The title of this blog will make sense later, until then enjoy the ride.
The Lord always tells us to come as we are, and to let Him meet us there. He tells us to Rest in Him – yet if you are like me this was and sometimes as of recently is a challenge. I am always battling my instinct that I must come as I am but slightly better off than originally. That I must fix some stuff on my own or in my heart first. I battle with perfection, with feeling the need to strive for His free love and ever-flowing endless mercy. In a sake of vulnerability, the old former Bonnie, and by that, I mean the Bonnie from a week ago really struggled with control. I have this deep unhealthy planted seed for control. I would always try to take my healing into my own hands or to tell the Lord my timing for such healing. I often found myself arguing with the Lord that we would have to focus on certain wounds or traumas of my heart to make me more holy. That what would be best for me is if we stop where we are at now and shift over to dealing with these things. Ha. It is like I forgot about the Lords more infinite wisdom and paved path He created just for me and my sanctity. It is not me friends, that is going to get myself to heaven. Oh no, it is only going to be by the grace of God.
Here is where the car part comes into the story, (I know most of you have been wondering). For those of you who do not know I was hit by a car two weeks ago. I sprained my cervical muscles in my neck/upper back. Long story short, I was completely dependent on my teammates which proved in the beginning to be quite difficult for me. I could not cook or even feed myself. I needed their help to get ready in the morning and couldn’t start my day without them, because I could not get out of bed on my own. Not to mention, I didn’t shower for a week (gross, but I wasn’t desperate enough to make them bathe me yet). I am not going to lie to you all, I cried and by that, I mean I straight out bawled on and off for the first three days of this humbling process of restoration. I felt this shame inside of myself for my lack of ability. I felt like a burden. I had lies that my team would grow to resent me or worse only love me out of obligation. I feared that in this state of being able to do absolutely nothing, it meant I was not worthy to be loved. Why? It goes back to lies I did not know I was still believing and the feeling I needed to earn love. That love was not freely given – that was what was inside of my heart even though my head knew better. How many of us still believe these things, or things like this? That our worth lies in something else instead of the truth that it solely lies in being a beloved son/ daughter of God. After days of only being able to pray and meditate with the Lord – He started to move in me. He started to show me what He was calling me to in this and why He permitted it to happen. He was taking me even deeper. He was remaining faithful to His promises for me this year and the theme, He gave me before leaving for Ecuador; that He was going to take away my self-reliance & that He was going to show me the love that I deserve (that we all deserve instead of warped perceptions we can allow ourselves to believe).
It was until I learned to surrender that things drastically improved. It was not until I grew in this profound abandonment to the Lord – desiring solely His will for my life. That is when my soul was flooded with immense peace. I had to just let go, instead of being half in and half out – once and for all I am completely subject to the Lord. I bend in the direction He asks of me. Yielding to this continuance of this death to self. I realized that I was clinging to all the wrong things inside of myself that came out as self-reliance. For me, He is the only thing I want to cling to.
The truth is, that we are never too far from the Lord, He always has new mercies for us, and an all-consuming love that gives us the grace to change and to be transformed. It is these things that awaken our heart – that stir inside of us, that demand to be felt and make our spirit come alive. What I am learning is that the Lord is calling me to have this deep abiding intimacy with Him.
As strange as this may sound, I am whole-heartedly glad I got hit by this car. I have and continue to thank the Lord for this gift. Now, before you label me as a Jesus Freak, (which I sincerely will take as a compliment) let me explain, in hopes that with whatever your trial is you can find freedom in it.
There is going to be so much fruit in my own journey and purification through this. Meaning, that it is precisely in this state of being that I am in, that has made me ready to say yes and allow the Lord to have free reign with my heart, healing and just life.
In the beginning of our time in the jungle, when I was being pelted by my flaws & past wounds, I thought I was going backwards or regressing as a person. I wasn’t, the Lord was showing me and guiding me to only propel me forward with Him to this moment. I have a month in the jungle where I won’t get to do all our crazy hikes to the villages far out and go canoeing to the communities on the other side of the river. Where I will be, is taking it easy with the Lord. Resting in Him while rejuvenating and nourishing my soul. He has granted me the courage to let go in the wild of my unknowns.
I’ll be more contemplative but still being His faithful servant working with the surrounding communities and really working with our girl’s group – helping them find their identity, restoring their dignity and empowering them. Some of these girl’s come from abuse, come from negligence, families plagued by alcoholism/ addiction and come from the cultural norms that their worth lies in their physical capabilities (getting pregnant at early ages, being a wife etc.) We are teaching them that it is okay to say no and to beat the warped culture expectations. I have no idea how else this time will look but I do know one thing and that is, that whatever is to come it will be good – all things with the Lord are good or made good through Him.
Friends, I truthfully believe this all was His will and He permitted it to happen. There is nothing more on earth that I desire than to be in the center of that will. This gives me more time to grow in this intimacy with the Lord – where at one point I would be scared to enter. Now, there is only excitement for that season. I can admit that this is the core yearning of my heart to be loved by the Lord (truthfully it is all of ours). I want to abandon myself to Jesus so He can carry out His whole work of love in my life and to reach the lives of others through me. That’s the only way I can truly love like the Lord. Everything must come from this intimacy first with Him. I need this. So, I can better love my family, team, community, the people I have been called to serve and just everyone. He’s not doing this simply so I can be a better missionary, He’s doing this because simply He just loves me and it’s time, I fully accept that.
I am always pursuing the path that calls for a life filled with more meaning. A life that calls for something more, not perfection but fullness… I ask, pray, beg that you do the same. That you approach the narrower path not of perfection but the one filled with grace, mercy and most importantly the Lord’s everlasting love for you. You’ve always been His. You be always been loved. You’ve always been beautiful.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8: 37-39