From God’s lips to my ears: Stop. Just stop. Put it down. Back away. And no one will get hurt ?.
Or, if you prefer it in song lyrics, “Stop! In the name of love, before you break my heart, think it o-o-ver” (Diana Ross and The Supremes).
It was 2016 and Spirit had been issuing a very persistent “invitation” (ever had one of those??) to lay a ministry down, ie. to stop something. But I wasn’t having it. I resisted and resented long before I relented. I had no imagination for how stopping could be anything other than detrimental to myself or others.
Eventually, I laid it down.
And then I did what I do, I started something new (oh, slow of heart!).
I reasoned God must’ve freed me from the former so I could engage in a different kind of project. I grabbed some new tools and set out for work. I had no imagination that stopping was the new work.
That’s when I heard it.
I was praying (a dangerous activity if ever there was one) when a vision played out in my mind’s eye of two toddlers engaged in side-by-side play. They were sitting close to one another, but each were building their own towers out of wooden ABC blocks. I sensed in my spirit that these two represented God and me.
From this picture, Spirit issued three invitations:
- Stop it! Seriously, Jenny, just stop building. Put.The.Blocks.Down. Back away, and no one will get hurt.
- Let Me (God) build what I’m building (I love you dear daughter, but you’re impeding the process here).
- Help Me build what I’m building.
Intrigued and anxious to re-engage in any kind of activity, I asked: What are You building, God? And when God answered, I got the surprise of my life.
“You,” God said.
From there, the conversation when something like: What?!
I don’t understand.
Ummmm, God … are you aware of what’s happening around the world right now? Are you remembering all the tragedies and the people who need help?? …. You’re spending Your time building WHAT? WHO?
I don’t share Your priorities, God!! I don’t understand.
Jenny, daughter-of-Mine, I am building you and I’d like for you to let me, but you’re going to have to stop long enough for me to do so.
Stop! In the Name of love, before you break your heart, think it o-o-ver.
And that’s when I began to relent. To realize that all this stopping wasn’t to harm me, but to heal me. To build me. Who even knew that was a need?! God, apparently.
I was so busy building everything and everyone else I didn’t realize how much I, myself, was in need of it. I just kept marching on through all the brokenness and pain … until God, in the name of love, stopped me.
What I know now, with every fiber of my being, is that God stopped me not to harm me, but to heal me.
I’ll admit, some (ok much) of this process has felt more like dismantling than building, but in the midst of it, I am being healed. Layer by layer. Brick by brick. Block by block. Dismantled. Built. Healed. Made whole.
Stop It: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- What hinders you from stopping?
- What fears, misbeliefs, feelings, etc?
- What, if anything, are you being invited “in the name of love” to stop (large or small)?
- How might it lead to your healing?
- Stop! Take a Sabbath day (or even hour) each week. Need help? Here are some great resources:
- Our song of the week is Show Me, a hauntingly beautiful offering from Audrey Assad. Or, if you prefer, Stop! In the Name of Love by The Supremes?.
- Heal me and make me whole.