Much of my blogging going forward will be writing out of a place of obedience to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. In the past, it was a place to journal publicly our journey with infertility, but God is doing a new thing and He is leading us in a new direction (hence the infrequent posts). We have by no means given up the desire to grow our family, but we have given up the striving – spiritually, physically, emotionally. There is nothing like complete surrender of your biggest dreams and literally doing a trust fall into the arms of Jesus. The supernatural peace we have found here is literal Heaven on earth.
This season has looked like none other. In the Fall/Winter of 2018 (and some of 2019), I was running at a pace much faster than my spirit (and sometimes my body) could keep up with, but it was busy doing all the “good things” – Bible studies, mentorship, discipleship, The Waiting Room, etc. And all of a “sudden”, for the past 2 months, the season came to a screeching halt. There were no more appointments on the calendar (even though I sure tried to book them), the Bible study ended, The Waiting Room is wrapping up its last session, and to be honest, I didn’t like the quiet and stillness in my days. I fought it. It went against this “strivers” very DNA. Meet with no one? Lead nothing? This can’t be, there’s so much Kingdom work to be done! I have to do my part. There is no time for rest, we’ll do that when we get to Heaven!
Deep siiiiiigh… on one of those restless, sleepless nights, the Lord took me to Hebrews 4. It is a chapter that talks about the Sabbath rest. Hebrews 4:11 specifically says “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest…” Strive to enter rest? I thought we were to strive towards running the race? Then the Lord had me reflect on the last 8 weeks. “Don’t you see what I’m doing? It’s not an either/or, it’s a both/and Vanessa. Trust My leading. Strive to enter into the rest for now. A season more amazing than your wildest dream is coming around the corner where you’ll need this concept engraved in your DNA, also. I made you a striver, but I need you to learn to strive to enter into My rest, too. First things first.” And the loving Shepherd has made me lie down in green pastures to restore my soul and He has led me beside still waters. “I’m after your presence and your intimate friendship Vanessa, not your performance.”
I have stopped my wrestling and have let Him lead. It has been a beautiful 8 weeks, where now I cannot picture my days looking like they used to (and selfishly I don’t really want another crazy season, but I know it’s coming). Jesus has become the Lover of my soul. I spend hours upon hours at His feet – worshiping, praying, feasting on His Word. Nothing this world has to offer (tv, social media, distractions) can ever satisfy me the way He does, those meaningless pursuits serve to numb my soul and keep me from taking my cup to the only Well that can truly satisfy. I will live my days holding my cup up to Him and living in pursuit of His presence. His presence changes everything – it shifts atmospheres, it changes my rotten insides, it has made me come face to face with my insufficiency in light of His holiness. What more could I ask for? I read a tiny book called “Practicing the Presence” by Brother Lawrence written in the 1600’s. It has wrecked me, he lived his life in a monastery, peeling potatoes, and his life goal was to see how many minutes he could spend in the presence of Jesus. How’s that for a new year’s resolution?
I know life won’t always look this way – with the flexibility of hours to spend as a beautiful waste at His feet, but I sure will remember that this is where it all begins and ends. I can do nothing outside of His presence. Lord, I want the anointing that flows from the secret, unseen, intimate place with You. For all of my days, let me smell of the aroma of being in the secret garden with You. That’s what You’re after – a beautiful exchange. “Give me your striving, and I will give you My rest.”
P.S. something “new” has blossomed in this season that was so unexpected, yet such a gift of grace from the Father. God has tethered six like-minded hearts together in a very intimate group called “The Secret Garden” and we are studying the book “Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World that Loves to be Noticed” by Sara Hagerty. God is doing a lot of pruning in the unseen, secret garden of our hearts and it has been a true delight to invite the Master Gardener in. He can be trusted when He’s the One with the pruning scissors in hand. Have your way Lord, have Your way!
P.S.S. there are two new prayers I have learned (based on Lana Vawser’s book “The Prophetic Voice of God”) in this season and they are life-altering, try them: “Lord, make my spirit sensitive to when Your Spirit walks into the room” and “Lord, give me Heaven’s perspective on everything – Heaven’s eyes, Heaven’s ears, Heaven’s mind, Heaven’s heart.”