This is part 2 in a series about Learning to Live with Myself. The series is based on my reflective thoughts inspired by a chapter in the book Living With Contradiction by Esther de Waal.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Last time, I talked about the conflict of being a woman who carries so many roles. Frankly, at times it stresses me out and I end up not being the woman that I want to be. I was praying about this issue and I asked the Lord to soften my heart of stone. Immediately, as my prayer was rolling off of my mind, a rushing wave of a thought came right back at me, "I don't soften hearts of stones, I give new hearts, hearts of flesh." Oh, what a relief that was to hear because that is what I need. I don't want a new and improved self, I don't want to try any harder, I don't want to keep tripping up, falling down and getting up again. So I knew that He wanted to teach me and that I just needed to listen.
That night I had a dream and three buildings were demolished before my eyes, they had once been homes. I had no connection to these buildings, I was just walking by. I kept walking past this site over several months and saw that there were people rummaging through the wreckage pulling out foundational stones one by one. In the process, they were also contentedly digging a new basement and were using the stones from the former foundation to build a new foundation. As an onlooker, it seemed time consuming and a less efficient way to rebuild; there were machines standing idly by that could easily have done the same work in one day. But on the other hand, the work was precisely and careful done with great attention to detail. I knew that the new building that would be built would be solid with a good foundation and that there would not be any unnecessary waste.
These thoughts above reminded me that God gently cares and restores areas of destruction. He never wastes anything. Sometimes our lives feel like a jumbled mess but He sends His people and Spirit in to be His hands and to do the gentle, often monotonous work of starting over and rebuilding. The invitation that I heard was to let go of what I was trying to build and start anew with a new foundation - the foundation being Christ and Christ alone.n hardly put words around what the name of Christ does to my heart. It awes me, it silences me, it draws me, it frees me, it stills me, it quiets me. This is the new foundation, the new heart that I feel being placed inside of me.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)