I attended an incredible women’s conference on Saturday: It’s Your Day, put on by Savannah Christian Church. After the first session, we were invited outside for a snack break in a beautiful, historic Savannah square. As I gathered up my bag to head outside, a song began playing that stopped me in my tracks. I knew God was speaking to me, inviting me in.
I told my friends to go on without me and I dropped to my seat, in search of my prayer request card. As the familiar lyrics softened my heart, I read the prompts. “How can we pray for you?” it asked. My first response was to write about someone dear to me, but the next question asked about whom else I’d like lifted in prayer. So, I got honest about the deepest desire of my own heart: that I would have the confidence to do what God asks of me. He’s been asking for a while, and I’ve all but ignored him, dragging my precious little feet. The third question asked “What do you hope God will do in/for you today?” I wrote, “That He would set me free!” Then I remembered that He already did. I’m the one who holds on to the chains. So, I added, “That I would be set free from my fear.” I tucked my pen in my purse, and tried to shield my tear-streaked face from the women in front of me as I soaked in the last of the song.
The more I seek you, the more I find you
The more I find you, the more I love you
I want to sit at your feet, drink from the cup in your hand
Lay back against you and breathe, feel your heartbeat
This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand
I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming
I made my way up the aisle of the historic theatre, gave my prayer requests to the volunteer, and found my friends on a wooden park bench. We had all been wowed by the first session about Sitting at the Rabbi’s Feet, and eagerly returned to hear Jen Hatmaker speak about Loving Your Neighbor. It was refreshing to hear someone speak so honestly and so passionately about her life and her love for Jesus and His people. She added insight to scripture passages I’ve heard many times before, and brought them to life in a meaningful, relevant way. But, hear me on this: I was equally moved by how she embraces who God created her to be. She’s unapologetically herself.
As the second session came to a close, the worship leaders returned to the stage. We were directed towards the white cloths in our gift bags, and invited to hold them up to God in surrender, if the Spirit led. I knew instantly that I’d be bawling my way through the song. And that was the good news!
I can’t even tell you what the song was. It was beautiful and impactful and on-topic. I even sang along, arms lifted high in freedom. But I only had ears for God. And He had plenty to say! “Just BE who I made you to be. Don’t worry about doing it wrong. I made you the way you are on purpose. Embrace ALL of it! Don’t worry that you stand out from the crowd. Do what I call YOU to do. It may not be what I call others to do. Or, maybe it is and they aren’t obeying me either. Just keep your eyes focused on me! Do the things that make YOU come alive. I gave you those desires. I am with you, and I am for you!”
I stood in awe. When I wrote those prayer requests earlier, they were about the nagging desire God put on my heart to share my journey, through this blog. I feel called to bare my soul and live transparently, and that’s a scary proposition when I’ve spent so much of my life hiding: behind my over-achieving, my busy-ness, and food (to name a few).
As I allowed God to minister to my heart, He reminded me that I am writing for an audience of one: Him. What He does with it is out of my control. I’m simply called to obey. So, here I am, God, with my heart on my sleeve. I surrender! Use me, Lord.
Please visit me at my new blog, www.ericaaklan.com