Originally published Sunday, 31 January 2016.
My pastor says “Sometimes you have to give up the things you love for the things you love more.” This truth has stuck hard in my life. It actually set my heart to dreaming with God, after I first heard it on that one Sunday morning over three years ago.
On this New Year’s Day, God brought it back to my mind. “Now, there’s been a change in plans.” God said again this morning and I responded in my heart’s silence.
“As change is God’s love language, my trust in Him is the language of my heart.” – Janelle Keith.
Little did I know that three years of holding to God’s vision would grow me in such an immense and intense way. I expect that this is a part of the wonder of God. It was on this day, three years ago, that God planted His new beginning in my heart to bring my love of missions and my love of writing together.
Since that day, it’s been bouncing around in my mind. I’ve been stuck in a few of those “how” corners but now finally see the light of the vision set before me. It’s simple really, but complex.
The prophetic vision I had was that God was going to bring my two heart passions together which in this simple dream actually blew my socks off. When I told my friend Julie the story of it all, she laughed and said, “See those socks over there? Those are yours!!” To comprehend what all this means is still beyond me. That’s why I’ve been praying for the Holy Spirit to what I can’t do.
I’m still unpacking the dreams that God has laid on my life but it feels like I am years closer than I have ever been. Today’s beginning is different in that I sense bigger opportunities that are very, very near. Most of you know that I have traveled to Africa several times, and am now planning my fifth trip back. There is a reason I keep remaining with this vision in my life.
The journey to discover your purpose is life-long and sometimes full of detours. It’s worth pursuing though and worth dedicating yourself to it, if it’s from God. There will be many things that don’t make sense along the way and that’s okay, you aren’t supposed to figure out all the turns or twists, that’s God’s job.
Your job is to follow AFTER Him in the journey. You can trust that His will never lead you where His grace can’t sustain you. When you can’t see His hand, trust His heart. When God says “no” a better “yes” is coming. When I set out to pursue God with all intention, I had to reset my attention and affection on Him. To do that I had to let go of what this journey would look like and knew that it’s not about what I’m leaving behind but about Who I am following. I look to the Author and Perfecter of my faith for every step.
“When you don’t know what to do next, just do the next thing.” Elizabeth Elliott.
I have continued to blog, write, and serve in missions and most importantly trust my obedience to God. I also trust in the wisdom I receive from Him as His plans unfold. There are days I don’t know what’s around the corner but I believe that He has already been there. My faith is always challenged to live under God’s goodness.
“Faith brings answers, but enduring faith brings answers with character.” – Bill Johnson.
The real truth is that I started to believe in the ability that God has lovingly placed on the inside of me. I am not confident in my own ability but I am confident in my availability. There are places that He has yet to take me not only physically but spiritually. This might just hit you all hyper -spiritual and all but it’s the journey that I am on. God’s ways are higher, deeper, and still a mystery. Miracles are often on the other side of our comfort zone. His Voice is heard in my life and because of that I respond by releasing the love I have FOR Him and letting my heart response eclipse everything else.
There is a purpose in the waiting and His Presence is sustaining. It’s all for that reason, that I move forward, onward and upward with hope. My word for 2016 is Remain. This year God is having me focus on what remains – His fruit of the Spirit – “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
There is nothing that can come against the things of God, the Spirit of the Living God, nor the plans of the Lord. No enemy can thwart His love for us. No earthly disaster can detour His care and protection. No fears can come against the refuge of Perfect Love. The grave can’t contain it, His power is mighty and strong, and the remaining Hope of Christmas is dwelling among us.
As a believer, I have all that I need to do what He has asked of me, living inside of me. And it’s not too late to step into the plans that God has for you! This is the year to release the “remaining” and “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:24-25).
What is your word for 2016? Please comment!