I am in a thin place. One of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist, explains it like this, “places where the boundary between the divine world and the human world becomes almost nonexistent, and the two, divine and human, can for a moment, dance together uninterrupted. Some are physical places, and some aren’t places at all, but states of being or circumstances or seasons.”
There are fleeting thin places that we all experience. When you look at your child and feel that deep aching love that you can hardly believe. When you hear a song that unexpectedly brings you to tears. When you read a line in a book and everything for a moment becomes crystal clear.
Niequist goes on to say, “There’s another kind of thin place, and we find ourselves in these places when our lives and our hearts are broken open. Brokenness has a way of allowing the supernatural into our lives in the same way that deep joy or great beauty do…”
God has broken my heart open in the past month, in the best way possible. God is all of a sudden speaking directly to me, loudly. Or maybe He has been for a long time and I am finally ready to listen. My heart seems to understand everything He is saying, but my brain is spinning. My life and daily happenings seem completely the same on the outside, but everything in me is changing. It is a struggle. It is uncomfortable and exhausting. I feel as if I am in constant battle. I could ignore all of this and go back to a completely comfortable daily existence or I could lean into this, feel these deep emotions, feel this brokenness and become something better. To become something only God has dreamt for me.
How did I get to this thin place? I started the new year choosing my one word, or rather allowing God to show me my word. Last year, if you remember, I wrote about choosing the word Less. It was the first time I had ever chosen a single word for the year, and at the time, I never could of grasped what God was doing focusing my attention on the word less. He was preparing me. Focusing in on the verse, John 3:30, “He must become greater; I must become less.”
Seek is my word for this year. Seek God, Seek Truths, continue Seeking how to bring less into my life so that I can have so much more God and Truth. Lysa Terkeurst shared this prayer,
God, I want to see you.
God, I want to hear you.
God, I want to know you so that I can follow hard after you every day.
This year God wants me to learn how to follow hard after Him. He wants me to seek Him through His word. So, I started opening up my bible. I will be the first to tell you, I do not know how to do this. I feel uncomfortable and completely unqualified. I feel I’ve never learned how to do this. The crazy thing is though, the only way to get comfortable with reading the bible is to open it and get started. That’s what I did.
At this same time, now seeming like the perfect storm, I began reading Anything by Jennie Allen. It rocked my world! The book is simply about her praying to God that she will do anything and completely surrender to Him. This simple prayer is not simple at all. She writes about the struggles this brings, the hardships, the fears, and everything that she had to give up.
Praying ANYTHING is probably the hardest but most rewarding prayer we could ever say. I am not taking this prayer lightly, and I can honestly say I don’t think I am quite there yet. Thinking about surrendering everything to Him brings so many of my deepest fears to the surface. I am slowly working through it, and God is teaching me along the way, refining me.
Through all of this happening in the span of one month: my one word – Seek, reading his word, and reading Anything, I could hear God’s voice clearer than ever before in my life. I entered into a thin place. God’s telling me to write: boldly, truthfully, and publicly about Him and my story. It seems clear, but in my mind it is so completely lacking direction. I am afraid to put this out there for you all to read because I have failed with this before. I have said I am meant to write, to follow this calling and this dream, and then sputtered out. I looked back, and last year I only wrote three personal posts on this blog.
I have been fearful. Fearing that I am not good enough, fearing that there really is no reason for me to write, fearing that I am already busy enough in my daily life of being a wife, mom, business owner and moving this year with lots of house projects, fearing I am not qualified at all to share anything about God or His word, fearing sharing some of my most personal stories, struggles, and emotions. And the list goes on.
I don’t know why I am meant to do this yet, who knows if I ever will. But one thing is for sure, I hear God loud and clear on this one. I hear him saying to Seek Him, to Seek His truths through His word which will cultivate my vocabulary so that I will not fear sharing my stories with His word in mind. I hear Him through Jennie Allen saying, “I have realized that my gifts were never about me. They weren’t mine to hide or control. They were given to build God’s glory here and for the good of His people.” And I hear Him through friends’ encouragement.
I am going to try this writing and sharing thing, and I don’t know what that looks like. That is scary for me; I always need a detailed plan in mind. But I know, if I keep God as my focus, and not focus on myself in this, I will know what to do. “He must become greater; I must become less.”