Follow His Lead

Follow His Lead

I’ve never been much of an Old Testament gal. :::gasp::: I’m getting better as my relationship with God grows, but I’m really in love with the second half of the book, not so much the first. Maybe it’s all the wrath and war and killing and such. I’m more of a happy, clappy, love your neighbor kinda girl.

Most of the time.

That said, when I sat down to write this post about “direction” I was led to the book of Isaiah. God said:

I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.
~ Isaiah 48:17-18

In the beginning of this year I committed to God that I would listen and follow his lead. You see, if I’m honest, I haven’t been a good listener for the past almost decade.  Until then I’m allowing myself immaturity points.

My “one word” for 2016 was Joy. If you know me personally, I wasn’t (in my opinion) the most joyous person to be around the past few years. I’ve been swimming in a lot of self-pity, martyrism (my word) and, to be blunt, crappiness. I’ve been kinda crappy. Too much happened for me to digest and sometimes I was just really crap.

Which brings me to Joy. The beginning of the year I prayed a prayer to God to show me what joy is. I don’t mean like, ha-ha, I’m belly-laughing joy. I mean the kind of joy you keep even when you have no good reason to be joyous. The kind of fulfilled joy that I have only had through my experience with God. That’s not to say that I wake up and have unicorns and rainbows dancing around in an imaginary merry-go-round over my head. It’s a joy that gives me peace that no matter what, or who, happens to me, I am loved and cared for by an amazing, grace-filled God.

I believe God put a direction in my heart three years ago. In January of 2013, I made my first batch of caramel apples. Stay with me here, there’s a point. Until that time I had never made caramel and caramel apples were not my go to dessert, I assure you. But I found myself with this weird, crazy, strange, out of the blue idea.  So I went with it. Then I gave in to my depression and quit making apples, like right away. The first and second time I made those apples it took me near 10 hours to make about 20 apples. And they were not that great. A few months later I made them again. Took another few months off for self-pity. More apples and a break for depression. And the cycle went on until last September.

If you have read me before you know I prayed a prayer in September. It was multi-layered, but God has so obviously answered me that I cannot ignore His direction.

I’m divorced. I really have no money. Haven’t had an out of home job since October 2000. So when God put this crazy idea in my head, I really fought it because, well… how? How, God, am I going to do this? I’ve tried 25 other things and failed or quit them. Why caramel apples?

I’m still in awe.

I’m in awe because since I asked HIM for direction and since I started actually listening to HIS directions, my life feels like someone else’s.

Someone I would probably like. Someone who prayed a simple prayer and has had the door of opportunity opened again and again. Every single time I go to God and say “now what?”, he answers. In just four months of praying about joy, God has shown me what joy means. Not because I have something I didn’t before. God’s been here the whole time. But because I stopped arguing and listened to His spirit nudging me in the direction he wants me to go.

I’ve realized that what I had been praying about those years while in darkness have come to fruition. There are the most amazing people in my life. Friends that encourage and support this craziness. I pause and look at the people I’m blessed to have in my life and I’m in awe that God loves me this much.

All throughout the Old Testament, God is begging people to notice him. He is begging you to notice Him so he can bless your life with Joy. I imagine him sitting in heaven, waiting for me to notice, probably head on his hand, shaking his head because I just wouldn’t take the direction. I’m so glad He is a patient God. His direction has turned out to be the best direction I’ve ever been given.

There’s a song I really love, the words of the refrain go like this:

You are my life, may You be lifted high
There is no other like Jesus Christ
You are my story, You’re my everything
You are my glory, my God, and my King
You are my rock, and You never change

He doesn’t change and He is always there.

Waiting for us to ask for direction. Ask Him, go ahead.

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9

Can I pray for you? Comment below 🙂

 

 

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Tina Kachmar

Tina Kachmar

Mom to three, Grammy to one. Divorcee’. Exasperating God since 1972.

Lover of all things Jesus. Coffee. Wine. Dessert. Not necessarily in that order.

Philadelphia Eagles, baby!! Fair weather cycle rider.Reformed “mean girl” stumbling her way to joy.
Tina Kachmar

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5 thoughts on “Follow His Lead

  1. Diane

    We just never know where God will take us if we let him. Even to caramel apples!! “…my life feels like someone else’s…” I believe when we truly surrender, our life takes on newness that we could not manufacture on our own. why do we wait so long, right? Great post, girl! Thanks!

    Reply

  2. Gretchen

    Beautiful, Tina. I have a friend who had an autosignature under her name on her emails which said, “Choose Joy”. It always resonated with her that joy and seeking God’s joy was a choice and a constant decision. This was ever so relevant to her when she lost her husband suddenly of a heart attack, five years ago. She could have succumbed to bitterness and resentment–goodness knows the temptation was available. But she didn’t. She ground in her heels and chose joy, day by day and week by week. She also said something else resonated with her after she lost her husband. Someone said, “your life is not God’s plan B for you”. So, included in the loss is the hope on which we can stand that God is always with us, and always has a plan for us, despite the brokenness of the world, and inspite of the times when we’re not listening well.

    I am so happy for you and your joy, girlfriend. May God bless you abundantly.

    Reply

  3. Diane Tarantini

    Oh, Tina, I’m so glad you are laying a hold of joy after some hard years. I LOVE joy. It may be my favorite word, my favorite emotion.
    With my home group, we have been studying a book on hearing the voice of God. It’s totally what He wants, a two-way dialogue with him. Even if I’m not yet great at hearing what he says, I know he’s super blessed that I’m trying. I totally want to know the direction He wants me to go and I love that your direction for now is caramel apples. That is so great;)

    Reply

  4. Tara

    Your post reminds me of this quote I saved the other day. “The trick, it seems, is to be able to hold both things very closely- the gratitude and the misery- and then, with a semblance of faith, to let them fly.” – Elizabeth Aquino

    God held on to you, you reached out to him and then you let go.

    What a wonderful story Tina! Thanks for sharing your joy with us. With God in our hearts, even the hard times can be filled with joy. And caramel apples. 😉

    Reply

  5. Tara

    PS- I was having a crappy day and I just sat quietly in my office, played the worship song and let it wash over me.
    I choose joy every time!

    Reply

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