Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Moments and the Invitations: Part 2 (The Messy)

Hi friends, thanks for stopping by today!

If you're finding this blog (or this series) for the first time, you may want to start here for some background info, and then go here to read part 1 of this series.... before continuing to read below. :) Annnnnnd now.... here we go......

The Moment: Messy (which sometimes feels more like agony)
The Invitation: Worship,
Trust, and Intimacy

The Moment

I'll share briefly from a time in my life that was very difficult... In the future I plan to write a more in-depth post about this season of our lives.

Within the first year of Stan's and my marriage, we lost 2 babies.  The first one was a tubal pregnancy, the second a normal pregnancy that I miscarried.  Those losses were incredibly painful...physically and emotional.... Add to that being in a season of life, and in a church family, where it seemed like everyone around me was pregnant and having babies (and I was so genuinely happy for them... but it did also make my own pain more acute)... Suffice it to say, trusting God's heart toward us and His plan for our lives and our family was difficult.  There was SO MUCH wrestling within my own heart in the midst of all of the grief, as I neared the brink of the most dangerous cliff in times like these: doubting the goodness of God....deciding that His heart toward me must not be good.  This cliff tempts all of us at one time or another (maybe multiple times) in our spiritual journey.

(Fill in the blank in your imagination now with your own messy (and agonizing?) moments... Moments in which you've perhaps been tempted to question God's heart toward you....)

The Invitation
And yet....over and over again, the Lord kept reminding me of these truths about Himself and His heart and His character...kept putting them right in front of me, seemingly out of nowhere.  The truth that He loves to give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11James 1:17), the truth that His plans for my life and my family are GOOD and full of HOPE (Jeremiah 29:11)..... AND the fact that He is near to us in a unique way when our hearts are breaking (Psalm 34:18).  In moments like these, everywhere we turn, if we're willing to keep our eyes open, we will begin to sense His tender pursuit of our hearts, reminding us of truth and beckoning us to put off fear and choose to trust His heart toward us, even though we can't understand His ways.

So....I began to worship Him out of this place of pain and grief, but also out of desperation, knowing I HAD to avoid that dangerous cliff of allowing myself to doubt God's goodness, and worship was the only way to pull myself back from that edge.  And stepping out into worship in these seasons of pain and MESSINESS is like stepping out in complete faith, legs trembling, onto an invisible bridge....and watching the bridge appear under your feet step by step as you walk.  Stepping into worship and trust in moments like these doesn't make the pain immediately go away... In fact, for a little while, it might feel all the more real and deep and poignant.  But choosing to open our pain up to the Lord like this even while our heart is spilled out all over the place, throbbing....it prepares the way for Him to come in and fill our hurting places with His comfort, His sustaining grace, and His peace that PASSES understanding.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)

As we pour out our hearts to Him, being honest before Him about the agony, and yet choosing to worship and trust Him deeply out of that place, it paves the way for our hearts to be able to receive His comfort and peace.  And receiving the comfort of the Father as we choose to open our hearts to Him in trust is the sweetest thing in the world.  The Father will take these broken pieces of our hearts, gather them gently in His hands, and lead us into intimacy with Him that is more healing for our hearts than we ever dreamed possible.

I pray for you today, friend, that if your current season of life feels messy (even agonizing?) in any way, that in those places you will discern His invitations to you, lean into Him, respond to His pursuit of your heart with worship and relentless trust....and encounter Him intimately in the midst of it all.  He is waiting there for you....even if you can't yet see Him.

If you have a minute, check out this song that has really helped me "wrangle" my heart back into a place of worship and trust in the midst of "the messy." If you've heard it before, it may be worth listening again... (You'll want to scroll to the top of this page and pause the instrumental music if you haven't yet...)

Your turn! Would you share with me a bit of your messy situation now?  I'd also love to hear ways in which God has encountered you in the midst of it and led you into worship, trust, intimacy, and comfort....
(Of course, you can also comment with any other thoughts you may have! I just love hearing your heart. :) )

PS. See this post for a little more depth on the subject of encountering God in the midst of suffering.
PPS. Click here to link directly to Part 3 of this series: The Beautiful.

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  1. Dana... loved your writing! Thank you for sending me the link where I left a comment at (in)courage! Again seeing God's hand in my life & giving me direction is SO AMAZING because I also lost 2 babies to miscarriage and understand THAT pain. I know those emotions that are so deep & powerful...and it seems everyone is pregnant but you! I can relate. Also that you NEVER forget those precious babes that you were not able to hold... that one day in heaven we will meet those sweet souls that we have waited for! I love how you said standing on the cliffs. That is exactly it! You feel like you are at the edge and one wrong step can be devastating. What a powerful word picture that will resonate now when life's challenges lead me step by step to a place where I feel overwhelmed .... I will remember being at the edge of a cliff! I will then turn back towards the comfort of God and not be caught in the lies of discouragement. Another amazing God encounter was the Bethel Loft series.. especial Jenn Johnson "Come to Me". I have been listening to over & over again! My daughter's best friend just returned from Bethel & told us of this recording. We have been playing it over & over on our iPods filling us with peace .. Even though I know that God is in the LITTLE things... I am always blown away when it happens and I see his hand in my life! :) I will be following your blog Dana!! Thank you Dana for YOUR words. May your journey continue to be full of GOD MOMENTS that wash over you and your family. Blessings Venita xx

    1. Hi Venita! Thanks so much for stopping by and for reading! I'm so glad to hear it blessed you. I love that you've been listening to "Come to Me..." It is one of my all-time faves.

      Praying that Jesus continues to reveal His heart to you and sustain your heart through your journey....

      Blessings to you, and great grace...

  2. Dana, I read this the other day when I was going through a messy situation...maybe it wasn't really messy, but by my skewed thinking, it was becoming a messy thing. I read this and wept, then went and listened to worship music to bring my heart back to the right focus.

    It also reminded me of 4 years ago (if you think really hard, you may remember the time you met me and I was quite emotional) because we were going through a difficult time in our ministry lives. At the time, it was difficult to see the goodness of God in everything, but praise the Lord, 4 years later, we look back and see how it was for His glory. I recently learned Robin Mark's song "All is Well" for the first time and the words have come to mean so much as I see first hand, in my own life how true are the words of this song.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Dana. I look forward to reading more.


    1. Hey Marcy... It's great to hear from you on here. :) I'm so, so glad God used this post to touch your heart..... Really blesses me to hear about it. Thank you!

      I'm sorry you've been through a messy situation recently. I love hearing though that you can look back at the season you guys were in when we met (which, OF COURSE I remember!) and see the goodness of God woven through it. He births beauty out of our dark times as we continually surrender our hearts....

      Blessings to you Marcy... Hugging you in my heart. :)


    2. Thanks, Dana. You just blessed me again!



Hi there, friend! I'm honored and blessed when you share your heart, your thoughts, your feedback with me here. At the same time, I want my readers to feel free to read and process internally before the Lord... to not feel obligated to spit out immediate feedback.... so I am SO not upset or offended by non-commenting readers. Please be who you are - - internal AND external processors welcome here! :)

**If you have trouble leaving a comment, try going to where it says "comment as," or "Choose an Identity," changing the setting to "anonymous," and commenting as an anonymous user. Just make sure you leave your name in your comment if you'd like me to know who you are.**

Thanks so much for walking beside me a little ways here.

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