From the Stump

I'm soaking in the words that have been written by women of faith today.  Devotional after devotional. Blog post after blog post.  I am hungry to resonate with those who have found Him. I am longing to come to know those who have lived through their own lives unraveling with fullness in Him.  And I find myself in this place where I'm called to enter a slow silence.
Where do I want to be right now?  
I want to be in a place filled with His peace and His love.  I want to be in a place where I too can say that I've known Him and I continue to get to know Him.  I am still in the "getting there" and the "figuring it out again" but this time I want to be more conscious of my choice.  More deliberate because now I know the source of my own discontentment.  
I ponder upon Ann's words again in her Hope video.  How she focuses on Jesse's stump and how this stump are those moments in our lives that have been cut off, given up on, nearly impossible to see growth in, lifeless.  Sometimes I feel like I am the stump.  These days I feel like I've reached a stump in my life.  Paralyzed.  Unsure.  
But Isaiah speaks of a tiny shoot that sprouts from the stump of Jesse.  I'm captivated by this imagery.  How life can sprout again from what was once thought as dead.  
There are many things in my life that I feel has been deadened by the circumstances I've experienced.  My dreams.  My growth.  My relationships.  My ministry.  And I've asked why so many times without really pausing to understand the reason for this lifelessness and fruitlessness.  
Am I clinging to the roots of the tree?  Am I part of this tree?  Where am I drawing my life from? 
Slowly Father you gently pull me near to Your heart and remind me that You are are the only life that can restore mine.  You are the only love that can make me whole.  You are the only fount that can bring me back to fruitfulness.  
Another whisper of words from the gospel of John, "But unless a grain of wheat falls down to the ground and dies..."  Only when the grain of wheat falls to the ground can it bear fruit.  Only if I let myself fall.  Only if I loosen my grip on my own life and hand it over to the Life Giver can I bear fruit.  
Only then.  
Only then becomes a choice.  It is a choice I must deliberately make.  It is a choice I must be aware of.  And the only time I can truly make choices such as this is when I slow down and focus on the value that arises from the weight of truth within these words.  
I pray for a real slowing down this Advent season.  I pray for a real birthing of new life.  I pray for a revealing of truth that Emmanuel--God is with us--is really indeed here. 

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