Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In Remembrance

       On Memorial Day, veterans gather across the country to remember.  Their lives spared, they recall wars fought and won, while honoring those lost in battle.  It’s a time of reflection.  They survived.  But not only that, they live to tell the stories.


      I have my own memorial day at the end of each year.  With journals in hand I steal away to a quiet place to remember.  There’s something about reflection that stirs the soul, feeding and boosting the seed of faith dwelling within.


      It’s been a monumental year, bringing the diversity of life and death.    Jesus told me this year that death had to come so that life might emerge.  He was true to His Word.


      I have felt the pruning shears of the Gardener sharply cutting away dead appendages.   It was brutal seeing things that still held me captive.  Like any ailment, pain leads to the abnormality.  Once revealed, the Divine Healer can do His most brilliant work as He breathes His breath of life into what once brought death.


     The cry of my heart at the end of 2007 was for new beginnings in 2008.  Little did I know that the road would lead me back to maladies in my own soul.


      It seems to always come back to that doesn’t it?  When we are dissatisfied in our lives, doesn’t it somehow come back to something inside us?  I longed for a deeper intimacy with my husband.  It’s a good desire.  But in the process of longing, the more I experienced the more I pressed for.  My desires turned into requests, which when unmet, became failures.


     Papa God opened my eyes to see through His.   I was sabotaging the most important relationship in my life with my ominous expectations.  In my plight for intimacy I imposed standards that carried a hefty weight.     


     Someone once asked me a brilliant question.  “What’s the desire behind the desire?”  Love, I wanted to “feel” loved in the deepest places of my soul.  What I truly longed for, though I didn’t know it, was the deep, inner sanctuary of intimacy with Christ.  


     It’s much easier to turn to flesh and blood to meet the longings for love.   But unless the depth of love is met in Christ first, it will not manifest anywhere else.  Expectations will become demands that dampen the fire of intimacy, bringing accusations of failure.


     Jesus heard my cry for love and intimacy.   He stirred my heart to long for more and then He invited me into the dance,  with Him.  


     It all began with a longing.  He took the lead.  I followed.   He invited me to conversations with Him in a new and different way.  His whispers of tenderness spoken to my heart have settled something deep within.  I am fiercely loved by the one who created me, for love.


     With each stripping of my dead branches, He has touched me with His love.  I will never be the same.   There is no relationship on earth that can give me what I so desperately need.  The more I expect them to, the more I vandalize them.


      I was made in the image of relationship for relationship, but until I can grasp the fullness of love from the one who is love, I will cripple the relationships with expectations that lead to resentment and failure.  

      

       In remembrance, this day, I thank Him for the dance He has invited me into.  As I have followed I have been transformed.  With each step my gaze fixes more on His and the love that is steadfast and immovable.  His love conquers all my expectations.  He fills me with value, and intimacy.  Once I am filled with Him it is then I can offer from His heart to another.


     It’s been a hard year.  There have been many battles.  At times it felt like the hits would take me out.  But Jesus....  He carried me.  The Holy Spirit comforted me while Papa loved me into the truth that set me free.


     On this my memorial day I come to remember.  I have made it through the year of battles, loss and death.  More importantly, I have found love.  Battles have been won.  I have survived.  Not only have I survived,  I now live to tell the stories.  


©copyrighted:  2008 Julie L. Todd




12 comments:

Joyful said... Reply to comment

"The Divine Healer can do His most brilliant work as He breathes His breath of life into what once brought death." So thankful for the breath of God.

I too love the word, "REMEMBER". I purchased wooden letters to spell 'remember' and I have that visual in a sitting room upstairs. It's important to recall the good things that God has done for us.

Praying you'll have many more to write about next year at this time as God continues His work in you.

Happy New Year,
Joy

Joyful said... Reply to comment

PS. Love the new family pictures!

Sharon said... Reply to comment

Amen!! Great Post
Happy New Year my friend, looking forward to sharing and chatting again next year.
God Bless
Sharon

Kimberly said... Reply to comment

You encourage me...to press in deeper, to accept His love without fear, to press on even though it may hurt.

You are a blessing, and I thank you for sharing your dance with Him with us.

Praying for you as your roots dig ever deeper into Him and the truths of who He is and of who you are in Him.
Love,
K

Tiffany Stuart said... Reply to comment

Julie,

Thank you for pausing to remember your year with us. I agree with your discoveries 100 percent. Even in this post, I see His handiwork and His healing. You've penned His heart of love beautifully. I am so grateful for our friendship found in 2008. I'm thankful you've offered me godly counsel during my own battles. Thank you for giving of yourself when you too were weak and seeking His heart. Thank you for our phone calls.

I'm SO excited to see what 2009 will bring. God is up to more handiwork in our hearts. Yours says love!

Love you,
Tiffany

Denise said... Reply to comment

There is nothing gentle in the process of pruning - only a gentle gardener who loves us enough to want to remove the "dead appendages" so that we may grow into healthy vines.

Thank you for stopping by my blog by way of Laura's and for your kind comments. I look forward to coming back here soon!

Blessings and Happy New Year!
Denise

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said... Reply to comment

oh yes.. Abba calls us into the deepest intimacy with Him....and out of that we find something that we will not be able to put into words... that will leave us speechless.
Then when we look around we will find love, compassion, things that will leave us speechless...

well said...my dear friend

This year is one of Hope...
love ya
Connie

my word verification is died.. how interesting.. died to old self??

Holli said... Reply to comment

That is a beautiful reflection of God's heart. I know I forget that for Him to truly lead and direct my paths and to truly love others I must first let go of the things that others have taught and let the "One who Can" prune me and teach me. I pray that this coming year the people He puts in your path will feel that love He has brought to you. Thank you so much for sharing you heart. You have truly ministered to me in the process. God Bless!
Always,
Holli

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

"I was made in the image of relationship for relationship, but until I can grasp the fullness of love from the one who is love, I will cripple the relationships with expectations that lead to resentment and failure."

Oh, how that resonates with me. I'm getting there. By His grace. But it's a battle.

And, I agree with Joyful: great new family pictures! :)

Laura said... Reply to comment

Precious Jewel,

Thank you for your sweet prayers and words of wisdom. I am so thankful that God brought us together in 2008. You have blessed me in so many ways. That pruning He has done has revealed a beautiful lady with a beautiful heart. I cannot wait to see what He has planned for you in 2009!

Amy said... Reply to comment

Beautiful!!

Love you so much!
Amy

Miss G said... Reply to comment

Oh yes, God is showing me the desire behind the desire which is largely my desire for control. He is worthy of my trust. In EVERYTHING. He is in control. He is. I do not need to be in control. He is.

As one newly married I am beginning to see the ways that I try to make things happen in my marriage rather than letting Him do whatever it is that will bring glory to Him. I am thankful that He shows me these things. I continue to pray for His guidance and teaching.

I look forward to continuing to read your blog in this new year and share the things God is teaching us. May His richest blessings be on you and His glory continue to shine through your life. Kelly