LEARNING TO LEAN WAS NOT A GOAL
The idea of learning to lean on another person does not seem to be a goal worth achieving. As a believer, and a woman I have been taught that it is important to be strong, sufficient, and capable. From an early age I learned the benefit of depending on myself and not others then life circumstances built on this foundation of self-sufficiency. My belief system said “the more able you are to take care of things, to keep it all in control, the more mature you are”. As a small child I learned that to convey need was a sign of weakness. I learned to suck it up and move on and to pick myself up and move forward. “I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR” was my motto! I was an overcomer by MY OWN WILL.
My Life Had Been Built On A Faulty Foundation
You can imagine how unnerving it was to seek God in His word and discover that my whole life had been built on a faulty foundation; that in reality God’s ways are completely opposite. The more we learn to lean on Him, trust Him, rely and depend on His ways and wisdom the more mature we are!
This truth is displayed clearly in the book the Song of Solomon. Over 15 years ago I set my heart to understand who Jesus was as my Bridegroom or Husband. I began to discover the riches of the word in passages such as:
Hosea 2: I will allure you to the wilderness; You will sing as in the days of your youth; You will no longer call me Master, you will call me Husband; I will exchange your valley of trouble for a door of hope, etc.
Revelation 19: there is a marriage supper of the Lamb coming and the BRIDE has made herself ready. She is clothed in fine linen. Who is the Bride I wondered.
I learned that Jesus is returning for a Bride, pure and spotless and that God in his kindness draws us to the wilderness by speaking kindly to us, and in the wilderness He transforms our understanding of who He is from Baali (Master) to Ishi (Husband). God began to awaken my heart to seek the understanding of who I was as the beloved of Christ. I desperately needed to know this love.
Over the next 4 years the Word of God would transform my life. I would discover that there really was power in the Word and His Word brings life. My wounded heart, and lie-filled mind were slowly transformed into a new identity.
HOLY DISRUPTION…AN INTERNAL EARTHQUAKE
One thing that really impacted me was at the END of the Song of Solomon; as the Schulamite who represents us as believers had gone through the journey of discovering the power of love she came out of the wilderness LEANING on her beloved. My paradigm of a beautiful, powerful woman of God was amiss; according to the Word, trials and difficulty equip us to lean on Him and not our own strength. Trauma develops faith and trust if we allow it. Unfortunately, many who have experienced trauma, disappointment, pain and suffering have learned like me to depend upon themselves.alone
GOD’S VISION FOR A MATURE BELIEVER…
God’s goal in maturing us is to help us develop a level of trust that we will continually choose to trust in Him and lean not on our own understanding. As a single mother I spent countless hours and energy on figuring things out, leaning on my own understanding and strength while all the while the Creator God desired to teach me to lean.
LEARNING TO LEAN
So what how do we develop the strength to lean? As we look into the word of God there are biblical steps that lead us up to the maturity of leaning:
Desire: we have to want a deeper place of knowing Him as the All-Sufficient One.
Draw Me After You and let us run together…we want to run without being drawn.
Acknowledge our beauty and darkness: “I am dark but lovely”. Your Maker has made you beautiful; so often we are so overcome with our darkness that we cannot even think it possible that there is beauty. This is a challenge for many women but necessary if we are to move through the journey of discovery.
Commit to the process: We live in a quick fix society. However, for a lifetime we have been taught and developed the muscle of “I AM ENOUGH, I CAN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF”. We must commit to the process of learning to lean. It’s like learning to use a muscle that we have never exercised…a leaning muscle.
Ask Holy Spirit for HELP. We want to figure it out and work it out on our own. But God has given us One called The Helper…ASK and it will be given unto you, seek and you will find. He is waiting for us to ASK.
I am committed to seeing a multitude of women arise out of the ashes into the beauty of maturity. Let’s learn to lean together.
Are you in the midst of a situation where you are troubled because you can’t figure out how to move past it? Is God calling?
DON'T STARE AT ME
I don’t know how many times I walked into a room as a young(er) single mother and felt everyone was staring at me and all of my sin was on display. My inability to ‘keep’ a husband was a reproach I had to bear.
I WANTED TO SCREAM “QUIT STARING…IT’S NOT MY FAULT”
But I didn’t, I let that silent scream of ‘you don’t understand’ remain tucked away and it began to grow into a root of bitterness and judgment of others. I was abandon by the husband of my youth and I wanted to blame and find fault with everyone and everything else. I pointed my finger at others, until the day when I realized that my own bitterness, judgment and unforgiveness were keeping me from the One I needed more than anything else. I needed and desperately wanted to know love; my heart was becoming dull and hard and I was ready to be delivered from the pit of despair.
So like the Schulamite in Song of Solomon 1 I cried out “tell me oh you whom my soul loves…where can I find you”. I spent myself trying to please Him and make myself acceptable to others, but none of this satisfied my heart and the desire I had to be wanted.
It was during this time that I found myself mentoring 4 college girls and as I have looked back over my journey into wholeheartedness, I realized that mentoring those young women was one of the BEST things for my heart. I was in search of a loving Bridegroom and these young ladies wanted to know Him too.
I discovered a key to finding Jesus; He gives us that key in response to the cry “WHERE CAN I FIND YOU“. We are told by the good Shepherd in Song of Solomon 1:8
If you yourself do not know,
Most beautiful among women,
Go forth on the trail of the flock
And pasture your young goats
By the tents of the shepherds.
In other words: “pay attention and care for those younger and more vulnerable than you”. Maybe your young goats are your children; if so, tend to their hearts, help them discover Jesus, feed them on the Bread of Life, help them find rest in His loving embrace. Care for those who are less mature than you.
God was so jealous for me to understand HIS LOVE that He placed these young women in my life so not only would I be praying and studying the Word, but I would be SHARING it too. If you want to get the word of God IN YOU start sharing the little you know and then go learn more truth and share another little nibble.
Giving to others what Jesus has given to us multiplies it IN us.
So don’t be afraid to discuss your morning devotional with your children, or pray with them on the way to school. Over dinner discuss what they dream about at night and ask the Holy Spirit for interpretation (God used to speak a lot to a few of my children through dreams).
Or grab a friend at work and start to discuss what you are reading in the bible; take a college girl out for coffee and listen to her story and how she is pursuing God. Commit to writing a few encouraging e-mails or texts to a friends each day. Sent a photo of a devotional that means a lot to you and a short prayer. The key is be intentional about feeding others who are seeking the Bread of Life. You will be amazed at the exponential growth in your own life as a result.
What is one way you can commit to give to someone this week?