week 2: birthing-part 2 (metamorphosis: embracing a life of becoming)

METAMORPHOSIS-01

On the counsel of some trustworthy friends (preceded by the leading of God), I’m extending this series. I have to be honest — I felt like last week’s birthing post was pretty academic (for lack of a better word), and as I wrote it, I struggled a lot. I felt it lacked personal connection and any kind of transparency, which is sort of a huge thing for me.

I’ve decided to add on to each week, and use personal testimonies of how I’ve experienced each of these stages of transformation. Because if you’re like me,  you glean so much more by hearing someone’s story…and you like to be talked with, not talked at. So the first week of a new stage will be sort of the “thinking” post, and the second will be the “feeling” post. 

I hope you’ll bear with me as I try to funnel down this message of becoming into something you can take and carry into your back pocket. I’ll probably fail miserably — but the wonderful blessing about writing in this space is that y’all love me anyway. (grin)

Thank you for coming alongside this journey and throwing grace my way. And if this is your first visit, be sure to check out the introduction to this series.

It was one of those “lightening bolt” mission trips. The kind where every moment you feel God zapping you and showing you something new, something different, something profound. Where you literally feel yourself changing right then, right there…never to be the same again.

Have you ever had that kind of experience?

It was a spiritual mountaintop for me. The highest of highs where I felt like I had seen heaven — there, on the other side of the world — surrounded by young people representing over 60 nations. Where everyone sang in their own tongue, and the blending of all those voices and languages and dialects was pure symphonic beauty. It made me weep. Every day for nine days, I wept.

Have you ever had that kind of experience?

The return to the States felt like an eternal Sunday night — that feeling of knowing Monday is looming right around the corner and you’d give anything…anything…not to have to face it. I didn’t want to go back to normal. I didn’t want to face the job I had no passion for, a lifestyle that felt excessive, a void of the heaven as I experienced there. Something was birthed in me there. It was huge and filled every empty place and I didn’t want it to fade away.

My first week of reentry was hard. One day as I drove to work I loudly played a Romanian rock CD and remembered what I felt seeing the band play live just a week before. The moment I passed through a toll booth on the interstate, I was immediately overcome by a scripture that God pressed on my heart…hard.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

The tears sprung forth and my heart wanted to burst right out of my chest and I couldn’t bear the ache I felt. The Word, watering the change that was birthed on the trip, was glued to my soul. I pictured what that meant and I wondered how I’d make it all happen. I mentally listed all I’d sell and how I’d tell my parents I was moving across the globe.

A few weeks later in church, as I closed my eyes in worship and sought God desperately, I was again immediately overcome with a scripture that sounded like it was being whispered into my ear — like a secret from a best friend that she just wants you to hear.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! …new thing! …new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

The tears sprung forth again and my heart wanted to burst out of my chest again…but this time it wasn’t an ache I felt but a joy. A deep, simmering, reverential joy and I suddenly couldn’t wait to see what God would do next. My time had come. He was moving and I was so excited to be along for the ride. I pictured what that meant and I wondered how I’d make it all happen. In my mind I saw how I’d quit my job and what it would feel like to walk off an airplane in a country that required a visa for me to stay there.

Have you ever had that kind of experience?

There’s a flip side to that verse in Isaiah that I didn’t know then — there’s a shift that is required to make a new thing possible. I didn’t know that for God to create something new in me, it meant that something old had to die. (tweet) I didn’t know there were things that had to be pruned and killed and that it’s an excruciating and painful process. I didn’t know I’d immediately go into a time of crawling…into a wilderness of my own where Satan tempted and used scripture and where he would have been very pleased to give me his kingdom. For a very steep price.

I just didn’t know.

So when the crawling time came, I was angry and heartbroken and mesmerized and lured all at the same time. In moments of despair it was so easy to shake my tiny, human fists at God as I fell headfirst into the pit. I thought you were creating something new! I thought you were pleased to give me the kingdom! Where are you?! FIGHT! FOR! ME!

I didn’t know that I had to crawl. God needed to kill my interpretation of His word so I’d willingly accept His definition of it.  (tweet)

He births what He births. It’s not up for interpretation or debate or compromise. And what He births requires of us — it requires holiness and righteousness and an obedience to lay down the very word He gave. To lay down our Isaac. And it requires a willingness to hold up a mirror to our sinful selves and allow Him to purify us — so that our desires become His desires and He can be pleased to give us His kingdom.

And when we allow ourselves to obey and lay down and be purified, we begin our crawl.

What experiences can you look back on and identify as birthing times? Are you able to see God’s divine plan in it now? Have you forgiven God, if necessary, for His word looking different than you initially thought it would?

My friend, He is for you. His heart yearns to be one with yours. Spend a few minutes this week jotting down some of those birthing times and tell Him your feelings about them. Ask Him to show you why things turned out differently than you thought they would. I’m willing to bet He’s more than ready to share. 

Love,

MDS-SIG-01

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8 thoughts on “week 2: birthing-part 2 (metamorphosis: embracing a life of becoming)

  1. Pingback: week 8: wrap-up (metamorphosis: embracing a life of becoming) | elevate ideas.
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  5. Pingback: week 4: crawling, part 2 (metamorphosis: embracing a life of becoming) | elevate ideas.
  6. I’ve never had the “half-way across the world” kind of experience, so much as the “standing stock still in the midst of His Holy Work” kind of experience. That letting go of my own tiny human interpretation to take on His definition. To own His definition in my heart? That is the tricky part. Even. Right. Now.

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