(This post was originally published on the Our Words Collaborative website on February 25, 2017.)
Most mornings you can find me on the left end of our gray sectional in the living room amidst scattered toys, books, and a few stuffed animals that did not get picked up the night before. I am most likely sipping a cup of warm coffee, my journal is open with pen in hand and an open book is in my lap. I may also have a cozy fire quietly flickering in the fireplace. This is my happy place; it is quiet and I can be still.I love to start my days this way and I love to use this time to pray, think and ponder.
Now that it is starting to get lighter outside earlier, I can open the blinds to bring in the light of day and also enjoy a reflective glance or two outside the window next to my preferred morning spot. This window looks out to our fenced-in suburban backyard. Just beyond our wooden swing set and the harvested corn field caddy corner from our yard (yes we live in the suburbs but yet there is a cornfield nearby holding out to the growth developing all around us; I absolutely love the rural-ness it offers our backyard view!), there is a coffee shop drive thru that I tend to watch on almost a daily basis. I am a people watcher, but in this case I guess a car watcher. It is interesting to me to watch the simplicity of the cars moving through this local business’ window and then move on. I always wonder what was ordered, who they are and where they are going.
Do you do that? Do you like to people watch?
I have a tendency to make up stories of where they came from and where they are going. It is a bit harder to do with cars and coffee shop drive thru’s since I can’t quite see the person, but I ponder just the same; wondering if they are heading to work or off to a fun day of shopping. Did they get a warm frothy vanilla latte (my favorite!), a fun fruity smoothie or a regular cup of joe? Do they have a family; are they happy? Do they know Jesus?
Even though I can’t really see the people, I start to wonder- Can we really ever see who someone is…really? It led me to think of how often we might not stop to think where people have come from or even where they are going; or maybe what they are going through.
When was the last time you stopped to think of someone else’s journey but your own?
As parents we do that with our kids, but other than that…do we? I have to be honest and say I probably don’t think too much about what someone else is going through, especially those I do not know well. This is something I would like to change; I want to encourage, love and embrace. I want to reach out and let others know I, but most importantly, God is there.
But before I can do this…I first must change. In order to help others in their journey, I must also be willing to reach out and choose God in my own.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
My two year old son has a new game he likes to play with me. Many times during the week we are in the car; running errands, dropping off big sister at school, heading to story time and waiting in the pick-up line at school. He sits behind me in his car seat, buckled in and taking in the sights from the back seat view of his window. He is seemingly content and doesn’t usually argue when we get to our desired location. However, when we get home and into the dimly lit garage at our house, he resists. He decides he doesn’t want to go in and is adamant that he is to stay put and that is final.
I tell him, “You need to go somewhere. Are you going to stay here?” I know what is best for him and that is to go inside the warm house where we can also start eating lunch. He shakes his head and there really is no changing his mind; it is made up. I am not going to argue and I walk inside, but I leave the door ajar and I turn the garage light on so the garage door light doesn’t go out and scare him. I wait on the other side of the door, because I know the inevitable ‘Mommy!’ is coming. It takes a few minutes and I hear it. I go out and ask him if he is ready to go in, he nods and smiles. I unbuckle him from his car seat, take him in my arms and carry him inside the warm sanctuary of our home.
I start to wonder if this is similar to God with us in our life journeys. We have our minds made up and we don’t want to go any further. God is urging us in, but we resist; thinking we know better. Our God knowing our free will gives us this option, steps aside letting us make this choice. He doesn’t go far though and he listens for us to call out; getting things prepared for when we inevitably cry out to Him. Once we do, He is there to help us out; into the warm comfort of His arms.
We all have to go somewhere…we make the choice.
God is here, He always has been and always will. Will you choose to call out and trust that He will take you to a warm, safe place?
Just let that word wash over you
It’s alright now
Love’s healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
‘Cause your story’s far from over
And your journey’s just begun….” (‘Tell Your Heart To Beat Again’- Song by Danny Gokey)
I have been hearing this song on the radio for some time now, but only really hearing it this last week. It seems the right songs come to us when we need them. I am reminded of journeys again; the journeys of others and our own as well. Our journeys take us to places where choices or circumstances lead us down the roads of life littered with disappointments, fear and anxiety. We can be distraught, depressed and lonely. But as the song states ,and Truth tells us, Love is always here. There is light at the end of the dark tunnel, leading to seeds of joy being planted in your heart once again. We can be content, encouraged and we are never alone; but we must first choose love.
There is a lot of talk these days, and especially this month, about love. Some speak of true love and associate it with romance and feelings. I think our culture cheapens love to a level that is basically lust, attraction and sexual pleasure; telling us that love is what we feel in the moment and acting on that feeling will make us happy.
You might be confused; the world can do that to us. It confuses what we know in our hearts to be true and what we are inundated with in a society that tells us otherwise. No wonder love is so misconstrued; since our culture tells us love is a feeling that is all about ourselves and helps us feel good.
If love were a feeling than what do we lean on when we can’t stand on our own anymore?
What is the motivation to keep going?
What is the point of serving if it doesn’t benefit ourselves (since according to this cultural love it is all about making ourselves feel good)?
What picks us up when we fall?
Feelings are fleeting and undependable; but love, true love, is a constant and also a choice we make.
What is True Love?
True Love meets you where you are, as you are and doesn’t change who you are.
True Love walks beside you (whether you acknowledge it or not) and picks you up when you fall.
True Love is found in the simple, small moments and the everyday miracles that usually go unseen from the public eye.
True Love forgives your wrongs, looks past your faults and died for your sins.
True Love serves you (even when you do not serve it) and does this so you can serve others the same.
You are a reflection of it, whether you choose to regard it or not, and it is there waiting; waiting for you to look, to watch, to listen, to drop your agenda and your control.
Everyone is on a journey, but not all of us choose to travel that journey in the Love that is offered freely to all of us. Jesus is true love; He is the only source, the only satisfaction and the only place where you are truly and always loved. He is the choice we make when we want to love others the same.
I am calling out to God to wrap me in His arms and take me into the warm sanctuary of Home.
I want to meet others where they are and help them when they fall.
I want to see that others’ are struggling and serve without thought of whether they are doing the same for me.
I want to know the amazing freedom that True Love can bring.
I want to acknowledge His footsteps next to mine on my journey.
I want to walk with others on their journeys as well.
I want less of me and more of Him.
He wants to meet you where you are.
He wants to help you when you fall.
He wants you to serve others as He serves you.
He wants you to know True Love.
He wants you to choose Love.
He wants you to know you are forgiven.
He wants you to step into the grace and mercy of His love.
He wants your heart to beat again.
He wants you to choose Him.
“Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again…” (Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey)
Thank you so much for the amazing gift of True Love. Please help us to see the difference between the love our culture tells us about and the real Love You offer us freely. We also thank You for being with us on our journeys; whether we have always acknowledged your presence or not. Please forgive us when we adamantly grab the reins and refuse to let You carry us. Thank you for always being there to welcome us with open arms. Please welcome us again as we choose You and Your will for our lives. We have struggles, pain and disappointments that we cannot handle on our own, please help us into the light of grace and the peace of Your Love. Our hearts are yearning to beat again Lord and we want to spread that Love to others on their journeys as well. We choose You Lord; we choose Love. We choose to spread Your Love to others on their journeys as well and ask that you guide us in doing this, so we are made true disciples of Christ. Help our hearts to beat again <3
In Jesus’ name, Amen
For the full song and video- ‘Tell Your Heart to Beat Again’ by Danny Gokey- click here: https://youtu.be/PkdkiuJgqxk