Again, I haven’t posted here lately. I’m always reading. Always writing. Always having good conversations. Always learning. I desire to be better at sharing on here…
Within the last three weeks, my summer vacation ended with a screeching halt. If you know me, you know that this past summer was a summer of rejuvenation for me…mind, body, and spirit. I read, read, read…worked out…spent MUCH quality time with old/new friends…lots of lunches and coffee shop time….lots of just sittin and thinkin…just learning to live in each moment and took life as it came. Was amazing. Refreshing. A good season for me…and one that was overdue. And then school came. I must admit I’m usually a fan of structure and organization…however, this summer I really got used to “taking things in stride…moment-to-moment.” So, with the rush of starting school and becoming extremely busy with the “to-do’s” of life, while getting my wisdom teeth extracted and attending the Launch Retreat right smack in the middle of it, I began feeling that my summer of rejuvenation was being quickly depleted and sleep deprivation a constant companion.
However, all that to say, my heart remains at peace.
Amongst the chaos of life around me, the busyness of “to-do’s,” the lack of sleep in the last few weeks, etc., I have an inner-calm. A peace that transcends all understanding. A peace that guards my heart and mind. I have Him. I can’t remember a time of late that I could honestly say this. And say it with full conviction. PTL, my friends. My summer of rejuvenation was a summer of stillness at His Feet…a summer of just “being.” The intimate time spent just being with Him, and nothing of my doing or attempting to attain (which I’m all too guilty of), results in my ability to claim Philippians 4:4-7. I rejoice in Him.
So…as not to write an entire novel, and attempt to stay in theme, I will give a small nugget of something He revealed to me at Launch.
We spent time in Jonah…discussing how Jonah ran from the Lord and His call of him into Nineveh, escaping towards “Tarshish.”
“Tarshish”—Jonah’s place of “hiding” or “comfort”
What is my “Tarshish?” I asked myself. Well, my place of “hiding and comfort” for nearly 20 years of my life was just that…“hiding.” Hiding in who my friends and relationships told me I was, rather than just being me. It was more comfortable to just be what they needed, rather than run the risk of being myself and not being able to live up to their standards and needs/wants, perform adequately for their acceptance, or just “fit in.” And I questioned and came to realization within the last year, whether it was truly my friends/family who had these standards set before me, or if I am really just my own worst enemy?
Ok, so God sends a storm…and Jonah sleeps.
God pressed upon and stirred within my heart so many times….praise Him that while I “slept,” knowing He was calling me to awake in His truth, HE IS FAITHFUL…because I was not.
And the storm gets worse. Should Jonah be thrown over, as to save the other men on the boat from harm? Jonah would rather DIE than conform to the Lord’s call. Rather DIE, or risk death, than go to Nineveh.
I lived a life of death before knowing Christ. Materialistic, self-centered, hope in fleeting things…chasing what I was told would produce happiness and fulfillment, but only full of emptiness (oxymoron, it seems), disappointment, and despair. I thought it was living, but LIFE I was far from.
So, they still attempt to row forward in their own strength, against the will of God, but it is useless.
I’ll just say “self-sufficiency.” Have to come to the end of myself EVERY morning….humbled that I can’t, and thankful that He can, will, and does.
So, finally Jonah is thrown overboard and swallowed by a large fish. It was there Jonah PRAYED to the Lord his God….Jonah 2 (don’t just read it…personally pray this one on your knees…it’s a good one).
Now the Lord commanded the fish to VOMIT Jonah onto dry land. And finally, at the Lords’ second call of the same thing, Jonah goes to Nineveh.
My Nineveh…stepping out of hiding due to my own insecurities, and BEING who He’s designed me to be. Period. Security in Him alone. I will not be ashamed of who I am, because I am His…and I stand proudly, yet completely humbled (another somewhat oxymoron) in the fact that He’d have me as His own.
**Thank you, Abba Father, for being a pursuer of my heart…faithful to take me to whatever ends you must, in order to get my sometimes stubborn, many times selfish, and always war-waging heart to be broken and open to what You call…and to helping me to know how to BELIEVE and TRUST in your promises to the point of FOLLOWING and PRAISING with a heart and spirit of JOY.
It’s your turn, friends…
What is YOUR “Tarshish?” And YOUR “Nineveh?”
And you know me, I’d love for you to share your story…