Make You Known To All

A painting my Mum made in her final weeks, before going to be with Jesus

What a gift this month of rest has been to my heart and soul. I pray you too will be encouraged to heed that still small Voice, when God calls you to come away with Him also. He knows what we need, even before we realize that’s what we need.

During the month of May, I read the book Attached to God by Krispin Mayfield, written by a former missionary kid and trained and experienced Christian psychologist. It’s been so healing (and continues to be), as I am coming to better understand the remnants of anxiety and shame present in my and my loved ones’ attachment to God and to people.

It has given me so much compassion, for myself, for the creators, for the teachers and the followers of anxiety and shame-based theology. This man-made theology is not rooted in Christ but in traumatic, unhealed past experiences. Equipped with this fresh insight, I am inviting God to restore a healthy attachment to Him and through this, to others in my life also. I believe that as this is restored, I will also come to see, with my own eyes, more of the fullness of redemption that is mine (and yours too) in Christ Jesus.

As a little girl, I remember having that healthy attachment. I didn’t cling to others or to God, desperately afraid that if I didn’t He would turn His back on me and forsake me. I didn’t feel terrible condemnation and shame, as if I was inherently evil. I deep down knew myself and others to be fearfully and wonderfully made and full of God’s goodness. I felt safe, confident and secure in God’s and in my parents’ unconditional love for me. I loved to pray and worship my God and I sensed His desire to speak to me, moment by moment, and to shower me in His delight.

God has restored so much of that sweet and healthy bond between us, but I can also see His desire to take me deeper in His love. I see it in the triggers of trauma that have had me reeling again recently, and in the false theology rearing its head in my thought life once again. And I see it in the healthy boundaries God has once again laid down to give me a safe environment to heal and grow in my trust and my confidence in Him, where those around me are affirming and encouraging me to connect heart-to-heart.

Which is why this will be my last post on Shalom Aleh for the foreseeable future. God showed me in this month of rest, that while I love to share what He is teaching me with you here, I struggle so much with the silence and lack of connection in this space. I prayed into that in this month away, wondering if I just needed to perservere and learn to rest in God’s affirmation of His Word to me and His prompting to share my heart with you here.

But He showed me that my desire for true heart-to-heart connection is His desire for me too and that that perserverance in Him and His Word to me will grow out of that also. Right now, He wants me sharing my heart in real life places, where that connection has already been built up and the other party desires to engage with me face to face, and grow with me in the LORD, so that I can be built up in Him.

Amazingly, that connection in Christ is present where I wasn’t yet persuaded (by faith to) see it before – I just needed God’s gentle push to step out into it. As He took away my usual outlets for sharing – including this space – He encouraged me to speak of what He’s been teaching me to those He has set before me, who have shown such a hunger and thirst to connect, grow and learn with me.

I know and trust God has blessed those of you reading behind the scenes and will continue to in my departure from posting here. But I also believe God also has real life connection and heart-to-heart engagement that He longs to walk us all into, more and more – not just here online, but in our physical places around the world also. I am starting to follow Him into that and it is so blessing my heart, as I again find Him present, where I had begun once again to deem Him absent to me.

Here is a poem that a friend’s sharing with me prompted (incidentally her sharing came about from me sharing a portion of the above mentioned book).

Make You Known to All
A poem by Anna Louise Smit

Where were you
Then
When I couldn't
See
When all I saw
Was darkness.

When all I saw
Was fear
And shame
And evil me
Where were you
Then?

It's then
You show me
Opening my
Eyes to see
You there.

Not just
Behind and
Beside me, but
Before me.

Palms stretched
Outward
Stooping low
Stepping there
Toward me.

Eyes soft and
Beckoning
With each step
I take
You show me.

More
And more
Grace
Unfolding

A healthy
Attachment
Restoring.

Flooded by
Light
In the darkness
Glowing

I taste
And see
Good

Not evil
Nor wanting
Nor missing
The mark
But perfected
In Love.

Hidden in my
Human heart
You uncover
The new
Awaiting.

The secret
Heart of gold
Love
Truth
And grace
Unveiling.

Present and near
To each and all
No, not ever aloof
Or far from us.

You are
The mighty God
The Great I AM
Here with all.

Emmanuel
The only God
Love remaining
Present to us.

For You are ever
Before all things
And in You
All things
Hold together.

Thank You
For making
Us all ready
To be shown.

To trust
Not in ourself
Or man
But in You alone.

Our true
Best Friend
Unveiling Your
Best for each one of us.

Your will
Your purposes
Your desires
Ever more
Our own
Becoming.

One piece
At a time
All knees
Shall bow.

All tongues
Confess
You alone
As LORD
Of all.

Our eyes
You are
Opening wide
To see
You're here
With us.

Not far away
Or aloof
To all the pain
We've felt
Or the tears
We've shed.

For right there
In our weeping
Your golden
Sheaves You're
Bequeathing.

A harvest ripe
For the
Gathering.

Each breaking
Each setting apart
Joining us.

The broken parts
Together One
In You alone.

Made complete
And whole
Ready

To be shown
To know You
In each other
And make You

Known to all.

Oh how God loves to to multiply His blessings. And that is my prayer as I leave this site in the air: may God take what is here, break it as bread and send it out to feed hungry and thirsty souls, who like me, need to be reminded that God is for us, not against us, just as the song I have included in this post reminds us too. May He make us ready to be shown, to know Him and make Him known to all. God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.

Unfurling [Republished]

In the month of May, I committed to sharing posts from others that have encouraged, inspired and challenged me. But today on my Mum’s 68th birthday (my Mum went to be with Jesus April 8th, 2014), the LORD again returned this post to me – because one of you liked it (thank you for being God’s gift!!) – and I knew I had to share it with you all again – a third time because of what just unfolded.

When I looked to see what post was being liked, I was so overwhelmed. Why? Because Bettie had just eerily emailed me of something so similar unfolding for her: as God placed a rainbow before her, the first she’s seen since her move, when she so needed God’s reminder that when we are faithless, He is the God who is faithful FOR us.

And then as I listened to the song I had included here, I decided to send it to a friend in Washington state, but God at the last moment brought another friend in Indiana to mind also, so I sent it to her too. What I didn’t know is that her Mama went to be with Jesus hours earlier – and now my dear friend was facing her very first night without her there, after months of caring for her elderly Mama in her own home. As Indiana slept but my friend couldn’t in her grief, the Holy Spirit compelled me in the Netherlands to send that song – showing her and me how deeply our God loves us and how PRESENT He is. Just as the song says, it is truly our Jesus who makes our faith to stand. May our God overwhelm you too today by the power of His love and the HOPE that is ours in Christ Jesus.

Shalom Aleh

On a day of fresh loss and grief for my little family, only Jesus could have had someone visit this post and have me return to re-read it only hours before that fresh loss came. It was one of numerous ways the Spirit of God revealed His nearness to me- in advance of today’s loss, preparing my heart to see and receive His compassion for our whole family.

May it bless your hearts too, and help you to see and remember God’s nearness to you through your own loss and grief also. I bless you to see details in your past you hadn’t noticed before, whereby God’s nearness to you and your loved ones becomes even more palpable to you. He truly is so very present to each one of us.

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