The promised expoundation* upon the "fireworks" ...
A few posts ago I mentioned that God did some explosive works in my heart. (aka fireworks) First of all, explosive doesn't mean new. God isn't telling me "move to Ghana". In fact, my circumstances are static. (good static). Second, this is probably going to be a rather ramblish*, spewing-thoughts-rapidly-as-they-flow post. I haven't sorted any of it out. But what better use for a blog than to record the goodness of God?
Jan 7-8 I went to a "Growing in Gifts of the Spirit" retreat. I entered it living life in black & white and left seeing in technicolour. Seriously. The past few months I'd been in a season of semi-darkness. I was weary. Partly because I was continually falling off of the fine line between "bearing other's burdens by carrying them to Christ" and "bearing other's burdens on my small shoulders in pride." My fight for joy was half-hearted. In fact, I had myself fooled into thinking I was choosing joy more often that I really did. Beks called me out one Sunday. She said she missed my real smile. I was shocked. Didn't I smile all the time?
"Yeah, but they're all fake smiles." Ouch. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. After that week I began praying and fighting for joy, but something was still missing.
Then the retreat came. Few things have impacted me as much as that weekend did.
During the retreat we spend alot of time waiting on God. We basked in His presence. We were still before His throne. I was overwhelmed. He poured out love and set us free. God revealed and broke chain after chain in my heart. There is no better way to describe it. Chains of self-sufficiency, numbness, and sorrow fell away. Liberation. The result was a rush of joy pouring into my soul. I couldn't "get" joy, He had to give it to me. Even remembering, I am blown away at His undeserved goodness!
I am still learning to walk and live in my new-found freedom. There are still temptations to take on burdens, I am still saddened when friends dear to me walk through fires; but my heart is different. Having joy doesn't mean I am always happy. Or that I always feel. It means I'm always choosing to trust God. It means there is always a manifestation of goodness to thank God for. I fight to keep joy. I don't fight to obtain it--that was done by Christ at the cross.
*yes, i made those words up.