Today, it is as though I am shaking icicles off of my person. Icicles that accumulated through the months of winter grief, as I hunkered down in my sorrow and sought shelter while the hazardous winds and snowy blizzards blew about me… Winter grief, which can happen any time of the year, is bitter cold indeed.
This season, however, is changing. Tiny shoots of green are sprouting. Slight glimpses of sunshine and warmth. A bud off in the distance, only half opened, but there nonetheless… Spring has such fragile beginnings.*
I am writing today, in need of your intercession. I am going on a trip to Bangladesh, traveling with an uncle, staying with my cousins, Holly and John Barrett, (who took a two year contract as brilliant engineers and beautiful witnesses of Christ to build a hospital there.) I am in the early stages of stepping out into the world... I believe God has planned and ordained this trip to Bangladesh and has specific words of direction for me there. I know I have been largely silent, but please don't forget about me... Please continue to support me in prayer.
God is stirring up great mysteries and great revelations in my spirit. He continues his good work that He began in Me so long ago. He has not given up on me yet! He is the author and finisher of my faith. He will do everything that He says He will do. His word goes forth and does not return unto Him void, but it accomplishes His great purpose...
My winter grief has been a season of wrestling with the Most High God, as Jacob did that long dark night, before he crossed the river to face Esau and begin a new life in his old home… Jacob clung to the Man with whom He wrestled, and would not let go. The Man said, Let Me go, for the Day breaks. And Jacob said, I will not let you go unless you bless me. (Genesis 32:26) God blessed and released Jacob, but touched his hip to put it out of joint. I believe there is something so powerful about leadership in the Kingdom of heaven, and that that very limp is a necessary part of it. (Forsaking the temptation to write a sermon about it…) It is a beautiful image of the partnership we find as leaders in God's kingdom. We walk forth in total authority and with the blessing of the King of kings, with an ever reminder that we cannot go forth without him. A limp. A slight kneel of the knee. A type of bow. Worship... I intend to come forth into the breaking of a new dawn with the blessing of God, but also with a limp. In a position of worship.
Many days, I feel discouraged. In this natural world, I seem to me to be nothing more than a frazzled mother, a wounded widow... a woman with a bleeding heart. And yet, I secure around my waist the belt of truth, that reveals my true nature as a new creation in Christ Jesus my Lord. I am a favoured one. Daughter of the most High God. I am His servant. An ambassador for Christ. Sent to minister to His body, to edify the Church, to beautify the Bride with the power and authority of His Holy Spirit and His Living Word. These things are true. And this I believe.
My God. My Savior. I am yours. I again submit my life to you. Today. As a living sacrifice. I commit to lay down my will, and be fused together in oneness with yours. I commit to surrender my pride and relinquish all wickedness for the sake of your glory. I submit my name to be slandered and run through the mud of a broken world, that your Name might be exalted in all the earth.
Patience. Endurance. Faithfulness. Steadfastness… These are the champions of my journey of faith. These are qualities lacking in the body of Christ. And for these things I pray. Bless me with the fortitude to run the race with perseverance. The desire to throw off anything that entangles. And to set my heart on one thing and one thing only. The prize for which we run. Jesus Christ. In whom we find the hope of glory and everlasting life.
Pray for me, my dear ones. I need your help if I am to make the last leg of this climb. If I am to accomplish what God has set before me. If I am to endure the pain and the scorn and the wretchedness of my grief for the joy that is set before me...
*Winter Grief, Summer Grace, Returning to Life After a Loved One Dies, by James E. Miller