I look back through my journal, broken words I’ve written in a feeble attempt to chronicle my wrestling with God, and I barely recognize the words that I penned with my own hands more than a year ago. Flipping through that tear-stained journal is painful. I see the heartache and recount the anger and resentment. I remember the despair and agony, and on some level I suppose I was so bitter with God that I was unwilling to allow His comfort and peace to fill me.
And now I stand on a battlefield not quite deserted, but quiet and empty, evidence of a wildly raging war all around me. And I realize that somehow, through grace and glory and the powerful prayers of many of you, my burden is lifted. The pain is still there, but now it is married to peace. A beautiful partnership of two emotions that for so long were at odds with each other.
The pain is the lesser emotion, slowly submitting to grace and peace. And peace – that sweet quietness of spirit that rests in knowing that He is with me, that emptying of self and trusting His good and gracious plan – it grows stronger.
Peace was frail and fleeting at first. Maybe it was nourished by courage – the courage to wrestle – or maybe it was nurtured by the prayers of countless others. But fragile as it was, the seed that was planted without my realizing sprouted and took root. And the roots are growing deep, beautifully entwined in the soil of my heart, growing strong and brave.
There was a shift last fall. A crushing of my will and the realization that His will is perfect. Perfect and painful. The pursuing of my heart was brutal and ugly, and I rebelled and refused His sweet pursuit. But then, in one quiet moment, alone and silent and lost in thought, a revelation so brilliant and heart-stopping that I felt uninvited tears fill my eyes.
My expectation of God’s faithfulness had shifted.
No longer did I expect that this journey would end with a diligently prayed for baby. No longer did I expect God to show up in a mighty, miraculous, earth-shattering way. No longer did I expect Him to do for me what seems impossible.
A sudden change of heart, most certainly the gracious moving of the hand of God reaching down and somehow redirecting my expectations. Now I expect to be made more like His Son. I expect Him to conquer my restless and wayward heart. I expect to fall so blindly and hopelessly in love with Jesus that my life could be no more fulfilled by the joys and responsibilities of motherhood. I expect my every delight to be in Who God is, not in what He does for me.
He loves the broken. Because the broken cannot put themselves together again, and must, instead, rely on grace and glory to be made whole.
He loves the ugly. The ugly cannot make themselves beautiful without the hand of God painting brush strokes of loveliness across their life canvas.
He loves the empty. Because the empty cannot fill themselves, and must rely on divinely-given joy and peace and passion.
He loves the hurting. The hurting cannot heal their sorrows, but must run into the arms of Jesus – the arms that stretched out on that ugly, wretched sinner’s tree – to find the beautiful comfort of His presence.
And this shifting of my expectation resulted in a new heart-creed. A true and honest desire to be:
…broken – so He can recreate me.
…ugly – so He can make my messy life a testimony of glory and grace.
…empty, so He can fill me with supernatural joy that He pours in me out of His great love for me.
…hurting, so that He can embrace me and offer healing, real spirit and soul healing as He wraps me in resplendent love.
And so, the two feelings live in a state of irony: juxtaposed to each other, yet working in tandem to draw me to Him: pain and peace.
Are you ready to be an inspiration? (To find out the purpose of the Desire to Inspire community, please read this post.)
- Please visit the others who link up and leave kind, encouraging words for them. This is about encouraging, inspiring, and building up one another.
- If you tweet about linking up, please use the hashtag #desiretoinspire so we can find each other.
- Link up your own quality, read-worthy posts.
- Focus on how you can be an inspiration, not what inspires you.
- You do not have to follow ARD, but of course I’d love it if you would.
- Link up your specific post, not your blog’s homepage.
- Please do not link up giveaways, blog/social media hops, or shops.
- Please link back to A Royal Daughter in your post (using the button below, or a text link back) or add this linky party to your linky party list.
- If you would like to join the Desire to Inspire Facebook community or group Pinterest board, please e-mail me: royaldaughterdesigns(at)yahoo(dot)com.
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