What’s Next?

What's next?

My heart is continually in shreds over something or someone and for this past year I have gone through an awakening of sorts and it’s been the most devastatingly beautiful heartbreak I have ever known. The compassion that God stirs in our hearts is supposed to hurt. But, we are so quick to turn it off. We have endless distractions and a thousand mind-numbing ways to move past our discomfort because change and pain require action, not sedation.

Yet we pray for a numbing agent and turn our heads.

Pain causes us to pray differently. Whether it’s physical or emotionally pain, it reminds us that we are needy people dependent upon a God who never slumbers and is not taken back by the needs in our hearts, homes, and our world.

This year I’ve purposed in my heart to leave nothing unsaid that will uplift and encourage…and to hold my tongue if it will only wreck someone.

What this world does not need is one more controlling woman; it needs a Spirit controlled woman. One that has a fire shut up inside of them, who is compelled to do more than just sit pretty and wait for someone else to step in and get their hands dirty.

What if we refused to turn our heads this time? To be the voice for those who have forgotten how to cry and for those who have no more words left, only tears and creases in their faces from worry.

What if we let the ache seep into every facet of who we are and ask God to show us what to do with all of that soul-crushing pain? 

To be unafraid of the motivational ache and just let it hurt.

To let it hurt and then ask God what to do with it.

The best way I know how to deal with an aching soul is to tend to someone else’s cavernous wounds that they are too afraid to talk about, yet begging you to notice.

We serve this Jesus who went out of His way to reach the hurting and I’m afraid that sometimes we do the exact opposite when we turn our heads and think that one voice isn’t enough to shake the heavens or mend a hurting heart. Jesus taught in parables and stories hoping that somehow His compassion would become our mission. That the whole of what He was asking us to do was simple. Love God with every fiber of who we are and to love others without limits or expiration dates. That we would be “the crossing over to the other side of the road” type of people moved with compassion and conviction; that His love would compel us to go to where the wounded wait and do something.

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37 NIV) 

The law of love requires action. Most likely this Samaritan was a stranger just passing through on a treacherous road that he didn’t belong on and he definitely was not considered a neighbor, or even a friend.

So many needs. So many people left for dead and passed by.

The news horrifies me. The lack of media attention to the slaying of children and innocent families sickens me. And I pray with groans not words because I have nothing but a guttural whisper “help” and “make it stop” and “How long, O God, will this last?”

We are living in a world where the wounded wait and everywhere I turn I see people in transition. Many of my godly friends who work harder than any person should are being “phased out” of service and they trust God and always have. But, they are still hurting and feel passed by with a fearful stirring of “What’s next?”

I think we are all asking that right now. But, I keep going back to Luke 10:25 where the expert in the law was asking how he could inherit eternal life. He already knew the answer, but he still didn’t get it. He wanted the definition of “neighbor” to be a little more manageable and a little less messy. Don’t we all?

I’ve been fasting, praying, and loosing some sleep and still I feel very few words spilling out of my heart. And that’s okay. He gets my guttural groans in the same ways He knows what your wordless tears are saying.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26 NIV)

I know how scary “What’s next?” can be and I also know how powerful my wordless groans have become.

What if these last days were meant for you to do something tucked away in your heart, buried so deep like a seed of promise, and God had to completely uproot you for your new assignment?

I have wasted too much time trying to kick down the doors of opportunity with my three-inch heels, so now I am the girl that will go to wherever the Broken Girls are. And they are everywhere.

Your God-job is waiting.

You are the “crossing over to the other side of the road, take action kind of girls”…Go to the side where you are needed most and get your hands gloriously messy.

Iwhere you are now is a little too safe and calculated, then maybe that is the very last place you are supposed to be. Just go ahead, go over and see what is waiting for you on the other side of the road. It might be the messiest thing you have ever done, but you might just be happier and more fulfilled than ever.

Much love to you,

Jennifer Renee

Photo cred: Crystal