Tuesday, February 14, 2012

restless in the dark (& secret soul embrace)

"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you."
- James 4:8

Before heading to bed the other night, I went into my son’s room where he was sound asleep to give him another kiss good-night. Something I often do. But this time, it was different.

As I bent down and gently placed my cheek against his, I whispered a soft “I love you.” And suddenly, his right hand began to move.
He was forming a tired, limp “I love you” sign.

My heart swelled with delight. I wasn’t expecting a response! I was simply wanting to love on him.
One more time.

The next day, I asked him if he recalled our exchange, and he didn’t.
His expression that night was simply the overflow of his heart.

And you know, just as my heart was reaching out to my son that night, so does our Heavenly Father’s heart reach out to us.

And do we know it? Sometimes.
Do we feel Him reaching out to us? Many times probably not.

But whether we know it or feel it doesn’t change the reality.
That He does.

With tender hands of compassion and mercy, our Abba Father reaches out to grace our hearts.
Because He knows that His nearness to us is our good.
Because He knows that our wounded souls desperately need the calm of His healing touch. Especially in the dark.
Because He values us.

And I wonder – what does the overflow of my heart look like when my soul receives His nurture unaware?
Do I instinctively respond with an expression of mutual adoration?
At times . . .

But there are also times when my soul grows restless in the dark . . .

Times when I shrug my shoulders with indifference to astonishing grace.

Nights when I pull the covers up over my heart in shame.
Hoping He won’t see me.

Moments when I lay curled up in a ball and flinch at His healing touch.
Afraid to trust Him with my fragile soul.

I have winter nights when I toss and turn with cold, pouty lip.
Expressing He’s not enough.

Seasons when I’m too weak and weary to respond.
Because I’ve been carrying weighty loads that are meant for Him alone.

And sometimes my soul wears a scowl.
Because my selfishness dismisses the reality of His infinite goodness.

Rather than craft my fingers into a language of love,
misplaced hope forms a fist to cling to my deepest dreams.

All the while I move and breathe in the very presence
of their perfect Fulfillment.

So has your soul grown weak or weary in the dark? Does the overflow of your heart shun the very touch that longs to heal you? Or maybe you fasten your eyes closed because you’re afraid of the light.

Whatever the season of your soul, know that God’s infinite love for you remains fiercely immovable.
His love is not dependent on your response to Him.

So rest, oh weary soul.
Breathe deeply in His presence.
And know that in Christ, you are safe and secure.
Even in the darkest of nights.

“My soul finds rest in God alone.”- Psalm 62:1


  1. You have no idea how much I needed this today. Thank you, dear heart!

    1. no, katie, i don't.
      but clearly, He DID.

      thankful for His wild pursuit of us both.

  2. Yes, this - "His love is not dependent on your response to Him." I so needed to hear that today, and thank you for sharing your heart with us.

    1. that's a truth i need to remember every. single. day. my heart gravitates so easily to a performance mentality in my relationship with Him (& others!), so i'm ever grateful that God is greater than our hearts!

  3. Beautiful post. Loved your analogies... they are oh, so true, and ones I have felt in times past. Great reminder. :)

    1. thanks, kellie. i am far from being an analogy person (my husband has that dept. well covered), so if any good one ever escapes my mouth, it's clear evidence that i've actually stepped out of the way (& let God be God through me). so novel . . . ;)

  4. I love your blog. I needed this reminder today. Thank you!

    1. thankful that the Lord used it to speak to you, jamie. and i owe you a reply on your "thought life" post, btw. read it on a day where moments later i was hit with something that left me in that very predicament (integrity in transparency).

  5. I needed this today and all last week. Thank you, i know He sent this to me today.

    1. hey there, sara. i'm sorry to hear that your heart's been heavy. but it remains safe & secure in the tender hands of our Father. nothing can come our way that hasn't already passed through His hands.
      i'm so thankful He has allowed our family's paths to cross, friend.

  6. What a beautiful analogy you made from the small "overflow" gesture your son made to how our loving Father shows his love to us in so many gestures throughout our day. I will hold on to the word picture you painted here, Tanya. Beautiful post!

    1. i'm so glad you stopped by! and thankful this encouraged you -- it's a privilege to be a conduit for the Lord's liberating truths, isn't it?

      blessings to you & yours, beth,
      your fellow sojourner in sacred, messy marriage


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