Butterfly Sparks Designs

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Chase.

In December of 2009, I began a journey that I had been avoiding for almost one year. Well, OK, if I’m being totally honest it was probably much longer than one year, but it was almost exactly a year before (November of ’08) that I had heard God clearly say “go”. I wrote about it here. Specifically, He said, “Melissa, I cannot release you into what I have for you until you allow me lead you from your pain to hope.” Not a destination I cared to see again. When you read my original post about it, you'll see that I chose to "go", and I had just stretched my foot out to take the first step when...yep, you guessed it.

Distraction. The enemy of my soul used Distraction to stall me (but he didn't win. He never wins. Keep reading...)

A year later, after a long, twisted, messy series of bumps and turns, the pain had only grown. My delayed obedience was nothing more than disobedience.

I was broken, hopeless, and at the end of myself. So I reluctantly said, “OK, God, I’ll meet you there, because I’m tired of carrying this around”. It seems silly, how simple it was to type that out just now. It almost makes it seem trivial. But I promise you, that was an extremely hard decision. Opening up a wound doesn’t feel good. It hurts. But that’s where the healing is. That’s where He is. That’s where freedom is.

With the Holy Spirit working through a trusted counselor to shepherd me through the process, I have placed one foot in front of the other, and walked into the valley of destruction that becomes Hope. I began to see the flowers in His hand, again. He compels me toward Him, draws me in, and my choice becomes having no other choice. He woos like no other.

"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. There she will sing as in the days of her youth ..." (Hosea 2:14-15)

For the past six months, through the healing power of the Holy Spirit, my counselor and I have navigated through the mountains of unresolved pain-garbage that invaded my will and my heart like cancer. Out of my desire to guard my own heart by walling it off with the bricks of fear and the mortar of anxiety (and firmly braced by shame), I had been living my life trying to find my love, joy, peace, and value in others. That pain that I had never truly given over to Him was my prison.

And the scary part? I didn’t even know it.  Because I didn't "feel" bound. 

After all, I was serving God faithfully. I was called to ministry. I was speaking publicly.  I was at church every Sunday. I was tithing. I was spending time with God every day, in Bible Study and prayer.

I was pursuing him passionately. But not wholly. Because I wasn’t whole.

Yes, years ago I made a very purposeful decision to never look back at that pain.  But instead of allowing Him to meet me there, give me His perspective and truth about the brokenness, and heal my heart, I simply denied it was there.  I had never invited Him in to it. I had never met Him there.

What I had failed to understand for all of these years is that He chases my pain. He chases my fear. He chases my shame. He chases my guilt. He chases my heart.

The Holy Spirit desires to receive my pain, guilt and shame just as much as I desire to receive His love, joy and peace.

I’m being chased by the very One that I pursue.

There is much, much more.  The next few posts will be more about this journey from the valley of pain and woundedness to the doorway of Hope. 

Hitting the Snooze Button

Hi there...

I am thoroughly embarrassed at the length of time that has passed since my last post. Wow. That was a really long nap!

On April 1st, something happened both spiritually and mentally -- an unshakable, non-negotiable press to become more physically fit. So, I made some moderate dietary changes. I felt so good that I decided to hire a nutritionist/trainer. We started working together on April 15th, when I started the Maker's Diet and working out every day. Since April 1st, I have lost a total of 36 pounds! I still have a ways to go, but my resolve and motivation is stronger than ever.

Getting settled into a routine of waking up early (4:30 a.m.)to allow myself enough time for God time AND working out has required not only discipline, but also has had an effect on how I manage my time for the rest of my day. This has had an impact on my writing time...so I had to give in to the "snooze" button for a while. But I think I found my groove, so we'll give this another shot.

I'm so excited about all there is to share with you and learn from you. I love your responses through comments and emails, so keep 'em coming.

I'll be posting more, likely later tonight. So please stay tuned.