I wish there were enough words to describe what the Lord is doing in my life. But when are there ever? I’m convinced that a thousand blog posts could not do this season justice. There are only sighs of peace, moments of silent wonder, and tears. So, so many tears.
To catch you up, I’ve been lost. Not just, “I think I made a wrong turn back there,” but, “I don’t know who I am and I don’t think I know who God is, either.” And sometimes, when we walk through things, we don’t understand until reminiscing that certain seasons were incredibly weighty & maybe even a little dangerous. But, I knew. I knew and I still couldn’t get myself out of that place. There was never before such an opportune time for hopelessness to settle in and get cozy than in the past few months. And, to be fair, I eventually stopped fighting and let it. When it needed an extra hand to help unpack, I provided both of mine.
For months, I let hopelessness convince me that the grace of God was for more-deserving children. It sounds ridiculous, typing it out. But it’s much easier to believe than the truth, I think. “He has never delighted in the pursuit of your heart, you unfaithful lover,” said my new roommate. “You are prone to wander, and it exhausts him.”
That’s heavy. That is heavy and not mine to carry. And, because I’m not interested in dragging this out, here is the gospel truth: God is good, doesn’t grow weary, goes after the one, and he didn’t want me to stay in that place, either. Even if I didn’t know fully who he was (and is), that is the truth that I was desperate to believe. If there was even the slightest chance that it was true, I was going to rebel against my unwelcome housemate and find out. So, I asked God for transformation–for the renewal of my mind. And, for months, it didn’t seem as though either would come. Nothing appeared to be changing. I was still depressed, still enslaved by my misconceptions of him, and still rooming with debilitating lies.
But then, one morning, I heard his voice.
“Madison… Madison.” Wake up.
I had been physically sleeping when I heard it. I thought someone was in my room, actually. I called out, half in fear, and half in expectation for some sort of logical answer. Who woke me up? Why did they wake me up? Why didn’t I recognize the voice?
That’s when I heard the rain falling outside my window; the rain that I had been anxiously awaiting for the past fifty days–that’s how long we had been in a drought, where I live. Fifty days without the thing I loved, dearly. I think that’s when I realized, for the first time in my life, I had actually heard the voice of God. I’ve never audibly heard him before that, and I suppose that’s why I didn’t recognize the voice. He woke me up (I thought) so I would be able to enjoy the gift that was steadily falling from the sky. Only a good God who has not stopped sitting on the throne would stir me awake for something like that.
Only a good God would show me that’s not even the half of it.
Why that morning? Why, of all the days and seasons and moments, did God choose that morning to audibly speak to me for the very first time–to literally call me by name? What was so special about those early hours that he had to actually wake me up?
Maybe, he was trying to do more than physically stir me awake. Maybe, he was calling me out of my spiritual slumber and back into life. “Wake up, oh sleeper, rise from the dead.”
If you’ve ever struggled to believe that you are seen and known and wanted by the Father, hear this: the God I had lost hope in and was convinced harbored deep anger towards me loves me so deeply, he wanted to be heard and known as the One who brings resurrection life. He called my name because he has never stopped knowing me. He woke me up with the same voice that told the stars to exist so that I could be stirred from the grave. He’s never stopped asking me to wake up.
The refreshing rain that poured on that blessed morning was a sweet gift, but it doesn’t even compare to what it’s like to finally understand that God is near and wants to be near.
J U S T A N F Y I . . . .
I’m clearly on a bit of a journey, here. In just the past six days, alone, the Lord has revealed deep things about his character and heart that have effectively ruined many misconceptions I’ve had about him. It’s been painful…exciting…good. Very good. I know it’s a bit raw (when is it not with me, though), but I’ll more than likely be doing a bit of online journaling throughout this season. If you’re interested in sticking around to see how Jesus continues to wreck my life, this is where you’ll see it documented. Hopefully it’ll relate to a few of you, and, if not, I’m still gonna write about it.
Until next time,
But your dead will live, LORD; their bodies will rise– let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy– your dew is like the dew of the morning… // Isaiah 26:19