August 18, 2014

Raise Up in Me a Holy Passion

This prayer started Jen Hatmaker's life interruption. It's been reverberating in the back of my mind since I read the updated version of her book, Interrupted. I want to pray this prayer. I want to scream it from the mountain tops. But, I just can't make myself do it. What will it mean? What will happen? Where will I have to go? What will I have to give up? Who will I have to love in His name? Will my husband think I'm crazy? My kids? My parents? My friends? Am I strong enough to survive the answer to this prayer? So many questions. A heart that is pounding from fear, yet aching to go farther. I feel frozen, unable to truly live.

Then last night at small group, what ice breaker question did I get? "What are you passionate about?" I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time! My first thought matched my dear friend's answer when she heard the question, "What are you not passionate about?" As I waited for my turn to answer and thought about this, all I could think was, "I am passionate about so many things that it's really like I am passionate about nothing." Sort of like being a jack of all trades and master of none. I try to do so many things that it's like there's not one thing that my heart is fully in at any given time. I am feeling it as school starts this year. I love teaching my kids. I love what we'll be learning about this year (well, maybe not math.) But, for the life of me, I just can't get excited about jumping back in. Maybe it's because we just enjoyed summer so much and I don't want it to end. Maybe it's because I know that within weeks my daughter will pass me in math ability and I will have no idea how to teach her. I don't know, but the passion isn't there.

The most passion I have felt was just over a week ago in church when the praise team sang "Build Your Kingdom Here" by the Rend Collective Experiment. The moment I read the phrase "...refuse to waste our lives..." I lost it. Those words were the cry of my heart. Oh, Lord, don't let me waste this life on silly, earthly things that don't matter. Don't let me teach my children to waste their lives on those things. Don't let me teach other people's children to waste their lives on such things!

Now I sit with the question, "So, how do I NOT waste my life?" I don't have a to do list (and if you know me, you know that is killing me), but I do know this: loving others in His name is never wasting my life. The way I love my children and the way I love my kidz choir kids and the way I love the Afterschool Adventure kids may not look the same, but no matter how it looks, it requires me to be emptied of myself and poured out for Him. To be filled with the Spirit in order to serve others, in whatever way they need. It means serving the poor, the rich, the lost, the saved, the forgotten, the sick, the old, the young. It means being patient with my children, discipling and disciplining them in order to draw them to You, and being obedient in front of my children, no matter the cost. It means showing up every week to work with kids who may not remember my name, but they know that I love them and will be there for them every week. It means taking a sweet boy with us to Family Quest every week to make sure he's learning the truth of God's word. It means showing up to Kidz Choir every week, headache or not, to pour God's word into them as they learn more about Him and more about ways to truly worship Him.

Oh, Lord, help me to love well all I meet. Help me to love my children well every moment of every day that they may see You in me and desire to have You in their lives, as well. Help me to love my husband well so that he can be the leader in our home and continue to do the work you have set in front of him. Help me to love my church family well so they are taken care of and are able to serve others in Your name. Help me to love the lost all around me, regardless of their circumstance or station in life that they may see Your beauty and Your deep love for them and their deep need for You.

Oh, Father, RAISE UP IN ME A HOLY PASSION!

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