Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

Today is the fourth of July and I sit in my basement all alone waiting for my family to return from Tallahassee. So many changes have happened in our lives over this last season, some of our own choosing and some that were not our choice. There are places in my heart that I have just continued to sit and wait, ponder, obsess, fret and be concerned over. I have wanted to move forward but have not been able to for many reasons. I have desired more clarity and wanting to know what I was reaching for or moving towards. I have wanted to make sure my heart was clear.

But today I sit before the Lord and I find myself saying to Him…I pledge my allegiance to Jesus! You are my Truth, You are my Way, You are my Life. I commit my heart and all my loyalty to You. You are my First Love, my First Love, my First Love. I declare today independence from the ways of men, worldly wisdom and systems. I separate myself from my way, my desires, and my soul’s preferences. I commit my heart, my hands, and my life to you only Lord. I will go where you want me to go; I will be all that you want me to be. I choose to see the truth for what it is and look it fully in the face. I will not run in fear, or compromise because it’s easier. I will believe what you speak, agree with what you say, and align my heart, actions, focus and words to live according to those things.

I will not be so foolish as to have begun in the Spirit, and now be made perfect in the flesh. Have I suffered so many things in vain-----if indeed it was in vain? He who supplies the Spirit to me and works miracles, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Just as Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness, I believe God so that it will be accounted to me for righteousness. (Gal 3:3-6)

If I do not come out of this season with stronger convictions, knowing what I value and why, then I will have suffered in vain. In the suffering do I now lay down the things I hold dear…do I lay them down because by holding to them I have lost a great many things that were also precious to me. Or will I hold on to the gold and silver that have been refined in the fire and not grieve over the wood, hay and stubble that has been burned up.

What do I hold dear? Loyalty, Honesty, Servant Leadership, Humility, Laying Your Life Down For a Friend, Compassion, True Spiritual Authority, and Intimacy with God and with Covenant Friends, Fighting for the Good of the Whole, not just self…God’s Way.

What do I despise? Betrayal, Dishonesty, Pride, Control, Self-Preservation, Mammon, Vying for Position, Illegitimate Authority, Insecurity, Selfishness, Compromise, People Pleasing…Man’s Way.

Our founding fathers gave of their lives, families, and fortunes to fight for a dream and a freedom that they believed in. Because of their personal sacrifice we have lived a life they never experienced in the natural, yet they knew it in their hearts and because of that, they were able to sacrifice for it to become a reality.

I have a dream that is in my heart. A dream that I thought died, yet if a dream is real and from the heart of God it never truly dies. It might have to be planted in the ground and “appear dead”.

John 12:24-25

Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal. (from THE MESSAGE).

Reckless in our love, the dream was tested; our conviction and principles were tested. Although things did not turn out the way I thought they would, and the temptation to give up, throw in the towel and to yield to the voices that have risen against my dream and have fought to silence it, have been a constant companion. Yet, here I sit today all alone, with something still beating in my heart. Faintly it beats, distant is its voice, and quiet is its whisper. “Do not lose hope”, it says. “Don’t faint and be weary in well doing. Keep, the faith. I am not dead, I have been silenced but for a time. Soon I will rise and shine forth like the sun. Soon life will be breathed into me and strength will come forth. Soon, the heartbeat will be louder and stronger. Soon it will not be so distant and faint. Soon you will hear the roar, the thunder, the cry. Soon the dream will come forth and be birthed in the earth. Soon, Soon , Soon.”

So today I declare I still believe in the “unseen dream”. I do not give up hope, for that is my name. How can I give up who I am? I am Hope and I have hope because of Him in who I have believed, and that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him. I declare my independence from man, my flesh and this world, and declare my DEPENDENCE ON HIM. I have a dream, it’s a beautiful dream, a dream God gave me. I believe in that dream. No one else has to. He and I have dreamed together, He has partnered with me and I with Him. And from that place I will move forward and step into all that is in my heart to do.

1 comment:

Cindee Smith said...

I sit now in Jan 2009 looking back at this from July 4 2008 and i am so touched by you Hope. You help me keep the right perspective in life. I only know in part the pain you have been through but all i see is the maturity of God on you. You truly know God Almighty and who He has made you to be and it insprires me to not give up, to press on! Thank you for who you are and for freely sharing with others. I love you, Cindee