Permission to Be in Process
"I AM THE LORD'S AND HE IS PLEASED."
I encountered it this week. That feeling of my spirit being plugged up, as if I could not receive any clarity from the Lord. Questions circulated in my heart, and all I wanted to do was hear--past my fears, past all the "swirliness." I longed for peace. Psalm 27:4 has always been one of my favorite verses: "One thing I ask of the Lord, this only do I seek" that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple." I felt my heart echoing David's.
I found myself on the couch this morning with some extra time to just sit with God in the midst of a silent house. It was an invitation to listen. As I sat before Him, I found my heart stilling...quieting...resting. And I began to pour out my heart before Him, allowing myself to be completely honest and vulnerable, asking the questions that I wanted to ask Him all week long, and finding myself in a place where I could stop and wait.
And I heard Him--with words so specific and personal to my heart. I walked away changed.
From this sweet morning moment, I have been reminded of two important truths. Number one: the power of stilling--of dialing down and trusting Him to speak. I realized this week that though I was seeking God, I was still distracted on the inside. I hadn't allowed myself to be completely still before Him, to wait on Him without inhibition and truly focus on Him. But this morning was different, and things had felt clearer than they'd felt all week. God invites us to "be still and know [He] is God," (Psalm 46:10), and being an omniscient God, He knows everything. Our thoughts are no surprise to Him. He knows them all and the words we will speak before they come to our tongue. (Psalm 139) He's holding all our situations with a steady hand and a loving eye. A moment of stepping away from our day to be one-on-one with Him is the best antidote to the moments we feel chaotic. Our best efforts won't change anything, but a moment with God will.
"And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?" (Matthew 6:26, NASB)
And, number two--it's OK to be in process. I am so grateful for this gentle and kind reminder from the Lord. This week, I realized I had been operating under so much pressure--to say the right thing, do the right thing...measuring myself against a plethora of self-imposed standards rather than tuning and settling into what the Lord was saying and how He thinks of me. I had given into the belief that I needed to have everything on my plate figured out, that I had to know how to approach every situation perfectly, holding myself to standards the Lord was not speaking over me. How exhausting! This mindset leaves no room for growth or learning (or God!), but rather uses perfectionism as a safe-guard against feeling inadequate. But, a wise grandfather in the faith once told me that dependency upon God is maturity and that it should always be growing. When I honestly acknowledged my need to God this morning, His grace and peace flooded my soul. Wow. Suddenly, in my weakness and vulnerability, I felt safe and strong. Strong because of Christ in me. Strong because I am held. Safe, because of the Father's embrace. Safe, because He never changes.
We will always be in process. We will never stop growing. There is always something new to learn about God and areas to grow in. This is the joy of the Father--to teach us how to do life. When we received Christ, we gained a new identity, and the rest of life will be learning how to live it out. God is not putting pressure on us, rather offering a better way--rest and partnership. He is delighted in us, beloved, and He loves to lead us into greater wholeness. We are the Lord's, and He is pleased.
If you find yourself in process--take heart. There is permission to be here. As we commit our way to Him, He will lead us and guide us by His truth, filling us and taking us deeper. Be brave to let your soul breathe in stillness. He's got you, my friend. He is working everything out. You are strong and courageous because of Him. What an amazing God we have. His kindness and love is beyond measure.