treasures of the darkness BY NATHALIE


Hi new friends!  I'm so happy to be here today, sharing a little of my story.  First, let me just preface this by saying I met Jessi at the Influence Conference in October, sat in her session, and wept like a wee babe.  And I'm just so thankful for the ministry the Lord has blessed her with, and that the Lord did not allow me to be numb to what the He wanted to show me that day.

My name is Nathalie and I blog over at Afterbelly.com.  I write a lot about my spiritual journey, especially related to motherhood.  I also have the honor of featuring the stories of moms across the country (I hope one day across the globe!) from all walks of life. {I'd LOVE to have you if you'd love to share!}



So now that you know I have mommy blog, you might be thinking that I offer some kind of parenting expertise, advice, or tips.  Well I hate to disappoint you, but I'll be honest. I write much more about my failures and the tension I feel as a parent.  But I'm finding that being vulnerable in my failures and in the midst of struggle helps me walk out my faith, lean into grace, and gather the treasures that rise from the ashes.

My story goes a little (a lot) like this: I dreamed of having children my whole life.  All I wanted to do was be a wife, mom, raise a family, care for our home, and lead us into domestic bliss! Then I had kids....  And I was like, "who are these little terrorists destroying our comfortable life, making me tired, and turning me into this person I don't even recognize anymore who rarely showers and calls yoga pants and a tank top her go-to outfit?!" {insert nervous laughter, a sassy smirk, and an under breath, "no, seriously"}

The truth is, I SO (BIG BIG SO) adore my children. My family is more precious to me than anything on this earth. I wouldn't be the woman I am becoming without them in my life. They are the grace stones that sharpen this wayward heart.  Never a dull moment (pun intended).

I don't know what I thought parenting would be like. I knew it wouldn't be easy. But I had NO INKLING it would be this hard, NO IDEA how selfish I really am, and NO CLUE how blind I was to my hardened heart. 

Sometimes you need the Lord to invade your life with cute little terrorists in order for you to see your UNENDING and DESPERATE NEED FOR A SAVIOR. 

And not in my wildest childhood/single girl/newly married fantasies, could I ever have dreamed or fathomed it would be THIS INCREDIBLE!



Sometimes you need the Lord to completely turn your life upside down in order for you to see that pure joy is birthed from realizing your UNENDING and DESPERATE NEED FOR A SAVIOR. 

What is God using in your life to invade your heart and help you realize your need for Him?

I recently started reading a book by Anne Graham Lotz (The Magnificent Obession) about the life of Abraham.  I used to read Abraham's story of leaving his home and family and think its truths applied only to people who felt God calling them to overseas ministry.  But Anne digs down to the deeper implications. Now I'm seeing its applications reach out even to this SAHM who's pilgrimage lies in the trek from the kitchen to the bathroom...about 1 million times a day. And though I get up every morning and mostly repeat what I did the day before, motherhood STILL OFTEN feels like a foreign country.
"The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you." Genesis 12:1

When I read this passage, I realize this was God's charge to me from the moment I saw that first positive pregnancy test. On the day my sweet son was born, If I'd listened, I would have heard the Lord whispering as I kissed his sweet soft pudgy cheeks, "leave everything that is familiar and trust Me. I will show you exactly where to go, how to get there, and provide everything you need."

What is your foreign land? What completely unfamiliar place is God leading you?  Is it a job? A relationship? A ministry? A dream? Motherhood?

I am not a morning person by nature.  But now that my babes are no longer babies and allow me to rest more at night, God is telling me it's time to become a morning person.  That means getting up while it's still dark. That's an oxymoron in my book.  But I've decided to trust Him, even though it seems like something only perky/non-coffee drinking/singing before the birds morning people should do. I dare say, it seems a little dangerous for my kind.

But OH! the treasures I find in those dangerous dark hours. And come to think of it, what an amazing metaphor for those dark hours in our lives.

For me, this year, I've spent many dark hours wrestling with myself, my sin, my circumstances.  Grieving over "supposed-to-bes" and "ought -to-bes".  

So, if you are anything like me at all...if you've ever struggled with the call God has placed on your life...if you've ever become weary of the hardships....if you've ever felt like you're groping your way through the dangerous dark...  Then this is for you:
"I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in the secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Isaiah 45:3
The secret place- where we gather all the hard stuff, hold it up in the Light, and see it for what it really is...

TREASURES OF THE DARKNESS

Are you feeling your way in the dark?
Listen...
He summons you by name to the secret places.  


... so that you know that He is the Lord.

Come. Get your fill, and more, of the glorious riches of the King. 
And lean into the Light.