For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Colossians 3:3-4 HCSB
I bless us to pour out our hearts to Jesus in trust and to rejoice in the LORD’s never forsaking presence with us always. I bless us to recognize and embrace His grace that is sufficient for us and our loved ones in all circumstances. I bless us to recognize that the barriers He has raised are not His withholding of good things from us, but Him protecting us and our loved ones from harm and Him leading us and our loved ones into His best for us.
I bless us to become pregnant with great expectation of what the LORD is about to do in the lives of others and in ourselves, as we look not to ourselves or man, but to Him. I bless us to be in awe of God our Father, and the finished work of His Son, Jesus, at the Cross. I bless us to rejoice in the LORD always and not to forget His benefits, but to be filled with thankfulnessfor all He has done.
Can I sing your praise Can I just lift up my hands And say how much I love You, LORD?!
Can I lay low here Before You spreading out my all My hands and knees bowed low Lifting up my soul to You alone.
Can I just cast down in Jesus now Every argument set up against Your Word, may Your will be seen Papa In Christ's laying low 'n casting down
Of all these walls, ashes to ashes of all The ways I'm holding back my heart My body 'n soul 'n mind 'n strength My all from glory's weight of gold.
Melt my heart and pour it out Releasing Your Son's meekness now In my humbling, let my body's laying Down low, Your Body freely glorify.
Unashamed and unafraid to sing And dance in Holy Spirit abandon Declaring You now the King of Kings And Lord of Lords, no other Name
Will do for me, but Yours My reputation I am laying down low In Jesus to arise, awake to Him My soul's delight in incense rising.
For He's ever interceding Before the throne for you and me The King of Kings and LORD of Lords No other Name, my God, but Yours.
I know You alone to shield And cover Me, hidden in Your Son I am righteous, in the shadow Of Your wings alone, oh YES I'm Yours.
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 only 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.