Butterfly Sparks Designs

Sunday, December 7, 2008

With Flowers In His Hand

Anyone who knows me probably knows that one of my favorite verses is Hosea 2:14-15:
Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. (NIV)
God lures us into the desert sometimes…deliberately, and with a purpose born completely out of His unwavering love for us. He speaks tender words of comfort to us there, and when we have found our rest in Him, He returns us to our vineyards. But here's the best part...he promises to make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. The Valley of Achor was once a place of judgment and destruction. But He promises to turn that land of pain into a doorway of hope, healing, and promise. I love this passage. I’ve been moved by this passage for several years now. But its meaning is engraved even more deeply in my heart during this particular season of my life.

God has been calling me into the desert. A place of deep and unresolved pain. Old pain and wounds that create a barrier to the "next level" of what He has for me. A place I don’t want to go. And I have been running hard, for months. For a while, I used the excuse “Well, I think that’s what He wants me to do, but I’m not sure, so I’ll keep praying about it.” That wasn't true...I knew what He was calling me to do, I just didn't like it. I have been hiding behind “praying about it”. (I’m not saying it’s not good to pray about things…but when we know what God is telling us to do and we use prayer as an excuse to delay obedience, that’s still just plain old disobedience). I have been hiding behind keeping myself “too busy”. I have been hiding behind a legitimate series of health issues. I have been using every excuse imaginable to avoid the grief and hurt in the place where He is calling me to go. I have been walking in blatant disobedience. And I’m worn out.

Over the past few days, I have had a recurring vision of Christ standing in the desert, waiting for me, with flowers in His hand, wooing me and luring me to the place of healing. Shielding the darkness of the pain with the beautiful brightness of His light. He stands calling out my name, whispering words of comfort and reassurance to me, and patiently waiting for me to trust Him enough to meet Him there.

I have been fearful about being transparent about this with others, for fear of what they would think of me…what would people think if they knew I really wasn’t as “together” as I appear to be? Would I still be enough? Would they still love me? The enemy wants us to isolate ourselves and believe we are alone, and somehow gradually I fell into that trap. There is one person in particular that I was especially concerned about revealing this to, but I knew that the time had come to be completely authentic and transparent. So over Thanksgiving, I first spoke it out to my family…who, can I just say, is the most amazing family anywhere? I am so blessed. I then shared it with a very close friend, who offered sweet prayers and encouragement.

But the last 24 hours have been so powerful and so packed with the presence and confirmation of God’s presence that my head is spinning and my heart is so full that I don’t know what to do with myself. Honestly, it’s a bit surreal and I’m still taking it all in. He has revealed so much to me about Himself. He has done this through His Word and as I sit quietly and listen for His voice on my heart. That would have been enough, but He is an abundant God. He is lovingly crafty enough to use a gathering of friends at a Christmas party last night to confirm His voice on my heart (and they had no idea!).

Also, only a handful of hours ago, with sweaty palms and a shaky voice, I finally opened myself up to the one person I was most concerned about. This person’s response was not at all what I expected…it was not critical, harsh, hesitant, or distant. It was gracious, compassionate, understanding, encouraging, merciful and loving. And when I returned home from church this morning, there was a special delivery waiting for me on my doorstep:

With flowers In His hand.

God revealed Himself by bringing to life the vision that He planted in my heart…the beautiful sight of Him standing in the desert, pursuing me, wooing me, and waiting, patiently, with flowers in His hand, for me to trust Him. And loving me in spite of my brokenness and baggage. Bringing beauty from ashes.

I’m ready to go to the desert now. I trust Him to heal me. The journey feels unsafe. But so, so worth it. Because on the other side of the Valley is a doorway leading to acres upon acres of hope. And I choose hope.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After your sharing, you took me to a place where I just stood in great awe of our precious Lord and what he is doing in your life. One confirmation at a time, one revelation at a time bringing you to the place He wants you to be.
Our God is an Awesome God!!!!!
Love you so much, Mom