This is my first post this year and I find its topic perfect. My heart is full of joy, satisfaction, delight, worship, wonder, yearning, pleasure and treasures. Words can't really describe what I'm going through but still I'm happy for finding beautiful English words for it. As you know God fulfilled one of my dreams and I was so happy to go on this trip with Him (read more here). It was so special and precious to me, but maybe I'll tell you more about my trip to the USA later. Today I want to focus on the preciousness of the wilderness season in my life. Last year, the year of 2016 was a hard year for me and I can say that I walked through the wilderness, weakness and loneliness. It wasn't an exterior, but rather an interior experience, where my beliefs were tested and my life was been shaken by God. From deep within I had been crying out to God to manifest Himself in my life, but I wasn't seeing much. In the contrary, I saw the opposite. It was as if everything was being stripped away from me, naturally and supernaturally. I felt the way I usually feel physically in winter: cold, barren, destitute, alone, dark, ashamed, ugly and even unloved. I spoke briefly about this in one of my blogs (read more here).
While I was in America at the end of 2016 I recognized that the love of Jesus is the most magnificent pleasure of my heart and that my significance is determined by One Voice alone. I knew that I was living for the Audience of One, but somewhere on my way I lost my focus and my gaze shifted to something else. But while in the States I felt such a thankfulness in my heart toward the wilderness time I came out from. I started praising God for His amazing leadership and looking back with eyes of marvel on all the things God taught me in that time. My lips burst out with gratitude and I started seeing my pain differently, from another perspective- from another position. I stood in awe of how He led me. God looked into my depths and nothing that people told about me mattered anymore. I realized that my life is brief and that I want to dedicate all of it to Him, who searched, found, renewed and united me with Himself. It doesn't matter where I do that or with whom I do it. I want to consecrate my whole life to be whole-hearted, to behold the beauty of God and delight in it. Is it too much what He asks of me? Is His vision for my life too hard for me? Can't He lead me well? Oh, these questions... I think about having the living God inside of me and then I ask myself: Isn't this enough? Isn't it enough for me that He loves me and wants me? Is it too costly for me? Isn't that where I find my satisfaction, my identity, my love, and perfectness? He is there inside of me, with me, before me, behind me... it's me and Him alone. Even if it seems costly (John 12:3), I enjoy it because I gain Him on my path and He turns my pressure into fellowship (Ezk. 16:6-14), turns ashes to beauty (Isa. 61:3), turns burn out into flaming fire (Ps. 39:3), turns my sorrow into dancing (Ps. 30:11), turns my earthly heritage into heavenly descendance (1 Peter 1:3-4), turns my weakness into worship (Isa. 55:1-2), and turns my winter into spring (Song of Solomon 2: 11-12)... my wilderness into pools of water and the dry land into springs of water (Psalm 107:35).
He didn't take me into wilderness to punish or chastise me, because He isn't pleased with me. Oh no... He is the best Daddy with the most tender heart, longing for me to know and recognize His love in profusion, not in fraction. He led me into the dry season to win me fully to Himself and to speak with tenderness to me (Hosea 2:14). He shook everything that had to be shaken (Hebr. 12:27) and revealed all my false affections and the masters I had in my life besides Him (Josh. 24:15). In this solidarity moment, I felt confused, baffled, sorrowful and in pain (Song of Sol. 3:1-3). Why I felt like that? It's because I have drawn my identity and my amenity from other places or maybe even people. But when I was without those places and people, and alone with the Delight of my soul, I felt unfit and ashamed of bad decisions I have made (Song of Sol. 1:6). I wanted to hide in a hole under His holy gaze. That's the gaze I stand before and His gaze is the only one that matters. That gaze found me while being in America and I realized again how little I know of Him and how I clung to so many other things beside Him. I wasn't feeling faint-hearted or discouraged at all, but I died and started to truly live again. Trough it all He wanted to reveal His unfailing love to me and fill my emptiness with His fullness (Eph. 1:23). That's when I "leaned on my Beloved" (Song of Solomon 8:5) and entered into an encounter with Him and received His love in the greatest measure possible till now. He defined me again and wrote my identity upon my heart with His own hands throughout this wilderness. It was like I've been born- again once more and it made history in my life.
Yeah, it was one of the hardest times in my life, but that's what made it even sweeter and more beautiful. I grabbed unto God's hand and walk with Him. I looked into Love's face ^_^ One of my biggest dreams and desires of my heart since I am His, is to walk with God like Enoch (Gen. 5:24, Hebr. 11:15). It's still a mystery to me, but I want to please Him. I know who I am and who God says I am. I finally found where I belong! I'm Rose on fire (aish)! My resolution for this year is that my heart would burn like never before for the One and Only Beloved of my heart, my Delight, my Jesus! I will declare war on everything that tries to diminish or decrease the fire inside of me and I will use everything to turn into oil to pour on my heart so that it will ignite my love for Him and for His people! It's the only thing nobody can take away from me: my heart and my love! As always He uses songs to speak most effectively to me and to awaken something deeper than I can comprehend. How He profoundly ministers to me and stirs me, awakens me, rebukes me, draws me up to Himself... it's a dimension to the horizontal reality of radically vertical worship, which is incomparable. While listening to a song I felt the mingling between sorrow and joy, brokenness and hope, divine tenderness and sovereign majesty, exalted focus and intimate personal expression, beautiful poetry, lovely tune and melody, seriousness of emotion and exaltation of hope... amazing! Here just a few words from one of the songs:
You are calling me again
I hear your voice upon the wind
In the quiet in the still (..)
All that you have done
The promise that there's more to come
All I am cries out for more of You
Your presence is heaven
Oh to be with You
Just to be with You
Your glory all around me
Oh to be with You
I love to be with You
There's a stirring in my soul
And a fire here within
Deep is calling deep again
I will walk in the steps God has chosen for me, no one can hinder me. I want to walk in the fullness of my inheritance! I will keep aiming high. Whenever I'll fall or slip, I'll get up and keep aiming high. I won't compare or measure myself, even though it's pretty hard. But I want to be with the One, who loves me this much.
I've made up my mind. Until the darkness disappears and the dawn has fully come, in spite of shadows and fears- I will go to the mountain top with You. I will climb with You the mountain of suffering love and the hill of burning incense. Yes, I will be Your bride.
Song of Songs 4:6
When it's all said, when it's all done
So what if I know all the language
When I need You, I pray I knew You
I'm making plans now
I want to be great in Your eyes!