God wants it all.
He wants all of me, every part. It’s with this idea that I wrestle, to one degree or another, every conscious moment. I squirm under the thought that a jealous God is satisfied with nothing less than everything. And in my squirming, I attempt to pacify God with bits and pieces of my heart thrown out as a bone to the Hound of Heaven.
But His love is relentless, unquenchable, consuming. He continues to come after me with everything that He is, asking for everything that I am. In this process of pursuit, He has revealed with a fierce gentleness a commonality in the things which keep me from Him. Things to which I cling with tenacity. Things which are stubbornly intertwined with my soul. He has shown me the idols I have cherished which have provided me with security, image, and identity.
My list of markers is rather lengthy. It centers around the things in my life that give me a place among my peers and allow me to see myself as I want to be seen. Wife and mother, yes, those fundamental roles are included, as well as skilled cook, creative decorator, hospitable entertainer, helpful friend, intentional listener. Accomplished teacher, board member. Home group leader, worship leader, mentor. But the list goes much deeper. Servant, Godly woman, wise counselor, intercessor. Mother of understanding and insight. Wife of support and gracious influence. Faithful companion. Sacrificial, devoted friend. Intentional worshipper. The list goes on and on, moving further into the core of who I am, touching on the things that, from my own perspective, make me—me.
These things have been subtlety woven into a tapestry over many years, forming the fabric of my identity. Many threads are threads of calling, destiny. Many are threads of gifting and ability. Many are threads of personality. And many are threads of my own deliberate addition, influenced by the world and its standards.
It’s a crazy quilt, often patched together by raw pride.
And every once in a while, the Spirit gently reminds me of His invitation.
Come and live free.
Lay it all down to the wild abandon of finding that the greatest treasure is the pulsing vibrance of My Heart.
It’s always, forever, only Me.
And when He whispers with deepest grace that compelling call back to center, I’m reminded of His declaration to Abram in Genesis 15:1, “Fear not, Abram. I am thy shield and thy exceedingly great reward.”
I sit quiet and just mull over the heart of God found in that Father’s promise.
He is my shield.
He is my exceedingly great reward.
It’s that second declaration that really sticks. If HE is my great reward, what else is needful? Every rich strain of longing is satisfied in the depths of HIM. The need to BE something, someone. It’s only discovered when I embrace the I AM, for He is ALL.
Oh, His good gifts are good. His callings are right and true. And me… well, I’ve been crafted in His image, and He has declared His unconcealed pleasure in His creative efforts. The way He has knit me together is altogether delightful in His sight.
But only ONE thing is needful. And it’s desperately needed. I am called to lay down all of the markers—not so that I will be nothing, but so that I might be more as He is everything.
It’s that crazy, upside-down Kingdom way. To let it all go so that you might have more than everything.
I’m daily reaching to let go. And most days I fall so short, and I miss the goal, and I greedily fill my heart’s satchel with those treasured markers so that I can be propped up and pretend to be strong.
But I pray that more often now as the Spirit whispers His love-call to me, I will whisper back that sweet, surrendered yes. He shields me with His perfect care and I dive into my glorious reward.
Special thanks to Rick Delanty who has granted permission to use his beautiful art in this post.
Hello Miss Tiffany 🙂
You are one of the most gifted writers I have read. I am enjoying your blog. Have you ever thought about writing a book? (I’m guessing the answer is yes…–I hope it is yes, because your talent and gifting should be used even more!)
I am asking because since 2008, I’ve been looking for someone to write Experito’s book. Have you ever read Heavenly Man by Brother Yun (written by Paul Hattaway)? Experito’s life is exceedingly remarkable like Brother Yun’s, just in Uganda instead of China. We even had Experito over here in 2008 to meet with the publishers of Francis Chan’s book. But that didn’t wind up going anywhere, because Experito doesn’t have enough notoriety in the U.S. However, no one knew Brother Yun, and his book was a smashing success (and incidentally one of my lifetime favorites). His book spread by word of mouth, and I think Experito’s would do the same, and would be a great gift to the church at large. And whatever Experito’s portion of the royalties would be, would be directed toward building him a home and supporting his ministry. So that is my two-fold purpose in asking.
Hope you are well! Nice to see your smiling face on the blog 🙂
Thanks so much for your loving encouragement, Cindy. You are certainly a familiar topic in my conversations with the Lord. 🙂
I would love to chat more about Experito’s story! Let’s connect via email about the details. Much love to you and Frank.
Your post causes me to think about something that I have had revealed to me in my time with Him…
Am feeling that I am just beginning to understand this transformative process that He is working out in me – in us – especially when we open ourselves to His power to make “All Things New”.
A new Identity in Him is something I have pondered. I love the scripture in Isaiah 62:2 where it says…..”And you will be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will designate, you will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you ‘Forsaken’, Nor to your land will it any longer be said, ‘Desolate’, but you will be called, ‘My delight is in her,’ for the Lord delights in you.“
It is actually a picture of Jerusalem’s future, but we are grafted into that future….so this is a word for us today.
I hope you feel encouraged in what you are endeavoring to do Tiffany – it is a good work – a beautiful work – and May the Lord richly bless this special gift you have – because you are certainly blessing those who take the time to read your heart.
~ And, He will do a transforming work ~
Cleansing doesn’t just remove dirt, stains or grime.
Cleansing can also remove what is unwanted.
There are places in me that need
a deep sort of abrasive cleaning
scouring the places where the stains seem to keep
coming to the surface
the work will be complete and I will be forever changed
Until that day…
I choose to give those areas over
into His hands – to do His restorative work in me.
Exfoliation is a method that removes dead skin
It is a way to rub out what is unwanted, old and dried up.
It requires a willingness to undergo what is necessary
Bringing forth the results of softness, smoothness, elasticity
There are areas in me that need to be rubbed out.
Knowing that something better will replace the old ways.
I believe that I need
to experience a more thorough and permanent sort of change.
There are areas in me that need
more than cleansing
They need reconstruction
A willingness to dismantle old norms
ways of seeing
that cause me to be blind
ways of hearing
that cause me to be deaf
ways of moving
that cause me to stumble
As I allow Him to open up to me
those areas that He knows I know about
those areas that need adjustments
May I give over to Him what He asks for
So that the work will be a permanent fixture
Something rock solid and secure
It is His work to do in me
and the mortar he uses will not crumble.
This topic certainly is one that delves deep into our core, isn’t it? I love what the Lord has revealed to you, and I am so encouraged to hear of how He is working out His beautiful grace-story in your life as well… thanks SO much for taking the time to share it with me! I think it will be such an encouragement to any who read it.
Thank you also for your kind words of encouragement. Much love to you!