Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Knowing Place

It all began far back on a hill in a field about an acre from my first childhood home. Back then, it was an enchanted place for us kids and we called it 'Indian Hill', which would not be socially acceptable today. Back then life was simpler. I didn’t know it at the time, but I believe this special place to be the birthing of My Knowing Place.

I had to walk an acre or so and cross a crystal clear, bubbling brook. It was worth the walk in my creek sneakers, as mother called them back then. I’d walk the creek and all over the field and finally make my way up the hill. Up top of that hill was just out of earshot of the voices raging out of the open windows in the summer breeze. Even now if I sit still enough with my eyes shut, I can imagine being back there, watching an ant dancing on a blade of grass, crickets jumping and billowy white clouds slowly passing by. Tucked in amongst it all and the encircling trees was all that was good, safe and true. It was there, I really met with the God of church from Sunday morning and discovered that God could be the God of my every day.

Like a baby blue jay, I was just getting up the courage to fly. Before one does that they must be prepared, observe the world around them, determine the risk and decide where to place their trust. Pinching and sipping on honeysuckle there, I found that place in nature and deep inside of me. It was the place that I could turn off the voices, the noise, the expectations and my deep seeded need to make everything alright. There, I could be myself with abandon and confidence in Christ. Returning again and again, I had found the secret place of the Most High where I sensed God move and speak and a place where he was making me. Other times my sister and sister-cousin would just run and play there completely carefree.

Through the years, I realized that The Knowing Place could be taken with me anywhere I needed it, though beautiful, the priority there was not nature, but all Things Unseen. I found my abiding place with Christ to be true and when I wandered, it remained there for me whenever I needed it, in fact it came along with me. Through difficulties, rebellion and the winds of change and loss it held strong.

Some times we lose things and people before we are done needing them.

My Knowing Place was where I sensed Christ inviting me to spend more time in. Through the years, the Spirit was calling my spirit to know that the more I accepted this offer to abide, the more my cup gently overflowed with real Love and Peace. Some where along the way, I didn’t need that hill or a particular location, but rather the interior place that dwells with God, sanctified and where all is transformed into beauty there, even the ugly. This place-this relationship came along me everywhere I joyfully traveled, lived and grew so that I was never alone. I found this went beyond my relationships on earth, but at times am given circumstances that challenge me to live up to that.

One day, my world shrunk, which actually forced me to enlarge it again and found me in places that I could not normally let me go. Small places, in rooms with arguments, rooms with doors shut tight, elevators, hospitals and very entrapped medical test facilities. I often am reminded of the children’s story Country Mouse, City Mouse, as I frequently make my way to the city now for medical care. I still find comfort in out-stretched open land. Now I smile inside though, as any where I am or have to go or will ever be, I now find my source of living and trust to be in this God Space itself and these days I do not wish to wander from the holy of holies but abide daily, minute by minute in this place of assurance with solid ground. Most days, I can now go where he leads which is my heart’s desire-to fly like that baby bird.

Every so often my mind wanders back to that land and merciful hill. I hold those memories dear. The house and farmland are changed now and new towering homes that all look the same stretch out far behind. I hear there are no children stomping that land and I assume they are all in daycare and organized camps instead of our lusciously long, imaginative days. I have not passed that way again, since I last walked it with my own little family and a lump in my throat, before my father sold it 6 years ago. I said my final goodbyes. My younger sister of strength and courage has walked along the land that remains to the side of our old home, past the brook and sat once again on that hill. Father mentions driving by it and how it has changed and I nod and ah ha. I make my way far around it when in the area, as to never look back. I find it easier to keep my well chosen memories and put my faith and trust now in Christ alone. I have my own house that comes undone at times now. So my aim is to be more like Jesus, and less like me now and to spend every day in My Knowing Place, trusting and living every breath and heartbeat there as best I can.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1


Ganeida said...

Your posts are always so deep sometimes I'm not sure how to respond. I think I have always found God in nature & the hardest place I've ever lived was in the suburbs where I was so closed of from nature. I've always had special outside places. Here it's the mangroves though my verandah is not a bad 2nd best. ☺ I can see into the mangroves & the bush comes right up & around. The cats adore it & spend hours just sitting curled with slitted eyes meditating on the moving shadows. All that to say I understand & share your love of a special place ~ which as C.S lewis so succintly pointed out is only the shadow of the reality. Like you I am trying to remember to grasp the reality instead of the shadow. Pax. ♥

Jan Lyn said...

Yes, that is right, Ganeida. I am speaking here of abiding with Christ, rather than a place or symbol actually. I like CS as well and actually this piece grew out of a study of Oswald Chambers I am doing with others over at Living Whole with Chronic Pain. We have been discussing being in that place of abiding so intamately that one need not constantly inquire or struggle discerning God's will, but be as one in him and know what he would want and offer to us.

TY for taking the time to stop over.

Renee said...

This is so very powerful, Jan Lyn. It brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes and I could "see" you special place of your childhood...the beauty of it...Your faith is a deep testimony for me and others here. We are blessed to be able to "iisten" to what you have to say and be nutured by it.
Thank you, friend. Thank you for giving me even a deeper desire for sit at God's feet.
Gentle hugs

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Janikins! Love you, Younger sister led to re-live it for some reason. Thinking God wants me to remember there was lots of good there before lots of bad... cold wet clay, fish, tadpoles, frogs, trees to climb, kittens, puppies, bunnies, chickens, warm sunkissed cherry tomatos, peace and quiet. Love you. Julie

Jan Lyn said...

Dear Renee~I appreciate your gentle hugs and kind remarks. It truly was a special place and a blessing to recall the beginnings of my faith journey.

Juls, I think some times it is good to 'go back' in order to move ahead. I can in my mind, to the beautiful. Thanks for naming more of THE GOOD, yes the cold clay and cherry much good there! I hear you and I stand amazed that we name all that was/is outdoors, not inside the house. Intruiging. But I've got one, maybe more...? Think 'roll the ball'. :) Life is like a track and the good and bad can exist at the same time, especially here in the now and some how that's all good. All from his gracious, good hand.
Lots of love,

Amanda said...

I drunk in the words of this post. I felt like I was revisiting my own childhood, as I read about yours. I relate on some many levels...

I love how you write and I feel the Lord through your words.


Jan Lyn said...

Thank you so much for taking the time here to read, Amanda. I think it is important to live in the present, but at times God renews and brings new insight through our past. Every once in a while I glance back and every time I do, I see His provision and faithfulness to me.

I'm glad you 'found me' and I have just spent a few minutes over at your blog. It is lovely!

Jan Lyn