Monday, January 7, 2013

Further Up and Further In. by Elizabeth Glover

Welcome to OUR blog wonderful ladies a new friend of mine!!!! Elizabeth Glover is an amazing woman full of passion! I got to know her for the first time in the fall semester of life groups at Koinonia!! I really enjoyed getting to know her at Lioness Arising. I loved hearing what God is doing in her life and where He is positioning her to make a difference in her sphere of influence!!! And THEN as I started up the Facebook group to read some of the insights that she has had within her devotional times, man I got so excited.... her beautiful written words stirred me to ask her to write for Passionate Women! So ENJOY everyone!

Elizabeth!! This was an amazing post! The more and more I read the heart felt words from you and many of the women who have shared the more I realize how much that the enemy wants to attack our purpose! GIRL!!! You are one purposed woman!! God has an amazing and unique (yes I said UNIQUE) purpose for you!!! I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you and see your desire to serve God in all that you do since the day we first chatted!! WOOHOO to the journey of following Gods path and leading in yours and Steven's life!!!! Blessings!!!!


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Further Up and Further In
By Elizabeth Glover



Lately I’ve been coming to a point in my life where I’ve been fighting to try and make God the center of my everything.   I’ve been trying to put Him at the head of my time and my words, my marriage and my finances, my dreams and my hopes and my heart.  Everyone who’s been through this before knows that it is no easy thing to accomplish – after all, we are a fallen people, living in a fallen world, and fighting against a very powerful and cunning Enemy who will stop at nothing to keep us in that fallen state.  The Devil wants to keep us on the ground so he can kick us where it hurts the most.  He wants us to stay so beaten-down that we can’t even hold onto hope, let alone stand and walk in the power that God has given us, under the grace in which God has covered us.

Let me tell you now that I am no stranger to depression.  It is something that I have struggled with on and off for at least the last twelve or thirteen years.  Recently, though, I have finally realized something that I never paused to really think about before.  Depression, at its core, is the death of hope.  Depression tells you that all of your fears are justified because there is no hope that they won’t come to pass.  Depression tells you that you will always fail in problem areas because there is no hope that next time, you’ll succeed.  Depression tells you that you might as well throw in the towel and give up now, because there is no hope that things are ever going to get better, or that the “good things in life” could ever be meant for you.

Depression lies.  If you hear nothing else, hear this.  Depression lies.  It is one of the greatest tools of the Enemy, because it strikes at the heart and manages to get us to believe that life sucks, and then you die.  It leaves no room for the hope that life is full of wonder and joy, even if it is right alongside of heartache and sorrow.  It leaves no room for the hope that when all’s said and done and death comes knocking, that is the moment when we begin to really and truly live. 

Isn’t that what it’s all about, in the end?  Isn’t our God the God of Hope?  Hebrews 11 tells me that our very faith is the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”.  What does this even mean if not that our faith is directly related to our hope?  Hope in God’s goodness.  Hope in God’s promises.  Hope in the glories and wonders of heaven, the home that we should be looking forward to with such joyful expectation that we should be saying, like Paul, that it is better by far to die and be with Christ than to continue on in this world.  My heart has been enraptured lately with the hope of heaven, and the wedding feast, and the image of my Bridegroom pacing the floor in anticipation of that glorious day.  I have felt a calling that shakes me to the marrow of my bones, beckoning for me to push into God like never before, to lose myself in His utter loveliness, to find Him in the everyday and cling to Him with wild abandon.

Ever since my mother first read me The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I have adored the land of Narnia.  I love the adventure.  I love the beauty and the wonder.  I love the message of redemption and hope that is woven into the heart of this fantasy world.  I love how C.S. Lewis has been able to reach across the time that separates his life and mine and stir my very soul with his words.  I especially love how the stories end, culminating in the final chapters of The Last Battle with the death of the Narnian world…and what comes after.  It’s this “what comes after” that fires my hope and makes me want to sing for the sheer beauty of the God who’s heart I find in such a story.  Aslan speaks to the heroes, running ahead and playfully calling back to them to “Come further up, come further in!”  As they begin to follow after the great Lion, they cannot shake the feeling that there is something about the land that they now find themselves in that strikes a chord within them.  At last they begin to realize that this new land is exactly like their beloved, lost Narnia, only somehow more real.  Overcome with the beauty and the emotion, one of them cries out, “I have come home at last!  This is my real country!  I belong here.  This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now.  The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this.  Come further up, come further in!” 

They race through the land, always heading further up and further in, running faster than an arrow flies and never tiring.  They eventually come to a garden, encircled by a wall and protected by golden gates.  “For a moment none of them were bold enough to try if the gates would open.”  They hesitate, unsure, all wondering, “Dare we?  Is it right?  Can it be meant for us?”  Then the gates swing open, and the heroes spend several wonderful pages meeting with old friends and legends of Narnian lore.  Finally, all are called together to stand before Aslan himself and this, this is how the stories end:

Then Aslan turned to them and said:
   “You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be.”
   Lucy said, “We’re so afraid of being sent away, Aslan.  And you have sent us back into our own world so often.”
   “No fear of that,” said Aslan.  “Have you not guessed?”
   Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them.
   “There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly.  “Your father and mother and all of you are – as you used to call it in the Shadowlands – dead.  The term is over: the holidays have begun.  The dream is ended: this is the morning.
   And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them.  And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after.  But for them it was only the beginning of the real story.  All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.

Can you see heaven in this?  Can you see the hope and the wonder of God?  Run with me, my friends.  Let’s press onward together – further up and further in to God’s amazing heart.

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful, Elizabeth! Thank you for sharing your heart. You touch so many, me included, with your amazing writing and tranparent life; lifting the dark veil of loneliness, that we may peak out and see our own love story with our bridegroom, through your eyes. Thank you for being there for me always, friend.

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  2. This is amazing, just like you. I am SO proud of you Bethie and look up to you more then words could ever express. I love you!!

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  3. That was beautiful, Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing!

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