Monday, January 26, 2015

A Dark Night~Journal Notes

When at the end of myself....I was unable to think or function on my own. Not all times were times of extreme suffering, but in my life many have been.
It's been a peeling away of things...some good and some not so good.
As I reflect, every dark night has produced a better me.

God heals my soul not in the doing, but in the being with HIM. God loved me so much He took me into the dark night so I would learn not to depend on feelings or other external things, but to live a life of simple trust (still learning). Looking back, I recognize I've grown through the pain while standing in the muck. 
I'm learning to face adversity looking for what God is going to do instead of looking at the mess.
Initially, I don't like a "new mess," but after a brief temper tantrum with God I'm beginning to say, "Lord, this is a mess and I can't wait to see what You are going to do."

I'm learning to wait on God's goodness and perfect timing. My feelings are superficial and limited. I like feelings and emotion, but my love and my relationship with God goes far deeper than feelings. He is fully present with me whether I feel Him or not and I need to be okay with that.

I want to live a life worthy of God's calling....I want to be deliberate, but I struggle. When I'm able to see the good in any given mess I'm able to receive His peace. Eventually, I'm able to find purpose in the pain.

I'm learning to lean into God even on days when I can't see or feel Him.....trusting Him when it doesn't make sense by earthly standards or views.....and waiting on God when I don't want to (probably the hardest).

The souls heartbeat and breath never stops. One day we transition to eternity and I'm thankful I've seen and observed God in this moment in the lives of others. Yet, I feel as though I was a bit of an intruder whose brushed the garment of the Lord.

There have been times I've slept with my bible, yet I couldn't think enough to read it. Doing so represented in some way the only hope I could cling to. During those times I couldn't feel God or see Him......or even comprehend how things could be better much less "right." I know God was working....I can now look back and see that.

The things I sought to hold onto during the dark night were peeled  away and I don't miss them anymore.....well, accept my memory and I'm still working on being okay with that one. I'm praising GOD for what He has given me back and leaving my focus there rather than on the times I struggle. I'm learning to be okay with God's plan. I hope to one day be able to trust God as easily as I breath.......every time I think about "trusting" God...I think about breathing.....constant, steady, smooth, and peaceful....a divine rhythm of Holy God living in us.

"4 1-3 In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.
4-6 You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.
7-13 But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. The text for this is,
He climbed the high mountain,
He captured the enemy and seized the booty,
He handed it all out in gifts to the people.
Is it not true that the One who climbed up also climbed down, down to the valley of earth? And the One who climbed down is the One who climbed back up, up to highest heaven. He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.
14-16 No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love." Ephesians 4:1-16 The Message

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue


Down On The Farm said...

What a beautiful, beautiful message. And so very true. Life is not easy. It seems we are either just coming out of a storm, in a storm, or getting ready to be in a storm. I am in a storm. I have prayed and prayed and prayed. I have read my Bible. I have prayed until I don't even know what to pray anymore so I just say "Jesus help me." With my eyes, I do not see God moving. I don't hear a "Word" from Him. But I trust Him. Even though my heart is so heavy, and I want to stomp my foot and shake my foot and say "God you have to fix this NOW." I know He is in the midst of my storm. And He will either change the storm, or He will give me peace. Letting go is so hard. Raising empty hands and saying "God, I can't carry it anymore, I give it to you." Why do we fight doing that. Why do we see giving it to God as giving up? We should see it as THE BEST DECISION not as a last resort. God is working on Me. I want all of Him. I want, as you said, to trust Him as easily as I breathe. And yet I'm not there yet. But that is my prayer. Praying for you this morning my friend. And would appreciate your prayers for my "storm."

Andrea said...

Down on the farm:

Thank you so much for sharing your heart with me/us. I pray GOD continues to be your focus as you forward march with Him. He is faithful and He will see you through.

Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

Cheri Hardaway said...

What an absolutely beautiful post. Thank you, Andrea!

I've said it before, and I have to say it again. God has you and I on parallel journeys, and it is such an encouragement for me to read the thoughts you share.

God bless you,

Cheri Hardaway said...

Just want to reiterate that your simple faith gives others hope. We don't have to be great. We don't have to be perfect. We just have to BE. He is all the greatness and perfection we need, and He graciously pours it into us, in order that we might pour it into others in return.

Sharon said...

What a beautiful post, and so encouraging. I've had some of those *dark nights of the soul* - and lately have been in one as my dad died last year, and now we're dealing with my mom's aging problems. It's a time of not knowing the future, and sometimes not knowing even the next step.

But, God is the sure presence, the Living Light, and His guidance is always there.

Thanks, Andrea, this greatly comforted me tonight.