Naked

I’ve been in a really vulnerable place with God lately. He is so present around me, but when those moments come where it’s just me and him – I shy away, I hide. He’s still speaking to me and leading me. I’m still talking to him and listening to him. But when he pushes a little deeper and when it starts to get really intimate – my fear or shame or whatever pulls me away.

How can I articulate how it feels to be completely bare before God? It feels like my insides are ripped open and on display, while I am using all of my effort to pull my skin back over my blood and guts so I can be seen by this perfect God. Heaven forbid that his hands get a little bloody…

Everything in me wants to receive this insane love that caused God to endure my pain and blood. All I want is to just melt into his embrace. But still, I try to keep him from seeing the real me.

Who am I fooling though? He CAN see. I’m not very good at hiding, even though I convince myself that I can cover my nakedness from him. And maybe it isn’t so much just letting him see me, but it’s the risk of hoping that he will still want to love me. Sometimes I wonder why he stays…why won’t he leave? My throat closes and tears rise to the surface when I think about this kind of love.

I find myself exhaling a sigh of relief when I realize that he is so confident, that he didn’t make a mistake, that he isn’t worried, and that I can trust him.

Last week, I was at a concert by myself. The artist sang an intimate love song and I sat still as I listened to the beautiful words. My heart could feel the longing in the lyrics…a longing not for romance, but for this radical lover of my soul. Even though this deep intimacy and nakedness before God terrifies me, I’m ready to lose everything for him to say that he is mine.

“Ready To Lose”
(Ingrid Michaelson feat. Trent Dabbs)

When you coming home?
It’s the quiet in the night
That makes my mind make noises and guessing second times
Tell me that you’re mine
Say it one more time

I’m ready to lose everything but you
I’m ready to lose everything but you
Everything
Everything

It’s the heart in you
I know it in my bones
That made me change direction when I thought better off alone
Say it one more time
Tell me you are mine

I’m ready to lose everything but you
I’m ready to lose everything but you
Everything

Tell me that you’re mine
Say it one more time
Tell me that you’re mine
Say it one more time
Tell me that you’re mine
Say it one more time
Say it one more time
Tell me that you’re mine

I’m ready to lose everything but you
I’m ready to lose everything but you
Everything
Everything

Say it one more time
Say it one more time

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brave

When I decided to accept the 2014 dating challenge, I didn’t think much about it.  I was nervous for a minute or two but then just jumped all in and got really excited.  That’s me…all or nothing.

As soon as I posted the blog about it, one of my close friends texted me, “You are so brave!”

I wondered…What exactly did I get myself into that people think I’m so brave? Is it really that scary?

Then it hit me. This is terrifying! Putting yourself out there, risking rejection, facing fears, coming up against insecurity, getting vulnerable…why am I doing this again?

I soon realized that by taking on this challenge, I am taking on some of the biggest demons and darkest thoughts in my life. Part of me was intimidated and has often wanted to throw in the towel, but another part of me has continually risen to the occasion. That part of me wants to see my life free from such darkness that would constantly try to steal my joy. It wants to battle and war for freedom!

Last month, that same friend (without remembering her previous exhortation) told me again…“You are so brave!”

This time I didn’t feel so brave. In fact, I felt incredibly powerless and weak. I sat wondering, “what does it even mean to be brave?” Is it always doing what is painful for a more fruitful outcome? hoping? believing? …choosing to trust an unseen sovereign God? And I think that’s exactly what it means…but it’s nothing that I can conjure up on my own.

For hours, I cried and prayed for mercy as I listened to Bethel’s new song/album “You Make Me Brave” on repeat. I felt like I couldn’t even climb into God’s lap, but I needed him to come all the way down to me and pick me up. And he did.

When I couldn’t see it, believe it or feel it, he was leading me further away from the shore and deeper into unknown waters. My soul can’t understand it and often resists, but my spirit gave into him.

It really is only God who makes me brave.

“You make my footsteps and paths secure so walking on water is just the beginning. Cause my face to arise, stand at attention. For you are calling me to greater things.”