Monday, April 18, 2011

I don't want to go through the motions .....

Last week as I was driving I heard Motions by Matthew West.  For those who haven't heard it (you may be in a deeper pit than I am..) here is the video for the song.


The words stung as I have been going through the motions lately:  In my marriage, as a mom; in my friendships; in my spiritual life.  I have felt a little numb; a little erratic; and a lot lost.  I know I could blame this on the move and the stress of it all.  I could blame it on Middleman's recent autism diagnosis.  But I can't.  It's all me.  I have not committed ALL to God.  I haven't handed Him over the "reins" and said lead me.  I've given Him a little here, a little there.  A bit of this and a bit of that.  But not 100% all in.  

Last week well playing the Bible in 90 Days catch up (that's a whole other story), I read in Ezekiel:
My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Ezekiel 33:31 NIV'84
The whole verse is true of me.  I do listen to Him in His word.  I study His word, but do little to put them into practice.  I follow the easy way.  The way to fit into the world.  The way I'm called to very few would look at me at first glance and see that I'm different.  That I am a follower.  If I didn't talk about church, bible study or the newest christian artist, very little of me screams who I follow.

I have given Him very little of myself.  Those walls I've built around me are well built.  They may have some open doors and let you see a little of what's going on but you never see the big picture.  I'm big on showing and telling people what they want to hear.  Most people, especially Christians, don't want the messy.  They want the life we all feed each other that everything's good.  The "shiny happy people" Christianity.  I rarely even share these "messy" times with God.  

In Ezekiel 37, the prophet talks about the dry bones.  That's what I'm feeling like, dead dried bones with no life in them.  I'm crying out for life - for the breath of life that God promises.  It seems just out of my reach.  But I do hear Him calling me.  Through His music; His creation and especially through His word.  
Rend your heart  and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.  Joel 2:13 NIV'84

Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.  Zechariah 1:3 NIV'84
How can I reach out to Him and grab on to that life changing energy.  Sharon Jaynes says it very eloquently in the book "Becoming the Woman of His Dreams" 
God gave me the power of the Holy Spirit the moment I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour and He invites me to tap into that power every day.  Some days I live on just enough of God's power every day.  Some days I feel as though I'm powered up with all circuits open.  The difference comes when I decide to plug into the power source Himself through prayer.
I am going to focus on this.  I will persevere and pray ceaselessly.  I will seek others to pray with me when I am weak.  I will lay it all down before Him and give Him all the messy - the hurt, the pain, the anguish, fears, hopes and possibilities - and trust in Him to answer in His way; to move the "mountains' that need to be moved and to fix what is broken and make the "bones" whole again.

I am linking up with a great group of sisters today at Finding Heaven hosted by the great sister Jen for Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.

11 comments:

Aurie said...

Oh my friend! I have been there and it is a hard road to travle by yourself. Prayers for you as you search for God's grace and peace. Hugs!

Kendal said...

this is a brave, brave post, michelle. so hard for "church ladies" to admit to feeling dry. i. have. been. there. praying for you right now, friend.

Mrs. M. said...

Michelle,

As a mother of an autistic daughter, I know that accepting God's purpose was hard for me.

I surrendered all to Him! No, it was not easy. No, it was not painless...in fact, the opposite happened.

I was brought down to my knees, double over in pain for what was to come.

Allow His Grace to penetrate. You know the Truth...now allow it to enter.

Do not focus on the future too much. Just live moment by moment in His love for you and your family.

Knowing Scripture verses does not save....it is a complete dying of everything that will make a difference.

I pray that Our Lord will keep you close and will give you that peace that only He can give.

Grace & Peace from Our Lord,

Mrs. M.

Jen said...

All I can say is that I'm proud of you. Laying down the facade to unveil the imperfect is one of the first steps to really surrendering. And at SDG, the heart behind it is to be a place where messy is accepted and prayed for and loved. I just think of the good that will come through this post -- the freedom, the support, the deliverance. Praying for you, sweet one.

~Rain``` said...

"Most people, especially Christians, don't want the messy. They want the life we all feed each other that everything's good. The "shiny happy people" Christianity. I rarely even share these "messy" times with God." Love these lines. So true. Thanks for sharing the messy, b/c if we paused for a moment, we'd all realize how messy we are.

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

The past five years has been a lot about the messy in my husband's and my lives. All I can say is God loves us and didn't let go. He won't let go of you either.

And you are going through some hard times . . . autism, oh my. And moving ( I just moved across the country too.) It is stressful and lonely.

I love your honesty and your sweet heart. Thanks you for sharing this.

I am sorry, too for the season of dry bones. It is not a fun season.

I am praying for you right now, that God sends some surprises your way to lighten your load and help you sense His presence in new ways.

Thanks, Soli Sister.

Fondly,
Glenda

Deidra said...

That passage in Ezekiel is one of my favorites. The image of the valley filled with dry bones and God asking if the bones can live. The answer, "Only you know, Lord." It feels like sometimes, doesn't it? Sometimes it feels like only God knows if we will live again, and then we find ourselves right around the corner from Easter and its spectacular reminder that God is all about bringing dead things back to life!

Debbie said...

If it ain't messy, it ain't real. Just the way it is sometimes. Faithfulness, putting one foot in front of the other through these times counts for a lot.

Courtney said...

Your honesty is humbling and so very powerful. I have been there too - hiding the messy from others and from God, as you put it. But isn't it a relief to know that God already knows about the messy and he loves you anyway? Praying for you and inspired by you.

Tiffini said...

Most people, especially Christians, don't want the messy. They want the life we all feed each other that everything's good. The "shiny happy people" Christianity....so true Michelle. An old friend of mine always told me that God only gives grace for the truth..and that is exactly where you are..praying the bones are watered and His grace is so readily available for you...we are all messy. that is what He died for yes? it is only when we acknowledge that that healing springs forth speedily! Your words have encouraged me forward today as well
xo

Pamela said...

During His life Jesus focused on the messy. It's always been an encouragement to me. Maybe because the perfect is usually fake. Praying for you, knowing God will supply the grace.

Blessings,
Pamlea

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Alberta, Canada
I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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