Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Hello blogger friends! It's good to come back to this blank page and "blah" a little bit. Like most of us at some point in our lives, I have been spending a significant amount of time these last few months actively pursuing a personal dream. This is a career dream that I have held for as long as I can remember, even back to my childhood. In these last few months, it has been almost surreal watching what has been only a picture in my imagination become a reality in my life. It has been scary and exciting, both joyous and nerve-wracking. Just in this last month, however, the building of my dream has come to a screeching halt.
I have hit what seems to be an insurpassable roadblock. There is no way through this one. I've come upon other roadblocks on this course, and, with some some time and determination, have been able to make it through. This one, however, remains firm. I am slowly coming into the realization that this just is not going to happen for me. My dream is dying and this is tough-- really, really tough.
Yesterday, in my car driving home, I turned off my radio and just began to pray. I don't remember exactly what I said, but it was something like this, "God, you know my heart, and you know that I am saying these words from a place of true sincerity and not an attempt to force anything from you. If it's your perfect will for me, I am asking and trust that you will remove this roadblock. I will do my part and wait patiently for you to swoop down with your powerful hands and make this happen for me! You are well able to remove this obstacle right now in the name of Jesus. You can do this and I know you love me and want me happy!" I paused while a giant "but" bubbled up into my prayer. "But if you do not remove this roadblock, I will accept that. I will go where you want me to go and be the woman you want me to be, wherever you want me to be that." I began to feel gratitude build in my chest, "after all you have done for me, I can give this dream to you, God. It's really not much for you to ask, after all. If you want me to give this up to you, and that's your plan for me, I will do it. I love you and just want you to be pleased with me. I'm not perfect, although I try to be daily to no avail (God knows I'm a perfectionist despite His grace :-) ). Really, at the end of the day, and at the end of this life, my dreams are such a small thing. All that really matters to me is that you can say you're pleased with me. If this is all you ask of me, I'll do it for you, Lord."
In the course of that prayer something clicked in me. This career dream I have is but one pie slice in the pie of my life. It is not the entire pie. God has done amazing, truly amazing and miraculous things in many of the other pie slices. I'm so grateful for that. Yes, I'd love to have every pie slice just the way I want it, and maybe God will do that. I'm sure He'd love to really show out in my life and He's done it many times before, BUT if He doesn't... who am I to complain, really?
Suddenly, I remembered Abraham and how he was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. This was the son he for whom he had prayed and believed for nearly a hundred years! This was the one thing he had always wanted from God more than anything else, a son, and he finally got it. Now God was asking Abraham to sacrifice him. It was always so inexplicable to me how Abraham was able to take his highly prized son out to be sacrificed, without question, without hesitation! What?! I always read that story and thought, "Wow, what amazing faith! Abraham must have know that God would not really do this to him and that a true sacrifice would be provided in the end." Ultimately, that is what happened. Just as Isaac was laid upon the sacrificial fire, a lamb appears from the bushes as the sacrifice. Today, for the first time ever, I see this story in a completely different light. After years and years of waiting on God, trusting in God, watching God work, trial and error, trial and error, a believer learns very acutely what it feels like to be apart from God. I have struck out on my own way many times only to crash and burn. It's no fun.
For me, and maybe even for Abraham, I believe, it's not faith alone but also reaching a place of resignation with God. I don't mean a hopeless, angry kind of resignation. I'm talking about a resignation that, when asked to give up to God a seemingly essential part of SELF, says, "I thought I needed this, but really, if you want it, it's better if you just take it. I'll give you whatever you need just to stay with you, even this. In fact, in the grander scheme of things, this is a very small thing to give you. My entire life is right here on the sacrificial fire. Just take it all... including THIS," whatever THIS might be in your life.
I apologize if I may sound a little preachy today or overly "religious" for some. Although I have my particular spiritual views, I don't ever intend to try to force those on other people. I want to allow everyone the space to make and find their own spiritual path. Please know that the sharing of my particular struggle is just that... my own personal struggle, and not intended to be a sermon on the mount. One of my earliest intentions for this blog was a selfish one-- a place to rant and philosophize as self-indulgently as is personally necessary! We all need the space to do that and sometimes knowing that our words are being heard is very validating. Thanks for validating me today. :-)
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