Parts one, two and three.
For many years during my walk with the Lord I prayed a sort of pre-emptive prayer that the Lord would never allow me to fall away from Him. I know my weaknesses and I knew my temptation to not only be pulled back to worldly things, but also my tendency to crawl into an emotional cave when life got too hard and people hurt me too much. It’s a coping mechanism I learned very early in life. And sometimes, because of all the pain I had been and was experiencing in my life, I felt like God wasn’t loving me, I’d crawl into that cave hoping to hide even from the Lord. But my Jesus was always in that cave with me, silently waiting, and praying to the Father on my behalf even when I couldn’t pray for myself.
God and the circumstances of my life have made me a very emotional person. And the Lord began to show me that even my love for Him was based in large part on emotion - what I felt at any given time. And as much as I hated to admit it, even to myself, that love was subject to condition. And feeling so forgotten in my physical and emotional pain and hiding in that all too familiar cave left me with almost no feeling for God. I was giving up.
But then, once again God answered my pre-emptive prayer.
The Lord patiently spoke to my heart and told me that He was bringing me to a place of learning to love Him unconditionally, without regard to circumstance or emotion. This new love was far better than emotional love and would allow me to choose to cling to the Lord no matter how difficult life would get. And so that’s what I chose – to love God no matter what, even through the daily headaches and multiple other symptoms, no matter how long I would go undiagnosed, no matter where He would take me, I would choose to love God because He is worthy to be loved and worshipped. He is faithful and true even when it doesn’t feel like it, and it is that truth that I so vehemently held onto.
And the purpose for my long trial, at least part of it, was beginning to come to fruition.
If I was ever to become a super hero I think my super power would be invisibility. Invisible Woman! Able to walk through life without ever being noticed! At least that’s how I felt from as long as I can remember. It didn’t feel much like an asset, though. But God was beginning to show me that I was not invisible. If nothing else, He knew me.
And as I began to open up the deepest, darkest parts of my heart to Him again in this last year, He began to speak to me and show me that He was my El Roi, the God Who Sees Me. I mentioned before that He began to speak to me first through music and the God-given words that were interwoven with each set of notes.
And then, like an avalanche, it started slowly, and then His voice would grow louder and louder. He began to speak to me through people, in seemingly little ways, but they felt big to me. Strangers began talking to me (which was something so foreign to me that I actually took notice), I was asked to guest post on another blog, which was a huge blessing, and then I received the long-awaited email revealing to me how the Lord was my bright and Morning Star. And to top it all off, a friend sent me an email with a devotion that began with the scripture that the Lord had spoken to my heart so many times 5 years prior:
“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
And if that was the whipped cream on top of all the blessing God had been pouring out onto me, this was the cherry: I had weeks before entered and won a giveaway that Patsy Clairmont had on her blog. She would be sending me a book that she had in her own library at home. I was so excited! I can’t tell you how much I love Patsy Clairmont. So I waited and waited for the book to come in the mail and through divine appointment, it came on January 17th.
And there, in the manila envelope next to the book, was a flip calendar that Patsy had authored herself. I opened it to that day to read what it said. In addition to her own words: “Once we relax in God’s care, we begin to see things differently. We become more aware of sunsets, mountains, trees, and generous portions of sunlight,” was the scripture Isaiah 43:19. Hold onto your hats:
“Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it?"
I was suddenly not feeling like Invisible Woman at all.
“Aware of it?” I thought. How could I not be aware of it?! I was in awe. God really was doing a new thing in my life and I was overwhelmed with His presence. He was bringing about the promise that He had given to me in Isaiah 30:20-21: “Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
God had been silent for a while, waiting for me to stop “kicking against the goads,” which basically means to resist submitting to authority, who in this case was my God. No matter how much I didn’t understand, I would trust Him. And now He was speaking and I was listening, and hearing, and my heart was being healed.
Yes, there will be a Part 5.