{when you've been kicked out of the Garden}

Imagine Adam and Eve walking with God in the Garden. Enjoying the cool of the day, talking, communing, loving and being loved. A perfect intimacy. The Garden reality. Adam had been created for a purpose, appointed and anointed for his work in the garden.

I remember that feeling. Of knowing I was exactly who God created me to be. Hearing His voice. Enjoying His company. Walking with Him in the cool of the day. There was work, but the work was alongside Him and for Him and so that work seemed as rest to me. That work was where I found contentment and pleasure in loving Him and loving His people.

I remember

I remember that intimacy.

I remember encouraging others that just as Adam walked with God in the cool of the day, so can you! That the “Garden reality” is still available to us today… intimacy. Knowing. Loving and being loved. Walking bare before Him and NOT EVEN RECOGNIZING your nakedness.

Not even recognizing your nakedness. Your vulnerability. Your failures. Being so close to Him that you feel the covering of His perfect love. That you rest beautifully, perfectly, in the comfort of His presence.

I remember what that was like.

Walking with God in the cool of the day.

But then there is also THIS. This place that I’m in now. This place that is so difficult to articulate. This place of knowing what a good, loving, purpose-filled God He is… this place of remembering intimate moments worshiping Him in my living room- Misty Edwards blaring and hands waving and tears streaming and a heart EXPLODING with adoration… this place of remembering those things as though they were both yesterday and a lifetime away.

And I wonder

I wonder if this is how Adam and Eve felt when they were kicked out of the Garden? Did they look back at those times of intimacy? Did they have this eternal longing to be again in His presence? Did they understand what had been lost? Did they even know?

I have to believe they did. Because I do. As hard as I try to push back that remembrance of what once was, I cannot escape it. I cannot escape it and…

And I understand

I understand what it feels like to be alone. To feel like you can’t even hear His voice. To be so wrapped in darkness you aren’t really sure how to pursue the Light you once danced in so freely.

I understand.  I understand what it is like to be so vibrantly and painfully aware of your nakedness that your only instinct is to hide.  To hide from others, to hide from yourself, and when you hear His footsteps in the cool of the day… to hide from Him.

I understand. I understand what it is like go from the confidence of knowing you have been anointed and appointed for a work to being crippled by the fear of failure.

To be afraid to open the pages of your Bible because you are TERRIFIED of what that mirror is going to look like.

To avoid His people because the weight of their judgment, real or imagined, is too much to bear.

To leave a stack of cards from one of the most beautiful hearts you have encountered unopened because you simply cannot face the promise that you know lies within them. The encouragement. The Truth.

I understand

I wonder

I remember what I do not want to recall in my darkness. I recall a passage of Scripture, studied deeply, etched into my heart for such a time as this, a time when His Word lay dormant on my end table.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139:11-12

And in that, a gentle whisper from the other side of that Garden gate… a voice into my darkness saying,

I still see you.