Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Losing your way

I have been “directionally challenged” most of my life. It has gotten a bit better over the years, but still I struggle with knowing which direction I’m driving at any given moment. Oh sure, if I get to a freeway and see north, south, east, west, I know which way to go. I can visualize the major freeways in my mind’s eye. It’s when I’m not so near them that I’m not so sure. Suffice to say, I get lost.

But you know what? When you lose your way, all you have to do is turn around again. Back track until things begin to look familiar. Then head for home.

I consider myself a reasonably passionate person. There are things I care deeply about. Perhaps the greater one’s capacity to feel passion, the greater one’s capacity to feel despair. Or perhaps I am simply a nut job. (Some I know would lean more toward the latter than the former, LOL.)

There have been isolated times in recent years when I have paused to ask myself, “Are you sure? Is that really where you stand? Is that really what you believe?” My mind has always insisted, YES! OF COURSE! But I’m not certain my heart always concurred.

Those isolated incidents started coming more frequently. I was kicking against the goads, knowing what I should do, should feel, should say, should think, but not being as consistent about arriving at those destinations.

It seems as if I told God I was tired a great deal of the time. Tired in every way a person can feel fatigued – physically, emotionally, spiritually. And nothing seemed to change, except me. Before I knew it, I truly had lost my way and no amount of turning around was getting me back to familiar territory.

Yesterday, I went by my church to check on the hurricane damage. I went inside. I love my church. I love being there. It provides a great deal of peace and comfort to my soul. It is my favorite place to be. I wandered around from room to room, looking the damage (thankfully, there was none). I went into the sanctuary. It was dark. I walked down the aisle to the very front, sat down in the pew, stared up at the cross and prayed. This was familiar ground. This place I knew. I told the Lord as much, telling him again as I have in recent weeks that I want things to be different; I need them to be different. “Let me walk out of here a different woman,” I said, “Let me walk out a different woman.”

What I asked for in the quiet, uncertain darkness, I must now believe in faith that I have received. I will be a different woman. Although I can probably never find my way back to the place where I was months or even years ago, God has a use for the place where I am now. In many respects, for God’s purposes, it is a better place. I still believe that he uses everything in our lives. On that point I shall never waver. And I know my desire is to serve Him, to love my husband, to care for my children and family, to be there for my friends, and to be of some use in this world.

Dare I claim to be a woman after God’s own heart? Every day, with God’s help, I will aim for that familiar destination.

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