By Angie Wilson
After a long week and in the midst of a turbulent few months, I texted these words to my treasured friend early one morning.
Ok…bear with me. Long text but I have to share. I dump all my stuff on you, so when God moves, I wanna dump that too. J My circumstances have not changed, but oh…my perspective has. My eyes have been opened. I have been in a drought for months, it seems. He spoke clearly yesterday and this morning, I am renewed! Familiar passage…John 15:1-8. It was like new to me. He took me there this morning so clearly. I heard Him tell me to go there specifically. I haven’t been abiding, remaining, staying. I’ve come for snipits, pieces here and there. I’ve walked away because of fear and discouragement and I’ve not been receiving life from Him because I’ve not been connected to the Vine…not the way He desires me to be connected. Sounds elementary, I’m sure, but it’s been profound for me these two mornings. Verse 7 floored me…IF I remain in Him and His words in me, I can ask whatever I want in His name and it WILL BE granted. WILL BE! I feel like He’s not hearing and answering, but it’s because I’m not remaining. I know it. I’ve confessed and renewed my commitment to remain, to abide, to not walk away.
As I sat down to write for this post, the Lord nudged me to share my heart with you. Exactly the words I’d shared with my friend. Honest and raw. I know there’s another momma out there who needs this same powerful reminder He’d given me.
Let me give you a very brief background to my text message. Like most of you reading this post, I am a mom. My boys are a joy to me, a treasure that cannot adequately be expressed in words. You also know that with the joy of mothering often comes heartache.
We do not all experience the same challenges, but we do all experience them. All stages of child rearing – from infancy to teenage years – bring trial and hardship. I have been walking through some difficult days with one of my boys. It has been a long season – tiring, weary, heavy. There have been days I’ve felt like giving up. I’ve even whispered to myself, “That’s it. I can’t do this anymore. I do not know what else to do.”
Have you been there? Perhaps you are there now. Do you feel as though God is silent? Do your prayers seem to be bouncing off the ceiling? Maybe it’s mothering. Maybe it’s wife-ing (is that a word?). Maybe it’s ministry, a friendship, a job. Life can be so very hard. So painful and sometimes lonely.
This difficult season has left me dry. I admit it. While I have not forsaken my Bible intake or prayer time, something has been lacking. Fear of the future and discouragement in the present have fought for control. And at times, I’ve relinquished. I’ve spent many early mornings sitting in the dark unable to move. Unable to read past a verse or two. Unable to utter a prayer.
And then…early one Thursday morning, God awakened me. I am an early riser, but He stirred me even before my alarm sounded. I was wide awake and I sensed Him tugging me to come meet with Him. Right then. I went to my spot and sat still…much like I had for weeks and months. God prodded my heart to talk to Him. To pray. To pour myself out. All of me. So I did. I began telling Him all that filled my heart and mind. Nothing held back. Nothing sugar coated. Raw pain and frustration. And then I sensed His presence. It was the caring embrace of my Heavenly Father. I knew it well. At the close of my quiet time, I felt a sense of relief. I went about my day…but I remained in His presence.
Then came Friday morning. I stopped by the Keurig for that much needed first cup of coffee. I went to my spot once again. I had something in mind that I would read that morning, but before I opened my Bible, I asked the Lord what He’d have me read. I wanted His presence like the previous day. I began opening my Bible to the passage I had in mind, but my Bible fell open and notes from a recent Wednesday night sermon fell out. I saw the reference and knew, without a doubt, the Lord was directing me to John 15.
So I read John 15:1-8.
These words, which I’ve read hundreds of times before, pierced my heart. I was spending time with Him daily. But I was not remaining. When life pressed me on every side, over and over again, day after day, I did not cling to the Vine.
“For apart from me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5b)
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” (John 15:7)
How could I possibly continue walking through these difficult days apart from Him? How could I mother with wisdom from above apart from Him? How could I pray with expectation apart from Him?
He bids me to come. And He wants me to stay there. To remain.
When mothering is blissful and when it is heart wrenching, remain.
When life is smooth sailing and when you’re tossed about on the stormy waves, remain.
When your marriage is whole and when it is barely hanging on by a thread, remain.
When your family is thriving and when it is barely surviving, remain.
Read John 15:1-8 with fresh eyes and an open heart. Get up close to your Heavenly Father and stay there. Watch Him produce abundant fruit in your life and answer prayers! You WILL bring great glory to your Father!