Photo credit: Anne Ibsen | If:Gathering 2017
God has been calling me toward him. If I could visually describe what I’ve been experiencing over the last two years I would say that what felt before was a thin piece of string, now feels like a thick tethered rope. So thick my hands can’t wrap themselves around it.
A friend told me something about a year ago that has stuck with me. She said that God asks us to be obedient. He whispers to us, daily, and we have the choice, free will, to listen and obey…or not. She said she hears something as simple as to call someone, or to stop by and see someone, to ask someone how they are doing or even to turn left instead of right when it might not make sense. When we act on that whisper, we are being obedient. When we don’t, we are not.
Do you hear Him? Would you admit to hearing Him?
I hear Him. All the time, and I’ve been ignoring Him. That’s not completely true. I listen, sometimes. When I do, I’m always glad I did and I feel encouraged. But a lot of the time, I don’t.
I have had a hard time distinguishing the difference though at times. The difference between His voice and my own. For example, I’ve been talking about wanting to write again for a long time. Wanting to make a schedule. I’ve been so confused about this because I thought this was my desire. that I had a desire to write. And while I do have that desire, this weekend I understood for the first time that I think it’s God that is putting this desire on my heart. He wants me to write and I have been resisting. I haven’t been being obedient. Because the truth is, if I had wanted to write I would be writing. Now,some of you might be shaking your head about this, and maybe for good reason. I’m sure there are times when people want to write but just can’t. They call it writers block. But this isn’t what I’m taking about. I don’t have writers block. I have plenty to say, and in fact I hear the words in their sentences and paragraphs compose themselves in my mind. All the time. My disobedience comes when I don’t make the time to write them down.
If I’m going to be completely honest, as this seems to be a confession, I wake up early, early enough that I could get up and write for an hour or so before anyone else even stirs in my home. But I’ve been choosing not to. I’ve been choosing to close my eyes and go back to sleep or to keep composing the words and sentences in my mind and leave them there to disappear. Or sometimes when I wake early I stay in bed and pray, which becomes my “valid excuse” not to get up. I’m praying, that has to count for something. But in my honesty, right now, it is in my disobedience that I stay in bed. This weekend I felt that it is God that is calling me to write. God that is calling me to rise out of bed at 5:15. I saw that my resistance is so strong that I’ve even justified my disobedience with prayer.
In truth I haven’t wanted to write for so many reasons, excuses. Fear that people would think I’m writing to be heard or to be seen. I’m not. In fact I would choose not to be seen or heard and to be left alone in my house with my boys and a good book or movie and laughter and a cozy blanket. To be safe in my quiet self.
It scares me to think that God may be asking me to do this. It scares me to think that He’s asking me to get up before the sun rises. It scares me to think that He’s asking anything of me to be honest. And yet I know that I have been disobedient long enough. That I need to step past my own fears and limitations to answer His call.
I have been seeking Him, calling to him to pull me closer. I have been asking Him to draw me near. To grab ahold of the hearts of my boys and to soften the heart of my husband. And in my seeking Him, I didn’t see that I was ignoring His call to me.
Another friend came over last week to help me get my finances in order. To help me understand a language of money that has been foreign to me. I told her in conversation that I was tired of driving the ship. That it can be so hard at times and exhausting. I cried when I spoke those words. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of exhaustion. This weekend I had a clear knowing that I’m not driving the ship but when I take over and “think” I am, I get myself into trouble. I let go of the rope that He’s thrown out for me to grab a hold of.
I’m feeling renewed from my time deep in prayer this past weekend. I’m feeling weary from my dying to Him but I know that the shame I felt from my disobedience can wash right through me because He sees me pure and clean and whole.
This is a first step towards obedience. A first step toward Him in the way that he is calling to me. Oh how I close my eyes and resist the thought that he may call me to rise early tomorrow morning. But if He does, I want to be obedient to Him. I want to hold on to that rope that He has thrown out to me. I want to pull Him closer so that I can feel His love wash over me.