Outpouring of the Heart

What is in your heart? 

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself. 

Lately at church and at bible study there has been a common theme: what comes out was always inside your heart. 

And it’s the heart that has to change. 

Lately I’ve been stressed. Overwhelmed. Over worked. Yelled at by clients. Told how to do my job by people who would never do my job. Removed more children then I’d like to admit too. With more work to do then I know what to do with. 

I’ve been exhausted. In every way possible. I’ve been on the verge of tears multiple times. I’ve had more to drink then I’d like to admit to. 

And one other thing too. I’ve been angry. 

Not at a specific person. But at life. At the situations I find myself it. And, okay, sometimes at specific person. 

I’ve been bitter. 

I’ve been angry. 

And it’s come out. 

It’s come out in f-bombs and other swearing. It’s come out in how I’ve spoken about people. It’s come out in how I deal with people in my personal life.

Now part of me says this is a stress response. It’s the emotions of what I’ve seen and what I’ve done in the last few weeks coming out. And it has to come out. Because to let it build up will only lead to an explosion. 

But the other part of me, the small quiet voice in my head, asks a question: what is in your heart? 

And right now it is anger.

And maybe it is righteous anger in some ways. Anger at children being vulnerable. Anger at systems that fail people. Anger at the load that keeps being piled upon me. 

But is that really justified? Is anger ever okay? What is at the base of that anger? 

This is what I am wrestling with right now. 

I want my heart to be full of love. For the outpouring of my heart to be love.

I don’t like this version of myself that I am becoming. Even if there is a justified reason that it is happening. 

I don’t want to be angry anymore. 

Please God, take the anger out of my heart. Bring me your peace. 

Finding Rest 

I’ve been have one of those weeks. Or multiples of those kind of weeks. 

You know the kind I’m talking about right? 

The kind that never seems to end. That piles up higher and higher. That leaves you running a mile a minute. And ultimately leaves you running on fumes. 

That’s what it’s been. And today, which blessedly is the end of my week, there is nothing left in me. 

I have been running on fumes since Tuesday. I am used up. I am empty. 

I’m trying to find rest. 

Not just sleep. Although that’s important. And I haven’t been getting much of it of late. 

But rest. The kind of rest that can only be found in God. 

I will give my stress to God. 

I will ask for His help to let go of the things that are piling on me. 

I will rest in God’s presence. 

And that is where true rest is found. In His loving arms, His perfect comfort, His unending strength. 

God can carry this for me. He can carry my stress, my burdens, my exhaustion, my complaints. He is bigger than I will ever be, stronger than I will ever be, wiser than I will ever be. 

It’s a beautiful thing to have a perfect and loving saviour who has me in the palm of his hand. 

Because, after the last few weeks, that is the only place that I’ll find any rest. 

Enough

I was sitting in a lodge this weekend, surrounded by the never ending falling snow wondering about one word: contentment. 

It was a women’s retreat, all about finding contentment. Contentment in possessions, relationships, circumstances. 

The question I struggled with the most was how to be content with relationships I don’t have. 

I’ve always struggled with this. This desire in my heart to be married and have children. To see people in love, to hear stories of both trials and triumphs, to see the faces of loving children. And I think to myself, I want that. 

And so far, God has said not yet. Or maybe he is saying no. 

But what this question comes down to is being content with myself. Right? Am I content with myself, with my current circumstances, with what I have right now. Am I enough?

But dig deeper and an even bigger truth comes out: is God enough? 

The obvious answer, the Sunday school answer, the right answer for a life long Christian is yes. 

Yes of course God is enough. Obviously. He is God. 

But saying yes and living yes are two different things. 

Saying yes is easy. Believing yes is hard. 

My head knows the truth: God is enough. My heart has harder time. 

God is enough. He is the giver and sustainer of life. He is everything. He is and was and is to come. He knows the thoughts in my head and the desires in my heart. He knows my past, my present, and my future. 

He has a plan for me. And it might not be my plan for myself. 

God knows what I need better than I ever will. And the truth is all my needs are met in Him. 

My prayer: help me to believe that. And help me to live that. God is enough. 

God is more than enough. 

The Eyes of the Beholder

Any One Tree Hill fans out there? 

I’ve been watching it lately (binge watching it to be in fact). It was quite a while ago where there was this episode where they are exploring their identities with a partner. Brooke Davis, who is rich, beautiful, talented, successful, and popular, shares her insecurities with her partner and it results in this picture:


I think this is how we all feel sometimes. These are the insecurities that come out. 

I’m not good enough. 

Not pretty enough. 

Not tall enough. 

Not smart enough. 

Not talented enough. 

Not outgoing enough. 

Not open enough. 

The list can go on and on and on. 

I can tell you all the things that I am not enough of. 

A couple of weeks ago, in a sermon, my pastor said: when God looks at you, he doesn’t see your flaws. He sees Jesus. 

I know it’s obvious. But it is also profound. 

I could tell you all the reasons that I am not enough, that I don’t deserve the grace of God, that I don’t deserve salvation. 

I could make a list of the things I don’t do that I should, and the things I do do that I shouldn’t. 

I could (and do) break myself down in every way imaginable. 

And when I do, I wonder how God could love me. How God could forgive me. How God could keep me. 

 But here’s what I was reminded of: God doesn’t see me, he sees Jesus. 

And the truth is I’m not deserving. I’m not good enough. And yet, Jesus died for me. 

And in that image that I posted of Brooke Davis, that is what I see. What the world see. 

But not what God sees. God sees the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. 

And that is all He sees. 

Shifting Perspectives 

Sometimes it’s a slow change. A gradual shift. So slow it is not evident until it is there, and it has changed. 

If you’ve read this blog, you know how I’ve been feeling. Lost, confused, overwhelmed, stressed. 

But a shift has happened in the last few weeks. 

A shift from negativity to positivity. A shift from feeling lost to feeling found. 

And I know what’s changed. And it’s not me, it’s not my work product, or my knowledge. 

It’s prayer. 

A few weeks ago some people told me they were praying for me. I opened up to some people (outside of this blog) about how I was feeling. And I prayed for myself. 

And prayer changes things.

The job didn’t suddenly change. The people are still the same, with the same challenges. There is still more work to do than time to do it. I am still learning the job and what to do with it. 

But I’ve changed. 

I’ve been less negative.  I’ve been more confident. I’ve been at peace with the decision I made to take this position. 

And with peace comes a lot of other things. I sleep at night. I am happier. I am not mentally drained every day (most of the time). 

Prayer made a shift in my mind. In my thoughts. In my perspective. 

I wrote once that without God I couldn’t do this job. And that is true. 

This job, more than anything else in my life, is teaching me of my daily reliance on God. Years ago I came to a place where I knew I needed God in my life. But the day to day need, the day to day dependence on Him was slow to come. 

But now I see it. Now I see it every single day. 

When I am weak, God is strong. When I am lost, God will guide me. When I have no answers, God is wise. 

Prayer. My own. Other people’s. It makes a difference. 

It shifted my perspective. 

If you’ve been praying for me, thank you. It means the world to me. 

If you need prayer, ask. Here or with someone else you know. Prayer means something. 

God is good. God is there. God is here. 

Powerless

I saw this today on Facebook. 

It brought me comfort, knowing that I am not powerful enough to mess up God’s plan. I am insignificant. But I mean something to God. And he uses me and places me where he needs me to be. Because even in my insignificance, I am significant. 

Without God, I am nothing. 

With God, I am everything. 

Illusion of Independence 

Sometimes I think I got this thing called life. Like a child who runs off to explore life. I like to act like I am on my own, like I have all the answers, like I need nothing but myself. 

But though the child runs off to explore life, independent, we all know there is a parent nearby. The child has just an illusion of independence. He explores and acts in the safety of that watchful eye of a parent. 

My life is like that. I think I’m independent. But then, in a moment of weakness, I remember that my independence is also just an illusion. God is there with me. 

And it might seem stifling, to never have true independence, to always have Someone watching you, looking out for you. 

But really it just feels safe. I feel secure knowing I am not alone. And that I will never be alone.

In my moment of weakness, when I’m not sleeping and I’m stressed with work and life is wearing me down, I turn to God. 

And His love surrounds me. 

His comfort reaches me. 

His strength carries me through. 

Without it I would be a mess. I would be lost. 

I would be independent, but at what cost?

I value being utterly dependent on a God who never fails and never leaves.

I value the illusion. 

I value the illusion of independence that means I am never alone.