How to live with arms wide open? Can I really do this?
It’s what God really wants for us… to live… to love… to be free… it’s what I’ve committed to do.
Here I am God, with arms wide open. Pouring out my life for you.
Draw me near, Lord… draw me near… and teach me.
I lift my hands up to you and I offer to you, my heart… to keep cleansing it… to keep breaking it open… to keep bringing to light the darkness… where the hurt is still too great… the worry… and the fear.
It’s easy to say I trust in you, God. But, holy holy holy it’s sometimes not so easy to actually live.
The seasons change, life changes. I know this. From the moment we are born… the moment we take our first breath, we begin the process of dying. We don’t live this way, of course. We don’t think of dying as we grow into the toddler, the child, the youth, the teenager… the young woman or man.
Not even as we have our own children… do we see… really see the changes… the inevitability of it all.
Our parents, they always seem old… it looks only the teensy bit different from year to year. We’re busy. We’re raising our own family. And mostly, we’re just busy at keeping busy. Striving to achieve our dreams, prove our worth, and make our mark in the world.
Then one day, suddenly they’re crippled… ailing… at least it seems that way… it certainly has for me.
My heart breaks in the wondering how it happened, so fast. Where has my living been that I hardened my soft heart. That I would resent them in their time of need, just when I thought I was finally getting my life together. Oh Lord, help me!
How backwards I’ve lived. What rocky ground have I been standing on? What lies have I believed… that would make me and my life more important than… what?
“We love because he first loved us.”
~ 1 John 4:19
But, you’ve called me to the alter. You’ve been showing me what it is to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of you, God… to drop to my knees in hallelujah of your grace.
My heart wide open now… feels their pain… their suffering… their ailing… as if it were my own. Oh, the aching torment of it… so real. The inevitable is drawing nearer and nearer. And, to them you’ve called me.
But, oh Lord, it’s hard… again, you can find me praying… hard.
When my father tells me he’s lonely.
When my mother sobs in torment of her physical and spiritual pain.
When they stumble and fall. When dad’s got massive bruises on his body, blood vessels breaking so easily.
When my brother, sister-in-law and I take them to appointments, and they inch along, hunched, bent over, grayed with life ebbing out of them.
When I take my mother’s hand in mind… her crooked, weak fingers… and I caress them praying love into her, praying for comfort to flow through me. She’s afraid… she’s so afraid… of the unforgiveness she hasn’t been able to surrender.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of my parents! Please grant me wisdom and strength to care for them in a way that honors them, and honors You. Help me show godliness to them, returning to them a portion of all they’ve done for me. Help them see You, in me and through me, and give them a heart for you. In you comes my strength, for on my own it’s an empty well. Imprint in my heart Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do everything through him who gives me strength.’ In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen
Two Sunday’s ago, in church, in the midst of feeling full of aching sadness, and near overwhelm with my empathic heart, I reached out in fellowship and found in a sister, one who understood as she lives in a similar journey.
It felt so good to share our stories, to support and encourage each other… to hold each other’s hand when the sermon spoke to us about LEANING IN to the seasons of change. Instead of fighting it, as we are apt to do, lean into it.
Lean into it…
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Lean into it… lean into it…
Lean into loving… lean into caring… lean into the ache… lean into the unknown… lean into living all of it.
I am called into this leaning.
Resistance is futile. It is not of The Way, The Truth or The Light.
Resistance is a sign of where we are called to dive into… with hearts wide open… to experience the fullness of it… to be tested… to grow our character and strength… and our faith.
Do you know of which I speak? Are you faced with any changing seasons in your family or life that you are struggling with? Can I pray for you? Please share in a comment below, or send me an email.
What if we turn our eyes upwards together, open our hands and asked God to show us the way. He promises to listen and make our paths straight when we turn to him.
“Call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
~ Jeremiah 29:12-13
May our prayers be heard and may we be filled to the measure,