“Come walk with Me.
We walk together a moment more, then the weight of my own failure hits me. “I have failed you!’ I cry out, pulling away, failing to the ground. “I have failed!” I weep—more for my own pain than anything else, I think.
“No.” His voice is firm and it stops me. “You have not failed me. Your heart heard and responded to me. You have not failed me.”
I look up. “You are still here.”
“I am. You will cease to be surprised by this. I will not turn away from you.
“You have walked a hard path. You have kept me at a distance. Your heart has held you back. Let me deal with what is holding you. I want to free you, to reach your dreams.”
“I don’t know my dreams—they are hidden, maybe gone. I can’t see them, I’m not even sure I have dreams anymore.” My heart is torn by this realization. I begin to grieve for what I did not even know was missing.
“They are there—dreams of the little girl who saw the possibility, who knew no fetters, before the sin covered your eyes. I will restore your dreams to you.”
I do not know what to say; it is quiet for a long moment. I feel drawn to what He is saying, but still the fear and pain pulls me back. “Must we go through that place of correction again?” I finally ask.
“Yes, but not yet. We will wait until you are stronger.” I am relieved. “Walk with me deeper. I have a new place to take you. Take my arm, stay close.”
The way feels different now. I feel open, unguarded, my heart on my sleeve. What can others see? I panic, afraid.
“Shh—I am here!” He reassures, “Only I can see your heart now, you are safe.”
It is strange to feel so open. “This is a new place to you—you have hidden in fear from it, from Me. We are going to change that.”
Although His voice is full of promise, I feel a dread of change rising up.
“It is going to be all right—you can handle it—all this centers in a very few place, not as much as you think. But it is very deep.”
The shade in this part of the garden is very deep, quiet, even a little frightening.
“This is a place for rest, not fear.” He comforts me.
But I panic. I am unclean! I do not belong here. I cannot be in this place! Distracted, I wander to where we just came from. I am angry and judgmental over imagined rejection, again. Seeing this, though, I am horrified. I cry out, “Oh God! Correct me, correct this!” --what did I just say?—He is there by my side once again. I cry,, “Oh God! Please…” I cannot finish, the weight of my sin is too much.
“Lean upon my arm.” His words are gentle and patient as he reaches out to me. I take His arm, gratefully. He begins.
I see my defensive anger for what it is. My insecurity, my sin! I have failed to trust in Him. It is not their fault, but my own! It is my sin, not theirs! My own, my own! Oh God forgive me! Forgive me for trusting in anything other than you—for taking out my sin and blaming others!
For the first time I see—it is mine! The sin is mine and not theirs! It feels like it takes a long time for me to finally see this. I weep. “Oh God, this hurts!” I whisper though the tears.
“I know.” I cling to His arm. He strokes my head, kissing the top of my head. “I am still here.”
It is quiet as I collect myself again. “It hurts.” I whisper again, mostly to myself.
“Let me touch those raw places and heal them.” I remember He has said this before.
“I want to—I want to, but I can’t I can’t let you look at me! It is too much!”
“Why? I already know what is there.” He is not pushing me, only letting me know the truth.
It takes me a long time to answer. “I know—but—I can’t look at those places yet.”
He takes my arm and pats my hand as we begin to walk. He says nothing though.
“You are not angry?” I cannot help but ask.
“ I am not angry. I will wait for you to be ready. I will be here.” We walk into the deep quiet woods again. “This is a place for you to share you heart with me. This is not a place for anger—it is quiet here. I have invited you here to be with Me, there is no rush, I am patient.” It is quiet now, only the gentle sounds of the garden intrude. He begins again. “You keep me at a distance with excuses that I do not have time for you personally, I am too busy. I never have been.”
I think on this for a while.