“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Several months ago in late spring, right in the middle of closing on our new house and anticipating the new life we were jumping into, an invitation arrived in the mail.
It was an invitation that came unexpectedly… from a woman I had never met personally… and invited me to join a group of other women from across the country that I had no personal knowledge or connection to.
The funny thing, though, is that in my quiet times before the Lord, I had been praying – PRAYING – with tears for help. My spirit and creativity were drying up; I had been feeling lonely in my writing, wandering in my work, questioning my calling. Even though everything on the outside said “good” and “put together”, my insides were a mess.
“Father, please,” I had asked Him… “Please place someone in my life that understands this place that I’m in – someone who can help me discern what you’re calling me to do with all You’re faithfully giving to me.” Days upon days went by – and soon weeks of this prayer, always the same: “Father, I know you see me. I need you – I need your guidance to calm me in this storm of confusion, and to focus me on using my gifts and talents for YOUR work.”
Then… He showed up in an invitation to The Open Door.
I chuckled to myself as I read the invite thinking, “Lord, I asked for someone… are you serious? You’re giving me an entire GROUP??”
I continued to read and when I got to the themed verse of the entire event, He whispered through it, “Yes, sweet girl. I’m giving you an entire group, and here is My purpose: that, when you walk through this open door, YOU WILL KNOW MY POWER, together with all of My people, and be able to grasp how WIDE and LONG and HIGH and DEEP My love for you is, and that My abundant love surpasses all knowledge.”
Fast forward. Priest Lake. Food. Prayer. Laughter. Wine. Song. Women I came to adore within seconds of meeting them. We opened our hearts, shared our visions, spilled our souls – and, in our vulnerability, Jesus met us. Through our talks He cast new light on our old stories; He softened hard places as we realized we are not alone in our struggles; He filled up the places that came empty; He took the baggage we were afraid to let go of; and, He inspired us to keep moving.
So, while I’ve tried to figure out how to tell you all about it, the truth is this: I just can’t. There simply aren’t enough words that would do the experience justice. What I can tell you, however, is this: when we seek Him, we find Him. Period.
As He called me to the shores of Priest Lake, He used the time away to remind me that when we pursue Him, He brings us to sweet places. Yes, we must be willing to call and seek and search…but, more importantly, we must also be willing to let him say things to us that are hard to hear. We must be willing to let Him tell us we’ve been (or are being) prideful, or selfish, or mean… we must be willing to hear it’s us that needs to change, not the one we’re pointing at… we must be willing to be humble and broken so that He can fill in the gaps… and, we must be willing to do the hard things He asks of us – things like serve, forgive, trust, honor, hope, seek peace, lead with love, stop going our own way.
He’s calling our hearts, people. HIS DOOR IS OPEN. I’m telling you this because, here I am, 42 years old and ‘pulled together’ – yet I am human. From a past of brokenness. Prone to pride, anger, and bitterness. Not always happy to serve. Insecure, unsure, and longing for hope. The more diligently I seek Him, however, I more see Him… and when I see Him – like I did so mightily in the presence of the 11 beautiful women who started as strangers – I am able to take a deep breath, throw off everything hindering and entangling my spirit, and continue to run with perseverance this race marked He’s marked out for me.
You may not have a retreat you’re about to go on, but can I just encourage you today to seek right where you are? If you are discouraged, or exhausted, or questioning, or lonely, HE CAME TO SAVE AND HIS DOOR – AND HIS ARMS – ARE OPEN.
You are loved… adored… desired… valuable… needed. If I can pray for you in a specific way, please let me know – I would so love to come alongside you as you seek Him.
I’m blessed you’re here with me.
PRAYER: Father, while I thank you for the mountaintop experience You have brought me through, I pray for anyone reading who is longing to see you, not as the world portrays you, but in Spirit and Truth. May Your light shine bright in this dark world… and, as we seek, show yourself faithful and true to the brokenhearted. Thank you for how You love us unconditionally – and how, because of your Son’s willing sacrifice, we can have HOPE and HEALING. Thank you for who you are: unchanging, faithful, and true. In Jesus’ name, Amen.