All photos of me taken by Chandler Grace Photography

What Stirs My Heart

April 9, 2018

 

Today I want to share a little bit of what stirs my heart with you.

 

This season of life for me was originally marked by transition, change, and constant underlying struggle. By January of this year, I was feeling overwhelmed by all of the challenges I’d taken on, with very little victories to point to for encouragement. Mostly, I was feeling alone. Even though I have an incredible family, friends, and boyfriend, I was slowly isolating myself because I didn’t feel worthy.

I got to the point where my prayer wasn’t for financial success, business advancement, or anything materialistic in any way, even though having those things would surely have lightened my surface-level load. My prayer was to feel the love of God and to not feel so lonely.

 

 

God took that request very seriously. Over the past two months, He has pursued me in ways that I’ve never been pursued in my life. He has romanced my heart, and I have felt the sweetest embrace of Christ. I don’t even know how to relay this experience in a sufficient way through words, but I know that it all began when I stumbled upon this verse in a small devotional book I have on my bed stand:

 

“They found grace out in the desert, these people who survived the killing. Israel, out looking for a place to rest, met God out looking for them! God told them, ‘I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love,’” Jeremiah 31:1-3 MSG

 

Normally I’m skeptical of the MSG translation, but this hit me directly in the heart and I immediately began to cry. I didn’t even make it past this first verse in the devotional because I already had so much to consider. My entire life, I’ve believed that it was completely on us to pursue and find God. We should constantly be searching for Him. The idea that He has been looking for my heart in the dessert because He wants to give me REST began to change my closed off and hardened heart. He was looking for me, too.

 

 

I am a firm believer that God does not NEED us. When people say “God needs you as much as you need Him,” it really grinds my gears. The God of the universe does not need my attention. He does not need my affirmation, defense, or justification. He is the creator, not an equal.

 

But for the first time in my life, I’m experiencing how much He WANTS my heart, and it is overwhelming in the most loving way.

 

I feel like my heart is just a big raw, red, mess completely exposed to His face, and I can feel Him looking upon it. Every time I engage in worship at church, I have to stop singing because I immediately begin to cry in the presence of God. I can’t even participate in worship because I am utterly taken aback.

Not only has He let me feel a taste of His presence, He has sent people in my life to be His agents of pursuit. Over the past 2 months, old and new friends have come out of the woodwork to make me feel loved, cared for, understood, appreciated, and valued. I have strong women in my life who are burning for Christ and for each other. I am constantly inspired by their unwavering pursuit of what is good, righteous, and lovely. At all times over the past few months, whether it be by family or friends, I’ve felt supported. The support was always there in one way or another, but God helped me open up my heart to truly receive it and make the most of it.

 

I know that He won’t always make Himself readily apparent to me. I know there will be times that I don’t feel His presence or love as fully as I do right now. So, I’m soaking in every moment, intentionally making room for quiet times to sit in His presence, and researching/studying about what He says in the Bible.

 

If you’re in a place of loneliness and feel isolated, I want to encourage you today to surrender to Christ. Truly give over the places in your life that you’ve been reserving for people to fulfill. Whether those positions are of friendship, family, or a romancer, ask Him to be all things for you, and then trust that He will come after you with reckless abandon. Even if you have amazing friends, family, and a significant other like I do, the truth is that no person can fulfill the place in your heart that still aches for eternal love.

 

“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.

Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine.

And I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still You give Yourself away.

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.

There’s no shadow You won’t light up,

Mountain You won’t climb up,

Coming after me.

There’s no wall you won’t kick down,

Lie you won’t tear down,

Coming after me.

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.”

 

- Reckless Love, by Cory Asbury

 

 

 

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