I feel like I spend more time focusing on why I haven’t been writing, then taking the time to reflect on what I have been doing during that time. This time the why is more important – on a personal level – then perhaps it has been in the past.
When I last wrote, we were facing more dead ends as a family than we thought we could handle sometimes, and it was time for a refresh…to step back from the things that we were focused on, to focus on what mattered most. Stick with me, it’ll make sense in a few.
You see. We felt like we were facing our own personal crisis as a family. We thought God us brought us back to PA for a specific purpose…then that purpose seemed to be slowly slipping away. Our kids were facing troubles at school. John’s job that brought us here was literally going away (quicker than originally planned), and we were frustrated. Instead of looking forward and leaning on God’s perfect plan, it was easier to look with longing back on where we came from, when things seemed easier. Instead of trusting and dwelling forward, I – personally – was dwelling on the mountain views and friendships we left, on when it seemed easier to follow God’s plan, to live missionally and to focus without “distractions.” I began longing for what was, instead of trusting in what was meant to be.
I needed a reset, and that reset took longer than I’d like to admit, and more bending and softening of my heart that was becoming harder than I’d like to think was possible.
I needed to dig into the promises of Scripture and of past lessons God had taught me. I needed to paste those scriptural truths around my house so I couldn’t avoid them or put them in the back of my mind. I needed to go back to the basics, to spend time with the creator who loves me more than I can imagine, and to beg him to align my heart, my will and my dreams with his. I had to listen to sermons and how they applied to my own life, instead of thinking of others I thought might benefit from the words being shared on Sunday mornings. I like to think this would have happened even if the dead ends didn’t, but, I think we’re more resistant to change than we like to think sometimes.
Anyway, this process was painful and took time, but maybe it never should have gotten to that point. I’ve realized it should never have ended in the first place. We should live in that place continually, because otherwise our own desires come to the surface far too easily. My longing for my own far off country (if you’re unfamiliar with this concept, check out what C.S. Lewis had to share) doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but, I need to frame it in God’s eyes, not allow it to distract me from what’s important.
Throughout it all, God’s purpose and plan has prevailed. Our friendships have deepened. The open door we prayed for for John’s job came and he jumped on it, without any down time or unemployment whatsoever. God has pointed out a new direction for our family (No. We aren’t leaving!) and we are trusting him with excitement as we watch it play out.
Most importantly – from my view – life seems simpler again. I’m not caught up in the “what could be’s,” and the “what I want’s.” Instead, I’m living day to day with a prayer that our lives and our path as a family aligns with God’s will and his plan, his perfect plan that includes what’s best for us, even if it’s not exactly the way we would have dreamed it on our own.
Has God used times of dead ends to reset your heart, your dreams and your purpose?