Wednesday, January 26, 2011

we only know when it's gone

"Why don't we dance anymore
I'm not okay with that
Why don't we laugh anymore
I'm not okay with that
The years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it's gone...when it's gone
-Need To Breathe

Those lyrics are have been replaying in my mind for weeks now. Over and over again. I am humming the tune, reciting the lyrics, and really coping with the meaning. Why don't we dance anymore... why don't we laugh anymore? Why  can't I hear from God? Why do I feel so distant? Have I allowed an idol to take His place, have I fallen out of love with the God who created me? No and no. Simply put, I have slowly begun to turn my relationship with God a religion and I can feel Him enticing me to come back to the romance. In May 2008 I wrote these words:

“Once you know who you are in Christ, you will change the world. 
Forget the sins, forget the Christian culture and just sit at the feet of Jesus.” 

Since my salivation five years ago I have had an intimate-personal relationship with God. However, once I began to make a career out of my faith, my heart began to change. I started to “do” for God instead of “just be”. I began to talk about Him, instead of talking to Him. It's hard to believe that it was a class assignment that really started to put this ache of God into perspective. In my Christian Theology and Social Work Integration course we are asked to do a spiritual 'discipline' each week that will create space for God to show up. I chose take a moment and return to sitting at His feet this week. I am ashamed to say I still only did so for about ten minutes, but in those ten minutes I danced with the Lord. I celebrated who He is. Not what He can do or what He can give, but how He is faithful, loving, and merciful. 

The hardest part to understand is that this month the church I am planning making my home, The Father's House (tfh), similar to many other churches at this time challenged us to start the year off right and create room in our lives for Him to speak. I made a plan to fast, I made a plan to pray, I made a plan to read my Bible.... and I failed at them all. I don't feel bad about failing in the sense that I cannot be forgiven and try again, especially since God still spoke. But- seriously? Everyone around me is encouraging me to do exactly what it is that will bring me closer to God and I choose to ignore it? Thankfully, even without creating the space for Him, He screamed to me through the noise, "KERRI, I MISS YOU" "Sweetie, why don't we dance anymore?" "Beloved, why are you searching, I am here, I love you" 

Trying to live with this void in my heart allowed me to really think about how we recklessly abandon ourselves when we fall in love in worldly romantic relationships. We just jump in, let go, ignore our better judgments and opinions of those around us... we do what we want and do what feels right. We don't think about consequences and we convince ourselves that there won't be any regrets. And that's a huge part. Our human nature is to live without regrets and act like our choices don't affect us negatively. Quoted best possibly by Katy Perry in her music, "Let's go all the way tonight... no regrets, just love" We feel carefree and adventurous when we offer our heart to a lover. Our heart, the very thing that makes us-us. Our soul, our dreams, our desires... we share them and give them away to those we feel in the moment deserve them and will take care of them. Believing and hoping that we will not regret that choice later on. Somehow though...when it comes to God we are unable to do the same. Recklessly abandon our souls. Allow Him to surprise us with love. To offer Him full reign in our lives.

I guess long story short, everything is suppose to be about my heart for God. Deuteronomy 6:5 calls me to  "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength"  And lately I have been trying so hard to do the spiritual disciplines that will create space for God, but I keep coming up short and doing less then planned. I hear Him again say, "don't try-just love". Hosea 6:6 states, "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings" How simple is that? God is asking me to fall in love again. He is asking me to dance slowly... then, and only then will I operate out of an overflow of Him. I will do the disciplines because I want to and when I don't do them- that's okay also!

Matthew 6:33 gives clear instructions, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" Fall in love with God, put Him first, and everything else will fall into place. That is not to say I should live sloppy again and allow little compromises to build the barrier I now must repent for. It is always wise to consider, 1 John 2:16 "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." and ask yourself, where am I falling into sin? What possible temptations am I allowing to entice me?

I know what mine are. Me saying all of this is not to suggest I don't fight my own battles, because I certainly do. As always I just want to create an honest picture of where I am in life and with God. I promised at the creation of this blog I would be authentic and admit my failures. And this week I am remembering one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received. Words that have stuck with me and really impacted the way I operate in life. While fighting my way through the hardest and best four months of my life in Nashville, TN my Dad text me one night after we had gotten off the phone and said, "Ya know- it's okay to not be okay"... I sat in that statement (and the release it gave me from my stubbornness) for a good couple of days. 

So here I am again. Lonely, searching, and desperate for God... and I hear Him say, "My lovely, It's okay to not be okay... just come be with me. Let's dance again. Sit at my feet and learn my ways. Recklessly abandon your heart to me. I miss you and I will never stop chasing after you. I have created an ache inside of you that will always crave me when your love for me is not priority. I will make sure you always know before it's gone-- and even better, you will always know how to get it back. Just love-no regrets" 

1 comment:

[Dana] said...

I just wanted to say, I too miss you. And I can't wait for a time where we both get to catch up (I'll assume post-school). I miss your laugh and the way you made me laugh. Stay golden, Kerri! :D <3