I used to be jealous of those people who would say, "God is leading me to do...", because I wondered why He would speak to them and not to me. Clearly, I was (and always have been) in need of His guidance so why would He not tell me where I should go, what I should do, and who I should do it all with?
I am pretty sure that I know the answer to that question -- because I am so hard-headed that it's likely I would not have listened, heeded, or taken action. Like many people, I sometimes ask for advice but then decide to fix it "my way". I believe that when we do that to God over and over, He gets quiet (to us). I used to believe that God was quiet except in those miraculous Old Testament stories when His presence was undeniable. But now I believe that God is constantly present and talking, but the difference is that we aren't always noticing and listening. So last year, when I decided to push myself to find My Purpose, I knew that I would need God's input and I had to figure out how to get it.
I got free e-books on my Kindle, I checked out books at the library, I took personality tests online, and more, so that I could find out what was my TRUE underlying PASSION. I would find my passion and then I would pursue it, creating a harmonious marriage, well-rounded children who put me on a pedestal, and become a person that the entire world would benefit from knowing. When my husband's father passed away in June and we planned four last-minute flights from Fairbanks, Alaska, down south to Mississippi, that was my chance to do some reading. If you are a mom or a wife (or busy otherwise) then you know that feeling when you realize that you'll have a stretch of several hours (like connecting flights) that will be perfect for reading! Even with the extremely sad circumstances, I found this promise of "free time to read" to be motivating, so I quickly found two free e-books from Amazon. Like a starving person who just got a ticket to a buffet, or a country kid who just got permission to watch hours of uninterrupted TV, I simultaneously read two books like if I stopped reading them, my whole Kindle would explode and my fantasy free time would end. Each word from "Why Doesn't God Speak to Me," by Lynn Hardy, and "Find Your Passion" by Henri Junttila was sucked into my brain like I was breathing them in, not reading them. Before I got to Chapter 5 of Junttila's book, I was ready to climb a tower and scream, "FINALLY! I BELIEVE I CAN FOLLOW MY OWN PASSIONS, AND I KNOW WHAT THEY ARE!!!" What you don't know is that most of my life I have been told that I am "scattered", "wishy washy", "a dabbler" and all of a sudden all those words seem like complements instead of criticisms and that felt liberating. Reading Hardy's book turned out to be the springboard for what God did with my heart yesterday.
On our way to an outdoor vacation, we stopped by Barnes and Nobles and I picked up yet ANOTHER book to help me find my passions, but this one has a specifically Christian tone. It is titled, "Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation", by Ruth Haley Barton. When we got to our room and all settled down for the night (we all love to read at bedtime), I got out my new book and I just couldn't put it down. I couldn't stop reading because if I didn't know that I'm not CRAZY, I would have thought I'd gone CRAZY! I could almost hear God speaking to me through the pages, like He was reading the book out loud to me.
This entire year's worth of self-discovery just ended in a small lodging room at the Manley Hot Springs Roadhouse in Alaska (there is a whole other story behind this!!). I have been looking for my true passion, looking for what would make me happy, looking for why I was placed on Earth. But "...whoso trusts in the Lord, HAPPY IS HE," (Proverbs 16:20); and according to Jeremiah 1:5, I wasn't placed on Earth, or "born" but instead I WAS CREATED by God FOR A PURPOSE. I've been asking the wrong question. Instead of "what do I need to do for a living," I should have been asking "God, why did you CREATE me?" This whole story leads to my next blog entry about why I feel like my life centered around, and was only valued by, what I do for a living.
I have so many stories wrapped up in this one, and I am trying to keep it unconfusing but I have to just start somewhere. I hope you will hang with me as I run down this road to becoming THE BETTER ME, and while I learn to cull those things that do not lead me to being that person.
I have finally become one of those people that I used to be jealous of. Or maybe ... I have learned what they already know, which is ... God is always talking to be me, but I didn't always notice and Listen.