Poetry…rarely is this the medium of choice to express my heart.  Yet every once in a while, poetry is the perfect space for God to cement His Truths into my soul.  This was one such occasion.  I had just returned ‘home’ to America after living, serving, and (mostly) loving the five years I had spent in China.  I returned with my suitcases brimming with all things Chinese and a grocery list full of questions…

  • Will I always find ‘cutsie’ Hello Kitty items quite as appealing as I do right now??
  • What’s it look like to be an adult in America?? To choose an apartment rather than have the Chinese school officials chose one for me?
  • On what continent have you called me to live??  North America?  Asia?  Antarctica?
  • Is there a man out there for me?  If so, God, what continent is he on??
  • What does community look like as a young adult in America?
  • Do my giftings and passions fit in the States?

Talk about loaded questions that swirled and whirled around my mind!!  Searching for answers was exhausting and although it was producing some results (a job, friends, next steps in life), it was also producing a very discontented spirit.  In all of my strivings, I was missing out on the gift of truly knowing my Father.  It was in this season that God gave me this poem, reminding me that as I sit at His feet, He freely gives me the gift of Himself.


My heart looks outward at what I do not possess,
longing for what is not mine,
coveting good in the life of another,
believing when this is attained…
then will I find peace, joy, and love.

Like Israel, I ask for a king who will lead and guide
While I am blinded to the heavenly King already holding my hand.
I only see
I only want
I only ask
I only beg for what I do not have.

And then…you freely give,
bestowing that which I’ve so fervently asked.

You are not threatened by the promises of this earthly kingdom.

For you know that apart from you, in time…
The promise of peace is met with discontentment,
joy is met with disappointment,
love is met with manipulation.

As these promises return void,
It’s You I turn to once again;
This time trusting the Giver, not the gifts.
Your way is narrow and bumpy, uncharted, and unsafe…
And yet oh, so good!
The path appears out of control,
But it perfectly fits within Your Sovereign plans.

Only the True, Loving, and Honorable King
would risk rejections so that He alone can reign unchallenged in my life as
the Prince of Peace
the King of Joy,
the Lord of Love.

December 2009

How has God revealed Himself to you of late?

Photo credit Shereen M via Flickr


  1. Jennifer February 26, 2014

    Thank you Lindsay. I write a lot of the time, but do not usually even try to write poetry, though I know I do think it occasionally in bringing ideas into the concise form of a few words.

    Thinking just now to find a way to respond to your question of how God has revealed himself to me recently, I was challenged to think of first needing open hands and an open heart to receive what he wants to give.

    Open Hands and Open Heart

    Open hands

    Not holding to the past

    Open hands
    Ready to receive what you give
    Open hands

    Freely you give

    Open hands

    Freely I can receive.

     Open heart
    Not holding to the hurt

    Open heart

    Ready to receive what you give

    Open heart

    Freely you give peace

    Open heart

    Freely I can receive.



    1. Kristi February 27, 2014

      The following has been part of my processing this week as I seek the Father’s will.  It fits so well with yours, Jennifer.

      For You

      I’m doing it again

      I know

      Holding on to ash and soot

      To dreams and plans

      Worthless “stuff”

      That will blow away and come to naught

      I must let ALL go

      Worthless and wanted

      Must be cast away

      An open hand offered

      For You to fill

      For  You to hold

      For You to lead me







      1. morielle February 27, 2014

        Dear Kristi and Jennifer, wow. I am doing it again, too. And, it is so hard for me to let myself have open hands, an open heart. So grateful for what you’ve written! Your words are already echoing through my mind. ‘Open hands / Open heart / Freely I can receive’ and ‘I’m doing it again / I know / Holding on to ash and soot / To dreams and plans / Worthless “stuff” ‘ …..Wow.

  2. Mary Beth February 26, 2014

    As someone who is finishing up her 4th year in China and returning to the States, thank you for writing this and thank you for so clearly putting my questions into words that make sense.

  3. morielle February 27, 2014

    Dear Lindsay, I absolutely love the way you tied the Israelites’ request for a king to yourself and, consequently, to me. I’ve never made that connection before, but it’s so true. I keep asking for an earthly king, and forgetting about the heavenly one (in so many different ways ….).

    p.s. It was exciting to read that you do a lot of backpacking in Montana! I am a Montanan, and nearly all my fondest memories involve backpacking or camping. *sigh* waves of Montana-sickness.

  4. Lindsay February 28, 2014

    Kristi and Jennifer – Thanks for sharing your hearts with us in poetry form…I love the idea of open hands and an open heart.  Hard to do, but so worth it when we do, isn’t it??  And I like your line, Kristi “worthless and wanted” that so describes what we cling to, doesn’t it??

    Morielle – we do ask for that earthly king in countless ways when we’re already heirs of the Heavenly.  Love love love Montana!  Beautiful country!

    MaryBeth – Lifting you up as you begin this process of transitioning.  One of my favorite things about reading (and writing) is when someone else’s words say what my heart feels but hasn’t yet been able to articulate. I’m honored that these words encapsulated some of your thoughts…


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