Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My (Foolish) Heart's Desires

I want it all. Surely that's not asking too much, right? God is a big God and He gives us the desires of our heart. Granted, His ways are not our ways, and His plans are always good and true, whereas our hearts can be misguided by the flesh. But still...my heart's desire is not to be a successful, independent, career woman who can be described as sweet, nice, compassionate, dedicated, faithful, loyal, funny, passionate, articulate, sarcastic, trust-worthy, inspiring, loving, etc. My heart's desire is not even to be thin again (although I would be a lot happier if I were and I'm trying to put in the time and effort to accomplish this long-range goal). All I really want is everything--the real deal, a connection with someone that goes beyond feelings or physical attraction, a love that knows no bounds and has no end. So how foolish am I, right? I mean, I can have this now and forever with Christ as the focus of my heart, time, energy, and spirit. Yet, I still have that sense of hope deferred - unfulfilled longing, an ever-present desire to meet that special someone who thinks I'm special where two hearts become one...because of the love they each have for Christ, which in turn, brings them closer together.

"I want you to want me. I need you to need me." These song lyrics are running through my head right now. Yes, I want marriage and kids (shocking for some of my childhood friends who thought I'd never want to settle down). I want God to provide a man who can be the head of my household, to love God and me, to serve God with me, etc. But God is saying He wants me to want Him. He needs me to need Him. Then, when I'm trusting (and alas, accepting) He will reveal the power of His love in other ways/relationships. It's a struggle to be satisfied with my single life. It's a struggle to accept the compliments of others if they try to say something beyond what I do. It's a struggle to stay encouraged. It's a struggle to discern what the Voice of Truth (hey, what would my blog posts be without at least one or more song references and Bible verses, right?!) is telling me about me...my life, my future. It's a struggle to watch and wait and pray and hope and love.

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength and rise up like the eagles." (Isaiah somewhere, maybe....I should probably look this up) "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understandings." (Proverbs something or other) I'm such a fool for love and I'm working on being a fool for the love of Christ since it's all I've got and quite frankly all that's supposed to matter anyways. Maybe if I focus more on Christ, I won't notice the void in my life as much...not having that special someone to share life with day in and day out, good times and bad, sickness and health, and all the rest of the wedding vows too. Time to accept that reality and try to be okay with it even as my patience is tested, my faith is challenged, my heart is broken by the Master's hand.

One last thought - check out the poem "On God's Plan For Your Mate" - it's still my prayer and (foolish) heart's desire. Love ya, Alissa

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Forever a Fourth Day

Any Christian who has participated in a Walk to Emmaus or a Chrysalis Flight knows the concept of a "fourth day" faith. For those not familiar with the phrase, here is a brief explanation so that you can understand the rest of tonight's musings. The retreat weekend is 3 days (72 hours) set apart from the world to focus on your personal relationship with Christ. There are talks on faith, action, etc. There's music, fellowship, food, prayer, tears, etc. that are typical of church retreats. There are special moments and blessings galore. However, when all is said and done, it's only been 3 days. The real test of faith begins when you return home - the fourth day. Every Christian must live each day God has blessed them (me) with purpose so that this fourth day is honoring to God, and the next one, etc.

Life should forever be fourth days, where each new day is an opportunity to draw closer to God. I was reminded of the fourth day journey when I was invited to join some sinner saints (aka Christians!) at their welcome-home dinner tonight for a pilgrim who just attended an Emmaus Walk. They celebrated her new perspective on God's grace and unconditional love (agape) and dined together. It was nice to spend time with friends - new and old. It felt good to be in fellowship. Even sharing some of the struggles felt good because we were being genuine with one another and the sharing resulted in prayer support. We were also reminded to use our John 3:16 cards - pray for God's people to recognize His work on the cross...3 people, 1 time each day set aside, 6 days a week.

I'm now thinking (and praying) over who my 3 people should be on this card. I pray for others, but these will be three who specifically receive prayers...and knowing me, messages of encouragement based on my prayer time too. I already have one person because I want to pray for them. I already have one person because I don't want to pray for them and I know this is God's will that I pray for those who have persecuted me/caused me pain. I'm praying God lays one more person on my heart so that I can specifically pray for her/him. I'm also praying God uses this increased focus on prayer to do a work in my own heart/life.

Luke 22:32 says, "But I have prayed for you Simon Peter, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." I know 2008-2009 was failed faith and turning away from God and His ways/plans. Now that I am once again acting like the daughter of heaven that I am, I can reach out to others.

How beautiful is the Body of Christ. You know the song, but have you felt it lately? The sound of good news and the love of the King are ringing in my ears and resounding in my heart with a big "Amen." Be blessed my friends. I am - even when I feel shaken to my very core, unworthy, despised, broken, etc.

The Lord be with you as you journey through your next fourth day!

Love and prayers,