Update: When I think of them, I'm randomly adding names to this post. If you would like your name added, just leave a comment.I've heard, and even repeated the statement before that you can't love God, and hate His bride. And I don't think I hate the church of people... but I walk into that building and often I feel a compression that shrinks down who I am, and what I long to become in God and leaves me feeling a little empty. It's no ones fault, unless I choose to blame myself for it.
I've always been a difficult person. Wanting things, yet completely unable to express what it is I'm wanting. I want big, and small, powerful and wonderfully simple. I want meaningful.
I want God.
This love/hate relationship I have with Church.... I wish it would end. And, as I forever try to 'fix' myself, I wonder about the different ways to stop shrinking when I walk in those doors.
At the same time, it almost seems ungrateful and wrong to use the word 'shrink' when God has worked so much in the last 3 years.
Today, in this very hour, I do feel grateful. I know despite my seemingly incessant hairpulling and groaning, that God has brought me out. I step out, free, and liberated today and simply pray He keeps the wolves of sin from me. The fears and doubts and protective wall that I so diligently guard myself with leave me bitter and frustrated. I choose better. I choose God.
Let me trust so much that I become trust.
Let me believe so much that I become belief.
Let me be so open that I become openness itself.
Let me love so wholly, that I become as Christ.
I do see the new year as opportunity for new beginnings. But I don't want to wait to start those beginnings. I want them now December 28th. May I climb the tree of Life as happy as a child. May I sit as a work wearied laborer under it's branches and find it as refreshing as cool clear water. May I trust in the roots, and find joy in every leaf and find complete nourishment in it's fruit.
Let my soul be satisfied in You Oh Lord. I pray that You would occupy my vision until the things of this world become things seen only through You rather than around You or instead of You. That my words to others would first pass the filter of You. I pray with each and every passing day that I become ever increasingly lost in You, till I wonder what is me, and what is Thee.
I pray Your love and mercies sustain me, and that I would never again doubt in the darkness the decisions I've made in the light. I pray Your right hand of righteousness would uphold me, and I pray for courage as I face the times I desperately need to be upheld.
Help me to no longer trust in this world for my hope. But for You alone to be my hope. That said, I pray my heart would constantly and prayerfully hope for the world.
Consume me Father, consume every fiber of my doubts and fears and each sin that comes between me and You. Until I cannot help but give you all I am, because You are all I desire.
I pray that Christ would be lifted up in this broken and hurting world as Your day of return is ever closer. That all might see. That all might know.
I pray this same prayer for each of these:
Consume them, uphold them, burn away in them the dross that stands between them and Your absolute glory.
Open our eyes Lord, until all we seek is You. Then Father, oh that we might find You one day in the fullness of Your glory and grace. May we revel and wonder every moment of every day.
Oh Father that it might be according to Your will.