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The Alluring God

by Hillary McFarland

Sometimes when we're young we are really shy, and our baby hands clutch mama's skirts and we try to hide in them when other people look at us. But then when we're a little older, we run around like wildthings and worry not what others think, and climb trees and our hair frizzes a golden halo, our cheeks blush like apples and our toes peek through sneakers, but we don't mind because we are six or nine and we sing at the top of our lungs that the hills are alive with the sound of music, and they are...
     Inevitably the years collect, and we grow fifteen and shy while the hills grow quiet. Hearts blush like maples in fall, but every hair is in place and hands smooth our own skirts and we hide behind trees instead of perching in them. And then we grow old in soul; melody is memory as feet shuffle dust and we strain to hear and see the One who breathed into lungs the song of life. We are tired and hungry; we ache and our face is etched with the fine tip of years, and our heart is carved up and arms are weary, and why do we even try? 

Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up
From the land of Egypt.
Hosea 2:14-15

     Do not be afraid of the barren place, of the wilderness, for God spills holy into ground and brings His light to dark, His life to dead, and living water to the waterless. He breaks Egypt's arms and yokes us with His grace; He builds His temple from abandoned ruins and dwells there, with the lowly of us and the weak, the foolish, the base, and the despised. The forsaken He gathers close and He makes dry bones dance and turns desert to wine and collects tears in crystal and He loves you!

You see the back of her
Because she faces Jesus.

You see her while she walks away
Because she follows Jesus.

You see her on a lonely road
Because few find
The narrow way that leads to life.

You see her, perhaps, half-dead
Because she is in the business
Of dying everyday.

You see her forsaken
Because she has left all 
to follow Him.

You see her struggle along the way
Because she takes up her cross.

You see her lost
Because she loses her life
To be found by Life.
You see her in a wilderness
Because that’s where God 
Plants vineyards. 

(hosea 2)

     And this is the place where trees clap hands like joyful little children and the hills are alive with the sound of music and He makes our feet like the feet of a deer and sets us on high places because we love Him because He loves us and behold, old things have passed away and all things have become newly birthed from the womb of mercy.

Are you a Gracewriter? Are you a Graceseeker? Share your journey by inserting an article or post of your own into the link list below. 

Also shared with Holy Experience:

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  1. Thank you. This is a beautiful post. So full of hope.

  2. Beautifully written...well said and well done!
    Many blessings,
    JAX, Author of Heart of the Jaguar

  3. Excellent word choice in "alluring." Now I have something I can say instead of "irresistible."

  4. These words spoke to the depths of my very soul.

    Sometimes, it's difficult to be on that barren road all by yourself, even if Jesus is supposed to be there with you.

  5. These were the sort of encouraging words I needed to hear (read) right now. Thanks.

  6. Do you have any advice in your book to mothers to make sure that in the pursuit of raising godly, and yes, conservative children, that we do not end up inadvertently damaging our children?

  7. May God give me the grace to run around like a wild thing sometimes and let my hair frizz out sometimes and sing out loud sometimes and dance for joy and not care what others think, because it really only matters what God thinks and I am celebrating His love!

  8. Friends, thank you so much for taking the time to leave such kind thoughts. May God bless each of you and draw you close to Him... {{hugs}}

    Michelle, thank you for your question! My book is written primarily to adult daughters so I don't think it will provide the specific information you're looking for, but many mothers have shown appreciation for some of the stories shared in the book because it helps them to see how young women are affected by certain things. May God guide your steps and give you wisdom as you seek His way. Blessings to you!

  9. This post, and the Sheep Story post before it, I have read over and over and over.

    These words are alive for me and touch something so deep I don't even know how to express it. I can't get them out of my mind.

    Thank you.

  10. {{emily}}...blessings to you, dear one.

  11. Michelle, I was surprised when I read Hillary's book the first time how much I was convicted and touched both as a mother of an adult daughter and as a daughter myself. I am highly recommending this book to all moms and especially those moms who find the patriarchy lifestyle so appealing and enticing. I am encouraging them to step back out of the paradigm and to assess their relationships with their children. Hillary's book is quite helpful in doing this and I would encourage you to read it!

  12. Thank you, again, you write beautifully.


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