This Longing In My Heart

This is the first back-to-school season in 18 years that I will not have one or more of my three kids homeschooling.  I am now the mother of three young adult men!

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This is most certainly a new season in my life.  One might assume that I feel relief for that responsibility wrapping up or excitement for my newly found free time.  Try as I have to not be unreasonably sentimental, I just cannot stifle that part of my personality.  Every little tell (and there are many that bombard us this time of year) in this back-to-school time just reminds me that this part of my life has come to a close.  I have nothing else lined up; no career that’s been on hold all this time; no specific pull or calling that gets me up in the morning to plan my future.

None of this has taken me by surprise, but I still wasn’t ready to begin this new phase of motherhood and identity.  I always knew that I would miss raising my boys once they’d grown.  The brunt of the pain came earlier, in the beginning of my youngest son’s senior year.  My sadness over all of it was serious, to the point where I felt like I had lost the best part of my life and could never get it back.

I remember walking in the store and noticing the items on display for parents to buy for their kids in the various stages of their lives and my heart hurt.  I missed my sons as kids.  I missed my role in their lives and mourned the changes in relationship that would inevitably come.  Some of these feelings are normal, but what I was experiencing in this transition was a bit out of balance.  My role in their lives would need to look different.  I knew this.  But I also recognized that I needed God to speak to me over the situation and correct my thinking.  The common sense that I possessed wasn’t enough to get all the way down to my heart.

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One day I heard God speak to my heart so directly and so clearly, and that specific part of my heart that had been out of balance was literally healed in an instant.

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This sort of thing doesn’t happen to me very often, but I haven’t a doubt in my mind that God changed my beliefs over this situation to match His truth and that is what brought healing.  I think in some (not all) circumstances the thing that facilitates healing is when God’s truth shines a light on the lies we have believed.  I had believed I could no longer be me, that the identity I had lived in all these years was unusable and expired.  Here is what He showed me:   If I don’t rely on God to satisfy me, and I don’t first go to Him and seek His will and direction for my life (whatever stage I’m in) then the things that I’m longing for and believe will cast away the emptiness are only deceptions, counterfeit fulfillment.  The things I think I need can distract me into contentment for a while, but my heart can only be satisfied by the Maker of my soul, the One who fills every longing in my heart.  Each one of us is only truly longing for the LIVING WATER.

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Though I have still had some deep moments of identity crisis, they have been nothing like before that day when God showed me the truth behind my emptiness.  I keep reminding myself of His word to me.  I am waiting on Him and hopefully beginning to develop some clarity on His plans for my future.  I’m not sure what that looks like yet, but I know one thing for sure:  NOTHING will satisfy like my God.  I am realizing I need this time of what seems like emptiness to desire Him in a way that I’ve always been too distracted to do before.  My days are not being wasted, my heart is being changed.

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  John 7:38

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  John 8:12

Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:3, 4

For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.  Psalm 107:9

Still On The Throne

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  James 1:17

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This morning I was going over a song that I wrote some five or six years ago.  This particular song was written in the midst of my grasping for some sort of familiar foundation.  We were struggling to find a church home and it seemed like we were lost and wandering, unable to discern what was right.  It was a very difficult time of confusion and loss of connection.  We couldn’t seem to hear God’s voice; direction was a mystery.

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I wish I could say that this was a unique time of feeling upside-down for me.  The truth is that I still struggle with that same type of feeling much of the time.  We belong to a great church, but those feelings of being lost and disconnected still present themselves.  I don’t know the reason my soul is so restless these days.  I know that God will take me where I need to go to know His rest, never once leaving my side.  He is not finished with me yet.  I will have victory in Jesus.  In the mean time I will remember my God and who He’ll always be; my Rock, my firm Foundation.

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God is always good, always.  On my pilgrimage from earth to Heaven, through all the valleys and rough places, I encounter His goodness over and over again.  I remind myself that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Still on the Throne

You’re still worthy
You’re still holy
You’re still righteous
You’re on the throne
You’re still mighty
You’re still Provider
You’re still Jehovah
You’re on the throne

A sacrifice, I lift it up, You are God
A sacrifice, I lift it up, You are worthy
A sacrifice, I lift it up, You are my King

Your name is Jesus
You are Redeemer
You are Deliverer
You’re on the throne
You are my Healer
You are my Fortress
You are my Strength
You’re on the throne

A sacrifice, I lift it up, You are God
A sacrifice, I lift it up, You are worthy
A sacrifice, I lift it up, You are my King

You are holy, holy, holy – You are holy, holy, holy – You are holy, holy, holy – You are holy, holy, holy

So here’s my life, I lift it up You are God
Here’s my life, I lift it up You are worthy
Here’s my life, I lift it up You are my King

You’re still on the throne, You’re still on the throne

Somebody’s Daughter

A young girl wakes to a predawn morning.  Within minutes she’s warming herself by the farmhouse’s fireplace.  Today promises to be an ordinary day, spent for the most part on chores and schoolwork.  If she works diligently she’ll have time to read down by the creek under her favorite old oak tree.  Life is good for her.  At the age of eight, nothing about the simplicity of her life causes her to realize it as extraordinary, but she is grateful for her mom and dad and all of God’s creation, always giving thanks as her parents have taught her.

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Contentment leads her life, with curiosity following closely behind.  She loves to imagine what it’s like in Heaven.  Her favorite songs are the old hymns that celebrate the saints’ glorious entry into their celestial home; the powerful lyrics contributing to her imagination.  In all her excitement and wonder about the things of God and Heaven, there’s a question that occupies her thoughts, one she presents to God this day.  Unable to stop thinking about the fate of people who don’t know Jesus, earnestly wanting them to make it to Heaven; she asks Him, “Who will tell them?”

Years and years pass by, and not a single one of them is spent wondering what the answer to her question is.  You see, God answered her that day, at the tender age of eight, right there in the shade of that old tree.  I will send you.  I will be yours and you will be Mine.  You will tell many of my love and lead them to Me.  Someday, when it’s time for you to leave this earth and go to Heaven, you’ll know that you were made for this.

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She devotes her entire life to spreading the gospel as a missionary soon after reaching adulthood, and leaves behind her dear mother and father.  God provides for her a different kind of family than what is common to us.  Her family members are the orphans she cares for, the poor she feeds, the sick she prays for and ministers to, and the brothers and sisters in Christ who serve along-side her.  Never does she believe herself to be lacking.  Her vow is remembered and lived.

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“Lord, is this the day I’ll go home to be with You?”  Her question is barely a whisper.  Knowing that she is soon Heaven-bound, she is compelled to consider the entirety of her many years on this earth.  The faces of her parents and the many faces of the loved ones of her life’s work run through her memories.  Oh, that she could be back together with them one more time to tell them she loved them.  But she is not alone.  God, her Heavenly Father, who has never left her side for a single moment is there with her now in that hospital room.  Oh, the joy and gratitude for this beautiful life that God has given to her is overwhelming in this space in time.  In a short while she will spend all of eternity worshipping the God of her life.  But first, He has one more assignment – for her to tell those outside her door…

Somebody’s Daughter

Lying alone in her hospital bed
She opens her eyes to an empty room
She’s come to the end of her journey
It’s time to finally rest

Where have the years gone?  She wonders as she
Prepares herself to leave this world behind
A tender tear rolls gently down
Her worn and fragile face

She hears the whispers from outsider her door
They say, “She has no family to leave behind”
“It is so sad for her” they say
“She has no one at all”

She is somebody’s daughter
She was somebody’s little girl
She had a mother and father who brought her into this world
Was she loved all of her days?
Was there anyone on her side?
Did she have dreams like the rest of us and did any of them ever come true?
She’s all alone in her hospital bed
But she’s somebody’s daughter

She prays, “Lord, take my hand as You always have done
Use me once more before I go
Give me the strength for this final task
And let Your glory shine”

Help them to see Your life in me
Help them to see that I am free
Give me the words to help them know
That I’ve never been alone

That I am Somebody’s daughter
I am Somebody’s little girl
I have a heavenly Father who gave me life in this world
I was loved all of my days
He was always by my side
He gave me dreams that He helped to come true, He was my joy in this life
I’m not alone in this hospital bed

I am Somebody’s daughter