Seven years ago my husband and I gave away most of our belongings, packed our Ford F-150 pickup with necessities and said goodbye to friends and family.
We drove to Nashville with our two young boys, following God on a grand adventure. Overflowing with faith and hope we joyfully followed God’s leading, tearfully longing for home, yet excitedly expectant for what lay ahead.
Our Nashville years were nothing like what we had anticipated. We knew John was being called to attend a ministry school, but we learned quickly and acutely we were going to have to let go of all our preconceived expectations.
God is an unconventional teacher who does not merely nudge us to think outside the box; He will, if allowed, obliterate the box.
“Wisdom that emanates from God is found only in dying to all things…” Jean Guyon
Sadly, in just seven years, forgetfulness, like a fog, has settled in. (How many times did God admonish the Israelites to remember?) Looking back I now recall how God sustained us in our wilderness. How he met our every need as we lived on faith following only Him. We had no steady or secure source of income, no health insurance, and no home to which to return. We had God and He was more than enough. He met our every need in countless, astounding, miraculous ways. We were blessed to be able to report multiple
accounts of His goodness, grace, mercy, provision, and love.
Lately I have (again) been tussling with expectations. I know God is beckoning me into a time of stirring growth and destiny, and while this is exhilarating, it also leaves me feeling apprehensive. I battle what-ifs in regard to an ongoing health issue. I question my worth in receiving the funds necessary for this venture. I wonder if I’ve really got what it takes to be who God made me to be.
To top it off, I find myself overly concerned with others’ opinions (or my own opinion of myself).
You see, at thirty-seven, I only have twelve credits left to complete my bachelor’s degree. Shouldn’t I resume this long standing, oft-interrupted pursuit? Shouldn’t I, “the student”, the one who in high school was accepted to Syracuse University early decision and with endless, lofty career goals, finally finish this remaining semester and get my stinkin’ degree already? Yes, I believe I should; and I believe one day I will. However, God’s timing and ways are not mine, and neither is His logic.
Moving our young family to Nashville, letting go of our apartment and business, and our plans and dreams for our future to follow God to who knows where for who knows how long seemed ridiculously irresponsible. Yet, while it was the most difficult move we ever made, it was also, by far, the most wise and fruitful.
We all spend our lives on something. Time, like money, is invested. What drives our passions, plans and pursuits? Is it pleasure? Comfort? Security? Recognition? Acceptance? Avoidance of pain or rejection? When all’s said and done, what will we have lived for? What will we have lived from?
I used to live for and from myself. Years ago God saved me from drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders and other self-destructive behaviors. I no longer live with debilitating depression or anxiety, and when I am at peace in God’s presence I no longer fear rejection or strive to please man. I have found true pleasure, comfort, security, and acceptance in knowing and being known by God. Today I choose to live for and from Him, for and from Love. I don’t do it perfectly, but this is my lofty goal now–the only goal in which I have found myself truly filled, satisfied and alive.
So once again I am letting go. I will remember to remember. I am not living for me or for man, I am living for Love. The return is eternal and impactful beyond measure. More of Him and less of me means more in me to give to you and Him. My life is not my own, it’s His; and His is mine. This is the life I choose. This is my life well lived.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).