My women's group, a bunch of the finest women you could ever meet, gathers once a week and goes through a book together. The book we've most recently chosen is The Faith Dare by Debbie Alsdorf. The book is about exploring and growing in faith through disciplined reading, memorization, prayer, accountability and healthy introspection. It encourages the reader also to keep up a journal or blog chronicling the journey. That's the thing about inner changes; it's good to keep a record of the before because it is SO difficult to remember how you used to be/think/respond/act once you have changed. Also it's a good excuse to be more consistent with my blogging. Win-win, yeah? Yes.
The first chapter explains what faith is, per se, and how it can look when it goes awry. The scripture for the first chapter is Psalm 86, which goes as follows:
"Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me,
you have delivered my soul from the depths of the grave.
You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Turn to Me and have mercy on me;
grant your strength to your servant."
I sat, and as always, I find it hard to focus as I tried to carefully chew each delicate morsel of this passage. I turned on some Explosions in the Sky and as the music swelled in my ears, I danced each word of the Psalm over and over. The power and truth began to sink in as the hairs on my arm raised and my eyes swelled with grateful tears. How could I have let myself forget? How far have I come when I barely believe the truths I claim to base my life around? My faith is so small, my heart is so divided. My sad, small, half-heart pleads half-hearted half-wishes to be made clean. Am I so surprised I am only experiencing a small portion of the joy and blessing promised me?
In this starting out phase, my prayer is for God to do His best with me. I pray for Him to draw me close as he repairs the damage done at my own hand and that soon my whole heart will run, not walk, towards His love.