There was time in my life when I believed I was ready for all God had called me to do. My vision was clear, the goal was in sight, and I felt like my toolbox was full with all I’d need to reach my purpose and live my destiny.
And then, I woke up.
Since that day, I’ve come to realize that when I think I know what God has in mind, I better get my face on the floor and start repenting of my ignorance. You just can’t give God your message, it has to be the other way around. And although I know He works with us and through us to achieve His plans here on earth, I know we are virtually almost blind to these plans until He is ready to reveal them. In other words, when I think I have a handle on things, I better step back because He’s about to blow the doors off.
Quite frankly, that scares me to death. And, to the extent I was willing and ready in the beginning, the closer I get to (what I believe) are His true purposes for me, the more terrified I become. I believe that’s a good thing.
“You will NOT succeed by your own strength or power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6 NCV)
In other words, if you can reach what you believe is Gods plan for you on your own, then you don’t get it yet. His plans are bigger. Harder. Longer.
You’ll need more coffee. More sleep. More prayer. Got those? Good, now you’ll need more of a hundred other things you don’t have. Things you can’t get on your own. Things only He can provide. And when you come to that realization, you’ll be at the starting line of what He really wants you to do, what He really meant when he called you.
Frightening isn’t it?
So, I wrote this book. And you’ve all heard me ramble a little about it here and there. I thought it held such purpose for me, which is ironic because I titled it, appropriately, Held. When I began I had no writing experience. I’d always been a reader. But at that point in my life, fiction was a distant dream. The words I was ingesting then consisted of medical journals, cancer related stories, government finances. Words far from the life of a young woman in a small Colorado town, a girl torn between the pain of her past and pain of her present. A girl hiding behind walls of self protection, painting herself brave–an island. Far from who I was, and where I was.
Or, so I thought.
But, now it’s finished. And a wonderful editor uses the talents and time God has given her to examine my words and to give them meaning, value, and direction. She is making my words better, making the story better, and weaving Gods purpose through both our lives with this act. And more and more, as I think about Maggie’s story, the one I tell in Held, I realize the parallels to my own life, ones I couldn’t see before this point. I also see my purpose shifting, sands moving beneath my feet and sending me towards higher ground.
At this stage of the game, I want to hold on to my book. I want to clench my little fists around it and protect it. But, as God continues to reveal, His purposes are bigger for this story, and bigger for me. I thought writing fiction was big enough. Hard enough. A long enough wait. Now, I see He was only building me up for a new thing, another step into uncharted territory.
It’s frightening, yes, but this time, it’s exciting as well. And some days I want to camp out with my Keurig and hide in my house. But He won’t let me. He walks with me. He calls me forward. He takes my hand and leads me out of the comfort of the same and into the bigger place He has planned. I’m scared, but ultimately, I know I’m held, I’m safe.
My story–the one I wrote–and the story God wrote through my life (is writing) isn’t through yet. It’s only beginning. And I just know, it’s going to be a lovely ride. So I’m embracing the fear and watching as He reveals it, a little more everyday. I’m rejoicing with every new relationship–every person He brings to ride along beside me, with me on this journey.
But most of all, I’m glad I didn’t give up all the times I thought I could do this and failed, all the times when I thought I had reached the goal line and it moved, all the times when I felt the weight of something that would take more than I had.
I will never have all the answers. I will never have everything I need to accomplish His purposes on my own. It’s going to take me, you, and thousands of others–some of whom I know–and some of whom I will never know, or see, or learn of until I get home to Heaven. Grasping that has changed the game for me. It’s made me more grateful, more receptive to His gifts, and brought me closer to my actual purpose.
What a great place to start.