I've been reading from another blog recently that is encouraging readers to write their own Psalms. At first I was overwhelmed at the idea, but as I walked through the instruction, one day at a time, I became inspired. The blog is by Karen at Surviving Motherhood, and I encourage you go visit her week long tutorial to share in the inspiration. If you are inclined to write a Psalm, hop on over to Heart Reflections and share it with others.
For me, I was inspired to take another look at a Psalm that has been a long time favorite of mine. In fact, I've posted about it in the past and shared how the first few verses of Psalm 31 have given me great comfort in knowing I can ask my Father in heaven to bow down His ear to me so I can whisper into it my fears, concerns and guilt or shame without fear of judgement or being rejected.
Karen shared in days 2 and 3 of her Psalm tutorial that we should take our cue from David in the second portion of Psalm 31 and spend time voicing our laments. Like Karen, I have always felt like a whiner if I took too much time voicing the things that bother me. However, as I shared in my reflections on the first few verses of Psalm 31 in the past, I need to take time to whisper into His ear what He needs to hear.
It's not that He doesn't already know it, it's just that He wants me to acknowlege it. There is something about saying it outloud to Him that brings a deeper level of intimacy to the relationship. For me, it reminds me of my complete dependence upon Him. I confess that I struggle with feeling like I need to have it all together. I know that I don't, but admitting it to God used to feel like failure. Maybe it is the 'first born' syndrome of being the one in charge or labeled as the 'fixer' of the family. Or maybe it is that darn driven personality type that can't be happy with anything but an A+ on the report card. Whatever it is, I confess it to be a limiting factor in drawing close to God if I let it.
So taking a cue from David, as suggested by Karen, I began writing my version of the second part of Psalm 31; my lamentations. (see Karen's suggestions for getting started at this link) She shares her lamentations by filling in the blanks of statements like "When I think of....it hurts. When I wonder if....it hurts."
I am not sharing my personal laments here today (there is a reason I ask Him to bow down His ear so I can whisper them to Him), so I know you will understand; but let me just shout out how wonderful it is to take these thougths to the Lord. It's all about being real with yourself and expressing in words where you feel you are failing, how you feel hurt, why you feel lonely or in despair. Whatever it is, this is a part of us that God is fully aware of but we want to cover up to the world. The act of writing our laments is freeing. God knows this, which is why it is designed to work this way. Get deep and real with God, expose your hurts, fears and frustrations to Him and be opened up to His healing.
Which leads to the third part of the Psalm writing...giving Him the praise and glory. As I practice this lamenting more and more, I soon find myself leaping with joy! Not because all of my problems are solved in an instant, but because I am instantly reminded that I am in my Father's hands and He is in control. I am reminded of my children as teenagers, laying on the bed with me and crying about life, friends, struggles frustrations. So overwhelmed with growing up that they just need someone to listen and the tears begin to fall. This lament writing is a lot like that!
Most of all, I am reminded that my joy comes from knowing I am secure in my salvation and blessed with the riches of heaven.
I've already carried on too long today ~ and some may have given up reading 500 words ago :) so I'll stop here and carry on some more another day. For now, I need to whisper a few more words into my Father's ear.
What are you thinking?