A Turbulent Heart

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God’s Thoughts to Me

My soul followeth hard after Thee; Thy right Hand upholdeth me (Psalm 63:8 KJV).

She has heard about Jesus, so she came up behind Him through the crowd and touched His robe (Mark 5:27, NLT).

Behind The Veil

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The late Brennan Manning said in his book, The Lion And The Lamb,” You will trust God only as much as you love Him. You will love Him not because you have studied Him. You will love Him only because you have touched Him – in response to His touch”.

Divine wisdom wrapped in Truth. Jesus warned the Pharisees that they were searching the Scriptures daily thinking that in them they had eternal Life.

But they were oblivious to the Living Word, blind to the Eternal Life standing right in front of them and they were doomed.

I recall a time in my own life when I was stumbling through a severe winter season. My physiology and psychology were naked and lost in sinister, dark, lifeless forest of religiosity.

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The giant branches of the ancient trees of traditions gnarled its fingers around my turbulent heart, trying to steal the last shreds which were panting for streams of the Living Quiet Waters of freedom.

They locked me up with the chains of religious high-sounding words in the cruel grip of laws and rules and regulations at a time when my body was immobilized by pain and exhaustion.

But like the Pharisees, my spirit was the prisoner of the lifeless idol of Bibliolatry. Silent pitiful cries and despondent tears enveloped me with an unbearable longing to touch the Robe of the Beloved.

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For many years I was an avid student of Theology and had the fundamentals of the faith at my fingertips. I could almost quote the Bible, chapter and verse.

I fell in love with the idea of God’s grace and love, but this love affair was only a figment of my imagination.

It was a poor substitute for that almost magical reality of a spirit becoming one in union with the sweet Spirit of God; that intimate closeness that seemed so utterly unobtainable.

It was not for lack of trying; just the opposite. I was the master striver, striving earnestly to build beautifully crafted altars, begging God to consume my hand crafted offers with the fire of His Love.

I was from the old school who prided themselves in their strong work ethic and was perplexed by the absence of Holy Fire.

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No … it was because of my lack of touching Him as a response to His touch. My heart was bound with the cords of doctrines and creeds. I was experiencing the death of the letter of the law.

My lips were singing Hallelujahs, but my heart was far from my first Love, yearning for that mysterious something many saints seemed to smile so secretly about all through the ages.

At the same time, I was suffocated by an unhealthy fear of God. I was terrified of that relentless monster of self-condemnation and shame.

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This master of deceit taunted me day and night with sneering, damnable lies that my hand was already spoken for by the dark, evil one.

When I stumbled upon these words of Mr Manning, a new day dawned in my inmost heart. A passionate, burning flame pierced my soul and my eyes were opened to see beyond the veil of my mind.

I was swept off my feet, overwhelmed with a love that was at the same time beautifully disturbing and devastatingly delightful. I was in awe of the prevenient grace of our King.

imageThoughts of another woman from another time; the woman with the issue of blood stirred my mind. We were both at a very lonely and needy place; both at the crossroads of our lives; bankrupt and seeking the ancient paths of eternity.

With shame I confess that I hoped that our Pappa would to transform Himself into a genie in a bottle, where my wishes were His commands.

But this Genie surely seemed as deaf as a doorknob and as blind as a bat, very unappreciative of all my clever selfish maneuvers. Yet, He patiently and gently kept on drawing me into His Loving Embrace.

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When I finally came to the end of my tether, I had no other choice but to crawl on my spiritual knees, like the woman with the issue of blood, until my heart finally touched the hem of my Beloved’s heart.

He took the tatters of my brokenness and started to heal me from the inside out. Although my illness is still very much part of my life, He has brought me to a place of sweet acceptance.

A place where I can eagerly look forward to the day when I will leave this old coat behind to be clothed in a new glorious spiritual body.

I will not dare to trivialize the suffering of a chronic illness, but I do want to dare all to follow hard after our God, assured of His right hand upholding us.

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Crawl if necessary until you are near enough to touch our Lord Jesus again and again and again … and then still again and again.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

I am linking-up with the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

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41 thoughts on “A Turbulent Heart

  1. Pingback: Grace Alone… » Blog Archive Thankful Thursday ~ Advent Study » Grace Alone...

  2. Oh Mia, I just love the way you write. I can not say which of your posts is my favourite because each one touches a part of me in a significant way. As I have been saying to many of my friends Jesus is not a religion it is a heart relationship. Just like we have a relationship with everyone around us, just like we fall in love, etc… We must fall inlove with Him and let that relationship with Him grow… Sending you much love and blessings, Natasha

  3. Raw words and powerful pics!
    Thanks for being so naked and true in this post. I’ve been in the same place. It was through the death of my father that all my religion crashed around me and God picked me up out of the ashes. I haven’t been the same since. Through all my anger at Him, His love pierced my heart. I’m so very thankful for all that pain for it brought me into a relationship with God.

  4. That Brennan Manning quote makes me think of a line in a song we sing in church, “Touching Jesus is all that really matters, then your life will never be the same.”

    Like you, I’ve been an avid student of the scriptures. But without a real relationship with Jesus, it matters little.

    Bravo, Mia! You’ve done another stunning post. (I especially love the photo at the end of the woman crawling.)

  5. How I don’t come over and read you everyday, I don’t know. (Sorry for being absent,love!)
    I started reading Brennan Manning’s words a few months ago, and WOW it has changed my view of the “furious longing” of God for me!! Sometimes you just have to read it on paper, ya know?!
    Love your words, darling!! Praying for your day.
    -shannon

  6. Oh sweet Mia. Your writing is always so beautiful! I’m so glad you are sharing with Three Word Wednesday. These words were a wonderful way to begin my morning.
    Much love to you,
    Beth

  7. I love Brennan Manning! And it is so true that we can miss Christ by trying to “be like” Him with our rules, rituals and right attitudes–when all He wants is for us to respond to His touch. Beautifully put, Mia, and I do feel Christ touching me and many through your gift of word pictures, my friend!

  8. One of my favorite pieces you’ve ever written, friend…you are such a blessing to this community. Thank you for your words and heart! 🙂

  9. I want to follow hard after God – to be as determined as the women with the issue of blood. I keep talking to my boys about relationship – not religion. Both them and me – we need to touch Him every day! Blessings to you Mia for your passionate love for our Lord!

  10. Mia, what a beautiful portrait of love. I love how you spoke of the woman who touched the hem of our Lord’s garment – how her faith knew that this would be enough. May we, as you said, keep reaching out for Him – always trusting that He is there reaching back for us. No matter what happens in our lives, He is bigger…

    GOD BLESS!

  11. Mia, I love Brennan Manning. And this line makes me think so much of the Lion, of Aslan, of our God Himself: “I was swept off my feet, overwhelmed with a love that was at the same time beautifully disturbing and devastatingly delightful.” Yes, yes! Thank you, friend. I’m so glad for His uncontainable love that’s set you free!

  12. Oh Mia, how we praise God for the freedom He’s lavished on us! May we be quick to recognize the taunts of the enemy as he tries to pull us back down into the pit of despair!

    Love and grace to you, dear sister …

  13. There is no peace in following rules. There is no power in it. The power is the One who foretold that the physical temple would be destroyed, he is the temple. Our joy and peace come only from Him, not the buildings or the law. Thanks for the powerful reminder, Mia.

  14. I relate so much to this, Mia. For years I also was an avid student of everything “biblical” but didn’t know enough about the possibility and actuality of a real relationship with the Author of the Book himself. Thank God that’s changed! I’m still thankful for my foundation in the Word, but more important to me is my relationship with the Living Word. May the Lord bless you as you continue to share your message of hope and transformation and love. You have a valuable ministry, my friend!

  15. Mia, found you at Wellspring this morning. This is just wonderful. I love this – “Divine wisdom wrapped in Truth” – Isn’t this just what our Lord is?! Love starting off my Mondays with you, sweet Mia! Blessings for a wonderful week.

    Kim

  16. I have never read anything of Brennan Mannings but this is a testament to his writing. What grace. I’ll have to put him on my “to read” list. Thanks Mia!

  17. Mia, like you, for many years I worked hard at trying to discover God’s grace. I finally began to truly learn the depth of His love when I was facing divorce with the realization there was absolutely nothing I could do to prevent it from happening. God truly uses our brokeness to draw us to Himself and teach us the depth of His grace.

    Hallelujah, what a Savior!

    Oh…around that same time, I was also introduced to Brennan Manning’s “Ragamuffin Gospel.” Brennan Manning had a clear grasp of God’s grace.

    Thank you for the beautiful post!

  18. Thank you, Mia, for sharing this. In a world of experts it is very nice to see Christians occupied with being worthy. I feel we share sentiments. I have also been there where I wondered if I was damned in the name of the evil one, and it is not a nice state to be in. In my case, I believe, people around me were to blame. It is terrible not to experience truth and justice. But The Lord heals. Other than that, I don’t know what to say! You give a very nice impression. I love your love.

  19. Mia – Nothing like a heart set free to sing of our God’s power. So glad that you found freedom. It is so true that God wants our hearts to pursue Him in love. Praying that God brings healing to your body as well.
    Blessings,
    Joanne

  20. The set-free life is the sweetest life, Mia. We are witnesses to that great change that has brought us closer to God. What a blessing!

  21. Isn’t it amazing–Jesus wants to enter our lives. He wants to walk with us helping us to grow through the challenges we have in this life. Thank-you for sharing from your heart, Mia! We have a wonderful Savior. Peace & joy
    Carol

  22. Mia, I love how you explained this heart issue: “My lips were singing Hallelujahs, but my heart was far from my first Love…” Surrender is hard, but the freedom that follows is a refuge of strength and peace.

    Be blessed, my sister. I am thankful for you. 🙂

  23. Hi Mia,
    I would sure love to hear your story. This post made me cry tears of joy and hope for those who find themselves in the same situation as you were in. Praise GOD you found His love, peace and freedom!

    Thanks for sharing,

  24. Mia,
    So glad God used Brennan’s words to set you free and I pray God will use your words to encourage many to allow God’s love to touch them…many blessings to you, sweet friend, as we allow His love to change us from the inside out.

  25. Mia, it is SO important to have a desire for Christ as well as the Scripture! The two separated are incomplete and as inept as the old law! I really loved what you said about chronic illness…. so honest and true and deeply moving. Thanks for linking up at Recommendation Saturday! Heart Hugs, Shelly ❤

  26. Mia, in sharing your sweet heart you embrace the heart of the matter in our relationship with God ~ it is all about His love and grace and how they draw us to Him personally. Religiosity won’t meet our need for love and acceptance. Theology and Bibliolatry can lead us astray if they entrap us in their dry and dusty depths and do not lead us to the Father’s heart. Each and every one of us needs to know God in a personal way, to reach out and touch those garments, to tread on Holy ground and find we are welcome there.
    My friend, this is a lovely testimony to the work wrought in your heart and how you have responded to it. I heed your call and cry. I desire to live free from the weak, frail and pain-filled body I am in, but I desire most of all to spend my time here getting to know God more intimately, preparing for and looking forward to meeting Him on that glorious Day. Thank you for inspiring us in such a wonderful way with your beautiful prose and pictures! Blessings, prayers and love. 🙂 xxx

  27. Hi Mia! I so agree that we cannot experience trust without loving the Lord. That is such a powerful thought. What a blessing that you found an author that touched you so much. It’s those times that I think God had us in mind when those words came to the author.
    On our spiritual knees, we will come to know the love of our lives. It’s the only way, really.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

  28. OH Mia,
    Just what I was writing about this morning – the power of Christ – actually having Him live in us and how that makes all the difference. The Pharisees lived the pattern, the law. We live, Christ crucified, the Holy Spirit alive in us.
    So happy that our God brought us together.
    Blessings,
    Janis

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