02 April 2014

hope spoken, a surprised heart.

A couple of weeks ago, Nick and I were standing in the kitchen, doing dishes and chatting, catching up after the kids went to bed. I was sharing some things that had been bothering me. Things he already knew about, but felt fresh that day. 
He stopped and asked, "Do you believe God wants to take care of that?" 
"Of course," I said, and kept wiping down the stove.
He walked over to me, looked straight into my eyes and said, "I know you know that God wants to take care of it. In your head. But do you believe that God cares about it more than you do and that He wants to change it for you? That He loves you that much? That it's up to Him and not up to you?"
Whoa, buddy. I'm just trying to clean the kitchen.
I knew he was right, that I needed to trust God with whatever it was that was on my heart, to let him have it. 
And in that moment, a little stirring began.

Fast forward to last week. Nick kept telling me how excited he was for what God was going to do for me at Hope Spoken. I nodded and smiled every time he said it, but really in my head I just kept thinking, "I know God is going to do great things, but I'm there to help, there to catch up with my girls, and be available for my small group." I was excited to hear the speakers and hear some good worship and be in the presence of my dearest friends.
photo credit: meghan newsom

So you can imagine my surprise when God wrecked my heart on Saturday morning.
Standing in the very back of the ballroom, amidst the twinkly lights, holding my baby, the worship began. The lyrics from the song Bless the Lord took up residence in my soul in a way they hadn't before.

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

As I sang those words, Nick's challenge kept whispering back to me: "Do you believe that He loves you that much? That He wants to take away whatever is weighing you down?" And then the voice changed, His Spirit whispering to my spirit, "He loves you. You."
My children came to mind, each of them so dear to me, each one possessing an ability to cause my heart to absolutely crumble with my love for them. Not because of anything they do, but just because they are. "That," Jesus whispered to me. "It's a mere shadow of the way that I feel about you."

I stood there, in the dimly lit ballroom, watching 250 women sing their praises to Jesus, my own heart quaking inside of me. Believing for the first time in a long time that it was okay to accept that His love is just as endless and magnanimous for me in my small nothingness as it is for all of creation. Wrecked.

Following worship, we heard from Shauna Niequist, and she told me that I needed to stop trying to impress with my own version of capable, stop wearing exhaustion like a badge of honor. Let go of busyness and grab onto Love. I could have walked away from that one hour of the conference and been good. Had enough to think about and take in and process and be changed by. But there was more, so much more, and my heart is still absorbing it and sorting it all out.
photo credit: emily anderson (ivah's new bestie)

I left the conference feeling sadness and joy, brokenness and healing, exhaustion and refreshment. One of the women in my small group said she has walked away from experiences like these with her checklist of changes to make, things to do. But this was different. She was walking away feeling stirred. Called to remember that He is doing something, that He is with her. 

That's what I feel.
It's a new day dawning. It's time to sing His song again.

photo credit: meghan newsom


  1. Felt so blessed to be in your small group and experience your wisdom, and Ivah's very cute outfits :) I'm so glad to have met you :)

  2. I love this. God's way of heart stirring is so beautiful.

  3. love this so much and miss you already. oh and IVAHHHHHHH!!!!!

  4. Beautiful post - I so want to be at Hope Spoken next year!