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Archive for April, 2018

Tonight a distant acquaintance decided to reflect on her perspective of me: “three years ago you were an untamed wild beast…now you’re reserved…you give off peace…I equate that with maturity, that I assume came from marriage.”

I was fuming. (Still fuming).

“Untamed wild beast.”

Dang.

She said it, then continued: “I keep thinking of negative words and I’m not trying to hurt you.”

I do not understand how those words could have been said from someone working really hard to say something not hurtful.

Nonetheless, I was fuming, not because her words poked at my ego, but because it countered my self-analysis through hardship.

She saw me as an “untamed wild beast” when I felt confident in my intimacy with God, in my living according to how He’s created me to be, and in my connecting with others in real, intentional ways.

I continued to experience cultures by visiting ethnic fairs all over the city.  I volunteered regularly with underprivileged youth. I connected daily in intimate, encouraging and challenging discussions with gals whom I knew and allowed to know me.  I mentored, and, I was mentored.  I was growing daily.  I was interceding daily.  I was in intentional solitude daily.  I liked who I was, because I knew who I was was operating as the person Christ was molding me to be.  I accessed spiritual gifts of discernment, mercy, and exhortation in regular communication and relating with God and others because I was sitting with and following the Lord’s direction.  I was watching sunsets, picnicking, journalling, and walking–worshipping and praying always.  My friendship and familial bond with God as Father came before any other, and I thanked Christ for His sacrifice by welcoming His Gift the Ambassador with eagerness and affection.

Since then, a LOT has happened.

My challenge to perspective is this: We oughta stop trying to make God and others in our own image.  We oughta stop measuring someone else’s maturity based on our own experience of maturity.  Reservedness may be a sign of maturity, but before you speak to someone make sure to be speaking in the Spirit, and to know what you’re saying because reservedness can also mean…

Broken down, isolated, defeated, lost, weary, insecure.

Reservedness can also be a personality trait of introversion.

I am not an introvert.  I used to regularly pursue solitude in which I’d expose myself before the Spirit.  Outside of intentional solitude, I sought out connection and relation to others.  I am–personality wise–extroverted.  I am–spiritual gift wise–called to connect with others through acts of mercy (counseling), to exhort others (encouraging and challenging communication), and to discern (to understand things at deeper levels in which the Spirit empowers intercession and sometimes action).

God has chosen these spiritual giftings to empower my personality makeup in order to effectively love His people.

For me, reservation should be an orange flag.  It hasn’t gotten to be a red flag but has switched between yellow and orange warning flags these last two years.

If this individual knew me, she’d be concerned rather than affirming this growth she’s seen in me.  If this individual knew me, she’d marvel at what God accomplished in my life when I was regularly connecting with others and with Him.  If this individual knew me, she’d break down with me, offering empathy and dedication to intercede on my behalf.

We all want to be known and loved.

Introverts may gain their energy from alone time, but all people are strengthened by the joining together of community….eventually.

I’ve hated this isolation.  I’ve hated being broken down.  I’ve hated not knowing where the voice of God has gone.  I absolutely hate that I identify somewhat with the stereotypical phrase “seminary is best pronounced cemetery.”

Please consider adding me to your prayer list for intercession.  I do not want to leave this place bitter, remembering it for experiences that wrecked my intimacy with God and my confidence in His call and purpose on my daily living.

I graduate in four weeks.  I’m not walking at graduation.  I’ve never been one for celebrating academics. Rather, I anticipate celebrating my first career placement that affirms my preparedness to finally experience my calling.  But mostly, really…I don’t care to capture memories of a place I feel forgotten, neglected, rejected, and alone.

Please hear me: this does not reflect my view–beliefs, thoughts, or feelings–of my husband and our intimacy.  My beloved works harder each day to affirm my knowness and loving place in his eyes.  What this has proven to me though is this: relating to God surpasses all other relations.  In our vows, we affirmed, “we will love God above other.” And now, as I experience the love of other and can’t tangibly grasp the love of God as I have previously in life, I keep grasping.  Marital love is amazing, but it can never substitute for nor stand alone from the love of God.

So please pray.  Pray for me and for others who you know who are struggling to recognize the expression of God’s love in their daily living.  Pray for those of us who have fallen out of the routine of pursuing spiritual disciplines.  Pray for those of us who neglect/reject the empowerment and direction of the Spirit in interactions with others.  Pray that our confidence in Christ’s faithfulness increases, renewing our confidence in being in God’s presence.

Please pray, because you’re not alone in this either.

Here is a song for us.  It’s been on my repeat list lately.

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