“When I saw, reflected upon it; I looked and received instruction.” (excerpt from Proverbs 24:30-34)
Missing lace curtains.
That is how my day started. But in this little event, God showed me something important about Himself.
NOW, ABOUT THESE LACE CURTAINS…
My day actually began with a few words that popped into my mind just as I woke up, “Make room.”
Being familiar with God’s still small voice and His Word, I knew this was Him. I’ve learned (as John Eldredge advises) to ask the next question for clarity. So I asked God, “How do you want me to make room?” and remained quiet before Him.
I heard His familiar whisper, “For Me to move.”
And knowing the Lord, I realized I’d need these words for something coming up. For what? I didn’t know, so I wrote them down along with the date and paid attention.
It was shortly after this that I asked for my Mom to help me find some curtains for my window I gave her to store some months ago. I had been doing some reorganizing and rearranging in my room, and I had these pretty lace curtains in mind that she had antiqued the old fashioned way with tea bags. She’d had them since I was younger, and I just loved the pattern of that lace and the color. I could easily picture them in my mind’s eye at my window as a perfect finish touch…. Aaahhh!
(Yes, I’m a bit of a creative nerd. =) )
My heart was set on them, and since I know how well my Mom is with keeping these types of things, I was confident she’d find them.
Only one problem…
They were nowhere to be found. =(
IN THE WAKE OF A (small but true) LET DOWN
My heart sank as we looked through box after box, and Mom pondered aloud if she had given them away. It seemed like the curtains probably weren’t there. I told her not to worry and tried to contain the surge of emotion due to my disappointment. This was not how I expected something so little and simple to go.
Long after Mom abandoned our lace curtain hunt, I continued the search alone looking through one last box in a semi-panicked, last-ditch effort. And as it became even clearer that the curtains were definitely gone, my emotions stirred as I realized that these lace curtains…
these woven favorites of mine…
the beautiful network of lace that I wanted to keep for my own someday…
the ones I remember from the early days of my childhood…
and that I could picture in my mind’s eye…
And then curiously, I recalled the Lord’s words to me earlier that morning:
“Make room…for Me to move.”
STOP, DROP, AND CHECK…YOUR HEART
Even in a disappointment about something so seemingly small, almost trivial, I’ve learned that it’s critical to monitor the movements of your heart in the moment and go to God with all that is inside.
Not stifle your heart in silence.
(We’re not made to do that, and it will backfire on you.)
Or let raw emotion loose to fly at others.
(Often the messy result of long-term stifling or unwise lack of personal filter.)
Or ignore your heart and leave it completely unexamined.
(And no, not being “deep” is not a legit excuse… that’s just unwise.)
Or process it aloud with others instead of God.
(Oh! Take care who or what you rely on!)
Or leap into busyness or nonstop activity to dull the effects.
(That just makes your heart worse and adds exhaustion.)
But instead to…
Turn to God in prayer.
The Father wants us to bring everything that’s in our hearts, even if we may sound like a 4-year old trying to explain what we feel.
So we can feel awkward, embarrassed, and like a 4-year old trying to articulate our hearts, of course…
Um, of course NOT!
Our gracious Heavenly Father wants us to pour out our hearts before Him so that He can pour out His abundant grace on us, the grace we so desperately need to become whole in Him.
FOR THE WANT OF HEART
For those of you who still feel super awkward about sharing your feelings with God and getting all “emotional” and stuff and are freaking out just thinking about it— I mean, do we really have to go here?!
Mmm…. I hear you.
The process of going to God with our hearts is humbling and requires bravery. After all, who knows what’s lurking in those dusty, cobweb-filled places in our hearts that haven’t seen the light of day in who knows how long? I mean… who knows what might pop out?!
Oh yeah… God does.
But still, it’s not always easy to say… like out loud… right?
Perhaps, you may not have realized how important your heart is to Him, but as Lord of your life, that’s precisely what He wants: all of us, including our hearts.
“…’Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ And [Jesus] said to him,’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind’…” (Matthew 22:37, emphasis mine)
So here’s your chance.
Won’t you trust God in this new way He’s calling you to?
With all your heart?
Because He loves you and would never…
laugh at you…
or turn you away.
No matter how royally messed up anyone else has ever treated your heart in the past, that’s not true of God.
While you consider that, I’ll leave you with this promise from Jesus that may help stir up your courage:
“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son will so reveal Him.
“‘Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke [My way of doing things] upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.'” (Matthew 11:25-29)
It does get easier over time if you practice and trust God to help you… and He certainly will!
Stay tuned for the next post in this 4-part series.