I am nearsighted meaning I can totally see things up close but I can’t see things far away. To be able to see things far away I have to put glasses on. It’s a pain but hey at least there are glasses to correct vision right? There are no coincidences in life. Everything happens for a reason and my journey through 2015 was no exception, my nearsighted vision would teach me a lesson.
I heard Chris Hodges say once:
“Spiritual nearsightedness shows up in our prayers.”
Every Christian has a promise over their life. I could see the promise. I could taste the promise. I could reach out to take the promise. I was working overtime and when I was honest with myself, I was unsettled. I felt the Holy Spirit speak:
“Breathe, take a minute there are things yet to teach and do together before you enter in.”
I wish I could tell you that I went willingly but you see when you’re a workaholic, you don’t just stop working willingly. Instead you pretend you misunderstood the prompting in your spirit or you fail to hear it at all. You spiritualize it and you begin to pray nearsighted prayers. The problem is that when you pray with nearsightedness your prayers aren’t to change the world they are change your circumstances to move in your direction. Nearsightedness causes the inability to get past the right here and right now and see the future.
So there is a choice. You can reach for the promise in your flesh. Meaning you make something happen but that is vastly different than allowing God to reach for the promise for you.
If you reach for a promise and aren’t ready for it you end up birthing an Ishmael which fails in the end, while had you waited for God he would have birthed an Isaac on your behalf.
Alright that may be confusing for those of you who aren’t Christian. Let me back up. There is a story of a man named Abraham in the bible. His story begins in Genesis 12. He was married to a woman named Sarah and she couldn’t have children. God had given them a promise that they would birth a child. In fact, the Lord told Abraham he would be the father of many nations. Sarah was just hoping for one baby. Years go by and she’s an old woman and she hasn’t given birth. In her desperation she reaches for the promise in her flesh. In other words, she makes something happen on her own. She convinces her husband Abraham to have sex with their servant Hagar (I know we see the writing on the wall right?). The plan is Hagar will have a child and give it to Sarah because Hagar’s a servant. Hagar has a child and she names him Ishmael but she doesn’t hand him over. Instead the whole scene becomes bitter and embattled.
I chose to sit still. Have you seen a workaholic wait? It isn’t at all pretty. BUT:
Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
So what are you grabbing for that isn’t in its season? Can you wait for what God has for you? I promise it will be better than anything you can make happen!
This past year and a half I tasked myself with the goal of rediscovery. Through a wake up call, I took the hint and applied it. I took on no new projects, I had alone time as much as possible and I gave no explanations to anyone as I trekked through this season of health issues and heart issues alone with the Holy Spirit. I knew those who loved me would pray and not judge and those who didn’t wouldn’t understand and I had to be fine with the criticisms as it was my journey to take. I am peeking my head out and arising slowly back to my place in the life I have chosen with surrender. I am wiser, stronger, and realize that sometimes the Lord is doing a power shift where he is carefully orchestrating a new level. It doesn’t mean you are going anywhere necessarily, but it means there is a new focus or a refocus of things that were set aside for what you felt was a bigger issue but wasn’t where the Lord was taking you.
As this year unfolds I will share the journey and what it has taught me as I don’t believe lessons you learn are just for you. It would be selfish to think you’re the only person going through any issue.
My main focus as we end 2015 is don’t be afraid to be set aside for a season. Don’t be afraid of the No in life. Sometimes demanding your way and kicking in the door isn’t wise. Sometimes you have to trust and really mean the Thy Will Be Done part of your prayer. It’s not about people trying to hurt you or make you feel less than. It’s about a whole picture that only God sees. Wouldn’t it be great if we could see the whole picture but for now we catch a glimpse.
Was there pain? You bet! Was there hurt in the criticisms? Of course! Were there people whom you care about who resented you were not in place? Yes. The main question is did the Lord set you apart for this season? If so, then all the other stuff is washed away. Forgive those who chose to condemn. Forgive those who tried to kick your door in and force you into their agenda. It’s been a long season but inwardly productive. I am pleased with the progress and ready to go! I pray in whatever season you are in you can listen carefully. There is work to do in your community. There are people to reach for Jesus. Taking your ball and going home is not helpful but knowing what the Lord is calling you to do is. Praying for you always!
The family game we played last night sits left over on my dining room table this morning. Last night we laughed until we cried, we came up with a team name that shall not be repeated out of the circle of those who were there. I sit here and write this post on the day after Christmas as google reminded me with a ding on my calendar this morning. Those of you who know me know I write a vision statement each year. I make a list of things I want to accomplish personally and professionally. Then I write ideas for vacations, home improvements, a budget, a savings plan. Yes, I know it sounds too hard and it doesn’t sound like there is any adventure or spontaneity in it does it? Oh, but there is! Life takes twists and turns that you can never plan for, and some ideas need to be tweaked midway, and some ideas although great in December in June you can see aren’t going to cooperate. The point is to have a plan that can keep you on course even in the midst of chaos. It sounds complicated but it really is the key to freedom! Knowing exactly where you stand and how you can proceed in the current conditions takes a big worry off your mind. You don’t find yourself in a car lot, excited about a new car if the budget isn’t there because you have a plan in mind and on paper. Instead you may find yourself at the mechanic’s shop getting a quote on a transmission fix which is much cheaper in the long run.
So as you can see by the picture, I look back at 2015 and write down what went well and what didn’t work. I make determinations on whether I am going to try again or scrap the idea. I look at what projects aren’t quite finished and if my time was used effectively or is it just taking a little longer. Did I squander too much time or did I have just enough rest? What old habits never died? Where did I need more discipline. Where is this going in the New Year?
I used to brag that I started writing vision statements back in my 20’s and I would always accomplish my goals by October-ish. I used to pat my self on the back and say to myself, “Girl, you are just that good at getting things done.” However one day I heard a still small voice within me say, “You get your goals met each year because you don’t dream big enough. You play it safe.” OUCH! I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to go deeper and to be more daring. You see, I thought I was just that good. Now I am older than my 20’s, much older, and I have learned to set up bigger dreams. I have learned to set dreams that will actually take 2-3 years to complete, like the two week trip we took to Hawaii that required us to save up rather than charge it. Or the one where my husband announced he wanted a Camaro in 2011 but it took us until 2014 to buy it because there were plans in motion that had to be completed first.
So what is your dream for this next year? What are you planning to accomplish and what will take some time to fulfill? I pray you have been thinking about it and I hope you are working towards your destiny!
Take your time. Make it clear in your head and then advise your heart because honestly, if your heart isn’t in it, it won’t get done.