I’m Learning to Listen


Coming to know the love of God feels a bit like coming home. Like settling down in your favorite spot, right in the indent your body makes. It molds and fits and feels right and trustworthy and good. It feels warm and light and weighty with a kind of significance. And I am certain that it is the very best thing to know in life. To know the depth of fondness and tenderness meeting you each morning with the sun. The new mercy that slips into your bedroom with the sunlight. It dances and boxes, both gentle and strong and asks not demands that you pick it up and wear it. I want to wear mercy and gentleness and strength. Because the love of Christ is not fragile. It’s bold and bright.

I’m learning how to listen to the Spirit. Learning how to step back and hear him. Learning what his voice sounds like. It’s wild the way we can spend our whole lives following and never listening. I have always had this restlessness, this impatience, this charge-ahead-because-I-know-it-all attitude. I walk ahead of the Spirit. And because I’m so deeply loved, the Father is showing me how much I don’t know. And how much I strive.

If I’m honest, deep down I’ve adopted and fostered the lie that I’m not enough and that God has enough for everyone else but not for me. Like the parable of the talents, I have made friends with the idea that I have less. Two and not four. And I’ve worked to become content there. But the Spirit is calling me out of hiding, calling me to allow him to make up the enoughness. He is the gift that fills my cup. I don’t have to settle for less when the Spirit gives more. God has enough for me. I can lay down my striving at his feet.

I’m learning that being enough comes from a place of rest. A place of yoking myself to the Spirit, allowing his light and easy burden to cover me and all my striving. Because at the root of striving is creativity-stealing, freedom-binding fear. For as long as I have strived I have come up empty. Reached down into my heart and stirred up bleakness. Bleakness that bled into depression, depression that bled into bondage. But when I found my authority in Christ, I found my freedom. I found my identity, my voice, my courage.

I’m afraid God doesn’t have enough for me. And so I exchange my faith for something resembling works. I compete for his enoughness, I control, I compare. But I finally understand what it means when he offers me rest. He’s offering me his enoughness. He’s offering to fill me up. By the Spirit, I am full. I think that’s what Paul meant when he said he boasts all the more in his weakness. Because with more weakness comes more filling, more of the Spirit, more of the power. The weaker I am, the more power he gives. I’m not enough, but he is, and he has enough for me. I can enter into the boldness of his enoughness empowering me.

I want this to be a place of genuine humanness. Authenticity is as important to me as breathing. And I promise to show up, somewhere here in these words, in these little squares. Because this space is important to me. I’m done listening to the urgency of the world. Listening instead to that still small voice encouraging time for stepping back a little. I want to cultivate the most important thing. Time spent loving and being loved by the One who is seeking me out. Turning my heart to him. And so I’m learning to listen to his voice. Letting that grace the spaces I fill.  A good father doesn’t withhold good gifts. And as I sit with him, I trust that good gifts are coming in good time.

I’m finding the best parts of my day have become those early morning moments, cross-legged on the couch, eyes closed, face tilted towards the rising light. You’ll find me there. You’ll find me listening.