Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I think one of the coolest things about Walking with God is when He confirms and reconfirms that you are, in fact, hearing His voice.  Had it not been for some very key confirmations, I probably would have given up on even trying to hear Him, again.

It was such an internal struggle for me.  Wanting to hear Him so badly, but not being able to discern what was and what was NOT His voice...

I'm one of those unlucky souls who is a product of legalism...  You know, try real hard to do everything right, look perfect, try harder, what is wrong with you, why aren't you perfect yet, legalism.  Throw in a few other less than perfect circumstances in life and the result is a whole heckuva lot of condemnation, guilt, shame and all around not good enough syndrome.  Did I mention guilt?  This, of course, fosters a view of God that is not exactly who He actually is.  Again, you know the one, ready to smite you at the drop of hat, cannot be pleased no matter how hard you try, wishing you could be like so and so, ready to give up on you if you don't get it figured out, and overall just mad at you more often than not.  

Getting back to my point.  I want to hear God, but it's taken me about 5 years to figure out God is nothing like what I just described.  Okay, so now I have figured out that God is, in fact, crazy in love with me, despite the fact that He knows I will never get it right on my own.  This is someone I'm willing to chat with.  But how?  

Anyone that knows me, knows I can talk like the Lions can suck.  I mean, I. Can. Talk.  This isn't the problem.  I'm also a very good listener, when I get enough sense to hush for a hot second. So why can't I hear God?  The ROAR of the voices in my head...  Oh, make it stop!   Now - let me clarify.  I won't even try to convince you that I'm NOT crazy, because I'm completely convinced that I am.  However, that's not what I mean by voices in my head.  It's almost like second grade again.  The teacher asks a question and at least 5 kids are stretching their arms out of the sockets - Pickmepickmepickme!!!!!!  Only in my head, the little brats don't wait to be called on, they just shout out the answers.  Guilt is always the loudest.  Shame usually has something to say...  Are you following me or have I completely lost you?  I ask God a simple question. Should I?  I assume that whatever answer I want to hear isn't God.  On some sick level, it may be that I still can't shake my old idea of God, so deep down I may still be thinking - why on earth would God want to give me what I want, right?  Even if I know it's possible that God could give me my hearts desire, (hello - that's in the Bible!) I still really hesitate to hear a voice in my own head telling me the answer I like to a question that I asked and say - GOD SAID!  I mean really, be careful with that one, right? But if I hear the other answer, the one I don't want to hear, what I think God would say, then isn't that just me still?

So you can see how it would just be easier to throw in the towel.  Which is what I did, about the first five hundred times I tried it.

One day, I decided I would step out in faith.  What a concept, right?  So I decided, I would go with what I truly thought God was saying.  I thought, hey - as long as he's not telling me to jump off a bridge or kick my dog, what's the worst that could happen?  So I started giving it a try.  I also decided that I would write down my conversations.  I discovered something very cool...

It turns out, though I might interrupt other people, at times, I don't seem to be able to interrupt myself.  At least, not when I'm talking to God and writing it down.  As I'm writing out my own thoughts, if something sort of "breaks through", I've found it's usually God speaking.  I started going with it.  "Is there anything else, Lord?"  And there was.  "Where should I read, Lord?"  James.  "James?"  James took me to someplace in Corinthians, because at the top of James, in my Bible, I'd written Corinthians something or other.  I go there.  More of the same. It's all speaking into what I'm struggling with.  Paul is bringing it.  Yes, this is definitely God.  I couldn't make this up if I tried.  

One day I was reading in Proverbs.  Every day that I sit down intentionally with the Lord, I read the corresponding Proverb.  Ever notice there are 31 Proverbs?  Some months it works out perfectly, others - you read an extra or two the last day.  It's awesome.  Anyway, it must have been the 3rd of this month, because I was reading in Proverbs 3.  Verse 5 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In ALL your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.  It really spoke to me that day, even though I'd heard it approximately one million times before.  I thought Wow.  In ALL your ways.  Not in some of your ways, or when you feel like it, or when you're laying down to sleep at night or when you stub your toe or run out of gas.  In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.  It was a pretty big deal.  That was Friday.  On Sunday, the former Pastor of our church came up and "brought a word"  (this happening in church is a little new to me, which is the only reason I put quotes around it.)  He said that God woke him up in the middle of the night and said he needed to share this in church the next day.  Any guesses?  Proverbs 3:5.  Confirmation.  

So. Here I am.  On this journey.  And it makes more sense than it used to.  I have a lot more work to do, but I took a tiny step of faith and God has been lighting a little more of the path for me each time I trust Him and move forward.  I love it.  God told me some other BIG DEAL stuff and I thought, Well, this is great - but I don't know what my husband is going to say.  My husband said - yep, God told me the same thing.  What a relief.  

So.  When the voices in my head are so loud, I just say shut up.  When I hear God's still small voice I say, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Walking with God

I am currently rereading Walking with God, by John Eldredge.  He is definitely one of my favorite authors.  He is the author of Waking the Dead, which I love, and Wild at Heart, which I've been unable to get into - since it is written for men.  He also coauthored the book Captivating with his wife Stasi.  What an amazing book.  Obviously, I highly recommend John Eldredge.  This is not a complete list of his books, just the ones that I own.

Walking with God has been instrumental in my journey to hear God and trust His voice.  I've struggled for awhile with hearing Him.  I really didn't even know I should be listening for Him until about 5 years ago.  The first time I heard my new friend say, "God told me such and such," - I have to admit, I had my doubts.  The more I got to know this friend, and others like her, the more I realized,  Hmmm.... She doesn't seem to be crazy... and she definitely seems to believe that God does in fact talk to her.  Interesting...  So, I decided to give it a try.  I would occasionally pause to hear God or specifically ask Him a question.  There were even times when I thought it might be working.  But by and large, I doubted.  When I could quiet the roar of voices in my head down to one, I had no idea who it was that was still standing.  Is that me? Is that God?  Is that my guilt and shame (and essentially the enemy) that is so at work in my mind, due to all the license I had given to condemnation over the years?  What if it's not God I'm not about to start doing things, claiming God told me ANYTHING, unless I can know for certain that it IS indeed Him that is speaking.  I got discouraged. I basically gave up.  Every single time that I went to Him, I had the identical argument with me, myself and I, as well as anyone else that had made it into my head...  It was frustrating and annoying, so I eventually gave it up.  If I didn't read it in black and white somewhere between Genesis and Revelation or hear it directly from the trusted mouth of someone who I knew loved God and could be used for His purpose in my life, I wasn't trusting that God had anything to do with it.

Enter Walking with God.  You know how once you know something you can't not know it? Yeah.  It's like that.  As John says, "We have two options.  We can trudge through on our own, doing our best to figure it all out. Or, we can walk with God.  As in, learn to hear His voice.  Really. We can live life with God.  He offers to speak to us and guide us.  Every day.  It's an incredible offer.  To accept that offer is to enter into an adventure filled with joy and risk, transformation and breakthrough.  And more clarity than we ever thought possible."

Well, ain't that the truth?  Any clarity is more clarity than I thought possible.

So, I opted to go for it.  Give it a try.  Transformation?  Breakthrough?  Joy?  Yes, please.  Risk? Well, if it's a package deal, then I guess I'll take a side order or risk, too.  

And so it began.  My trysts with the Lord.  My morning meeting, so to speak.  We sit.  We chat.  I write it all down, because - I've had a baby and my memory seems to have permanently malfunctioned.  Sad to admit, but I even forget what God Himself tells me.  So I write it down.  Because here's the thing:  You don't desire to hear him, and then fight through figuring it out to then forget it.  No - it must be taken seriously.  And hearing God with out obedience?  Well, now that would be worse than not hearing Him at all.

Thanks for reading, friends.  Don't forget to meet with Him.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My new blog...

I've been following a lot of blogs these days.  I suppose it's my latest obsession.  I used to faithfully post on my xanga site.  Okay, well - not faithfully, but I used to post.  Now it has become Chloe's photo album.  Keeping friends - near and far - up to speed on her latest antics...  I decided I wanted my own space.

So here it is...  My own space.  My hope is to share my journey with the Lord.  The lessons He's teaching me, what we share when we meet, how He's molding and shaping me to be more and more like Him.

Within the last few months, I've been trying to make my quiet times absolute priority.  It's difficult for various reasons...  For one - when life is easy, I don't run to my daddy's lap.  These days, even when life isn't easy, the laundry, dishes and vacuuming (all my favorite never ending chores....) still need to be done.  I've decided, it's time to get serious.  Serious about meeting with Him.  Reading His word.  Talking to Him.  Most importantly, Listening to Him.  That is a skill, dear friends.  I'm excited to be honing it.  It's coming along nicely.

So, this brings me to the title of my blog.  This word tryst came up about three different times.  In a book, on a shirt, and I can't remember the other thing.  I finally decided God was trying to tell me something.  I looked it up on dictionary.com and immediately knew - this is what I will be calling my quiet times.  This is my favorite definition: an appointment to meet at a certain time and place, especially one made somewhat secretly by lovers.  

So, there you have it.  Welcome to my space.  My space where I will be reflecting and sharing what the Lord and I are doing in our daily tryst.