Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Subscribe to A Soft Gentle Voice by Email

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

When God Makes a Way and Heals Hearts inRL {Real Life}



I pick up a stone and roll it around and around in my fingertips. It's rough around the edges just like me. Not a particularly pretty stone, just spotted white and grey without a whole lot of sparkle. It pretty much suits me.

I look down at that stone in my left hand, with my fine Sharpie pen in my right hand. I am to write a word that has wounded me and hindered me from being real, being a friend, being in community. Wounded women wound other women. And we are to bind up the wounds with the wounds of Christ to make women whole again.

I know the word instantly.

But how can I write it? How do you form letters into a word, make marks on a stone; on a stone that resembles the wall that you have built up around you to protect you like a shield, but has instead morphed into a steel cage? Keeping you imprisoned in loneliness.

I decide to be a little brave and face the hard reality, but then I scrawl a triad of words. To leave it as just that one word makes me feel exposed. And aren't they all closely linked one with the other?

Ann prays as the women each let go of their own stone into a basket. Prays that in the power of the name of Jesus these walls would be torn down to bring healing by the wounds of Jesus Christ. She seeks the Lord, "Let these women be changed before they leave here today."

***

We're together for an inRL (real life) conference, women in the body of Christ being challenged to tear down walls, to make friends and live in community because we need community!

We drop our stones in these empty baskets, fill up our plates once again with sticky buns, and come back to the tables, to be fed by the Word of God.

The second session of the morning has nicely begun and Ann speaks of the very word that I was scared to scratch out with my Sharpie, for fear of cutting too deep into my own heart.

She exhorts: "When you don't have your identity in Jesus Christ, you have insecurities". She speaks the truth with words and picture that Christ promises to "give you my perfect identity and take your imperfect insecurities". She reminds us that the Father sings over us. Calls us His Beloved.

We need to believe and be healed from these wounds so we can turn around and instead of being a
hurt heart that hurts hearts, we can feed, pray, love, and forgive and be the friend that other women need.

***

I'm not really sure what do to with all of this. How do I go home, changed, when I've lived this way my whole life? Caged in my insecurities. When you have grown up not seeing beauty in yourself and when cancer took hold of your life when life was really just at the beginning and the treatment killed more than the cancer, but spared you as a child. When you don't see yourself as whole so you're afraid and you don't trust. It is all wrapped up as a messy little package with insecurity as the double-sided tape.

I know I need to go home set free from its bondage. But I don't know if I can. I don't know how.

As the conference wraps up, Ann asks the women to take some the stones of their sisters, go over to the pond and pray. Pray that, as the stones sink down to the pond's murky bottom never to be retrieved again, the walls built up over time and have created barriers, would be broken down.

I share my cracked heart with Ann quietly, when the crowd has cleared a little, and trust her. She understands. She knows. She has done this hard work. She continues to speak words of healing and love and hope. She's a dear friend and mentor and mostly I love how she loves her Lord God. I've seen the powerful work that the Lord has done in her life and she is a beautiful woman of God and she presses on with us to love with our whole hearts.

After catching up with another friend, a beautiful woman who has served these women after little sleep, has loved and prayed for these women, I go to the basket to pick up some sisters' stones. There are just a couple handfuls left there at the bottom of the basket. I gather up three little stones.

I walk out to the pond and there in my hand is the very stone I handled hours earlier.


How is it possible that I have picked up my own stone?





I have to be the one to let it go. No one else can do this for me.

This is a work that God is doing in my life and it is between Him and me.

I suppose I could choose to leave and hold onto this stone, slip it into my purse, and carry it back home with me. No one would ever know. But, I could also release it into these dark waters, and let it go. Walk away changed!

I stand with women who love and build up the beautiful bride of Christ and I let it go. It splashes and sends ripples on the surface of the pond. Ripples deep into my heart that has been cracked open to receive the promises of God.






God knew I needed to throw that stone down myself. In His sovereignty He worked out all the little details to have me come here to this gathering of women in real life to do this work in my heart.

He has changed a heart of stonetaken out my stony, stubborn heart and given me a tender, responsive heart. That my heart would sing of His love as He sings over me, calling me His loved one.

By tearing down walls, we build up community and love and unlock hearts.

Ann quoted Bonhoeffer:
"The Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him. The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain, his brother’s is sure”. True Christian community happens in Christ."
In Christ. When my identity is in Him I can love those who need to be fed with this same love and affirmation. Pray for my sisters with a heart of thankfulness. Love as Christ loved and forgive others as I have been forgiven.

***

Maybe someone has hurt you. Maybe life has left scars on you. What is it that keeps you imprisoned? What is it that you need to let go of so you can let God work in you heart? Healing hearts helps other hearts heal. I want to be a heart that heals instead of hurts. How about you?

***


Thank you Lisa-Jo for this inRL community of Christian women. Thank you Ann for being the Christian who spoke God's Word into my heart. Thank you Diane for being such a beautiful and faithful woman of God and serving, with the ladies at GBF, and hosting this conference.

Images 3,4,5 by Molly Morton-Sydorak

9 comments:

  1. Rebekah,

    Beautiful writing and beautiful heart. You reveal your words "fear, insecurity, trust" in such a creative way. They are tossed away, "Hallelujah".

    Those stones will not weigh you down anymore. Put your stake in the ground and claim that promised land. Choose love, faith, and trust in the giver of live, the divine Healer. Jehovah Rapha.

    You speak into my life powerfully. I too, have my own prison, holding me captive but our God reigns. May we journey the road to freedom and healing together and bless each other along the way.

    Your words bless.
    Joyful Fox

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rebekah...as always you have blessed me. What do I need to let go? I still struggle to share in detail but I know there is one thing that God is asking me to let go of...but I keep saying to Him, "Can't I keep just this one thing?" I'm so grateful for a friend in my life that is helping me through the letting go process.

    It is so wonderful to witness how many were impacted by the (in)RL meet-ups. I was unable to attend the one in my area due to a leadership conference at my church, but I did have the opportunity to connect online with the ladies and we are hoping to gather again over the summer.

    Thank you for your amazing heart.

    Blessings.

    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is beautiful when we can let go of those stones that give us bruises when we allow them to remain in our shoe. God heals in many ways, physically, emotionally and creatively! Allow him to do a finished work.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This might be the most beautiful thing I read in a weekend steeped in beauty. Holy ground here. My shoes are off...

    ~Lisa-Jo

    ReplyDelete
  5. That you threw your own stone in? Absolutely amazing and beautiful. Thank you for sharing with #TellHisStory.

    ReplyDelete
  6. wow :) is it not amazing how God reveals Himself to us ! happy for u :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. THIS. This is absolutely beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  8. So glad you got to go to this!! Wonderful post, Rebekah!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Visiting from My Freshly Brewed Life. Such a beautiful story of God drawing us closer. How amazing He works in every detail - to have you pick back up your own stone so you would be the one to let it go, wow. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...