When you look at challenges from the front end, they aren’t very enticing. No one is jumping up and down saying, “I want to be challenged so much I might go a little crazy!” No one truly likes pain. I mean, come on. Who really, thoroughly enjoys God using a chisel and a hammer to carve away our comfortable worldly heart? No one enjoys the pain of it. That said, it is through the process that we learn, grow, endure, check our heart, etc. The process allows God to expose the crevasses and blind spots that we don’t see, and if you are anything like me, didn’t realize we had in the first place. The key is seeing those challenges and using them as opportunities to grow and to change; to truly strive to be just like Jesus in every way possible.
All through out my time here in Washington, God has caused me see that consistency is key. Let me back up a bit – For years I have wanted to have a “rockin” life with God. I longed for daily time spent with only Him, reading the Bible and having it come alive inside of me, just being with Him! I wanted to feel His presence, see His beauty, hear His voice, and follow His words; but my heart was too crowded with the world. Day after day, I would get so frustrated because, One – I didn’t know how and Two – my heart was hard and dark. My heart was crowded with my busy life, with work, with watching movies and TV, with everything other than God. I have had this yearning, this longing deep inside my heart for years that there was something “more”. At the time, I had no idea what that “more” was because I had never experienced anything that touched my heart so deeply that I couldn’t contain it. I started to explore different avenues, trying to find answers, but nothing satisfied. It wasn’t until five or six years ago, when I touched the ministry of the International House of Prayer, that my heart had a little twinkle. I found a new jump in my heart’s step. I felt like I had finally discovered what I had been looking for for years. My heart then started on a journey of becoming awakened [I am still on the journey and will be until the end]. God exposed the dark, hard places of my heart and awakened my emotions and praise to the Glory of Jesus, to Jesus Himself.
In order to keep it going forward, I had to keep going back. This did not start immediately. It was very subtle. The more I started being more consistent with reading the Bible, my eyes opened to little areas of my heart and life that needed His touch. Little by little I began to change. It wasn’t until I had been in the prayer room for months crying, dreaming and crying some more, that I saw what God was doing in my heart. He is brilliant in His ways. He knew the exact system, the specific path I needed to stay on. I look back over the year and see so many opportunities He gave me to become more humble, give more grace, to not judge, to learn to love the way He does. Each time was painful, but each time I felt Jesus. I would let the car who cut me off go ahead without having road rage and I would feel Him smile over me. It’s in the small things that our heart gets a little twinkle, a little shift. Maybe ones we’ve been waiting for.
When I noticed that my heart was changing, it wasn’t like a huge banner was being flown over my head, “Congratulations! You’ve changed!” Definitely not. It was more like these subtle visions of my heart were a little brighter, a little more beautiful. Still dark, but it was a start. I began to see my life differently, see people differently. I was at a wedding last year and as I was scanning the crowd, I looked over to the middle aisle to see a beautiful girl who had Down syndrome gazing intently at her mom. She looked at her mother with such great love and in that moment I heard Jesus whisper to me, “I love her.” When He said this to me, I teared up and my heart was so full. My heart was truly changing. I was beginning to see clearly.
All Jesus wants us to do is to keep coming back. He wants us to be consistent in His strength, even with our failure and our dark heart, He just wants us to keep coming back. I kept going back and it is only by God’s sweet grace that He kept drawing me to Himself. Now don’t get me wrong, I failed time and time again, but I kept going back! I would set a goal for one day and completely blow it, but the next day, even though I was discouraged, or bummed out, or exhausted, I kept going back. For me personally, my heart had been awakened just enough, and that is what kept me. I would feel a subtle change and desperately needed more. He will never stop drawing me to Himself. I needed to experience Him just a little bit more, to feel His presence just one more time, to hear Him whisper to me. I kept going back. He was and is the only One who can change anything and He’s the only One I can rely. He will never turn His back on me, no matter how many times I turn the other way or just don’t care.
I’m sure you’ve read a blog like this – that Jesus is really working in my life, my heart, etc. and I, too, have read them. I used to think, Yeah, maybe that happened for them but probably not for me, and then my heart became awaken and everything changed. But you see, I didn’t know until I knew. I have figured that part out. You don’t know until you know. You don’t know what He can do in your heart until He does it and you see it. You can’t imagine or experience something in its fullness of something you’ve never experienced or tasted. And I’ve come to the conclusion that people may think I’m crazy for sitting in the prayer room for hours with two children or for moving to the Midwest 33 weeks pregnant, but once I tasted what He can do in my heart, I’d move across the world if that’s where I had to go to experience just a little bit more.
It’s the consistency that ties it all together. At times it’s very difficult for me to stay in a regular daily routine, but that’s when I have to get creative. If I over sleep, I wait until naptime to sit before Jesus, with my coffee of course! But I strive daily to wake up early, get my coffee and just be before Him. If I don’t, my days don’t go very well. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to know Him a little more. And I don’t want to miss an opportunity in the challenge to have my heart adjusted. I already don’t know what I am doing, so if He’s willing to help me in every single area of my life, I’m going to take Him up on it! All I have to do is ask for His help and keep coming back. When I ask, He will give the perfect answer. It’s the consistency.