the word “fruit” is singular, which means that these characteristics are not individual, but one characteristic as a whole as a reflection in the spirit in our lives. Our leader challenged us, when we are not showing these evidences in our lives like joy, patience, etc, to look back and try to find the point in which we have quenched the spirit, and maybe instead of asking for more patience, or more joy, simply asking Jesus to teach us to “walk in the spirit” as Galatians tells us, so that we will not carry out the desires of the flesh. Made me look at this whole passage in a new way. Love it. 🙂 … thanks for your heart. It encourages mine to get in the word!


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