Last week, I posted about a fresh new beginning for this blog, with posts based on questions. Questions I hope you respond to as well, on your own blog, in the comments, or just in your journal at home. I hope it helps this blog become more of a conversation than a monologue. I also hope it helps us all wrestle through the important stuff of life and faith, the kind of stuff we might ignore if left to our own devices. You can read more background and hopes here.
The first set of questions will come from Steve Wien's book, Beginnings, which I highly recommend you buy and read. However, you are welcome to participate even if you haven't read it, just by tackling the questions.
Our first question comes from page 25, at the end of Day One, when God says, "Let there be light." It is a chapter about God ushering us into new beginnings.
What do you most long to hear from God these days?
What do I think I should want to hear from God? What would it sound good to say I wanted to hear from God? What do I wish I wanted to hear from God? What do I actually long to hear from God?
If you're like me, you had to wrestle through the first few questions to get to the heart of the actual question for today. It's amazing how difficult it can be to stay in touch with our own desires and needs. We slip on people-pleasing and religious posturing like the comfortable sweatshirt from high school we can't bear to part with, even though it's full of holes and does nothing to keep us warm. Then, wrapped up in that, we convince ourselves that's what a sweatshirt is supposed to feel like, and it's truly what we want and need.
I'm taking off that tattered sweatshirt today. I'm not even taking it to Goodwill- I don't want anyone else to pick it up and think they are stuck with it, too. Nope, this baby is going straight to the trash.
What do I most long to hear from God these days? That I can be free.
Free from people-pleasing. Free from the swirling questions about what others are thinking about me that seem to be my constant companion. Free from using food as a drug to ease my pain, soothe my boredom, or reward me for my hard work. Free from answering questions about how I am doing with how everyone around me is feeling. Free from the shaming voice that instantly notices all the things I could have done better. Free from working to try to earn my belovedness.
Free to be fully present to the present moment. Free to walk confidently in my calling without fear of how others will respond. Free to laugh and be ridiculous, even if people are looking. Free to embrace the strength of my vulnerability and the reality of my neediness. Free to love and be loved without trying so damn hard. Free to be me- the messed-up me, the extraordinary me, the regular-ole me, the creative me, the compassionate me, the whole me, the true me.
I long to hear God say that freedom is possible, freedom is coming, and freedom can be my new way of being. I long for affirmation that the hard emotional work I have done over the last few years has led me here, to the cultivated soil now ready to sprout with free and reckless life.
"Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand!" -Gal 5:1 (The Message)
P.S. I've been thinking about what my OneWord 365 should be. Sounds like I found one: FREE.
(Keep reading to enter the link-up, to see next week's question, and to find out who won the free book from the post on New Beginnings.)
Your turn: What are you longing to hear from God these days?
If you are a blogger, link up with your post below. If you are not a blogger, you can also link up to an Instagram post, how cool is that? Or, maybe now is the the time to step out of the shadows and respond with a comment. I promised I will reply to all comments left.
There is risk, but there is also great power, in sharing our longings out loud.
Now, it's time to reveal next week's question, from page 44 of Beginnings, "What are some things you think you may need to let go of in order to expand into who you need to become?"
Finally, the winner of a copy of Beginnings is... Crosby Kuehl! Congrats. I'll email to figure out details of getting you a copy. There were only 5 entries, so I went old school and literally wrote out names and picked from a hat. :)