This is the Way
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This may very well be the hardest thing I have ever had to write. But write it, I will. I will, because I know the outcome. Please bear with me through the first parts of this testimony. I assure you, itís going to end on a much, much lighter note.
For several weeks now, the Lord has been teaching me so, so much. Itís been nearly overwhelming how much Heís been teaching me. But two main things constantly come up with every lesson... love and humility. I suppose that He has been teaching me so much about them because He knows full well that they have been the two things that I have struggled with most. How gracious of Him! Iím learning the humility thing pretty well, I think. In fact, thatís why I say this is hard for me to write... because it is truly a test of my humility to write it. But that other thing... that love thing... well, letís just say thatís taking some time and Godís not nearly finished with me. But I trust that Heís doing a miracle work, however slowly He chooses to do it.
This morning, I laid down in my living room floor on a pillow and sought to take refuge in my First Love, this Jesus whom I cried to and laughed with and rejoiced with as a very young child. This Jesus whom I had ďblind faithĒ in. I fully expected that He was listening to me then and that He cared about the things that were a real concern for me. As the years have gone by and my heart and faith have been so stained by the things that have gone on around me, it was no easy task. But I chose to believe the Word and there is nothing too hard for God. And there, I cried out, the little deep calling out to the Big Deep. But did not the Big Deep call me there first?
ďFather, You know. You know how big the wall is that Iíve put up between myself and others. I do love people so much, but I donít let myself love them with more than half my heart. I canít. You only, You only know how deep my heart is. Only You can reach down into the depths of it and hold it gently enough for me to trust You with it. Only You. Because it doesnít hurt when You do, Father. Iím not afraid when You touch those hidden and tender places. But You know that Iím so afraid for anyone else to know how deep my heart is, how hard it is to give any of it away.Ē
I didnít just ďcry outĒ to the Lord. I wept there. My pillow was severely soaked. My heart felt like it had a vice around it. But I wasnít finished. I ignored the pain and kept crying out anyway:
ďComfort me, Father, and teach me how to tear down this wall that I have built up between myself and others. Teach me how to love people with full sincerity, but without concern about whether they are capable of returning it. Teach me how to love them with all my heart, with a love that is not self-seeking or expectant. Then, then I know that Iím able to love the way You love. And help me, please God, to allow others to care about me, the real me, the me beneath the surface, this me that nobody but You knows.Ē
How the tears flowed. But there, when I got still and only the tears were flowing, this is what the Lord spoke to me:
ďI know your heart, how deep it is, and all its secret places. Of course itís deep; itís made in the image of Mine. How deep is My heart? As deep as your heart is, can you even begin to imagine how deep My heart is? I have been the Deep calling out to the deep for thousands of generations. I have cried out for the deep to meet Me in the secret places of My heart and they took My heart and loved Me for who I am on a surface level. They took all that I had to give them. And they loved themselves so much more than they loved Me that they never knew what it did to My heart. They didnít know because they couldnít know. They couldnít know because they never took the time to search My heart the way I searched and still search theirs. Keep searching the Deep, My Love, and you will keep on conforming to it. I know your pain. I have never missed a single tear. Everything I promised you is already yours. Just begin to walk in it. Trust Me and walk in it. Stay near Me and I will always be the One who whispers in your ear... ĎThis is the Way.íĒ
I guess this is the way, this path to the heart of Jesus, my First Love, and learning, albeit step-by-step, to love the way He loves. I donít know everything and I make a lot of mistakes. But I trust Him to be the One guiding my steps, no matter how difficult those ďstepsĒ may be sometimes.
Thereís a sweet love song playing on the radio right now, as Iím typing. I canít help but smile. What a turn around from only moments ago. How alive He is to me! How close He calls me to Him. But Iím not the only one. Heís got such a wonderful purpose for us that even when we think Heís just doing it for our own good, Heís got some greater plan in mind. Iím not the only one. Heís calling you closer too.
© Joyce Pool
All That I Am
from the album - I Wish We All Could Win
by The Afters
I feel a burning, deep inside of me
I feel your Spirit, itís moving around me
I hear Your voice, Youíre calling me closer
I know that Youíre here, Youíre calling me closer
And I willÖ
Love You with all of my heart
Jesus Iíll love You with all of my mind
Jesus Iíll love You with all of my soul
Jesus Iíll love You with all that I am
I know that You hear me when I say my prayers
I know that Youíre with me even when Iím all alone
When I close my eyes, Youíre calling me close
When I pull away, Youíre pulling me closer
And I willÖ
You are holy, Lord God Almighty
You are holy, Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and will soon come again
Lord you are and now Youíre coming again
Just like you said, Youíre coming again
And I willÖ
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Dear Joyce, thankyou so much for sharing! This is the second time today that the Lord has reminded me to open my heart and allow myself to love others, and let them see the real me. The first time was at a church bridal shower, where one woman just opened up her heart so beautifully, and I thought, "why can't I do that?" And now there's you... A big thankyou!! In Christ, Lisa
Wonderful, Treava. It is hard to trust other people with our hearts. They are not always responsible with the gift. However, we are most like God when we let down our defenses and freely give ourselves away. This is absolutely beautiful. Thanks. :)
Oh, yes, the Deep does call out to deep. He is Jehovah Shammah, The Lord is there. I long to dwell in that Secret Place within the manifest presence of God and sing of His love forever. Thank you for sharing this.
Beautiful Joyce! Yes, love IS the way, it is God's way, for He is love. May He bring us all that way! Love, Sharon
This really moved me as I read this. You testimony is awesome. He is more than we can ask or imagine. Oh, just to be close to Him! Isa 40:11
Treava, your obdience to share this testimony just opened those walls and all I can see behind them are your humility and love. Nothing is impossible with God! No doubt about it! Love in Christ, Gloria