Hidden

She made her way through the kitchen. She gathered her cup and moved to her place at the table. It was dark, so she lit a single candle. There she stayed – hidden away from the world.

She was wonderfully hidden there. She was safe from her fears and worry could not touch her. She was in a sacred place of peace.

What she found there gave her strength and courage to face what was before her. Past hurts were uncovered so they could be properly bound and healed. Truth sustained her through trials and error. And a deep joy and hope settled within her that could not be shaken.

She was not alone in this place. She was answering a call that was beginning to become an anchor for her soul.

She had found a place and a time with just her and her savior – her Jesus.

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Psalm 27:8

But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.
Psalm 1:2-3

I will bless the Lord who guides me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
Psalm 16:7-8

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.
Psalm 37:23-24

It’s Simple…if you let it be simple

I keep trying to make life complicated. I keep thinking that there always has to be something bigger, better, more exciting and further reaching. But those things I look for always disappoint. Every time.

Too much time on social media makes tangible life feel purposeless.

Self-promoting sets up expectations that I can’t live up to.

Always looking for the next big thing makes the moments that my life is built on feel pointless.

Basically, whenever I take my eyes off the tangible, off the here and now in order to look for greatness in the world, I quickly find myself in a deep dark hole that I have to climb out of. That hole I climb out of is full if discontentment and disillusionment.

Let me put it more clearly….

I am a thrill seeking adrenaline junkie…who likes to do safe, non-life-threatening things. Like watch musicals. I can’t tell you how pumped up and alive I become when I watch musicals. But I also can’t tell you the emotional low I experience when that musical is over. I become disillusioned with my own life. In the span of two or so hours, I experience emotional highs like you wouldn’t believe. And when it’s over, I’m left thinking, “Is that it? Now what?”

But life isn’t a musical, as much as some of us might wish it was. Life also isn’t digital. Life isn’t black and white. Life isn’t boring. Life isn’t a non-stop thrill ride. Life isn’t predictable. Life isn’t all joy. Life isn’t all sorrow. Life isn’t all about you. Life isn’t all about them.

What I keep bringing myself back to is this – life is quite simple. It is a string of days that culminate into a beautiful lifetime. I’d like to live those days focusing on what matters, like loving my husband and learning how to be a good wife. Like learning that I really can trust God in all things.

I’d like my moments to encourage others by picking them up off the side of the road and getting them back on their way.

I’d like to embrace that rest is a gift that should be enjoyed. Stress doesn’t have to rule my life.

I’d like to see God in everything, and always be listening to his voice. I’d love to see people set free by his love. I’d like to spend so much time in the bible that it oozes out of me at every possible chance.

My personal quest is to get a little closer to this every day. I want to experience the fullness of life that God has available for me, and I know that it’s found in everyday tasks. It’s not found on a screen. I keep thinking about the pioneers who settled new lands in America – making a home from nothing or from wood they purchased at an outpost. They had hard work, a few people if they were lucky, maybe a family, and the Lord. Do you think their lives had no meaning? Absolutely not. I can only imagine that they enjoyed the fruits of their labor, trusted in the Lord through hardship, and lived out the drama of life with the people around them.

That seems pretty amazing to me.

We can’t get away from the internet in 2018 – it’s a way of life. But we can decide how much time we put towards the digital, and how much we put towards the tangible.

Keep Walking

Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Psalm 13:4 NLT

I’m on board with what you’re doing, Lord. I am laying aside my own plans so that I can have a part in yours. Show me what you would like me to do. Help me to know your voice and to stand firm on what you’ve said.

This verse in Psalm 13 stuck out to me the other morning, and the prayer above is what I wrote in my journal. I keep going back and forth between feeling pretty confident of the things that God has called me to do, and thinking that I’m way off base and I’m trying to manufacture a calling that he never actually issued. Have you ever felt that way?

Have you ever been doing something for God and felt conflicted, wondering if it was actually God who asked you to do it or if you were mistaken? Maybe it was actually just your own idea? It’s such a hard place to be in. It paralyzes you so that you can’t do anything. You want to do what the Lord asks, but you get trapped in fear that he never asked you to do it in the first place. And so the battle rages on.

My husband had some wonderful advice when I told him about my conflicting emotions. In a nutshell, he told me not to let the enemy win by succumbing to doubt, meaning that the enemy will try to put a halt to things by making me just unsure enough to stop moving. In light of that, I need to keep walking in obedience until I know otherwise.

I don’t want to look back a year from now and realize I’m still in this place of uncertainty – waffling back and forth and back and forth. I want to be so far down the track that this is just a distant memory.

If that’s you and you’ve experienced what I have where you’re so scared to do the wrong thing that you just stop and stand still, then start again. Move forward. But do so in faith and in prayer. I believe God will show us when we need to change directions. Or, he’ll address a heart issue when it’s needed. But we’re not to stop serving him. We’re not to stop ministering to people and pointing them to Jesus.

Let’s spend time in the Word this week and dedicate time to prayer. To be honest, it all comes down to this anyway. If we ask God to show us his will for us, I know he will do so.

Move forward in faith, and trust that God is going to determine your steps.