I’ve written before about how the Holy Spirit movin’ feeling tends to fade in the light of Sunday dinner and cranky pants kiddos and the all important afternoon nap. Too many times I’ve allowed it to be lost in the routine of life-living, of things that must be done or always are done. But on the previously mentioned Sunday, I was determined.
We ate our Sunday dinner as planned. We cleaned up the kitchen as planned. The Hunk and Miss Magnificent went down for the resty roos as planned. And when all was quiet, I grabbed my Bible, my journal, threw on my favorite pair of flip flops, and headed down to the lake – eagerly anticipating my time alone with the God I had been aching for over the span of a year.
I’ve always felt most connected with God in nature. On the beach in high school, sensing His greatness coupled with His faithfulness as the waves crashed on the shore over and over again. Learning to believe in His enoughness in the vacant lot behind the BCM where no one saw me or heard me but Him. And now sitting at the lake and embracing His gentle embrace couple with, yet again, His faithfulness as the soft lake waves kissed the shore over and over again. The weather was nothing short of beautiful, and I accepted it as a gift.
My mission: to remember who He is. Simply to focus on Him and leave myself out of the equation. I had grown weary of thinking about me. I was getting on my nerves. Where do you go when you need who God is to smack your selfish self around a little bit?
Isaiah 40 is where I landed, to be exact. And I began to read and reflect and read and reflect a little more about how even my most faithful acts are nothing more than wildflowers that God can blow over with a breath.That I am nothing and He is everything. And then about how gently Jesus cares for His sheep. I got to verse 11 and stopped.
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Hmmm. Those that have young? Like, the mama’s? So I checked the margin to see if there was another verse referenced in connection with that one. Check out Genesis 33:13 – after Jacob has met Esau again and Esau has invited Jacob to travel with him. Jacob says:
My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die.
I just sat there in utter and complete awe. It was like God was whispering in my ear, “You matter. The mama sheep matter. If you are driven too hard, the rest of your flock will suffer, too. You are significant and I carefully guard all that is on your plate each and every day. I care about the mama’s, Emily.”
What I haven’t told you is that amidst the crazies of first trimester hormones, I was feeling a little unwanted and unneeded. Josh and Adelle were flourishing and loving each other like it was goin’ out of style. They were going on fun adventures on the weekends while I was laid up on the couch trying not to puke. Or cry. Or both. And they both seemed to be doing just fine without me.
And so God swept down and touched one of my deepest heart hurts at the time. He told me that I mattered. That what I do matters. That He knows I can’t take too much without the whole flock suffering. But that I can also do anything through Him. I laid down in the grass by that lake and just let the wind of healing wash over me. And I smiled a little.
Then I sat up and read more about who God is. And asked myself, “Seriously though, Emily. Do you not know? Have you not heard? God is a big stinkin’ deal! And it just so happens that He cares about the mama’s!”
Since that day, when I’m feeling a little distant from God, I’m reminded that when I draw near to Him, He really does draw near to me. And the same goes for you. Call out to Him. Carve out time to sit with Him. He always meets you there!
Keep on keepin’ it down and dirty. Love y’all like crazy!