It took everything in me not to title this entry “nu thang”…it’s the 90’s Christian kid in me, what can I say?
While praying yesterday, I asked God if I was dwelling on the past: trying to replicate how I used to relate to Him, longing for how I used to know Him, even if it wasn’t as deep (or, if I’m being real, as genuine) as it could be.
“Longing for leeks” is what I wrote…a nod to how the Israelites in the wilderness wished they could go back to Egypt (and into captivity) and eat the leeks and onions they were familiar with, instead of the divine food that had been provided for them in the form of manna.
“Am I wishing for the old and comfortable when You’re holding out something new right in front of me?”, I wrote in my journal.
As soon as I finished writing these things, I opened my devotional app on my phone and the first reading for the day was Isaiah 43:16-21.
Half way through it, I smiled and nodded and gave a surrendered sigh.
Verses 18-19 read:
“Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”
This has been a heck of a year. Not only did I experience my first pregnancy, give birth, and the beginning of the wild and beautiful adventure of motherhood, but I have had so many questions about my faith as well. I have always been adamant that God is not afraid of nor intimidated by our questions. But when I started to have questions of my own, it threw me, and big time.
A few months ago I remembered a prayer I had prayed as we were renovating our house before we moved in. I heard the song Oceans for the first time as we worked, and the line “take me deeper than my feet could ever wander” struck the deepest part of me. I long to know Him more, and truly know Him– not just know about Him or be able to ace a bible exam. I prayed those lines so earnestly as I sanded our living room floor late into the night.
It dawned on me that in this year of questions, He was answering that old prayer, taking me out into deeper waters. I may have felt like I was drowning, but He was (and is) drawing out every doubt to the surface, letting every question have it’s place, so that nothing would stand in my heart between Him and I.
I recognize that He is working in my heart and my life in a completely new way during this time. It feels foreign and I have to ask myself, am I rejecting this new thing because it’s scary or confusing? Am I trying to skip over the work He is doing in my heart and just blurt out the answers that feel comfortable or safe, instead letting the season be hard and existing in the wilderness until He calls me out?
Oh, but I know that I would rather meet God face-to-face in the wilderness than merely be able to talk about Him from the safety of captivity. In my “Egypt”, so to speak. It may feel messy, but there is true joy, honesty, and freedom to be found in the process.
Truthfully, all of this was difficult for me to share. Being vulnerable is not something that comes easily to me. To admit that you’re struggling or questioning, or really anything but Awesome and Great and Perfect is a difficult thing to do. So much pride flared up in me when I was deciding whether or not to share this. I didn’t want people to think less of me or misunderstand what I was saying.
But as I’ve been changed by raw and vulnerable books and posts written by women who inspire me- even if they have no idea who I am- I recognize how important it is to share the messiness along with the beauty. So, following suit, here you have a bit of my messiness, and a glimpse of His beauty.
He is making a way in my wilderness, guys. And I can taste the water from the rivers He’s making. It’s not finished, but it sure is a (new) and beautiful thing.