path

Twisty turny, topsy turvy…if you were someone who didn’t know me and took a birds eye view of my life this crazy pattern is kind of the life path you would see.

My life doesn’t make sense to anyone who chooses to live outside of God’s Kingdom, plus a few folks who are within it, I’m sure. It does seem random. It does seem like there is no direction. And it really doesn’t not live up to the societal standards of the States. By a considerably long distance, actually.

But here’s the thing…I don’t give a shit what others think my life looks like. It’s not their choices. It’s not their path.

This path is mine, it was given to me from the Lord, and I alone own it.

I know the voice of the Holy Spirit. I know the choices I make. I know that I am happiest and have the most purpose while living within my calling and walking with God. I know the feeling of being lost, the pain and frustration of being off that path, and truly, it’s not worth it.

I hate the time and patience it takes to hear next steps on that path. Honestly, I do not sit well or contently in that time. But I don’t give orders and demands to God. Quite the opposite really. I serve him, not visa versa.

I am sitting in that place of impatience now. Knowing that I am working for an organization that I desperately love and fit within better than any other employer I’ve had in my life. I’ve never worked for anyone where my distinct calling in life perfectly matches to who an organization is at its’ core. Spirit led, Bible based, Jesus loving, Kingdom crazy people who all speak the same language God has put within me. There are not many believers called to Kingdom work within the global orphan window that find themselves working for an organization solely focused on global orphan care and prevention. I mean, really?

But my sense is that there is a time frame I am supposed to be in Haiti, but at the same time a sense I will be back, and I find myself praying intensely for clarity. Clarity on time frame. Clarity on the voice of the Holy Spirit. Clarity on discernment. Clarity that the next step I take on this crazy life path is the one I am called to take.

And let these words that I’ve prayed in the presence of God be always right there before him, day and night, so that he’ll do what is right for me, to guarantee justice for his people Israel day after day after day. Then all the people on earth will know God is the true God; there is no other God. And you, your lives must be totally obedient to God, our personal God, following the life path he has cleared, alert and attentive to everything he has made plain this day.” [1 Kings 8:59-61 MSG]
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Several years ago, one of my very best friends from college and I were hiking in Utah. We’d carefully chosen this path, and we’re digging in to accomplish it no matter what. Her patience and friendship that day were second to none, as she journeyed with a friend with newly discovered altitude issues. We were coming up the end of the path, victory of summit within or grasp and the final gasps of air filling my lungs when we realized it was a false summit. We weren’t done yet, but it was only going to get better. It was going to take anther intense push to get to the summit, and I seriously considered calling it quits, but had I really stayed there I never would have experienced the best God had for us of his beautiful creation at the top.

I feel like my life has been a perpetual ascension of false summits. Points that I find myself sitting as a placed believer not sure how it could possible get better, but what comes after continually puts me in places where I never dreamed my life could be. I feel as though I’ve come to another false summit, and I’m just not sure where God is taking the path. I can only see so far ahead, and it really looks like this is as spectacular as it could possibly get. However, the God I follow is crazy creative and very intentional at where we are placed for him. IMG_3635

What I do know is that living exactly within your God given calling is the most secure place to be in this world.

My life path is sticking as close to his path for me as I, in all my human junk, can discern, and I cannot wait to see where the next summit will be

 

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far

Mar 29 - far

Hiking in Utah, 2011

The halfway point of hiking a mountain is brutal.

There is the ‘Are you KIDDING me?!?! We aren’t there yet?!?!’ Quickly followed by the defeat of ‘I can’t do this.’ Then followed by ‘Damnit I came here to summit this damn mountain.’

You haven’t realize how far up it is, but there is this inkling of a feeling you have that the view will be worth it. Yet you are only halfway…

You have a choice to make at that point. Continue? Or head back down?

I won’t even go into the false summit words that fall out of a mouth when you’ve pushed through defeat and continued to the ‘summit,’ which is not actually a summit, but just a continuation of the path.

It really sucks that you never realize how far it is up a mountain until you’ve made it halfway. Sure, it looks high…but everyone hikes mountains, it can’t be that hard, right?

Wrong. Then add in an aversion to altitude. Really wrong.

But the view…

Oh, how the view speaks to a soul. Your heart is soaring because you’ve accomplished it. Your spirit is soaking in the quiet of being 12,000 feet above sea level. And the view goes so far in the distance, you lose sight of the ground because of the atmosphere getting in the way. To top it all off, every problem you have is literally the size of an ant. Granted the sun is scorching…not good for a redhead, but there are ways to handle that, if I remember. And to get to the top without injury generally means God has your back, front and all sides. Especially when the path is 2 feet across then a cliff drop off. When God is that active around you…it’s always a good thing.

But there is something that happens to me on top of a mountain that makes me want to stay there forever. Maybe it’s the lack of oxygen getting to my brain. Or maybe I just don’t want to make the effort to go down, even though it’s easier going down than up.

Or maybe I am so free of all distraction, busyness and people wanting something from me that I just relish in the fact it is still…quiet…sweet freedom…

This is not in context at all, but I love this verse in Isaiah:

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ [Isaiah 52:7]

Good news. Peace. Good tidings. Salvation.

Our God reigns.

If climbing a mountain can give me the clarity and ability to empty my soul of the clutter, then I wish I could do it more often. Because every day I should be bringing good news to those around me. I should be speaking of peace and living it. I should offer good tidings to all I come across. I should rest in my salvation while proclaiming that God reigns.

On this Good Friday night, I pray that we all know that without Good Friday, Easter does not come. You cannot have resurrection without death. The pain, suffering and tears…all lead to life everlasting.

And I pray that we would all proclaim that God reigns, because that is indeed good news that not only crosses cultures, but languages and emotions.

May we all feel as though the summit of the mountain is far away, yet choose to claim it as our own. May we all feel that our sin makes us far away from God, yet choose to claim Christ. And may we all be people who live in the freedom of claiming Christ’s sacrifice while saying, ‘Our God reigns!’

faithful

Doubt. Anger. Questions.

We’ve all been there. Hell, I struggle with the whole ‘What’s happening here, God? What’s the point?’

Dreams that seemed like they were his. Decisions made that seemed like he was backing it all up and opening every door have not been what you thought it would be.

Ugh.

But every time. Every damn time…its not him. Its me. Sounds like a bad break up? Well, it really is a bad break up where we put our hands up and say, ‘Done.’

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But he’s a stubborn God and he refuses to break up with us.

He doesn’t go anywhere. I do. I venture off the path, true to my distractive nature…then eventually remember we were going somewhere and jump back on course.

What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. [Romans 3:3-4]

For me it’s not so much a lack of faith, but a lack of patience with the timing of his faithfulness.

It is also a matter of hearing his voice, and then when enough time passes that I don’t hear anything else on the topic…I doubt what I heard. I doubt me. I doubt my ears. I doubt my capabilities. I doubt my experience. Albeit experience he has given me for a reason.

All because my human ears get full of the opinions of others about me. Even the most optimistic can ignore it for only so long until their ears are dripping with negativity.

So I doubt my call. I doubt what I am good at, and I doubt what I heard from him for what seems like decades ago.

Let God be true.

God is faithful.

In the deepest part of your soul, you’ve felt it, too. He is faithful to you, his child, and he loves your dreams. He gave you the vision for those dreams.

I say this to not only myself, but shout it to both of us…suck it up, be who he has created you to be, rest in his faithfulness and go fight for something that counts.

And for the love of all things holy, stop trying to break up with God! ‘Cause he’s not going anywhere…