I’m Fascinated By His Love

"This Is My Body - The Passion Of The Christ"by C.M. Dudash

“This Is My Body – The Passion Of The Christ”by C.M. Dudash

 

Happy, Sunday Friends.  During this 31 Day Planning with Purpose Series we have been a bit more contemplative, deviating from the normal format in posts on Sundays. Today I want to share something I wrote a while back. May this Sunday refresh you, bring you the reminder of God’s Love and Faithfulness. May you find the balance between busy and blessed as you plan your upcoming week.

 

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. ~Ephesians 5:15-17

 

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Little Girl

I am joining in with Bonnie again, and our prompt is “The Little Girl In Me”.

Sometimes friends, it is easier for me to write in a poem what is too hard to say any other way.So here is my journey, here is my offering, these words shared in community.

There is a little girl in me
who rarely came out to play

Huddled alone in a corner she sat
I discovered she’d much to say

With grace I gently drew her out
and asked why she seemed so sad

She said that she missed her childhood
and sometimes it made her mad

I asked her if she might be clearer
so I could understand
 what she meant by those words
so she took me by the hand

Down long corridors we walked
as she guided me
pulling back the veil of time
on distant memories

She stood so small and quiet
 and pointed out each time
pieces of her innocence robbed
it appeared to me a crime

I saw her in her smallness,
fragile, unprotected
by all that was not right
I decided right then and there
to help her in her plight

I knelt down to her
eye level and looked
straight into her eyes
Then I pulled her close to me
regarding not her disguise

I told her that I would stand by her side
and be her forever friend
and I would help her heal her wounds
on me she could depend

I gently unwrapped myself from her
and gazed upon her face
and saw a glimmer of hope
as she emerged from her hiding place

We ventured on and as I saw
each haunted memory
a slow but steady light ahead
a sign of Calvary

I asked if she understood
 all that happened there
she said that if she didn’t
she never would have dared
to wait so patiently for me
and face all that she feared

She led me back in silence
I will never forget her face
lip curled gentle smile
a peaceful state of grace

Morning brought the dawn
a darkness ‘fore the light
I sat up from my slumber
and pondered prior night

And in my foggy state
as I shook myself from sleep
a laughing little girl I saw
barefoot on the beach
came to my mind
immediately
as vivid as could be

Squinting as I scratched my head
I shook myself awake
padded to the bathroom
splashed cold water on my face
and as I looked up from the sink
 stared into the looking glass
I saw myself that little girl
and recognized the mask
I smiled and saw her face again
looking back at me-
 she danced along the water’s edge
as happy as could be

she smiled, laughed, kicked up the sand
and with a toss of hair
gave me a wave
 then said
 she’d see me another day
and said I shouldn’t worry
but today she just had to play.

I’ve Got No Answers

“But he who dares not grasp the thorn 
Should never crave the rose.” 
― Anne Brontë
I’ve got no answers. 
I hate that. Personally, I am a fan of knowledge. I am one who loves to seek answers. If I don’t know a word, I go to the dictionary. Not clear on details of a topic, give me a second, I can research it, love that Google! I own a set of Encyclopedias for my more bookish research moments and quite possibly could easily open a used bookstore with the variety and volume of books I own. I even kept college texts. Better yet, I read college texts for pleasure when I wasn’t in college. Probably my love and desire for knowledge is both a blessing and a curse.
 But it is my desire for truth that led me to lay down my pursuit of knowledge…or at least my drivenness (yes, I looked it up and it is a word that I CAN use, although I have also been known to coin a few when limited by English Grammar) toward it. One long  exegesis of Ecclesiastes and multiple readings of Colossians will cure one of such maladies.
I have finished wrestling with God over my blessing, only to discover that ultimately, He is the blessing.
This current circumstance in my life, a waiting for answers. A rehashing of past, and present choices, to what avail? What really matters? 
We choose in time, by limited perception, filtered through our own expectations, unspoken agendas, and experiences. We do the best we can, in time. 
We do the best we can, and then we leave all at the feet of the One who is The Blessing.
He is the One who is the blessing and is all knowledge, wisdom and truth.
So today, and for the days ahead, I give myself permission to not know.
To not have all the answers.
To not weary myself with the pursuit of that which may not be known fully now.
One of the things that used to bother me most, and still now, are those who think they have full revelation of something and are so sure they refuse to consider another perspective, to a flaw. 
One thing I recognized was that God used this desire in me to draw me to truth.
But, it was because I was willing to accept that I did not have all the answers already. 
I was willing to become a child, again, and trust…that which was unknown might make itself known.
I was truly open minded, able to listen and draw from many potential portals of truth…
I’d be lying if I told you I was ever a willing disciple. I was like Thomas, and I sought and embraced religion and philosophy of many kinds in my pursuit of truth, rejecting Christianity for Liberalism, hands down. I partook in the secular soup of modern day wisdom, expounding “all paths lead to God”. 
But then God showed up and corrected my thinking.
He’s been doing it ever since.
So, today not only do I give myself permission to not know and not have all the answers. 
I rejoice with great joy in this: that I know the One who does. 
Who is.
Who was and is and is to come!
I’ve got no answers. 
I’m not thrilled about that.
But I’m OK, with it.
I’m learning that with Him, it’s in the moments that are hardest, we see Him.
We want answers. Plans. Solutions.
He wants our hearts to trust in Him. 
He’s got answers, plans, solutions. 
More importantly, He’s got us.
We think we have Him…but the One who is Faithful is the One who does the holding.
Trust Him, trust this truth.

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
 He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
 He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.
~Daniel 2:20-22

Linking with Bonnie Gray’s community for Thursday Faith Jams.
Today’s prompt:
Giving myself permission to…

Also joining in community with these friends:

And with Barbie:

The Beauty and Bravery of Being Yourself (Faith Barista Jam)

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One of my very favorite bloggers, Bonnie of Faith Barista has been working on a book the past year or so and also treading some deep waters in her own emotional healing. I miss her, and although am on a kind of “break” for November, just cannot keep myself from joining in and meeting her for her Thursday Link up this week! It’s been 6 or more months since the last “Faith Jam” at her place. I have always been blessed by this community – I have missed the Thursday gathering of word loving, Jesus seeking, friends.

Here is how Bonnie describes her place:

“Faith Barista isn’t a blog about giving advice or fixing people — or trying to solve people’s problems.  We are walking by faith.  We are Faith Baristas who believe the ultimate Faith Barista Jesus is going to keep pouring into us, as we pour out our words.”

The prompt for this return of the Faith Barista Jam is “Be Yourself” and so I am pouring out my words as I ponder my own healing journey and struggle to find and share the right words, so pull up and let’s share a cup together:

     I have fears. Fears of being found out, not liked, rejected. I don’t know why, because I have already experienced all of these as a child, and as an adult. I vacillate with how much I dare to share. Not everyone needs to know everything. He does. Know. He knows. He knows everything. I have been working on my own spiritual memoir. I feel like I have been writing it my whole life. Pieces of it are saved on old paper, I recently came across as I set to the task again. The words staring back on me from the paper could have been written from my heart today. It pains me to think of this voice within, silenced. I want to set that voice free. Complete the task. Yet, I look at the sum of this life and all the experiences, and feel that it is, too hard. So I type out a few pages, and file away the pain when it overwhelms me.

I am a keeper of secrets. I am not so sure that all of them need to be known. Yet, this story within, God is molding, purifying, and allowing to rise within me, until it will not be contained. It is how I started blogging.

But this…

This book in me…this story, this truth lived, must be laid at His feet. Because my fears do suffocate that voice within. The many voices drown out the still small voice…and mine.

I fear insignificance, and long to be free from the voices that plague me, saying, “Your voice won’t matter.”

“It’s all been said already/before.”

“People will judge, criticize, misunderstand or understand and not care anyway.”

The ultimate fear being my words won’t matter at all, and the little girl within will die voiceless, unheard. 

Yet, there is another voice within that refuses to be ignored. It nurtures, heals, nourishes and strengthens the child. This voice balances, leads and is fine tuning the voice. Quieting the fear. Fortifying with grace and truth, merging the story with the One True Story that matters- His Story…of Glory. This other voice is the Holy Spirit within and it is He who has freed my voice thus far. It is He who will provide that which is needful to bring to fruition what must be shared; also to tend to that which must be pruned, trimmed and edited.

As I look unto Him, who gives me strength, who looks upon me with love, and rejoices over me, with tears of forgiveness, I am set free. From fear, and Hell’s desire to quench the Truth within me. 

Although I acknowledge and confess my fears, don’t misunderstand. It is in the bringing out into the light which allows the things of darkness to be diminished. My voice, your voice…all of our voices that resonate His grace, truth and beauty will not be shut up. Our voices will rise, beyond fear, failure, adversity- rising higher than ever imagined, a beautiful acceptable Holy fire, burning bright before Him who gives voice, and breath and life. A sweet aroma…One Holy, Amen.

Jesus expects nothing more than for me to be who I am. To be myself. But, the mind-boggling beauty of it is, He accepts me as I am while making me what I could never be apart from His presence.  
Have you been afraid, to share the truth of your own journey? Can you relate ? If so join in and jam with us at Bonnie’s place as we join our unique voices into a beautiful harmony of raw and real praise.
Share your heart on “Being Yourself”. See you there. 

Linking with Jennifer for Tell His Story…and besides I always dreamed of being a News Journalist- after the Jockey thing didn’t pan out (12 years old and 5′ 4″ sealed that dream away)- but Jennifer – she lived the News Journalist/Reporter dream. And now shares a different story and this community:

Dear Jesus {Faith Barista Jam 8/23}

Painting by CM Dudash

Dear Jesus,

I’ve so much I long to say that my heart and mind feel overwhelmed. My mind swirls with questions and I long to hear you say, as you did to the Sea of Galilee “Peace, be still”. Lord, I know I need to listen better to you, because you are faithful to speak through your Word and a multitude of ways but this buzzing in my brain, the ever present hum of this distracting, crazy world is like static to my soul. I confess I sometimes have a hard time hearing you through the haze of the days. How I long for uninterrupted time with you. How I long to stay in your presence forever weeping and kissing your feet. I know in your divine presence I feel nothing but the bliss of fears expelled. Perfect peace, joy and holy acceptance. Oh, Lord I want to live in that every moment. Is that Heaven? Because I long for it from the inner core of my being. Lord, it’s my birthday tomorrow (I mean I know you know this and all) and I am approaching the half century mark. That sounds rather cryptic, but Lord I wonder if I will ever grow up? Grow old. I still feel like that same little girl. The one who felt your guarding presence but did not fully understand. The Little Girl who hid in the stairwell and cut Catechism class when the teacher shamed her one day. Week after week she walked to the class (or so her mother thought) and instead hid in a stairwell wondering the time. I knew you were there but I did not know what to say to you. How to talk to you. So I sat there in my shame, feeling the filth of my self. Waiting. Sensing your presence but my own lack. Spiritually mute. Lord, I am grateful that you didn’t wait for me to find words but you stayed with me. A friend to me before I was ever a friend to you. You have been that faithful friend even as I ran from anything that reminded me of the shame, the filth, the uncleanness that only you could clean. The thought of you extending a clean white cloth dipped in blood and water to me.  This is all too wonderful to me. The thought of me running from you dirty, when all you wanted was to cleanse me from my own self-righteousness and sin. To cure and heal me from that which was within and without. The thought of your love and faithfulness and my ignorance and rebellion. I rejected you because I did not understand your great love for me. Or my own unrighteousness. But you came to give sight to the blind, riches to the poor, and health to the sick; To give good things and a crown of eternal glory.
Your blessing traded for my cursing. Your grace exchanged for my selfishness. Your sacrifice while I was still a blasphemer. Lord, thank you for putting a new song in my heart and for your sacrificial love that extends always to the lame, blind, sick and poor. Because of your love, I walk, see, am healed and rich.
I am forgiven. I am grateful. I am free. Lord, I praise you that you made a way for sinners to enter into your presence. That you are always extending that white cloth dipped in blood and water to all of those who will call out your name. The name that saves. Jesus. The Name Above All Names. Thank you for words to speak, now that I know how to talk to you. You are teaching me. Willing and able. Help me to abide in your Truth and discern your voice clearly above the noise. Help me to listen well to you and others. Thank you for Wisdom, Truth and the Keys to your Kingdom. Oh, Lord. Thank you for loving me and making your love available to all.

I Remain Forever In Your Grace,
Dawn

 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: 
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
Since we have now been justified by his blood, 
how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 
For if, while we were God’s enemies, 
we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, 
how much more, having been reconciled,
 shall we be saved through his life!
 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
 through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5:8-11
Beholding Glory

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