Monday, September 7, 2009

Seats in the balcony....

So much on my heart, not enough words in my vocabulary to convey. Sometimes, when I sit down to blog, I have no idea what I am going to write about until I just start typing...seriously. Sometimes, I just have something on my heart and writing in my journal or blogging is the one thing that gets it all out.

I suppose writing down my thoughts and feelings is something that I started as a wee little girl. My Mom and Dad could tell you many stories of notes slipped under their bedroom door asking them for their forgiveness or permission about something. Maybe this note writing thing was because it was not as scary as face to face conversation. Perhaps it is because I feel like I can hide behind the pen or the keyboard, whichever it is, it's my way of communicating and it always has been.

With that said, I am spilling out my heart. This blog is intended for my children to read and cherish one day as I retell stories about their childhood and funny sayings. 90 percent of this blog is for them, my Loves. The other 10 percent or so is for them to have a glimpse into Mommy's heart. A side that they may not know about me until reading this one day. I want them to know these things, just in case there is the small chance they may face the same battles, the same struggles.

My heart is saddened by the tragic deaths of some people in our circle. One was a 34 year old man who Lem went to school with. He took his life. He took his own life. Upon hearing this news, my knees buckled from under me...not physically, but spiritually. My friend and neighbor, Shannon, called me on my cell phone to tell me this horrific news. I didn't know him, but Lem did. None of this mattered though, whether I knew him or not did not matter. The fact was...someone my age was in such dire straits that the only alternative was taking his own life away.

I still can't wrap myself around this kind of despair and hopelessness. I have heard that anti-depressants may have been to blame. If so, I am even more saddened to know that it may have been prevented. Whichever the case, my heart has been troubled since hearing the news. My spirit has been stirred in such a way that I feel more than ever the need for loving the sick, and befriending those that need a little encouragement or just an ear to listen. My heart is stirring for the millions and millions of people that do not know Jesus. They have no hope, they have no reason to live when something terrible happens. They don't know the peace and the hope that comes with Him.

It's overwhelming and feels a bit daunting at times. Then, just when I feel this way, God assures me that He is leading. I just need to follow. Oh, yes! Follow...follow...follow....i must remember this. I get carried away with "what can i do?? what can i do???" I can almost see God shaking his head as if to say, " No,'s what I can do...not what you can do. I will work through you, just listen to my commands and follow me."

Unfortunately, I have never been good at following directions. I am much more of a "visual" learner. So, I ask God to give me a picture of hope and how to spread His love and His hope. I imagine that I am the one who is lost and in despair. For, it is not hard to imagine. I have been there, many times. Thank God for people who don't let me stay there for very long. I picture those people, this is my "visual". What are they doing? They are nurturing me, leading me, speaking love, truth and wisdom into my life. They are picking up the pieces and helping me to put it all back together without chastising me for letting the pieces fall apart. I love these people. They are being led by God, they are being stirred and prodded by the Holy Spirit on my behalf. This is my visual. This is my hope.

My friend, Beka, gave me a book that I often look back upon from time to time. It's encouraging, it's full of hope. It's called "Balcony People". I imagine the people in my balcony cheering me on when I feel like I can't go on another day. I imagine the love and belief they have in me as I face a struggle or a stronghold. At the very top tier of that balcony, I see Jesus. He is barely visible because of the light that shrouds His very presence. The warmth of His presence fills the whole arena, my arena. As I squint my eyes to get a closer glimpse, I see my "balcony people" clearer and clearer, though they are not what I was looking for. I feel myself trying harder and harder to just see Him. Then it hits me. I get it. They are Him. He is working through them. He loves me so much that He never leaves my arena at any given moment and never takes His eyes off of me. Yet, He is also using their hands as His hands. Picking me back up when I am down, and gently guiding me to level ground.

What am I saying? I am saying that everyone needs a balcony full of people cheering them on, believing in them. When the seats are empty or vacant, it makes for a lonely show. I hope that by the end of my life, I will be in the balconies of many. I want to rest in the peace that God used His hands to work through me, not for my glory but for His alone.

"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-yes, establish the work of our hands. " Psalm 90:17

reserving my balcony seats,



Anonymous said...

What an inspiration for me, and I will be looking up at my balcony this Thursday as my mind will be vacant when I'm put to sleep for surgery; but my spirit is filled with the holy ghost and God will be there in the operating room so I will not be alone. Thank you Jill for sharing your spiritual gift of writing. Never stop using your gift that God has given you.

Angela said...

Amen to what mom said! Always an inspiration.

Jess said...

What a beautiful image, Jill. And such a sweet sweet spirit you have, too. So glad y'all have been able to join our Tuesday night study. :)

Sweet Inlow's said...

I simply can't get enough of others sharing what the Father is revealing to them. And thank you so much for opening your heart and telling us your life stories. I've been encouraged. Rock on sweet Jill.

Rebekah Hudgins said...

I want to be in your balcony! You have the best stories to tell!

Love you sweet balcony friend!!!!!!!!