The word first resonated outside my own mind when I read a post by Bonnie Gray on Faith Barista and she talked about finding a quiet place with God to confide in Him. My "word for the year" turned out to be two words (little rebel that I am): Draw Near. Gratefully, this year I have allowed more space for the pondering of those words and the meditating on the scripture God gave me to accompany them:
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Heb 10:22-23)
Over and over I hear Him whisper, "Draw Near" as He reminds me I can be gentle because He is near.
But this word, CONFIDE, it is different than merely drawing near. Sometimes when I hear the inward call to draw near it is when I am harried and hurried and I hear Him telling me, "My daughter, you are going too fast. Slow down and draw near to Me so you can get your bearings and straighten out your priorities." Other times I hear Him challenging me and asking me to risk even more trust than both He and I have already paid dearly to gain. Even more trust. That trusting costs much as I delve into places which long for Him but fear He won't be faithful this time; fear I will not be enough; fear I will lose what I have gained. I fear though the fears are proven unfounded time and time again. Each time I must learn to risk and learn that He is solid ground. Despite the fears and my inner struggles, He calls, with a clarion, beckoning me to dare one more time to be vulnerable and enter into more and more relationship with Him. This coming is more than the study of His Word, though that is valuable. It is more than sitting in prayer time with organized lists and prayers uttered by saints throughout the ages, though those times are meaningful. This drawing near means coming unglued before Him and allowing Him full access to all of me. I count the cost again.
To be completely honest, I don't always heed the call. I find ways around it. I long for it, but simultaneously I resist it. Sometimes I find ways to stay busy. Other times I dawdle and make insignificant things more important than the drawing near. He doesn't forget His call to me. He persists to draw me near. He knows my frame and is mindful that I am but dust. He accepts my imperfections and woos me to Himself. He knows what remains to block me from Him and intends to move mountains that I might draw even more near and confide. I have much of Him these days, and much of my own self in return. Yet, He calls me deeper.
When I have finally allowed His call to catch me up and I am willing, though hesitant, to be with Him in this way, I remember the word: Confide. I let my guard down and I pray and rattle on to Him like a little girl with her mother. I jump from subject to subject, asking on behalf of friends, confessing my sins, praising Him for His goodness, and when I am spent of words, I rest in His presence and allow tears to come from places I was holding back. It is in the tears that I often hit bedrock and there I am not only drawing near to Him, but allowing Him to draw near to me. He, omnipresent, awaits these invitations, never barging in, but waiting for us to allow Him entry. It is in this place, this inner place, where I confide. I let out things I have not yet shared. I give Him all that is within me.
He sends me blessings and they are secrets between us. I do not have to shout from rooftops. I can hold these treasures in my own heart and keep them as our secret -- maintaining the sweetness by keeping them subdued and private.
I find I want to say things to others when they bring troubles to me, but the more time I spend confiding, the more I develop this inner room of silence where words are not as valuable as some other commodities like listening and compassion and presence. I don't have to speak up, though I can when needed. I can hold my tongue because I spend my time unloading with Him. I am learning to channel those words and the thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams behind them to Him. As I confide, He becomes more central. I am able to be silent when my pre-teen son is under the influence of his hormones. I am able to hold space when a friend is in pain. I don't need to move my son into a different space. I don't need to fix my friend's situation. I can be present and trust the Lord to move.
I have many words, but there are times for silence.
I walk in the world, knowing. I have a secret -- just between me and God, and sometimes a few carefully selected confidants. Actually, there are several precious secrets. I know some things and I have said some things that are for His ears only. I could say them out loud to anyone around me. I could and it would be just fine. Instead, I choose, as Mary did when the angel Gabriel came to her, to treasure and ponder these things in my heart. The longer I hold them, the more dear they become to me. They are a tether to Him and the place we share together. I confide and He holds my confidence. I confide and He cleanses my heart. I confide and I draw near. I confide and am secure. He is the lover of my soul and my confiding is most safe with Him.
Sacred ground can be in the heart as much as it can be in front of a burning bush.
I am held in the secret and sacred places.
Can you hear the call as well?
Linking up with Bonnie Gray at FaithJam Thursdays where courageous writers convene to share our journey during Lent and all through the year.