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face the sun.
August 12, 2018
Photo by Tonya Freeland
Those were the words I heard clearly in my spirit one day out of the blue. Face the sun. They came after a phone call from my doctor with some blood work results letting me know that I was vitamin D deficient. Not a really big deal and yet not really on my radar. It made sense though. Why I was so lacking in energy and why I was feeling those same old nagging feelings that were reminiscent of my old sickness. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin, and is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. So it would make sense that one of the reasons for vitamin D deficiency is when our exposure to sunlight is limited. Because our body makes vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight, we may be at risk of deficiency if we aren't actually in the sunlight. Research has revealed the importance of vitamin D in protecting against a bunch of health problems. Symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness and low levels of the vitamin in the blood have been associated with a list of things: increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in older adults, severe asthma in children and even cancer.
So basically, not enough sun = health risks. Weak bones, thought processes impaired, heart issues, breathing issues, sickness...
That's the moment I heard the Lord. After delving into all the descriptions on the world wide web. After I dug through my cabinet for the old Vitamin D pills I had in the very back. And after I paused just a moment, silent long enough to hear the whisper of God. Face the Sun. Face the Sun. Face the... Son.
Face the Son.
It takes me awhile sometimes - but I am vitamin D deficient after all, so maybe now I have an excuse - you know, the whole thought process impairment thing. Anyway, when it hit me - it hit me and I got it loud and clear. The Lord was using my, for lack of better word, "diagnosis" as a real time picture of something He wanted me to pay attention to. Because it mattered to Him that I fully understood I was deficient in something...and that something was spending time in the "sun". In the Son.
When we first moved to Georgia it was my daily routine to spend hours with the Lord - and I mean hours. Sometimes 3-4 hours of just me and the Lord. Outside in a chair on my back deck or out in the yard, but always facing the sun - bible open, heart, eyes and ears open, and soaking in all that He had for me. It was such a sweet time together and it was a window of time in my life where I couldn't write what He was telling me fast enough. So often when I told people how I sat for hours with the Lord, the response was the same. Well that's great, but it isn't realistic. You can't just sit and read the bible, listening to the Lord. That just isn't reality. You have to do something else. And what I realized over the years is that I let those words begin to sink in until slowly they began to form the way I did things, and really, who I became. I let the world take over my time in "the sun" because everyone said I just couldn't do that. It's not the way things are done. And before I knew it, performance took over. Work took over. Basically, life took over. And with each passing day I became more and more deficient in the one thing I needed most. The Son. And what I realize is that I gave up some pretty precious time with the Lord. Those times of facing the Lord are the times when He gives what we need for the moment, the day, the week. They are the times where we can read His word, hear His voice, get instruction, gain wisdom, and be encouraged. They are the times where we learn about the heart of our Father and we learn about who we really are. It is in those times that I believe He begins to build up in us the calling He has on our lives. A time of question and answer, learning and growing. Strengthening our hearts, our minds, breathing in deep His word over our lives and freeing ourselves of anything attached to us that shouldn't be. It was the time for me when He began to show, through visions and words spoken into my spirit, what He was asking of me. Sort of a "revealing of plans" session in the sun. I think back to those days of cherished time and I'm saddened by all the time since that I've let slip through my fingers.
So the day the doctor called was the day of my wake up call. Don't get me wrong, I was in the Word daily. But I wasn't in the Son - a really big difference. I can't help but wonder what all I've missed by not spending that time with God. Get back in the Son. And I knew I was hearing from the Lord...I have instruction waiting for you...it's waiting in the Son.
The very next morning, I heeded the phone call and went back to how I did things when we first arrived in the woods in Georgia. I woke up early, got my bible and my notebook out, grabbed a cup of cinnamon green tea and sat in my favorite chair by the window, the one that faces the sun. And you know what I found that's interesting? When you sit in silence, when you leave room for the voice of God to speak into your life, when you rest in His presence - He does just that. He speaks. It may look different in each of our lives, but He finds a way to communicate with us, because it's that important to Him. We are that important to Him.
The Lord first spoke to me all those years ago, when I least expected it through a simple little butterfly. It came unexpectedly, but it came at a time when I began my journey of reaching out, wanting to know my Father better. Over the years, in times spent with the Lord, He has used that same butterfly in visions and dreams to continually give me messages and encouragement. Along with that sweet little girl in a yellow dress. So when a picture came in a text from my cousin, of the little girl in a yellow dress enamored by the beauty around her - watching all the butterflies, pure joy lighting up her face, it made me smile and immediately spoke to my heart. The fact that she's in a field of daisies, didn't strike me until I began writing this story. What's so interesting about a daisy (other than the fact that it's my birth month flower!) is that it doesn't just bud, blossom, and die like most other flowers. Instead, it performs a daily routine of “sleeping” at night by closing and “waking” in the morning by opening up again. Because of this unusual trait and the whorled appearance, the daisy was given the Old English name dægeseage, meaning “day’s eye.” The distinctive ray-like appearance of the daisy as it opens and closes with the sun looks very much like that of an eye that opens in the morning and closes at night. Opens and closes with the sun. I love that. Exactly as it should be...and the message I knew God was giving me. Just like He did for the very first time through that vision in the middle of the night, He was using a butterfly once again to remind me...Spend time with me. Face Me and bask in my presence. Listen for My voice.
So what's come out of my once again found time in the Son? Encouragement, clarity, direction and a new sense of excitement in what the Lord is doing in my life. A better understanding of His heart, that in turn gives me a better understanding of what His heart is for me and what He's calling me to. Out of that time has come some new creative inspiration that has tapped into a part of me that somehow got buried in the daily grind. Not all the blueprints are in place, and I'm okay with that. Because each day that I spend time with Him, more and more is revealed. And I know that my only task is to stay in a place of obedience, sitting with Him. It's a bit like a puzzle. The Lord has a great big picture already designed and each time we sit and spend time with Him, I believe He gives us new pieces. We can certainly try to put it together ourselves, but if we don't know the bigger picture, it's probably going to come out all cattywampus. The true, original and "perfect for us design" comes through direction from the Lord Himself. And that comes from being with Him.
I think our world is vitamin D deficient. And I'm not just talking about those that don't know the Lord. I'm talking about those of us who do know the Lord, but aren't sitting in the Son. I'm not judging, trust me, I'm there, have been there, was there...am determined not to be there anymore. I believe we are missing out on so much that the Lord has for us. I'm going to put it out there...I think we have it all wrong. Myself included. It kind of doesn't feel right to spend so much time just sitting with the Lord, I know I've felt it. For me, it looked like guilt that I should be doing so much more. Because that's not the way the world does it. But I think the world is doing it wrong. I think we've let the words of the world sink in. Out of that, we begin to develop who we are and how we do things - by the standards the world puts in front of us. And the result is spiritual weakness, in heart, in mind, in breath...susceptible to infection and disease. Not physically, spiritually. And the "so much more", it turns out, is spending time in the Son.
Because the thing is this...facing the Son is what determines who we are - it's what begins to put those pieces of the puzzle of our life in place. It's who puts them in place. I think that's a pretty big deal. And I have to believe that God does too. In fact, every morning as I begin to pray, the Lord flies a really big yellow butterfly (the color of my little yellow dress) outside my window, as if to say...I'm so glad you're here. I've got so much to say - ready for the next piece of your puzzle?
"Come near to God and he will come near to you..." James 4:8
"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." - Psalm: 91:1
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."
- Revelation 3:20
Okay - this isn't part of the original blog - but I couldn't let it go out without adding to it. I'm sitting in my chair facing the sun right now, getting ready to post this blog and I looked out the window. A habit, I guess, to see if my butterfly is out there. And instead of a beautiful butterfly, I see a huge spiderweb covering the window and a spider planted right in the center. So that's my view - a big hairy spider. On any other day, I might not have thought anything of it. Except for one little detail...
On August 7th of this week, while I was praying, the Lord gave me a vision of a spider blocking the sun - with a message that was loud and clear...don't let the enemy steal your light. Don't laugh, I've included the drawing I did that day to show you what I saw. It's part of the new creative adventure the Lord has me on that involves drawing what I see as I'm praying, for the most part, keeping my eyes closed through it all. So I never know exactly what I'm going to see when I open up my eyes! Anyway, this drawing was one of the images. And the crazy thing? I can't seem to get this blog to post. It freezes when I try to publish it, the internet drops when I try to save any changes. Everything that I've tried to do to get this blog out there keeps getting blocked. I personally don't think it's a coincidence that the day I'm trying to get something out about facing the Son, the sun is blocked by a spider. An exact picture of something the Lord showed me ahead of time. So I'm going to go outside and knock that gross spider off my window. And then hit publish on this story. I don't doubt for a second that it will publish once the spider is gone, God is that awesome.
He's personal, He's real time. He wants to spend time with us. And He wants to share all of that awesome with you, with me.