Maybe.

alice41I truly do believe that God is all I need. He fulfills every desire in me, and even though I don’t understand that fully and I struggle with doubting it at times, I do believe it.

I heard one of the greatest quotes once from a professor of mine. He said, “Truly living as a follower of Jesus means following your deepest desire rather than your strongest one.”

I live in a constant state of volleying this strong-willed heart right back over the net from the side of my strongest desires to the side of my deepest desire, but this is not always a game I win. That being said, I do believe that God is the truth, the way and the life. I believe His heart for me and I desire him deeper than I desire anything else.

As I round the corner to my two-week mark before I embark on a new season of life on the East Coast, I’ve been asking a question that I can’t seem to find the answer to.

I know that God is all I need. And I believe that.

But what is ok to want?

Sometimes my strongest desire does win out over my deepest. I allow myself to act a certain way, make a decision that does not invite the full blessing of God over my life, etc… And those actions and decisions are usually based out of me acting on a desire of mine. A want.

But I’m afraid that in the process of trying my best to invite God more fully into my life on an ever continuing basis that I have started to fear the wants as if they are all going to lead me astray.

If God is all I need, what is ok to want? I don’t believe in a Christianity that restricts us from asking questions but I do know that sometimes we must rest in the unknown and be at peace with the fact that we will never fully understand this life on this side of heaven.

So where does that leave me? As far as I can tell in this very moment sitting in sweats in my favorite coffee shop in Portland (side note: I’m actually nervous about the fact that my sweats will not be acceptable in DC, but that’s beside the point), here’s where I land:

I believe that my desires, if they line up with the heart of Jesus, are ok to have. I can honestly trace back almost every act of rebellion that I’ve ever done toward God and trace each one back to me suppressing a want of mine because I thought it meant that I was claiming that God was not enough for me. Instead of being honest with my pain or struggle at a sense of lack, I got mad and just reached out and grabbed what I thought He was holding back from me.

My dad passed away from Cancer when I was eight years old. I didn’t grieve for him until I was 21 because I always felt as if grieving over him meant that I didn’t have faith that God was good and that He was ultimately in control of things. I’m not sure where this idea came from, that to trust God meant suppressing my needs and desires that I had from this world, but I don’t know that this concept has been a struggle for most of my life, and as well meaning as Christians can be at times, I think we get this part of our walk with God wrong…a lot.

What does God “being enough” actually look like? God has the ability to act and speak through everything and anything that He desires. How does God relate with us? He created us in this world to be in community and relationship. He speaks through our brothers and sisters, He speaks through His creation, He acts and fulfills in the most creative of ways, most of which we will probably never even fully know about! So what do we really mean when we say that God is enough for us? I have a suspicion that it doesn’t mean what I’ve believed it to mean for most of my life.

I’m reminded of when Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane and came back to his friends sleeping. He approaches them and says, “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” (Matt 36:40). Jesus wanted to have a certain kind of relationship with his friends, he desired things from them to meet his heart where he was at in a trying time in his life and was hurt when he didn’t receive that. He doesn’t hide it, he feels it, he expresses it, and then He still goes back and prays to the Father. They don’t seem to threaten each other or cancel each other out. And I’m pretty sure we’d all agree that God was absolutely enough for him. But I think he still wanted.

And maybe when I give myself permission to want without equating that with a lack of faith, maybe that’s where freedom resides. Maybe being fulfilled with God alone in the truest sense of that concept means that I am actually free to want and hope and dream without fearing that my faith is lacking or that God isn’t truly enough for me.

And maybe this is the place where I start to see God everywhere and in everything and everyone who strives to love me the way He does.

And maybe this is the place where I start to take my own role in other people’s lives more seriously as well, knowing that their desire for a connection with Him is something I should always be mindful of when interacting with them knowing that I am just one of many avenues to how God will fulfill the wants of their hearts as well.

And maybe I’ll start letting my wanting heart be a little more unashamed of wanting.

 

Maybe.

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He Will Do It

IMG_1944I am moving to Washington D.C. one month from today. One month from today I will take a suitcase, my cat and every ounce of courage I can muster up and fly across the country into, well, the unknown.

Many of you have asked me why I’m moving, what’s out there and why D.C.? And honestly I have no good answer for you. Well actually I have a great answer for you but it’s one of those answers that you’re embarrassed to give because it’s the one that induces shocked and confused looks from others, which is usually at the very least a minor shaking of your confidence, and at the very worst a look that causes all of the doubts and voices that you’ve been keeping locked up quite nicely to come springing out like one of those creepy Jack in the Box’s which then leads to you being in a puddle of tears on your kitchen floor….not that I have experienced anything like that.

But the truth of the matter is that God and I have this dialogue going, and I have worked for years to be able to hear Him clearly and I am still learning every day. And back in November I heard Him quite clearly tell me that it was time for me to move forward into something new, and that the new was not in Portland. And that’s all I knew. And so I did what any strong Christian woman would do. I doubted and I feared and I questioned and I gave into the fog of confusion for a few days and then I prayed and I had others pray and I sat on my bed one night and spun my globe and asked Him,

Where?

And all I can tell you is that I have a peace about D.C., because that’s all I knew then, and that’s all I know now.

That’s all I know about where I’m going, but I do know more about the one who’s sending me.

The one who’s sending me is the one who’s going with me, and He is. He really is going before me. I could tell you a million little ways that God has partnered with me in this, letting me know He’s with me at every turn, but what I will tell you now is that He is awakening my voice in this move. I know He is releasing a side to me that I have had hidden for years due to abuse, conformity, fear and insecurity. And it is time to break the silence.

I know that His heart is that I would love Him, love myself and love others in entirely new ways this next year. That I would speak up and out for my worth and for the worth of others. That I would find courage and learn how to be bold and respectful at the same time. And that I would never fear adventure, authenticity or advocacy again. These things will come bubbling out of this Brooke a million different ways over this next year and beyond, and I’m just as curious as you are to see what that’s going to look like.

My conclusion is this, for now: that I seek God with literally everything I have. With my voice, with my thoughts, with my body, with my mind; and then let Him take it from there. When He opens my mouth to speak may it be with the boldness that only comes from being soaked in Him. When He tells me it’s time for my fingers to move over this keyboard than may it be done with the respect and faithfulness that any art deserves. When He tells me that it’s time to go for the “more” that is out there for me, first stop D.C., then may I go with courage and surrender that can only come from having the power of the Holy Spirit truly being the one in charge.

It’s a beautiful and terrifying and confusing and exhilarating partnership, mine and God’s. I believe with my whole heart that He’s called you to a partnership in this life that is just the same. Be bold with me?

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” 1 Thess 5:23-24 NIV

So we must be blameless through and through…spirit, soul, body…and yet the one who calls you is faithful, and HE WILL DO IT.

So I submit. And He does it. I ask for courage. He provides it. I offer myself as best as I can every single minute to surrender, repent and receive all of who He is.

And He will do it.