This year, I got everything I wanted.
My parents are getting remarried to each other, I got a new car, I got a new job, I am living on my own for the first time. A glance on my social media page would suggest “Yeah, Marlie got her life together. She’s doing great.” Confession, I am! I am so thankful. But, another confession? None of this stuff filled the void in my heart. My circumstances changing, having a new car to drive around, a new job to work, etc. all great things, all things to celebrate and to enjoy. But. none of it completely filled the void in my heart because our hearts were not made by this world but by God.
I still go to sleep wondering what other trinkets or experiences could come in my life to make me ‘feel satisfied.’ I wake up in the morning and my thoughts are consumed with myself, my reality, my expectations for the day. My heart no more full than it was the day before even though I “got everything I wanted.”
I am prone to wander from my Shepherd, prone to wonder if God really is all I need, prone to worry about life and all the intriciate details. I long for comfort, for approval, for ease, and for things to go relatively my way. When they don’t, I get antsy. I get doubtful. I get scared, honestly. What if none of this is real? What if I am one of those brain-washed Christians? But then, I remember. That morning at my desk, a bible and a pen, warm tears dripping down as I read about my Savior. That void gone and suddenly this was exactly where I wanted to be and frankly it’s where I need to be. Sitting at the feet of Jesus. Rembering my role in the story is not the Lead like I so desperately desire, but as an extra in a .4 second scene of the grand story of God redeeming His people. How humbling that is. Studying the Word is like sititng right under a mountain, I am reminded how small I am and how big God is (Psalm 103:14-18)
I remember sharing my story and the gospel with teenagers in Albania and hearing one of the girls say “When you talk about God, I hear a knocking on my heart.” Knowing God was knocking on her heart brought me so much joy. This joy i felt was indescribable and surpassed any cruise, vacation or rollercoaster I’ve been on.
I remember the long drives in my car, praying, crying, worshipping. Again, sitting in the presence of God, at His feet, all the longing of my heart fell before Him and He began to change the desires of my heart. All the while a wave of peace crashed over me.
In February 2018, I got a study bible and for the first time in my Christian walk started doing a daily quiet time. The transformation in my heart has been unreal. As I read and study God’s word, He has mended, pruned and reedemed a lot of mess in my heart and life.
This year I can look back and see the good, the bad and truly say it all fails to compare with knowing Christ. Paul’s words in Philippians 3:7-9 have been such a theme in my journey the last few months.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
Christians, I urge you to dig deep into the Word daily and watch God transform you. I challenge you to write down your desires, wants and dreams and pray that God would change those desires to match His will. Don’t listen to the lie of the enemy that anything under the sun can fulfill your heart.
Some verses to reflect on: