I walk down a gravel lane with trees all around. It was so warm the other day - it felt like spring and even though it was very muddy, I had to get out in it.
Walking sometimes gives me the chance to quiet down, to listen to my thoughts, sort things out.
Lately, I've been using this time to talk and listen to God.
I saw this tree, the picture doesn't do it justice, but it's big and tall and about half of it has been broken off. All the upper branches, the canopy. It can never be the same, in fact, it seems like such a waste of energy to spend all those years growing in the first place and now to break. This may sound trite but I am relating it to human lives. How we feel so broken by this unfair life. By circumstance, by evil, by not getting an equal start in life.
We, some of us, are in the middle of our lives and things just haven't turned out the way we had planned. I've spent a lot of time digging in my heels and arguing with God about the way things are going, instead of, letting him show me a better way.
I just felt on this walk, that Jesus was telling me that he sees the tree differently than I do.
That it's not about the breaking, it's about love, and him, and me.
When I am at the end of, let's say, my pitiful willpower, he steps in and now it's God in me, his love, his strength shining out of me.
The brokenness just makes the light more amazing.
I'm certainly on a journey of learning about my relationship with Jesus. I feel that most of my life, I've been a container with a lid on, I took the lid off just a few times to let him in, and then quickly screwed it back on. He doesn't force his way in, that's not his nature.
Looking back, those "God moments" kept me going when times were tough. But they were just moments scattered throughout my life. I've been longing for something more, more sustaining.
A few years ago, in a hard time, God showed me that he would never leave me. I think that I needed that reassurance so much, that I mattered enough, that nothing, especially me, could separate me from his love.
Sometimes I feel like I've been the child who acts out just to get attention from his parents. Because he desperately needs to hear that he's important, loved for who he is. Kind of testing God really.
What I'm learning now, is that, I can have Jesus with me every day, not just in the hardest times. That he just wants a relationship. He doesn't really just want to be the superhero who swoops in and saves the day, and then he's no longer needed.
He is a savior, but the reason that he saved me is because he likes to be with me. It's as simple as that! I don't have to clean up before I'm with him.
He is happy to be with me when I'm at my worst. This may be obvious and simple to some of you, but for me, this is new and I'm still learning and trying to accept.
I read this quote from a book called "Beautiful Outlaw', "Jesus has no intention of letting you become whole apart from his moment-to-moment presence and life within you."
This deeply resonated with me. It was sort of a "lightbulb" moment. To me it shows just how much he cares. There's no way he's going to let me succeed in my life without him. That is pure love folks!
I see myself as second rate, middle aged, not having accomplished all that much, always trying and failing, spending so many years struggling in my own "mud" of not measuring up. In some ways "broken".
But he sees a new beginning, a vessel, a jar with the lid off.
So, I'm learning to invite him into my everyday. And there is so much joy. And the desire to share. I know this is all very personal but I want my friends to know about this journey that I'm on.
If you were reading this expecting it to be about my latest DIY project around the house, you may be a bit confused! Sorry, there will be more of that, I promise. But this is me too. And I want to put it down on "paper" as a way of sharing and also to remind me of where I am and where I've been.
Thanks for reading!