Guilt Ridden or Grace Driven?

This journey to find the love God has for me has been a guilt ridden ride that has drowned my spirt, broken my heart, and withered my soul. I found my heart at a dead end for the third time in my life. Dead ends are always clearly marked so as to warn those who may venture down the path.  The same is true for my heart’s journey. I knew the paths did not lead anywhere, and perhaps that’s why I took them. There is safety in a dead end road; at least I know where it goes.  God puts beautifully open, loving roads all along my path, but I’ve never have the courage to take one.

The recent reminder of such a road not taken reminded me that the decision is always mine to make. I can blame on a bad beginning or a naive spirit, but my heart’s journey is determined by my decisions. I, and I alone, am accountable for my choices. That was God’s powerful message throughout the day yesterday. I decided to take a late-night swim after dinner. As I swam, I looked into that amazing western horizon knowing the sun would soon be setting. I realized in that moment that God has been using those stunning sunsets to show me that an end was near. It was the most painful ending yet, but God’s loving grace put on an amazing show before the light in my heart was completely gone.

My heart came through this most difficult season in one piece for the first time in my life, and God’s promise of a new beginning gave me hope as He put me back on His wheel for reshaping. I almost allowed guilt to carry my heart back into a dark hole, but God had other plans. I listened this time and let His sweet grace flow over my heart and around it in a way that swept away the last remnants of my brokenness. It truly was a rush of living water. I’ve always seen myself as damaged goods, and that does comes from a bad beginning that left my heart adrift. Funny that water should continue to play such a big role in my heart’s journey. I’ve been battling it for so very long, but as I swam in the cool, clean water and looked at the beautiful sun last night, I surrendered and began turning in the water. I could feel myself on His potter’s wheel; His hands turning and pulling my heart nearer to His own.

It was a feeling I can’t put into words, but I hope to put it into my life and my love from now on. God removed the remains of a guilt-ridden ride, took me out of a ridiculous religious rut, and put me in a place filled with more grace, peace, and love than I’ve ever felt in my life. It was a new beginning as I gave my whole heart to God and let go of the guilt that has been a thorn in my heart from the moment I came into this world. The lessons of the past six months have been  the most difficult ones in my life, but they have allowed me to let go of guilt and embrace His grace as never before. What an amazing difference His living water makes. I don’t think I’ll be digging any more cisterns for a while. Thank you Jeremiah for the reminder, and thank you God for Your love, Your Son’s grace, and Your Spirit’s sweet peace. Grace driven is so much better than guilt ridden! My heart feels just like this sunset, and I can’t wait to see what sunrise God has in mind.

Sunshine + Rain = Amazing Sunset

All I Ever Need to Know

I used to think I had to die to get into God’s kingdom. That’s true when it comes to heaven, but I can walk in His kingdom now. It’s a lesson I first learned four years ago, but I only recently embraced and applied the learning. I’ve walked in a lot of kingdoms, but nothing compares to living, loving, and connecting in His kingdom now. Like Mylah, I’m still a little shaky; but I’m slowly getting my kingdom legs and am anxious to use them. Unlike walking in earthly kingdoms where independence is the key, walking in God’s kingdom requires that I acknowledge my need for help from the Holy Spirit.

Getting my kingdom heart was a painful process that took a while, but God’s lessons in love gave me the confidence I needed to keep going when I didn’t think I would ever be able to love and live as He desires. The lessons in prayer have brought stillness that steadied my heart and my legs:) All the lessons helped me differentiate, and that is not an easy thing to do. I now know who God is, and I know who I am. That’s essential when walking in His kingdom. I want what God wants, and the lessons last week brought perspective and closure in a way that brought me nearer to Him and to those in my path.

God has been patiently waiting for me to understand and let go of the fear that was keeping me from walking in His kingdom. He knew exactly what I needed and provided it as only He can. I have the tendency to learn the hard way, but I’m hoping to do better in that regard as I listen more carefully to God and worry less about those who take on His role. It’s so sweet when a very long wait is over, and I begin this next leg of the journey filled with joy knowing that the plans God has are much better than anything I can imagine. I have no idea what He has in store, and that is exactly what walking in His kingdom entails. I don’t have a map or an itinerary so please don’t ask me for one. All I know is that I am walking in God’s kingdom now, and that’s all that I ever need to know:)