By Audre Rickard
As the season of change approaches, I am invited to consider how I traverse life’s complexities as I abide with Jesus. This time of year always invites me to take notice. Especially as our family (my girls and me) prepares for school, routines and bustling productivity. This year’s added complexity with the impact of COVID-19 on our school systems and our way of life may be different from last but it is no longer a new change. It has become another invitation to ponder how I abide.
There are times in my life where I run in front of Jesus with all that I am, glimpsing back at Jesus. My motivation to run ahead changes, sometimes it is for good reasons (I feel free and the path seems pretty clear) and other times it is for not so good reasons (the shoulda’s, fear and shame keep me racing). Jesus throws blessings in my direction but because I am running so fast, the blessings only fall on the back of my heels as I push forward trying to do more and more and more. I see the Spirit of God at work in my life and I grow weary as I strain to do for God what I think I am supposed to be doing. My driven heart posture limits my view and my presence with my Jesus, myself and those in my life.
There are times in my life where Jesus is walking ahead of me at a comfortable pace and there seems to be an invisible rope that pulls me along. As I shoulder my load (more like carrying it on my stomach), I have got my heels dug in out of fear, shame or I'm not ready or am unaware of what Jesus is inviting me to. While I am behind Jesus, the blessings roll off his fingertips and hit the tips of my toes of my dug in feet. I have a presence of mind to know Jesus is there and blessing me but my heart posture limits my view and my presence with my Jesus, myself and those in my life.
Each of these postures carries the load of life in different ways. The runner may carry the load by limiting the weight, casting it off or minimizing it so it could fit in their back pocket. The runner in its drive to stay light and nimble may run from the danger of fear and shame. Avoiding the danger does keep the runner alive for a time, but over time it fatigues the soul and becomes a weight the runner can’t out run. The runner will always come to the end of themselves because while humans can run, their body was not intended to always be in a state of running.
The dug-in may carry the load of life by allowing the weight of the load to be the only perspective and perception. Where each facet of life is a giant boulder no one could shoulder but has to be taken on because that is how life is. And on top of the boulders of life, Fear, & Shame jump up and down having a good ol’ time. The dug-in can only stay stagnant for so long. The human spirit and body was made to move, exercise and lift. The heart muscles, body muscles and spirit muscles were not designed to atrophy.
There is a balance of sorts, a paradox of a life abiding with Jesus, in Jesus. This metaphor quickly allows us to consider where we are in relationship with Jesus and with ourselves. We know intuitively neither is sustainable nor pleasant for very long. But it may be all we have known. We may not know how to change but considering this metaphor we are invited to become aware of how we are loved by Jesus, his presence and how we could abide in a different way.
What does it look like for you to abide with Jesus in this season?
Trusting God’s pace for your soul, body, and mind.
Grasping the abundance of resources, time, love and grace hidden in Jesus.
Accepting your dignity is honored as you say “yes,” “no,” "maybe," and "not yet."
Appreciating how fiercely loved you are for just being you and being right where you are.
My dear friends, through it all Jesus is never holding you back, dragging you or walking away from you, instead the Spirit of the Living God is before you, is with you (inside of you) and is hemming you in. Jesus is holding you together as you learn, test, try and wrestle with what it is for you to abide in such a time as this. Jesus welcomes the journey at whatever pace because he loves you, he knows you, he accepts you fully and is devoted to you.
In the Spirit’s Grip Together,
Hello, I'm Audre.
I hold space for individuals needing care for their soul as they overcome the devastating blows of divorce and grow to thrive in the density of God's grace. I purpose to be a person with whom you will be heard, seen, and known in a safe, non-judgmental and accepting way. I have been told my capacity to honor people without judgement is magnetic.
I have a BA of Religion with an emphasis in Biblical and Theological Studies through Liberty University. I am currently pursuing a certificate in the Art and the Practice of Spiritual Direction through the Companioning Center. I am a Hope*Writer and the Blog Editor for the Companioning Center.
If you or anyone you know is going through a divorce and needs a safe place to be in community to process, be loved and be seen, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at www.audrerickard.com. It would be an honor to walk along side you or your friends.