Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Forgot Who You Are...

My prayers to God this morning, paraphrased, of course...

I sit here before you, God, and I open my bible, ready to read, but I can already tell You, my heart is hard.  There is a wall separating me and You.  A wall that I know shouldn't be there.  At a time when my world seems out of control, IS out of control, as the fires rage and the unknowing seems to do me in, I know all the "shoulds."

And yet...

I am still aloof.  I am drowned by my inability to understand what and why and how this is all happening.  And I keep bringing back into the picture the last few weeks with all the other deathly devastations.  And because I have built this wall, because I have said in my heart, Can I really trust You?, I cannot hear Your voice. I cannot sense Your presence.  I feel abandoned by You, Lord.  Why won't You show up?  Do you hear our voices crying out to You?  You are a big God.  You are bigger than this, yes?
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My friends keep telling me that I look so heavy.  They can see the burdens I am carrying on my shoulders.  And I know that we are to cast our burdens upon you, O Lord, but You see, I've kept them because I wasn't sure that You were trustworthy.  Cannot trust because I cannot get to the surface because I am drowned by my inability to understand what and why and how this is all happening.

But I am desperate and I am faced with my own inabilities to control, to help, to soothe, to believe and so I cry out to the only thing I know -- You.  Even in my flesh of unbelief, the spirit You have instilled in me yearns to break free and head toward truth.  And so, somehow the spirit unleashes the chains and starts to sprint to Your promises.  Her strong arms propel me to the surface, pressing the drowning waters back, lunging desperately for the surface where her lungs might not stay choked with the poisonous waters, where she might find relief in the breath of You.

And I am on my knees, choking out sobs of repentance.  I have not believed Your promises, O God.  I have chosen to stand rigidly in my inability to understand what and why and how this is all happening.  I have chosen to view You as a far off God who is choosing not to commune with Your people.  I have forgotten who You are...

I have forgotten that You are a God who sent His Son to endure every temptation.  I have forgotten that You are a God who has given us an Advocate, a Comforter, who will never leave us.  As a mother cannot forget her child, so can You not forget Your people.  I choke out repentance for wanting my own way, for choosing to believe that I know best, for giving into fear and rejecting joy.  I choke out repentance for not giving thanks.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Your Presence, do not take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation and renew a right spirit within me...

You say what you want is my true thanks and for me to fulfill my vows to You.  You want me to trust You in my times of trouble and that You will rescue me and I will give You glory.  And so I walk forward, my guilt and shame removed by your Hand, and I will press on in believing, at every minute.  I will fight at every turn of doubt.  

I will not forget who You are.


  1. this stole my breath and brought me to tears. bless you, loved one.

  2. Oh Jen, I have been where you are and know how heavy a whole being can be. Yet, our relationship with God is based on WHO he is , not in the circumstances around us. There will always be chaos of some kind, yet He IS who He IS. I am not preaching at you as I let life get between me and God at times as well. I am praying for you: that you will let God have the victory over this darkness you feel. You will be in my prayers all day today and I pray you will see HIM for who he is, regardless of the world around you. I wish I lived closer as I would give you a hug in person and pray over you with spoken words.

  3. beautifully articulated. you know i'm with you, always....

  4. Dear Jen,

    I read this blog with tears in my eyes.So recognizable for me (in my own situation). Under the reading I had to think of Psalm 77. The English translation is a bit date but I have no other Bible translation in your language.

    I remembered God, and was troubled:
    I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.
    Thou holdest mine eyes waking:
    I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
    I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.
    I call to remembrance my song in the night:
    I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.
    Will the Lord cast off for ever? And will he be favorable no more?
    Is his mercy clean gone for ever?
    Doth his promise fail for evermore?
    Hath God forgotten to be gracious?
    Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?

    And I said, This is my infirmity:
    but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.

    Dear Jen, take heart. Even though we don't always understand His ways, He'll announce it later. After this you will understand.

    xxx out Holland

  5. Your prayer reflects many of the emotions I went through in the early months of grieving the loss of our son.
    We know God can...and we don't understand why He doesn't.
    What I am left with is...not understanding why God so often prepares us for what He could so easily have prevented.
    Many questions yet the only answer is always Jesus. My conclusion in my grief, doubts and questions has been: The I AM IS enough for me.

  6. amen.

    we will never know some of the resons why maybe not even at the end of days...but he understands...and yes never forget who he is...

  7. Continuing to pray, continuing to be thankful that the Spirit intercedes for us even when our faith is weak.

  8. Beautiful, beautiful prayer... one that I doubt anyone who is honest can say they haven't whispered in their own heart to God. Thank you for your honest and vulnerable words... words I needed to hear myself right now. I wish it wasn't so easy to forget who He is in the times when it's most important to remember! But, maybe it's because the process of getting back to who He is has a purpose all its own... that like most things is beyond our understanding. Said a little prayer for you :) Blessings!

  9. A beautiful heartfelt prayer... He does not forget.

  10. Oh Wow! I truly can identify with what you wrote. I forget sometimes who He is too. What a beautiful write! Thank you!

  11. Jen,
    Our house was struck by lightning yesterday. There was a time when I didn't see God in the chaos -- today, I still rejoice. It could have been worse.

    I am praying for you -- that you will draw close to him. That you will press in like never before -- and come out the other side of this dark time knowing deep within you that you are never alone and you need never fear. He wants your burdens. He didn't mean for you to carry them.

    Praying for peace, comfort, and the hope of Jesus.
    Karen (It's my reflection on our bad time)

  12. i have no other words but.. me too.

  13. This was our reading at Church last week...

    Jer 20:7-9
    You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped;
    you were too strong for me, and you triumphed.
    All the day I am an object of laughter;
    everyone mocks me.

    Whenever I speak, I must cry out,
    violence and outrage is my message;
    the word of the LORD has brought me
    derision and reproach all the day.

    I say to myself, I will not mention him,
    I will speak in his name no more.
    But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,
    imprisoned in my bones;
    I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.

    We all feel duped sometimes....and He loves us anyway. Thank you for your vulnaribility and humility. God loves the humble heart:)

  14. came back to read over these comments, and to read this post again.

    the verses posted here drew me to even more tears. what lovely friends you have, darling one.

  15. Oh Jen - thank you for sharing your heart. Your honest, heartfelt prayer helped me in more ways than you can imagine.

    I think we are both on the same page. I can't pretend to know why this drought and these fires are happening. My husband said the other day, perhaps God is wanting to bring us to our knees and for us to realize just how much we trust Him.


  16. wow, this is kind of heartwrenching! So sorry you've had one of those days and I hope you feel that strange joy that replaces the sadness soon!

  17. I felt like your were writing about me. You have put into words the thoughts and feelings I have had over the last few weeks but have not been able to write. Thank you for sharing

  18. WOW. Could this be any more open...any more honest...any more beautiful? Thank you for not only opening yourself up to real conversation with God, but also with all of us. You are a treasure in my life. I so appreciate your open heart. ~Jessica

  19. Repentence is the right place to start for all of us...

  20. Oh, Jen, you revealed your heart so honestly and beautifully. Yes, it was beautiful even in the darkness, the questioning, the insecurity with the fires and the drought. My heart goes out to you. I will pray for you.

    I agree with Shanda's thoughts that our relationship with God is based on Who He is--not what we think about Him.

    This weekend, I saw a Francis Chan video clip talking about our need for humility before God when we realize Who He is. The Creator, the Savior, the Sovereign God. When we make the mistake of thinking that our ideas are the solution to different problems and we can't understand why God has not acted in that way, yet, we have put ourselves above God--we all do this all the time.--please do not feel judged here. His thoughts really touched me because I have questioned the Lord's actions, or why He didn't follow through on what "I" thought He promised in Scripture.

    Francis Chan kept quoting the Scripture that "My ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts."--God speaking. He sees the whole picture and we do not. He is in control and in charge. It gave me more peace and trust once I saw my mistake, and God's awesome ability to oversee it all.

    And yes, the place to start is with repentance.
    God bless you, Jen. I'll be praying.


  21. Jen, I don't understand all of this either. I wish I could hide and ignore it, but my eyes are watering from the smoke in the air and my sinuses are bleeding. Why won't He let me hide?

    I know that I need to stand in the face of all that is going on and know that He is God. I know I need to keep in check my tendency to feel victimized by circumstances. Fire or no fire, rain or no rain, He is who He has always been. Faithful in ways that make my every act seem like infedelity by comparison.

    I know that Jesus is the Living Water even as we are praying for Him to send down water on our land. I wish I could look at all that is happening and see Him instead of having to look away from all that is happening to see Him.

    I think I'm rambling now. Still praying for rain. Stay safe so we can get together soon.


  22. Jen, your words and your friends' comments have truly ministered to me this morning. Thank you for your faithfulness.

  23. Dude...I gotta come prepared with tissues when I read your stuff...sniff. Thank you though...thank you alot!

  24. Oh Jen...He is so amazing! So awesome! He takes my breath away!

    Thank you for stopping by the cottage and for saying hi. I wish that I could pack up all this water and send it to you in Texas. I know how much all of you need it.

    But I don't control the weather, and these events are happening for a purpose - His Purpose.

    All I can do is praise Him through the trial.

    In His Love,


  25. I learned early in life (age 4) there was brokenness and there was God.The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy - and God saves me when I reach out to Him. I can't out-logic anyone about that. I can only believe - and in that belief trust that He is more Faithful than I am.

    Our college minister died a month after his baby girl was born a year ago. He mentored my oldest son. He sang and praised God and left me in awe. He led a Praise and Worship after they'd lost a baby girl about a year before - and what he says as he leads Praise and Worship is in a video friends created after he died (he's singing). He left a message for us - for how to handle these awful moments. I would be blessed if you'd stop by and listen to it - it would be passing forward what he gave to us - and maybe it would bless you, too.


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