1.17.2010

A Glimpse of My Heart

Ever since I opened this blog to the public rather than by invitation only, I've noticed that I've held back at times, not wanting to be so open about my thoughts and feelings. I have worries about being so honest. Will people think I'm crazy? Will someone use my blog against me someday? Will someone's feelings get hurt by what I write? So, sometimes in order to protect my own feelings and what is truly in my heart, I decide not to write these thoughts down.

Today is different. I feel like I can't contain what's in my heart right now. I don't keep a journal - this blog kind of serves as my journal - and I don't know that I could put into words what I'm thinking if I had to say them aloud. So instead, I'm taking a risk and writing everything down here in my blog.

Despite never growing up in a church environment, I have always felt God's presence in my life. We found our church home on Easter 2006. I have grown more as a person and learned more about God's teachings these past 3 1/2 years than I can ever remember in years past. For the past 3 weeks, Pastor Danny has led a sermon series called "The Story: Step into Something Greater." During Week 1 he talked about the 5 major "Acts" of the Bible.

Act 1. Creation: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1)

Act 2. The Entrance of Evil: The serpent (Satan) coerces Eve to disobey God's only command, not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Act 3. The Fall: Eve eats from the tree and gives an apple to Adam. Sin enters the word.

Act 4. The Rescue: Jesus is born, lives a life without sin, and dies on the cross as payment for our sin so that we can someday be reunited with our Father. Without this sacrifice, we would spend eternity separated from God.

Act 5. Restoration: Jesus returns! A new heaven and a new earth are created.

The key question that Pastor Danny posed to us at the end of Week 1 was "Will you wake up and see the bigger story and choose to step into something greater?" Although his question did not fully makes its impact until a week later, my heart and my mind are now consumed with his question.

During Week 2, Pastor Danny talked about how lost people (those who are relationsally disconnected from God) matter to God. The Bible says, "...there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." Pastor Danny than shared that God calls those who are found to join Him in bringing those people far from God closer to Him. Matthew 4:19 states, "...follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." I love that phrase "fishers of men".

We also watched a video that day, and the statement was written, "God is far less concerned about what you can do and far more concerned about what He can do through you." Isn't that beautiful? Sometimes it feels so overwhelming to know all of the sad circumstances in our world: abused children, hungry people, Haitians grieving loss of everything they once had, etc. I feel so much stronger knowing that I am not alone fighting these battles; instead, God is working through each one of us toward the greater good.

The first two weeks of this sermon series really got me thinking about the bigger picture. Of course there is grocery shopping to do, diapers to change, work to be done. All of those things are essential to daily life. What I'm truly realizing is that how quickly the days, the weeks, the months, and the years are going by. I think it's finally sinking in how short this life truly is. What do I want to accomplish? What kind of mark can I leave on the world while I'm here? What can I do to help other people find the real message of unconditional love, forgiveness, and salvation that I'm learning about on a daily basis? Placing faith in God and His son, Jesus, isn't just about going to heaven someday. Greater than that awesome gift is getting to live life every single day, walking beside God every step of the way. If God is with me than who can be against me?

I often think about the day that this life will pass, and I will be in my eternal home. I wonder, "Who will be beside me? Who will be waiting for me there? Who will join me there someday?" I think about people I love, people with whom I want to spend eternity. I can't imagine life in heaven without every one of them. I think about strangers, the manager at CVS or our neighbors down the street, who could be living a richer, fuller life if they would place their faith in God and His son. I think we can all find satisfaction in this world without living a life of faith. This world provides all sorts of satisfying things such as other people, money, materialistic items, power, and fun experiences. What is true about all of these things is that they will someday fade away and no longer exist. All of those things will fail us at one time or another. The money will run out. The people will let us down. The TV won't work. We won't find joy in the experiences. What will be left to bring us true happiness and joy?

My heart's desire is to live a transparent life in hopes of inspiring happiness in others. Living a transparent life makes me feel afraid because I know how exposed I will be. I know my thoughts will be rejected, and people won't always respond as I hope they would. But, like Pastor Danny said today in Week 3 of our series, "Nothing can happen to us apart from God's will." This thought gives me courage that even when my fears come to fruition, my transparency might also encourage or inspire someone else. Maybe God will still use that situation for the greater good.

This summer my friend Aly gave me a One Year Bible - New Testament, and I LOVE it! I know you could easily read the Bible chapter by chapter each day, but there is something about having it all divided for me that I just really like. Each night before bed I read my daily reading and write down at least one Bible verse that spoke to me in a journal my mom bought me years ago. I recently started reading Revelation for the first time, and I'm quickly realizing what an intense book it is. There is a lot of symbolism that I don't fully understand, but what I do know is that Revelation captures what will happen at the End of Days. The thought of this world ceasing to exist both excites me and scares me all at the same time.

I think between Pastor Danny's sermon series, which has forced me to identify where I am in this "bigger story", and reading about the End of Days in Revelation, I am seeing the world in a way I've never viewed it before. Going back to Pastor Danny's question from Week 1, "Will you wake up and see the bigger story and choose to step into something greater?" My answer is YES. I am awake. I do want to step into something greater. I want to live a life bigger than myself. This is a glimpse of my heart.

Last night I had a dream, an overwhelming dream that has left me intrigued and fascinated all day. I dreamt that I was in a building, one similar to our church, and the auditorium was filled to capacity with people. I found myself in a room behind the stage, and all of the sudden, I saw Jesus descending into the room. I ran out to tell everyone in the auditorium, but when I got there, the people had already seen Jesus returning to earth. A large number of people had left altogether, and I couldn't understand why. Jesus stood at the top of the stairs, and I fell to my knees and put my forehead to the ground. I remember thinking in my dream, "How will I spend eternity in Heaven?" At that moment, while on my knees with my head to the ground, I thought to myself, "I could just lie like this forever." I had never felt so much full satisfaction in my life. It was truly incredible! As I looked up, still on my knees, I saw a waterfall flowing down in front of the auditorium. Jesus told us that he loved us so much that he sacrificed his own life so that we could spend our lives and eternity with God. He walked over to the waterfall, where a cross was suspended in the air right in front of the waterfall. Jesus took his place on the cross, as if to say, "I would gladly give my life all over again if it would bring you back to me." I turned and looked to see someone I love very much staring back at me. He started asking me about having to make this change or do this act or be this kind of person. When I answered him, I said, "All you have to do is tell God that you love Him, that you believe that Jesus died for your sins, and ask that God forgive you. Ask God to come into your heart, and when He does, He will work through you to make your life more fulfilling and wonderful than you could ever have imagined. You, too, will jump into something greater if you let God lead you for the rest of your life." Then I woke up.

I'm still left to wonder, who will I spend eternity with in heaven? Whose lives will be influenced by this blog? How can I let God work through me without getting in His way by being to fearful to share what I'm learning and how my life is changing every day? This, again, is a glimpse of my heart. Thank you for letting me share with you.

5 comments:

The Cantlons said...

What a beautiful post, Amy!

Shannon said...

Thank you for posting this. I know it isn't always easy to be SO open and honest. Blogging is weird.. in a sense, you feel completely anonymous-- but then you realize that you don't even KNOW who is reading it. I have often held back with my blog about Lane. Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth. This post is the same. Sometimes, people don't want to hear the truth. But, hearing it what we all need.

The Deaton Family said...

Thank you so much for telling this story. I really love where your blog is heading! Thank you for showing us your heart. Maybe it will help open someone elses. :)

hoosiercarlene said...

I loved reading your blog today. Isn't it wonderful what having the Savior in our lives can mean. He has made such a profound change in my life that I can't even imagine where I would be without Him. Knowing what I know has helped me in raising wonderful children who also love the Savior. I appreciate your honest feelings and not being afraid to share them. I know that in the next life if I am faithful and live the commandments I will have the great blessing of being with my family for eternity. That brings great joy and comfort to me.Thanks so much for sharing.

Infarrantly Creative said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. I love you and will live this transparent life with you!

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