Blog by Kristen Hicks
Last week, I finally decided to use a gift certificate, my friend Kourtney had given me for my birthday, to get a massage. I called and made the appointment the week before, and I strategically made it for the Tuesday after Labor Day, so that I would have something to look forward to upon coming back from the mountains.
As usual, when I called the woman on the phone gave me the name of the person that would be giving me the massage: Amanda.
All of a sudden, my heart was full of encouragement with this information. Why? You might ask. Because during one really hard, ugly, terrible season in my life this name kept coming up. Over and over again; Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda on a Coke bottle, “Hey, I’m Amanda”, “this is my friend Amanda”…just again and again. Finally, one day I decided to look up what the name Amanda actually meant.
I was stunned, and overwhelmingly in awe at the fact that the meaning of this name would speak so fiercely against everything that I was going through in this particular season of my life. Everything the enemy was throwing at me, and dragging me through. Every lie that was being spoken to me (in the spirit and in the natural), every really bad situation I found myself in, the Father instead was speaking this name to me: Amanda…“Worthy of Love”
It’s humbling to me that the Father goes to such great lengths to speak to us. He knows how we humans can be so unsettled in our back and forth thinking. So He reminds us. And at times He has to do something drastic to get our attention.
Last Tuesday, when I got my massage was nothing less than simply a reminder. Going in, I thought it would be this gentle, relaxing, no stress kind of massage. Instead, it ended up being this painful, deep-tissue, get all the knots out kind of massage.
About a forth of the way into it, I started praying. Not because, I was trying to over-analyze this situation, but because I was in pain and I was praying for the grace to endure. HA!
What ended up happening, however, was the Lord began to remind me of a vision He had given me a couple years ago. The vision was His hands. He was holding me in the left hand, then He switched me to His right hand, then He put both of His hands together and pulled me into His heart.
He began to speak to me about this vision and how it paralleled with this massage I was enduring at that moment. I already knew what both hands represented. They both represented two major seasons in my life. I can tell you down to the day when He switched me to the other hand. However, realizing that I was now in the season of Him putting both of His hands together… that one was a little harder to recognize. And once I did, I found myself smack dab in the middle of nowhere; at least that’s how it seemed.
The wilderness. And if you’ve read any of my blogs lately, you already know this. The thing I wasn’t prepared for with this season was the pain. Are you now starting to see the parallel?
The thing that the Lord has said over and over and over about this season, is that I am to wrestle with Him. And I am understanding that this wrestling is getting ALL the knots out. It’s the refining fire, that gets out all the impurities. Basically, in this process of Him putting both of His hands together— which is essentially, the fullness of who He is, the fullness of His Love—He has to get out all the mess, all the the things that I picked up in both seasons of my life that aren’t true. That aren’t pure. That are not a part of who He is.
As I continued grudging through this massage— telling myself that the pain was worth it, that it was doing something, and that it was gonna get me somewhere—the Lord spoke so sweetly to me. He said, “The key to all of it, is to KNOW that you are ‘Worthy of Love.’ You are worthy of MY LOVE.”
I found that when I resisted to Amanda, as she worked to get the knots out of my back, as I tensed up, it hurt way worse. But if I yielded to the process, it didn’t hurt as bad, and the knots seemed to come out quicker.
I know that I’ve complained about this season, good grief, so much already. I know, I’ve felt lost and confused, and found myself extremely frustrated with people (myself included), circumstances, and just the season itself. But today, I realized, I don’t want to complain anymore. It’s not getting me anywhere. If anything it’s making the pain worse. I keep trying to talk to someone, anyone who will listen, hoping that they can give the right answer. But coming out of those conversations, I find that they are my way of resisting and tensing up in this process. They are stirring up the pain and confusion.
I was briefly talking to a friend of mine today about worship, and I told him how much I just love to be wrecked. He responded with this, not having a clue with any of this going on in my heart: “I like to be wrecked, but definitely like to be put back together.” I needed to hear that even more than he knew, and in a completely different context than what he knew we were talking about.
I think when I am in a season that is uncomfortable, and painful, and I feel lost. I think it’s super easy to forget that it’s only just a season. Like the Israelites wandering through the desert. The Word is clear, they prolonged it. I think it’s easier to just complain, to doubt, to wander off, hoping that there’s maybe something else out there that can ease the tension. I think it’s easy to forget the worth of God, and who He is. Likewise, I think it is also, very easy to forget my own worth to Him and how much He loves me. And I think He tends to like to remind me of all this in the very moments that the enemy is throwing everything he’s got at me.
I forget that He is in the process. And that while being wrecked by Him can remind me of who He is, He is more concerned with putting me back together, to remind me of who I am, and that I am worth something to Him. I am worthy of Love.
So today, I am beginning a new season, or rather embracing the one I’m already in. I’m gonna call it #DeeplyRooted. This is based on Ephesians 3:17-19 (NASB):
“That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the Love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
So, as I allow the “Invincible Summer” to live on within me, I hope to find myself, “Deeply Rooted” in life, in soul, in body, in mind, and in heart, to Jesus Christ, Himself. And I hope that I encourage you in the same way. So that we may know, and I do mean really, REALLY KNOW…LOVE.