For awhile now, God has been giving me what I've heard called, "God-moments". I've been sick and had more time on my hands - so I've done some reading, some reflecting, and tried to remain more open to His voice in my life.
As I've reflected on past blogs - I notice that I'm not as graceful (?) and "open" as I once was. Something, I am actually pretty sad to see go. I'm seeing things in my black and white, rather than various shades of gray. I'm learning to accept who God is as He has revealed, not how I think He should be - no easy task for this (reformed) feminist liberal. (Never burned a bra so I was not yet to the point of no return. ) But I do feel that I've lost something - perhaps a gentle touch or more understanding mind and cannot help but wonder when this happened and why wasn't I paying attention? As I turned up my Sandisk a few nights ago with my elbows covered in dish bubbles, I felt such a striking, amazing fellowship with faded singing voices on an acostic live version of a favorite song - something I hadn't so strongly felt in awhile. Not to say that I don't connect at GP - but rather, I'm more comfortable truly opening myself to my own honest worship in the privacy of my own home or shockingly, while pushing a mop around a tiny store in the middle of a not so good neighborhood. I don't care that my once clear voice is breaking and cracking as I heartily sing out the verses or how I look while I raise my hands and perhaps even cry. I don't care about those things - I just am overwhelmed with God's love and very prescence and the message, whatever it may be, whispered to my heart.
And while I feel confused about where my (more) controlled tongue and gray lines went, I am served by homeless men around the store. Charles came in today and has such confidence in me, that's it really is touching. He brings his trials and shares them with me, shares his quiet moments with God, and what is transforming in his life - but he even shares his disbelief, his inability to understand, and his confusion with me. It's so humbling because here is a man who thinks about everything he is doing, the Spirit is so clearly speaking to him, and he just wants to serve God. He is surrounded by godly counsel and yet, still he returns to the store and shares with me, I share with him, and we quietly read the Bible together and have this moments where God is so there. His Word comes alive and it's like watching my kids on Christmas - his face lights up, his eyes widen, and excitedly he'll share what just "spoke" to him. And he cannot believe it. This amazing transformation is so humbling to watch and I'm so grateful that God is allowing me to witness this.
It comes at a time when everything seems to be crashing into one another. With the bad news on Mamau I feel so torn between the LDS church (comfort, security, a sense of longing and homesickness) and what I know to be true - God and what He has spoke to us, taught us, and guided us through and to. My favorite song right now is Lincoln Brewster's, "Let the Praises Ring" - a line from it says, "In You I find my peace... Let everything I say and do, be founded by my faith in You." It's an uplifting line, true, but also very direct. Is the homesickness I feel due to my faith founded in God or a temporal secure feeling and longing for simpler times? Do I look to God for peace or still, the world? Do I live in God, or do I visit Him from time to time? A friend from Relief Society came by and visited me a few days ago, and there was such a wave of nostalgia.
And yet what has been beautiful amidst this whole thing, is her peace with her Savior. At no other time, do I find more peace with Jesus than I do now - I worry like crazy that I'm being idle, not sharing the gospel with her - but have realized that ultimately, Christ loves her more than I ever could.
I receive daily devotionals from the Proverbs 31 ministry - and a recent one was on radical obediance. As I read through it, the same day I received our church's e-newsletter - speaking about an upcoming series on Christian maturity. I often wonder how many times I just keep pouring the knowledge in to put as much distance between my past and now, and how much I actually retain and am obedient to. I'm not a "hollow leg" - I shouldn't just be pouring over books and podcasts and not applying anything. Radical obediance is only radical if one is actually obedient. How many times do I sit and think to myself all the ways I could improve my walk with God and then not do them? How many times do I clearly recognize God's voice in my life, His direction, His revealed will for change and yet I continue to do what I want? I had my very first experience in receiving a "word of knowledge" (I believe that's what it's called) - a message from the Spirit to me from another person and yet, still, I disobey.
God's hand is so apparent in my life and yet I don't take refuge in Him right now - I take it in myself. Coming to terms with that and knowing that it'll be a "painful" or at the very least uncomfortable walk as I start letting go and really be obedient in the small as well as the large, is something I'm hoping He will transform and enable me to do. I realize the first step is to stop thinking of how I am going to change, be more obedient, and transform myself and start thinking of God's Holy Spirit enabling me to overcome and to truly let go of myself for Him, and Him alone.