Book Quote


I knew as soon as I read this in the book I bought this week, I’d be sharing it.

During lunch at one of my favorite haunts, Barnes & Noble, I came across a book on the works of Henri Nouwen, “Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith.”

I am quoting from the book. “The spiritual life rests on a paradox, says Henri: “Without solitude, it is virtually impossible to live the spiritual life.” Yet we cannot live our spiritual lives alone. Although we need solitude to know God, we require a faithful community to hold us accountable. We need to learn how to listen to the word of God, ever present within our hearts. We need disciplines of study and spiritual practice to discern the word of God in words of scripture. We need a church or faith community that provides opportunities for worshiping and sharing, engaging in mutual correction and bearing of burdens, confessing faults, offering forgiveness, and celebrating life. We also need guides: spiritual friends, a spiritual director, or a spiritual accountability group that can function for us as a safe place to bear our souls.” [i]

I will tell you first off—I am not preaching to anyone. But I will share with you what hit me square in the nose and a bit of my own experiences.

We have always been a church going family. I was raised in church—Jeff was as well. We raised our girls in the same manner. If the church doors are open, we are there. However, there was one time in our lives, when faced with some harsh realities of life, we neglected that bond of close relationships. Very few were allowed into our world of heartache. I feel like I mostly carried the burden of that trauma or drama alone. This was completely my own choosing. I know without doubt, there were many sisters in Christ who would have gladly stood by me in whatever ordeal I was facing and prayed me right through. But I chose to seperate myself from my church family. I chose the hard road. I created an even harder battle for myself through this decision.

I allowed the enemy to taunt me with the lie that I was the “only” one that had faced the crisis of a rebellious teenager–that it was somehow my own fault–that ‘everyone’ was talking about it even! In the small community where we lived, we were blessed to have the awesome church and church family—they were and are beyond what you could imagine.

I had the godly counsel of one particular woman, Bobbi Seddon. She and her husband, George took it upon themselves to pray daily for our prodigal daughter. She asked for a picture of our child and they prayed over this picture every single morning at 5:00 a.m. Bobbi loved me back into the fold. When we missed church, she would call. It’s not that we layed out every Sunday, but we missed enough that it was felt in my own spirit. Church was exactly what we needed.

Solitude is needed as well. The right kind.

The right kind is patterned after Jesus’ life. A specific choosing of time to get away with the Father. A time of prayer. And, if you feel directed, a time of fasting. A time of study in the Word, and a time of seeking the Author of the Word. Solitude just for the sake of “getting away to shop” is not the directive here. If the enemy has his way, any solitude you have will be eaten up in a pity party of your current circumstances. He’ll even bring the chips…and you will eat so much of his rotten lies that you will be sick. I know. I’ve carried the belly-ache of his lies myself.

In every crisis I have faced, God has carried me through. He has never failed. He has planted my feet in a firm place–and gave me peace–even in the most torrential storm of my life.

I ask you today—are you having true solitude with HIM? Are you neglecting your walk with others in Christ? You are the only one who can change that. Sister, I don’t know what you face–but I have seen many things, and know others who’ve seen many more. God doesn’t fail. Ever. Take Him your marriage that’s failing, your child that’s runaway. your job that’s ending, your health that’s declining, your finances that are shrinking, or your loved one that is dying. Take Him the hardest task of your life and give it up to Him.

Don’t offer Him suggestions as to how it would work best for you…for He alone knows what is best.

Accept the deal He offers.

Accept Him at His word.

His word brings peace. Life. Hope. Eternity.

Make a start this Sunday. A perfect way to spend the day we celebrate as Easter. The day He arose from the tomb! No longer dead–but Alive! Start now! Get in a good church–find someone to talk to before you leave–tell them your name. Ask them theirs! And keep going back. Everytime.

Get alone with Him. Daily. And when it’s possible, take a whole day and spend “with” Him–in His word—talking, praising, singing, worshiping Him. It will radically change your life!

….Photobucket

[i] His writings were compiled by Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca J. Laird and published by HarperOne, a division of Harper Collins Publishing.

Art work found at Art.com

HAVE YOU BEEN ON THE SISTERS OF FAITH SITE AND REGISTERED FOR THE DRAWING OF THE FREE REGISTRATION OF THE BLOGGERS RETREAT???


12 responses to “Book Quote

  • Lighthouse Prayer Line

    Hi friend,Thanks for sharing that with us! Amen & amen!Hey. If you get the opportunity, would youmind praying for the prayer requests that areon our main page?May the Lord bless you and your family!! Mark, Lynn, Brooke & Carley Seay http://www.LighthousePrayerLine.orgps – please consider “following” our blog -or- atleast grab one of our free, linking, blue buttons. ( see top sidebar at http://www.LighthousePrayerLine.org ). •´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Visit Us Soon!.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´•

  • Michele Williams

    Perfect post! I could use your prayer concerning fellowship/ friendships….. thank you dear friend….

  • Sassy Granny ...

    Wonderful. What a gold mine to have discovered this new day. Thank you!I, too, went through a period of pain & darkness. I thank God that I had been having regular quiet times with Him ahead of it, as there is NO WAY I could have made it through (at least with some sense of balance) without His steadying.It's been said, and it's true: We often forego knowing the Lord in favor of knowing about Him.Solitude beneath His gaze ensures we know how greatly we are loved!Kathleen

  • Denise

    Ecc 4:9 Two [are] better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. Ecc 4:10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him [that is] alone when he falleth; for [he hath] not another to help him up.if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm [alone]?(Ecc 4:12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. We are the body of Christ.. one member needing the other to function.. Alone time with God but not apart from the body.. Good lesson sister….

  • Julie

    Angie, I love Henri Nouwen… and his writings…especially The Return of the Prodigal Son. Thanks for sharing this friend, and thank you for your sweet, sweet card!Hugs from Ellijay!

  • Linda

    I have seen so much on Henri Nouwen in recent days that I decided I needed to get some of his writings.Thanks so much for sharing this Angie. It is so very true. When I isolate myself, I am just discouraged and in despair. And when I neglect that quite time I am so bereft. We need both.Have a blessed Easter sweet lady. I can hardly wait!!

  • Marsha

    This is so important for all of us to remember! We all need a trusted friend or a group of trusted friends for those times in life when each minute can be difficult to think and function. Excellent post…great quote. I’ll have to look for this author.

  • Karen

    I loved the message in this post! <>“Don’t offer Him suggestions as to how it would work best for you…for He alone knows what is best.”<> Guilty as charged…and God’s plan is always better, right on time, and with no mistakes.I went for years trying to handle situations on my own without opening up to family and friends. I guess I had to learn the hard how foolish that was….

  • LisaShaw

    Thank you for sharing this!!! I love you.

  • Kathy S.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAmen! Satan loves to get us alone and beat us up w/ no one to help…Praise God for the lessons learned. Solitude w/Jesus=blessing, strength and life…solitude w/out Jesus= yuck!

  • Vicki

    Encouraging post, Angie. ♥

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: