Glory to Glory

5 years ago today. 5 years ago today he left us. 5 years ago today he ran for the first time in a long time. He ran into the arms of the one who loved him more than life itself. 5 years ago today he finally had no pain, he breathed deep and rested, finally rested.

But, 5 years ago today my heart broke, my spirit ached, my faith weakened, my miracle left me. All the prayers for healing, all the mustard seeds I’d offered to God, the mountain I begged to move, left me. That’s a holy, hard thing, to know dad’s miracle began but to be left behind wanting your own.

I’ve been working on that lately, working on my broken faith. I thought I had dealt with it, processed it like a good therapist does, but it’s been creeping up lately. The memories, the things we saw that we shouldn’t have seen. The pain he endured that was so unjust, the way his body was ravaged so unfairly. It’s been creeping up and I can’t quite handle it like I want to. God, in his wisdom, is bringing it to the surface because he is good enough to want me whole.

That’s strange, isn’t it? That God would reveal in me my angst toward Him, my questions, my doubts that He is good? Why would He do that? Why would He expose something that doesn’t honor Him? That’s brave isn’t it? He isn’t worried about his reputation. He could leave all this buried in me, keep it under the covers, but He is a cover lifter, as I have said before. He’s a light shiner, He breaks up darkness, even when it might reveal that we aren’t sure if He is good.

Don’t stop is what I want to tell you. Don’t stop moving towards holiness, wholeness and having your broken places mended. It’s holy, hard work. But it’s worth it. It’s worth it and God can handle the wrestle. We are wrestling now, me and God. I am wrestling with Him on my broken heart, my faith that was chipped at, the miracle I believed for but didn’t receive, the medical trauma dad endured, we all endured. I have doubts and tears and He can handle them. He is so good to not let them consume me. He is so good to bring them to the surface after 5 years because he wants my healing, my own miracle.

He’s kind like that, he moves us from glory to glory. Don’t stop. Dad never stopped. He always found the fight in him to keep going, until he just couldn’t anymore and then he stepped into His glory. Glory to glory. That’s how God works, at least that’s what I am learning.

Sometimes glory doesn’t look like what you think though. Sometimes glory looks like old memories coming back, tears, time in the counseling office, time writing down the words, more tears, hard conversations, bold conversations with God, telling Him your angry and you aren’t sure if you believe Him when you’ve believed him for 32 years. More time with the counselor…And then there’s glory.

Out of the wrestling, there’s glory.

Like when dad finally stepped into glory after all those years. All those years of wrestling with his body, wrestling with fear, wrestling with his maker, he finally stepped into his glory. Glory to glory. Please don’t stop. Don’t stop moving towards the One who can handle it, who can handle you and your wrestle and all your broken places.

Just please don’t stop. 

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

 

Watchtowers and Waiting

This week I have been reading back through my journal from the past year.  It has been a blessing yet also very humbling: A blessing because I can see God’s faithfulness and his hand woven through all my many prayers and circumstances throughout the year. But also humbling because there are still areas of my life that haven’t changed, still places that lack faith, still spots in me that need more pruning, still hurts that need healing. He is not done yet, and I am not done. However, if I want to move forward I MUST press in. I MUST find the time to steal away to be with him, to give him the space to do his holy work.

I was reminded of a Bible story this week and I thought I would share. It is from Habakkuk 1-2. We see in chapter one that Habakkuk is complaining to the Lord.

He says, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen!”

Have you ever felt that way? I did as I read through my journal and saw those prayers that seem to stay on repeat without the answers I want.  

Habakkuk then states in 2:1 “I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint.”

Watchtowers were used during biblical times as places of safety or security during war. They were high and set apart so that guards could keep watch for the oncoming enemy. Habakkuk is bold in his questions to God, then he steals away to a quiet place to watch and wait for God’s response. I love this. I love Habakkuk’s wisdom and confidence. His wisdom to get away from the noise, his confidence to complain and cry out, and his confidence in knowing that God will answer his complaint in his waiting. On Sunday, the pastor said, “Our bold requests stir up the bold responses of God.”  

The Lord does respond to Habakkuk in 2:2 “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time…it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

So, what do we see here? What can we learn?

  1. We must be bold in our asking. There are only a few weeks left of 2018. What’s left to press into? What more do you want God to do in you? Through you? Be bold in your asking and watch for his bold response.
  2. Steal away to a watch tower. Find the place where you are not distracted, where you are protected from the enemy, and ready yourself to hear from God, and wait.
  3. Right down the vision so you and others can then run!  God will honor the time you devote to him and he will respond to you. Posture yourself with ears and hearts to listen. His response will require you to act. I noticed many of my unanswered prayers stayed that way because I did not act on the vision God gave me to write down!
  4. Trust him in the waiting and watch with him.

Steal away, watch what he does, record it, steal away, watch, record. Repeat. What a beautiful rhythm.

I am praying for you friends, praying that you find that sacred space to sit with him, lean in and catch the vision, his vision for you!

P.S. Some of you have asked and here is the link for Regina’s mentoring ministry and the story of how her journaling impacted mine: http://titus2mentoringwomen.com/2017/11/intentional-journaling-the-words-journal/