By Anne Baumert
Come Holy Spirit.
Alright, peeps, time to get real. You know like how your kids say your belly is all squishy after they demand to be with you while you use the bathroom? I’m going to get THAT kind of real. Why? The Lord tells us to be childlike, and we all know the beauty and innocence of children melts Christ’s heart.
Within the last month I have gone all over the place from Michael Scott of The Office swinging in a turtleneck saying, “I’m ok…No I’m not” to Michael dancing it up in his Café Disco. Of course, there have been plenty of moments similar to the panic Dwight started in his fire drill, and lets not forget the image of Michael zoning off in the distance as he scarfs down a huge container of cheese balls. I’m sure you have felt the same way.
One of the most beautiful experiences through “getting real” is being vulnerable. Sure, it’s definitely uncomfortable because nothing is in your control, you may end up getting hurt, but you are putting yourself out there for a greater good. We just witnessed Christ being as real as He can be by His vulnerability on the cross. He did it all out of love for us. Being vulnerable helps you cry with a friend through her second miscarriage. Getting real means you may have to exhort a dear friend as they struggle with a weakness. You open your heart and lay it all on the line in (true) hope that good will come of it.
While it may be easy to be vulnerable with others, I think we sometimes find it difficult to be vulnerable with God. Logically, we shouldn’t have ANY CONCERN, like any at all. We get that. He will take care of our heart, He knows what’s best, He is love and mercy itself! But when we do let go just a little bit more and allow Him in the deepest crevice of our hearts, we always see some movement. I must admit that I can go through stages of vulnerability with our Lord. I have a disordered desire to control my prayer life. However, when I renounce my pride, my fear, and selfishness, I am able to allow the Holy Spirit lead me more freely, and speak to me.
While we are talking about vulnerability, I’ll use my chance to exercise it now. I have avoided sharing much of my personal spiritual life out of fear of my pride. However, I am now placing my trust in the Lord, and what He has given me should be used for the building up of the Church. I feel called to share a recent prayer experience with you. Bear with me.
In February of this year I was overcome with the need to thank God for His great love. I was reflecting on my life and thanking God for all the times He has kept me from physical, spiritual, and emotional dangers especially in high school and college. I asked Jesus why He kept me from such dangers. He replied, “Because you remained in me.” Now, being Anne, I wanted to know more.
Jesus took me on top of a mountain overlooking areas and places in my life when I was growing up. I asked Him what it means that if I remain in Him, He will remain in me. (I’m a visual learner and I couldn’t quite grasp it). As He sometimes answers, He gave me a visual. On top of the mountain I was now inside of Jesus. Imagine you are kid wearing a Halloween costume that’s too big and you are peeking out through the eye holes. It was almost like I was wearing Jesus. I felt safe, wanted, loved, and at peace. I actually didn’t want to leave Him, and I realized that I can only choose to leave Him through sin.
Then He began to reside within me. From within me, out of His will, He commanded me to reach out my left arm. I extended my arm and saw His arm inside of my own arm. I could see the difference between our beings, although we were still one. Jesus’ arm was a soft glowing white light, as if it was life itself. My arm, while still alive, was clearly human, made of the earth. He gave me the understanding that He wants our arms/beings to be indistinguishable. The distance between my arm and His arm must get smaller and smaller until we are perfectly in synch (my will must be in synch with Christ’s will). He explained that this is only done through dying to self. Each act of dying to self burns away or sheds the dead limb off, and shrinks the distance between us.
I want us to be completely one, so that Christ is in complete control of my life. When I am fully and completely vulnerable to the Lord, my only choice is to fully rely on Him. And what is there to fear, or to lose our peace over? For our God has victory over death itself! He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good!
“With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you.” –Jeremiah 31:3