As I enter into a new work week, my heart longs to be back in South Africa. For those of you who don’t know, I went on a mission trip to Soweto with the church I attend in Cincinnati. I am still processing the trip and will be blogging about all 10 days I was there-stay tuned! But to start, I want to share a piece, a very intimate piece, of my heart with y’all.
There was a night on the trip that I felt truly broken and not the broken where you call out to God to break your heart for what breaks His- an ask, by the way, that we should be asking Him daily.
No, this was a different type of broken. The kind where you’re on your knees, tears streaming down your face feeling empty and utterly alone. Complete desperation. If you’ve been there, my heart is with you my sweet friend. It’s a place where the devil would love for us to stay and he will attack from every angle in order to trap us and keep us there. I was beyond confused and crying out to Jesus with an angry heart. “Lord, why am I feeling this way when I came to do Your work?! Why do I feel attacked by Your people? Why do I feel empty? DO SOMETHING!”
But let me tell you what I learned in this moment. It is a good thing for God’s people to be put in a place of longing, so they feel a slight desperation. Why? It’s only then can we be empty enough and open enough to discover the holiness we were made for. When we are stuffed full of other things and never allow ourselves to be in a place of desperation, we don’t recognize the deeper spiritual battle going on.
I was coming completely unglued. Wounds were open, brokenness was alive, the hurt in those who hurt me was exposed. Yet, there was grace, love and me starting to look a little more like Jesus. I decided to give my broken heart a rest and went to bed. The next morning, I woke up early and heard a whisper call me down by the water. My heart was still heavy, but I grabbed my Bible and my journal and made the walk down the hill toward the lake.
In the quiet of this early morning, grace and honesty met me in my brokenness. Jesus was meeting me right where I was and not only did He meet me there, but He was waiting for me. He was waiting to tell me, truly, madly and deeply how much He loves me. He was waiting to give me comfort that I was craving and affection that I was in desperation for. He wanted to hear my fears, my hidden thoughts and my broken heart even though He knew them all along.
This is the truth He spoke into me that morning: My identity must be anchored to the truth of who God is and who He is to me. Only then can I find a stability beyond what my feelings will ever allow. The closer I align my truth with His truth, the more closely I identify with God—and the more my identity really is in Him.