Have you ever had a divine moment? I don't mean eat a piece of the best chocolate you have ever had divine moment. (though those rank pretty close to the actual divine moments I actually mean) I'm talking about that moment that God walks up and drops something at your feet and says "Here, this is for you". That moment that is so plain and obvious that there is no ignoring that what you are looking is something that is about to change your life.
If you follow me on social media at all you know that the last few years of my life have been a mix of real struggle as God has taken me through what seems to be a very lonely desert. I can be a loner sometimes. I'm by nature a pretty quiet person. I like to think things out. A lot of times I probably overthink. Okay. Most of the time I overthink.
I've been praying recently because it seems like where I was before in life had so much more appeal. There were people. I love people. Though I can tend to not be the dominant talker (if I'm completely comfortable with you I probably don't stop talking, but that is reserved for those I know I can trust) People depended on me. This made me feel needed. People listened to what I had to say. This made me feel valued. Because of a place where I was in my life I had to resign a position that I loved and gave up some extra jobs I was doing for our church. When I no longer was in the thick of busy, it all stopped. Honestly, this in itself, was a huge lesson for me. I can count on my one hand how many people contacted me in the following two or three months after this. When once my phone exploded with phone calls and texts. It was now silent. It has taken me a couple of years since that time. God has done many things in my life since that time. I have become more focused. I am more confident. I worry less about what others think of me and I am getting comfortable with the silence. So my prayer has been along the lines of where do I fit in? What do I contribute?
I figured it was appropriate since my word for this year is “purpose”. So many times I have jumped in to work that overwhelms me because I search for value and purpose. I figure if someone needs me, then I have value. If I am doing a bunch of work, then I have purpose. I want this year to be the year that I step in to my true purpose. I want anything I set my hand to have value, not me. I’ve been a little weary of sitting in the silence. I want to know the plan. I want to know where I’m headed. I need to see some direction in my life. But it has been cricket between me and God until Sunday. I was beginning to feel a little hopeless.
Sunday morning our Pastor preached about Abraham and Sarah having a son via Hagar their maidservant and then Hagar and Ishmael being sent out to the desert. There was a whole lot to this message, but let me tell you where God tapped me on the shoulder. Near the end, my Pastor said there were two different approaches in the desert between Hagar and Ishmael when they ran out of water. Hagar set down her promise and walked away. She walked away far enough so that she wouldn’t have to see or hear her promise die. Then she sat down and waited to die herself. But the Bible tells us that Ishmael cried out and it was his cry that God heard and He sent an angel to Hagar and Ishmael.
So God spoke to me, but me, being me I said, “nah, I’m reading to much in to it”. That message wasn’t for me. It was for someone else. Monday morning though I could no longer deny it. I picked up a devotional that I haven’t touched since Joe started to get super sick in December. Can you guess what this devotional was about? I couldn’t believe it. The whole devotional was about trusting God’s plan. The devotional is Women of Courage. So the day’s devotion was about Sarah and how God had told her that she was going to have a son at a very old age. Can anyone else beside me relate? Can you say that you haven’t felt just a touch of bitterness when you ask God when is the waiting done? The little bit of you that slowly just withers away as you wait and watch day after day, month after month and sometimes year after year for something that was promised to you. Something that you have hoped for.
You want to know how God further cemented His message to me very personally? I opened up my second devotional. (If you wonder why two devotionals, then you’ll really begin to wonder when I say I actually am reading three and I recently started reading a chapter a day out of the Bible out loud to my son) Embraced by Lysa Terkheurst. Again, I haven’t touched this devotional since December when my son got really sick. I’ve actually felt pretty guilty that I haven’t touched any of them, but now I understand sometimes my procrastination is all in God’s timing. It’s rare that works out, but this time it did.
You see I have often asked why these last few years have been super difficult for me. It started in 2014 when I was fired from a job. Then in 2018 when I resigned from my leadership position. So many things that have lost me feeling alone. In the devotional on Monday, Lysa talked about humility and how God will use our circumstances to teach us about humility. Not because we are a proud person in a boasting way, but because we are proud enough to think that everything depends on us. He wants to bring us to a place where we completely lean and trust in Him.
I don’t know if this will mean anything to anyone else. Maybe it is all just for me. Maybe this is just a jumble of twisted thoughts and meanderings, but know this. I feel this inkling of hope again. I can see that God has been orchestrating some things in my life. I went to a retreat in October where I was led through an exercise that brought me to my word for 2020. Purpose. Then Sunday, he reminded me I don’t have to sit in the desert and watch my promise die. He has heard my cry and Monday He reminded me that I do not have depend on myself, I can completely depend on Him. Hear that? If you’ve read this far and you’ve had any questions about where you are in your life. God hears your cries. Don’t go silent. Don’t choose to let your dream/purpose die. God is with you. God is preparing you for something bigger, but first He wants to know if you are willing to trust Him completely.
At almost 44 years old, I am truly beginning to understand that I cannot do it all on my own. I need Him. So yes. I’m ready for whatever it is that God has for me.