Thursday, February 12, 2009

Courage For Change

"Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19 (Amplified)

I've been talking to God a lot lately about my little blog here. And not just this blog, but all my other ones as well. See, they take time to do, and there are many days where I just wonder if it's too much, and maybe I should cut back. And in the months ahead, we're going to be seeing changes in our household and in our daily routine (more to come on that in the months ahead, I promise) and I've been trying to reconcile the time I spend blogging with the time I spend doing other things. Do I spend enough time with my children? Husband? Doing housework (well, there's never enough time for that one), spending time with God... we're just always revolving around time, and I guess I came to it a few weeks back where I kind of looked at God and said, you know, if you want me to cut back, I'll do it. I'll miss it, but I'll do it. Then I sort of fretted about God telling me to cut back, you know?


Except God had a very different answer for me. "Blog more." Is what he said, and not just blog more, but "Blog the Truth." While at first I was thrilled with continuing my blogging, I suddenly became nervous. Because while I have always blogged the truth here at Heart & Soul, a lot of the times it's been watered down. I've worried about causing offense to someone, or worried that I'd say the wrong thing and hurt someone unintentionally. And actually, as I go through some of my archives, and my older posts, I can see how far I've come from where I began. It's truly stunning to look back at one of the first series' I did on the names of God. Then, I was learning the names of God, what they meant and how they came to be, and now... now I actually use them! When I pray, I use those precious names of God and I love just dwelling in the presence of Elohim or Adonai. Just thinking about Jehovah Shalom fills me with the peace that passes all understanding.

There's more here than what I think I'm saying, and please bear with me as I get this all straight today. Because God's been working on me big time on breaking free, and I'm really struggling with it. I've been trying to let go of past embarrassments, but you don't realize how hard it is until you realize exactly what's holding you back. A few weeks ago, I learned what it was that was holding me back, and that is my past. I grew up in a church, with Christian friends...only, I guess they weren't the best friends. We were friends and all at church, but once we got to school, we never mingled. And there was something else, all my friends wouldn't let God in. We would get God hardcore at conferences and camps, and while I would take the opportunity to step out and worship, they wouldn't... and at first I didn't let that bother me. But then the talk started, and romantic attractions became very real to me, and I think that somehow I connected "getting with God" with "not getting the boy." And overall, it really held me back from any real experiences with God I might have had as a teenager. Who knows what cute boy might be watching! Now, you would think that wouldn't matter to me anymore, with me being very blessed in a happy marriage, but I guess it still does, just on a different level.

One of the many things I've been learning about and working on and I have mentioned it a few times here is that God speaks to me in dreams. It doesn't happen every night, or regularly, but every once in a while I have a very vivid dream that wakes me when it's over. I'm familiar with the sensation now of waking from those dreams, and I immediately pray and ask God to bring meaning to me, and sometimes I go back to sleep,and sometimes, I think on the dream and pray about it for awhile. I admit that I have a whole slew of dreams that I don't have meanings for yet, but on this particular day, I had a dream that I was really looking forward to going to see a speaker at church. I was beyond excited for the whole experience, and even more excited when I got there and found one of my best guy friends there too. Except that worship started, and I began worshipping, and then this friend walked right up behind me and wrapped his arms around me. I was so distracted, I couldn't worship anymore, but there was an added element that I kind of liked what he was doing-I didn't fight the distraction, and as a result I missed out on what the speaker said. Then I switched to a different scene where I was trying to cook dinner for the kids, and this same person came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me. Once again, I liked it, it was warm and comforting, and something I wanted, but it was distracting me from preparing dinner, and I totally ruined dinner because of the distraction.

All this to say that I'm still not there, I've still not broken free from being concerned about what other people think of me. It's getting better, but I'm just not there yet, and as long as this is out there weighing on me, I feel like I'm missing out. So... yes, back to my original point. God has been working on me a lot on boldness, and while I'm not all there, I am going to begin by putting all I've got right here. I'm going to share words that come to me while I'm reading my Bible. I'm going to share those profound verses that speak volumes at the strangest times, and I'm going to do my best to not put a spin on what I share, but I'm also not going to sugar coat what I say. I'm going to talk about dreams more often, because it's what God is working with me on, and it's frustrating sometimes to not share them- even when I don't always know their meanings. God is doing a new thing in me- and I need to share it.

I'm also going to do a lot more within the world of "Bible Blogging". I mentioned yesterday that there are so many bloggers out there- and you know what the best part of that is? We're all different! Now, granted, some of the Bible bloggers can be bad bloggers, I guess, but there is so much good out there! I love that I can connect with women (and men) who maybe worship in a different way than I do- but still worship the same God. And not only that, we're connecting around the globe, and it gives completely new meaning to "Go ye into all the world." Because I can, right from my very own living room. I'm going to spend time visiting and encouraging other bloggers, because we all have the same goal and purpose- to win those valuable souls. My Wartime Wednesday event is a seedling that I'm hoping will take root and spread like the dickens, because imagine if we all worked together towards that common goal... watch for changes in the sidebar as I add precious bloggers and ministries that I value or support.

And all of this came about because I decided to start blogging my daily devotions. I needed a form of accountability, and blogging became it. As long as I was blogging the Bible daily, I was reading the Bible daily. And now... well, let's just say that I don't need my blog to keep my nose in His Word. I can't get enough these days, and I'm constantly asking Him to show me more. And I pray with all my heart that I can rise to the occasion and do what He has asked of me.

The new thing is springing forth, and I will give it heed. I will let it spring, and I will say yes, and I will enter the door that is in front of me.

"These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." Revelation 3:7,8


Rina said...

I CANNOT tell you how excited I am to hear about the changes you're going to be implementing on your blog. Some of the insights you've given here are SO powerful, and I feel God speaking to me so much through them, and if these are just the "tip of the iceberg," I can only imagine what will be coming in the future. I LOVE to hear what God is teaching others, I love to hear what God is revealing to others through dreams, visions, prophesy, etc. and I am so excited that you're branching out in this new way. I truly feel that God has given you this revelation for a reason and I'm excited to see what is about to happen.
As a precautionary note, as someone who also struggles with worrying about what others think of me, I've learned how important it is not to "give an ear to the enemy." There are always going to be people out there who come against us, but it does no good to listen to their accusations. I'd imagine that Satan would like nothing more than to discourage you in that way right now. Rest in God, have a good support system in other believers, and take heart. I'm with you in this - we can do it! :)

Erika W. said...

Oh Rina, thank you so much for the words of encouragement. I could feel your words seep right into my soul and bolster me with a bit of confidence- and I can certainly use every shred of it! I know exactly what you mean about giving an ear to the enemy- we've totally been there, and it was so hard to grow and eliminate that...but each day is a new day and we can only go forward. You're right though, thank you for reminding me that I do need to be vigilant right now, because Satan would love for me to quit before I even get out of the gate. Thank you for your thoughts-they're always most welcome- and for the prayersas well.