Monday, August 1, 2011

From Head Knowledge to Heart Freedom

Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Galatians 3:3

It’s been a while since I’ve been on here, but I have legitimate excuses! I spend the month of July traveling for a week with my babies visiting friends, trying to meet a book deadline, preparing for a conference, then attending that conference, which I knew would be a fantastic. And it was. If you read both my blogs, I’ll go ahead and apologize, I’ve used the same entry. But this had to be shared. I can no longer contain the overflow of God’s work in me.

Long before the time for the conference arrived, I got to know many (almost 300 were members) of the to-be attendees through the conference Facebook page. We shared anticipations, fears, prayer requests and an overall excitement about descending on Concord, NC all at the same time (with a total of 650 registered ladies and almost 100 staff and volunteers to run the conference!) There was no doubt in my mind that I would be blessed by my time there.
I was in no way, however, prepared for all that God would do. Throughout the weekend God blessed me with little gifts. A surprise roommate who was as warm, welcoming, and encouraging as I could ever ask for. Friends made, contacts received, networking going on, positive feedback from my publisher appointments (even if no closer to getting my nonfiction book published) and a fantastic speaker evaluation group experience. I was confident, prepared, and all around having a great time.

Then the Saturday worship session came along. We were blessed to have Ann Voskamp, the author of One Thousand Gifts, as the speaker. Her stories touched hearts, moved people, and made you think. Then something totally unexpected happened, something I was completely unprepared for. God used the words of Ann, along with my own words and scriptures I’d used in my speaker evaluation talks, to reach down deeper into my soul than I knew existed. He grabbed hold of hurts and false beliefs I thought I’d gotten rid of a long time ago, pulled them up to the surface, let me feel them, and then healed them. Yes, I was one of those snot-slinging, tear-wracked women in the prayer room. Sometimes that’s what happens when God reaches down deep and changes you.

One thing that I came out of that prayer room with was a sense that instead of knowing God’s truths (that I had myself quoted and talked about) only in my head, I now have them firmly planted in my heart. I also came away with knowing that while I’m a fairly transparent person, it’s only of those things on the surface, those things that don’t truly make me vulnerable.
But do I really want to show the real me, God? Isn’t it too ugly, too dark, too odd? No, He whispers. You are real and you who I made you and are becoming the person I desire you to be.
So as I take a deep breath, I vow to give up everything to God. Even my short-comings. My pride. My belief that I have to do everything perfectly. My belief that I have to earn love. My belief that without working at it, I deserve nothing, not even God’s love. My willingness to only allow the surface stuff to show.

I am grateful for all the little gifts God gave me, but am blown away by the biggest gift of all: freedom. Freedom from the bondage of my own false beliefs and the idea that I at least have to attempt to do everything perfectly. Freedom to truly trust in and rely on God. That He’s in control and I simply have to submit. Freedom to let these truths travel from my head to my heart and let God do the work in me that I know is yet to be done. Freedom to live – in Him, through Him, and for Him.

Today I’m grateful for: the sound of sealing jars, healing from yesterday’s migraine, today’s journey to my first mission trip, God’s word at my fingertips – and everything listed above!

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