A Lenten Surrender

They made the bronze basin and its bronze stand from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Exodus 38:8 NIV

 

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Have you ever read a Scripture, and realized that the words you’ve seen time after time have never really impacted you?  I felt that shock of surprise recently as I was studying the building of the ancient Tabernacle in the book of Exodus. The Lord had asked His people to bring many items and offer them to be used for the building of His holy dwelling place among them.  But this one little verse escaped my attention through so many previous readings.  I did a little research in Bible commentaries (the link is here if you want to search for yourself,) and found that the mirrors were precious items carried by the women during those days of wandering in the wilderness.  Polished bronze would have shown them the only image of how they looked, how their faces were portrayed.  But the women who served the Lord and His people offered their only way to view themselves.  And how did the priests make use of those precious bits of their daily lives? The molten bronze was fashioned into a basin where the priests cleansed themselves before they offered the sacrifices that would bring God’s holiness to His people.

 

Are you seeing the beautiful symbolism yet? 

The surrender was not lost on me this week, as the Lord asked me to ponder my own way of looking at myself. 

 

During this season of Lent, I am reading Kris Camealy’s book, Holey, Wholly, Holy and her words struck a tender spot in my heart, even as I was contemplating those women surrendering their mirrors and their perspectives on themselves. She speaks of a confession that goes beyond conviction of sinning. There is a place for full confessing of all the doubts and terrors that fill our souls.  It is there He loosens the hold where sin has bound us, and frees us to see HIS grace now covering us.

 

And I found myself weeping before the Lord as He brought His own mirror before me, and showed me the difference between what He sees when He looks at me, and how I have viewed myself.

 

My doubts and struggles were poured out before Him then in a surrender that I had not expected to find.

Words that I had tucked deep inside my heart were suddenly gushing to the surface as they could no longer be hidden away, and a dark cloud was lifted that I had not even realized was there.

 

Years ago, as a young teenager, God spoke beautiful words into my heart and over my life as I read the story of the young teen Jeremiah:

 

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.  Jeremiah 1:4-9 NIV

 

I longed to follow after the Lord, and be willing to speak the words that He gave me to share. But somewhere along the way, I heard a phrase uttered, “Oh, that person is just too heavenly minded to be any earthly good!”  And something settled in my soul. I heard myself asking God,

Is that me, God? Is that why my words are not heard?  It MUST be me.” 

I tucked away my own stories of God’s faithfulness, preferring instead to listen to all the other great stories around me. And, oh, how I love a good story! I had no problem telling ALL the stories that other people shared with me. I loved to listen to the hearts of other people.

 

Somewhere along the way, I listened to a lie about myself, and let that lie take root.

Perhaps you know what that feels like?

 

But one day a few years ago, God began stirring the embers in my heart, and asked me to step out in obedience to begin sharing my own journey here, in these blogging pages.  What gracious and beautiful hearts I have met through these pages! What joy I have found in beautiful souls that love the Lord Jesus with all their hearts! And, yet, a fear remained, every time the “publish” button had to be clicked.  Every time I sent out another story, that ugly voice simmered in the dark corners of my heart . . .

 

Is it me God? Am I too heavenly minded to be any earthly good?  Should my own voice be quiet?

 

Just days after I read of the Bronze Mirrors, dear friends came to visit us. And as we prayed together, they shared a message the Lord had laid on their hearts for me.

God wants to set your voice free. This is a new place where He is going to call forth your voice.”

How could they have known the very words that God himself had been prodding in my heart? In the quiet I heard HIS whisper, asking me to surrender my own bronze mirror, asking me to lay down my own perspectives, and let Him wash my eyes clean with His own holiness.

 

From that whisper, came a call to freely give Him my voice, and share these words with you, spoken from my heart:

 

 

lie slithered along the floor where

my heart

followed along

questioning

hsss

sound of darkness

i let it stay

did not

bid it go

hardly knew when

it came to live

but always

hsss

sound of darkness

questioning who i

thought

i

was

then hidden words

found utterance

not

by

me

another had let the darkness

settle

on

his

heart too

hsss

now lies swirled over

head

joined entwined in darkness

bitter root

twisting weed grew

around my

shady corners

soul barren

deeps

YAWEH!

a flame kindled

where

slithering scattered

hissing tried to

cling

LORD of light shining

lies fled when

truth sounded song

fluttered

love won secret heart

drew in beautiful

intimacy restoring

true heart no

bitter root

HEAVEN IS SINGING

–bg

 

 

 

 

If your own eyes have been looking in a bronze mirror, and you have found yourself questioning a lie that has been spoken over you, I pray that these words the Lord drew from my heart would bless you today my friend.  Jesus refines and He washes with a Holiness that brings us His Truth and Life.

 

 

I am linking with:

#Glimpses

#Teaandword

#Sittingamongfriends

#Chasingcommunity

 

34 thoughts on “A Lenten Surrender

  1. Thank you for stepping out in faith. Thank you for sharing from such a vulnerable place. For boasting from a place of weakness of God’s love for us all. It touched a deep place in my heart, especially hearing your voice speak your poem. God’s love is so palpable in it. So, so thankful that we serve a God who does this:

    “And I found myself weeping before the Lord as He brought His own mirror before me, and showed me the difference between what He sees when He looks at me, and how I have viewed myself.”

    I’ve been weeping from your post. LORD help us to see what YOU see. As the lies come from our enemy help us to look in that mirror and see our TRUTH reflected there. (Anthony Evans is singing “How He loves” as I reply to you here…weeping again).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Anna,
      Oh your prayers have meant more than I can begin to say, my friend! What a beautiful Lord we have, who does not condemn us for being weak, but just asks us to offer that very weakness to Him. His love is so wide and deep, we just cannot comprehend it, can we? When He shows us the truth of His Grace we are swept up into His embrace, and surrounded by Him. I am so grateful that He wants us then to share from that place. Thank you for encouraging me to step out in faith to obey Him there. I am praying for you today also! May Jesus shower His mercies upon you today, and speak His words into your heart. Love and Hugs to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Bettie, how beautiful! I loved hearing your voice read your poem. It almost brought tears. Thank you so much for sharing it and giving me courage to pursue using my voice for Him even if it’s hard. Blessings and love to you, my dear friend and sister! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gayl,
      Do you know that I thought of you while I was reading, and was hoping that you would continue to be able to read your poetry also? Isn’t that so sweet of the Lord? He brings us all together to praise Him, even in the hard places! Blessings, love, and hugs to you too my dear friend!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “And I found myself weeping before the Lord as He brought His own mirror before me, and showed me the difference between what He sees when He looks at me, and how I have viewed myself.” This touches me too, Bettie. The way God sees us is clearer yet better? It’s crazy but I’m thankful it’s true!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lisa,
      Oh, I know what you mean! How could God, who sees every little thing about me–warts and all, have such a beautiful view? Oh, but He does, all because of love! Thank you for your sweet comments here today Lisa! Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Amy, Somehow your reply was lost in my queue, and I just now saw it today. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply! I appreciate your sharing this post, and I appreciate your kind comments so much! How precious the Lord is to keep us listening to His truth! Have a Blessed week!

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  4. Oh, Bettie, how wonderful to hear your lovely voice! Tears sprang to my eyes. Although you are weak and weary and in pain, your voice sounds strong, youthful and vibrant, full of deep feeling. It made my heart ache with longing to hear it again, especially if you read your own beautiful poetry to us! What a joy to see your smiling face here on the page and to know it connects to a voice that is sweet, kind and tender, just as I imagined it to be. I am so pleased you took this step of faith in sharing your personal story and letting God speak to us through your words. Do it again, my friend. Do it again!
    Because skies won’t fall in. All you will hear is heaven rejoicing in a woman who knows her true worth and value before God. And we are applauding you too from the sidelines! Now I want to ask about the technical details of your achievement but will leave that for another day and place. Well done, you!! May this encourage you to keep stepping out bravely for God. It really is less scary than it seems. Love and hugs! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Oh thank you so much my dear friend, for your beautiful encouragement and support! It was a very scary step of faith, because I was so used to telling other people’s stories, through the dramas and ministries that we were involved with over the years even. It’s so different to share my own words from the Lord, and then to be sharing from this resting chair where I spend a lot of my day?? Only God could bring His beauty from this place of weakness. I realized this week, that even this is yet another lesson in my #oneword for this year: “sufficient.” HIS grace is sufficient–so much more than we could ever imagine until we are in the valley of need. Oh, I pray that God will keep us walking forward on His path for us, my friend! Blessings, love and hugs to you!! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a gift God has given you. He has taken the lies and washed you cleaned. It must have been an amazing sense of freedom as you studied the words from Jeremiah. I know all too well what it feels like to live with a lie. I pray this year as I surrender over and over that I gain the sense of freedom you describe that can only come from God.

    Your poetry is stunning and hearing your voice was a gift. Thank you for your honesty. You are a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary, Oh, yes He does bring such gifts of freedom to us when He washes away the lies! Thank you for your insightful comments here today! I appreciate your support and understanding so much. And I am glad that we can pray for each other to continue to let the Lord help us with the surrenders that He sets before us. Blessings to you dear friend!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment here today! Oh, yes, you are so right–that adversary has such a subtle way of weaving those lies into our hearts sometimes. I am so grateful for the great grace of Jesus to uncover those places in our hearts!

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  6. This really touches my heart, Bettie. Especially the part of how you had to weep before the Lord as He “brought His own mirror before me, and showed me the difference between what He sees when He looks at me, and how I have viewed myself.” I love it when God gives a deeper insight into a verse that escaped our attention before. Thank you for sharing the insight He gave you. I’m so glad God has freed your voice and continues to free it to honor Him and to encourage us. Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Trudy, Our Lord is so kind to bring us His perspective, isn’t He? It may not be easy to look at what He shows us, but He is so gracious and loves us so much right there. And isn’t it amazing how He just causes us to stop over a verse that we have flown past before? His timing is always perfect–knowing when it’s time for us to hear His insight. I pray that I would continue to let Him touch me with His convictions going forward from here. I am so grateful that you were blessed here my friend! Love and Hugs to you this week also! xoxo

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  8. Yes, isn’t that verse so powerful when we step back and look at how the Lord brought everything together? Thank you for your encouragement here. I am so thankful that the Lord brings His truth to us, and defeats the enemy on our behalf. Truly His power to save is mighty! Blessings to you!

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    1. Yes, amen! I wanted to mention that someone spoke those same words over me when I was about 19. Looking back, I think he just wanted to shame me into silence and make himself feel better in his lack of intimacy with God. Now I realize that it is actually UNHOLINESS that is of no earthly good, and true, spirit-initiated holiness brings much good to this earth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that is so true–“true, spirit-initiated holiness brings much good to this earth.” May the Lord open our hearts of compassion to those who have not tasted of His intimacy yet. And may we allow our Jesus to take that holiness even deeper into our hearts. Thank you so much for sharing your own experience here too. I appreciate your understanding and support so much!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This is so beautiful, sweet friend! I know exactly what you mean. I have been listening to Casting Crowns’ song, “The Voice of Truth” lately, and it is such an encouragement. I don’t know if we will ever full grasp who we truly are in Him….if only we could do that, how much richer our lives and spiritual walk would become! God bless you, dear friend. You are such a blessing to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Cheryl, Oh thank you for your sweet encouragement my friend. I am just so grateful that our Lord understands when we feel too weak to hold onto His truth, and meets us right there with His own strength! He is the one who keeps us standing. And, yes, how much He wants us to grasp the greatness of His rich and full truth that He has already given to us! It would change our own perceptions so much, and strengthen our spiritual walk! You are a blessing and a gift to me as well, dear friend! Love and Hugs to you!

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    1. Oh yes, those desert places are not very nice to our complexions! 🙂 But God uses it all, doesn’t He? And I am so glad that you also write about the true beauty that the Lord has given to each of his daughters! Thank you for the blessings you share too!

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  10. I love this story of surrender, Bettie.Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I love this story of the bronze mirrors. The only perspective we see of ourselves, God has asked us to lay it aside. I have loved studying the tabernacle and I have missed this as well. What a beautiful way for God to show us how our outward thoughts of ourselves and our perception of them matter to Him. Have a great week, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Jaime. Oh, yes the Love of our Lord is so amazing, how He truly sees us through eyes of Grace! Isn’t it amazing how God’s Spirit will point out a verse to us at just the right time, even when we’ve seen it there before? Thank you for allowing the Lord to speak through your words also, Jaime, they were such a beautiful confirmation to me. Blessings to you!

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  11. Beautiful, Bettie. ((hug)) I’m glad God freed your voice through this space. God’s girls have work to do, and it matters because He said so. Thanks for stepping out and sharing your words and your stories. (I have that (in)courage card sitting on my desk that says “You have stories to tell that the world needs to hear.” Always a good reminder, isn’t it?!) — And, I love that mirrors verse…interesting, I don’t think I’ve noticed that before either. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Brenda, Thank you so much for your encouragement and support here! Yes, God has given us each a story that matters, hasn’t He? What a great reminder! I hope that you can read this week’s post too, I mentioned you there because I know the Lord used your words last week to stir my heart in preparation for what He spoke to me over the weekend. Thank you for your compassionate and open heart of sharing. God’s Blessings to you!

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