I’ve spent part of this morning reading things I wrote almost ten years ago. I love re-visiting old writing because it’s so hard to recognize the girl caught in the words, and at the same time, it’s like looking in a mirror.
I thought I’d share this section. I wrote this when I was desperately trying to figure out what to do with my life after breaking up with a boyfriend. Enjoy:
I used to be obsessed with God’s plan for my life; I used to depend on the concept that He had great plans for me.
But, I’m going to save you a lot of time and effort. The calling thing is actually spelled out for us. What does the Lord ask of you but to fear Him, walk in all His ways, love Him and serve Him with all your heart and mind and soul?
In our American culture this seems like a glib cop-out that’s an okay answer for someone else, but we want steps. Fine, yes. I love God. Check. I want to walk in His ways and serve Him, but where? And how?
There’s something really frightening about offering obedience when you’re not sure what’s going to be asked of you. You tell me what I’m signing for and I’ll sign. But to just keep moving forward when you’re not sure what it’s going to cost – that’s different.
Trusting everything to Him? It’s dangerous.
Sometimes it seems like changing my earthly circumstances will make relationship with the Lord easier. But the truth is, if I cannot love Him and serve Him in this moment, in my home town, with the daily monotony of life; if I can’t feel the purpose and gravity of His calling here, moving to India won’t help.
One of the reasons I wanted to leave my job was because I wanted it to all be a little bit easier. I wanted to live in a Christian cave, where I didn’t have to communicate with anyone who might disturb my balance of belief.
I love Thomas Merton. He didn’t want to make an idol out of anything – even his love for writing, so he became a monk and refused to write so that his heart wouldn’t feel any division.
Thomas Merton didn’t avoid sin by avoiding things he loved. God wanted him to write, and it was pride, not worship that kept him from following that still small voice for so long. He was afraid of struggling. It never was his job to make that decision. It was only his job to love God with all his heart, soul and mind and trust whatever happened.
God humbled Merton and in His beautiful way He arranged it so that years later I would read what Merton wrote and be pointed to Jesus.
Truth be told, I want to be over the boy. I want to be over all boys. I want to just live in a cave with Jesus and not interact with any of the fallen people who irritate me with their ability to reflect my own sin back at me. Hard, sad truth: it’s not faith, but lack of faith that calls me alluringly to that cave. I have to trust Him inside of me. If I don’t, this whole thing feels like a wash. I have to believe that He’s faithful – not just with His plans for this world, but to restore my brokenness. I have to believe that falling for someone again – someone who puts Jesus before me and me before themselves – is okay, however scary it may be. I just want to avoid it. I really do. Because this balancing act is hard, and it feels like I’m better at it as long as I love nothing and no one. But when the tightrope walker is asked to balance with something, everything changes. It’s definitely scarier. It may be more glorifying. From here, that’s impossible to tell. But cowardice is never glorifying.
If He brings good gifts along and asks me to balance, who am I to tell Him it can’t be done?