Pressing In

There was a theme of “pressing” during my Amani week. I was pressing wrinkles out of clothes and probably pressing Christen’s buttons as I displayed my lack of skill in the retail clothing area. But more than that I was pressing into God, listening for His direction in my heart of what I should be doing.

I’d been pressing into His heart for peace in the days leading up to their visit, too. Call me crazy but it didn’t dawn on me until about the week before they came that I was going to have two complete strangers sleeping in a room upstairs near my children’s bedrooms. Our master bedroom is on the main floor and tucked back in a corner so that we cannot hear a thing. I didn’t know anything about these women except that they came from very traumatic backgrounds and lived in war-torn areas. I didn’t even know who was staying with us until they arrived.

One night I got so concerned that I almost gave up my spot to be a hostess because I knew there was a waiting list of families who wanted my guests. As I lay in bed praying, I traced my decisions back to the day I sensed God calling us to invite them into our home. I then made a promise that I would not walk in fear but faith. I can see now that those whispers of fear were the enemy trying to talk me out of blessings God wanted to lavish on us.

It wasn’t just them staying with us that made me nervous, it was this overwhelming sense of being totally out of place and completely inadequate. I don’t like to feel like I don’t t know what to do. I like having at least a little bit of competence but it would not be so. You see, I’m not naturally gifted at reaching out to people of other cultures. I don’t know why. I tend to fumble on my words, get concerned I’ll say the wrong thing, ask the wrong question and offend someone. I am also terribly geographically challenged and tend to embarrass myself.

Inviting women from a country I know very little about who speak a language I have never even heard and eat food I don’t know how to cook made me feel like I could fail very easily. But you know what – it was the best weakness I could have had because it left me completely dependent on God every minute they were here.

For the first time in a long time, I could hear God’s voice whisper so clearly and consistently in my heart for almost a whole week. I guess that is what happens with daily dependence. I would ask, “Lord, tell me what to say.” And He would. I would ask, “Lord, what should I do in this situation, should I go sit there or over there? Should I try to fit in or stay back and just observe them together.” Even when I felt a little odd in the crowd, I’d tell Him “I feel kinda lonely now, help me feel Your presence or teach me something through this uncomfortable emotion I have.”

I’m so thankful I did not listen to my fears and miss the sweet, sweet opportunity to see the and hear the heart of God – in them and in me. It was the most wonderful time of abiding in Him that I’ve had in quite a while. I don’t want it to end now that they are gone. I don’t want to go back to knowing my way around and turning to Him for help only when I can’t figure out what to do in life’s challenges. I want to talk to Him about everything now – I mean EVERY THING! But it’s so easy to forget.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Renee – Thanks for sharing your heart so honestly. I think we can all relate in one way or another. God’s got you an amazing adventure. Adoption is sure to bring up more areas for God to stretch you. It’s never easy, but so worth the journey. Sweet blessings, Amy

  2. Renee, someone was joking with me that I was a “High Maintainance Christian” – that I needed God every minute of every hour of every day. They said it was a good thing God never slumbers or sleeps. What a lovely compliment! I didn’t mind that at all. I am dependent on God. (I wrote a post about it.)

    I think ‘fear’ is one of Satan’s greatest tools to get us from following the Lord. So glad you didn’t let fear win! God had great blessings in store for you and you would have missed them. Wonder how many wonderful things I miss when fear wins.

    Just for the record – I’m geographically challenged too!

    On to your next post….

  3. I’m right there with you chickie! This week, I started a new journal of “two-way prayer” I read some scripture and respond to it and then sit there and give God a chance to speak to me. It has been an incredible experience. I’ll probably blog about it this week sometime.

    God did a mighty work in my life today…has been preparing me for it for a month or more. You can check out my blog to read about it.

    God is working in AZ, too! 🙂

    Love, Lee

  4. Reading all of this, I am trying so hard not to cry. You have such a sweet heart and I am so blessed that you shared how scared you were to hostess (I always freak out). I will remember next time to just tell the Lord about it and accept His peace and direction. God bless!

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