“NEXT” January 23
Day 17 “#JustOpenTheDoor”
At the beginning of 2018, I felt the Holy Spirit tug at my heart to “just open the door.” This might not seem like a big deal considering I grew up as a missionary kid where people were always in or around our house. But in the last 10+ years, externally, I’ve fought chronic pain, infertility, church wounds, homesickness, near-loss, and more. On an internal level I’ve faced judgment, loss of identity, depression, major anxiety, death of dreams, and more.
While many friends my age used their 30s to hone their hospitality skills with dinners and parties and open door policies, I spent that same time retreating, hibernating, healing, being restored, and eventually ready to open my heart again. Even as I write these words, I’ll admit to fear of my words and my life story being judged or misunderstood, but this is my testimony. His story in my life. Messy and imperfect.
So with great delight, I spent one of last few days of 2018, hosting and feeding (with help) 20 people in my home. The process wasn’t perfect. I fussed and fretted around the house all day with a million chores to do until even after the first person walked in the door. I got frustrated with my baby girl’s over the top enthusiasm that never waned the whole day. I begged my-not-feeling-too-great-husband to jump in more than once to do this or that.
But I loved it too. Preparing to make room. Baking cookies with my girl. FaceTiming my aunt to see if the meatballs were just right. Trying out a new recipe that turned out great. Tidying this and that. But mostly just loving the people as they came in the door. And of course, the highlight of the evening was my missionary parents sharing their journey of how they have seen the love and grace of God show up in their lives time and time again.
While the reason for opening the door is often to love others tangibly, what I’ve come to discover this year is how much it is has changed and healed me. I still have more to learn and more to grow, but I’m grateful for the Father’s gentle pushing to walk in this way of love again and how He has poured love upon me in the process. With His leading, there is rest. With His help, there is delight. With His guidance, there is layer upon layer of unforced rhythms of grace. And I am filled with joy.
Matthew 11:28-30 The Message: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Lyndsey Van Niekirk