I spend a lot of time in reflection. I honestly don’t know if it’s because it takes me so long to process through something or if it’s because I have a slight obsession with painstakingly flipping over every rock so I don’t miss the tiny details.
In truth, probably a little of both.
It’s useful to me, though. Most especially when I’m taking the time to reflect on how God has spoken to me…making sure I haven’t missed the finer details of that bigger picture He’s presented.
I can only compare it to the instruction I give my kiddos. We have one daughter in particular that only seems to hear the first instruction. She’s either daydreaming during the second half or takes off running to complete a task so she has more time to play leaving the rest of my bidding undone. When I finally see her again or try to follow up with questions as to whether she finished the rest of her chore she gets worked up over the fact that I left something out. “But you didn’t tell me that!” she will likely say. Or “I didn’t hear you, Mom!”
She takes my instructions for granted and misses the smaller details of the big picture, all because she doesn’t want to stop and engage in the conversation with me, listening carefully.
All too recently, God showed me that my daughter isn’t the only one who turns a deaf ear. She’s not the only one who thinks she’s got it all figured out and runs ahead of the game with only half the know-how to participate.
God dropped this message into my lap through Joanna Weaver’s book entitled Lazarus Awakening. With the recent news of her upcoming DVD study that compliments this book I wanted to read for myself Joanna’s beautiful words. Yet, as I opened the book to begin studying, I had a heavy heart almost immediately.
Ladies, God has this way about sending in the seemingly innocent to drop a resonating message right in our laps.
My “wake up” moment was in regard to friendship. I’d recently had a conversation with a close friend that included a heart-felt apology. I’d been incredibly convicted and admitted to her how upset I was with my behavior. I told her how sorry I’d been for becoming such a bad friend.
You see, I’m a listener. I do a lot of nodding and processing during a conversation and I don’t necessarily have a lot to say right off the bat because I take it all in. Listeners tend to thrive around other listeners, oddly enough. We seem to sense the change in the room that we are surrounded by other women who are a lot like us and we suddenly know how to talk. If I’m in the presence of a woman who shares a lot of information without allowing anyone else to respond, chances are I don’t give much of a view as to what’s beneath my surface. (Texting is the exception to this rule because I have an uninterrupted voice.)
I came to realize that I had been taking advantage of one of my other listener friends. We shared stories over cups of tea for months on end but I had absolutely no follow-through in regard to what I would hear from her. I would listen, alright. But I never engaged in what I was hearing. I would hear it and move on.
By the time I’d read these words in Joanna’s book I’d already come to terms with this struggle. My friend accepted my apology, giving me grace all the while, and I was able to see myself in the mirror for what I had been doing wrong. Yet as I took the opportunity to reacquaint myself with that entire situation I felt as though God laid the rest of the message upon my heart. The part I missed because I was running on ahead.
It sounded something like, “Jennifer, now you understand that to have a relationship you must listen and engage.”
The impact was sudden and swift.
I was falling asleep spiritually. I allowed myself to wander off into the desert, complaining about the heat and lack of tasty food. But my bigger problem was faith. Over the coarse of just a few months time I’d become nothing more than acquaintances with God.
…and you thought that wake up call to friendship was just all about my friend, didn’t you?
How does God do this? How does he enlighten me about my earthly friendship to teach me about my eternal friendship?
True friendship must be reciprocated – a give-and-take of love on both sides. Anything less leads only to mere acquaintances. –Joanna Weaver
Well, I have plenty of acquaintances and a handful of amazing friends. But I only have One God who wants me to listen and engage with Him every day. Another quote of Joanna’s that resonated with me –
The best kind of communication flows out of relationship.
Why was I not relating?
I’ve answered all of these questions already and I have every excuse in the book. Most of those involve quitting a job, obliterating my routine and acquiring four children at home for the summer rather than daycare and day camp. (Y’all…I’m busy!) I let myself use it as an excuse. That these reasons were enough to remove myself from the other half of my friendship with Him. That I could fly solo for a bit and my wings would sustain me for as long as I needed.
We are wired to be in fellowship…with others and with Him. I don’t want this to be a one-woman show.
When I allow the Lord to provide the accompaniment to my life, I discover a richly layered soundtrack more beautiful than anything I could compose myself. –Joanna Weaver
It’s been an interesting journey to watch God unfold it all before my eyes. Joanna’s words have waken me up in my faith in such a way that I am convinced it’s a message we must all hear.
I encourage you to visit the Lazarus Awakening promotional video located here. This will give you a taste of what Joanna has put together for this lesson. I’ve been blessed enough to hear Joanna speak in person and I’m certain you won’t be disappointed.
Until then, I leave you with one final quote…
“None of us deserves this miraculous gift of life. It’s all grace, every bit of it. Even the hard parts. Even the parts we don’t understand. –Joanna Weaver
Who wants to sleep through this gift of life? Isn’t it time to trust Him, engage with Him and roll away the stone?
I received this book to review. I was in no way compensated for this review and all opinions are 100% my own.