God and I have been in this dialogue for quite some time. As He shapes and molds me and works me over, as I struggle and fight and yearn for release even though I’m free already, as I question and ponder and analyze from every angle and strive, so hard, to understand…
When I’m really not supposed to understand, which is very hard to wrap my mind around because I want to understand every facet of EVERYTHING.
When what I need to do is stop. And just simply trust.
OK, but what does that look like? Exactly? And how do I do that? Exactly? (I love that word, “Exactly”) 🙂
Here is what I am currently grappling with. It’s my yes. My yes to God. I say yes to what I feel He is stretching me to do. And I do it again. And again. I’m doing my best to be obedient. And wow, that’s great… but… ummm… well…
I thought this would feel so different than it does. This progressing, becoming, growing, learning journey I’m on.
God, here I am. I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I’m saying yes to You, God! Multiple times! That’s huge! Especially for routine predictability obsessed me. So, well, I don’t get this. This how-it-feels-now thing. I’ve said yes, and I’m actively working to do things that I think You are calling me to do. But it feels… uncertain. Scary. Unsettling. Confusing. Frustrating. Stressful. Exhausting.
Shouldn’t I be feeling this otherworldly peace? Shouldn’t I find rest and comfort in knowing I’m doing the right thing? Shouldn’t this stop my ongoing exhaustion and stress and wondering how I’m going to get everything done? Shouldn’t the angels be singing, and shouldn’t I have this feeling of rightness, this underlying reassurance, about these God directed things I’m doing? Shouldn’t everything just magically fall into place to the point that I can say “It Is Well With My Soul” because feels so right and so perfectly wonderful?
And in the deepest part of my heart, God says:
What? Why? I need to know that I’m doing these things I feel led to do and the call is from You. How can I be sure that I’m not just people pleasing or patting myself on the back? How do I know for sure when I’m not feeling totally into this, when I find myself not wanting to continue to do what I think You want me to do sometimes, when I struggle with am I taking on too much, when I worry about burnout and added stress, and when I ask myself, what am I really doing?
Yeah, He already said that. But unfortunately, God needs to repeat Himself to me pretty often when He is trying to show me what I should be seeing that I’m not seeing.
So the dialogue continues. Another brilliant question from me:
Okay, so I get that Your answer is No. No, what?
Yes, I can totally see God saying that to me. I know He loves me unconditionally, but come on, I can be pretty exasperating. Sometimes I exasperate myself, with no help at all. 🙂
Sorry Lord, but I’m not getting this. Yes, really. Please show me, tell me. Shine Your light into my darkness, and fluorescent light please, you know how dense I can be.
Okay, my detail obsessed, precious child. Oh, how I love you.
Here’s the deal. I never said living committed to Me would be clear, or concise, or easy to understand. It’s hard. It’s supposed to be hard. Yes. That’s what I said. It’s supposed to be hard. Living for Me, striving to focus on Me and following my guidance to do what I call you to do for Me is a journey full of obstacles and bumpy roads, and while there can be shining moments of clarity, the pathway before you is usually hazy at best and sometimes so foggy you can’t see anything. It’s a journey of one step at a time. I know how that feels for you, my organized planner. But this is a journey of uncertainty, because you must cling to Me, your one and only Constant, and let Me lead without the benefit of fully knowing first. You will ask how. You’ve already done that. My answer is this. You will know, but in My perfect timing, in many levels of knowing, as you grow. And you can simplify the process of knowing when you focus on Me, completely, and allow your mind to be free of all the noise and distractions and details. By the way, I know that your need for details is a huge obstacle for you that you long to be free of. I hear your cry and see your struggle and this, too, is part of your growing.
Stop. Breathe. Take all this in, what I am telling your heart right now, even as the words flow free and your fingers fly on the keyboard. Take this in, again. See. Hold it tenderly and close to you. Just know, deep, that I am working. And I see you striving, and I cheer you on even while I walk right beside you. I. Love. You.
So keep making the effort. Even when it’s confusing, frustrating, tiring, stressful, and painful. Make the effort. That’s all I require. Even when you falter, and you will. Even when you stumble and fall. Even when you look up and realize you made a wrong turn. Even when you wonder and worry and question. Keep going on this path I have chosen for you before time began. I see your heart. I know you better than anyone because I created you.
You long for reassurance, and peace, and comfort. Rightness.
Look behind you, my daughter. Remember. Remember those times when I gave you moments of clarity, where you saw a glimpse of how you are a part of my plan, right where you were supposed to be, doing what you were supposed to do. Remember feedback. That feedback is my children following my guidance to reassure you. Remember those special times when I have reached down and lifted you up to see Me, touching others through You. Remember those times when I spoke peace and love into your heart through the words of a song or a scripture that spoke directly to you. I’m giving you all the reassurance you will ever need. But you have to open your eyes to see.
Finally. Albeit ever so slowly. I think I’m finally getting it. Life as a committed Christian is a harder life on many levels and in many ways. And my job is not only to accept that, but embrace it. Because if my life is harder as I’m responding obediently and following where I feel God is leading me, it’s so worth it. And God gets the glory, which is really what it’s all about. Where am I in the accepting / embracing spectrum? Still working on consistent acceptance. But I’m working on it. Or more precisely, working on allowing God to work on it, on me, in me.
Phil 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.