Never. Show. The treasures. Again.
For a very long time, the vault remained hidden. All the while, the treasure vigilantly tended and deeply buried.
You see, it was easier this way. It was settled. The past was the past. There was no future. The call had been missed; God’s timing misunderstood, and Him left disappointed.
The vessel was spent, broken and useless.
There was a time – once – when she would allow her innate sense of style to sit happily on the surface but now every facet was toned down, made presentable and acceptable to the culture she tried to assimilate into. No expense was spared at creating a perfectly constructed exterior.
All efforts were doubled – to make up for the loss, you see.
Life’s mandate was now the pursuit of perfection in the form of good wife, mother and surface friend.
But somewhere, buried deeply, was the ever-present internal drive that said ‘this is not the way, there is more to life than this’ and ‘God has not abandoned you…’
As always, these deep-seated truths, coupled with a child-like faith, would thrust themselves to the surface, occasionally causing little cracks to form in the carefully constructed dam wall of ‘all is fine in my world – please don’t dig’.
Funny how God works though. Bit by bit, this faith became evident to those around her. Somehow, little fragments of personality slipped into her day to day life. The quirkiness and eccentricity that she had once been so proud of, began to work cracks into her meticulously designed facade.
And, bit by bit, the desire to fellowship somewhere, with like-minded individuals, became overpowering. The search began. Tentatively at first, then with increasing intensity.
Simultaneously, like lava flowing down a slippery hillside, an uncomfortable urgency began to take over her night and day. She became restless and unsatisfied in her perfectly constructed world. The personification of Failure intruded her dreams, slipping its uninvited point of view mercilessly into her self talk and embedding it’s lies into her identity.
After a search that seemed to actually slow time down completely, she decided to try one more time.
The day dawned bright with the sky clear blue. She checked and doubled checked the already perfectly ordered exterior. The thought of drawing any attention to the inward, broken and rusty treasure, sent her mind into a tail spin.
With her heart pounding, her vows stampeding through her mind, she walked into the unknown.
After spending so many years in a senseless void, with only rare and unpredictable encounters with her Maker, the tangible sense of a dam fracturing when she entered the church, sent her into panic.
She sucked in a sharp breath and thanked God for reminding her of what she had missed and barely held herself together for the duration of the morning, fleeing as quickly as she could.
As she drove home, the heat in her cheeks mirrored the barrage of rage in her mind: ‘How could God do that to me?’, ‘How could he be so cruel?’, ‘Doesn’t he know how
desperately I regret my past?’, ‘Doesn’t he care that I relieve the agony of letting him down, every day???’
She doubled her efforts. She prayed more. Try as she might, to embosom her secret broken life, the dam wall was now precariously close to breaking.
And yet the yearning continued. The yearning deepened. For some time, she managed to keep the dam wall intact, fractured as it now was. Sometimes she would listen to the preaching and it would leave her convinced there was no one else in the room: exposed and revealed, and hazardously close to cracking.
Just when she was beginning to think that she could actually get away with keeping up the facade, the invitations to connect with the women came. She knew this was tempting fate.
She sighed into the deep recesses of her heart, knowing that it was imminent that the wall would come crashing down, so if it was going to be anywhere, it may as well be here. This seemed to be a bunch of women who genuinely cared for each other.
Maybe, just maybe, there might be some of that care thrown her way.
As time gained speed at a rapid pace, she began to cautiously let go of the pieces of the wall that were already coming down. The encounters with God began. Encounters like she had never had before. She gave to Him with growing confidence.
As the light of those around her began to seep into the dark places, God showed up. Big time. Suddenly, the urgency to release it all to Him was like never before; a boldness to break away from her past and enter into the unknown, caused her to express her new found hope and love in ways that she had never thought to do before.
She asked that he would cleanse her, change her. He took her and held her, ferociously ripping off the suffocating layers of debris, enabling her to take the first deep breath in years.
Yes it was painful. At times she thought there would be nothing left but a puddle of emptiness, but the drive to feel free was now overpowering and life-renewing.
A torrent of thoughts began to tumble free from her previously numbed senses, a completely unabridged cacophony of sound. Patiently, He lovingly listened to every word, gently encouraging her to once again, put pen to paper.
One day, she heard, ‘God has nice things to say to you’. Her mind began to quickly spiral, her heart beating like a tribal drum. Daring to dare, she thought, ‘God wants to speak to me about…me???’
Now, her past was checkered with the prophetic, with unrestrained worship, leaving nothing uncovered in the realm of the supernatural. She had spoken Life and Truth into those around her. But not once, since she betrothed herself to Jesus at 5, did it occur to her that God would want to have an intimate and personal conversation…with her…
And so, she asked. And He spoke. She asked some more. And He spoke some more. Lots more.
Today, she takes a look at that dam wall. It’s not quite so big anymore. It has numerous holes and much of the water runs freely, spilling into all the dormant and dry places in her heart. She can see too, that the vault has long since been busted open, many of the treasures once more revealed. She understands that some of the treasures will probably stay there. And that’s ok.
You see, nothing before, could ever have prepared me for the tenacity, the unapologetic zeal with which Father God would pursue me. No one could ever have convinced me that my past could be rewritten.
But when He told me of His love, his affection and deep desire for relationship with me, the ‘broken and damaged and failed one’, nothing could stop me from pursuing such love.
I am far from finishing the race. And like Paul, I will count it all loss for the pursuit of Him, the Lover of my soul. (check this). I am in hot pursuit of his face, his person and his delight for me. I now know that the cost is worth it.
I am unashamed and unapologetic. I am intense and passionate.
I am in love.
(c)2009 Miriam Miles