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Familiar Ache


 It was a familiar ache. A dull yet very present ache. I could feel the splitting of each fiber in my heart as I sat in God’s presence praying an uncommon prayer. It was the prayer so many years ago I had not recognized would be the cornerstone of God’s purpose in my life. As I sheepishly and desperately prayed I consciously asked God to forgive me. I try not to speak platitudes when I present myself to God. So often my words felt void of meaning. They appeared starkly banal in use and measure once they left my mouth. I was seated on the floor in a pool of tears as I floated upwards towards Jesus. I asked Him to fulfill one of the greatest heart cries of my life. I asked Him to break my heart. I asked God to break my heart, to completely shatter it so that I might know how to love in suffering as greatly as my Lord and Savior. I am certain, this uncommon prayer was a move of the Holy Spirit in me a decade ago. It was a move of the Holy Spirit because the carnal in me would never willingly ask for heartbreak and suffering nor ask to learn how to love in the midst of it. It would appear to be an act for attention, victimhood, or martyrdom. No person in their right mind would pray for pain, yet every saint that ever gazed into the eyes of Jesus appeared to welcome it. I have not discovered in myself any ounce of saintliness. I have grievously failed in this yearning to suffer and love well like Jesus. My uncommon prayer appeared to be a set-up. A set-up to remind me how human I am. This uncommon prayer has become my daily reminder of my ever-present need for Jesus and the Holy Spirit to work in me and through me.

 

As Jesus came before God, His only begotten son, I came before Jesus, his one of many daughters. I pondered at that moment, the familiar ache that he too must have often felt coming before God. Yet, it was in this familiar ache, we shared something in common. The dull ache that we knew we must love while suffering to fulfill our purpose. The one question I am certain Jesus asked God was the same that I asked. Are you sure God? Are you sure that this is what you want? Are you sure that it has to be this way, that I am to whom you call out to fulfill this purpose? Are you sure that there is not someone more favored and lauded by man, more brave, wise, dazzling, charming, well-traveled, and intelligent than I am? Surely there must be someone else more equipped to fulfill this purpose.


Yet to God, the uncommon prayer to learn to love in suffering was enough to set me on a path that I had not anticipated. Perhaps in my zeal as I prayed that prayer, I did not account for how long I would suffer, in what capacity I would suffer, or to what degree I would suffer. I did not account for the long winding desert that I would embark on, but God in His goodness and sovereignty gave me the gift of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to walk with me through these valleys of tears.

 

What I have learned in the past decade of the many sufferings (mental, emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual) that I have experienced is that I know not how to love well in suffering. I do not know how to die to myself to be able to move in love and suffering. The suffering, the waiting, the refining continues, yet I know not of the great sacrifice of Jesus. I know not how to love when my body aches, how to serve those who betray me, to love those who have abused me, to move in compassion to the capacity like Jesus, to give when I have little of my own. It is only in my daily surrender to Jesus that I can sit with those in their pain and suffering and not insert myself into their process. It is in my daily reminder of surrender to Jesus that I remember that to love another is not to ask for what I need out of the interaction but to meekly serve and boldly love.

 

My hope in sharing this is to share with every one of you that there is a dull ache that Jesus understands many of us feel in not being able to fulfill our purpose in the way God has called us to fulfill it. God hears our prayers in ways that we may never truly understand, even the uncommon ones. It is in the secret place that God can reveal himself fully to us. It is that dull ache that we share with Jesus that reminds us that even when we think we are incapable, God sees something far greater in us. It is when we not only surrender our lives but also surrender how God moves through our prayers that “thy will be done”, can be made manifest in God’s totality. May God bless you today and every day moving forward in ways unbeknownst to you. My prayer is that your prayers, both common and uncommon would become a lamp at your feet guiding you closer to Jesus. May God use your life in the most uncommon of ways, unique to whom he has created you to be. May you rest in your daily activities, knowing that He sees you, hears you, and loves to listen to you. He delights in your every effort to be refined and molded into the blameless, spotless, beautiful creation He sees you to be. May today be a day of rest and peace in Christ. Amen.  

 

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🕊️😭. Yes the suffering that comes with our yes and in this life. It’s in the deep places of suffering that we learn aspects of who He is that we cannot see in any other condition.

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