Butterfly Sparks Designs

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Relentless.

I haven’t been writing lately. On purpose.

I’m often quick to hear or read something powerful or profound and in my excitement immediately proclaim it as my personal truth. But historically, I haven’t often enough given new spiritual revelation or knowledge the opportunity to truly ferment in me. To become a part of me. To transform me. Instead, in my passion and excitement about it, I’m usually eager to encourage someone else with it or even rush out to teach the class about it. Good intentions but not always a great result.

So this season of “silence” here on this blog (and in my life in general these days) is intentional. The things God is birthing in my dreams, visions, desires, hopes, longings and yearnings is in a secret place exclusively designated for me and my Father as I allow it to take residence and set up roots in my heart.

I’ve learned something in the silence. That it’s harder this way. And that it’s so much better this way.

On the flight back from Africa, I prayed one very simple prayer.

“God, what is the one takeaway that You desire for me to grasp, to transform me so that I can be closer to You and serve You better?“

That was pretty much all I said to Him in my prayer. I was emotionally and spiritually exhausted and the experiences on this trip were huge. Deep. And there were many. It was too much. I was having trouble processing it all. And I figured with 17 hours to kill on a plane at 30,000+ feet, I might as well pray.

So this prayer was short and simple. For the rest of the time, I was in listening prayer. What happens when we move into listening prayer is always powerful and transformational, but it’s just so darn easy to forget to stop and just listen. In the listening , He allowed me to recall the intricate details of experiences that moved me so deeply during the 10 days before, as if I was watching an instant replay at a game.

Like the looks on the boys’ faces when they arrived at Masana. Street boys who arrived at Masana tired, sore-covered, beaten up and hungry whose eyes came alight at a mere first glimpse of Sarah, Ian, Lauren and Alexis . Those missionaries are the faces of God to the fatherless and the tangible expression of God's love every day. The boys’ faces moved from drawn, tired and defeated to joyful, relaxed, and loved as the day progressed. And then they returned to the streets, and the cycle started all over again the next day.

“If I have to show these boys my love day after day after day after day after day after day… for however long it takes, I will show up here and love them every day … I won’t relent until I have their whole hearts, because I love them that much.” 
And on the second day, when Lauren called us into the living room of the Masana house to share with us that Sarah had only moments before learned that she has cancer. The raw emotion of her colaborers in Christ filled the room, and then prayer immediately followed. And then later that same morning, seeing Sarah emerge from her room after calling her family, in such pain, and then just minutes later smiling and laughing in complete joy the moment she saw her boys. 
“I am here, My hand is on her and whatever it takes for My purpose in her life to be fulfilled, I won’t relent in my love, strength, protection, presence, or healing because I love her that much.”

And how in the middle of the street market, God revealed a part of my heart that I didn’t know existed. An unknown area of sin in my life brought to the light, something that shocked me so much about myself that I couldn’t breathe and could barely walk. Not one of those “yeah, yeah, I know that’s an area of sin in my life and I need to repent” things. This time, it was news to me. I had no idea. Something I’m not quite ready to share publicly but maybe, eventually. My mentors are encouraging me to share, but it’s dark and I’m just not ready yet. I think I need to bake a little longer.

One of my most trusted mentors asked me recently how I knew it was a “God” moment and not a moment that Satan was using to cause me to feel condemned or shameful and to throw me off track. It was an easy question to answer. Because standing in that dirty market on the other side of the world, when God revealed this unknown area of sin in my life, through the pain I felt (I’m not sure how to describe the depth and degree of brokenness I felt), I didn’t feel punished. I felt loved. Hugged.

“Melissa, if I have to fly you 8,000 miles from home to show you your heart, I won’t relent, because I love you that much. I want all of you.”

There were many more experiences that He brought back to my mind, for which there isn't space here to share.  But all of them came back to one message of the truth and hope found in His love.

He will not relent until He has it all. All of my heart. All of yours. All of theirs.

He loves us that much.


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