To say that my heart is conflicted would to barely scratch the surface of what is cooking on the inside.
I have been feeling like this is a year of getting me out of my comfort zone and thus leaving room for God to come through in a way that I couldn’t on my own. It has only been a few months of this season and already I am feeling stretched beyond what I can bear.
Starting this blog was a big fear for me. Putting my thoughts out there, regardless of whether or not they are read, reacted to or considered has been really scary for me. I like to keep my thoughts and ideas close to the chest so I can try and deliver them face to face in a way feels more controlled and authentic.
This season of life doesn’t really lend itself to lots of coffee chats with good friends which leaves me processing more on my own than I have ever done in the past. Frankly, that leaves me feeling lonely and isolated.
I find myself longing for affirmation and validation that, “I’m OK” from people I love in a way that I don’t think they were designed to carry. Yes, I think it is important for parents to encourage and validate their children verbally. Yes, I think it’s important for husbands and wives to affirm one another and for friends to do the same. But, it feels like I have a voracious appetite for words that I want to hear. But as I process what words would make me “feel good,” I couldn’t even tell you what they are, I just feel like I haven’t heard them yet. (Not helpful right?!?!) The only logical conclusion I can come to is that my appetite for validation is misplaced and misdirected.
I was designed for a perfect relationship with a perfect father and seeking validation from anyone other than the one who created me will only leave me with a hole in my heart. I know this because this is not my first rodeo with insecurity. I have been in counseling for this!!
One of the biggest nuggets from scripture that fills my heart in times like these is from Jeremiah. My counselor, Dianne, encouraged me to write out this verse, put my name in where appropriate and tape it to my dashboard, bathroom mirror, above my kitchen sink and anywhere else I would be so that this truth was in front of me throughout the day, speaking to my heart and filling up my cup in a way no person is capable of doing.
“‘Oh, Ashley my dear dear daughter, my child in whom I take great pleasure. Every time I mention her name my heart bursts with longing for her. Patiently I wait for her,’ declares the Lord.”
Every time I start this exercise of putting truth in front of me throughout the day that speaks to how my heavenly father looks at me, my heart is nourished in a way that feels like a waterfall of love, never ending, never tired, never demanding, never weary and with the utmost honor. To think that the Lord waits for me. He longs for my heart to come to him when I am dry and needy and empty so that he can fill it up, and WHEN he does fill me up, the most natural thing for me to do is to love others, to pour out that which has been given to me.
Lord I am longing for that love today. I feel like I am in a desert. Lies are being spoken to my heart which are threatening to de-rail my passions, hopes and dreams and it all just feels so heavy.
Thank you for taking all that these feelings reveal about my need for a savior, and allowing me to come to you open and vulnerable. I need you.