A Cumulation of Clarity
A day or so ago, I entreated heaven for clarity. I've struggled for a long time with the desire to use my passions for the Lord, but my preconceived notions of what that should look like have been and are getting in the way. I prayed for God to speak to me, to show and tell me the path I should be following and how I should move forward—if I'm to move forward at all, or else wait on more specific direction.
Clarity can come in a single overwhelming downpour. Other times, it comes in cumulative doses. Throughout the past few months, God has been speaking to me, and though the way ahead is still unclear, I feel stronger knowing that His hand is at work in shaping my path and, more importantly, shaping me.
First, I realized that the timeline I had created for myself did not have God's stamp of approval. Even without knowing it, I have been setting goals for myself on a purely arbitrary timeline, and feeling the bite of anxiety and panic as success in that time frame becomes increasingly unlikely. God had to show me that time is His jurisdiction—that things are going to happen when He sees fit, and I need to be okay with that.
I found peace in relinquishing my timelines to Him, and even now, when I feel them encroaching on my thoughts, laden with anxious whispers, I'm training myself to offer them to Him before they can take hold of me. Since then, God has taught me something else as well.
His plan for me may not include any of the things I think it should. And I need to be okay with that, too.
I wouldn't have been, a few years ago. I would have been heartbroken—shattered into a thousand pieces—at the thought that God's plan for me may not involve the passions or dreams I feel it must. And I'm not saying my future doesn't hold those things. I think it likely does in some form. But the point is to acknowledge that, at the end of the day, God can take our lives in different directions, and we need to be willing to follow where He leads, even if He leads away from our desires or dreams. There's so much freedom in accepting that truth and surrendering to His grand design.
Finally, this morning marked the proverbial icing on the cake as God spoke, through my morning devotion, directly to my heart. Sarah Young's Jesus Calling has encouraged and inspired me in many ways, but this morning the message was just too timely to be anything but a divinely-orchestrated call to my heart. Perhaps it will be just as timely for you as it was for me.
"My plan for your life is unfolding before you. Sometimes the road you are traveling seems blocked, or it opens up so painfully slowly that you must hold yourself back. Then, when the time is right, the way before you suddenly clears—through no effort of your own. What you have longed for and worked for I present to you freely, as a pure gift. . . . Do not fear your weakness, for it is the stage on which My Power and Glory perform most brilliantly." (Sarah Young)
God is teaching us to hold ourselves back, to wait on His timing rather than our own. He is teaching us to put our futures in His hands and to trust Him regardless of the forms they will take. He is teaching us to rejoice in our weakness, for in it, His strength will be made perfect. He is teaching us to remain steadfast, drawing on Him to sustain us, focusing on serving Him in every capacity we can, not just in the capacities we want.
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