Getting back to the heart

Something's stirring lately.

I'm getting back to the heart here. I've been second-guessing and doubting what and how much to talk about here in this space. What type of audience I need to attract, how I need to present myself.
And I'm here today to say I am so over it.
I am a major work in progress when it comes to owning my calling to write. Calling myself an author—I've been rather transparent about that this year. But no more will I jot down post ideas only to delete them with a roll of the eyes and, No one will be interested in this.

One enormous facet of the abundance God's been revealing to me has been about relationship and connection. He is The God of the Universe and yet knows each and every one of us intimately, scarily—and loves us anyway. Always chasing us down.
How much more then as a follower of Him, should I extend my heart here in this space, in my books? And by extending it, revealing it authentically. Not what I think you want to read. Not what I think a Proper Author should write.
Just my heart.
It's been the inspired posts and the most heart-achingly hard scenes to write in my books, that you have resonated with. Grammatical errors and all.

You know when you pray those prayers that go along the lines of, "Break my heart for what breaks Yours?" or "Reveal Yourself to me, Lord." It's those types of desperate prayers that don't even begin to adequately express the wordless ache deep in our souls. Those words spoken from our hearts to God's ears—those prayers are dangerous. But they invite Him in if we remain soft and pliable for Him to work.
We live in a broken world where relationships and connections hurt. People hurt people. On purpose, by accident. Bad book reviews...
Scars and callouses build up and warp our view of other people in a self-protective web that hisses that we're better off taking care of ourselves. That way we won't get hurt. That way we won't experience more rejection or judgment.
Oh but the abundance we miss. Trust me. I'm still tiptoeing out of that fearful, guarded living. But it's a necessary walk, friends. I get how tired and burnt out life can get us—whether you're in Crisis Mode or just Normal Life is zapping the strength out of you week in and week out. But if you have Jesus in your heart—it doesn't have to be like this.
Now that we as believers have Holy Spirit dwelling in us at all times, we have a responsibility to show up and park ourselves to meet others where they are. Like the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament—the Israelites parked it when God instructed them to, and there He made Himself known.
We're all individual arks, friends. We carry Holy Spirit in our hearts at all times. And yet we, I, get so tangled up in the comparison games, the insecurities, *insert your constant trip-up here.* It's a large part of why I've been quiet here.
This all stems from brokenness.
But God. He is bigger.
His grace and love always sufficient, all covering. And He wants only good for us, believe it or not. He cares so deeply it's enormously hard to fathom.
There is an abundant life to be had when we press into Jesus, warts, broken pieces and all. But it's when He calls us out onto the waves—to show up and park ourselves—vessels of Holy Spirit—where we can perhaps extend a measure of grace to another broken person. Just. By. Showing. Up.
And the bonus of this, y'all?
It's not draining. It's stretching, yes—but stretching relieves tension and leaves you with a good ache.
Just showing up? It opens more doors for Jesus to reveal Himself and fill you up. And it only takes one step at a time—not a whole big long To Do list. Not some special prayers or Bible study. Moment by moment, lean in and start by being honest with our Father God. Nothing shocks or offends or puts Him off. Ever.
I don't know when all this started for me earlier this year—still quite honestly wrapping my brain around it. It's why this post serpentined away from me a bit. But now that I am back writing about my loves (and not just my bookish loves/lessons learned), can I "speak" these words of Paul over you, reader?

For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen

Words, history, and grace color my days here in The Burgh where I seek out the perfect coffee and red lipstick.

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