Keep open house, open heart…

I need people, and I believe it’s okay. God made it that way. We are one.

Well, we are to be, anyway. I am still learning how to be one in Christ.


A few short years ago I escaped a prison of my own making – for many hard years, afraid of showing people who I really was. Hiding the shame, the weakness, the insecurity — fearful if I showed myself unveiled they would decide they didn’t like what they saw. With heart closed — I walked, viewing God, at times, through the people I felt hurt by.


“God doesn’t love us any less when friendship turns out to be hard or lonely”.

(in)courage

I closed myself off from people. In doing so, I also closed myself off from God. The wall I built around my heart with bricks of disappointment, broken-trust and pain, also kept God out. The result was the decay of my soul. I could not cease the flow of love towards people and hinder the flow of love from people and expect to still have the flow of God’s Spirit in my life. My usefulness was gone.

“God is not a secret to be kept… Keep open house; be generous with your lives. BY OPENING UP WITH OTHERS, YOU’LL PROMPT OTHERS TO OPEN UP WITH GOD….” Matthew 5:16 (MSG) This scripture, these Words of Truth, freed an imprisoned soul. These are the words that still compel me to open-up heart-wide, and today, convince me to hit the PUBLISH button.


Vulnerability is the most valuable gift I have that I can offer a friend. 
What other treasure do I have to offer from myself, except an open heart? Not everyone wants to see someone transparent, but only someone that is transparent allows light to shine through, and if I am really living and walking in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have true, unbroken fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1John 1:7

This desire for this true kind of fellowship with His daughters, my sisters, I bare my heart for. Sometimes courageously afraid I pour out and let Him pour in — knowing nothing is really lost  that which we we offer to God — especially offered true. I never know what BIG thing God can do when I offer what SMALL thing I have in my hands?


Edited Re-post

Michele-Lyn Ault
Michele-Lyn is still more of a mess than she cares to admit, but she will so you will know you we are all in the process. You'll find her writing about motherhood, missions, and embracing beautiful messes, while learning to live a life surrendered to God She's an advocate for World Help, and you can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. But, Instagram is her favorite.
Michele-Lyn Ault
@jennmpeterson Thank YOU!!! I wish I could hug your neck. :) - 3 hours ago
Michele-Lyn Ault
Michele-Lyn Ault
Instagram is my favorite place to post pictures of my everyday ordinary, and beautiful messes.

Follow @MicheleLynAult

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com Barbie2365

    I have often asked God why I only have a few close IRL friends. I mean, I have an entire church of women who would be there in a heartbeat. But there are very few that I truly open up my life to. I ask if it’s trust, or the lack thereof. Or perhaps I compare myself and don’t feel worthy. I know God called me to share my life with others. Not just those whose faces I have not looked upon in person. But those women who I see everyday. I am asking for the ability to step out and offer grace, as it was offered to me.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Barbie,

      You sharing your heart and your story here is a true gift to me. You seem to open us so easily and bare your heart in your writing. There is healing in that, isn’t there?

      You share about your in-real-life friends being few. I bet those few, are covenant friendships. We need those. They are very close to our center and they provide us with so much in this journey of life. I have just a few myself and I think that is okay. There is some safety in writing our hearts on a screen, verses seeing someone’s reaction or even rejection face to face. So far I have been blessed to be embraced by a beautiful online community, but God reminds me of this real life community also, and the need to be connected to them.

      God knows so much more that we can imagine. I know His plans are perfect for you :)

      Blessings to you and {{HUGS}}

  • http://www.spiritualglasses.me Jennifer Upton

    I just met you and love you already. I sit in awe each time I read into a life that reads much like my own. Your words, many of them are the same as my own. We also obviously share a love for turquoise as well. I recently wrote on my blog “I am a lover of all things turquoise.” I felt so at home here, in your special place where heart is so transparently exposed. I am glad we became twitter friends this week uncertain of the path that lead us to be friends this way, but no doubt it was divine.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Jennifer,

      This comment made me smile big and warm my soul. I look forward to connecting with you, although next week I will be rather offline :)

      Thank you for blessing me with such beautiful, encouraging words…

      It’s very nice to meet you :)

  • http://www.besimplybetter.com Leslie (@BeSimplyBetter)

    God is not a secret to be kept! And you are so right, he can do big things with our small gifts. Thank you for sharing. God Bless.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Leslie,

      Thank you for stopping by and affirming. His word is truth!

      Blessings…

  • http://compassionadvocacy.blogspot.com/ Lolita Valle

    I so relate to this one, Michelle-Lyn. I have gone this road long ago which made me wish I had met Christ as a teen. Yet, it was His own timing too. I had to go that way…. it was a process I had to go through otherwise, it will not ripen into a hunger that only Jesus could fill.

    I too sheltered myself because I thought I had done a very grieve wrong….which others will shun away from, but I know now that Jesus heals. I am no longer ashamed of what mistake I committed because they were beautifully redeemed.

    I always love the way you express your thoughts and feelings. Thank you for this.

    BTW, I was a single Mom when Jesus thought it was time for the encounter. The church he lead me into was just so embracing and I learned forgiveness….. the son became a Pastor with his own family now. I am still in this church.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Lolita,

      Your testimony is beautiful. I am so glad you shared. It causes me to dwell on the goodness of God. I love what you say about your mistakes being “beautifully redeemed” AMEN!

      And the fact that you found a grace-filled body of Christ to be able to be a part of, what a blessing! Thank you for your encouragement.

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn

  • Ro elliott

    Oh so many woman…all hurt…all wounded…all walled up…but God comes…He Heals…He gives hope and most of all…when all fail us…He never will…when lonely…He will be that friend that sticks closer than a brother…living open to Him…leads us to living open with others. blessings as we grow and allow God to make us always welcoming to Him and to others.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Ro,

      Amen and amen! This reads like a call to the altar to lay down everything for a God whose love is so amazing and whose mercy is everlasting. Thank you for sharing and uplifting my soul :)

  • http://cprezra823.blogspot.com Child of God

    Thank you for posting this. :) I wanted to share with you that just before I read this I was outside watering the garden and having a good talk with God over how I am to approach a lady I know on the delicate topic of sin. I came inside, opened my computer and in my email box was this post. Normally I don’t read it right away as of lately I have been really pressed for computer time, but I did read and as I read I was flooded with the ‘Holy Spirit chills’. (That’s what I get when I know God is speaking to me.)

    Transparency, that is how I am to approach this lady. You said, “God doesn’t love us any less when friendship turns out to be hard or lonely”. This speaks volumes to me and I really don’t see all that God has for me in this sentence, but I do know that He will reveal it to me when I am ready or the timing is right.

    Thank you for sharing,
    <

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Child of God,

      Oh, reading this story here just blesses my heart. I came so close to not posting anything at all today. Your story just reminds me how important it is to listen to His voice and follow in obedience. I am so encouraged by your words. I take a moment to pray for you right now…

      I pray that this precious child of Yours will be led by Your Spirit. May her words be seasoned with grace. Have Your way, Lord, and lead her down Your perfect path. I pray You will continue to do a deep gentle work of transformation and may she walk in all the blessings You have for her. In Jesus Name, AMEN.

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn

  • http://livedwell.blogspot.com Stacy

    This mirrors my own experiences of late. The ladies’ group at my church had an overnight retreat at the beginning of July. Many in the group don’t even attend the church, just come to the women’s gatherings….and yet they have connected. They seem to ease right into comfortable, warm, caring, sharing friendships. It’s me who is always on the outside looking in.

    At the retreat one speaker talked of the 3 parts that make us up…body, soul, and spirit. She talked about how we build walls to protect ourselves. Walls that keep the Spirit from pouring into us. The other women were nodding, but I sat still as God spoke to me that my problem was that while I had torn down enough of the walls to let Him in, I was still keeping His people out. That until I could tear down those walls and let them in, He could use me, but not the way He wants to use me. He can’t give me all that He has for me until I do.

    I asked a trusted (female)pastor and teacher if we could talk and we met for lunch. I poured out the story to her…a gigantic leap of trust in itself…and when I finished she said, “I know. I’ve seen that you’ve been on the outside since I got here and I’ve been praying to God about you.”

    She told me that it isn’t always the case but the group we have now is trustworthy. She is encouraging me to take a chance on them. And I am. I’m reaching out more. I’m opening up more. I still have moments when I hang back, though. I have one more thing to do with these women….I need to confess to them, my distrust and that I’ve held them at bay. They don’t need to know why I’ve built the walls, but I need to ask them to forgive me, to be patient with me, and help me through it…to call me on it when they see me hanging back. I’m scared to death, but each time I’m around them and another block crumbles I get closer to being ready. God is showing me step by step that He’s with me and that He’s provided this group of women to heal my heart. I just have to let the whole party in the door!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Stacy,

      I am so humbled and blessed that you would share your story here with us. I know that others reading it will be so encouraged by your courage and your transparency. You are so right in saying, God is with you step by step. He is such a gentlemen, isn’t He?

      I read a beautiful book that helped set me on the path of being set free from this fear. It’s called “Hinds Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard. It’s an allegory and I liken it to Pilgrim’s Progress, except it’s a women’s version :)

      If you haven’t read it yet, you may really enjoy it. Thank you again, and blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn