Be careful what you ask for…..

Matthew 7:7-8 states  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

I was at work, standing in the elevator praying.  I specifically asked God to break my heart for what breaks his in me.  It took about 3 minutes for him to answer.  I had been called to help with a patient.  As I walked in the room I felt my heart shatter.  Laying in the bed was a single mom of three.  There were pictures of her kids all over the walls.  Pictures of her with them. Pictures of her with family and friends. Pictures that made you understand who she was and how important and loved she is as a human being, a mom, a daughter, a friend.  As my gaze fell back on her I realized that she had tried to take her own life.  She did it in the exact same manner that I failed at.  And now, she would never be the same.

In that very moment, deep in the feelings of my shattered heart, God showed me exactly how  heartbroken and anguished he was when he saw me in despair.  He showed me how he felt as he sat with me in my darkness.  It was crushing.  The feeling wrapped around my heart in  a grief that I could not bear.  It was then that I understood His unfailing love for me and how connected His heart really is.  I now have no doubt that He hurts when I hurt and that He weeps when I weep.

This has happened multiple times.  Almost every time I pray this prayer and ask him to use me, this is what I walk in to.  The calling is clear, the accepting is difficult.

“But God,  I am not equipped….I don’t have the strength….I am wrecked myself. I am not brave enough.  You want me to tell MY story?  Why?!?!?!”  My pleas were answered every time with the simple “You asked me to use you, I’m calling you, trust me.”

So I am trusting.  I am stepping out in faith and I am asking, one more time “God, use me, I’m ready.”




Lean Forward

Lean Forward…..what does it mean, what doesn’t it mean.  When my husband and I were dating, i was working through some huge fear issues.  Sooooo what does he do?  He takes a girl afraid of everything and teaches her to snowboard.  I vividly remember, one of the first trips, sitting at the top of the run which, at the time, seemed steeper than the Trango Towers, trying to find the courage to stand up and try to to just hone my skills with the falling leaf move down the mountain.  I sat there, toe side, with my back to the slope for what seemed like an eternity.  My very patient instructor/boyfriend asked me if i was ready.  “I need to let this anxiety pass”  I shouted in what must have been the worlds most irritated tone.  “Okay” he replied calmly, “take your time and let it pass.”   When what seemed like an eternity had gone by he asked “Has it passed?”  To which my reply was a simple, stern “NOPE”.   I did make it down the mountain that day.  More like a “shaking leaf” than a “gracefully falling” leaf, but never the less, with some encouragement I made it alive.  Needless to say, by the end of the season, he had taught me many skills in facing and overcoming fears.  The biggest of those was to “lean forward”.  It’s how you gain momentum, how you find balance, how you make it off of a lift without bruising your tailbone.  Within all of that, I learned that if I did, in fact, just “lean forward” and face my fear/anxiety head on, that I could move through it.  It has since become a key phrase for me.  To ground me when anxious, doubtful, afraid, untrusting or just challenged.  “Lean forward”  Lean into the grace and protection that only our one true Father can provide.  Knowing that no matter what, there is celebration and healing on the  other side.

The weaker we feel, the harder we lean and the harder we lean, the stronger we grow.     JJ Packer