I'm struggling. I feel like just the past 24 hours have so many lessons for me, but I can't quite figure out what they are. I want to know you, to love You better. I want to understand more about You and grow. But part of that scares me. A lot. Your lessons aren't easy, ever. That's why You said in order to follow You, one must pick up a cross daily. You also said to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. Well, I've got the fear part down. I'm literally so afraid of what You are going to show Me. I don't know why. Maybe because Your character is so developed an layered and manifold. You are challenging me, I know. I just don't know exactly how. I see myself growing every day and changing. But I know You are good. Even as I write this, You remind me of what my leader said to me in South Africa. She said You are my Dad. And that she sees me as a little girl being thrown up into the air by my dad, over and over. She said she could see me as being scared at first but then, after You catch me, begging "again, again!" Immediately when she told me that, I thought it was a cool analogy. I thought of sweet Laney. I babysit her all the time, and I used to throw her in the air and catch her when she was a bit younger. And I still do it to her brother Ethan sometimes. Every time, they get scared at first. But then they love it and beg for more. In South Africa, I thought of this image, but didn't really do anything with it. But South Africa, I'm learning, was just a starting point. The end of the trip was indeed just a beginning. You have done more in my life in the past few months than ever combined. July-September have been insane, particularly September. You have taught me lessons and challenged me, and brought me to the edge of everything I know. Each and every time I have been terrified. I can look back at old blog entries and know that. I was terrified of asking You to kill my pride, but now that You are, I see the reward of it. So, I know that even if I come to You trembling, I must come. I want You to continue with whatever You are doing. Help me to trust that when some things don't quite make sense, they will one day. Help me to remember that everything works together for my good and for Your glory. Help me to remember everything is about Your glory. Change my fickle heart, and rid it of everything that doesn't need to be there. Even if it hurts, even if it's hard, even if it's crazy. Change my heart. Make me know that You will carry onto completion the great work You have begun in me- that You will never let me go. When I'm scared and want to just retreat and pretend these new lessons aren't in front of me, help me press on. I'll want to ignore some things and pretend I never heard them. That way I won't have to decide what I believe about them. Don't let me. Help me press in. Change my heart. You can have all my fears, God. You can have all my sin. You can have all my weaknesses. I know You're with me to the very end. I know You're with me to the very end.
"Father, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come.
Please root from my heart all of those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then Thou shalt make the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need for the sun to shine in it, for Thyself shall be the light of it, and there Shall be no night there.
In Jesus' name
Amen"-- A.W. Tozer