This past Sunday I ran away. I escaped for some time in nature. When I was a kid you could not keep me in doors. I would run and jump freely, unafraid of falling in a hole. I would roll down the hill, unafraid of what might be on the ground, I would climb trees, unaware and unafraid of how weak certain branches might be. I remember playing hide and seek with my neighbors and hiding under their porch steps, which no one would EVER do because spiders were under there. I didn’t care. I wasn’t afraid. I lived freely.
So back to Sunday. I walked around, alone and very aware. I was aware that I had no one to talk to. I was aware that it was a humid day and my breath seemed shallow. I was aware that I was out of my comfort zone. But then…
But then I started to focus on God. I thought about in the beginning when God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve and what that must of been like. I saw a butterfly with vibrant colors fly by and thought of how God created such beauty here. This earth is broken. It’s a shadow of what’s to come and yet it still captures such incredible beauty. I started to focus more on God and His character and my awareness of everything else started to fade away. Right then and only then – I experienced true peace.
It’s been about 10 years since I’ve lost myself in nature alone. I feel like when I showed up on Sunday God was waiting with open arms, like “There you are. I’ve been waiting for you.” He met me with such tenderness and walked with me. It was truly refreshing.
We are so busy ‘these days’. Although I still have prayer time and walk with Jesus daily there was just something about escaping away from it all and meeting him alone in nature that brought so much comfort to my heart. Being with him there in the ‘secret’ place allowed me to fully focus on Him. It wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about my problems, it wasn’t to get a to-do list from Jesus, it wasn’t about seeking answers … it was only about Him.
I am being reminded to observe where my focus is. It’s amazing how simple God makes it and how easily we overcomplicate it. I am so guilty of overcomplicating this relationship with Christ. It’s foreign to know that he wants me … like for real – for real … just me.
What I do? … Nope. Just me.
My efforts? … Nope. Just me.
My accomplishments? … Nope. Just me.
The good things I do in the name of Jesus? … Nope. Just me.
He truly just wants me.
The rest of that stuff pours out naturally from a heart that is overflowing with Christ’s love.
I want my life to be a response to his love, not an exhausting to-do list to keep God’s love and acceptance for me.
Ugh. Break EVERY chain, Lord Jesus! … While I keep my eyes on You.
Here is a note that I posted to FB while spending time in God’s presence. I posted this as a reminder to myself and others:
I’m desperate to be free.
There is an enemy who is constantly striving to put me in bondage.
I never fit. I never have.
I have strived and performed for far too long.
I want to break the rules (not the law), I want to take the road less traveled, I want to make mistakes because that’s part of my story. I want to be me. I want to be who God created me to be and not a replica of someone else… this good little girl who performs in fear that love would be taken away, or that I might be scolded, or judged, or called stupid because heaven forbid underneath the paint I might freakin’ be human.
I want to run after Jesus wholeheartedly and recklessly abandoned. I don’t want to be an assembly line Christian. I don’t want to be a Christian dipped in gold. I want to meet this broken world where it’s at and say- “Look. Here’s my filthy mat that I once lay on until Jesus told me to get up and walk.” He has come to give life and give it abundantly- right here, right now, right where you are, right where I am.
So here I am. The real me. Vulnerable and desperate for an encounter with the Living God every moment of my life. We are afraid to be real because we’re fearful it may push people away. I’m tellin’ ya- the performance leaves you more empty and alone than you could ever imagine even when you’re surrounded by people.
This is a season of healing in my life. My prayer for this season (and I’m sure the rest of my life) is “whatever it takes”. This broken heart is all He wants. He wants me. He’s only ever wanted me. … Just as I am. Perfect in His eyes and free indeed.