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Vulnerable

This evening I am stepping away briefly from the general theme of this blog to reveal an intimate vignette from my recent journal that bears significance to the course of my journey.

Perhaps you might find a glimpse of yourself, reflected.

I am resisting the urge to issue disclaimers for balance, discernment, accountability, and truth. We know these things. I think that they have been emphasized greatly unto us.

Peace, dear sisters.
_______________________

Twilight.

Not the book, but the moment when day slips into her negligee, and the world nestles down for sleep.

I stand on my balcony.

The air is cool and I breathe deeply, refreshed as the sweet breath of dusk envelopes my skin. Spring's lush fingertips have painted a living masterpiece of greenery; recent rains have swept along gnarled roots, planting secret creatures among the twisted knots rising from the creek bed.

Suspended, it seems, miles in air, I watch a trio of brightly finned goldfish drift beneath me, a huge lazy turtle who paddles happily, slowly, and four growing ducklings who find an island of displaced wood which storms have lodged in the midst of our creek. Beavers have been spotted, and as always, the nightly cacophony of frogs lift their chorus to the darkening skies.

Peace, serenity.

As I drink the sensual cocoon of coming night, I realize that I cannot not enjoy it, for if I do, it will be taken away.

I cannot allow myself to revel in the lusciousness of soft evening breath, swirling across my face with the tender aroma of freshly mown grass. I cannot afford to pause a moment and savor, for it would only end, and the pain of life take over once more. I cannot exhale with the deliciousness of husband, creeping up behind, and wrapping arms around my waist.

I cannot enjoy it, for it will be taken away.

The little girl said that, speaking from her secret sanctum. There is wisdom cradled in her being—yet she holds it closely, dearly, and fiercely; she knows the inner mysteries that remain elusive despite my frantic seeking, yet speaks up only when I least expect. She tugs on my skirt, this wee one, and opens her mouth to whisper softly, briefly. Perhaps she waits to see if I will listen, to see if I am safe, to see if I can be trusted with the enigmatic messages she keeps locked away.

I cannot enjoy it, for it will be taken away.

That's enough,
they say, and remove the pleasure, the fun, the savored morsels, the pretty things, the light things, the relief. That's enough relief. They are distracting from things more important: the necessary things in life.

Die to the flesh; die die die.

Loving something is to curse it, for loving is an element subject to rigorous discipline and scrutiny. We must not love the wrong things, or love even the right things too much. Doing so might prove that we are, in fact, absorbed by the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

Liking something too much means that it is material for sacrifice; we are to hold loosely to that which we find dear, to that which brings solace. If something appeals, it is automatically suspect.

Therefore, much like a friend held at arm's length, we must keep these things away from ourselves and not feel too much. Feeling too much means that there is undue focus on temporal things, which takes our mind off of the Lord. We must be sober and temperate, not given to the exuberance of living, not feeling with much passion—rather, be self-controlled and not given to foolishness. Feeling too much, loving the wrong things, having interest in unnecessary things welcomes pain through the door; it welcomes criticism, opportunities for chastisement, an invitation to die.

What do I say to the little girl?

The true God knows how to give good things to His children.
The true God delights in bringing joy to the hearts of those made in His likeness; it is not for nothing that He appealed to all senses in His glorious work.

Pushing these things away, in the name of godliness, denies His goodness. His blessings. He wants us to feel. He wants us to love, to savor, to live, knowing that "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures." James 1

If we were not meant to feel, why would He have gifted the sense of touch?
If we were not meant to see, why would He have set our eyes, like jewels?
If we were not meant to hear, why would He have fashioned our ears, and sound, to meet them?
If we were not meant to taste, why would He have unleashed myriad flavors upon our tongues?
If we were not meant to smell, why would He have lavished us with fragrance?

He has given me my very own set of eyes, to see for myself—not for another to see for me.

He has given me my very own mind, so that I may think and reason, for myself and not for another to stomp upon and tell me what to think.

I have these ears, to listen, discern, and channel, for me and not for another. I am wholly individual and unique, created fully for the pleasure of He who is eternal. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

God knows that all I have, all I am, belongs to Him. It is His will that I use, that I enjoy, and that I glorify Him with what He has given.

But how does the little girl know that loving something makes it go away?

4 comments:

  1. Have you read "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers? You sound like Sarah, the girl in her story. It is an amazing book.

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  2. Good for you Hillary! It is hard to listen to the little children sometimes and to deal with their pain long enough to debunk the lies. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us!

    Yes, God did create beauty for us to enjoy. He came to give us abundant life, not to prohibit all things pleasurable. Thanks to some faithful friends, I am learning to believe this. :-)

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  3. Hillary, what beautiful imagary you have used to paint this picture for me... O to sit down and explain to little girl.. but will she hear? Can she understand?

    This theme really stikes such a cord with me, and I am reading a bit on this... legalism, or standard bearing lately... by one of my favorite Pastors... I am so encouraged by what he is writing, and preaching, as well as by what God is doing in and through you... I feel like the wind is blowing and the fog is clearing..

    just over here growing in grace..
    love to you!

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  4. Thank you Hillary, I am learning to listen to my little girl ;)

    I totally resonated with this line today:
    I cannot enjoy it, for it will be taken away.

    God knows that all I have, all I am, belongs to Him. It is His will that I use, that I enjoy, and that I glorify Him with what He has given.

    But how does the little girl know that loving something makes it go away?

    Growing up it was taken away from me for *rules upon rules (taking away the expression of my inner child and suppressing) --religious reasons, but then, grown up it was taken away from me due to unlikely circumstances *deployments, but mostly a postponed wedding that crushed my first biggest dream; and because of my past patterns, I took it personal as a measurement of love, and less approval. From that point on, my little girl and adult agree that considering everything I love would naturally be taken away since it had proven of itself up until that point.

    Thank you for giving me much to think on!
    blessings to you... I will continue to unravel in this journey of Greater Love ;)
    hugs,
    Jenn

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