I have always been a shade envious of those who feel they have heard directly from God, that they have clear direction in their lives, that they have found their next steps, their true calling even.
Clear direction. I have prayed for it, and meditated on it, and fasted for it. But it rarely did anything more than de-fuzz some corners of my vision.
For the past several months, in an effort to find a way through this envy-cycle of mine, I decided to stop trying so hard. I decided to cut down on the I-wanna-hear-from-God whining, and just decided to Be. To Be his. To just Be-long to him.
At first, it was a hard habit to get into. I had to put real effort into praying the usual fears and frustrations and driving ambition away, to put them on hold, keep them at bay. But after awhile, I started to settle into this new way of being. I didn’t ‘feel’ any different. I didn’t ‘hear’ anything. I didn’t ‘know’ the direction I was to go in. But I waited. I sat still. That calm turned into something bigger. After awhile, it became this cushy ball of trust. I just trusted that no matter what – clarity or no clarity – all would be well.
By sitting with him, just waiting, just being with him, I re-learned to trust that he would come through. Not sure how, not sure when, not sure even with what. Just sitting in that trust. It has been – it is – a truly warm and cozy place.
And what he did was A-Mazing.
Here’s the back story…
I have always dreamed of leading a dynamic, different, out-of-the-box ministry to women. Something that filled a real need that needed real filling, that gave instead of took, that inspired instead of mired down. A close friend and I talked often of starting something on our own, but the older I got, and the calmer I got (see above), the less I wanted to try to figure out how to do it. It had become less of the whiny neeeeeed for me, and more of just a passing thought.
So over breakfast one day early this year, my friend and I agreed to give up the idea. That it just wasn’t going to get launched. We were both a little sad, but honesty and reality were on our side, so, still inspired to do something different, we agreed to pray about what that looked like, trusting that God knew.
So after the door closed on our self-created dream, another one opened. The next day – the very next day – I was approached to lead a women’s ministry organization that was in dire need of reenergizing and a woman to take hold of it and just run. Partnered with a national organization, it had little risk and major potential for success in supporting women in their walk of faith. I said ‘yes’ (and then immediately invited my dreamer-friend to come along for the ride).
It was more than I could have hoped for, so much more than I could have done on my own. All of my past experience fits into this need like a kid leather glove. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle that had been missing the center piece, and I was created to fit in that very spot.
And it is all His. God’s mission, God’s purpose, God’s women.
And He is letting me lead it.
The most amazing thing in all of this – even aside from what I get to be involved in – is that I didn’t need it to be at peace. I didn’t have to be given this extraordinary blessing to be ok with not having it. I had peacefully, willingly, laid it down. And that is the key ‘ah-ha’ moment for me. To get to that place of trust that I didn’t have to have my way. That I just wanted to BE-long to him.
Every time I tell this story to anyone, I start to cry. I am overwhelmed with how God knows me, how he knows the desires of my heart. How he knew that I – prideful and self-centered as I can often be – had to lay it all down before he could use me. I had to put my trust just in him. Not in my dream, not in my talent, not to be noticed or applauded, not in my self-directed plan for my life.
But in him alone.
So thankful for this lesson. I pray that I may never forget it.
Amen and amen.