Updated: Feb 1, 2021
It's my birthday morning, which for me means contemplation and anticipation. I light a candle, pray and sip some tea. Amidst the craziness of what's going on in the world, my mind finds life and hope in images. I often process with words and pictures. Sometimes, it's images of my own I have taken. I took these photos this weekend right before my birthday. I was invited to my friend's property near Schulenburg. It was a gift from God.
This was one of the most needed getaways I can remember. I had just played in the creek with my son, my friend and her daughters. I was able to find solace in the breathtaking beauty all around me. My dear friend asked if I wanted time alone. Yes, I definitely needed time by myself. So she took our kiddos for a walk and I went into a huge and gloriously colorful field of bluebonnets and wildflowers.
A misty rain tickled my face, I enjoyed the crisp, cool air as the wind spun my hair in circles and gently kissed my face. Then I lay down in a field of bluebonnets in the rain. No fear of any creature crawling on me could stop me! I had been battling bedbugs this last week and this whole COVID-19 pandemic that has taking over our world. I went to way to many stores looking for toilet paper and sanitizer for my house. I was exhausted physically and mentally!
That week I also began to realize that all the bites my son had been getting were not mosquitos! The many bites were bedbugs!!!! I was appalled as I was thoroughly inspecting the large teepee my son sleeps in. I found bedbugs after I pulled out all his bedding and stuffed animals. They scrambled for cover when I pulled open a seam in his teepee. I screamed and jumped backward.
I had just begun to suspect bedbugs might be the unexplained cause of my son's bites all over his legs and neck. I thought it was bug bites from the grass at school or mosquitos from the bayou right behind our house. We had been stuck at home for a couple of weeks. So I realized it had to be something different. I was horrified to say the least. I became completely obsessed trying to annihilate the bugs and all their eggs. I waged war against these awful bugs!
My mind could think of nothing but researching how best to get rid of them completely! After the initial shock wore off, I thought I simply was being "proactive" when I became completely overtaken with a desire to destroy these horrible bugs. I felt level-headed as I went to various stores over the last week, getting things I couldn't find anywhere. Things like toilet paper, rubbing alcohol and sanitizer!
As I collapsed in the field of flowers, I realized I had not been at peace but in tangled mess of worry. In my false sense of peace, I couldn't see the knotted mess within my soul. In the gentle way only God can reveal things we can't see about ourselves, I was convicted. I had been more obsessed with getting rid of the bedbugs, protecting our family from the corona virus and finding necessities at stores. I was consumed with these three things more than I have ever been about my sin or the souls dying around the world who possibly never came to know the love of Jesus.
I repented as I closed my eyes in a field of wildflowers. I was filled with peace knowing that God forgave me completely. I felt the gentle, misty rain fall all over me like the tenderness of his love. I didn't care if I was wet. I just wanted to bask in the unconditional love of God and let my mind and heart embrace God's forgiveness surrounding me. I desperately needed rest.
I reveled in the fact, that though my eyes were closed, I was encompassed in a very large field of bluebonnets. I had always dreamed of either spinning and dancing or simply laying down in a field of flowers. I realized that what I was doing mirrored the truth of God's love enveloping me. It's like that in the spirit! We are surrounded and embraced by his "never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love". (The Jesus Storybook Bible)
I studied a couple of wild poppies as they danced in the wind in front of me. They were so elegant, delicate and exquisitely fashioned. I noticed the contrast of their paper thin, soft blossoms with their prickly stems and leaves. I found it odd that their was such a contrast in the petals and their leaves. Then I realized that just like I delighted it the airy looking blossoms, God does the same with us. He doesn't focused on our sometimes prickly nature, he focuses on our souls beauty as we open our hearts to his love. He sees the hope of the tiny buds within us. He sees what the beauty to come as we stay surrendered to Him and let our roots sink into the soil of His love.
I was absolutely possessed to capture the beauty encircling me. Again, I saw the comparison of God's heart for us. The Bible says "He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17
His heart is passionate for us as He gazes and delights in each one of us. I cannot tell you how many photos I took. I took A LOT! I was mostly in awe of the white poppies that had their faces lifted to the sky in open hearted surrender. God in the same way is completely enthralled by each one of us! So much so He died on the cross for our sins! Again, He looks upon us with adoration and not absorbed with pointing out our sins. Though conviction will come, it is not judgmental but a tenderness desiring us to be all He has created us to be. If we sink our hearts into fear we will wither in our souls. If we reach deep into the soil of the One who died for us, we will blossom and joyfully dance in the wind of God's love.
"The Lord is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9
I know many of us are dealing with fear, self preservation and anxiety. The fear of the virus and the uncertainty can spread faster in our souls than hope. "Let your faith be bigger than your fear."
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
"Jesus went through all the towns and villages... preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing EVERY disease and sickness." Matthew 9:35
"He gave them authority to ... heal every disease and sickness." Matthew 10:1
"And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved..." Joel 2:32
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." Psalm 56:3
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
I hope this brings life and hope to your heart like it did mine! Let's focus on the truth of God's word and not let fear consume our souls