This is part of something I wrote in 2002.
Lord, here’s my heart. Battered and bruised. It’s been torn apart. Misused and abused. But it’s still beating. Getting stronger through pain. And I’m searching, yearning for a higher gain.
The package isn’t great. I don’t have ribbons or bows. But my heart is here to take. Fill me till it overflows. Your love, your grace, fill every empty space.
As I read part of this poem recently my mind was playing scenes from that time in my life. Everything was about to take a very painful, unexpected turn (and I was just learning to heal from my childhood.) 2003 was one of the hardest years to date, though 2013-2014 rival it. I was young, fresh out of Bible college. I didn’t have the maturity I have now. When I look back on this time I wonder how I made it through.
I spent a lot of energy during this season trying to figure out my purpose. Yes, I read that book on it. And many others. I read my Bible. Took personality tests. Spiritual gifting tests. You name it, I likely took it or read about it. And yet I was still confused. Hurting. Searching.
It’s only been recently that I’ve truly discovered my purpose. Reflecting Him. The rest is learning what characteristics I specifically am given to share with others. We are all called to bear the fruits of the Ruach (Spirit) as in Galatians 5:22-23. My desire is to emulate Him.
Looking at the present through a now messianic lens, my once excitement for Torah has taken some hits. Hard ones. My spiritual identity has been questioned. I’ve seen the harsh, prideful, puffed up attitude many get sucked into. Sadly, I have watched some slide into Judaism, New Age, or atheism. They’ve become disheartened and disillusioned by the lies and lack of transforming power. The Ruach (Spirit) is an unfortunate afterthought. The cross is ignored or shunned. It’s blind faith. Loveless. Arrogant.
Their first love is lost.
Sometimes I wish I was back in 2002, in its simplicity, but I realize I obviously can’t time travel. Nor should I desire to. Youth brings a purity and zeal to faith. But with age and experience comes healing, wisdom, and a greater understanding of love and compassion. That time in my life has some wonderful and painful memories. They each have shaped me and taught me valuable lessons.
Looking back on snapshots in time through journal entries, poems, pictures etc can be such a comfort. A reminder and validation. But I’ve discovered it can also hold you back. There are times I’ve let my mind wander to what was. The blessings and fun experiences as well as the regrets. Mistakes. Heartaches. All we can do anything about is in this moment. The now.
Today, I want to challenge you to live now. Keep your eyes on Him, not behind you or up ahead. The enemy hits us with lies that say the best already was or our lives are wasted. Perhaps we are worrying about what might be around the bend. Sadly, we forget to appreciate the present. No matter how good or bad the past was, what we have is the present.
It is truly a gift.
Matthew 6:25-29 ESV “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Philippians 4:6-7 ESV do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.