December 26, 2011

A New Year, A New Heart


A while back I traveled in El Salvador with Compassion International.

Honestly I was hesitant. Going across the world meant going to a place in my heart I feared. A place a dream was buried. A dream I was afraid to re-awaken — should it die again, the grief would be insurmountable. When this dream is surrendered to the Lord, it ruthlessly, tenderly breaks me. In a thousand good ways. But it’s not been surrendered. It’s been locked up and covered with the dust and debris of hurt, mistrust and disappointment.

Disappointment not in the dream. Rather, in the dream Giver. The Giver of all things… life, faith, desire. I know this is Truth. But my reality had shifted to a lie in which the Giver was the Taunter…dangling the proverbial carrot, always in sight; always out of reach.

He’d been trying to talk with me about this misunderstanding for some time. But life is a superb sound barrier. I didn’t want to hear about it, “If this dream isn’t going to come true by yesterday, don’t mention it again.” As the day to leave for El Salvador drew closer, I desperately buried deeper the place my heart dreaded. Disdained. Hated even. I wasn’t fond of who I’d become. It was ugly. Seriously filthy.

The first night in El Salvador we shared how we could pray for one another.

It was then I heard the knock. My bygone dream rapping. “Let me out. Talk about me. Be accountable.” And so I did.

I told of my love for missions, particularly foreign missions. And the grand temptation to turn my heart off…detach…withdraw from loving the one in front of me well. Because I was given that dream when I was a little girl and carefully tended it for two decades. I was convinced it’d been shut down; I’d been deceived.

It’s scary to trust again. To greet the edge of a dark cliff, jumping takes faith. The possibility that maybe {holding breath here} maybe… the dream isn’t really dead, perhaps it’s just on hiatus… hibernating… germinating… cultivating…well, sometimes that feels like too much to bear. Is a twist on the old adage true? “It’s better to have dreamt and lost, than never to have dreamt at all.” I’m beginning to believe so.

Reality and Truth held my hand in El Salvador and gently eased me away from the lies, hurt, mistrust. Being with children who laid their tiny hands on my head in prayer. Radiated joy though they know more pain in their 6 years than I will ever know in 86 years. Proclaimed the goodness of our God with no reserve. These awakened the dream in my heart. And I know, part of its dormancy is my fault. I must take time to nourish it through local missions, writing letters to my CI kids, loving the ones in front of me well.

An open heart gives way to open ears. Honestly, I still catch myself holding my breath. I’m jumping gingerly. But a miracle happened I can’t ignore. A dead dream came back to life; and hope was resurrected. And each day since, the Holy Spirit has gently tapped me on the shoulder and now I’m listening. He reminds me that yes, indeed, He is the Giver of all things. Life, faith, desires. And Truth. For this I am grateful.

~Does this resonate with you too? I’d love to dialogue. What dream do you pray is revived this year?

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. ~Ezekiel 36


May 4, 2011

A Train Worth Jumping ON!

My sisters (two biological and two “adopted”) and I soared through my friend Wendy’s book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story a few years ago… and we’re still talking about it! You can imagine how excited I am then to share this exciting news!

Do you remember my friends Melissa and Wendy’s honey sweet words shared with us? Mel breathed words of refreshment with her post Stained and Ruined. And Wendy ministered healing truths with her wise words in Do You Want to Get Well?

Well, great news! Melissa is leading an online Bible study of Wendy’s book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story, beginning the last week in May! There will be accompanying conference calls you don’t want to miss!

To learn more about the study, please visit Melissa’s blog. Everyone who signs up and buys their book through Proverbs 31 will receive a signed copy of Hidden Joy! To get a taste of what Hidden Joy is about, read a sample chapter here.

AND… enter today to win a copy of Hidden Joy on Melissa *and* Wendy’s blogs!!

I so hope you’ll join Mel and Wendy this summer in a journey to hope, peace, fearlessness and satisfaction in Christ. If you do, please let me know!

p.s. bonus! Stephanie will be a guest on Mel’s conference calls!! {Read her guest posts You Can Heal Part 1 -and- Part 2}

p.s.s. We’re still jumping off our trains of negative thought! Join us here… Thanks!

xoxo, Sam

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