I often wonder if this is how a caterpillar feels when it's inside its coccoon.....metamorphosizing into the beautiful butterfly it will soon manifest into when it emerges forth and flutters off.....liberated from its shell of change.....floating off freely where it will go.
What is it I'm experiencing? Quite a bit actually.
If man is made of three parts -- flesh, soul, and spirit -- then I am an eclectic mass (or mess, rather) of evolving natures all coming into alignment ......as when the planets revolve around the sun in such a manner as to one day -- on that certain, yet very rare day -- come completely into alignment so that each planet is lined up perfectly with the Sun. That is what is happening in me... but in three parts. My spirit is taking the head of the line... kicking my flesh back to the back of the line. Essentially, they are swapping places, but not without a bit of a fight from my flesh. My soul is sitting in the middle... watching all of this... wondering how to respond... how to "feel"... how to react... what to "think". And so, since it cannot determine what really to do... I find myself solemn at times. My flesh has been "in charge" for a good part of my life... doing things that are not convenient... leading me into directions that have not been fruitful... being willful and obstinate in all manners and such. But now the sweet spirit of the Lord has come and he is taking the reigns of my heart...leading and guiding me into all truth and righteousness. He's calming the areas of my flesh that once moved with zealous passion but from a wrong spirit. Things like anger and frustration... irritation and impatience...........these things He is taking and showing me how harmful they are to my walk with Him...and to others who witness it. And I find, I don't like them. I hate them. They are so very damaging. Even if I'm right -- just manifesting those behaviors automatically puts me in a position to look and be wrong. I want to be one of an excellent spirit. One who is unfluttered ....unmoved... by the annoying things of this world that come from people, technology, traffic, long lines, unruly children, interruptions, rudeness, thoughtlessness............ok I have a long list. But there are obviously "buttons" within me or else such things would not "touch" me as they do. They wouldnt be able to "push my buttons", so to speak.
There is change happening. At times, I want to dance and sing and laugh. Like today -- the spirit of the Lord moved me to sing songs... with such marvelous and powerful words from a vocabulary I do not normally draw from... and with a voice that I have often found is only released during these intimate times of deep expressions... and such confidence and tone that only He can demonstrate. Such inspiration overcomes me at times and I cannot contain it. Fortunately, I had the liberty to do so and so I took it.........and ran. For an hour. While I did my laundry. lol.
But as with Friday, I occasionaly - and rarely - find myself very quiet... withdrawn... uncertain as to what I'm feeling really. For I am not upset, yet I am not happy. I am quiet and very introspective. I believe that at such times, I should perhaps distance myself from others who could observe it.... so that they would not find me melancholy and consider that I may be depressed or oppressed. Which I do not think is the case. Yet I do not want to give a misperception. I had a few comments that told me that there was that going on. It's awful because I do not wish to be alone during such times. Yet it is probably best so that others do not sit confused, wondering what is going on. Because honestly... I don't know what is going on. I find I can talk during such times, but I will not freely offer conversation. I find I can laugh, but I'm not easily persuaded to do so.
My conversations have been changing. The words I use have been changing. Yet everything I've been journaling, meditating upon, praying about, or being impressed upon in my spirit have all lined up with what I'm hearing from the lips of others who are following the Lord. And so I am encouraged that the Father is dealing with me as His daughter.
Tonight, I spoke with someone for awhile. They told me that I am right to the point, but not mean (unkind) about it. These were encouraging words because I do recognize that I am one who gets right to the point. But in getting right to the point, I do not desire to be mean or injurious about it. I wish for my words to be salted with grace and mercy... and to be sweet as honey... when spoken. Not in a flattering kind of way, but in a soothing kind of way. Like balm to pain. I cannot hear myself speak in the same manner that others hear me speak. So to hear the opinion of others certainly helps me to see how I am being shaped. It helps me to correct areas that need correcting. While we were talking about that, I recognized that it is something I do because I appreciate when others speak to me plainly and to the point, but in a manner that causes my heart & mind to really think about what they're saying. If they present it to me in a tone that offends me though -- like in an angry or accusatory tone -- then I will shut off from "what" they are saying and only listen to "how" they are saying it. The person I was talking with told me that when they talked to a gal, who is a friend and sister of mine, she was the same way with them: to the point. Laid it out on the table with "this is how it is". I happen to like how that very same gal speaks to me. She talks to my spirit. She teaches me how to live and move and have my being in the spirit. So if my emotions get hurt or my flesh gets offended, then it truly isn't her fault.... it means there is something inside of me that didn't like what she had to say.... so there's something *I* have to deal with. I had a button to push... and she pushed it. Time to get rid of the button!
While we were talking, they told me that I had slapped them in the face the other day with my words. My fork paused mid-air as I sat there holding it with my mouth open... not because I was about to feed it but... because I was shocked., "I did?! Was I mean?" They answered, "No, no. You weren't mean. What I was saying was you slapped me in the face with the truth. And I didn't like it! I was like, 'ugh. well!'But you were right. You were right in what you said." (*WHEW*) They further explained that what I was sharing totally confirmed what they heard from two others earlier. Well that was encouraging. Especially since I didn't hear what the other two had said. It's encouraging for me to know I'm on the "same page" as my sisters who are going all the way. Our heart's desires are in the same place... and we're thinking along the same lines. That's awesome how the spirit of the Lord keeps us all in order as our minds conform to Christ.
That's something that's always been a big deal with me: communication. I'm a communicator. I like to talk things through. I like to reason. When someone is being unreasonable, it's tough for me to watch. I cannot comprehend how someone can continue to argue their point and defend it with such stubbornness because they are unable to humble themselves to see the truth of the matter. I can talk from experience here......... when someone is talking to me and I hear the truth in what they are saying........I will pause and let that truth soak in...and begin right there to examine my heart. Usually it's the friend & sister in Christ who teaches me how to live & move & have my being in the spirit who has been the one to talk to me. But He's placing others in my life who speak into my life today... such as the one I was talking to last night ...and other folks whom I'm growing close with. But I have been in the 'hot seat' and made excuses for what I was doing... justifying my behavior.... then was presented with truth and sat there meditating on the words as the person continued talking.... examining my heart... and had a change of heart. I've turned my conversation around and said, "You're right. Wow. I never saw that before. I am sooo sorry." None of us are so perfect that we are not prone to being in the wrong.
These changes I'm witnessing are really good. I want everything the Lord has for me. Everything. I want nothing less. That has been my heart's cry since I was first saved... but nobody ever showed me how it was possible. I never knew I would be in this place I am today. I would love to describe these changes. I can only look back at who I was and then look at who I am and think.... "WOW". Wow. Amazing grace. How much I have been given... and how very thankful I am. That He would take me... and forgive me... and change me as He cleanses me... performing His awesome redemption work in me... restoring my soul... cleansing my mind... purifying my heart... changing my desires. Wow. I am not the same person. I am so very different. And I so very much like it. I would not go back to who I was for anything in this world. What I have today in Christ I jealously guard with all my life... with all that is within me... because I know how much it cost to get to THIS place. Yet there is more to come. There is more. And if I have made it this far... and have tasted how good and perfect this life is... this way is ... then I want it all. I will not be satisified with just this. I will not be satisfied until I have attained the end goal... the finish line... the completion of this way. I want to overcome all things. I have overcome some things to get to this place. Now that I know what that is like... have had a foretaste.... I want the rest of it. I want all that the Lord has promised me.
Thank you, Father, for Your great love toward me. How much I do not deserve this -- but how very thankful I am that You decided I did!!!
If He had never loved me, then I'd have never known what love truly was. Now I know. And I will not let go. Love has changed me and continues to change me. And some day it will fill me 100-fold full until I am overflowing. My cup shall overflow. And mercy & truth shall follow me all the days of my life. And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
There is an urgency in my spirit... that things must come into alignment... that I must obey... and there are things that the Lord God Almighty is cutting off in my life. He's requiring more of me than He has before. To him whom much has been given, much is required. He's requiring more... and He wants no excuses. Every decision I make qualifies me. I can continue to run this race as long as I continue to qualify. If I make the wrong choice... if I justify my actions.... if I continue to persist in a manner He has put His finger on and said "ENOUGH"... then I'm making a decision to disqualify myself. By the grace & mercy of God... by the Blood of the Lamb... by the word of my testimony... I shall continue to obey Christ ALL THE WAY TO THE END!!! May God's perfect will & perfect plan be accomplished in my life until ALL has been completed & I may know in my spirit "it is finished".
August 17, 2008 jmf