Brutal, beautiful Love

I visited a friend's church tonight. This was my second visit, and my husband's first. The worship was awesome. God's presence was definitely there. But the pastor said some things that were just deep, and really got me thinking about stuff. (Warning: my thoughts sort of go all over the place, and don't necessarily lead neatly from one to the next.)

He was talking about how God's love is brutal. One of the illustrations he gave (not sure if he came up with it on the spot or not) was that, if the Holy Spirit were a bear and wanted to eat you, He would have to tear you limb from limb in order to do so. If we want to be consumed by the Spirit, by God, we must be broken. It is a painful process, the whole dying to yourself and dying to the world thing. But it is necessary, and it's really beautiful, even though it is brutal.

Myself - I've had a hard heart lately. The past couple of years, since the death of my first daughter, Genna, have taken me through an emotional - and spiritual - roller coaster. I'd thought that I was on this awesome track, growing ever closer to God, when in reality, I had begun shutting myself off from Him. I've described it to several friends as feeling stuck inside a marble statue, being able to see what's going on, but not being able to actually do  anything.

During the sermon tonight, I was thinking again on this image I'd had in my head, of being stuck inside a statue. But then the image changed, and I saw a baby chick struggling desperately to get out of its shell. This struggle is so hard, it takes all the chick's strength and energy - and honestly, all the chick's will, also. But after the long, desperate struggle is over, the shell is broken, and the chick is able to emerge into a new world, and is able to grow.

And I believe that I have begun to struggle against my shell. I'm really ready. I'm done incubating. I need to bust outta here, see new sights, grow some feathers, and eventually, learn to fly. But I won't be able to do that if I stay in my shell. If I stay in my shell, I will die. I'll outgrow the space, I won't be able to breathe, and I won't have a food source. In order to live - truly live - I must hatch.

And so, that is what I am doing.

Expect to see me leaping from branches flapping my wings in a few months.