I am seeing some amazing things these days: God is working in so many lives, mine included. I don't mean that in the cliched, trite way either. I mean it in the true, life-changing presence He is developing in people He has put in my life. It makes my heart skip a beat to think of those I love drawing close to Jesus. When someone experiences such a huge change in their life, it makes my faith seem even more real. There is power in community and shared experience.
So I'm praying very directly for a few certain people, these "Nestlers" who are drawing closer and walking alongside our Father. It struck me today as I was praying that I'm not quite sure how to pray for them. I'm not praying for an end result. My prayers are not, "Dear Lord, please make them love You and it'll be all good. Amen." My prayers are not for a "fix" in their lives, not an end destination. I feel like my prayers are that their journeys will finally coincide with His. That their life walks will no longer be taken alone and they will feel their burden being shared. Notice I didn't say their burdens should be lifted, because we're not talking about a one-time event in their lives. I am praying that these Nestlers will feel the heavy burdens aren't theirs alone to carry.
I'm praying for a process in these people's lives, not a finish line.
My faith life so far has felt like a dance. Sometimes it's a slow dance, with very little movement and just a gentle swaying. Sometimes it's been a gut-wrenching, feverish convulsion full of upheaval, sweat and tears. Sometimes, it's just a good spin around the dance floor. Nothing too fast, nothing too slow. And, yes, there have been times in my life where I refused to dance at all. I got tired of dancing alone and trying to keep up with the pace all by myself. I stepped away from the hardwood dance floor onto the carpet, and watched from the sidelines. I didn't really feel like I needed to dance anyway. But last year I realized I didn't want to be a bystander to the dance anymore. I saw the other dancers and felt compelled to have what they had. I wanted to join in, but didn't really have a Partner that I was committed to. And that's when I finally looked to see that Jesus had been holding out His hand to me all along. I guess I always thought I was a better dancer on my own. At my church's baptism party last June, this was one of the signs beside the baptismal lake:
"I'm taking Christ's hand and finishing the dance with Him." I wrote that in my application for baptism because I felt like it was time to Dance. That photo is posted on my bathroom mirror. Each morning as I'm getting ready for the day, I look at that photo and ask Jesus to dance with me. I envision Him holding out His hand, pulling me to Him, and showing me the dance steps for that day. Sometimes I get off step because I'm not so good at following His lead (like if the kids frustrate me and I yell at them), so I have to mentally re-center myself and re-envision Him starting a new song and showing me a different step. I even have a song that plays in my head for this: "Skin" by Rascal Flatts. "They go dancing around and around without any cares and her very first true love is holding her close. For a moment she isn't scared."
Jesus has made me love Dancing again. I hope the Nestlers are enjoying their new Dance too.