I have felt emotionally raw lately. Tender and exposed. Vulnerable to the point where I feel like I’m walking around naked. And that’s just not something that I’m okay with! I like my walls (and clothes), they make me feel safe.
I often feel alone in this ministry. Me, myself, and my keyboard typing away as I stare at a screen. It’s an odd concept really, doing ministry on-line. Of course I have my husband to talk to about what goes on at this site, as well as a friend or two in real-life, but that’s about it. (My own family doesn’t know I have a blog, nor would they support me in the message that I bring!) So sometimes the loneliness creeps in, minus the times when sweet women leave me comments here or on Facebook, or even take the time to email me. But for the most part, this on-line ministry, this place where I pour out my heart, causes me to feel isolated.
At the end of 2012 I shared with you that my one word for 2013 was Worship. I also invited you in on the conversation the Lord and I were having about that sweet little word.
To refresh your memory, here’s what He said to me:
“Daughter, when I ask you to do hard things, because I will, will you worship Me? Or will you justify why you can’t and why you’re afraid, and therefore, you’ll make the decisions not to?”
Well, it didn’t take much time for the Lord to ask me to do said hard things! Seriously though, I think it was within a matter of hours of when those words of His rang through my ears!
He told me to be more open and vulnerable with you. And then He told me to share that information with those that follow my page on Facebook.
(Pretending like I didn’t hear GOD!) “Um….clearing throat, You want me to do what, Lord?”
“Daughter, let them know you’re trying to connect with them more. Tell them how hard it is for you to come out from behind my leg and how you want to stay in hiding, but I don’t want you there.” Oh, and you heard exactly what I said so don’t pretend like you didn’t hear me!” (Oh, my sweet Father, He has such a sense of humor. And He called me out!)
“Okay Lord, I’ll tell them.”
So I did and then I thought I was done! He couldn’t possibly ask me to do something hard again anytime soon, right?
Ha! Nope, that Man, He stretches me to the core. Sometimes I feel like He beckons me out into the deep ocean blue as He asks me to walk on water telling me to keep my eyes on Him. Yet many times I can’t see Jesus, all I can see is the shark-infested waters.
So after I finished His request (and cried as I wrote my status update on Facebook!), He proceeded to tell me that I needed to write a blog post asking for help; for women to support me in this ministry.
“Um, Lord, certainly you can send your daughters to support and encourage me. You can do anything. You can move mountains! You can part the Red Sea! You can raise the dead! Do I really need to ask them? I mean, come on, all I have to do is ask YOU and you can do your thing! You know, all those miracles that you do? You can do them right here! Surely you can send women to come by my side and offer their support? After all, you are God.”
“Yes, daughter I am God. And yes I can do all those things, but you need to ask for help.”
“You know, Lord, you’re really cramping my style!”
While I thought about the reality of writing this post, my tears fell….
My tears fell because following the Lord isn’t always easy. I could see that I was incapable of standing on my own in this ministry. I felt insufficient, and quite frankly, it bothered me. And it bothered me even more when the Lord told me to let the whole world know about it!
It’s one thing to not be self-sufficient because of the years of all my chronic illnesses. Been there, done that!
Lord, isn’t it enough that I wasn’t sufficient in those things that now you need to strip me of myself in this area as well? Are you seriously asking me to be insufficient again? In this endeavor? And I need to write about it?
“Yep, you got that right, Daughter! Are you going to do hard things or not? Are you going to worship Me or not? Or are you going to worship yourself?” “Remember that prayer that you pray often, Daughter? That prayer of you decreasing in your life and Me increasing?”
“He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
With a smirk on my face, I take a deep breath and then exhale….“Yes, Lord.”
“Well, this right here, in this very moment, is how that all happens.”
My tears fell when God asked me to die to self.
Then there was that post that went crazy wild on Pinterest, well I didn’t have one ounce of hesitation as I hit the publish button. I knew with every fiber of my being that it was Truth and the words displayed on the screen were designed to radically transform marriages, because that’s what living in the Truth will do. It’ll transform your life (if you let it). But I would’ve never guessed how when I shared my heart to help others and the joy I received from doing so would quickly turn to pain. Deep, cutting pain to the core. A pain that left me paralyzed.
But then God said to me, ”Walk away from the computer, I’ll fight your battles and I’m bringing in the Body of Christ.” He showed up here just a few hours later doing just what He said. His words were true as His spirit was manifested in a sister in Christ, one I have never met, as she, and many others who typed out similar words to my attackers said,
“And, as you can tell, Her Savior is always going to rise up and protect her (i.e. in the form of commenters such as me, defending her belief because the same Spirit lives inside me as her.)”
My tears fell when God showed me His hand through the Body of Christ.
Then the critical comments came from women who didn’t understand the Truth. I know those women because I used to share their viewpoint. And when the whirlwind of that post going viral was over, I stood back and looked at the state of the souls that showed up to my blog, and my spirit was grieved.
My tears fell because so many souls were lost.
And then the emails came…
One from a woman who came to my blog as a result of that infamous post. She was not walking in Christ, but was curious of this Biblical way of life. Her report told me her relationship with her man became better by just practicing what was written in the post. But the best part was that she came to Christ! God’s Word transforms lives (that is, if you let it.)
My tears fell because one lost soul was now found.
And more emails continued to flood my inbox. Stories of broken marriages. Women who were desperate to feel loved by their husbands. Daughters who were trying to live a life pleasing to the Lord. Those who were listening to the lies from the nasty Snake that we all know too well.
And my tears fell because my Sisters in Christ were hurting.
And through all of this I realize I can’t always help the hurting and sometimes I can’t even respond to all of the uplifting, encouraging, strengthening, and loving words that are left here by you telling me to just keep serving in this lonely, isolated ministry.
And then, in that moment, I realize it’s only lonely when I hide behind my Father’s legs… afraid to peek out.
And my tears fell because I truly wanted to tell you how much you mean to me and how your words have lift my spirit.
When we follow the Lord….
Layers of our flesh will die off.
Persecutions will always be a part of our life.
Prayers will be lifted to the Everlasting Father for the blind to see.
We will rejoice when one who is lost is now found.
We weep with those who weep.
And my tears will continue to fall because they change this heart of mine.
I can only imagine that your tears will fall as well, and that’s okay. He’s changing your heart too; so it looks more like His.
Live a poured out life for Christ,
Now bloggers, it’s time to link up your posts!
I’m looking for posts on any and all things related to being a wife, i.e. homemaking ideas, ways you minister to your husband, dating ideas, and/or hearing what the Lord is telling you about your most important earthly relationship!
<a href="http://www.joleneengle.com" title="The Alabaster Jar"><img src="http://i1125.photobucket.com/albums/l599/joleneengle/maritalonenessmondaysjarpinkbuttoncopy.png" alt="The Alabaster Jar" style="border:none;" /></a></div>