adrift: God is an anchor for our unsteady souls

 

Being adrift is an unsettling feeling, isn’t it? Whether we’re literally unmoored,  marooned, lost at sea or life just seems to affect us that way. ⛵ I had a growing sense of unease and discombobulation when our internet went down for several hours recently.

Suddenly I couldn’t connect, never mind skim or surf the internet. And as it happens, it was a day when I really needed to get online—don’t we always?—and it just wouldn’t play ball with me. 🌐

After a few hours of attempting to access the world-wide web and failing then falling into a deeper sense of isolation and frustration, I wrote the poem below…

Adrift 🖥

There is no internet

All connectivity is lost

I am adrift

stuck in yesterday
so my calendar says

and the weather map
hasn’t updated itself

yet, nor my inbox caught
up with latest news

I feel the sting of loss

I can’t even share this event

with anyone or warn them
of my unavailability

Lost on a lonely sea
of singularity

where life’s time and tides
wash over me naturally

I am bereft, except
for one constant thing

because God has never
left—he’s always
here with me
© joylenton

 

Later on (acting on the wise and welcome suggestion of my husband), internet access was “borrowed”—with permission of course—from my neighbour, who has a different service provider. Hurrah! All was well. I could relax. Panic over…. for now… 😏

Then I came across this whispered word received in prayer a while back and it reminded me just who is our real power Source and stabilising strength when life unsteadies us. Because God alone holds our souls secure when we entrust our lives to Him. May it bless and encourage you too, my friend.  🙂 ❤

Believe – prayer whisper

“When you come to Me in your weakness, I am ready to infuse My strength into you, so that you live fully equipped in Me rather than relying on yourself.

Lay aside those heavy weights of your concerns and anxieties. These things sap your energy and captivate your attention. I want you to be free of them so that you can be attentive to My voice, and carry only those things that I assign to you.

Lean hard into Me. I am the solid Rock who keeps you safe, holds you fast and shelters you through hard times. I am the Anchor for your soul to keep you from going adrift.

When storms come, remember that you wear the belt of Truth to keep you afloat. My word and My promises will sustain you. Believe that I have already spoken and it will be fulfilled, even if your eyes cannot see it happening yet.”

“This hope is like a firm and steady anchor for our souls. In fact, hope reaches behind the curtain and into the most holy place.” – Hebrews 6:19 CEV

Learning how to yield to rest

cat- yielding to rest PJ

It’s natural for cats (and babies) to yield to rest at every given opportunity. They swiftly switch off from the world for a while, whenever they feel like it. But it is not always so easy for the rest of us.

I sense God urging this weary woman to desist from her online labours and rest a while. I’ve already had to pull back from so much, including writing as often as I want to.

Yet I sense a sliver of resistance within, even though I am desperate for rest.

The struggles are manifold for a person with M.E who has to carefully consider the use of all (or any) available energy, engage mindfully, pace and rest regularly on a daily basis. To be asked to do so for weeks at a time seems daunting.

Because rest so often feels like a giving in to insignificance rather than a gentle yielding to necessity.

This feels especially true for writers, who are meant to develop and maintain an online presence, retain their visibility.

Questions arise when we have to withdraw for a while: Who am I if I am not present to the world? How can taking time out be such a blessing to me?

And that’s when God steps in with His thoughts to help still our anxious ones…

Prayer Whisper: ‘Yield to rest’

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“In rest and repentance lies your strength. In surrender to Me you find your true significance.

Time may be of the essence, but do you not know that I stand beyond its confines?

Have you not considered how I also wrote eternity into your heart so that you would seek Me with an open mind and embrace My love to infinity?

When you resist rest, you resist opportunity to witness My deeds and to hear from Me in the quiet spaces of your day. 

Unless you can release the drive and desire to succeed or to be seen into My hands, you will wear yourself out in circles of comparison and slip into ditches of discouragement.

Come, My child. Come and rest those ambitions, dreams, hopes and plans as you yield them to Me. I am the One who will exalt you in due time when you humble yourself before Me.

It is My greatest desire for you to walk in daily dependence on Me. Watch and see what the Lord will do. No good thing will I withhold from those who love Me and walk according to My precepts.

Come closer. Relax your hold on life and allow Me to carry you as I also keep all things safe. Here, in My Presence, you will find deeper rest and peace than ever before. A peace only I can give you; peace which no-one can take away.

Trust that all your cares and concerns are safe in My capable hands. I know what you can bear and what is too heavy for you to carry.

Seek My face at intervals throughout your day. I made you and I will sustain you.”

Such words bring me up short. They also allow me to exhale, breathe easy again.

This is a season for slowing down, a time to rest, recoup, recover, become restored. You may find yourself in a similar situation.

We can relax better into a season of rest when we realise how much God looks forward to us spending quality time with Him.

He longs to infuse fresh energy into weary bodies, instil new inspiration into dulled minds. God also requires our willing submission when His Spirit urges us to draw aside for a while, take a break with Him.

I need more rest, more of God’s best for me in every way, and I feel ready to relinquish my hold on other things to make it possible. Will you join me? 

We can meet up here again (and over at Words of Joy) and see what God has worked in us when we’ve become less concerned about our own accomplishments, or the lack thereof.

Forgive me for running way over time for my last #FMF and #letusgrow post for a while. The prompt, ‘rest’ was a beacon to my brain.

Here’s a tiny helping of haiku to set us up for more restful days ahead…

sleep haiku - poetry joy

Intentional awareness

begin PJ FMF file image

There are days that slip by without me being fully aware of their passing or intentional about how I spend my time.

Some get lost in a fog of fatigue. Others are pervaded by pulsating pain.

Many are victims of inner restlessness and inability to settle to anything much.

But those in-between? Times when some energy and mental clarity are present?

They lend themselves to a little more structure and goal setting.

I’ve recently been trying to deliberately add some routine to a life which is far from routine.

And what I’ve noticed is that nothing goes right for long without making space for sacred moments, prayer pauses and soul-sanctuary seeking.

We need intimate moments alone with God.

Without them we become dry, drained and depleted.

We need to spend time in His Presence to rest and receive, be refuelled, refreshed and restored.

Because it is better to live mindfully than mindlessly meandering through our days. Each one is a gift of grace, even the hard ones.

This morning as I flipped through my prayer journal I came across words God imprinted on my heart a while back.

I’m sharing them with you today in the hope that they will bless and encourage you too.

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‘Intentional resting’ ~ Prayer Whisper

Take time each day to commune with Me. Set apart moments to lift your heart heavenwards. For in stillness, rest and quiet lies your strength. In seeking Me, you set the tone of your day as one of surrender to My will and ways. I do not hide Myself. I can always be found by hungry hearts who deliberately draw close to My side.

Be intentional about guarding your schedule to include soul-sanctuary seeking. Devise your days with My guidance. Together, we will accomplish so much more. Dependency isn’t weakness; it’s a sign of faithfulness and trust. The world will overwhelm you soon enough.

Come to Me for inner cleansing, for deep peace and for wisdom to know how to proceed. Lean on Me and learn from Me. I am humble and gentle of heart.

Let Me whisper words you need to hear. An instructed mind and tongue will become a blessing to others. Try not to rush into My Presence or hurry away without pausing to listen. I know your every need before you ask Me for anything, and My greatest desire is to have an intimate, loving relationship with you.

Come close, My child. There is no fear here. Perfect Love casts out fear. I am Holy and I am also tender, rich in mercy and grace. Bring Me your brokenness, your emptiness, your hopes and fears; I will heal, restore, fill to overflowing and provide for you beyond your wildest dreams. Trust Me to take very good care of you with My infinite goodness, patience and love.” 

As part of my soul-sanctuary seeking I have been revisiting ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’ by Brother Lawrence, as well as continuing with ‘Finding Spiritual Whitespace’ by Bonnie Gray, and reading books which reveal how to blend contemplation with creativity. I hope to share more as I delve deeper into these things.

And if you’d like to see more ‘Prayer Whispers’ here, then please let me know in the comments below. Your thoughts matter. Thank you! 🙂

prayer whsiper - intentional resting PJ file pin

Seeking release

seeking release ~ FMF PJ file image

All it takes is a one word prompt and we write brave and free.

Such is the liberty of joining in for #fiveminutefriday

Or do we? Sometimes words stall in our heads and get left unexpressed. We feel blocked or broken inside.

Deep pondering and marinating are not how we operate in this creative writing endeavour.

Giving in to the moment, going with the flow and eschewing perfection is what it’s all about.

But some words stir deep, unsettle and unleash a flood rather than a drizzle.

Such was the result for me of beginning to write about this week’s prompt:’Release’.

I thought a bit, prayed, set the timer and wrote.. and wrote.. and wrote long past the limit. A poetic rambling and prayerful cry too personal to share.

Because this word hits too close to home to give an easy answer to. I’m living change, transition and release. Begging for it while I draw back scared.

Part of me craving an alteration and part of me resenting the effort it will require before lasting change can take place.

Staying the same isn’t an option once God puts His finger on an area requiring change. He will never give up wanting the very best for us.

So we yield easy, or fight our way up like drowning swimmers gasping for air. I’m fighting, and slowly learning how to surrender restfully.

This morning I didn’t set the clock or expect to participate in any writing exercise.

I woke earlier than usual and sensed a holy call to climb out of the covers. I obeyed reluctantly at first, having had a restless, wakeful night and with a body crying out desperate for sleep.

But I’m glad I obeyed. I met with God as He whispered words I needed to hear and felt prompted to share in the hope of blessing you too.

prayer whisper image

Prayer Whisper:’Release’

Re-lease your life into My care. You are not your own; you were bought with the price of My redeeming Love and sacrificial blood. I paid the price to set you free so that you could learn to become fully yourself as I intended you to.

Release ~ the weight of guilt, burden of sin and shame, turmoil of anger, resentment and unforgiveness. It poisons your body and mind to hold on to such things.

Release ~ your hopes, dreams and desires so that they can be sifted and purified, right motive and purpose given, and all submitted to My will and authority.

Release ~ the past, present and future. I see the end from the beginning. I am Alpha and Omega. Trust Me to take care of it all and pave the way for you to walk steadily with Me, moment by moment.

Release ~ all that chains and tethers you to earth. My desire is to make beauty from the ashes, bring hope out of despair and joy from adversity. Let loose all that prevents you from living freely in body and in mind.

Hand over all that you are, have been and will be. You are no surprise to Me. I know you inside out, and will provide the best way for you to grow strong, be fruitful and live compassionately to impact the lives of others for good.

As you release you will find true freedom because I take it all and give back to you only those things that fit who you are and prepare you for My purpose, all that brings joy, peace, rest and ease because you trust in Me.

Letting go takes courage and faith, but it will bring you so much more than those things you cling on to with tight clenched fists. They become stumbling blocks and strongholds preventing forward momentum.

Open your hands, release and ready yourself to receive, My child. I am waiting to give back to you.”

Linking here with Lisa-Jo, Laura and Mel. You are very welcome to join in.

butterfly ~ seeking release PJ FMF file image pin

A new identity

believe who we are in Christ ~ PJ file image

 

Letting go of our past and embracing the future can feel like a step too far.

It’s all we know. Our one certainty is where we’ve come from. Where we’re going to is another matter entirely.

Hearts quake and courage fails. It’s hard to believe for what we cannot see.

Leaving our Egypt behind to enter the Promised Land feels unsafe, dangerous even.

Questions rise to our lips ~ “What if?…” rules. Where is our ‘brave’ when we need it?

How different is it when God calls us to believe who we already are in Christ but we hang back, uncertain, doubting?

Such is the battle I’ve been facing as I attempt to live pre-approved by God.

Those dirty rags of sin and shame? They cling close as weeds, strangling hope and choking forward momentum.

Yet, we are clothed in new garments as believers in Christ.

His death and resurrection to glory paved the way for us to be arrayed in a robe of righteousness.

A Divine exchange took place at the cross ~ our sin, sorrow, shame, sickness and pain for His mercy, grace,  forgiveness, healing and restoration.

God already sees us as perfected, beautiful and whole in Christ. The hard part is seeing, accepting and believing it for ourselves.

Maybe a glimpse of the future we have in eternity will help.

Here’s a link to ‘Casting Crowns’ song, ‘Wedding Day’ which speaks of how we are the Bride of Christ, wearing white, pure and spotless in His sight.

And this is  a prayer whisper God spoke into my life recently. My hope and prayer is that it will bless and encourage you too.

What helps you to feel more secure as a new person in Christ?

Do feel free to join in the conversation below.

prayer whisper image

‘Prayer Whisper’ ~ ‘New Identity’

Let go of the shame and reproach that sit heavy on you. I have taken them from away. You are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. My robe of righteousness covers you. It is enough, more than enough for all sin.

Do not grieve over your sin each day; consider them dead. They have been covered by grace, mercy and forgiveness. Instead, look up; look to the Son and be radiant. Bask in My Love-Light.

You wear robes fit for the child of a King. Those stinking rags of filth and sin do not fit who you are any more.

Reach out each day for My grace. Embrace your new identity in Me and clothe yourself with garments of praise and thankfulness. I have taken all reproach from you. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Pick up the mantle of mercy and wrap it close around you. Remember My loving arms encircle you at all times. There is nothing you can do to make Me love you less; and there is nothing you can do to make Me love you more.”

Linking here with Holley, Rebekah and Jennifer as we seek to encourage your heart with a word today and tell His story of love, mercy, redemption and grace

girl wearing robes fit for the child of a King ~ PJ new identity file image pin

Streams in the wasteland

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She steps lightly, blithely through deep waves of bluebells, inhaling piercing sweet fragrance, a clean sharp freshness clearing away all cobwebbed thoughts.

Invitation to breathe life and hope, new beginnings.

Opening herself to joy. Sensing the nearness of His Presence, hearing Him call her name.

He takes her hand and guides through a sea of snowdrops, dancing daffodils swaying in the breeze, birdsong heralding the pathway toward a rippling stream.

And there He invites her to come close, cupped hands at the ready to scoop out drops of water and drink freely.

She gulps until thirst is satiated. Her body coming alive with strength, energy, vibrancy.

Eyes opened to see beauty all around, her senses awash with awareness, awakening.

Feet moving of their own accord, skipping like a carefree child whose heart only has room for love, joy and laughter.

His voice calls soft, deep and warm as whispers on the wind. Notes vibrate, resonate and pulsate to her spirit.

For the first time in years she feels truly alive. There is no pain, no sadness or sorrow here ~  just sheer exuberance with her Lord.

Reality bites as the vision ends. She inhabits a body gripped by pain and wearied by weakness. Follows her Lord down endless drifting, dusty pathways with little signs of colour and light. Lacking refreshment. Desirous of change.

But on the inside? Here she sings. Here she celebrates. Here she is free. Walking the royal highway with the King of kings.

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” ~ Psalm 16:11

prayer whisper image

Prayer Whisper:’Streams in the wasteland’

I am God of the now. Behold, I am doing a new thing. Can you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is yet to come. As you live more in day-tight compartments, so you will find Me being active and become aware of My Presence.

Begin each day anew. Let your heart fill with expectancy. Watch and see what I will do. Surrender your hopes, dreams and plans into My hands and trust Me for the outcome.

Continue to walk closely with Me and believe that I am preparing the path before you. Whether it is strewn with heavy boulders, littered with pebbles or smooth and easy, My hand is in it all. Many of My children spend years kicking dust and sand in the wilderness. I meet powerfully with them there. Those years are never wasted, nor as bleak and barren as they seem.

Much fruit develops in arid places when you walk closely with Me. These are growing times, spaces and places in your life. Periods to lie fallow while I prepare you for the next step.

May work cannot be rushed. Trust Me to know what I am doing and what I will accomplish in you. A life surrendered to Me is a beautiful thing to bring praise and glory to My Name. And when you emerge out the other side of your valley I will bring you into a green and spacious place, an area of influence and renewed purpose.

Continue to trust and obey as you have extra zest in your step. Do not forget the Lord your God who led you by the hand and kept you safe. Remaining by My side is vital to receive impartation and anointing for today and maintain a heart at rest and peace in Me.”

Grace crumbs:a vision of hope and encouragement, words flowing again, focus and energy to write them here, answered prayer, sensing God’s presence ~  #1000gifts

Linking here with Nacole for #concretewords This week’s prompt is ‘path’ 

And with Jennifer and Holley

prayer whisper ~ streams in the wasteland

Green shoots appearing

Look around you, be still, breathe deep and sense a holy movement.

Bleak and barren are making way for a stirring of life, hope and renewal.

Things may still look dead. Ground hard and unyielding.

Temperature cool and frosty. But new shoots are rising from dark soil.

Fruit will appear.

Reaping will follow. A harvest is on its way.

Sad echoes of loss and emptiness will give way to the brimming vibrancy of God’s Life and Love.

Aslan is on the move and we need to be ready…

‘Stirring’

Something stirs

‘neath the soil

in our winter

of discontent

Pressing through

with persistence

pushing aside

discouragement, resistance

Breaking surface asunder

yielding ~ gasp for air

something new appears

Hope rising

phoenix-bold

from the ashes

of our lives

And we gaze

longing as of old

with awe and wonder

at this intruder

into our darkest days

©JoyLenton2014

 

The words below offer us encouragement, hope and reassurance as we wait to become all we can be. God whispered them close to me and I share in the hope of making you feel less alone with the sowing, waiting, yielding, watering season that precedes new growth.

Stay in faith. Green shoots are there if you look for them. Ask God to open your eyes to His work in your lifeAnd continue to lean heavy on Him as you reach for the skies.

‘Prayer Whisper’:’Green shoots’

“All plants must wither and die. But, rooted to earth as they are, they receive of My life-giving power. Death precedes new birth. A grain of wheat must fall to the earth and die before it produces much fruit.

All the dry, arid places in your life, all the bleak and barren wilderness spaces will be watered again. Green shoots indicate Spring, new life, birth, and hope rising. Look for the green shoots I place on your pathway. They are portents of promise.

Take heart from their appearing. Mighty oaks grow strong from tiny acorns. Do not despise small beginnings. They are a sign of further life to come.

Yield to the season; observe the signs. Watch and see the harvest I am about to bring forth in your life. Water it daily with affirmation from My word, with faith, trust and praise for the promises waiting to be fulfilled.”

*******

You may be in transition, waiting to birth the promises God has given you and see the harvest you so desperately hope for. Keep on trusting and believing, my friend; God knows what He’s doing. Look for the green shoots of potential stirring and believe for more to come.

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Linking here with encouraging friends Holley

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and Jennifer