Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Needy Woman

I debated about sharing this story because it still feels a little raw. Then, I thought about not going into detail about how hard it was. I decided on a little vulnerability though. Honestly, I’m risking a chance that you will judge me and think less of me because of my struggle. But it’s worth the risk because just maybe God will use this story to help someone out; maybe that’s you, maybe it’s not. Only one way to find out…read on!

I had just decided to have a date night with Jesus after work, so when I found out I was 30 min early to work, I was excited to start early! I found the local park and parked where I could see the trees and nature and turned up my music and started waiting to connect. Uh oh …there was a heaviness in my spirit.

“I don’t care about feeling guilty any more God! I just need you to show up!”

Wait, what? That’s not what I expected to say but, yes, my heart had said guilty. Where did that come from? I was supposed to be worshipping or praying or something to spend time with him, not begging. Then again, maybe that was the problem. As a “mature” Christian, I knew what is “expected” of me and what I’m “supposed” to do to enter into His presence. The problem was I hadn’t been doing any of that. So, when I’ve been spending time with Him, I’ve felt guilty and haven’t expect Him to come. My logic, I didn’t measure up, so He wouldn’t show up.

It all hit in a moment: my desperation, my neediness, the lies I’d accepted, the pressure I put on myself, my lack of dependence on God to be faithful. Tears poured from my eyes, tears I’d been wanting to cry but not knowing why. I’d accepted weariness and guilt as normal because I didn’t call them what they were. I’d let lies slip in and in an instant the revelation floored me.

“I don’t care if I don’t deserve you! I need to feel you! I need you to show up in a dramatic way! A powerful way! I need you to blow me away! I know I’m not doing it right, I just need you! I need you to be bigger than my failure! I need to know you love me despite that! I NEED YOU!”

OK, 30 minutes were up! Pause God time and head to work…

5 hours later after my shift, I was desperate to meet with Him. I had a little time to reflect logically and I came up with this. I knew it was silly of me to have gotten to that point in the first place. After all, Paul was writing to me when he said, “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” (Gal 3:3) People, I grew up in church. If I know anything, I know I can’t save myself! Then why am I “now trying to attain my goal by human effort”? Golly, I hate being needy! I don’t mind asking for favors but depending on others for emotional support has always bothered me. I can keep my own emotions under control! Then why am I “now trying to attain my goal by human effort”? Oops, I had started operating that way with God…

That evening, it was me and Jesus. I kept crying the whole time. He HAD to show up. I had nothing to give. I knew I couldn’t get the right formula. My ears were tired from straining to hear His voice. About the only thing I did “right” was set time aside for Him. Sure, I put on worship music but it was a desperate attempt to keep me focused; it barely worked, and even then not for as long as I wanted. I didn’t crack my Bible. I didn’t worship beyond the point of admitting my utter failure and my desperate need for Him. I didn’t pray for anyone else. I didn’t dance. I didn’t kneel. I didn’t pace. I didn’t read any books. I didn’t listen to any teaching. I didn’t ask for a picture or a word. I don’t even know if I prayed in tongues. If I did, it was a weak, half-hearted attempt rooted in habit, not from an overflow or special leading. I pulled up a playlist on Itunes and curled up in a ball and cried. Did I mention I cried? Cause I did…a lot. Sobbed actually would be a better word. I was simply there, a desperate, needy woman needing to be loved in a dramatic and powerful way.

At this point I would love to write another 10 paragraphs telling you that Jesus visited me face to face. That he took me up to heaven. That I worshipped with the angels. That I heard an audible voice. That I had a vision, a dream. That I got drunk in the Spirit and worshipped uncontrollably. That I had a profound new revelation. That He gave me a new gift. That He told me the plan for my life. That I’ll never go back to where I was. That He showed me a divinely strategic plan for ministry. Anything…I would love to tell you that anything extraordinary and supernatural happened because that’s what I was longing for. But I can’t, because it didn’t. I just laid there curled up in a ball and cried myself to sleep. The most exciting thing that happened was that I fell asleep earlier than I have since I’ve been here and I slept very soundly. That’s it. That’s all that came out of my desperation.

I wish I could say I’m ok with that, that I walked away in peace at least. Nope, I’m not really ok with it at all. In fact, I’m extremely disappointed. Why would He answer my silly little prayers and not the really big one I was so desperate for? Practically, I could say He answered my big prayer by answering my little ones. My heart doesn’t buy it. It’s not enough. I’m not going to settle.

Here is what it comes to then: I have a choice, even as I stare this discontent in the face. It seems to confirm the lie I had heard, “I didn’t measure up, so He wouldn’t show up”. Is it really true then? I don’t want it to be. Am I going to become bitter and mad at God? Or am I going to continue to walk in expectant faith? If feels a little dangerous to keep on hoping, knowing how much disappointment hurts, so do I keep asking for Him to come, knowing I might be disappointed or do I harden my heart?

May truth prevail in freeing my heart from these lies!

Cosmic Drama

I subscribed to Daily Readings from Ransdomed Heart ministries with John and Staci Eldredge and this day jumped out at me. If we only could view the Bible with such an epic perspective, I think we would aproach life a little differently!

May it encourage your heart to become alive to the hope that we are created for something bigger than what we are currently experiencing! Do you long for adventure and mystery? Good! Because that's what we were created to live! A Great Romance where we have a King who fights for us and reveals himself to us!


We have lived for so long with a "propositional" approach to Christianity, we have nearly lost its true meaning. As Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen says,

Much of it hinges on your view of scripture. Are you playing proof-text poker with Genesis plus the Gospels and Paul's epistles, with everything else just sort of a big mystery in between-except maybe Psalms and Proverbs, which you use devotionally? Or do you see scripture as being a cosmic drama-creation, fall, redemption, future hope-dramatic narratives that you can apply to all areas of life? (Prism interview)

For centuries prior to our Modern Era, the church viewed the gospel as a Romance, a cosmic drama whose themes permeated our own stories and drew together all the random scenes in a redemptive wholeness. But our rationalistic approach to life, which has dominated Western culture for hundreds of years, has stripped us of that, leaving a faith that is barely more than mere fact-telling. Modern evangelicalism reads like an IRS 1040 form: It's true, all the data is there, but it doesn't take your breath away. As British theologian Alister McGrath warns, the Bible is not primarily a doctrinal sourcebook: "To reduce revelation to principles or concepts is to suppress the element of mystery, holiness and wonder to God's self-disclosure. 'First principles' may enlighten and inform; they do not force us to our knees in reverence and awe, as with Moses at the burning bush, or the disciples in the presence of the risen Christ" (A Passion for Truth).

(The Sacred Romance , 45)