Exhale.

Momentarily exhaling. I didn’t actually realize how long I’ve been holding my breath. I guess it started two or three weeks ago when I was preparing for an incredibly laborious and mentally taxing season of professional work. At the same time, I felt a bit burdened  with  a couple of personal situations. Just about the time I begin to release, my son is hospitalized with some super bacteria  and we are in the K suite for 5 days. He is well. We are fine.

Process.

That is what I do often, but particularly following a series of unexpected circumstances, or as I call them, unscheduled program interruptions. And it’s ok to process. It’s okay to dissect, ponder, cry, praise, and correct course

I’ve found over the years that people don’t really like process. It’s deep. It’s revealing. It exposes that tiny truth you may not want to face. It makes you vulnerable. It’s real. But, processing life in all of its rawness is what allows us to grow in strength. Real process, in all of its authenticity, is a partnership with God. It is intimate and imparts great wisdom.

People asked often last week about me. They wanted to know how I was. Tired? Afraid? Frustrated? Truthfully, I was in a bubble. Insulated from feeling much.  It was the prayer of so many and the grace of God, I believe. But generally speaking, in situations with things like family crisis, hospitalizations, legal battles, family tension, empty nest, terminal illness, financial struggle, you don’t really have an opportunity to feel anything while the game is in play, so to speak. you just function. You just survive. And when the pressure subsides, and you arrive at commencement of that which was weighty, you have a choice.

You can exhale and move on

or

You can exhale and engage process

I need God with me during play review and highlights. I am aware that I need him beyond the game. I am absolutely incapable of making any kind of great analysis on my own. That being said, I don’t always know what is in my own best interests, but He does. And, I am His. The flesh is strong and assertive, it can’t always interpret clearly  what He is doing. Sometimes even my own desire prevents me from acknowledging His. He’s whispering, but it’s not what I want to hear. I decided many years ago that He gave me this life to steward because he wanted to do something thru me as a small part of a collective body. It’s something significant that can only be accomplished if I would surrender.  In this place, process was originally birthed.

Not my will, Lord. But Yours.

There is nothing dismissive about this prayer. There is nothing que sera sera about it. It is every bit intentional, and never spoken in generality. It is a prayer I pray often and very strategically.

For example,

“Lord Thank you for the great work you are doing in Owen.  You are here. Emmanuel, GOD WITH US. You are the giver of every good and perfect gift and you love Owen with a ferociously brave and deep love. You know all things…exactly what care He needs, how long he needs to be in this hospital. We believe he is amending because of the price you paid and the Word you’ve given us. We do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. I submit my desire and agenda to you, in exchange for your wisdom. I ask you to give me the Mind of Christ in every question I ask of physicians. I thank you for strategic insight…both in revelatory word and in walking it out. Have your way. It’s perfect. And you will bring us to a perfect end. Show us what you want us to see. Reveal the word for this hour.”

I did not recite my 3 favorite healing scriptures, pray a pretty prayer over Owen and tell everyone he is perfect. I did not ask the Lord specifically to release Him at 2pm on Wednesday afternoon because I was out of sick days at work, and didn’t want to miss church rehearsal. I did not develop a plan on my own and ask God to bless it and everyone to agree with us. It’s a relationship. I keep talking to God and He keeps working with me. There is no formula. It’s a live feed.

I BREATHE EVERY MOMENT TO HEAR FROM HEAVEN.

I know this post is a little different. I know people may think it’s strange. You don’t have to read this blog. I’m not looking for a fan club. I don’t expect it to be a bestseller. But, this is my process. This is what is real in me. This is how I live.

DEPENDENT.

I am dependent. When things do not make sense, I trust Him. When I am wrong, I let God correct me. When I am broken and hurt, I let Him heal me. When I am mad, I tell Him. When I am disheartened and disappointed, I cry out. When I am happy, I give extravagant praise. And in struggle, the praise is just as extravagant. I love to sing to him and raise my hands. I love to let my fingers roll up and down the piano and His song to come forth. I don’t care who is watching. I don’t care if it sounds broken. When I’m needy, I’ll lay on the floor still until I encounter Him. I wait for His instruction. I wait.

God rescued us this week. I’m not quite ready to share all of it with you. But, I can tell you, we were rescued.  Because He loves well, but not just that. WE WERE LISTENING. WE WERE FOLLOWING. I had been prepped the week before in many ways I did not realize until the post-game show.

Always Listen. He is not always going to give you what you want. He doesn’t always tell you what you want to hear. His work in your life won’t always look successful by man’s criteria…like fireworks and marquees. But it is deeply effectual. It is tremendously valuable in the scope of eternity. He does deep work. It starts in death. You die to yourself and he raises you up in Him.

When you begin to encounter Him in that way, you see His goodness. You begin stop asking for stuff, provision and circumstances to go your way. you stop asking for things to be easy, but that He’ll give you more grace and make you brave. You begin to pursue his presence…to interpret  His heart…to serve others in a way that is bold and beautiful. You think little of yourself and you have every confidence that He will complete the good work He started in You because your destination is HIM. You get to HIM THRU HIM not of yourself. You’d loose the affection of every person you know to stand for what He says is truth.

HE IS THE REWARD.

Gratitude is the overflow of your heart. Desire to know Him your sole pursuit.

Prayers go from “Bless us, Lord” to

“God, let me want what you want for me, more than what I want for me.”

It’s the only place to live. It’s the prayer that will break open the most peace….in a hospital, in circumstantial ruin, in disappointment, in dimly lit places of your life. It’s a bold prayer and one you will pray if you are serious about knowing Him.  You need to know Him. He is the way to life.

Be Brave. It’s what He calls you.

 

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