It is well . . . just trust
When I went back to teaching full-time this fall, I really spent a lot of time with God asking if this was truly what he wanted for my life. While I like to pretend I am superhuman, in reality I know I am anything but. If my life was a balancing act before returning to my career as an educator, deep in my heart, I knew I would be giving up some things in order to keep my sanity. Just what things was the question.
Writing? Speaking? Time with family and friends? Volunteering?
None of those items did I really want to put on the back burner. They were all too precious in my sight.
My prayer time with God probably sounded a little whiny. God, every time I think I am done with my book, you tell me I am not. How am I going to finish it while working full-time? And what about my blog? Lord, throughout the last few years there have been dry patches because of dark times when my writing was put on the back-burner, what if this job takes that away too? Are you asking for this season to be over? I am not sure I am ready. And speaking? Lord, how can I do that while teaching classes at the university?
Like the proverbial frying pan of cartoon fame, God stopped my crazy train of swirling what-ifs with a song. Reed’s song. When our kiddos were little, our bedtime routine consisted of getting ready for bed, reading a book, saying our prayers, and then a bedtime song. Each of my kids had their favorite requests which would be sung every night. One day during my internal thought wrestling, Reed’s song which was a childhood vespers song, sung in the midst of the north Georgia mountains in my years spent at summer camp.
Seek ye first, the kingdom of God
And his righteousness.
And all these things shall be added unto you.
The very hard truth was God knew the balance I needed in my life and provided it in a way I never saw imaginable. Instead of taking away the things I loved and in reality draw me closer to him, God showed me the many (and trust me the list is lengthy) distractions I have in my daily routine. Those needed to go, and I need to daily trust that God has a plan.
I am very protective of family time; so, while that might have to become more creative at times, I knew those precious moments would remain a safe harbor. Writing has become both my release and my platform. But speaking was the one which I adore and in my small “let’s put God in a box” plan, I believed would be the one which would go by the wayside.
Ironically, not knowing God’s plans is my specialty because not only have I not given up any speaking engagements but my number of requests to be a speaker has grown leaps and bounds. In the two months since I walked through the door God held open, I have had more speaking engagements and requests than I had the previous year AND to add a cherry to the top, my employer is supportive of me doing so!
How little was my faith! If God asks for a mustard seed, I was offering less than a grain of sand. Where was my trust?
Why does my mind always sneak back to all we have lost or given up or did without or waited for or wished was different, but forgets about God’s amazing steadfast presence? While in the seasons of being a red-shirted freshman sitting on the sidelines of life, I yearned to someday go back to my career. But like Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football, I believed that I would end up disappointed. Through our journeys through seemingly endless dark valleys and never-ending turbulent seas and storms, God has always been there through each tear-stained, worrisome step, why would I doubt that he would not have a plan to bring me the desires of my heart?
Like those years long ago, when a tiny (and tad bit homesick) girl missed the comforts of her own house, the vespers song brought the peace of God’s love, a new (to me) worship song brought in waves of grace of divine dimensions which calmed my heart a couple days ago. Soothed by the lyrics, I transformed them into my own personal prayer.
Maybe, just maybe, my heart needed the reminder that all is well, through dark moments AND through absolutely amazing experiences of new opportunities waiting to be savored. GOD.HAS.A.PLAN. All he asks of me is to trust Him, just as the song proclaimed
Let go my soul and trust in him
the waves and wind still know his name.
His love is everlasting, and I truly needed a refresher course in the promise of his guidance in burdens AND blessings. Of all the songs that could have been chosen for worship on the first Sunday of Advent, what a blessing this one was chosen for his girl.
Wherever you are today and whatever you are facing – may God’s steadfast presence whisper to your soul.
May Emmanuel (God with us) be the best Christmas blessing you have ever fully embraced.
Photo courtesy: Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:North_georgia_mountains.JPG#/media/File:North_georgia_mountains.JPG