A Note to a Friend

mailbox

Dear Friend,

I have written this note to you numerous times in my head.  Over and over the words turn, the thoughts grow but nothing ever seems to fully encompass the message I want you to hear.

So I start by asking for your forgiveness…

If I have not show you grace, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, love, kindness, humility, gentleness, if I have been less than a follower of Christ…please forgive me.  If I have caused your heart to be calloused, for you to doubt God’s people, for you to feel as an outcast…please forgive me.

Words can hurt; even more so to someone who is already hurting.  My intention was never to drag you down any deeper into the pit of despair.  Never did I want you to feel the hand of humanly judgment, when God’s judgment is enough.

If you will allow me to explain with meager words how I think ‘friends’ are attempting to help…

Iron sharpens Iron, just as one friend sharpens another.  Yep, we all need accountability.  I am the first to say if you see me trapped in satan’s lies, please fill me in.  Don’t let me go down that road any further.  But the problem here is there are times in our lives when we just aren’t Iron.  We are weak and vulnerable and raw, so when others come along and try to sharpen us (or expose darkness) it’s painful.

I am not saying we should overlook, or allow a friend to sit in darkness, but we should first show grace, love, mercy and compassion.  And sadly many times our first emotions are anger, frustration, and annoyance.  We rush after the sinner and our words shout out, how could you?  We see the wounds of those around without thinking of the gushing pain of the one fighting in darkness.  We throw stones from a distance instead of love from up-close.  We pick the wrong battle with the wrong enemy.

So, I humbly say to Jesus, I am sorry I was no help in this battle.  I prayed, yes.  But I also judged, gossiped, used words without grace…spoke without seeking God first.  I am thankful the power of God can overcome, even when His people fall short.

I love you my dear friend.  I would do battle for you any day!  Thank you for being vulnerable and speaking out.

CRAVE

As I was taking an early morning drive to the airport, a thought came to me…

If I do not crave YOU – to worship You, to study You, to speak to You, to learn from You – what am I replacing You with?  How did this happen?

I remember a time when I craved God.  When I could easily awake and crawl out of bed at 5 or 5:30 am, just to sit, read and learn from Him.  There was no special drink involved, no certain Bible study I was following, no dire need I was necessarily in, it was my Creator and I, it lasted for over an hour each morning and I could not get enough.

It started as a call to prayer.  It was a very distinct warning that I needed to devote my morning to praying for my husband.  Honestly, at first I might have been obedient out of fear…fear that something was going to happen to him.  Josh had been working a lot in his own business and things in our lives were very subtling crumbling.  (Story to come later, it’s a sweet one!)

There are few words to describe a life like that – a life so in tune with the Holy Spirit that you can hear His every lesson for you.  It is beautiful and magical and far above words.  I recall reading Scriptures and He would give me a name to be praying that specific Scripture for.  In fact, He would give me Scriptures to right down and insert someone’s name in.  He was the Teacher and I was the willing student and it flowed like life should.

So here I am, vowing to get back to that kind of relationship.  To CRAVE Him more than my to-do list, more than my cleaning and laundry schedule, more than my time with friends, more than my breakfast, even more than my workouts.

Yes, Father, I say yes!  To all of You.  You are my Source for all that I need.  There is no other fulfillment than sitting at Your feet.  Forgive me when I put anything or anyone before You – Idolatry.  Take this life You have given me and use it for Your Glory.

Love You

-A

Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever.  (John 6:35 MSG)