Thursday, April 21, 2016

“Look where you have not had the heart to look before”

“Every once in a while, life can be very eloquent. 
You go along from day to day
not noticing very much,
not seeing or hearing very much,
and then all of a sudden, when you least expect it,
very often something speaks to you 
with such power
that it catches you off guard,
makes you listen whether you want to or not.
Something speaks to you out of your own life
with such directness
that it is as if it calls you by name and forces you to look
where you have not had the heart to look before,
to hear something that maybe for years
you have not had the wit or the courage to hear.”
(Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark
emphasis mine)

Writing your memoir can be like that: Within the reflecting and pondering and exploring and decoding, something pops up, something breaks you right open and “forces you to look where you have not had the heart to look before.” You can no longer ignore it, hoping it will disappear. You know in your heart of hearts that you can’t turn away. You’ve arrived at a defining moment.

If, in writing your memoir, you unexpectedly "hear something that maybe for years you have not had the wit or the courage to hear," recognize that God is doing something profound.

Set aside time and make a serious effort to listen for God’s still small voice. Be willing to do some soul-searching. God can help you make sense of it and make peace with it. He can give you a new outlook on life, new purpose, new opportunities.

Initially you might not welcome that process, but it can be good and valuableif you give God your undivided attention for as long as it takes

By breaking you open, God can help you break through to a higher, wider, deeper place of faith and joy in Him.

God can open your eyes to see events and relationships in new ways. He can give you a more accurate understanding of His love for you: You are beloved and secure in Him (Deuteronomy 33:12), He takes great delight in you, quiets you in His love, and rejoices over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17) .

Getting there can be a long and painful process, but if you stick with God and search Scriptures and listen and pray, He can shine light on your darkness, He can give you a new song to sing.

Listen to the words of dear David, the psalmist:

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
            and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
            out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
            and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
            a hymn of praise to our God. 
(Psalm 40:1-3, NLT)

When that happens—when God brings you to that good, new place—write the rest of your memoir. Consider it—your memoiryour new song of praise.

“It is through memory that we are able to reclaim much of our lives that we have long since written off by finding that in everything that has happened to us over the years God was offering us possibilities of new life and healing, which, though we may have missed them at the time, we can … be brought to life by and healed by all these years later.” (Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets, emphasis mine.)

So, marvel at God’s goodness. Cherish His grace.

Use your memoir to:

Sing a new song to the Lord!...
Publish his glorious deeds….
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
(Psalm 96:1-3, NLT)

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