Promises | He is there in my longing
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. | John 14:2-3
Spring green lights and shadows rippled down from the trees through my windshield as I drove home from a day of teaching back in my hometown. I had just sent in my job application to Eden Invitation a few days before. On this commute, these roads I’d traveled for decades of my life, I recalled the path that led me to this moment.
I once envisioned my “life journey” as a pretty flat road–some ups and downs here and there, but straightforward (like most of the roads in North Dakota). But as I’ve shared in the last 4 posts, my life hasn’t been very straight in several senses of the term…The picture I had in mind was, at best, 2-dimensional–a map that indicated paths and events but couldn’t fully show the terrain I had been through. For a time, I didn’t even have my own words to describe it. I had sketched out a vocabulary from blogs, books, and videos. I finally learned the words that fit when I started walking closely with others who had been through terrain like mine.
The soundtrack of my car-ride reflections that day wasn’t my usual playlist or podcast. I had a song from a fellow Eden Invitation community member saved to my phone playing on repeat. I first heard “Canyon” when Raquel shared it during my first Eden Invitation retreat. She later recorded it when sharing her story through the Porch Series. Her words were like a new legend to the map I was holding. I learned the words and belted them out. They resonated through the canyon in my own heart.
We want to share that song with you too.
“Canyon” by Raquel Storey
There’s a hole in the ground of my heart
Checked it out once or twice when the car was parked
Filled it up like a grocery cart
Scrolled the pages to find why I’m falling apart
Oh I have seen
And the edge is calling my name
Saying “Come on down and look around
this inner space”
There’s a stretching inside of my chest
I’ve explained it away so that I can rest
But all my answers can only attest
It might be time to resign to the wide wilderness
I step into
Let the edge slip further away
In the letting go I need to know
It’ll be ok
And I reach for some companion
Who might pledge to show me the way
But what if I’m left here
With only fear
If I choose to stay?
It’s not soft and it’s not safe
But somehow I am sure there is no other way.
It’s not soft and it’s not safe
But waiting here for You’s a risk I have to take, ‘cause
You’re not soft and You’re not safe
But You’re the only one to lead me through this place,
Through this unknown, remembered Gate
You free the child in me to run into the waves.
To run into
And to feel Your wind on my face
You’ve been patiently awaiting me
In the secret place
And You call me Your companion
And You whisper impossible grace:
“Til the end of time you will be Mine.
Til the end of time you will be Mine.
And if you seek you’ll find Me every time.
I have left My trace.”
There’s a hole in the ground of my heart.
We can look at a canyon a couple of ways; both are true at the same time. That “hole in the ground of my heart” is just as present in the end as it was at the beginning of this journey. Yet this emptiness is also an opening. The decision to step in is a response to the call, and yet that step forward is still a risk because we don’t know where it will lead. This journey will be different for each of us.
God crafts the canyon in every heart. He knows every ledge and every slope. He leads me through His promises written in my longings. My longing for love and my encounters with it point to God, the source of love Himself. My longing to belong echoes back to the community I was made to image–the Trinity. My longing to give of myself is tied to this pull of purpose. He calls out to me, knows me by name, and has given me tools not just for my own journey, but to help others as well.
Taking each step, day by day, means holding the tension of “yes but not yet.” Entering into these longings rarely brings peace in the moment. I often slip up, and I cry out to God about the grit scraping my hands and knees. In the same moment, as I look about for Him, I see the astounding wonder of the stone around me– the complex layers and shapes that form my story, this journey to His Heart. I can step into the canyon, lean into my longings, trusting that He will meet me there.
Thank you, Friends, for journeying with me this June! I hope these words from Raquel and myself can help you as you navigate your own canyon. I encourage you to take some time with this image–sit with what we've unpacked about God's promises this month. How is God speaking His promises over you? In your desire to know your belovedness, your desire to belong, your desire to make a gift of yourself? How is God inviting you to step into the longing?
This series may be over, but the journey certainly isn’t!
See you in the longing and in His promise,
To read Part 1 | Meet Bernadette, click here.
To read Part 2 | I am Beloved, click here.
To read Part 3 | I Belong, click right here.
To read Part 4 | I am a Gift, click a-right over here.