Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I built a fortress, with a hundred thousand faces,
I'll keep it safe, with a hundred thousand more.
But these masks are wearing thin, as You draw me in.

I spent my time on the empty and the fleeting.
I spent my life on much less than what I'd dreamed.
But I'm reaching out to You, to make me new.

'Cause I am just a beggar, here at Your door.
I am just a shipwreck here on Your shore.
I come empty handed, ready to see,
Your life in me changing who I've been,
To who I need to be.

You tell my story as You sift between the pages.
I feel redemption in the space between each turn.
Could You take me in Your arms,
And tell it just once more?
Could You take me in Your arms,
And tell it just once more?

- Starfield, "Shipwreck"

The girls in my Bible study (CORE group) are really good for me. And I've been surprised every time at how much God blesses me for going every week. No matter how tired I am, or how stubborn I may feel, he pulls something out that surprises me.

I've been feeling a lot of things lately. Top of the list is lonely and failing. When I get to the point when I feel like I've failed God too many times to come back, I simply don't bother. I pull myself into my shell - I love my safe little shell - and I try and wait it out. I feel more and more abandoned by God, and more and more angry that he hasn't shown up. I know with every neuron in my brain that it's my own self pulling back and refusing to let him soften my heart, but I still feel angry. I know that every day that I put off reading his word, and trying to talk to him, that I make things worse for myself. I know that it doesn't get easier after I've had my "break" from him, or done things my own way for a while. I know this. But it still takes so much energy to break open that shell and let him in again. Half the reason is that I don't feel like I have time to genuinely open myself; if I do I'll start crying and I'll feel like a failure yet again. Who has time to cry? Too much emotion there to bother with. I know that I'm refusing to trust in him by reacting this way, but trust is so hard. Still, after everything he's done. Crazy, I know.

So I go to Core. Don't plan to say anything. But our leader shakes things up, and asks people to say how they're really doing. She opens up and says that she's been feeling really tested by God, and worn out - mentally exhausted - from battling with him. A few other people say a few things. And then I spoke up about all of the above. I mentioned that like two days earlier I decided to kick myself at least half into gear, and read something out of the Bible. I wasn't planning on making myself pray, still feeling angry and not ready to give up my grip on my own heart. But I figured I'd at least start the process, if only a little bit. I went back to where I had left off in my regular reading, and read the parable of the ten virgins. The line that stood out to me was just before the story, Matt 24:44:
"So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

This almost made me angrier. Why can't God just leave me in peace for a week or two? Here I was trying to hear from him, then I was angry when I did. "He can't expect me to be perfectly ready and at peace with him constantly. If he chooses to come when I am struggling with him, that's his own fault."

And then one of the girls said, "Wow, Trish, this is crazy. I was feeling really abandoned this week, and I read that same parable two days ago."

Talk about "coincidences."

She opened up about her own feeling of dryness, and how she feels like it stems from the fact that she fills her time and fulfills her needs with other things, so much so that she doesn't even realize how much she needs God anymore. She feels abandoned by him, but really it's because she's not pushing into him. And it's so true - the fact that we lose our need for God. I fill up my life with the things that are supposed to make me happy. I have money, food, a place to live, a school, a future career, a boyfriend for the self-esteem, friends for the fellowship - I "have everything." Yet it's when my life is empty of needs that it's really empty of God.

So I'm now more open to the idea of re-opening my heart. I feel a little more strongly how important it is to make sure I get back on track. Not because I'm afraid Jesus will come back and I won't be perfectly in harmony with him. That would be a stupid reason, and he knows it. He knows my heart; he knows I have an understanding with him - that I am his child and I will always return. But he doesn't want to "give me space." He wants me to come to his space. To his rest.

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