Recently in PA, we got hammered with a blizzard. The state began shutting down the night before because they expected a big white mess.
I am not sure the daffodils were ready. They were preparing to spring forth, stand tall and shine their luscious color to the world. You can see their buds, still tightly closed, hanging on to hope.
A few years ago, I sat in Starbucks, hopeful about chatting with my friend. This friend is an awesome listener. Those high stools give me confidence, perhaps too much. Nonetheless, I sipped my brew and contemplated some topics while I waited her arrival.
“Be careful of having too many expectations,” she said, as I rattled off my summer plans for our two boys.
Historically, my approach had been to keep Braedon and Jackson busy in the summer months, signing them up for camps and take advantage of local library programs. Braedon was beginning to voice his hesitation of the whole camp thing.
My friend spoke truth.
Planning far ahead with little input from others was something my independent, bossy-pants-self was in the habit of doing.
Ironically, I did not expect that kind of feedback.
However, I needed to hear it.
Both perfectionism and a need for control were operating. From a young age, planning ahead was a coping mechanism for me: to give me something to look forward to and ultimately to avoid disappointment … in other words, making every attempt to control my environment when so many things in my world felt out of control.
• Who wanted downtime for herself while boys were busy at camp?
• Who would be disappointed if Braedon would not attend science camp?
Ugh, being convicted by the Spirit has often come as a surprise.
Meet a friend for an innocent coffee to “catch up”, and a tightly packed layer of sin is peeled away, exposing the next round of Jesus’s work in my life.
Recently, I have likened my life to an onion placed in the hands of Jesus. [I know I am beginning to think weird things as a writer] Jesus knows our inner most core, the place nobody wants to touch or see. To begin, though His tender fingertips handle the flimsy outer layer with such love that some of it falls away by itself. There is no rush. His timing is absolutely perfect.
When deeper layers of onions are exposed, the aroma stings your eyes.
Uncovering what has been hidden or unrecognized in your soul, He shines his warm, loving Light of Truth.
Your eyes may tire of tears. Your heart may shrink back after realizing its pride.
As Jesus gently corrects us, we emerge with a freedom to stumble around … to discover the joy as our hearts eagerly seek His life-giving breath … much in the same way a newborn baby roots to his mother’s breast for that sweet milk.
Just simply amazing.
As He leads us in His direction, He knows it is often new, uncharted territory.
Peter when taking the initiative to walk on water toward Jesus, he faltered:
But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink, ‘Save me, Lord!’ he shouted. [Matthew 14:30]
He asks that we trust Him and follow.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” [Matthew 16:24 NIV]
His path not ours.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. [Isaiah 55:8 NIV]
Let’s surround each other with encouragement for keeping our feet in His direction.
Let’s keep a handy box of tissues for friends who get knocked off their center with His wake-up-call-interventions.
Let’s commit to reading His guide for our lives [The Bible] on some regular basis … it is one way for Him to communicate our next holy assignment.
He loves it when we listen for Him.
In the case of this, dear friends,
expect He is listening
and trust the unexpected in His relationship with you.
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I cannot believe March is almost over, but I promise the Follow This Blog Contest is coming soon.
Look Up, Let Love and Be a Light.
In His Love and Service,