Clayheart

Outpourings from an imperfect but redeemed & treasured heart of clay.

Category: Dancing with Jesus (page 1 of 7)

Rocks Will Cry Out

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” – Isaiah 55:12

I went for a hike this evening after work. It’s been a very stressful couple of days and I was trying to figure out some healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with the work-related environmental stress.

See, where I work is also where I currently live. Although I’m making a lateral move in the organization, receiving the same pay and still considered an intern, they are requiring me to move to a horrible dorm/community style staff building instead of remaining in the private apartment space I’ve been living in for the past 9 months. It’s unsettling, and it also isn’t fair.

I’ve felt very wronged by the upper management of the organization. I’ve tried to have meetings, but my voice hasn’t been heard here for quite some time. I’m moving into a department that does hear my voice though. This department is the heart behind the organization, the “mission” side of things that works directly with people, so all my supervisors and co-workers in that department are “people” people and relational focused… not business/operation focused.

It’s hard not to get offended or upset when my living space that I thought I’d be in for 2 years is being prematurely ripped out from under me, right in the middle of the transition to a new department. It makes me question whether the organization I’m working for is worth working in when they treat me and other staff in this manner. I’ve taken it personally to be sure and been very offended on a number of levels for a number of different things.

Therefore, when I received the news two days ago that I have to move sooner than expected (and mind you, this living situation has not been discussed with me since December),  within 2 weeks, I was thrown into chaos. I couldn’t sleep and was stressed to my max. I have to balance this while working my full time hours and still working partially in one of my initial departments till they get my replacement in. I was fighting mad yesterday. I texted some friends to pray for me hard because I was so confused, hurt, and offended.

He answered their prayers because I have felt more at-peace today… which is very rare lately because my job has been stress after stress with no work/life balance, being mistreated left and right and neglected, so I’ve allowed my environment and the organization to slowly crush my spirit. It’s been difficult to keep looking up when all of that keeps happening around me.

On my hike this evening, something broke… I was thinking about my situation and trying to come up with a solution. Then I just stopped and surrendered. This was all while I was listening to worship music. I was gradually overcome with peace and joy for no seemingly “obvious” reason. My situation hasn’t changed, but my attitude and my heart was altered by God as I let go and stepped out of the way.

I just started clapping and singing. Mind you, I have headphones in too, so I couldn’t hear how I sounded, but I didn’t care. I stopped by a stream and a little waterfall to take in and overflow with the worship song I was listening to… then I was hit with something beautiful… I was surrounded by rocks…

There were so many! And God recalled a verse to my spirit.

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” – Luke 19:40

I was struck with an overwhelming sense to sing louder. I haven’t praised the Lord in so long, and it felt like He was reminding me how much the stones had been praising Him because I had forgotten or neglected to. It was a healthy competition then, I didn’t want them to cry out louder than me! Yet it was as if I was also singing in unison with the stones… so I praised my heart and lungs out! At one point I just started dancing on the trail as I sang.

I learned many different lessons today and there are tons of take-aways from this. But the main thing I wanted to focus on is this… if we don’t praise Him, something will. Then in the end we will be devastated if it isn’t us. So no matter your circumstance, praise His name – He alone is worthy.

Its easier said than done, I know. I have been through the worst year of my life and had distanced myself from God and everyone else. I was reminded today, in the cold woods, that regardless of what I’m going through, I do still have a choice to praise Him or not.

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” – Revelation 5:13

Sacred Romance

Friday, March 28, 2014

I was ruined, wrecked, destroyed for anything ordinary.

The day that happened was on July 1st, 2005. I finally understood what real is, what truth is, what love is… on that day… and I felt it touch and penetrate the very depths of my soul. A sacred divine relationship fashioned and experienced tangibly without explanation. I knew I didn’t deserve it either… but here it was, this authentic romantic relationship shared with the likes of me.

Naturally, I’m done for… ruined in my experiences on earth. I can’t live on this planet settling for anything less. Nothing else truly satisfies me more while simultaneously makes me yearn and grow desperate for even more of it. I always come back to this place, to this Man, to this sacred Heart and romance that I never fully comprehend. It’s beautiful. It’s pure. It’s real and authentic. It’s relentless. It’s summed up in a name far too precious to haphazardly utter, though I say the name so often.

The awe and wonder of such romance. The mystery and excitement. Can I ever fully describe such a love? I don’t believe so.

How often have I tried to articulate to others why I can’t, won’t, and don’t just simply enter into a relationship with a man here on earth and carry the title of “girlfriend”? It’s becoming less and less often these days, because I think people have begun to recognize that I’m just odd and don’t follow the norm of society with this.

The reason I don’t follow the social or earthly norm is because of what I described above… I fell in love that day with a Man who already filled that ache and longing in my heart, so I won’t settle for any other man that is outside of who He says it is. I am already involved in one sacred romance.

Call me a silly heart or dreamer, but I hold this value and belief that good romance on earth can only be fashioned in heaven first. I have this picture in my head of hearts being tied together in the spiritual realm where God operates and He’s the one who brings or brought those two hearts together. Then they are bound by His handy-work in an artistic display of love to express who He is to the world.

Why wouldn’t it work this way? The Author and Creator of romance would totally want to have an integral role in how it played out, right? I like to think He cares about this stuff more deeply than we give Him credit for. Instead, we like to take romance into our own hands as if we’re the experts as it…

Let’s have a sacred romance with the righteous King of our hearts! Then give Him back the right to work out the details of an earthly romance. Then since it’s in His hands, that romance become sacred and sanctified too.

Wooing the Harlot

This is so strongly in my heart tonight, I had to write it out when it was raw…

We are wooed so fiercely and passionately by a perfect Lover. Yet we so easily ignore the actions that are blatantly displays of His chase. He pursues and calls for us… ‘Return to Me, My precious bride. I love you. Come away with me, my beautiful one, my darling.’ This radiant and ruddy King, who freely loves holding nothing back, is doting on a harlot, an adulterous bride.

Their deeds do not permit them
to return to their God.
A spirit of prostitution is in their heart;
they do not acknowledge the Lord.
Hosea 5:4

We continually chase after other loves that cannot and will never satisfy. We commit this harlotry as we elevate things to take the place of Jesus. Idolatry, prostitution… unaware and oblivious, we let this ravage and desensitize our spirits. We labor in vain trying to fill the void in our souls for love and hope through these lesser things, and on top of that we warrant these behaviors as “normal” because the world tells us it’s okay.

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We are undeserving. Yet still, we are being wooed…

Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
Hosea 2:14

He woos even with a promise…

I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
Hosea 2:19

I want to respond to His pursuit, with everything that is in me, I want to return to my First Love. I long to hold on to Him, wash and kiss His feet. It’s the very least an undeserving harlot can do in response to a Love so relentlessly consuming.

The “loves” that I have underhandedly chased and allowed into my heart and life to take the place of Jesus are many. The beauty of His love and character though means that when I cease focusing on me, when I turn my eyes and heart back to Him, He takes care of purging these lesser loves… He’s jealous and wants all of me to Himself here, He doesn’t want to share. As I acknowledge and return to Him, He lights up my darkness and washes me clean again.

Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.
Hosea 6:3

I gladly surrender all things that are lesser than Him. As we respond, He reveals even more hidden ‘loves’ that are not Him so He can have more of us. It is beautiful! Who wouldn’t want to be loved this way?

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