First, a word about my last blog about the call of the Bride. I didn’t want to say much about it there; I just wanted it to hang out there to see how it resonated with others. I’ve appreciated hearing that so many others have sensed a similar call in their hearts.
That blog post was simply writing down what had happened in my heart in the middle of the night. I was awakened out of a sound sleep on Thursday night outside Nashville with this prayer coursing through my body—”The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.'” I repeated it over and over, and as I held that before Father, other Scriptures came to my mind, that seemed to fit that call in my heart. My heart has been captured by similar prayers in the five days since.
I honestly don’t know what it means. I don’t think it is just about the Second Coming of Jesus. If we want him to come eventually, we will want him to come now to make his glory known in the real circumstances of life—into our doubts and fears, sufferings and temptations, and hopes and dreams. It’s the constant draw of the heart to the groom, not because he doesn’t already live in our hearts. He does. It’s a call to let that love be closer and let his glory be more evident.
And, I think it is a bit of a dog whistle to the Bride around the world. Some have already sensed that drawing in their heart. Others are finding it put words to something they’ve been sensing but hadn’t fully surfaced yet. What would happen if the pulse of that call would rise from millions of hearts around the world and held it before God, “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come'”? No, that won’t induce the Second Coming, but we may see his glory rise in the world around us.
But, here’s the real reason for this blog:
For the past eighteen months, many of you have received a thrice-weekly email called Breath of Fresh Air with a quote from one of my various publications or podcasts. I hear every week from people how those brief quotes have come at just the right moment to encourage people or give them insight into the situations they are facing. For others, they’ve been great reminders to tune their heart to Father’s love and life.
If you have enjoyed those, you have Traci Shyer of Pennsylvania to thank for them. She put all of those together as her way to share the life of Jesus in the world. She also did Instagram memes three days a week, such as the one above. A couple of weeks ago, she informed me that this season of her life is over. New work responsibilities and Father’s shifting call in her own heart are taking her on to other things.
So, thank you, Traci, for how much love and light you’ve shared in the world and how it has enriched so many others. I’ve told her how much I have loved the quotes she’s chosen and that artistic flare she has put to them. Even more, I appreciated her honesty with me when she knew it was time to lay it down. Everything in our hearts is for a season, and saying, “I’m done,” is every bit as important as her originally saying, “I will.” We really don’t have the freedom to say yes to something if we also don’t have the freedom to say “No, Thanks,” or know when our time doing it is done. Nothing in our lives is meant to go on past the vision God gives us for it.
We still have a backlog of her work, so this will continue a while longer. If, however, this is going to continue down the road, God will have someone else whom he would inspire to do something similar with their own creativity and passion. So, if you read this and think, “Hey! I’d love to do that,” please let me know and we can talk about it.
If not, then we may recycle the quotes or simply let this lie and look for other ways Father might have to encourage. I honestly don’t feel this is something that has to continue indefinitely, so I’m not trying to recruit anyone. I’m just putting the invitation into the wind to see if anyone else feels a nudge. All it involves is picking out some short quotes from Lifestream or The God Journey and finding a decorative way to send them out via our mailing list or social media.
Seriously, no pressure; it’s just an offer.
If you want to learn more about how to recognize God’s work in the shifting seasons of our circumstances or in God opening new doors of opportunity, you might find In Season, Embracing Father’s Process for Fruitfulness, a helpful tool.