August 31, 2010: How long will you forget me… and my desire to be in Virginia? How long before I know you… and see Your face? How long will I be anxious, and agonize over what I don’t have? Answer me, God! Restore brightness to my eyes, as I live and walk as if I were dead. You will deliver me! (Old journal entry derived from Psalm 13)
I wrote this prayer almost three years ago. And as of April 9, 2013, not much has changed. If I simply replaced my desire for Virginia with my newest desire, I could voice this prayer today. It’s apparent that Desire has been my foe for as long as I can remember. She surely has been residing in my heart for years, as evidence of her fruits are woven throughout my journal entries. Desire promised joy, but she delivered only bitterness and anger. She gave birth to impatience and complacency, and finally, to melancholy and depression. Three years ago, Desire had a grip on me, squeezing until there was no room left for anything good. And she almost won, but God came through for me. And here I am today. Desire’s grip is just as strong, but He is stronger. It’s only in His strength that I can defeat her.
Not long ago, I stood at the edge of a precipice. Because of unmet desires, I lost hope. Tired of waiting, I peered into the depth of darkness, poised and ready to fall… but this time God stopped me. He gave me an outlet for my passion, and the blog came to pass. Through it, I began to pour out my heart and soul and I once again felt purposeful. And it was through the writing that I recently came to a turning point in my life. I began to question every single thing I was doing. Or not doing. I came to the point in which I wanted to know God, and what He really wants of me. Because everything I was doing felt so hollow… empty works. Basically, I came to today… a place in which I want to know from the bottom of my heart just what God created me for. I want to know what His purpose was in making me. I want to know what those good works are that I should be walking in. And so today, I am just as desperate as I was three years ago. Today, I am desperately seeking what God wants me to do. I again want to know what His requirements are. And so today, I find myself just where I was in August of 2010. Full circle.
In August of 2010, I was like a woman with a split personality. Full of desperation, and yet, full of hope. Anger with my circumstances, and yet, acceptance. Up and down, back and forth. I wanted and craved and desired, but then, I accepted and submitted. Today, I am exactly the same! Today I want something every bit as much as I wanted Virginia so long ago. And so I see my current feelings documented on page after page of my old journals. It’s like nothing has changed. And yet, everything has changed. The difference is… today I know Him. It was just under three years ago that I began my search for God. He said, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” So I sought the knowledge of God. I wanted to know Him and I desired a relationship with Him. In the prayer above, I even asked Him, “How long before I know you?” I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened, but today I know it’s true. I know Him and have that relationship that once eluded me. He answered my prayer. And so now, I have a new hope. See… part of that prayer of so long ago was for God to restore the brightness to my eyes. Then, I felt like the living dead… exactly how I felt so recently. And although Desire hasn’t lessened her grip on me, and she continues to bear fruit in my life… this time around, I know God! He answered my prayer in bringing me to Virginia, and it’s here that I came to know Him. And I feel certain He’ll answer the rest of my prayer in due season. He’ll one day restore that brightness to my eye. He’ll revive me by breathing new life into my deadened soul. I just need to do my part…
Psalm 27:8 says, “When you said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.” This verse holds the key to defeating Desire. Although “seek” has several meanings, one spoke loud and clear this morning. It means, “to desire.” When I can simply desire God’s face, or His presence, as I did then… He will deliver me from my foe. Because His presence is the one thing I should desire. And so today, He brings to remembrance what He told me before… In Your presence is fullness of joy. See, Desire may offer joy, but she can only deliver pain and sorrow. Because what she promises may never come to pass. But God’s promises are true, and what He promises is fullness of joy in His presence. God says, “Do not mourn nor weep… do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” In His presence, I will find the joy Desire couldn’t deliver. And it’s through the joy of the LORD, that I will find the strength to defeat Desire. Because the more time I spend with Him, the more my desire will be for only Him. That’s the day Desire will lose her grip on me.
I’ve come full circle. I’m right back to where I started almost three years ago… desperately seeking God. And now, my hope is renewed. For God answered my prayer and He delivered me. And He’ll do so again.
September 9, 2010: I shall have joy in Your strength, and in Your salvation how greatly shall I rejoice! You have given me my heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of my lips. I asked for life and you gave it. (Old journal entry derived from Psalm 21)