Wednesday, October 12, 2011

God in a box.

This past weekend I was able to head down to Murrieta with the women of my church to attend the Women's Retreat. I was very hesitant to go to say the least. Sure, I had friends that were going but wasn't entirely sure where I was going to fit in. My little hurt was stressed and began to get really nervous as I drove down the 91.

I have been feeling quite dry spiritually recently. Well, actually I don't know how to describe it. I feel like my relationship with Christ is thriving and I am connected to him a way that I haven't ever experienced before. What I mean by dry is that there isn't a lot feeding into my soul, I'm not gaining much. So knowing that I was going away to be fed this weekend was so exciting.

I was so excited knowing that God was going to show up in some huge way with the things we were going to be learning, little did I know that the major thing that I would learn wouldn't be directly from the teaching--more just correlated to it.

As I was debriefing my weekend over email to my sweet friend Nichole I came to the realization that I had put God in this box for the weekend. Granted it was a large box, giving him plenty of room to work and move, but a box nonetheless. I had given him the new information that I was going to learn and thought His work would stem from that, not even thinking that it might be some junk that I brought from home that He would like to deal with.

Saturday morning a dear friend of mine spoke on the necessity in fellowship for authenticity. She shared that we need to be honest with God, our self and others. The last section about being "real" with others in relationship caught me. It wasn't that I think that I am not being real, I feel like I have been taking big steps toward that in fact, but more that I don't have very many people to do that with. This idea of friends has been a big issue for me over this past year. The loneliness has begun to fade and I've got my game face on ready to tackle new relationships. But that is what God brought up in me, what is my next step? As I journaled sharing where do I go? Who do I seek? Do I seek? Will You send them?

As I felt these huge feelings of uncertainty and partial rejection of previous friendships I also felt a strange comfort. The feeling I got as a little girl when there was a HUGE crowd ahead of me at Disneyland. I was small and these  people were GIANTS. I saw my Daddy ahead of me stretch back his hand for me to hold onto and lead me through. Sure I bumped into a few people, may have stepped in gum, spilled soda or on an occasional shoe...but I made it. I trusted that holding on to my daddys hand would safely get me to the place I need to be.

This is a  trust I haven't felt in a long time toward God. I am beginning this journey ready. I have taken my deep breath, grabbed the hand of my Father and ducked in between the first two people of the crowd. I may not see the way or even how long it is going to take to get out, but I trust that the hand I am holding will lead me there safely and in the way that HE sees fit.

In addition to this journey's beginning I was overwhelmed with the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus for me. At some point through the weekend we were prompted to close our eyes and picture ourselves at the foot of the cross and envision what happened there. When I closed my eyes I saw a great giant gold throne and a man dressed in a white robe smiling down at me. I was standing there, feeling so dirty, wretched and small. All the sudden my viewpoint changed. I was no longer seeing Christ through my eyes, but seeing myself through God's eyes. I saw this beautiful transformation of my little body into the righteousness of Christ. It was such a beautiful moment.

This stuck with me the whole weekend. this idea that I am righteous, restored, redeemed and renewed. It is such a sweet, sweet truth that I was able to sit with over the next day or two.

We sang a song that resonated so sweetly with my spirit twice. It shares the feelings that I have about being redeemed and restored by such a great God. On the last morning we sang this song and standing all alone in the back, with tears streaming down my face barely able to speak these words I sang this:

I have not much
To offer You
Not near what You deserve
But still I come
Because Your cross
Has placed in me my worth

Oh, Christ my King
Of sympathy
Whose wounds secure my peace
Your grace extends
To call me friend
Your mercy sets me free

And I know I'm weak
I know I'm unworthy
To call upon Your name
But because of grace
Because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed

I can't explain
This kind of love
I'm humbled and amazed
That You'd come down
From heavens heights
And greet me face to face

Here I am at Your feet
In my brokeness complete