This is the third post in a series sharing my story and the reason for this blog. Read when the power of prayer seems lost, and when radical faith goes in mourning first and then head back to this post. And welcome!
“If I wanted life at all, it would have to come through His hands. . .the good, the bad, and the ugly.”
When He Calls Your Name
Slowly but surely my heart returned to Jesus. So did Mary’s.
“When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’ And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. . .Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’
Mary mustered enough strength to place her hope in Jesus one more time, and ran to meet Him. And even though her first words seemed to accuse Him of neglect, we can’t overlook the fact that she ran to Him at all. Even in the midst of her pain, when she realized He was calling her by name, she went running.
So did I.
I stared at the box in my bedroom floor knowing what I had to do, and for the first time in over six months knew I could do it. There, on the top of the pile of my secret prayers, was a card that simply said, “Baby McGlothlin.” I felt my heart breathe as I picked it up and turned it over again and again in my trembling hands, and knew that Jesus had called me by name.
On a breezy, beautiful day, my family and I drove to a nearby lake. With the glorious water all around us, and the sun making us want to jump in, we took the pieces of our dream and released them. I watched the wind take the bits of paper into the water and finally felt at peace with the Lord.
We live in a world where speed is everything and waiting is unthinkable. We want what we want, and we want it yesterday. Healing is no different. The world doesn’t stop for us to grieve. There are still bills to pay, laundry to be done, homework to be finished, meals to cook, children to parent. We have to keep living.
But healing can’t be forced. It simply takes time. And as with everything else in life, true healing comes as God leads us toward it, peeling back layer after layer of raw hurt, and breathing new life into our wounds.
Later in John, as Jesus inches closer and closer to his fate on the cross, we find Him once again taking respite in the home of Mary and Martha.
“Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
From withholding her heart, to offering Jesus the very best she had, Mary now humbles herself and expresses her love and gratitude toward Him who could raise the dead. Assured now of His love for her, she shows Jesus how much she loves Him and wipes his dirty, grimy feet with her own hair.
How precious He was to her, this man who had restored her family, restored her heart. Once closed to Jesus because of what she interpreted as neglect, abandonment, and pain, her heart was now fully open to Him as her King. I like to think that as Mary poured the expensive ointment over Jesus’s beautiful, but dirty feet, she also poured out all of the hurts and disappointments she had carried in her heart and entrusted them to her Savior once again. She opened the lid of her heart and walked in faith once again.
Friends, are there areas of your heart that you’ve closed off to the Lord? Areas that are just too painful, too disappointing, too devastating to open back up? Have you stopped hoping? Stopped praying? Stopped dreaming about what could be because the lid is closed and locked tight on your heart?
I think Jesus might be calling your name sweet one. I think He might be inviting you to take the first step back to Him, and welcoming you to pour out your hurts and disappointments so that He can show you who He truly is.
Will you take one step toward healing today friends? If there’s even the smallest amount of strength left in you, would you reach up and grab the hand of hope? Choose to trust again?
If you’ll take the dare to hope again, share it. Tell me one thing you’ll do this very minute to say “yes” to God one more time. Open your heart. He’s there waiting.
Tuesday, we’ll finish up this series as I share what all of this has to do with my new blog!