Saturday, March 21, 2015

Blessings, Faith, and Childlike Wonder

Recently, I've been noticing a lot of the little blessings God has been putting in my life. When I say recently, I don't mean that they've only been recently, rather He's been giving me them forever, and I just failed to notice until recently.
Jesus once said that we must become like little children to see the kingdom of God. But what does that mean?
To be a like a child is to embrace the wonder of the world around you, seeing more with your heart than with your intellect. For isn't it true that Jesus' words speak to our hearts while our minds are still mulling over the confusing logic?

More often than not, our minds tell us that something can't work before we ever try it out ourselves. It renounces the dreams and longings of our hearts and tell us to "be realistic" and "think like an adult."
But what if I don't want to be realistic? What if being realistic and ignoring my heart's calling leaves me feeling empty? What if thinking like an adult is holding me back?
Just like our minds, more often than not, tell us to ignore our hearts and be realistic, more often than not, following your heart can lead you to see all the little blessings all around you.

I call them "little blessings," but in reality, they're not so little after all. They come from small things, but they blessings brought can be enormous!

As you probably know, my dream is to be an author. But this longing of my heart is so much deeper than that. I, like most readers, have experienced the profound connection between reader and writer, storyteller and listener. You have moments where you feel like they know you, like they're speaking right to you, or where you feel like you know them. It's amazing how you can have such a connection with someone you've never met through the gift of words.
All of these things are "small things." Words are a small thing. Books are a small thing. Even connection is a small thing. All of it adding to the small act of reading. It's small because it's singular. It's not something you do as a group, but by yourself in quiet solitude, yet the impact can be immense.
So, what is my dream? The longing of my heart?
My dream is to create something that makes those little connections with others.
Will I ever know if I have reached this? Probably not. But what I do know is the stories that impacted me the most were God inspired. God spoke to a simple man's creative heart and told him to write, and he wrote. (For more about how such simple obedience has effected me, go here).

Recently I have been to the Re:Write conference (another little blessing with a glorious outcome), where we were encouraged to see through the eyes of our heart. The eyes of wonder. The eyes of a child. We were told that writer's block is a lie. That's all it is. Simply a fear based lie that we aren't good enough, that we'll never be writers, and that no one will ever want to hear what we have to say.
We were told the best way to overcome the lie of writer's block is to turn away from what we think we know to embrace what really is. We had to shut down our intellect and connect to God, heart to hear, soul to soul, realizing that our fear and other's opinions do not define us, but He.
And He thinks our art is beautiful.
Why? Because it came from our hearts, which he created.

This understanding, a small thing, though missed by many, has been another amazing blessing. It, however, is not something I understand with my mind, for it goes against the logic this world has instilled there. This understand is one deep within my being.
Along with this understanding of who I am and who God is, came the acceptance of a simple fact: I might not get published.
Tell me that a month ago, and I'd have fought you. I'd have told you that I will, I have to. I need to reach people. I need to reach my dream, or my dream is worthless!
Today I will agree with you. I might not get published. I might not have my books on shelves where countless people can read and have a connection that only happens between storyteller and listener. But that's okay. Because I know it's not my job to get this out there. I know it's not my job to make connections, or even write beautifully. My job is simply to write. Why else would God have planted this longing within my heart?

Over the past week I have been reading a book called A.D. 30, about a woman from Arabia who has a life changing encounter with Jesus. I read a conversation last night that helped pull the swirling thoughts that became this post together. I felt like I should share it.
The conversation takes place between a man named Judah, a Jew from a nomadic tribe in the desert who comes to Israel to find the king his elders told him about, and a Pharisee, who is later revealed to be Nicodemus (the man Jesus taught about being born again in John 3). Here is a snippet of their interaction:

   The Pharisee spoke barely above a whisper now, as though afraid his words might carry beyond the walls. "With Yeshua, God seems so be intimate, as though breath itself. The rabbi calls him even Abba. And we his children, to be born not of Abraham but of Spirit. Such things are not spoken elsewhere. And yet he asks us to follow."
   "But to follow where?" Judah demanded.
   "This too is a mystery." The Pharisee sighed. "You must have faith is to let go of knowledge as the means to salvation. To do so, one must embrace trust and mystery rather than man knowledge one's god... It is not where that matters so much as simply following. Faith, you see? Trust, like a child. It confounds the mind."

So I, like a child, follow Him down a path that's destination is unknown to me. But He tells me it will be beautiful, and I believe Him.
For isn't that what faith is? To follow with simple trust like a child?
I have chosen not only to follow like a child, but to view God's creation (and my creation) with childlike wonder!


  1. When I was a child, I thought like a child. When I became a (wo)man I thought like a (wo)man and left childish ways behind me. When that was depressing and confusing and ultimately screwed up my idea of what love looks like, I went back to thinking like a child. Because the Kingdom belongs to such as these. And life is a lot simpler than you think.- a friend (Meg Hall)

    1. Life is definitely a lot simpler than we think! We just like to complicate things