Have you ever been in a place of obedience, but you didn't know why you were supposed to be there? And because you really didn't know what was happening in your life you really didn't know how to answer all the questions?
Every time someone asks me about my jobless status, I freeze. People ask, "Did you retire?" Awkward me, "Well, no, I'm too young to retire." Not satisfied they probe, "So, what are you going to do?" Me feeling cornered, "I'm learning to be still... to be quiet. I'm doing what I think God has called me to do... be still."
That answer usually doesn't satisfy either. So, usually, I wind up telling curious observers that I really don't have any solid answers at the moment and I will keep them posted. I smile and move on feeling quite exposed.
It's awkward living in this middle ground. Referencing back to the Israelites of Exodus, I'm no longer a slave in Egypt, but I've not made it to the promised land either. I imagine this place in my life might feel a bit like what the Israelites felt as they walked through the middle of the Jordan River on dry land. It's just plain weird!
How does one explain this place?
Being still (for me) takes some effort. At first, it has felt a bit like I remember time-out in my room, alone as a child. Yes, it has initially felt like punishment. No, I know my Father, God, is not punishing me. In fact, Father has been reminding me as He's met with me during these days of August of the times I required my two sons to take a quiet time during the day.
One son welcomed the extra sleep during the day. The other refused to nap during the day (from birth) and initially argued with me all the way to his room. I think he felt punished, but eventually realized he could spend that time creating according to his extensive imagination without interruption. Many times when I opened his door at the end of quiet time he was so involved in creating he never even noticed he was free to go.
Like this one son, I've decided to stop arguing with God and have seen the possibilities for growth, for creating, and a welcome space for the uninterrupted imagination of new things to come. He's captivated my heart during these most recent days. He's got my full attention!
The quiet and the empty spaces on my calendar have created space to just be. To be still. To read. To be aware of my Shepherd's constant presence. To listen to Holy Spirit. To hear Truth for myself rather than having a word for the next person with whom I am meeting. To rest. To receive nourishment. To allow for pruning. And to grow up in the Lord. To remember why I serve Him. To remember it's all about Him... making His name great.
As I settle and cooperate with the quiet and the rest, I realize my attention span for listening is improving. My capacity for receiving information has increased. The hurry is gone. My eyes are able to focus on the beauty right in front of me. The constant distractions have subsided. The sea is calm. The breeze light. The sun bright. And soon, when it is time there will be a proverbial destination to which we will set sail.
Probably my Father will come to open the door to set me free to do the next thing and I won't even notice because I've so learned to enjoy the carved out space with Him. I'm hoping it will be like that. I'm hoping He'll have to call my name and invite me out - back into the open spaces to do the new thing He has planned for us to do together.
What about you, friend? Is it difficult to be still? Is it a challenge to embrace the middle? Are there no easy answers to all the questions?
I want to be an encouragement to you in the awkward space. Please let me know to pray. You don't have to answer any questions. God already knows the answers.
Together let's fix our eyes on Jesus, throw off any entanglements which hold us back, and be ready when Father opens the door after quiet time is over to run the next part of our race with all we've got...
~ Meet Lisa Brittain ~
Hi! I'm Lisa, and I am the founder of this website, and the Eyes on Jesus and Shine ministry. My husband and I live in Lilburn, GA with our three spunky rescue pups. We've been learning lots of new normals over the last ten years, but the root of them all is learning to TRUST IN GOD ALONE.
I'm so glad you stopped by my little corner of the world. I pray you have been blessed to persevere with God and that you have been encouraged to turn your eyes toward Jesus. He makes you SHINE!
Please come back again... anytime!