August 29, 2016

Read Hosea 2:14
Since 2011, I've noticed a pulling away from people, a coldness of heart, a lingering depression, a lack of energy and of joy. Hard circumstances contributed to these feelings - things over which I had no control. In a dry desert, I built walls of self- protection, so that I couldn't be hurt anymore. 
Deuteronomy 8:2 talks about God leading us into the desert to test us - to see what was in our hearts, to see if we would be obedient, if we would recognize that's it's not by blessings of a perfect life that makes us whole, but by the word of God. Sadly, I saw that when life was hard, I chose self-absorption, self-pity, and joylessness. 
Lately the Lord has been wooing me in my desert and speaking tenderly to me (Hosea 2:14). John Piper said, "Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have." And so began the slow process of looking out and up to Jesus, instead of inward to myself. 
But what does that look like in daily living? I started writing down lists:
- the unfulfilled expectations and broken promises. I mourned them and gave them to the Lord
the blessings in my life. The book 1000 Gifts by Ann Voscamp inspired me in this endeavor
things I could change and things I couldn't. I made a plan for those I could change. Those I couldn't, I let go of. 
Praise God that His tests are open book. He wants us to pass. He gives us His Word to seek the answers.  And He gives do-overs until we become like Jesus. John the Baptist said, "I have need...." And that's where I start every day, needing Him, seeking Him, trusting Him, and letting Him heal me.