Friday, June 3, 2011


Accountability from a trusted friend is difficult. It is like swallowing a log, one that has occupied your eye for some time now. So, though the relief of removal is sweet initially, one quickly realizes this is going to hurt going down and will be processed for some time, being fiber and all. Yes, accountability sweet as honey, slicing like a sword.

Let me back up a little and begin with a little bit of background about my fascinating vacation.

It all started with a redirection of funds from our annual plane ticket purchases, invested in a similarly priced R.V.

Then, there we some plans, a whole lot of dreaming, some pretty big hopes. Those, along with our bicycles, were strung to the back of our new vehicle and away we went; taking my husband's few days of the year and laying them out in predictable snippets of time dedicated to equal parts family bonding, relaxing camping, and educational museums. It was all so very exciting.

And then we prayed.

We prayed for the typical things: God's provision, personal safety, our children to deepen their love for one another. Next, we had the bright idea of inviting God to clean house on our hearts: to show us where things might have gotten in between us and His sweet self, and to help our vacation to be rejuvenating on a soul level.

Seems like God was open to answering that prayer, and kept answering it for two whole weeks.

Our R.V. broke down on our first leg.  Then, we made the stressful decision to spend the extra money and fly to our final location.  Well, as if that were not enough, subsequent to our financial and dream based woes; the children got sick, our car at home got towed, and we had an extended family moment that resulted in me crying through a sleepless night, while my children cried through the anxiety of getting caught in extended family drama that was new to them. Whew, it felt like God just didn't like me at all anymore. What had I done?

So, I asked him.

It was around 3am, and I had been falling apart for two weeks now, and with nothing left to hold onto , tears streaming uncontrollably down my face with no stoppage.  I slumped, not so boldly, before the throne, and begged. For mercy, insight, and forgiveness for sins that the Lord- one by one- began to reveal, hurriedly, into my heart.

It was 6 am when I climbed out of bed, called a loving/God pursuing friend to pray for me: but first, she wanted to hear it all.

She called it God's pruning.

She told me to guard my children's hearts, that much of what had happened to us was unfair and harsh; a small comfort. Then, she asked if I wanted her to share a harder word- one for my growth. Issuing a breath prayer, that God help me not be crushed, I said yes.

I am all for growth, you know?

Well, this was the generous "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy (Prov. 27:6)" proverb that I have often read with an ironical interest.

Yes, I like growing more available to God: I beg for Him to create in me a clean heart. I let him know how much I long to know Him more completely, and I want more than anything, to be a better mother, wife, and friend. But does it have to smite so acutely? Does it have to hurt so much?

Apparently, the faithful part is in swallowing the pill, or the big snarly log from my eye - as the case may be.

So, I stand before you, with a cleaning out that leaves me shiny - scathed - but new of heart. A mother who will hold her children more gently, firm, but no longer harsh; a wife with out blame and filled with appreciation, a friend who can not judge, lest she be judged as well.

And the recipe for growth goes something like this:

Put in a enormous dollop of disappointing circumstances outside of your control,
Beat in a friend who loves at all times, even when a hard word is called for
Let rise a revelation of one's sinful heart's secret sins - unspoken, but truly there
Keep wisking in plans that come unraveled whenever a plan is made
Let no settling occur
Give it a week or two
Keep ones heart fresh before the Lord in prayer
Ask your husband often if he feels as blighted as you do, just for good measure
Thank the Lord for your life, and those of your loved ones; taking nothing for granted, keep thanking
When lost, make lists of good things you do have
Hold everything very lightly

And voila, you have the perfect recipe for growth.

You never know, a beautiful purifying of your heart might just come out in the end.

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, that you may know Him better" - Ephesians 1:17

Let's keep asking...


Stephanie said...

Thank you for this post. It's given me a lot to think about. I want to be a true follower of Christ, but - the pruning. How it hurts sometimes!

Paula Greene said...

No doubt that's a vacation you'll NEVER forget I LOVE your recipe for growth! Especially the parts about keeping your heart fresh before the Lord in prayer and holding everything very lightly

Jenny Roan Forgey said...

You are sooooo amazing. You had a choice how to respond and your sincere love for Him motivated you to respond as He did when He looked at the Cross: with humility. I love you, friend.

A castle said...

Ah,sweet heart reaches out to you as I read this, but much more powerfully how wonderful that God has held you gently and lovingly through this time. Thank you for sharing your pruning process!

Allison Hughes said...

This is honorable, the way you pursue Christ in the midst of difficult, disappointing circumstances. What a beautiful, difficult thing. I love your heart!