Have you ever had an experience of being led by God toward an idea you knew was not your own? A spiritual encounter that gave you guidance along your way, a light upon your path?
That happened for me this past Wednesday night.
But first, before I tell you about it, let me give you a bit of context.
For the last month, I’ve been involved in a small-group intensive course with my business mentor and several other women, and one of the main thrusts of the course has been determining something I can create from my heart for you, my readers of the Cup of Sunday Quiet and the broader Still Forming community.
For several weeks, I have been fleshing out what this creative offering could be, and I had landed on the idea of creating an interactive ebook that would walk you through the journey of your own formation. And while that is an idea I still love and will likely create in some form at some point in the future, when it came time for me to start creating it as part of this course I’m taking, I kept running into walls.
It felt like I was forcing something that wouldn’t agree to be born.
So I was being patient with the process, trusting that whatever was meant to be born would emerge at just the right time.
Then on Wednesday night, I was listening to the Pray as You Go podcast before I went to sleep. The gospel passage for the meditation was taken from Mark 4:1-9, where Jesus is speaking to a crowd of people from a boat on the shore, telling them the parable of the sower.
The first thing I became aware of as I imagined the scene in the gospel passage was how much I loved that image of Jesus in the boat. I wanted to just get nearer and nearer to him! He is so mesmerizing to me, such a magnetic personality.
Another thing that emerged from the meditation was the narrator’s encouragement to pay attention to the first and last words of Jesus in his teaching, which were the word listen.
So I stood on that shoreline in my mind, near Jesus in the boat, and sought to listen to him.
And what I continued to hear over and over again as I tuned in to what he was saying to me was this phrase: “the way of the heart.”
The way of the heart. Yes.
Earlier that same day, I’d been reflecting on how God has given me an ability to tune into my heart. I have learned a lot of its landscape over the years and have become adept at tapping into its truth and bringing that truth before God. Also, over the last week, I’d received several emails from individuals who shared their struggles in doing this themselves.
The way of the heart. Yes. This is something to share.
So I lay there, thinking on this. What would it look like to create something that helped others learn the way of the heart? How would I go about teaching something like this? What had been my own process of learning it these last 15 years?
As I lay there thinking about this, my mind kept going back to that image of Jesus in the boat. How magnetic he was to me. How much I wanted to be near and listen to him. So I let myself return to the image and just watched him.
And then something rather strange but incredible happened.
His eyes turned into lights — blue light — and he began to pull away from the shore in his boat, moving south in the sea. The overhead daylight sky turned to night, and I felt myself caught up in what felt like a mythic story, full of deep colors and a deep, abiding current and deep, pulsating truth.
I began to hear words in my head, almost like words of a story that had existed for a long, long time. They told the story of you.
They told the story of your heart. Its alluring, redemptive truth. Its broken but healing journey. The invitation for it to emerge.
The way of the heart.
I knew right then this was the thing meant to be born instead: a story-parable with artwork, telling the mythic story of the heart. I could already hear the words of the story, and I could already see its vibrant, deep-colored pages. I pulled out the Notes app on my phone and began pounding out the words that were ruminating in the ether, that long-known story of your heart.
See what I mean about a prayer-storm? It was like a brainstorm that came on suddenly, but it actually happened through prayer. (Jesus has all the best ideas!)
So, this idea is in process. I’ve been in touch with a friend who is an incredible artist, whose artwork already reflects the mood and rich colors of the scenes that kept building in my mind around this story-parable, and we are going to see what a collaborative effort on this project could look like. I will keep you posted!
Have you ever had a prayer-storm experience of your own? What was it like?