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Faked & Forced

A couple days ago I wrote a post about my heart's wonderings about what heaven would have been like in anticipation of Jesus entering the womb of a young girl. Was there a commotion at the thought of The Most High becoming a helpless zygote? That little rambling of a post was birthed out of a very precious and sacred time I had with God. He never ceases to amaze me with how involved He is in the details of my life. How He has all the days of my life recorded, not just the "good" things, but the major screw ups too. And somehow, when I place my heart before Him and remember I am His daughter and He is in me, He works it all for my good. That in itself is just baffling. Well, Monday was one of those amazing, I feel close to God times. They are often rare and always precious. I had started a reading plan focusing on Advent and my mind just started going and I was so caught up in the beauty and mystery of how God came down in the form of man and used a young woman as His vessel. I jotted down other ideas for later posts. It's not that I just felt like I was on a roll writing, it's more than that. Something I may not be able to properly explain though a keyboard. But as I wrote and my mind remembered scriptures and memories from past events of God speaking deeply to my heart, I felt connected to the Creator in a tangible way. I LOVE when that happens. So this morning, I woke up and turned on my space heater and grabbed my coffee and breakfast and read a little and started to get excited about writing again. I was remembering the emotions that came with Monday's conversation with God, and I started to ponder the amazing ways He'll speak to my heart and calm my fears and bring hope to sad places... but I wasn't feeling it. Now, I have known Christ long enough and believe His word and truly believe that no time with Him, no time in the scriptures is in vain. Just like all that's happening underground when a seed is planted and growing, but not yet sprouted, I know that even when it doesn't feel like anything has happened or changed or grown, it is. But this morning, I wanted to feel His presence. So I started to try and do exactly what I did on Monday. I had already read the thing on Advent and had started to go through my memory as to what special thing I did on Monday, but I'm so thankful I stopped. Or rather, I believe God stopped me. I was trying to make a formula to get what I wanted from God. I wanted to feel His presence. I mean I know He's here; He always is. But I was longing for something that had happened in the past and started to try and force it. But that's not relationship. I think all healthy relationships have something in common: allowing the other person the freedom to be who they are and respond how the want to. It took me a long time to learn this lesson by being both the person trying to be forced in a box, and sadly to say by being the one trying to shove someone I love in a box. That's what I was starting to do with God. Treat Him like a math equation or vending machine. But isn't that human tendency? If I do this right God will_______ If I am good or if I don't screw up again God will love me more... If I don't lie or look at porn or drink too much then God will be proud of me.... If I tithe or make it to church every Sunday for a year then God will not be mad at me.... Or it could be we seek to feel the presence of God by church hopping, each time, as we walk out the door saying, "God's presence just wasn't there". I know so often I did this, maybe not church hopping, but every time to went to a worship service I expected to feel God, and if I didn't I thought there was something wrong with me or I blamed the style as not being "my style". So often things were all about what He did for me and how I could feel better. I did it again this morning, but Praise God I heard His gentle leading and stopped and remembered He is here. And He'll be with me when I go jogging later and when I get the girls from school and when I'm fixing them lunch and all the other ordinary things I'll do today. He's here with me even when it doesn't feel like it. When I don't feel His tangible presence, He loves me just the same. When I don't feel His tangible presence, He uses me to share His love to others just the same. I'm so thankful that my standing with God has nothing to do with what I feel and everything to do with what happened through the cross and who I am in Him. And I pray that I always remember this when I am tempted to think things should feel differently. I pray I remember to take Him at His Word and Trust He is leading me and guiding me even when it doesn't feel like it. I pray that every time I find myself try to fake and force a feeling I will hear The One Who Loves Me Most's gentle reminder: that's not who I really am...

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