Jennifer Camp, co-founder of Gather Ministries, and author of Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both Facebook and Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.
It is evening light, I think, that I’m chasing. Or that I’m desiring to enter into. I can’t tell. But I’m hungry for rest. For restoration. This I know.
I listen to these wise and beautiful words as I walk. And I remember to breathe in the holiness of this moment. The beauty of quiet on California suburban streets, tree branches burdened with once-green leaves now aflame. A stillness that settles upon me but feels fleeting too.
I am missing God. I know it. I am afraid, I think, that time is going by so fast, and I am just not spending it the way that will bring God joy, the way that will make my heart satisfied.
I feel my heart pull toward Him, begging for answers: “Is it okay to be hungry for You? I am eager for your presence to overwhelm me in the night. I lay my head down and fear that I am most surely not a good friend, a good wife, a good mom, a good daughter. And it is becoming too late.”
On these nights, on this night, I can feel hope slipping away. I watch it leaving, a bright spot blanketed by ingratitude, selfishness, pride. I watch it go, covered by blackness. And I stay in the dark.
And I don’t even care.
I think I don’t even care.
But the truth is, I am not comfortable here. I am not comfortable claiming indifference, choosing ambivalence about me wanting God to come, pull me in once more.
I do care. And a part of me, the part hungry for God, wraps His arms right around me and whispers what I need to hear, “Come on, girl, don’t give up. You are called to rise. You are called to die to yourself again. You are called to lay yourself down. You are called to fight–fight for this heart of yours that is so loved. So loved.”
I try to believe, breathe.
I am in that season of finishing something. And I am beginning to catch my breath, I think, after working so hard, so hard, for so many months. And now I feel God’s beckoning me toward a new season, and I want it. So much. But I am straggling, an orphan girl hesitant to run toward her God.
I question whether God knows best. And so I don’t ask God what He has for me.
Rather, I feel myself spinning. And spinning, while pushing God away, is not a path to restoration. No, it is a path toward self-pity. And self-focus. And self-absorption. And insecurity. And comparison. And ingratitude.
I recognize this place.
Here it is again. The lie that I must prove my worth. Here it is, a book published and God using it to restore women to Himself, and rather than simply rejoicing, I feel myself afraid.
There it is. The lie. Dark. Insidious. Evil: “You can’t rest. You have to keep pushing, keep chasing. Freedom is not for you. You can’t stop. You have to prove you are any good. But you can’t, can you?”
And my heart breaks a little bit more. It retreats into hiding, feeling, again, that it does not, has never had, what it takes to walk close with God and work with Him, with His strength, to create something holy and good and beautiful.
I am spinning. Oh, Father.
But I stop. Right in the street where I am walking. And I listen. And I look for God. I give Him the lie again. I confess it, and I take it to Jesus’ feet. I take it to His throne, and I lay it down. In the morning, before the house wakes, I spend time reading His truth. And the next day I listen to fellow sisters and brothers who fight alongside me, choosing life instead of darkness, hope instead of despair.
And I am breathing in, once again, what is true: There is good here. All around. Even when the evil one comes and twists what is good and brings chaos to this world and we feel we are spinning. Oh, yes we are spinning. But this is what is also true:
We must take action to join with Jesus in fighting for our own hearts.
For, really, we aren’t spinning at all. No, we aren’t. Rather, we cling fast to the rock of truth, our King and our God who stands fast and who brings justice to all things. There is not one injustice or fear or lie or evil He overlooks. He does not turn away. He chases after His daughters and His sons and He claims them as His own. He refines us with challenges, and we turn to Him and trust that He continues to restore these hearts of ours to Him. Always to Him.
We have a choice.
To fight with Him or against Him.
Let us walk, arms empty, with each burden we give to Him.
Let us walk toward rising sun.
Sister, will you join me, this day, in choosing to stop spinning? Will you join me in choosing to fight for our own hearts, with God?
This post appeared originally at jenniferjcamp.com