Have you ever felt on point one minute, and hopelessly derailed the next? Have you ever felt hopefully expectant only to be brought "back to reality"? Have you ever wondered why your attempts to be obedient to God's will have you swimming in circles? Perhaps it's that, in your desire to please God you have forgotten what it means to love Him.
I have found myself, in this current season, swimming in circles regularly. Or, perhaps a better descriptor is, I have found myself flailing in the harsh waves of the frosty Atlantic. No tropical beaches here, folks. It's all ice caps and rocky shorelines these days. Encouraged, I stepped out of the boat only to discover, like Peter, that my faith floundered even as I continued moving closer to God. It's a complex thing, entering into the waters.
I have been praying, pondering and meditating on what it all means. How is it that an obedient woman of God, called to write - given the gifts of communication and encouragement even - can have such a hard time sharing her story, much less living it?
In my attempts to walk closer with God, I find myself being called deeper into a life of prayer. I often pray for wisdom, for clarity, for the knowledge required "to take the next right step." In my attempts to be faithful to what I believe God is asking of me, I've been unwittingly filing and compartmentalizing everything He calls me to on my ubiquitous "to do" list. Except I stopped calling it a "to do" list, because the sheer number of "to do's" was overwhelming and God called me to "be" not "do", right? So, in honour of that significant distinction, I changed my "to do" list into a "priority" list. That way, I could ask God what He wanted me to prioritize and then rearrange my list accordingly (it's okay, you can laugh. I did).
Can you imagine how well my priority list has worked out for me? Rather than truly adhering to God's rhythms of activity and rest, I repackaged His guidance and wisdom and stuffed it all into my own little box. I tied a neat bow on it and wondered why, if it looked so pretty, was I still feeling overwhelmed and out of control? Why was I still burning the candle at both ends, and wondering why I felt a disconnect between me and God?
The answer is that I was continually striving to please God, rather than be with Him. I was searching for acceptance when I've already been accepted. I was looking for love and approval instead of showing God how much I love Him.
God always tells you what you need to hear. He finds you in the storm, even (perhaps, especially) when it's a Category 5 hurricane of your own making. This past Sunday, He spoke to me through this spoken word poem. He helped me recognize where I was striving to survive rather than embracing His loving presence in my life and, by extension, in my writing. Perhaps it will encourage you on your journey too.
Karma Pratt is a faith-driven mom of twins, a communicator, a writer, and an encourager from way back. She offers professional writing and editing services at redraincoatcreations.com.