I know, I know, it’s been forever, as my like a brother Tony has so faithfully reminded me. Nagging me is his “big brother” job I suppose. I apologize. Feels like I do that alot on here. Tell you how sorry I am that the updates are getting fewer and further between.
Allow me to give you a few updates. We have a team here right now from a church outside Beverly called, Faith Joy Fellowship. They have been an absolute delight. They came in with such humble servant hearts willing to do anything that was needed and so it has been so easy to work alongside them. They have been a tremendous blessing to our hearts as well. We’ve said before that the past month or so has been one of the most difficult since I’ve been here and I was in a season where I felt like I could not “feel” God’s presence. Don’t know if you’ve ever been there, but it was horrible. I felt like I was screaming and I could not hear Him answer. Now that being said, I didn’t doubt that He was still there helping me or that He was still my Father wanting what was best for my life. His word says it and so it must be true, it’s just that the nearness that I have grown so used to experiencing with Him felt like distance. Now don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of times that I have felt distance from Him, but usually I’ve known exactly why…I was being rebellious or blatantly sinning and God would not allow my heart to rest near Him until I cleared that up. I am not being dishonest when I tell you that I racked my brain for sin in camp and things that would create distance and I could not come up with anything. (Ok that being said, there’s some sin in camp every day, because I’m still living on this earth, but I’m talking about a blatant sin with a rebellious spirit behind it.) Just distance, a heart feeling distant. I’ve decided I’d rather die than not feel His presence.
Perhaps part of the reason for this month or so sabbatical from feeling Him right beside me was because I had NO idea how accustomed I had come to walking so intimately with Him, talking to Him throughout my day, relying on His wisdom with these kiddo’s, just all of it. Maybe I took that in part for granted because of it. Maybe God was increasing my capacity to love Him because I realize that I never ever want to be “away” from Him and I’ll do anything that I need to to make that not happen. Maybe it just happens because He promises to refine us and maybe this was part of that. I have NO idea. Don’t pretend to know the mind of God.
This team however has walked among us for the past week and been Jesus with skin on. They’ve served us, prayed over us, encouraged us, and they have seemed to be the tool God used to release this heart from feeling distant from Him.
With tears in my eyes, I tell you that there may be a time again in my journey when God removes His presence for a time to teach my heart something, and I will walk it out because I want Him to mold this heart and change it in any way that it needs to be changed, but of all the things that God has used to refine me, through challenges and struggle and those types of things, this one…has perhaps taught me most and yet been the most difficult.
I have to be near Him. I’ve learned that. I have to hear Him speaking to my heart. He is my life, and just in case I needed a reminder, this month has been one.
God I need You, I desperately need You, near me, holding me, and so I’m asking now Father, if there is any other way to teach me the lessons You need to teach me, I beg You to do it. Give me a heart that will listen, before You must withdraw Your presence. I don’t pretend to know all the reasons for this, but this one thing I know, I am lost without You. Everything is sweeter when I feel You walking it out with me. I thank You for times that we must trust what we know even though we cannot feel, there are lessons in that in huge ways. I’ll trust Your perfect provision for my life. I will. You have not failed me, You promise You won’t. I rest there. I love You so much. Thank You for reminding me just how much.