Pro tip: Don’t ask God to confirm something if you are not prepared for an answer you may not like
That may sound like an ominous way to start a blog post, but I have to admit it’s been a whirlwind few weeks–which tends to happen when you start out on a quest to resuscitate something you feel you have lost. You poke at things you thought were pretty sturdy only to watch them tumble like a Jenga tower. The falling is bad enough, but the noise is enough to startle you into confusion.
That’s pretty much my headspace at the moment.
Or, as Beth Moore puts it in her new book Chasing Vines:
“Nothing can get more confusing than feeling planted somewhere you’re sure is home and then getting uprooted and transplanted somewhere else. Without warning you face the prospect of having to start all over again. You had […] your sense of place, you thought you knew how this thing was going to go, your future seemed clear, your people were near and now you feel like a stranger …”
There is nothing more disconcerting than feeling like a stranger where you once felt like you belonged. An overwhelming sense of discontentment can be disorienting and, quite frankly, painful as you fumble your way through.
It’s the prayers in those moments that you send heavenward, hoping that that feeling will maybe just go away, or at least settle into some kind of contentment that your purpose only floundered for a hot second…until you realize that the seeds of discontentment might actually be God’s prompting to a new purpose.
And that all the hurt feelings and alienation were actually little ways in which God was answering your heaven-sent pleas.
Whether you like it or not.
Because let’s be honest. Change can be hard, especially if there is not a readily evident reason for making the change. Trying to explain it to other people is, well, tough. So you begin the arduous task of laying it all out on the table–these little pieces of evidence that God has confirmed to you so that others can rally behind you in this new quest.
I haven’t gotten to that last bit yet; I’m still gathering my evidences and working through it with the Lord on my own before I start bringing others in. But I can certainly feel it inching closer and the choice will have to be made: do what is comfortable, or do what God is saying to you.
And I pray I have the courage to follow through and obey the simple words of Genesis 31:16b:
“Now then, whatever God is saying to you, do.”
Because we should not, as Beth Moore says,
“Confuse fruitfulness with felicity.”
Walking in God’s will doesn’t mean we will live “happily ever after.” Life is not a fairy tale, and happiness shouldn’t be our number one goal regardless of what popular culture will have us believe. No, if we want to live purposeful lives, we must live in obedience to what the Lord commands and listen to his commands, whatever they are. As Deuteronomy 5:33 confirms:
“You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you…”
Sometimes we may feel like strangers.
Sometimes we may have to change our lifestyle.
Sometimes we may experience pain and rejection.
But always we will LIVE and LIVE WELL if we are following God’s path–even if we can’t see exactly where it might lead.