Surprise: Knee-Bended Awe

This post was written for Kate Motoung’s #FiveMinuteFriday Link-Up on the prompt Surprise. Please note that I broke the five-minute limit today…couldn’t help but keep writing as I poured it all out. It is also linked up to Barbie’s Weekend Whispers:



You know when something cracks within you? When the tears flow relentlessly, despite your best intentions? When the curtain is ripped open and you sit there trying to cover yourself shamefacedly? That’s when I’ve been met by the most unexpectant, knee-bending, awestriking wonder, too beautiful to ever fully comprehend. And even though it’s become a repeated occurrence in the past year, still my heart opens in wonder: every, single, time.

You see, I never understood this beautiful, beautiful truth and still struggle to comprehend the wonder of it, even now (Psalm 139: 1 – 6, 13 – 16 MSG) :

… I’m an open book to you;
    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!

…Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!                You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.


When I wept behind closed doors, You were there. When I hid in shame, You were there. When I ran from your arms in fear, You were there. When I choked back the tears to be strong, You were there. When I pressed down the grief and trauma too scared to feel its depths, You were there. When I fell into a deep dark pit of despair as you turned me to these depths, You were there. When I ran out the church doors, to hide the relentless tears streaming down my face, You were there. When I hid in shame from the torrential downpour of inexplicable feelings, You were there.


And You keep drawing near, even as I turn back to numb, run away and hide. And the biggest surprise of all, when You embolden me to draw near – undone – You do not turn from me, You do not unleash Your deserved wrath upon me, You do not even wag Your finger at me. No, as I dare to draw near, You come even closer to me, draw me up on Your lap and wrap Your strong, safe arms around me, cup my face in Your hands and sing – gentle Love songs over me, over and over again.


And so:

“I’m now starting to see that it … is [all] about that little girl, about letting her weep before Her Saviour and letting Him take her in His arms” (Anna Louise Smit, Love Embraced: A Journey in and through Suffering, to be released on Mother’s Day 2016).


It’s not about being strong, it’s not about being good, it’s not even about being there for others: my mantra of perfection for years. It’s about drawing near, completely and utterly undone: the curtain ripped, the heart broken right open, the dirt exposed, the aching, yearning longing drawn into the Light  … so that His Love can pour right in. Into the crevices of unbelief, of guilt, of grief, of rejection, of fear, even of distrust…so that His Life and Beauty might grow right into the broken-open crevices and pour out over those around me, those who God is waiting and yearning to draw near to also.

So, the biggest, greatest, awestriking surprise of all is that I can be me, just me, no matter how awful, broken, selfish, exhausted or guilt-stained I am. That, you see, is the true beauty of grace: all we do is drop to our knees before Him as – us – just us.


We yearn after Love because we’re so incredibly desperate for Him.

We feel that yearning because He placed it within us from the day He grew us in our mother’s womb.

We open to that yearning, as He draws back the curtains and breaks open our numbed, grieving and stain-covered hearts.

We start to lean into that Love, as He keeps chasing after us, keeps pursuing each and every crevice of our heart.

We begin to receive that incredible, unbelievable Love because He emboldens us to draw near – as us – just us.

We begin to give true Love, as His Love pours out of us – out of the utterly undone and broken crevices of our hearts – crevices being soaked in His sacrificial blood and being covered, more and more, in the bright, shining Cloak of His Righteousness.


We begin to shine His Light, as bright as the star-cloaked night He placed before Abraham, as we stand together. As we stand, side-by-side, in knee-bended, awestruck wonder. Undone, utterly so. As ourselves – just us.


That is my definition of – SURPRISE. The greatest SURPRISE I will ever, ever keep unwrapping, until the day He comes to take me Home. For then, He will unwrap Himself, fully, in me.

Thank you, thank you, LORD!!!


Note: all photos were taken this morning while out running with my wee girl in the buggy (except the final one: which is from a few weeks ago).


33 thoughts on “Surprise: Knee-Bended Awe

  1. This was really touching Anna. I know that we have talked about this before, but it is always such a blessing to keep reading, hearing and discussing that He gives us grace, just as we are, just as the flawed and imperfect people we are and some days more so than others. ❤


    1. Amen! And I’m so incredibly thankful for His mercies being new every morning…just reading through Jeremiah this morning and reminded that the human heart is desperately deceitful: oh how desperately we therefore need to keep turning and submitting to our Saviour.

      Thank you for dropping by and encouraging, Michele.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How beautifully worded and pictured. Love this. Visiting from FMF and Weekend Whispers. So glad I clicked on your link.


    1. Thank you for your encouragement here. Love the name of your blog.

      God knows how to bless us! Whenever I pour out my heart, it’s like He takes hold of my hand and writes what He wants me to. Such an incredible blessing to then re-read and be blessed by the words He’s given.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Worshiping in spirit and in truth is best realized when we fill our thoughts with God’s word, take it in and allow it to overwhelm our spirit with his truth. Many times, for me, stepping out into nature connects my heart with the truth of scripture. His love, his awesomeness is so apparent within the beauty.
    That God would love us so, just as we are, is amazing.

    Thank you for bringing me into your worship.


    1. You sound like a kindred spirit, Cheryl. It’s nature where I feel closest to God: I run three times a week in the dunes and forest, and I always feel His Presence in such a palpable way there: such incredible beauty and everywhere you look you see God reminding us of His redeeming Hope and New Life. Thank you for dropping by and encouraging.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anna, curiosity drew me here and I’m so glad it did. This is a beautiful post that spoke to the hurt little girl inside of me. These words are especially meaningful: “It’s about drawing near, completely and utterly undone: the curtain ripped, the heart broken right open, the dirt exposed, the aching, yearning longing drawn into the Light … so that His Love can pour right in.” Yes and Amen! I’m also intrigued by the book you have coming out soon because God has given me the focus word ‘love’ this year and it is already becoming highly significant. Thank you! So blessed to have met you on my blog and discovered the treasure in your own. 🙂 x


    1. So glad you dropped by. I so loved reading your blog post too and will be back for sure. It warms my heart to have you pick out that quote, as that is what speaks to me most as well from what I felt impressed on my heart in writing. You’re welcome to join the launch team if you’re interested (then I’ll send you a free copy). Love that “Love” is your One Word for this year (mine is Behold).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh how kind of you! How do I join? And does it matter that I live in the UK regarding having a copy of your new book? By the way, ‘behold’ reminds me of listening and contemplative prayer whereby we make space to meet with God and behold His love and grace.


  5. I’ve just read the post you linked to above and found it very moving. You have a beautiful heart and a wise head on your young shoulders. I see God working powerfully in and through you. Can I contact you here via a form? Or are you on Facebook? I just prefer not to give out my email address publicly. Thanks!


    1. I’ve just emailed you (your email was sent to me when you commented) and sent a friends request via FB, so I can add you to the secret FB launch group if you’re interested.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is incredibly moving and beautiful. I love The Message translation. Thank you so much for linking up to #weekendwhispers so I could find you!


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