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Friday, September 26, 2008

Hiding and yet Seeking

Here is Alivia at Disney World a few years ago trying to be cool as she sat on top of her Daddy's shoulders wearing his sunglasses. We were standing on the side of the street waiting for a parade to come around the corner.

Alivia knew there was a parade about to start, but she had no idea who was in it. If you notice in the picture above she has a sweatshirt on and a solemn look on her face.



Then the music could be heard and suddenly around that closely observed corner came a moving stage with the beautiful Belle from Beauty and the Beast standing on top of it waving to the crowd. It was a breathtaking sight to this little princess and she was beyond excited! She quickly handed her Daddy his sunglasses and frantically worked to get her sweatshirt off.

Before the parade passed her by, Alivia wanted the beautiful princess in the yellow dress to see that she was wearing a t-shirt with Belle's face on it.
Even though we were in a crowd with hundreds of excited little girls perched up on their Daddy's shoulders, Alivia felt noticed by Belle as she yelled down at me, "She saw me mommy!"

When Belle waved, it was at her.
When Belle looked into the crowd, Alivia was who she saw.
When Alivia shouted out Belle's name, it was her voice Belle heard.



Alivia took off the layers of clothing she had on so when Belle looked at her and saw her t-shirt, Belle saw her own reflection.

Belle's face was what covered Alivia's heart.





Even when Belle's float rounded the bend in the street and she was out of sight, Alivia felt like a Princess in her own right from just being in her presence. I love the sweet look on her face.
Pure joy.This past Tuesday was the launch of chapter 1 of the new YES to GOD blog study of the book, "Behind Those Eyes".


Chapter summary: Tough.

The flesh of me wants to keep the layered look going for as long as I can and the author of this book is challenging me to take them off and learn to become real before God.

I have to be honest with you.

I.
Don't.
Want to!!

I don't wanna take my sweatshirt off like Alivia did.
I find comfort in keeping covered.
It's what I know.



If I go with what my heart desires and learn how to get real with God, what if I don't like what I see under all these layers?
What if I'm not even close to being who I think I am?
What if God doesn't see His reflection across my heart?



If I allow Christ to strip away all of my comfort what or who will I turn to in times of doubt or stress?
How will I know that it will be Jesus coming around the corner on the float of faith?
When I call out His name...will my voice be heard?
Will He notice me?
Will I be seen by Him?
If He does see me, will He see pure joy on my face?


I don't know what lies ahead, but what I do know is I'm tired.
Tired of layering so you can't see the "real me".
Tired of hiding behind so much junk while genuinly trying to seek Him.
Tired of not giving Jesus free reign of and in my life.




These last few days I have shed many tears late into the early morning hours. Weighed down and heavy with exhaustion from doing life my way. It's been good.
I believe that God has not just thrown me into this study. I feel He has prepared me with the previous two studies that were done here on Tuesday's. He taught me how to say yes to Him and how to walk in faith with Him.
I feel a spiritual growth spurt coming on and I welcome any stretch marks that learning to be real with God will leave behind.




Ladies...if you are doing this blog Bible study with me on YES to GOD Tuesdays of "Behind Those Eyes", I want to encourage you to be like Alivia was on the side of the street at Disney World.


Wait on God.
Layers and all.
Then when you see Him, allow Him to peel those layers off.
Let Him see His own reflection across your heart.
And just like Alivia felt, we too will feel like a princess just from being in His presence.



I have no idea what is coming our way. All I know is that it has to be better than anything the enemy has ever offered us.
I told Lisa tonight on the phone that I was so glad I didn't read her book ahead of time because I might have gone against God's plans and chosen a different, easier study to do.



But truth be told as much as I'd rather keep coasting, I'm tired of easy.
I'm tired of being hidden behind a bunch of layers.
It's time to let God work in my life and let Himself be completely revealed.
In public and behind closed doors.
No more secrets.
No more pretending.

Just Jesus



Lisa Whittle, the God-chosen author of "Behind Those Eyes" has an encouraging word that God has given her to write specifically for you today. Please hop over to her blog by clicking here to read what God has spoken to her heart.


~Many Blessings~


17 comments:

nothingcanseparateme said...

Those "stretch marks" you talk about....I am feeling them--and they are very uncomfortable.

Again, Lelia you have a gift for the written word.

Kim

Naomi said...

I want to say "thanks" for helping me out with 'directions' - it was a huge help... Now, is getting the YES TO GOD button that easy??? How do I not know these things???... where have I been???... My book is on it's way, too - yeah! Hope you're having a good snooze as I type and that you wake refreshed for a new day...

Naomi said...

Oh, and this post was another amazing read (with the most delightful pictures). Thank you for your honesty and your willingness to open up for God's glory. You are wonderful!

Paula said...

I am ready for it. I'm nervous, but I'm ready. I partially know what He wants me to get rid of already, as He's been telling me for a few weeks now. I've been working with Him and I can feel Him tugging away at me more and more. The enemy has been creeping in, whispering in my ear and trying to get me to succomb, but I'm holding my own.

One of my layers is me. I need to look out passed myself to what is actually right there in front of me, and I need to make sure I don't miss out. Yes, I'm talking about my little girl. The enemy has left his horrid little mark on both of us lately, but I'm going into battle against him as I want him to leave me and Jasmine alone.

We had movie night tonight, and she got rather tired towards the end and the whining started, but I held my own, remained positive and only once, earlier in the evening, did I lose my patience. so, thanks be to God for that I was able to maintain the real Paula whom I want to be around my daughter.

Alivia is such a delight, and I pray that God can help me to release some of the wounds from my past and love my little girl as much as you do yours. That is another stronghold the enemy has with me, but I will overcome!

I'm off to read some more of chapter 2 now! Love In Him, Paula

Jill said...

Lelia,
I greatly apprecaite your honesty!! I too fear what lies ahead, but if it's part of God's will, which it is, it will be a good thing. Maybe not easy, but it will be good! Just last night I was in for homecoming festivities and they honored the state champion team from '93, my senior year. It was great to walk down memory lane and visit with former classmates, but I walked away thinking I wouldn't go back. I have too much to be thankful for. I also thought of this study as some pretty generic conversations were taking place and really wondered did anyone even know me back then? Probably not, because I don't think I even knew myself 15 years ago!! Praise God I'm not who I was and feel we'll all say those words when this study comes to a close!
Blessings and pray you have a wonderful weekend!
Jill

HIS Daughter said...

Thank you, Lelia. I'm so glad GOD brought you into my life! Our Father is so precious, HE brings HIS daughters from near and far to get together and fellowship and learn of HIM more deeply.

You are just precious -you and your beautiful family!

Praying for you right now,
Teri

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

Thanks for your honesty! I love this post, it hit the nail on the head for me.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Lelia, I don't know how you hit it out of the park week after week, but you do. GREAT analogy.

hkudla said...

Hi there,
You know, I read Lisa's post late last night before bed.

I have been letting God strip away the layers. But I am afraid to know what is coming next.

You aren't the only one who is afraid. Who is so wanting to be real and open. Who is afraid of what that might mean... afraid of the next layers of the onion to be peeled back... it hurts!
Hmmm... the truth hurts...

sigh. You might be interested in a post that I wrote... actually a poem I posted on my site... It's called "my journey"
here's it's link:
http://hkudla.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/my-journey-a-poem/

Love you...
Heather

Carol said...

Lelia,

I know exactly what you mean. I'm afraid too, but am tired of hiding behind myself. Tired of keeping in all in.

I'm so glad I found this study, and this group of women.

Your daughter is so beautiful. I love how God shows us lessons through our little ones.

Love,
Carol

Paula said...

Hi there lovely Lelia,

You've been tagged at http://paulassharingspot.blogspot.com/2008/09/tagged-by-tree.html.

Some light-hearted fun to end the week on. Drop back over to my page and let me know if you've posted a list.

Love ya, Paula :-)

Anita said...

Truth and authenticity!! Two very huge words when you think of them. Letting go of deceit and pretenses used for protection and becoming truthful and very real with your own person--the one that God knows is hiding out inside is a very tough and scary road to travel. The truth really hurts. But knowing who waits at the end of that road with open arms and a shoulder to rest upon is truly an awesome thought!

Laura said...

Your voice will be heard.
He will notice you.
You will be seen by Him.

You are his precious one. He sees you in the crowd! He wants to hold you in His arms.

These overwhelming feelings you are having is Him calling you closer!

You are such a special lady. thank you for all that you are, Lelia!

Regina said...

It seems everytime I've tried truth with others it's only come back to bite me. And I'm afraid I've worn layers for so long I wouldn't know the truth if it slapped me in the face. If this study fleshes itself out in my life it will truly have to be a work of God.

What's that saying? If you're scared say you're scared....

I'm scared. But I want it. I want what He wants. All of it. The very best of it. I'm tired of second best.

Lysa TerKeurst said...

BEAUTIFUL post Lelia. And what a joy that you are doing Lisa's book now.

She is the real deal and so is her book. Keep pressing onward and upward.

Thank you for the crucial ministry you are doing in bloggy land.

Sweet Blessings dear friend!

Naomi said...

Paula beat me to it to let you know about it, but I tagged you first!!!... Just for some light-hearted fun over the weekend in blogger-land. Now, I'm off to play Tiggy (Tag) for real with my boys... I can't stay on this 'puter ALL day!!!

Kristen said...

I wasn't able to fully devote time this week to read everyone's posts to our first week of study due to my father in law being taken home to be with Jesus. I am so looking forward to really digging in with everyone this week.

Authenticity... that word has really been a focus for me this last week. I had the opportunity to see people this week who are some of the most authentic folks I know. I also saw some inauthentic (is that a word?) actions as well. I prayed for those people, and asked the Lord to burn the fake right out of them. I too want the Lord to burn the fake right out of me! I am pretty much a transparent gal... but that wasn't always the case. I am so excited about the journey that we are taking together in God's Word and Lisa's book. It will be filled with laughter, love and I know a bit of pain too.