My life has always been on a journey into the great unknown of the world to discover deeper love amidst beautifully diverse people. And along that journey, I grew closer to the Father, to the greatest love the world has ever known. My relationship went deeper as mentors spoke into my life with truth, destiny, and purpose. I understood more about how I should live as I studied books that others wrote. The Father was around every corner through community. And while I am still in a season marked by community, I felt stripped, bare, vulnerable, empty. The Father felt distant, and it was a constant battle to convince myself that He was near. I had to depend on what I knew was true and not what I felt.
As I am walking through this dry period, I am confident this will be the richest and most beautiful journey yet to unfold. My journey with the Father thus far has been so heavily influenced by others. It is as if I was pursuing the Father by bumming off the revelation of others. I was depending on their passion, their pursuit, and their wisdom to better understand the Father, to better hear the Father, to better know the Father. And they carried me this far. They carried me to a place where I was confident stepping into the Father’s will for my life, where I knew truth firmly enough that my faith would never be burned away. They gave me a resolve. And for all of that, I am forever grateful. But in stepping out, I never realized how I had depended on others in my walk with the Father. And suddenly, they were not there. Suddenly, I felt like I had been dragged into a desert and every connection point to the Father through others was severed. And as I stand in the dryness, looking at the ropes where all those connections once had been were now frayed and broken, I felt alone. I felt abandoned. I felt distant. I felt lost.
And I found myself crying for no reason. I found myself unable to read the scripture because it was empty and void of all meaning, as if the very Spirit that gave it life had left me behind, too. I couldn’t go to a traditional “church” because it was too different to bear and to me, it was empty. And so I did all I knew to do. I worked hard at the reason the Father brought me here: teaching. It was my final connection to something that was a constant pursuit of my heart with the Father. I found community with those at the school, and while it was challenging and meaningful, it wasn’t a direct connection to the Father for me. Nothing was as I expected. Nothing was perfect. Nothing was “living the dream.” Where are you, Abba? Why can’t I feel you with me? Why can’t I hear your voice? Why do I feel lost? I knew I was where I belonged. I knew I was in His will for my life. I knew He would never leave me or forsake me, so why did I feel forsaken?
And as I began to acknowledge this desert, this place of severed ties, this place of emptiness, I started to hear Him again. He was in a song blasting through my ear buds that flooded my heart with tears. He was in the sunrise. He was in the dove swooping down in front of me on my jog. He was in the littlest things that affirmed my heart He was there. Yet, He remained mostly silent. Then, without saying a word, in the quiet reflections of the new community placed in my life, His grace began to heal my heart of all the pain of this emptiness, and I heard, “All your connections are broken. It’s you and me. Nobody else. What are you going to do? Will you pursue me for yourself? No one will carry you anymore.”
And as I began to talk it out with a friend who has allowed Holy Spirit to continue to work out all of the messiness and emptiness I was feeling without providing the answer, it felt like I was slipping into striving again. And I found myself back peddling without the words to express what I was saying. It wasn’t that this revelation was about striving toward God, which is what it felt and sounded like. It wasn’t as if the weight was all on me. But it is as if I just need to step out; I just need to do something. Then she said it, “You just create the space. He fills it.” And it was like this “Ah-hah!”
I haven’t got it all figured out. I am not saying the church is bad. I am not saying the whole of scripture is bad or flawed. I am not saying every relationship that has drawn me closer to the Father is bad. It has all led me to this point where I could go so much deeper with the Father than ever before. I am simply realizing that my walk with Him never had to be defined by time in scripture and prayer. That isn’t the only formula for intimacy with the Father. Church, scripture, prayer, Christian books, seminars, teachings, podcasts, community of believers are all fine and wonderful as an outside influence, but they are not my connection to the life-source. I must be connected with the life-giving Father on my own.
Creating space could be going for a walk to meditate on His truths and listen to His voice. Creating space could be running and letting yourself just push past every worry and anxiety to focus on breathing in His peace. Creating space could be blogging about everything He has been revealing to you, and giving yourself a space to process it all. Creating space could be reading a passage of scripture and listening for His teaching to peer through the text. Creating space could be weeping for the nations and crying out to the Harvester. Creating space could be stopping work for five minutes to just breathe and listen. Creating space could be pausing the chaos to praise His name. Creating space could be painting a picture He gives you. Creating space is not limited to input reading, output praying. Creating space is this: He speaks, I listen, and then I obey.