I’ve learned that in order to say yes to some big adventures, you also have to learn how to say no and wait. I learned that lesson in a huge way during the summer of 2006…
“I am captivated by stories. I find myself taken in by song lyrics, stolen from reality by a Jane Austin heroine, and challenged by the men and women of scripture. All scripture is indeed inspired and written to teach us and bring us hope; however, it is the skillfulness with which it is all woven together that excites and thrills me.
I think what really gets me going is the way that my story is a part of His story. Although my own story isn’t found in scripture, it’s amazing to think that I could have my own little chapter in the record of time. Each book, chapter, and story is vastly different from the other. Each call is unique and the Lord seems to use individual ways to catch the attention of His beloved people.
I was challenged last night to consider how the Lord might be calling me. I recently interviewed for a completely different job than what I am currently doing. I’ve been trying to listen to the Lord and make a clear cut decision, and I just wanted to hear an audible voice this time. Samuel was audibly called when he wasn’t even asking to hear, while Moses saw a bush and Elijah discerned a whisper. Jesus called out to Peter to walk on water as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego ran into fire. Isaiah had to race around naked for two years and Esther was challenged by her uncle to change the course of her people! I’ve always wanted to be a dynamic character. My prayer has been for the life less ordinary and the road less traveled. I claim that I will take North Dallas or South Africa, I simply want a calling.
But I have received a calling. I am called by my Creator to make his name known in every situation in which I find myself. I do desire to work “in the way that I am bent” (Proverbs 22:6), that when I ____ I feel God’s pleasure. I’m finding out that I feel like I might be able to fill in that blank with about 20 different things.
As I think about where this road I’m on may be leading me, I am reminded specifically of Abram. The Lord called him to leave it all and come into the desert. I examine my own comfortable suburban life and wonder if I am as willing as I claim to be. I find comfort in the story of Abram. All God told Abram about his ultimate destination was that He would be faithful to show it to him. But I’m excited because even if I really wanted it to be, my story is not Abram’s. I am not going to Canaan, but God’s promise to finish his work in his people applies just as much to me as it did to Abram. Slowly but surely I am learning what it means to rest in God’s faithfulness. I keep reminding myself that there is a difference between waiting on the Lord and just waiting for life to pass me by. I’m getting excited about “tomorrow”, not worrying, just making the most of today. I am waiting with arms wide open to catch hold of the sail and let the wind take me.
When I was younger we spent almost every warm holiday at the family beach house. Every available moment of sunlight was spent at the beach. All 11 grandchildren and plenty of chaperones would make their way to our claimed patch of sand. Some of my favorite moments occurred out in the water as we prepared to body surf the “mighty” waves that hit the coast of Texas. We would go out into waist deep water, sometimes higher and then the waiting would begin. Some would dive into any wave that came across, only going a few feet towards shore. But if you waited for the BIG ONE and then took that plunge, you were rewarded with up to 20 seconds of a ride. The undertow and power of the surge would throw you and push you towards any destination they chose. My fear was always missing the BIG ONE. I would begin to place all my attention on the perfect one and bypass the hundreds of smaller ones. I’m not sure what the perfect one would have even looked like, but I wanted it.
I still want the BIG ONE. I don’t want to forfeit because I’m not willing to wait.
I’ve made my decision. I’m turning down the job offer. It’s not easy, but I’m at peace. I am setting out to make His name known right here; one conversation, e-mail, phone call, and relationship at a time. When He wants me to move, I will be ready. But until then, and beyond, I will be the adventurous heroine. Watch out Jo Marsh, Elizabeth Bennett, and Anne of Green Gables. My chapter isn’t nearly finished.”
The pages that followed that decision were more than I could ask for or imagine. This whole journey has been that way. Are you willing to dream and wait for the best?
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT