Chapter 2- Day 1: Turn Toward

Welcome to Day 1 of Chapter 2 of Arise & Shine.


Silence 
More than anything
It cuts and maims
And holds me bound

In pouring out
This one little heart
Giving my all
In love and grace and trust

To then be met
By slicing silence
Is too much for
This yearning heart to bear

Do you, like me, know this slicing pain? Is there a relationship, a community, a work situation, maybe job applications where you have been (repeatedly) met by closed doors or silence? Do you feel a fence being put up to keep you out?

What if this is God inviting us to come inside of His fence? What if this is His hemming in to draw us deeper into His heart for us? A heart that never, ever shuts us out, but only ever invites us to come in to break bread with Him.

Father God, we come before You today, bringing all the situations before You, where we have been met by closed doors and silence. We confess that these silences have hurt our hearts, deeply.

Forgive us, where we have hid this hurt from You and tried to keep going in our own strength and understanding. Oh LORD thank You that You even understand that.

Jesus, thank You that You, like no other, know trauma and pain. Thank You for carrying our trauma and pain on that Cross, to lift its heavy weight off of our shoulders. Oh how we need You to do so.

Father, You know that we struggle to be still. We struggle to trust, because our trust has been broken by man so deeply, even though we know You are not like man.

We know that in our minds, but not in our hearts and our bodies. Father, we invite You to unite our minds, our bodies and our hearts in You and Your wholeness.

Help us to release our tight grip on anything that is harming us. Open our palms to receive Your Word, not of rejection but of welcome here. We are so hungry for Your fresh warm bread. Make us like that little weaned child who trusts You. Teach us to quiet and calm ourself before You.

Uncover and help us to bring forward the free will offering and longings of Your heart here. Clothe us in Your pure white linen of holiness. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

LORD, take this emptied heart
And pour in Your fullness
Return me to my first Love
To You.

When accusing tongues
Speak shame and press me far away
Where I begin to question
Who I am

Help me to know
Not just in my head
But fully & wholly, who I am
In you.


Hold me, each and every broken piece
Safe, in Your whole hands
And place me where You
Would have me be

Be my strength, when I have none
My courage, where lies speak loud
My thoughts, my words and deeds.

That I may

Turn toward
And not away
From Your heart
Beating here.

Someone Listens

A Poem by Lisa Enqvist
 
Moving
Parting
Something new
Waits beyond the mountains
I refuse to hear
I refuse to see
Another world
Cannot replace
all that I am
losing
Someone listens, nods and smiles
Understands my pain
Torn up roots and broken branches
heal
and grow again
 
 
 
This poem was written by Lisa Enqvist in 1962, describing the power of Christ’s listening ear, in her aunt Göta Wallenius (born 13.3.1913 and died 12.2.2003). Lisa said her aunt helped her survive, just by listening.
 
Göta Wallenius
 
Father, thank You that You always hear our hearts. Thank You for sending Göta Wallenius to sit next to Lisa and listen to her aching heart. Thank You for binding up and healing Lisa’s broken branches and for replanting her torn up roots into Your heart and affections for her. Thank You for letting her poem fall on my own freshly pruned branches and dangling roots. Thank You for reminding me of how you once sent a Finnish woman my way also to clasp my hands, invite me to share my story and weep with me.
 
Father, let this Word fall on other freshly pruned hearts and dangling roots also. Replant our dangling roots into the good soil of Your heart and loving affections for us. Show us how each uprooting and pruning is growing our delight in You and uncovering Your true heart and affections in us. Grow bountiful leaves of healing and abiding fruit from the branches you have cut back. In Jesus’ mighty Name, Amen.
 
 
 
 
Join us tomorrow for a beautiful short story by Lisa about tree roots.
 
Author Bio

As a teenager, Lisa Enqvist decided she would never be a missionary, never return to her father’s Gospel ship “Ebeneser,” never marry a missionary, never have kids who might feel as rootless as she was. And, she prayed, “Please, God, don’t ever send me to India.” But God knew Lisa better than she knew herself and gave her what her heart truly desired: all the things she asked Him not to give her, healing her heart more and more through the process.

Lisa is a co-founder of a Children’s Home in Thailand. She grew up in China and Sri Lanka as a missionary kid. She now lives with her husband in a small town on the West Coast of Finland. She and her husband adopted four Amerasian children in Thailand. They have given Lisa and her husband Håkan eleven grandkids. 

Today, Lisa writes personal and family stories based on saved letters, documents, and personal memories. Since receiving her mother’s old letters in 1983, she has written four memoir books in Swedish and one in English: MISSIONARY MOTHER – Around the World with Five Kids. Rheumatoid Arthritis has challenged her since writing her first book. 

Lisa is a registered pediatric nurse. Her earlier writing experience consisted of newsletters to sponsors of children at the Bethany Children’s Home and regular letters to family and friends scattered around the world. She has saved numerous family letters.

She attended several Swedish writer’s seminars in Finland. After reverting to English in 2011, she completed a course in writing for children and youth at the Institute for Children’s Literature and a Memoir Writing Course at Creative Writing Now. She also wrote articles for FaithWriters Challenge. 

She is a member of Everything Memoir Private Group and West Coast Christian Writers. She has attended two Online conferences with the WCCW.

Her book MISSIONARY MOTHER – Around the World with Five Kids, is available from: 

https://booklocker.com/books/8211.html

https://www.amazon.com/MISSIONARY-MOTHER-Around-World

and other online bookstores.

Lisa blogs at: https://lisaenqvistroots.com/