Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity
-Lyrics from “Hosanna” by Brooke Fraser of Hillsong
Those lyrics. Those moments.
A stirring that I couldn’t turn from even if I wanted.
But I didn’t want.
It drew me in. Compelled me. Called me.
“Come with Me”
It was a season in which every morsel of my heart and spirit felt the presence of Jesus. A season that remains embedded in my memory and in my heart.
We had been praying about adoption. I already knew what I wanted, however my husband remained unsure. It wasn’t a decision to push or force. It needed to be one He made not by the twist of the arm, but rather, by a Heavenly conviction in his heart.
Those words, Break my heart for what breaks Yours, were not only my prayer for my husband’s heart, but a prayer for mine. A prayer that while I waited, took hold and lead me into the world of those who felt they had been forgotten. It lead me to serving the broken, the abused, the poverty ridden, and the homeless. Every step infused with the kind of passion that can only come from the overflowing power of Jesus.
I was compelled.
But if we are honest, there are places where Jesus might lead where we don’t want to linger. –Suzie Eller from Come With Me
As much as I’d love to tell you I held onto that passion every moment of my journey, I cannot.
You see, God moved me into a season of action based on that outpouring of His presence. Action that eventually brought my beautiful daughter home to us.
That action meant digging deep to learn how to parent her. To learn how to help her. It also meant digging deep to deal with some other pain that was inflicted in that same season. Together, it was a digging deep unlike any other I had ever experienced.
So in the digging I became a do-er. Not only did I have spans of time where the doing consumed me, but spans of time where the presence of God eluded me. I felt alone. I was grief stricken. And I was angry because I couldn’t understand why He sent me and then seemingly left me.
I had times of doubting a reason to follow Him. Not the picture of compelled.
A restrained faith. Simple faith. Reserved faith. In all honesty, that is where I wanted to run.
In her book, Come With Me, Suzie Eller shares a portion of Simon Peter’s story that I hadn’t noticed before. In Mark 1:14-20 and Matthew 4:18-22 Simon is introduced to Jesus. Upon meeting Him, Simon Peter drops his nets immediately and follows after Jesus. But later, in Luke 5:1-11 we see him once again dropping everything to follow Him.
Friends, at some point, even though he walked alongside Jesus watching Him heal the sick and drive out demons, he had gone back to fishing.
Why? Is it possible he witnessed the challenges of a life lived following Jesus? Was it difficult? Did the familiarity of the life he had known before beckon with the lure of simplicity?
If I’m really honest right here … that’s how I felt.
I was left unable to sing and worship to the words of Hosanna. My love for writing had disappeared. I had to back out of previous writing commitments because I could not find any of those words that previously overflowed. It was as though God had taken them.
Loving Him All Over Again
God sees into the depths of our struggles. He knows our humanness brings with it the fight or flight response. He knows that when our hearts are raw and exposed, they long to run for cover.
But He is a God of love, redemption, and healing.
A God who repairs the broken.
He doesn’t give up on us. He lets us tag along even when it’s just a shuffle. He finds us in our hiding place and as Suzie so beautifully phrases in her book, He perches there. Waiting.
Waiting to show us the miracle of Him and waiting to refill the empty places in our hearts.
Just like He did with Simon Peter.
There sat Jesus. Awaiting Simon’s return in his boat. Jesus told him to go out one more time for the needed fish. In an attempt to save himself the struggle of a useless trip, Simon explained he’d been out the whole night before and caught nothing. But, out of respect, he obeyed Jesus. I don’t know if he forgot the miracles he’d witnessed or if he was simply exhausted. But I think he obeyed only because it was the next right thing to do. And in that moment of obedience, Jesus overflowed that boat with fish.
Friends, Simon had not been compelled when he chose to go back to fishing. He crept into what appeared as the safety of reserved faith. And he almost missed the power of a life lived compelled.
But Jesus didn’t hold that against him. He waited for Simon and called yet again,
“Come with Me”
And Simon threw down those nets for the last time and followed Jesus.
You know, I think it’s the same for us. When we do the next right thing for Him, He pours His mercy and love over us. And it gives us all we need to throw aside our safety nets and follow Him. Loving Him for the first time, all over again.
Jesus did wait for me. He knew I was grieving. He knew that in that moment holding on by a thread was all I had to give. But step by step. One act of obedience in front of the other brought me to my boat where Jesus was perched.
And there He poured His mercy and love on me and reignited flames of passion for the call to follow Him wherever He leads.
Are You Compelled?
Friends, I know you are all in different places. Some have never followed Jesus and haven’t felt the moment of a forever changed heart. Some have but have wandered. And some are feeling compelled with passion right this very moment. The thing about Jesus, though, is that He’s right there perched for each of you. Ready for you to meet Him for the first time, to welcome you back after wandering, or to lead you along an incredible journey. For each of you, I want to recommend a book. A book that has meant so much to me. One that has reassured, comforted, and challenged me.
It is Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Where He Leads by Suzanne Eller. You can buy it here at Amazon and not only read more here on her website, but get some incredible freebies, too!
Through this book, God has given me the precious opportunity of meeting Suzie in person. From my time of laughing and praying with her, I can guarantee this sweet Jesus-loving lady is a treasure. She’s authentic. She’s honest about being in the trenches with us along this journey while at the same time loving big and giving her all. She writes for one reason. And that is to share the Hope of the world with us. She prays that Come With Me will not only be a book, but rather a movement that will compel women throughout the world to follow Jesus.
I’d love to see you get a copy of this book so I’m hosting a 2-book giveaway! At least I can know that two of you beautiful readers can begin blazing your path along the movement Suzie is creating! Simply comment below for your chance to win one of these two copies of Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Where He Leads.
And don’t forget to come back Monday for #MomentsofHope! My heart skips a little beat when I open that page and see the hope of Jesus splattered everywhere! ♥
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