Sunday, January 20, 2008

Starting out fresh...

Yesterday I was on my way home, and I was heading out to the family farm to hang with my husband’s family. I ended up deciding that I wanted a place to curl up and read and journal some. I have had a busy week, filled with a lot of different things and had a lot swimming around in my head. When I journal, it is typically as a prayer to God. It really keeps me on focus, and He helps me process through things. I decided that if I went to the farm, it was going to be too distracting to really focus on anything for too long. So I thought about going home, but the condition of my house (with two small kids) would have distracted me there as well.

Luckily our small town has a wonderful coffee shop/bookstore (Beatitudes). The owner of the coffee shop is a Christian. And every time I walk in there, I feel immediately at ease, relaxed, and want to look at Brenda’s book picks of the week (or month, depending on how often she gets to update it). Yesterday she had updated it. Well the book I picked up was called “Girl on a Swing” by Nancy Kennedy. The title alone intrigued me. Then I read the forward, then part of the introduction, and was hooked. I knew I had to get the book right then and there, or start journaling about the things that were hitting me. So, I got a coffee and sandwich and the book, and sat down to read. This book is amazing… actually, our God is amazing. He set it up so that I would find this book, just when and where I needed it. I would have never been open to it a month ago. I would have said, “this is nice but could never apply to me.” And I would have never been more wrong.

This book spoke to me in a way I wasn’t expecting. It dovetailed with a sermon our pastor gave a couple of weeks ago, on God being our Father. About how much He loves us, and even likes us. That God delights over us, and smiles on us, and covers us so that we can enter into His presence unashamed, unafraid, and climb up into His lap and just be held. (See my Love vs. Like post)

This book cover shows a girl standing on a swing, her hair blowing in the wind, free and trusting, and having fun. One of the questions the book asked at the very beginning was who is that girl on the swing? The author answers, “I know that the girl is me. She is not who I want to be or hope to be, but because of Jesus, she is me. She is safe, and she is me. She is secure, and she is me. She is free and forgiven, she is her Father’s delight, and in Christ she is me. She’s you, too.” (pg. 18) Most of us don’t believe that. The author says that most women don’t believe that, but I think it goes across gender lines with little discrimination. Just it takes very little pushing by a good friend to get her girlfriend to admit that she really doesn’t believe that God could look on her with love, or delight, or with a smile. She might say that she knows it, but in her heart she doesn’t feel it.

Through some counseling this past week, I feel like I finally took a step farther down the road of knowing and feeling that I am loved and liked and smiled upon by God my heavenly Father… who knows all, sees all, is everywhere, is all powerful, awesome… yet He sees me through His Son, and loves me all the same, no matter what I have done or where I have been. See even now these words flow so easily off my fingers, but they are still so hard to truly believe in my heart of hearts. But I am closer, just a step, but closer to that security and freedom the feelings will finally bring. And I know that feelings are fleeting, and but a moment, but some how, just knowing that God is working to free me of my past, makes a huge difference to me.

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