I know I told you I was on a little blogging sabbatical, and mostly, I still am. But for the last 8 days I haven’t been able to write one single coherent thought, and today, the ground is breaking a bit. The words are swirling, but more than that, I have felt in no real describable way, the prayers of the saints–you, this broken-beautiful body of Christ, and I had to share this, to thank you and to remind you that you are not alone. (See you next week.)
I think it’s fair to say, I underestimated how utterly depleted I would be after my last project. I don’t say this as a complaint, but maybe as a warning to those of you who are currently pouring your souls into God-sized dreams (plan a time of respite!), and maybe also as a sort of apology for my fumbling attempts at being all here for you.
The book that so many of you have read and emailed me about, the one that has circled the globe and gone to the nations, well, it came at a cost–which I grossly minimized. This doesn’t actually surprise me about myself, because I am an admitted dreamer, a bit of a “pie-in-the-sky” kind of girl, who often manages to fully believe that she can actually do it all.
This is wildly far from reality.
And this sort of crazy, nonsensical thinking?–it comes at a cost.
Though the Lord certainly did the work, and fulfilled His promise to me, I didn’t realize the emotional toll such an adventure would have.
This book marks the first time that I can recall truly stepping out there for the Lord. This project was different from the time my friend and I proselytized to that budding atheist in the high school lunch room, or the time I crossed states to serve on a reservation in North Dakota.
I keep saying I had no idea where this following God would take me, and I still don’t, except for where I’ve just been–clear up the mountain only to plummet straight back into the depths of the valley.
Lean into grace, my friend’s text reads. And I read it, while I’m dangling by thin line.
The Jesus path is a messy one, (in case you hadn’t realized this for yourself). I knew this at surface level, but have for probably my entire life, have refused to really let that truth sink soul-deep.
How can I read the words of my own book and question who wrote them? Did I not spend hours weeping in my room, and in my closet, pouring these words first into a journal and then into that book?
Holey, Wholly, Holy came from the deepest places of struggle for me, out of an aching season, where tears watered seeds of faith and hope, sown in near-complete darkness.
I feel the need to confess to you, that even as I have written about the refining process, I still dug my own prideful heels in against walking back in. God knew that, and still He has brought me back into that smoldering place.
You can write a book on Lent and still find it hard to endure.
We wrestled again, this Lent, and though I already knew (and believed) the outcome would be for His glory–still, I have fought surrender.
I also think it’s fair for you to know, I gave nothing up for Lent this year. Nothing physical, anyway. Lent this year, for me has been a time of emptying, a time of self-reflection and grief over sin. The Lord has let me grieve. He has at moments, felt far from me.
Yet through all this pain and struggle, He has not actually been far off. He used so many of you to make me aware of His presence. The messages, the phone calls, the prayers and encouragement–each and every one has come at a moment of my most desperate need. How else can this be explained but by a God who draws near to the brokenhearted?
Psalm 34:18 reminds:
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Crushed. That is precisely the word to describe the hollow place I have lingered. The enemy set up camp around my tent and in the wake of this obedience to God, the slithering snake has threatened to suffocate the very last shred of joy.
Though my sins are many, redemption is mine–It’s yours too. Whatever we’ve done, we can confess with our lips and be free. Living no longer as slaves, but free in the fullness and righteousness of Christ–
He resurrects the dead, breathing new life where only a husk exited. He is risen and in Him we rise. Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement
For my writing friends, I’m sharing a little encouragement over at Jennifer’s place for her #TellHisStory series
and if you’re wading your way through Holey Wholly, Holy, you really ought to go see what Nikki wrote today–it is just. So. Good.
And this one, from Lauren. Oh my. Such beautiful worship here.