Learning to release

balloon ~ i will rise file image

Days go by and we feel strangely heavy, our souls saturated, weighed down to ground.

Sometimes it’s hard to put our finger on why we are so lethargic and laden.

Sometimes we fail to see what burdens we are carrying, accustomed as we are to their presence.

Sometimes it takes a final filling, a last straw load to tip us over.

And a whispered reminder from Holy Spirit.

He calls soft across the shadows of our mind, His voice gaining urgency to alert our attention.

He warns us we are already full to overflowing in the way we so often try to live life unaided by His grace.

And He speaks wisdom to our spirit. A voice we know yet seldom heed in our pursuit of more, of enough, of extra stuff.

We receive a gentle reminder of Who is our Burden-bearer and how He stands ready to catch us when we falter and fall.

A call to relinquish, let go, release, relax our tight grip on it all.

Stop… Pause… Breathe… Pray.

A call to pursue God, yield to grace, be filled with Holy Spirit gifts rather than heavy with worldly worries and cares.

Because living lightly and freely is God’s plan for you and me.

Releasing

You surround me like ocean undertow

But I don’t see Your sacred sea

when my eyes are fixed to ground

picking up problem-pebbles in my hand

I examine each and every one

Note each mark, each line and scar

Reluctant to release them

even though my hands overflow

Then I hear a whisper on the wind

calling across the ripples

of my troubled mind

An invitation to let go

Focus my gaze on You alone

instead of holding on to sharp

stones biting into skin

My fingers slowly uncurl

Feeling strangely vacant, light

Watching mesmerised

as each pebble thuds hard

into the sand, until I am

left with empty, open hands

reaching out to You ~ unfurled

©JoyLenton2015

“Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully” ~ 1 Peter 5:7

pebbles release poem pin

Living freely

Aren’t you relieved there are no identi-kit Christians?

We don’t have to look or sound alike.

Having unity together is more about fellowship and being united in love than having full agreement on more than the fundamentals of our faith.

We are allowed to be ourselves. See wood where others see trees. Sense Holy Spirit’s presence in a variety of ways.

God meets us right where we are, at our point of greatest need.

He chased me and wooed me with His unconditional Love.

It was something I’d never encountered before, but my empty, old before its time, desperate-child heart yearned for it.

Here was safety. Here lay security. Here flowed acceptance and peace.

And I came to faith in a ‘happy-clappy’ environment where joy and exuberance were the order of the day.

I wore ‘Jesus Loves Me/You’ stickers, a big grin, innocent optimism in sharing my new-found life in Christ, and a profound gratitude toward God for the glorious gift of salvation.

So I continued for a little while until mental health breakdown, partial recovery, followed by life’s multiple challenges, another breakdown and a haunting legacy of childhood abuse sucked all the joy out of life.

Depression and emotional pain skewed my thinking, clouded my judgement, and left me lost in the wilderness for many years.

Where did God feature? Was His love enough? Was it my fault?

A slow recovery took place and I had a fresh revelation of grace. I drank it deep into my very being as soul manna and sustenance.

But having begun my faith journey majoring on love and forgiveness, I was still largely ignorant of sin and reluctant to speak or think about it. This woman was already stained by her past, full of guilt, shame, self-recrimination and condemnation. And God loved her anyway. 

Because, wasn’t God a God of love? Didn’t grace and forgiveness cover all?

Oh yes.

Though grace is cheapened if we fail to fully appreciate the price Jesus paid to secure it for us.

Now, a little older (and wiser maybe?), though I still struggle with self-esteem issues and will always veer the conversation round to grace and encouragement than otherwise, it is gradually dawning on me how sin cannot be ignored or swept away.

And I am still getting my head around how to achieve the balance between hating sin yet not hating myself. Maybe you get stuck there too?

My soul seeks freedom from all that chained me and those things enslaving me now.

I want to embrace grace and be free to give it to others.

So I am leaning into His love as I think. question, talk about sin’s effects and outworkings, see how fallible and tainted I am and yet (marvellously) so dearly loved and cherished by our heavenly Father ~ just as you are too.

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Here is a ‘Prayer Whisper’ which God poured into my listening heart last February. It still speaks volumes to me and I hope it will bless you too:

file000402181324“How easily you can fool yourself that you’re not sinning. To justify your actions with excuses and cover-ups.

Allow My Holy Light to shine upon your thoughts, words and deeds. Do not be afraid of its consuming power. It will not harm you.

I seek only to burn off the dross and detritus you carry. Such things weigh you down, sully your relationship with Me and sour your interactions with others.

I want to set you free, even from those burdens you have barely noticed as such ~ so familiar have they become.

It is only in the cleansing which follows letting go and laying down that real change and transformation can happen.

Bad habits pollute your mind and body. Once you are able to set them down before Me, you can begin the process of breaking free from them.

Open yourself. Be real before Me. I already know everything about you. Seek to live freely and lightly in the liberty of My Presence.

My purity and power are available to enable and equip you for the next stage of your journey.”

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“The fact that God is love, that He is pure, holy and righteous is the reason why He is angry at sin. It violates, distorts, and destroys what His purpose is. Wrath is inevitable to a God of love, otherwise the love would be tenuous and weak” ~ Charles Price ‘My Daily Journey with Christ’ 

Joining here with Diana and other questing souls as we are #LivingtheQuestions and #LivingintotheAnswers

This week’s question:”What’s with all this talk about sin?”  You are very welcome to hop over and join in the discussion.

Also linking with Mel and Laura

Laying it down

Are you feeling burdened and heavy laden?

This season lends itself to introspection as we approach the year’s end.

Cares cling to us like barnacles.

Anxieties anchor us to ground.

Weighed down and weary.

Resistant to being shrugged off.

Sometimes we forget that God isn’t asking us to carry them.

Our frame is not built for such loads.

We are meant to hand them all over to Him as soon as they strike.

“Pile your troubles on to God’s shoulders – he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out” ~ Psalm 55:22

And I know I so often forget to do just that.

Allowing an invasion of heaviness to sink heart and soul.

Waves of worry try to drown me.

Turbulent tides of tension make me lose my equilibrium.

Until I make a conscious decision to do something about it.

‘Divine exchange’

I lay down my worry

knowing Your wisdom is best,

I lay down my hurry

and sink into Your rest.

I lay down my heartache

and let the tears fall,

knowing You understand

and Your Love covers all.

I lay down my guilt

and dark covering of shame

whose muddied silt

falls off at Your Name.

I lay down my fears

and name every one

that has haunted my years

as clouds obscure sun.

I lay down my pride

though it stubbornly clings

and sigh, grateful for the

sweet relief it now brings.

I lay down the right

to have my own way

and decide to hold light

to my plans for each day.

And in laying these down

I am being set free

from self-preoccupied living

into grace-filled liberty.

©JoyLenton2013

“God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace” ~ Psalm 29:11

I have written more about surrendering on Words of Joy this week. 

Day 29 ~ 31 days of  #poetryforthesoul

Linking here with Mel for Essential Fridays link up