So, I had one of those twilight zone God-moments the other day. You know, where you feel like He’s speaking something to your heart, and then someone completely out of the loop says verbatim what you’ve been hearing the Lord say… yeah. Well, let me back up…
I’ve been married for a little over a year and a half now, and it’s safe to say that it’s been my favorite little-over-a-year-and-a-half of my life. I love marriage! I love being married to my husband. I’ve never felt more humbled in my life since being married, too. You’re probably thinking the obvious: I’ve been humbled by how difficult of a person I can be, which inevitably comes out in marriage, especially the first couple of years. That is very true! I was fully convinced that I was deep down a “pretty nice person”… and then… I got married. Shane is the sweetest, Godliest, most patient person alive; I don’t know what I’d do if he wasn’t! I’ve had to face my depravity, and it’s been good. It’s been awesome, actually. Not particularly fun, but awesome. Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked here: the other humbling thing about marriage between two people who love Jesus is that He works in your heart through your spouse a lot of the time. There have been multiple times in the past eighteen months where Shane will say something or pray something out loud and I think to myself… did I tell him I was struggling with that? Did he know I needed to be encouraged that way? It’s been really sweet, and I’m so thankful for this new element to my daily, practical walk with Jesus.
Back to my twilight zone moment. So, I’m a morning person. I love getting up in the mornings– there’s something about watching the sunrise, a cup of coffee, a quiet house, which is just healing to me. I love feeling ready and prepared for the day because of it. And as much of a contradiction this is, I’ve really been struggling with getting up in the mornings. There are probably a few reasons for that on any given day: we’re on and off the road, different time zones, involved in our home church, normal busyness of life. Whatever the case may be, when my alarm goes off, almost every time I push snooze… and then snooze again… and then an hour goes by. Now, I’m not saying that sleeping in and recouping is bad at all! On the contrary, Shane and I have started declaring certain days off our Sabbath, and it’s so needed! What I’m talking about here is… well… lack of discipline in my life. From the outside looking in, it may not seem that way, but I know my heart- and even more than knowing my heart, I know what He’s asked of me. I can feel it in the specific conviction of the Holy Spirit in my heart when I’m not walking in what He’s required.
So last week, after feeling the effects for a while of not getting up in the morning to spend time in the Word and prayer, I just sat at our kitchen table, my to-do list in front of me, and heard Him speak to my heart.
I’m called to have intimacy with Him. All other goals and purposes aside, that’s truly what I was created for. And if I’m going to be honest, it’s the only place my soul is really satisfied. I felt the weight of that deep inside of me– which is what I mean by the specific conviction of the Holy Spirit; guilt is like a blanket spread out over everything, discouraging, planting seeds of doubt. The Holy Spirit is different… every time I feel convicted about something; I know exactly what it is He’s calling out in me (Psalm 139:23-24 and Psalm 32:1-7 are good reference points for that). And this particular morning last week, I was feeling very convicted about my half-heartedness in pursuing His presence. That morning ended, the day happened, and Shane and I were driving somewhere later that evening and he said to me, “You know what I was reading in Proverbs this morning? About how a foolish man loves sleep.”
Yeah, that’s what it takes for the Lord to really get my attention! We ended up having a great conversation about the fine line between resting and loving sleep more than loving Him.
I am so thankful that this season of my life has had such similar themes running through it… I got married, dove head-first into a lot of life and faith lessons, made a record of songs from this season called “Stop and Listen”, and I feel like I keep going back to square one with it. I think that’s okay, too. The songs on this new record aren’t all per se about the need for my soul to wait on the Lord, but they all at least come out of a time of doing that, or else they wouldn’t have been written! I’ve been so drawn to the story of two sisters in Luke 10 named Martha and Mary. I can’t get enough of their story, actually. Martha was probably the oldest, since she’s listed first, and definitely has first-born personality: she’s project-oriented, on-task, and a hard worker. Her younger sister, Mary, was the exact opposite of her- the few glimpses of her throughout the New Testament paint a picture of someone who savored the moment. And honestly, I love both of them. I think Jesus did too. Martha can easily get a bad rap for her outburst in front of her houseguests, including Jesus, about her sister’s lack of work ethic (Luke 10:40), but her heart really was to serve. Jesus’ gentle rebuke to Martha in that story is a clue to His affection for her and desire to refine her in her giftedness. But He also shined a light on something I neglect too quickly in my walk with Him:
“‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'” (Luke 10:41-42)
The GOOD portion… I want it! I think that needs to be in huge, bold letters at the top of my to-do lists every day… CHOOSE THE GOOD PORTION. The ONE thing necessary: knowing Him. That can look different for all of us- for those of you in Christ reading this, I’m confident that probably something specific is coming to mind right now. A step in that direction. An area He’s been softening in you and calling you to. For me, it’s getting up earlier. And for honesty’s sake, I failed at it this morning. Maybe that’s why I’m writing this blog about this very thing- I need to remind myself of what He’s spoken and how worthy He is and how faithful He is when we walk in obedience. More than likely, I’m going to want to push snooze tomorrow morning when my alarm goes off, but I’m praying for His help… for grace and understanding to stop, wait, and listen at His feet.