Monday, October 26, 2015

Remembering My Way


For more than a decade, my friend and I have met in the prayer room during the Sunday School hour to pray. Over that time, we've shared our concerns, our fears, our struggles - not just about ourselves, but also about the world around us. We've prayed each other through some tough spots. We still do. 

Yesterday was one of those "tough spots" for me. 

The last few weeks have been hard. Jamie's hospitalization and death. Sam's grief. My rewrites. My son's search (albeit brief) for a new job. On and on. Like Martha (Mary's sister), I've been "worried and bothered about many things." (Luke 10:41)

I've soldiered on, trudging through whatever needed to be done, seeking direction, doing what I thought was right, looking for joy in the midst of the struggle. I've waited for God to fulfill His promises. I've done what needed to be done, and tried to be cheerful and optimistic through it all. There's been a fair share of grief, a fair share of hard, but I've only given in to tears once. Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I couldn't find my way.

Yesterday, I couldn't remember what promises I was waiting for God to fulfill. I couldn't remember if I had clear direction from God or not. I wanted an out-loud voice to speak from the heavens and say, "Leanna, this is my will." 

Did God tell me to do this writing adventure or did I make it up on my own? It was a critical question and one for which the answer could easily determine the rest of my life. I needed to be sure.

Yesterday, I wondered if the steps I've taken were God-ordained or not, and I despaired of knowing.

I was overwhelmed by uncertainty. 

Maybe you've felt like that before, too. It's the point of breaking, when God's will is more important than my will. Where His direction is all that matters.

I don't mind a hard time. I don't mind sacrifice. I don't mind it, if God has called me to it. What I feared the most was that I had called myself to it.

We prayed. I wept. I begged. "Show me the plan. Give me clarity."

I wasn't going to worship service. I was taking my fear and worry and tears home, where I could struggle in private. People might see my tear-streaked face and ask what was wrong. How could I tell someone that doubt, fatigue, and fear had overwhelmed me? I felt like a baby. I was acting like a baby. 

I went to worship service anyway. 

The sermon was from Exodus and I assumed it would be a wasted hour. I was so wrong.

When I turned the page of my Bible to Exodus 18, I saw it and nearly laughed out loud. In September of 2001, I had marked a passage and put a star by it. It was God's call on my life in a nutshell. Oh yeah, this is what I'm supposed to be doing. I already know the plan. I already had clarity. I just needed to hang on to it.

Suddenly, my vision returned. My hope was restored. Everything made sense. My blog. My fiction. My little stories. 

I'm not off the path. 

I'm on the road less taken. It's a lonely, rugged path, but I am not alone. 

I love this place in my life, and sometimes I don't. This particular place is hard, but God is here, and that knowledge gives me peace. I don't have to know where this road leads, because He does. I don't have to know the complete plan, because He does.

My job is to take one step at a time, and keep taking those steps until He leads me home.

Yesterday, I wrote about it, but failed to catch the truth I'd written. Jesus' journey wasn't about the tasks He performed along the way. It was about eternity, and only the cross accomplished that. My journey, and yours, is more about eternity than about the jobs we perform, the tasks we accomplish along the way. 

My job as a disciple, and yours, is to follow my Master and allow the journey to change me into the kind of follower He intended me to be. It's not always an easy journey. It's not always a comfortable journey. But it's good. There's peace here, and joy.

The struggle is sometimes messy, confusing, and hard, and that's okay. Knowing we are in the midst of God's will makes all the difference, so if you're struggling, take those struggles to the One who knows the plan and holds you in His loving hands. He's more than willing to give you the help (and direction) you need.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 nasb 
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The most read post of the past week: The New Normal.

Here's the link to The Clay Papers, available as an e-book for personal use or to send as a gift for only 99 cents. 
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photo courtesy of freeimages.com

#journey #disciple #JesusChrist #followHim