Honest Conversation

Today began with a sick little girl lying lethargic in the hallway at 7am.

With manila folders full of essays to return and writing classes to teach, a sick baby girl wasn’t part of my plan.

Hubby offered, “Go teach! She’ll probably sleep. If she gets really sick, I’ll call you.”

“Thanks, Love,” I say and pray, Lord, please don’t let it be the flu!

 I’m running behind. Lunch is thrown in a cooler, boys’ backpacks collected. M thrusts long division under my nose, “Mom! I don’t get it. Can you help me?” I glance down at indecipherable numbers circling sideways. My head spins and I deflect,

“Not now, M!”

“But I don’t want to do it later!”

“Where’s J?”

“I don’t know. Upstairs?”

I hurdle the stairs three at a time and hear rustling in the bathroom.

I crack open bathroom door to yell, “Hurry up,” and he’s huddled behind door, hopping on one leg and pulling on jeans. He trips, bangs wall, and the round green mirror above his head jumps and shatters into a thousand shimmering shards.

I feel angry words simmering—Seriously? What were you thinking dressing behind the door? I take a deep breath and say quiet, “It’s ok. Go get your shoes on.”

But I’m boiling on the inside.

On my knees, I pick up the glass shard by shard, sponge down the floor, and hustle boys into the van.

Driving down 95th street, I’m clutching the steering wheel and preaching a self-sermon, “What’s wrong with you? This is normal life—sick kids, broken stuff, late starts. Why are you so mad?” I can’t figure myself out. I don’t have time. I give up.

The boys sit silent, staring out the widows at low, pregnant clouds in a sea of grey.

In the silence He presses close—Pray.

Prayer—when my heart need meets God’s promises in honest conversation.

My anger meets God’s patient love as I cry, “Dear Lord, help me! This morning didn’t go as planned. Help me trust your goodness, your sovereign plan. Forgive my attempt to rule my life, to control.”

My soul-tension eases as I talk to my Father.

I ask myself: Why is prayer so slow in coming?

If my people humble themselves and pray and seek my face    . . . .

 Humility—“the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all.” (Andrew Murray).

Just when I think I’m growing humble, trusting more, I see how prideful I really am.

“The only humility that is really ours is . . . that which we carry with us, and carry out, in our ordinary conduct; the insignficances of daily life are the importances and the tests of eternity, because they prove what really is the spirit that possesses us.” (Andrew Murray, emphasis mine).

“Oh, Lord! Please do your work in me. I can’t change my own heart—only you can. I don’t want to be like this—mad at life’s inconveniences, only looking at Me, blind to You.”

Driving down 95th street on a Wednesday morning, my heart’s need—humility, more of Jesus, meets God’s promise—I will give you a new heart—in honest conversation.

In the beauty of relational communion, God transforms a not-so-good morning by revealing a controlling-mama heart, and giving His peace amidst every-day chaos.

So, let’s pray together, my sisters in Christ, that God humbles our hearts until conversing with Him becomes our daily bread, and Self disappears in the “vision that God is all.”

Becca B.

Denise Art
Drawing by Denise Brown

 

Quotes by Andrew Murry in his book Humility.

Project Pursued Questions

  1. At the last CCEF conference, Dr. David Powlison described prayer as our “elemental need meeting God’s elemental promises in honest conversation.” How do you understand/see prayer? Do you converse with your Father in the day-to-day struggles? What does your prayer life (or absence of it) reveal about your heart’s desire?
  2. How do you explain prayer to your kids, husband or friends? Live it out with them?
  3. Now, write/talk your heart reflections. Share them with a friend. Pray together.

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