Oh gosh, that sounds pretty, doesn't it?
A rendered heart.
It sounds like the name of a song.
Perhaps I should write one.........
"A Rendered Heart."
It could be good.......
For the last week, those three simple words have been banging around in the back of my head.
Although, it hasn't felt all that "pretty". Actually, it's felt rather..... uncomfortable.
This is how it started.
(In a nutshell.)
Six months or so ago, Jason suggested that we take part in a Church mission trip to Romania, with our 17 year old daughter. While truthfully, I wasn't really desperate to go, I wasn't really opposed to going either so, I said "Sure." And so we went. But, I went with trepidation. Not because I was afraid of going, but because I was afraid it wouldn't really amount to much importance; for them, or for me. You see, we were going as part of a construction team for a camp they're building and, I'm not particularly skilled at construction. Mostly, I figured that I'd end up going over there, I'd paint a few walls, meet some good people, sing a song or two in a Romanian church, and come home, pretty much the same as I went.
But, that's not what happened. I mean, I did paint some walls, I sang a few songs in a few Romanian churches, and I did meet some amazing people.
Me painting some walls. :)
Me singing in a Romanian church.
Me and some AMAZING people!
But, I didn't come home the same as I went. And I didn't leave things the same, either. You see, God showed up. I saw the evidence of His presence; I felt it, powerfully, in my heart. So, instead of coming home the same as I went, I came home longing........
I love Jesus.
I've always loved Jesus.
But for a brief stint when I decided to live for myself (and ended up pregnant and unwed; more on that in a later post) I've always desired to live a life of righteousness before God. I haven't always been perfect; far from it in fact but, I've always striven to love Jesus with all of my heart, all of my soul and all of my mind. And that desire to love Jesus, has translated into a deep desire to love people.
Loving people makes me happy. It gives me joy and makes me feel alive. I love to love people. And it's a good thing too, since God calls us to do exactly that.
But, something is happening in my heart.
Since coming back from Romania.......
Well actually, it started before we went to Romania, this "something" happening in my heart, but since coming back, it's as though it's come to fruition, or maybe, it's coming to fruition..........
This something; kind of feels like there isn't enough room in my heart for all the love that keeps growing.
It almost feels like my heart is expanding;
bursting at the seams.
My heart is being rendered.
It is being rendered to make room.
.........rendered to make room for God to write His story on my heart, rather than my own.
.........rendered to make room for more of His love;
more love than it can actually hold at the moment.
.........rendered for the sake of His Kingdom.
And it's painful.
It hurts, this rendering;
this stretching and pulling and tearing.
But, it hurts so beautifully.
Because with all this rendering, Love is growing, getting bigger, stronger and more complete within me.
I want this.
More than anything, I want this kind of love.
My trip to Romania was beautiful; more beautiful than I could have imagined. And there are so many things I'm grateful for....... so many things that I want to share, and I will! But there was no experience more beautiful than the process of rendering of my heart to make room for more of His love.
There is nothing I want more than the kind of love that fills my heart up so much that it pushes against the seams, and seeps out and spills onto everyone I meet. I want this Love to explode from me so that everyone I come in contact with cannot help but get caught in the crossfire...... the crossfire of God's love and grace and hope and forgiveness. I want the kind of extravagant love that builds and grows and bursts from my heart, even if it breaks my heart, so that others can see and experience this life-changing, perfect Love, too.
I want this kind of love.
I was created to bear this kind of love.
And so were you.
But, this kind of love can only come from a rendered heart.
Rend your heart along with me, won't you?
“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness.....