January 10, 2011 § 1 Comment

It’s been a journey this past week. My heart has been opened, poured out, and filled up. I have never in my life remembered a time like this. Being a Christian for so long- at least growing up Christian and wavering in my faith throughout my life I never had that one experience that many people have when they come to know Christ at an older age. That -Wow, my life just changed completely!- feeling.

Mundane. That would describe my walk with Christ, mediocre…if that.

I wasn’t filled with HIM, I wasn’t filled with joy, that only comes from Him.

I had moments that were good…I’d hear a sermon that moved something in me. Or a song, or I’d read something that made me stop and rethink things. But never like this.

I’m not sure why it happened now…but I am truly forever grateful for the gift. The gift of Jesus coming and meeting me last Monday night.

I was listening to a sermon by John Piper- via live web stream of the Passion conference that Jonah had been attending over the weekend, and was still there watching it live. The message was about making sure that Christ was the foundation for your joy- allowing everything else to flow from that- from Him, instead of the other way around which is allowing yourself to be at the base and earning joy…almost in a self-martyred way. Now I have a way of failing miserably when I reiterate anything I’ve heard. So I may have done just this in describing the message, but it was life changing. It was a moment I stopped, I prayed….

More than prayed I cried out to God, I fell at His feet and poured out myself. All the things that I had allowed to layer over my heart in the years. Things that were wrapped up in Carrie, not in God. I somehow decided along the way that I knew what was best, and then I would pray- almost to seal it off to be spiritual. I’m not sure how I got this way….but I did. I allowed myself to be priority not God. Not Jesus Christ, the Maker, the Healer, the One way to life…

How did I stray so far from Him? And how did I never find this joy I found that night? Was I never saved? I don’t think that was the case. I honestly believe I accepted Christ into my heart years ago, but I never grew. I was a baby in Christ not getting the rich meat after being filled with milk.

How? I think back to how we’ve been ‘worshipping’. And to me it felt like I had to follow a certain order of things to be spiritual. I needed to wear nice clothes, attend all the services to be sure everyone saw us there in the pew, singing the hymns, listening intently. Week after week, this was to be the way you grew right?

Then why did I not grow? Yes I take responsibility for not growing, in a way. It’s truly up to me to read my Bible and pray to grow. But it’s more than that- I know now.

It’s discipleship. It’s going out into the world and telling others about Jesus. It’s being bold to share Him with others, it’s finding others to share what I’m learning.

Discipleship. How is this lacking so extraordinarily in churches? Why isn’t it noticed that people, like me, are sitting soaking in messages, verses, songs week after {miserable} week only in a way becoming engorged with all you are taking in?

I heard this point given during one of the messages I watched via web stream and it really struck me. The great commission- a HUGE passage in the Bible that God commands us….commands, not really just telling us. And how do we miss this?

Why don’t I make the effort to reach out to others? I have failed miserably in this area and I am just now learning that I don’t have to know everything to step out and share what I’m learning now with others.

So where am I now?

I am hungry for things of God. I’m craving Him, I’m loving Him, I’m filled, I’m joyful!

My Jesus is so amazing, He is everything!

He loves me enough to not give up on me, and He met me that night and held me and hasn’t let go. He’s been there watching and waiting and working on me for a long time.

That weekend Jonah also was moved and touched more than he’s ever been. My husband came home to me with a new shine in his eyes, and I can say he’s changed. And it may have been a mountaintop experience at the time, but here we are a week later and I’ve seen how he’s changed daily. My heart fills up at simple things- things I’ve been praying and desiring for him, for us that I couldn’t force and now he willingly offers and does them without me saying a word.

Oh heavenly Father, how good are you? How GOOD are you? Why did I fail to see this, how could I?

I am so grateful, and I find that word hard to describe what I am. I am moved deeply by Who He is. I caught a glimpse of Him that night, and I am forever changed, but may it be with a new boldness. One that isn’t afraid to speak His name. He is All to me!


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