Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You”, by Kay Arthur.
Break Day – From Studying
Because Rest Is Also Productive
I heard myself telling a coworker yesterday that writing this Lenten Study was taking hours each day, that in fact, I was growing weary and ready to be done.
Why would I tell you this! Definitely NOT because I want you to stop reading what I’m writing. We all need to be fed (including me), if not just to satisfy our yearning, our desire, to feel a stronger connection and closer relationship with our LORD, but because Knowledge + Faith = Confidence! In these trying times we can all use a confidence boost. We need to know we are not alone, and especially like to feel others feel the same, or have similar issues.
I think reading or participating in studies such as this helps build our ecumenical community. God belongs to all of us regardless of our church affiliation. He didn’t just create me, or you, but every single being or creature in existence. Yes, He belongs to us all! There may be some real and important differences in our beliefs, and it may be a conversation to have sometime. (Some of you know I am Catholic. I love that the word literally means universal, all-encompassing.) However, that is not what this study is about! It IS about the God who belongs to us all; His unceasing Love for us; and some beautiful meaningful ways we can connect with Him in our daily faith journey.
I know I said above that I am ready to be done. Please believe me when I say that I regretted it the moment I said it. I am just tired, and wondering who am I, that I should be writing about God to anyone!! Satan knows me well. He takes my tiredness and self-doubt and stirs them into an elixir to rob me of the Grace of writing.
You see, I love to write, I love to create art in many ways, and I love music, the music of my life. But, God has chosen writing, and has led me, urged me, to write for Him. Actually, to write on His behalf.
Years ago, (2010) when I began my very personal Journey Through The Stillness, I asked Him why me? He told me then, and in no uncertain terms, that “I was His daughter, and what daughter would not speak out on behalf of her Father!”
So, if you asked me just who do I think I am, that’s all I would be able to tell you.
I have not been writing for some time. So why now? I have actually been in a spiritual desert for a long time, but I won’t go into that here. In hopes of rekindling my spirit, I began reading in one of my Journey Through The Stillness journals from 2011.
The first post for this study was February 26th. The corresponding journal entry from 2/26/2011 and read earlier that morning, was all about how the LORD, along with Mary, and all the Angels and Saints in heaven are arrayed to help me in this earthly life. (Think Communion of Saints!) In silence before Him, He said to me, “See child, we are your family. We are here to help in many ways. Learn more of us. Learn our specialties and call upon us in your times of need. We are your support system, your-all powerful , all-merciful, all-loving support. You need never be alone. Whatever the need, it is the specialty of one of us. We await, no we anticipate your every need, but await your plea for help. You are never alone unless you choose to be.”
The book, “LORD, I Want To Know You”, by Kay Arthur came to mind. I decided I would use this wonderful book, which had touched me years before, as my own personal Lenten study this year. And so I began, but with no intention of writing, let alone sharing. As I began reading I knew immediately I was going to be doing both. And so I did the first Day and posted it. And the next. And then self-doubt took over, lol. I was thinking this might be more than I can handle, more advanced, too overwhelming. And then, the corresponding journal entry that morning from 2/28/2011 just happened to be about that very thing. Back then I was publicly sharing my private journal on these very same sites. Here is that entry in its entirety:
“Today I am filled with doubt. I am questioning many things. I wonder again who am I that I should be writing and putting all these things out publicly. There are so many others more fitting, more educated, more worthy. Knowing the work and words are not mine but His, I cant help but wonder is it reaching anyone, helping anyone, or am I really just writing for me. If it is for me, okay, because I want to write, I need to write. It is just that I approach it seriously, like it is my job. I spend hours a day at it, and at times it is overwhelming. I feel the weight, the great responsibility of my (His) words to others. It truly frightens me, as I would never, ever, want to lead anyone astray! It seems He has chosen to not allow much human feedback, and rightfully so, as I must fight the sin of pride and vainglory with every fiber of my being. And so I continue to follow what I sincerely believe to be His Will for my life. After all, I am His daughter, and what daughter refuses to speak out on behalf of her Father.” (After writing this I sat in silence before Him.)
In The Stillness, He said, “ I see you, child, fighting through your self doubt. I am with you. From the very beginning I have been here. Let it be enough. Continue to do my work. I am in control of it. Let your heart be mine and all will be as it should.”
Even reading this now, I just sit and think, wow. And I am so very humbled, I cry. Everyday, since I began posting the Study, the corresponding daily journal entries from 2011 have reinforced that I am doing His bidding.
Why am I sharing all of this today with you? Remember how I started out with my telling a coworker yesterday that writing this Lenten Study was taking hours each day, that in fact, I was growing weary and ready to be done? Well… read today’s journal entry from 2011:
”Lately, I have been so pressed for time with appointments that when I come to The Stillness I am a bit resigned, a bit frazzled. He says to me, “Do not come out of obligation or fear. That is wrong and you will not be wholly open to my Spirit. You must come in desire of Me. You must come for love of Me and the knowledge that you need Me. A spirit that comes in love receives love. There is no hindrance to the back and forth flow of spiritual love. Remember, child, I am where you are. Come to me there.”
So today we take a study break. Instead, I’ve shared a bit of my personal faith journey with you. I’ve let you have a glimpse at two of my own demons, self doubt and pride. You wouldn’t think they go hand in hand, but believe me they do. I need to call upon El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One, way more than I do!
And, about the spiritual desert I said I’ve been in for a long time. It is not one of lack of faith or prayer. It is one of learning to keep on coming to Him in The Stillness even when I feel nothing, receive no consolations, or tangible discernment; for in the beginning there was all of it. Now, it’s about learning to be there only because I love Him and He loves me. In other words, to just be me IN Him, and let Him just be IN me. Not always easy for me.
And, a bit of clarification about the Study. I am using the book to follow the order of His names used, and giving you the ‘gist’ of the author’s content in the meanings and background of each. However, much of the content is my sharing what I believe He wants said about His name. Sometimes I give ‘My Take’ on it, but it too is what I feel led to write. In fact, I have greatly surprised myself at the depth to which it goes. I read it afterward, and think, ‘Whoa, where did that come from?!’ Then I realize it wasn’t from me at all. So, I am learning too, right along with you.
Anyway, if you want to give this a ‘Like’ or share some of your own thoughts (and they are always welcome!), I’d love it. I ask that you don’t give me any accolades, for none of the content is truly mine. It’s only my hand writing His words. You don’t have to go so far in believing that as I do. I just hope the content of the Study brings you to a closer and stronger relationship with Our God.
Have a blessed day everyone. Tomorrow we move on to our next name. I’ve already read it and the content is somewhat of a challenge. I’m curious to see where it leads!