Through the years I have increasingly realized the value of having a teachable heart. Esther 2:15 beautifully summarizes the blessings of that to me: "When the time came for Esther to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her." Because Esther was willing to receive and heed council, she not only won favor, but became a queen who God used to save His people.
After being away from blogging for so long it is difficult to know where to begin!
Seriously, I've typed, erased, typed, erased...so I think I'll just begin with a story!
I was at a Christmas party awhile back. One of those with a gift exchange where everyone receives a number and then gets to choose or steal their gift. Each time a gift was opened the person who brought the gift would stand, introduce themselves, and tell why they brought what they did.
A gift was chosen. It was a beautifully decorated and potted miniature pine tree. The woman who had brought the gift stood and introduced herself and then shared from her heart why she chose to bring this beautiful tree...
2009 had been a difficult year for her. As each new trial or difficulty presented itself; she began to feel buried in her circumstances. It was as if a new pile of dirt were being shoveled upon her head over and over with each new issue and emotional hurt. It was difficult to breathe or to see clearly and she began to cry out to God asking why He was allowing these suffocating circumstances. Then she read this verse:
"...and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow upon them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called, "oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, for the display of His splendor." Isaiah 61:3
She realized she wasn't being buried; she was being planted. Planted by the Lord, for the display of His splendor. He was inviting her to to be rooted and established in Him rather than gasping for air on her own.
This was the first moment that I heard God's "sacred echo" (as Margaret Feinberg calls it.) God's drawing me back to writing and blogging. Not so much because I was feeling buried in the moment; but because He has taken great care in planting me, as He has you, for the display of His splendor. It is my prayer that His splendor would be displayed here in these electronic pages and with every word that I write or type.
Since that day there have been increasing nudges and echoes within; releasing my pen/keyboard. But it will most likely not be something scheduled for quite awhile; just as I am led.
Thank you to each of you who has reached out, prayed for me, and encouraged me throughout these months off of blogging. Your e-mails and messages have blessed me greatly.
If you find yourself struggling for breath; buried in your circumstances or hurts, take heart. God may be at work, planting your roots deep enough to reach the steams of His living water.
Lives near Washington D.C. with her wonderful husband of 15 years and their three precious children. She is the Co-Founder of Bloom! (a ministry for 4th/5th Grade Girls,)and she enjoys speaking at ladies events. Shanda is a Proverbs 31 Ministries "She Speaks" Graduate and can be contacted at email@example.com